By Shedrick Byrd
March Madness has long gone and I wait for next year. Norfolk State University (NSU) men had a good year in the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) with a 12 and 4 Record that earned them second place in the conference at year end. They were defeated by South Carolina State in the semi-finals, which was a disappointment to me, but I got over it. Hampton University became the victors of the tournament.
Although the Spartans lost three star players, Jeff Short, D’Shon Taylor, and Charles Oliver to graduation, the team still seems strong for next year. Returning next season are Jordan Butler, Zaynah Robinson, Jonathan Wade, Brian Kelly, Devonte Banner, and Alex Long who made strong showings last season. According to the local media, Coach Robert Jones has recruited two new shooting guards with respectful 16.5 and 8.4 points scoring averages. The prospect of a good year in the MEAC next season looks bright. Larry Vickers Associate Head Coach for the men has been selected as Head Coach for the NSU Women’s basketball team. Coach Vickers took over the Women’s team late in the season and brought a new spirit to the team. With that new spirit I look forward to a winning season for the women’s team also.
My focus now is on NSU football. Under the leadership of one-year head Coach Latrell Scott, the outlook for the upcoming season appears favorable. Coach Scott has brought a new twist to the team’s recruiting efforts. He is doing something that coaches in the recent past did not do much of. He’s recruiting studious and talented players from local high schools and prep schools throughout the State. I was told by an NSU fan that Scott invites local high school football players out to watch NSU spring training football practices. That is certainly a new recruitment twist for NSU football.
Coach Scott became the head coach last year following 10 years of coaching by Pete Adrian who retired in 2014. Scott is the previous head coach of Virginia State University where he won two Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships (CIAA). Scott also changed the scheduling of games. This coming season NSU has no long distance out of conference games. The longest distant out of conference is Richmond. On the NSU schedule is Elizabeth City State University a division II school from the (CIAA). The schedule also includes the University of Richmond and William and Mary. The Coach’s effort to recruit locally and schedule out of conference games closer to home should increase attendance of NSU fans and the team’s number of wins. Coach Scott is a breath of fresh air. You go Coach!!!
Shedrick Byrd is a frequent contributor to the New Journal and Guide.