Hampton U’s community anticipates Super Bowl LI party

By Jazmin Bryant

As Super Bowl Sunday approaches Feb. 5, Hampton University students and employees looked forward to the game with anticipation.

"The [Atlanta] Falcons will make history," said Jordan McKinney, a sophomore political science major from New Jersey, and Falcons fan. "They haven't made it this far in years."

"For the Super Bowl, I plan to complete homework assignments and watch the commercials," Yamarie Sesay (photo below right), a junior journalism major from Maryland. "I look forward to the halftime show. Lady Gaga is a very interesting but yet entertaining performer."

Tomi Tabler, a senior biology major from Maryland, said, "Truthfully, I love football but I don't really care for the Super Bowl this year. Tom Brady is cool and all but I'm tired of seeing the [New England] Patriots.

"The commercials are honestly the best. I'll probably spend my time at a watch party vibing with friends."

During Super Bowl Sunday it is most likely for students to order big bulks of food from nearby restaurants for the football game. At restaurants on the edge of the Hampton U. campus, Wingzone, Subway and Tropical Smoothie were options.

"We are expecting a 20- to 30-percent increase in business this year because they cut our ordering short last year," said Wingzone manager Sergio Neal. "Between now [Thursday] and Saturday we will receive around 30 orders. Sunday we may be receiving somewhere between 200 to 300 customers or more."

According to Neal, the most popular order that Wingzone receives for the Super Bowl are the "Bone-in wings."

When asking the managers of the Subway and Tropical Smoothie what business would be like during the Super Bowl, it seems that there will not be any overwhelming orders coming in.

"They [students] normally go to a Walmart or Safeway to get the boxes of sandwiches and wings. We don't get a lot of orders because this is a student-oriented store unlike the other Subway up the road from here," said manager Sheetal Petal.

Some Hampton U. students who work at local restaurants said they have a very busy Sunday ahead of them.

"I'm looking forward to tips because I'm a server and I'm working the bar," said Lulu Louizaire (above left), a sophomore strategic communications major from Haiti, who works at a Buffalo Wild Wings.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Hampton U. ATL students are all in for their Falcons

By Taylor Lee

HAMPTON, Virginia -- The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots go head to head Sunday at
Super Bowl LI in Houston, at 6:30 p.m. EST on Fox.

At Hampton University here, a contingent of Atlanta-area students said they are thrilled that their NFC champion Falcons will play for the ultimate prize.

"It's really a great feeling to see the Falcons finally going to the Super Bowl in my lifetime," said Carlton Griffin, a journalism major/cinema studies minor from Ellenwood, Georgia. "I've been a fan since I was born and it's been a tough ride being a Falcons fan.

"My birthday is Sunday, so a Super Bowl win would be the best present I could ask for."

Fans such as Kaelyn Lowe, a sophomore journalism major/leadership studies minor from Stone Mountain, Georgia, have pre game rituals when cheering on their favorite teams and specific ways they enjoy watching football games.

"I can't believe I forgot my Falcons jersey at home," she said. "I wear it every game.

"I still think my Falcons will go all the way!"

"It's really a great feeling to see the Falcons finally going to the Super Bowl in my lifetime," said Jeffrey Lowe, an electrical engineering major from Stone Mountain, Georgia. "I've been a fan since I was born and it's been a tough ride being a Falcons fan. It always seems like they'd get your hopes up and then find some way to disappoint you. A win in the Super Bowl would mean so much for the city and the real fans.

"I'll be watching with some friends. Anybody who has the Patriots winning might just lose their money."

This is Super Bowl specifically monumental for the Falcons and their fans because it has been almost 15 years since the team went to the big game. Atlanta Mayor Kassim Reed Friday signed an order that allows bars in the city to stay open until 3 a.m. Sunday night through Monday before dawn.

As for the Patriots, New England has gone to the Super Bowl eight times and have been victorious four times. Bill Belichick is a highly respected coach in the National Football League.

Hampton students from the East Coast who are Patriots fans said they were confident.

"I mean come on, Tom Brady is the No. 1 quarterback in the NFL right now there is no way we aren't going to Disney,' said Marshall Gordon, a freshman business management major from Reston, Virginia. "I don't think it will be a blowout for the Falcons or Patriots, but the Patriots have the upper hand with our amazing offense."

Zachary Bragg (photo right), a sophomore journalism major/sports management minor From Roselle, New Jersey, said "I'm going to watch the game in my dorm room.

"That way when I comment and talk trash on every play, I won't disturb anyone."

This game will be watched by millions of people all around the world, and only one team will become champions.

