The stands erupted in cheers as the men’s basketball team inched closer to beating the rival Norfolk State. The fire from the fans sparked an intensity that translated to the players as well, and in the final seconds, the team solidified their win, 65-64. This win declared the Howard men’s basketball team as the 2022-23 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champions. However, this was only the latest victory in Howard athletics, as teams across the department had historically successful seasons this past year.
Other MEAC champions this season included men’s golf, women’s volleyball, cross country and indoor track & field. The football team shared the MEAC championship spot with North Carolina Central this past fall. Women’s basketball and softball reigned as the 2022 MEAC champions. The women’s track and field team won the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship and the men’s swimming and diving team were champions of Northeast Conference (NEC). This is only to name a few, not including the individual awards multiple coaches and players have been recognized for.
The student-athletes at Howard have a drive and passion that allow them to achieve these feats. Kendall Jackson, a sophomore sport management major, is a member of the women’s golf team. She expressed her experience of being a part of the team. In her first tournament, she was overcome with joy and excitement. Her initial thoughts were, “Wow, I actually made it.” Being able to represent Howard in a sport that she loved was, to her, an unbelievable experience.
Seeing the success of her fellow Bison in their respective sports only pushed Jackson to continue to dominate. As a result, the women’s golf team took first place in the SAS Championship HBCU tournament. “It was a great win for us, especially against some of the big-name HBCUs in golf. We came in and swept.”
The athletic department at Howard holds a rich winning history that was only bound to repeat itself. Ricky Clemons, a current professor, began his career at Howard University in 1980 as the assistant sports information director. He recollected on the department then and how it has grown over time.
“We had tremendous teams in those days. A team I remember was the men’s basketball team that made it to the NCAA tournament in 1980. We were one of the first HBCU teams to make it that year. It was the first year the NCAA allowed Black colleges to compete, and we made it.” Although the team fell short of a win against the University of Wyoming, Clemons noted how it was an unforgettable experience. The following year, the women’s basketball team also made it to the NCAA tournament. “Winning a championship is always the favorite experience. It’s a celebration of us.”
It is a celebration indeed. It evokes a sense of school spirit that multiple generations can attest to.
Kayla Smith, currently a junior accounting major, loves to attend Howard games. “My favorite Howard moments have been having the enthusiasm of the crowd and hearing the cheers for the team. The excitement makes me feel like we are truly a Bison family!” The love and bond is already fostered within us as members of the Howard community. The success of our teams has only made them stronger.
Students, faculty and alumni alike are all proud of what the Howard athletics department has accomplished this past year and are looking forward to a successful future.
Copy edited by Jadyn Barnett