By Randy Singleton
Community Affairs Correspondent
New Journal and Guide
NORFOLK The MEAC kicked off its 2015 football season Friday (July 31) with a press luncheon at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott Hotel. MEAC Commissioner Dr. Dennis Thomas and the 11 coaches of the member schools interviewed with the media and discussed the upcoming season with fans and alumni. The New Journal and Guide interviewed new NSU coach Latrell Scott, whose Spartans are picked to finish 7th and Hampton head coach Connell Maynor, whose Pirates are slated to finish 6th.
Coach Scott told the Guide, “We want to be a local and state-wide recruiting team first. We are going to start in the Tidewater area and work our way up to Richmond and to the rest of the state. If you saw the guys we had at our prospect camps over the summer, they are kids from all over the state of Virginia. “Our alumni and fans are fantastic. Spartan Nation has been great over the years but we’ve got to give them something to cheer for. We need for them to come out and support us. We are as good as they are. If we can get undying support from our fans, it will benefit our young men. One of my goals this season is to make sure we win the Battle of the Bay.”
Hampton coach Connell Maynor told the Guide, “The 757 area has a lot of great football players and since I’ve taken over, my staff has recruited the area hard. I hired former Hampton High coach Ted Bacote to help recruit the area. We want to establish a great relationship with the high school coaches and the entire state of Virginia. We really appreciate all the support the alumni have given us in the past and we look forward to seeing you at the games this season.” Commissioner Thomas announced the ESPN-sponsored inaugural game of the newly created Celebration Bowl, pitting the MEAC champion against the SWAC champion, scheduled for December 19 with a 12 noon kickoff at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
The 2015 Predicted Order of Finish in the MEAC Football Title Race: 1. North Carolina A&T 2. South Carolina State 3. Bethune Cookman 4. North Carolina Central 5. Morgan State 6. Hampton 7. Norfolk State 8. Florida A&M 9. Howard 10. Delaware State 11. Savannah State
2015 Preseason Players of the Year: Offensive Player of the Year: Tarik Cohen, A&T Defensive Player of the Year: Javon Hargrave, SCSU
2015 All-Conference Preseason Players from local HBCU’s: Offense WR Isaac White, Sr., NSU, Portsmouth, VA WR Twarn Mixon, r-Jr., Hampton, Charlotte, NC Defense DL Miles Grooms, Sr., Hampton, Richmond, VA LB Deon King, Sr., NSU, Reston, VA LB Joshua Thorne, Sr., Hampton, Oxon Hill, MD P Christian Faber-Kinney, Jr., Hampton, Williamsburg, VA