Whether you are a Falcons fan, Patriots fan, or just there for the food, drink and commercials, the Super Bowl is a big deal.

For those who have nowhere to go but just want to be around other students, the Hampton U. Student Government Association is hosting a Super Bowl watch party inside the Student Center Ballroom at 6 p.m.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Hampton-Howard weekend: Battle of the real HU

By Kyla Wright

A question that has been asked among Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for 148 years: who is the real HU?! This rivalry between Howard University and Hampton University has been going on since 1868 – the year that Hampton was founded – one year after Howard.

This weekend at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. marks one of the biggest annual HBCU events. Students, alumni, and many others attend the AT&T Nation's Football Classic –Hampton U. vs. Howard U. – too see which school can prove themselves as being worthy of the trophy, bragging rights, and the ultimate title of "The Real HU."

Keauna Lenton, a Hampton U. freshman pre-pharmacy major from Detroit, is traveling to our rival school on one of the six charter buses provided by the Office of Student Activities here. This form of transportation was convenient for many students as their $40 package included transportation to and from Washington, D.C., a T-shirt, and a boxed lunch.

Some upperclassmen students said the downside of traveling with the Office of Student Activities was that it is a turnaround trip. Genita Johnson, a sophomore marketing major from Boston, is driving to the game with friends and staying in D.C. for the weekend so that she can get "the entire HUHU experience," she said, a reference to the social aspects of the weekend.

Friday, at 1 p.m., launched the rivalry. The "Game Before the Game: Howard University vs. Hampton University Student Debate" was to take place in the Cramton Auditorium on Howard's campus, where members from both schools' debate teams would go head to head in three rounds of intense debating on pre-determined topics while they're being cheered on by their fellow Bison or Pirates in the audience.

Students, alumni and others from schools all around will likely be traveling late Friday or early Saturday so that they can make it to the Pepsi Block Party, or tailgate on the festival grounds of RFK Stadium on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.

"I'm not into the football aspect of HUHU, but I'm looking forward to the tailgate and seeing my fellow Howard students," said Tanasia Smith, a junior journalism major from Harlem, New York.

The tailgate will be full of students and alumni from the HU's, Greeks, celebrity guest. The reality is, you never know who will pop up at these events.

Lauren Smith (pictured above, right), a sophomore health science major from Detroit, attends Howard and is all about socializing this weekend. She plans on attending the tailgate and any and every party succeeding the game.

Besides, what's a college weekend without a friendly rivalry and parties?!

Rivalry aside, one thing that Hampton and Howard students do great together is PARTY. We are both known to work hard, but play hard as well. One of Hampton's own, QT9's Cameron Benboe, better known as DJ Camo, will be hosting and DJ'ing one of the after parties on Saturday night.

The rumor around social media is that there will basically be a party at every corner, so if you like social functions, D.C. will be the place for you this weekend.

One thing is for sure, this weekend will be an interesting, but when it's all said and done, only one school can walk away with the title of the REAL HU. The question is, who will it be?

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Hampton U. Pirates open football season at Old Dominion

By Daijiah Steele

The arrival of football season at Hampton University is apparent: The band can be heard practicing late nights, the cheerleaders rehearse their cheers and chants, and football players and coaches spend countless hours on the field.

The season opener will be 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Old Dominion University as the Pirates take on the Monarchs [The original 6 p.m. Saturday kickoff across the harbor in Norfolk was changed because of anticipated heavy rain – 3 to 6 inches – from the remnants of Hurricane Hermine].

Will Hampton University students be in attendance?

"Now that I'm a junior and have transportation, I'm willing to travel and support my friends on the cheerleading and football team at away games," said Arie'yana Easterling, a third-year psychology major from Durham, North Carolina. "Hampton needs more people to travel and support the team."

Freshman Rhian Elyse of Houston hopes the game atmosphere matches the invigorating culture of Texas high school football: "I'm so excited to a part of the fan club and cheer for our team."

Timia Whitsey, a sophomore from Houston, said, "I will be in attendance with the Student Leadership Program, so of course we will be sure to have the [people in the] stands cheering and screaming our favorite chants as we show why we love our Hampton Pirates."

Hampton's win-loss record was 6-5 last season and the team is 0-4 lifetime against ODU. The last time the Pirates played the Monarchs was 2 years ago and the game remained fairly close until the last quarter, in which ODU beat the Pirates 41-28.

"I would be interested in going to this game because both schools are close, and I might see someone I know," said Benjamin Faulks, a freshman accounting major from Portsmouth. "But I wasn't able to get a ticket because they sold out so fast. I'm disappointed."

