After becoming Mid-East Athletic Conference (MEAC) champions in 2022 with a conference record of 4-1, Howard’s football team is riding the wave of adrenaline from such a successful year. The Bison look to take this newfound confidence into the upcoming season.
The journey to becoming MEAC champions wasn’t easy, but it has prepared the team for what to expect going into another year with the same goal in mind. The Bison trained during their off-season and prepped their minds and bodies to reach peak levels once gameplay ensues.
“You work hard all year – all spring, all winter, all summer…for eleven opportunities,” Larry Scott, head football coach, said.
Throughout their championship run, the Bison developed strengths advantageous for this upcoming season. A strength the team highlighted was continuity with one another. The players suffered, succeeded and grew together, players said, which created a deep bond among the team.
Christian White, a graduate student who plays middle linebacker said, “[Howard’s] strengths are definitely just having experience with each other. The team chemistry and the team comradery…It feels like a brotherhood.”
Weaknesses accompany strengths in any team setting, Scott and White, shared that the Bison are no exception to that. A common area that personnel would like to address is keeping the players healthy, especially with the limited resources they said they are provided.
“Some of the negatives are just getting guys back healthy,” Scott said. “We had a few guys have some off-season surgeries and different things like that so we’re nearing having all those guys back and being 100 percent.”
White added, “Our weakness would probably be trying to do without the resources to prevent soft tissue injuries.”
Having those resources, White said, “will increase chances of winning… and keeping our bodies up-kept and healthy.”
The Bison are looking forward to testing their mettle against a difficult regular season schedule. Classic rivalries and marquee matchups will give the Bison several chances to show why they deserve national recognition.
“We’re always excited to play in the classic versus Hampton: The Battle of the real HU,” Scott said. “That’s a national rivalry that we all get excited about and the importance of that game and what that could mean for our program, for our coaching, for our university as a whole.”
Norfolk State also appears to be high on Scott’s list, as he noted the homecoming matchup as well. “We want to try and continue the streak of being successful and winning at home and taking home a winning game at homecoming time,” he said.
Quinton Williams, a graduate student who will return as the starting quarterback for the Bison, is looking forward to a special game himself, “Senior night,” he said. “To soak up the surreal moment of my last night playing at Greene Stadium.”
With all of the training and practicing in preparation for the regular season games, the Bison feel that this season will be promising. There is one goal in mind: to win.
“Our absolute number one goal is to be the sole outright winner of the conference this year,” Scott affirmed.
The Bison have something special in their culture that cannot be taken away from them and Coach Scott sums it up in one word: “family.”
In the words of Coach Scott, “Say the word Howard and it is synonymous with excellence.”
Copy edited by Diamond Hamm