The Alcorn State University Braves football team has had its share of ups and downs this season, but despite the challenges, the resilient players and coaching staff were able to fight their way back into the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championship game for the third consecutive year.
The Braves will face off against the winner of this year’s Bayou Classic between the Grambling State University Tigers and the Southern University Jaguars in the 2016 SWAC Championship Game Saturday, Dec. 3 in NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Braves punched their ticket to the game thanks to their 61-7 thrashing of the Mississippi Valley State University Delta Devils and the Jackson State University Tigers’ 27-20 loss to the Alabama A&M Bulldogs last Saturday.
Leading the charge is first year head coach Fred McNair. He, along with his dedicated coaching staff, goes the extra mile to make sure that the Braves remain a force in the conference. McNair spoke highly of his team, and credited them for their will to win.
“These young men and the coaching staff have really worked hard,” said McNair. “The players and coaching staff have done an excellent job at preparing themselves. Despite all of the obstacles, such as injuries and limited time in training camp, we have another shot at winning the SWAC Championship. We couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
The team’s hard working attitude is why Coach McNair feels strongly about their chance to take the crown again this year.
“These players are very special because working as hard as they do every day isn’t easy. They work hard in the classroom and then come to football practice and grind for two solid hours a day, so they’ve done a great job at preparing themselves to be in this position.”
Braves fans are eager to travel to Houston to support their beloved team. Christopher Davis, communication assistant in Alcorn’s Division of Marketing and Communication, looks forward to cheering the Braves on to victory.
“I am very proud and excited about Alcorn returning to the SWAC Championship for the third time,” said Davis. “It’s such a great feeling; the excitement of the game, seeing familiar faces and the overall experience of the Alcorn family coming together for such an awesome event. I had faith in our Braves this season, and that faith will continue to be Brave strong.”
If the Braves win a third consecutive SWAC title, they will be one of two teams to do so. Grambling was the first team to three-peat from 2000 to 2002. Larry Smith, who serves as Alcorn’s director of athletic development, has the utmost confidence in the Braves’ ability to show up and capture SWAC football history.
“I am very confident that the Braves will make history in the SWAC Championship game,” said Smith. “You can throw the regular season record out the window because it’s totally irrelevant. It will come down to who plays the best, wants it the most and do the necessary things to get the job done. I strongly feel that the Braves have all of those characteristics and will execute their game plan to the fullest.”
Let’s continue to cheer on the Braves as they look to secure another championship! Come out Saturday, Nov. 19 and watch the Braves' final home and regular season matchup against their longtime rival, Jackson State University, at 2 p.m. at Jack Spinks-Marino Casem Stadium. Be on the lookout for SWAC Championship tickets on www.ticketmaster.com and the Alcorn ticket office. Go Braves!