Published August 27, 2014
Alexis Wainwright & Janay Boone – Sports Reporter & Sports Editor
The MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney is on it’s 10th anniversary and will feature two of the biggest programs in college football.
The North Carolina A&T State University Aggies will face off against the Alabama A&M Bulldogs on Sunday, August 31, 2014.
The game will be played at Bright House Networks Stadium on the campus of University of Central Florida (UCF.) More than 20,000 fans have participated yearly in the Labor Day weekend festivities in Central Fla.
This will be the first time the football team has participated in the challenge. The Blue and Gold Marching Machine and the Aggie Cheerleaders will also make a debut.
In a teleconference held on Aug. 21, Coach Rod Broadway said, “We are excited for the guys to be playing in such a big state in the preseason”. Tarik Cohen, sophomore running back and reigning MEAC Rookie of the Year, said “I look forward to this being a fun experience, going down to Florida and having a game in front of that many fans and playing Alabama A&M, a team I have never played before.”
James Spady is going into his first season as Alabama A&M head coach and is coaching in his first MEAC/SWAC challenge game.
The Aggies are returning from with a 7-4 record in the 2013-2014 season.
Linebacker Marcus Albert said “We plan on replacing the younger guys coming in that have experience all over from playing last season. Spring practice was really big for us this year so we can get the chemistry down and everybody can know their role.”
The 2014 event will air on ESPN. Disney has sponsored the event for seven years as part of an ongoing commitment to diversity, education and community.
This tradition is more than a football game but four days of events to highlight contributions from HBCUs.
“We just have to get to the point where we are more consistent. I think we are going to be ready for the big stage. We could really be good, we just have to continue what we are doing throughout the season,” said wide receiver Denzel Keyes.
The weekend events include a parade, band showcase, a Legends’ Reception, a high school seminar, tailgates, pre-rally and battle of the bands.
The mission is to build on HBCU traditions while providing a stellar experience for the student athletes and fans.
Broadway said fans can expect “a good, entertaining, and hot game for the whole team to experience the bowl type game.”
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