Are you ready for some college football? Fayetteville State University is ready. The team is gearing up for a highly anticipated football season. If you haven’t been following their progress, now would be a good time to start.
“We are expecting to have a big season this year because the past two years we have been a game away from making it to the conference championship game,” said Lawrence Kershaw, head football coach at Fayetteville State University. “We finished in second place in the CIAA Division at 5-5 overall and 5-2 in the CIAA.”
Kershaw added that the CIAA is broken up into two divisions and the team placed second in its division two years in a row.
Coach Kershaw believes that he has a team that will take them to the championship this year and there are key players who will make it happen.
“Our best offensive lineman is Quincey Dickens, two wide receivers, Christopher Hubert and Tavon Gatlin and running back Andre Montgomery,” said Kershaw.
“The two defensive linemen who are real good are Thomas Perry and Rendell Mas,” continued Kershaw, adding that he is also excited about linebacker, Timothy Thorb, and secondary defensive back, Kwamere Bailey.
The team competes in the CIAA, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association, which is a Division II conference mostly consisting of historically African-American colleges and universities.
“Our expectation is to win the conference championship,” said Kershaw. “That will always be our number one goal.”
Coach Kershaw is from from Brooklyn, New York, and this is his 20th season coaching college football.
He played football in high school and in college at Stony Brook University in New York. He then transferred and graduated from Virginia State University. Kershaw had dreams of going pro but realized as he got older that he did not have the ability.
“My original goal was to be a guidance counselor and a head football coach at a high school,” said Kershaw. “I have a master’s in guidance and I started coaching college football while I was pursuing my degree.”
While football is a focus, academic excellence is a priority to Kershaw and his football players.
“The guys we get are guys who come to school to get an education,” said Kershaw. “They have the athletic ability to help them obtain a degree and we do give scholarships.”
Kershaw added if you are good enough you will make it. One of his former players, Marcus Reed, who played on last year’s football team, is currently playing with the Kansas City Chiefs.
The first game of the season is Sept. 5 against Chowan University. The 2015 CIAA football championship will take place on Nov. 14.
“We always want Fayetteville State University’s football team to be in the conversation,” said Kershaw. “I am anticipating a very successful season.”