Two-hundred-thirty tickets, according to the campus sports information director, went on sale Aug. 15 and were priced at $31 apiece. Unsold tickets were returned to ODU, which has sold out the last 48 games at 20,118-seat Foreman Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium.

Arianna Herriott and Jordan Parker contributed to this report. The students are majors in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Hampton U. Pirates collect treasures at NCAA tourney

By Aaliyah Essex

Starting guard Reginald Johnson smoothly travels into the Hampton University basketball office. Suited up in Hampton Blue, the Chicago native looks as if he is prepared to tell a satisfying story. With his confident smile and friendly laugh, it was as if Johnson had changed the nation's perception of the typical Pirate.

Quite frankly, after two consecutive years of collecting cargo labeled, "MEAC Champions," accompanied by back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Tournament, changing what it meant to be a Pirate is exactly what Johnson has done.

Using the game of basketball, the senior captain and his mates have made an impact that will set records on and off the court.

This past season, the Pirates charted their way into the NCAA Basketball Tournament where they battled No. 1 seed University of Virginia. Although Hampton did not bring back the gold after an 81-45 loss, they did not return to their home by the sea with an empty treasure chest.

According to University President William R. Harvey, the NCAA awarded the institution $1 million just to appear in the tournament. Harvey says the institution kept half of the money while the other half was given to the MEAC. The university's Director of Athletics Eugene Marshall says, "The money is equivalent to a grant that goes towards the betterment of the institution."

The success of the seasoned team has sailed beyond financial waters. Track and Field Coach Maurice Pierce said the success of the basketball team has helped him recruit athletes. During a speech at a March 21 athletic celebration held by the university, Pierce recognizes the basketball team's impact on his program: "We recruit a lot of kids and for whatever reason they'll say 'well we don't know what Hampton is. We've never heard of Hampton.'

"I say, turn on the TV.

"So I always tell [Coach] Buck, when y'all are on TV, we recruit. You [Coach Joyner] help me."

Edward "Buck" Joyner says the team has certainly marked an 'x' on the spot at HU.

"To get the school seen in a different light or in a different type of exposure, you know, it helps all of us, not just athletics. It helps admissions. It helps any potential sponsors, you know, and anything that the university wants to do."

The accomplishment of the men's team has entered waters beyond the university. As one of only two historically black colleges and universities to reach this spring's tournament, the team has affected their counterparts. Meanwhile, the Southern University Jaguars competed against the College of Holy Cross in the First Four round of the tournament. That HBCU lost a close game. The final score was 59-55.

Being that these predominantly African-American schools are often looked at as the lesser opponent, the Pirates and the Jaguars have certainly made a statement.

In addition to the impact that the men have made outside the team, the athletes have left an effect on the younger members of the team. Hampton freshman guard Akim Mitchell says he will continue the legacy that his older teammates have started: "A lot of people say that we cannot live up to the legacy that the seniors have begun. I'm not going for that. They taught us. They brought us up. So I'm not going for it. I am not accepting that." Hampton finished the season with an overall record of 21-11. They went 13-3 in the conference. During the regular season, the Pirates took two losses at home and at one point, went on an eight-game home winning streak. Joyner is quickly preparing his young team for the 2016-2017 season.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

‘Why not us?’ says Hampton U. Pirates about to play No. 1 U. Va.

By Lexy Brower

For the second year in a row, Hampton University punched their ticket into the NCAA men's basketball tournament. Placed as the No. 16 seed, they will take on No. 1 seed University of Virginia 3:10 p.m. Thursday in Raleigh, N.C.

The Hampton Pirates are already viewed as the underdogs, but the players feel pretty confident about taking on what many may call a tough task. Some say it would be a miracle for the Pirates to successfully defeat the Cavaliers. Since 1985, No. 1 seeds are 120-0 vs. No. 16s. Yet there have been close calls, such as Princeton's near upset of Georgetown in 1989.

The score was 50-49.

"I guess some could look at it as being a miracle. It's a 16 seed vs. one seed. It would be a miracle since a 16 seed has never won, but we don't feel like that at all," says senior and Hampton team captain, Reggie Johnson. "We feel we have a good chance at winning the game. It's all about a game plan and having confidence that you can get it done more than anything.

"Records are meant to be broken and there are history books for a reason. Why not us?"

Over the last few years, the Pirates have had a master plan to get into the NCAA tournament but this year Hampton Nation fans will see if they have plans to advance in the NCAA tournament. Playing against some of the best teams in the country, the 21-win, 10-loss Pirates' consistency proves that they are eager and ready to meet the Cavaliers.

