N.C. A&T athletics set to resume in the Spring

N.C. A&T athletics set to resume in the Spring

Jerry Humphrey III, theSCORE Co-Editor

After a long delay in the fall due to COVID-19, sports at N.C. A&T are set to return this spring in their final season as a part of the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

The reigning Celebration Bowl champs are set to defend their title in a six-game schedule starting Feb. 20th, in a season opener against bitter rival North Carolina Central University (NCCU). 

This year the conference will be broken up into two divisions (Northern and Southern) and the winners of each division will play at the MEAC championship in April. 

The Aggies are set to have three important games here at the newly named Truist Stadium against teams like NCCU, Bethune Cookman (BCU) and Florida A&M. They’ll hit the road against Co-conference champions the South Carolina State Bulldogs before going back to BCU.

Aside from the seven mid-year commitments that signed back in December, the Aggies added Ten more signees on national signing day. 

“When we first got here, we would not have been able even to get a phone conversation with some of these guys.”Head Coach Sam Washington said. “It tells you how far we have advanced as a football program. We came away with some talented players. Some are going to help us right now. Some are going to be able to help us down the line.”

The N.C. A&T baseball season is set to teeoff Feb. 19th as they travel to South Carolina to go up against the College of Charleston. The team announced that they will compete in 20 home games and 33 away matchups in the 2021 season. 

Last season before the cancellation the team was projected to win the conference by sports information directors and coaches. They had three preseason All-MEAC players pitcher Micheal Johnson, hhortstop Dustin Baber, and catcher Ryne Staley who all will be returning for their final season thanks to the NCAA forgiving one year of eligibility due to the pandemic. 

The women’s tennis team participated in 10 matches last season. After almost a year the team is set to begin the 2021 season with 10 more matches starting Feb. 7th. In its first match, the team fell short in their opening doubleheader against Elon University (7-0,7-0). 

The Aggies look to capture their first victory when they travel to play the Clemson Tigers of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Friday, Feb. 13.

Also, the men’s tennis team fell short to Elon University (5-2, 7-0) in their opening weekend matchup. However, two aggies did come away with Singles victories Sophomore Esteban Lopez and Freshman Mike Ogundele. Their next matchup will be against Queens University of Charlotte on Feb. 14th.

This year’s men’s schedule features seven road matches and two in Greensboro with big intentions of bringing a conference championship to Aggieland.

“The men will be competing in its final season in the MEAC and have been gearing up to become the 2021 conference champions,” N.C. A&T coach William Crutchfield said.

Lastly, the A&T women’s bowling team is the only sports team that will remain in the MEAC conference after this season. 

They started their season with a brief two day stay in Baltimore, Maryland as a part of the Coppin State University Tournament on Jan. 30-31. The team finished 3-1 and came in second place behind Delaware state. Senior Ana Olaya and freshman Melanie Katen led the way by finishing second and third as individuals and both bowlers took home earned all-tournament honors. 

This past weekend, the Aggies traveled up north to Pennsylvania to participate in the “Northeast Classic” against Mount St. Mary’s. The team finished 4-1 on day two of the tournament and three bowlers placed in in the top-10. 

The thirteen ranked Aggies improve to 11-2 on the season and will return to action in Baltimore, Md. for the Morgan State James Brown Invitational from Feb. 12-14.

It’s still unsure how attendance will work for the spring sporting events this year since we are still deep into this pandemic. However, Aggie sports is back and after a long wait during the fall, fans and students cannot wait to see the teams in action.