The 2015 “ESPN 101 High School Seminar” was held at Evans High School in Orlando on the morning of Thursday, September 3. ESPN’s Jay Harris moderated the panel comprised of five sports industry professionals, who offered words of wisdom to over 400 seniors in attendance. The panelists were Lynn Thompson (Bethune-Cookman Athletics), Latria Leak (Orlando Magic), Corey Wynn (Daytona International Speedway), Latonya Johnson (Disney Sports), and Jhamie Chin (Orlando City SC).
This year’s Welcome Reception was held at EPCOT’s World Showplace Pavilion on Friday, Sept. 4. The event was highlighted by keynote speaker Stephen A. Smith, who shared his personal story and offered words of advice to all of the student-athletes in attendance. After dinner the teams were able to step right outside the door and enjoy the Illuminations fireworks show as well as a night at EPCOT.
The 2015 Band Showcase featured Arkansas – Pine Bluff’s “Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South” and South Carolina State’s “Marching 101” at Disney’s Magic Kingdom Theme Park. The two bands led off the Festival of Fantasy Parade on Saturday, Sept. 5, one day before the MEAC/SWAC Challenge.
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 2015 Legends Reception was held Saturday, Sept. 5, at Disney’s Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World. This year’s honorees included six-time Pro Bowl defensive end L.C. Greenwood (posthumously, representing Arkansas – Pine Bluff), three-time Super Bowl winner and current UAPB Head Coach Monte Coleman, legendary South Carolina State head coach and College Football Hall of Fame member Willie Jeffries, and five-time NFL Pro Bowl safety Donnie Shell (South Carolina State).
The 2015 Great Heart & Soul Tailgate featured the R&B musical stylings of Silkee Smoove plus the island atmosphere of steel bands and calypso. The pump-’em-up pep rally also featured the drum lines and cheerleaders from Arkansas – Pine Bluff and South Carolina State.
Arkansas – Pine Bluff’s Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South and South Carolina State’s Marching 101 were on hand before the game to fire up fans before their teams kicked off the 2015 season.
Widely considered the most highly-anticipated event of the entire weekend, the Halftime Battle of the Bands was an opportunity for our bands to shine. In 2015, Arkansas – Pine Bluff’s “Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-South” and South Carolina State’s “Marching 101” showed attendees that the beat goes on even while players are off the field.