"Last year in the beginning, Hampton made a good run against Kentucky," says former Hampton University Lady Pirate basketball player, Bayley Coleman. "So anyone can win a game, no matter the name on the jersey. You also have to prepare yourself, on and off the court. Games like this, you must see their jerseys as blank, like it's any other team you've played."

In 2001, Hampton, a No. 15 seed, upset No. 2 seed Iowa State University 58-57. MEAC [Mid- Eastern Athletic Conference] allies Coppin State and Norfolk State universities also pulled off No. 15 vs. No. 2 upsets in 1997 and 2012.

All eyes are in Raleigh today, but which team will come home making Virginia proud?

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

ESPN cameras to record Hampton U. lacrosse history

By Aaliyah Essex

ESPN cameramen tiptoed into class right behind student Darrel Kidd. Students quickly turned their attention to the large lenses and boom mics. With class ongoing, the professor attempted to continue class until one curious student asked, "What's going on?"

Little did she know, these cameramen were documenting history.

Darrell Kidd of Hampton University is a player on the only Division I men's lacrosse program at a HBCU [Historically Black College or University]. The team will officially take the field for the first time this at 12:30 p.m. Saturday against Roberts Wesleyan College. The event will be broadcasted on ESPN's "Sports Center on the Road." Kidd is to be profiled in "All Access" segments between 10 a.m. and noon.

The Pirates' lacrosse program began as a club team initiated by former student Michael Crawford in 2010. Before Crawford could see the outcome of his efforts, he died in his family's home due to issues with an enlarged heart.

After the death, Crawford's parents persistently sought to continue Mike's lacrosse legacy at Hampton. According to Head Coach Lloyd Carter, the couple contacted him and asked about the steps they needed to take in order to see their son's vision through. Crawford replied saying, "I think God told you to call me." After receiving the call, the Baltimore resident began making weekly trips to Hampton University to assist with the lacrosse club.

Carter's sacrifice wasn't taken for granted. Though the program was a club, players were just as committed as players on varsity teams. "I took the club team very seriously because Coach Carter took time out of his schedule to coach us for no pay," said Kidd, the captain. "I saw it as disrespect if I didn't show up to practices."

Last spring, Hampton U. hosted Lacrosse Day and club teams from Morgan State University, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore and Morehouse College competed.

After about a year and a half of Carter's weekly commutes from Maryland, Hampton University President William R. Harvey and Athletic Director Eugene Marshall, Jr. declared the club a NCAA varsity team.

Carter played varsity lacrosse at Morgan State, the previous NCAA varsity program at an HBCU, that existed from 1970-1981, reported the Baltimore Sun.

With the NCAA membership came many changes. Kidd of Westchester, New York said, "Everything seemed like it got much more serious." According to Kidd, a senior, the transition meant various NCAA meetings, paperwork, and clearing house registration.

While Kidd believed that the administrative process was the hardest, Carter spoke about the physical transition. "We are playing at a much higher competition level now and because of that we really have to focus on the fundamentals," said Carter. "And we were prepared for the challenge."

As the Pirates take on the challenge of becoming a NCAA team, the team hopes to take their influence beyond the university. The team has conducted camps at local schools in order to expose the sport to young African-Americans. "We hope to expose the sports and give [students] other opportunities for higher learning," said Carter.

With the season officially kicking off this weekend, the cameras will turn their attention to the field as the Pirate's first NCAA season begins.

Follow Hampton U. lacrosse on Twitter: @Hampton_MLAX

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Visiting Red Hawks lacrosse team will face HU Pirate Nation

By Kayla Wimbush

Forty-eight hours before the big game Saturday against Roberts Wesleyan College, the Hampton University men's lacrosse team practiced indoors at the Student Center. The buzz around campus was sparked by the highlight of senior Darrel "DJ" Kidd. Just one week before, ESPN went behind the scenes to get a deeper look at the Hampton men's lacrosse captain and his life.

Walking up to the third floor of the Student Center the sun shined through the windows and cast light on the history that was just hours away from being made. Slowly but surely the team members made their way up the stairs and greeted each other like old friends back from a long vacation.

DJ wouldn't have guessed that a suggestion from a friend in high school would lead to a love and passion that would bring him to this point. Not knowing what the future would hold heading to Hampton U. in the fall of 2012, throwing his lacrosse stick in the car gave him a bond that is about to hit televisions across the country. It wasn't an easy road to take this club sport and make a group of guys a Division I NCAA varsity team.

