The 2014 “ESPN 101 High School Seminar” was held at Oak Ridge High School in Orlando. ESPN’s Jay Harris moderated the panel which consisted of sports industry professionals, which included Jocelyn Fisher, Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Administration/Senior Woman Administrator, USF; Angela Woods, Director, Corporate Outreach, ESPN; Iliana Limón Romero, Editor, College Sports, Orlando Sentinel/South Florida Sun Sentinel; Phillip Gregory McKibbins, Senior Director, Technology & Product Development, ESPN; and Darrell Fry, Sports Media Director, Walt Disney World Resort.
The 2014 Welcome Dinner was held at Disney’s Epcot® World Showplace. Players, school administrators and other ESPN and Disney personnel were on hand to kick off the event, which featured a festive atmosphere of music, food and fun. Former Howard University quarterback and ESPN football analyst Jay Walker gave the keynote address, impressing upon the players to “do more, be more,” stressing the importance of being more than just a football player.
The 2014 band showcase featured North Carolina A&T State’s “Blue and Gold Marching Machine” versus Alabama A&M’s “Marching Maroon and White” at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Theme Park. To see pictures and video of the bands’ performances, please visit the MEAC/SWAC Challenge’s Facebook page.
The Legends Award, established in 2009, pays tribute to individuals whose achievements have impacted HBCUs. The 2014 Legends Reception was held at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, on Saturday, Aug. 30. Honorees included Pro Football Hall of Famers Elvin Bethea (North Carolina A&T State ); Harry Carson (South Carolina State ); and John Stallworth (Alabama A&M ); as well as sports media relations veteran Bill Hamilton (South Carolina State) and former athletic director and longtime volleyball coach Betty Austin (Alabama A&M). Pictured above is the 2012 class: (L to R): Eddie Robinson (Alabama State); Rev. Canon Nelson W. Pinder (Bethune-Cookman); Jack “Cy” McClairen (Bethune-Cookman); Stephanie Ready (Coppin State); and Steven Wilson (Howard University).
The 2014 Great Heart & Soul Tailgate featured R&B and jazz sensation Silkee Smoove, along with a pump ’em up pep rally featuring the drumlines and cheerleaders of the Alabama A&M Bulldogs and the North Carolina A&T State Aggies. For more information – plus a full list of activities – go to CandoEvents.com.
What better way to get amped up for the 10th installment of the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney? A good, old-fashioned Pep Rally, of course, which starts promptly at 10 am during the Heart & Soul Tailgate party in front of Bright House Networks Stadium. There will be cheerleaders and a drum-line from both bands (North Carolina A&T State’s “Blue and Gold Marching Machine” and Alabama A&M’s “Marching Maroon and White”).
Widely considered the most highly-anticipated event of the entire weekend, the Halftime Battle of the Bands is an opportunity for North Carolina A&T State’s “Blue and Gold Marching Machine” and Alabama A&M’s “Marching Maroon and White” to show attendees that the beat goes on even while players are off the field. Both bands will also perform after the game — for the 5th Quarter Battle of the Bands.