"It hasn't been easy," said the bundled-up captain from Westchester, New York. "It's been a lot of late nights and early mornings, and it can be overwhelming at times with the media, but it's been a great experience. I'm grateful."

Kidd's calm and humble demeanor draws you in. You can feel his passion that forces you to want to support the team.

As the rest of the players file in, the elevators open to a strong voice gathering the young men. The coach has arrived.

Immediately the guys fall into place as the captains lead the stretches and old school-music plays across the room. In passing, one would not guess the men's Lacrosse team was preparing for a nationally televised game, as the sultry tunes of Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness" accentuates the mood. It doesn't feel at all like practice, the usual dread of running and going through drills. There's a family reunion feel that breaks the barriers of strangers, brought together by a common love for a gentlemen's sport. With the smooth old-school jams and good laughs, the only thing missing is a spread of good food.

"Some people on campus have been really receptive and excited," said Kidd. "I've gotten a lot of good luck texts over the last few days. Some people still don't know we have a team, but after ESPN came and shot 100 days [senior's countdown to May graduation] it definitely helped."

DJ is very aware of his opponents and the leg up they may have with their cohesiveness and years of competition at the collegiate level, but the senior captain said he is not worried. The Pirates' bond can be contributed attributed to their Sunday team dinners, and their confidence in what they do well. Kidd's role as captain is to keep the guys humble and grounded. They are skillful players with a heart to work hard and win.

When the Roberts Wesleyan Redhawks cross over into Pirate Nation, it will be their team versus this family.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Super Bowl 50, an American holiday for Hampton U. students

By Brianna Jackson

HAMPTON, Virginia – The Super Bowl is an American culture holiday.

When the game approaches, football fans over prepare by making reservations at restaurants that broadcast the game such as Dave and Busters or Buffalo Wild Wings, or ordering lump sums of foods from places like Farm Fresh, Subway or Jason's Deli so they can have guests over to share this moment. But whatever way people choose to celebrate, this game in particular is always a big deal.

Shannon Scott, a fourth-year Hampton University student in the 5-year MBA program from Philadelphia, and his roommate Tyrin Ellington, also a fourth-year in the 5-year MBA program from West Bloomfield, Michigan, decided to have their own Super Bowl party at their apartment. For their guests, they had multiple flavored wings, pizza, beer, and Hawaiian Punch.

Most of the people attending this party in particular were Carolina Panthers fans.

"I'm going for the Panthers tonight," said Jibri Ward, a senior graphic design major, computer science minor from Houston.

"I've always liked the [Denver] Broncos and Peyton Manning. I think he's a great quarterback, but I'm rooting for Cam Newton to win this one."

One of the most memorable game moments for this crowd was when Jordan Norwood, the wide-receiver for the Denver Broncos, caught the ball and took it down the field 61 yards, making it the longest punt return in Super Bowl history.

"It was very impressive," said Arriana Mclymore, a journalism major from Raleigh, North Carolina. "I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before."

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

Hampton U. students select Super Bowl 50 menus

By Jaida Bayton

With Super Bowl 50 approaching Sunday, many people are gearing up to throw watch parties and get-togethers to see the big event with their friends. Many details go into throwing such an event like this: Where will the party be, how big is the television screen, and most importantly, what kind of food will you be serving?

Many people choose to simply prepare food for their parties. Charles Cephas, a Hampton University senior computer science major from Baltimore, said "I tend to watch the Super Bowl at my apartment with my friends. We usually make food like wings and fries to eat during the game."

For bigger parties, you're going to obviously need more food. Places like Wing Zone, Hooters, Subway, and Buffalo Wild Wings offer catering services where you can order large amounts of food for as low as $50. At Subway, that amount serves 10 to 12 people, according to the "Grab a 3-foot giant sub and watch the big game with friends" promotion.

Buffalo Wild Wings advertised 80 chicken wings for $67.99 that could feed 16 to 20 people, and the Wing Zone offer was 100 pieces for $74.99 to feed 10 to 15 people.

You also have the choice of going to the restaurants to watch the game.

"I'm really a big fan of football, and I love going into Buffalo Wild Wings during sports events. The atmosphere is crazy and the food is so good," said Kennedi Riley, a junior kinesiology major from Baltimore. "Their wings and service are truly the best."

If you have nowhere to watch the game on campus, Hampton University's Student Government Association will be holding a Super Bowl party in the Student Center Ballroom at 6 p.m. There will be food and refreshments provided.

The Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos will be playing each other during the Super Bowl 50 on February 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Levi's Stadium in California on CBS.

The writer is a student in the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications.

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