BY GREG LEWIS
Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) kicks off the 2017 football season on Saturday, Sept. 2 with another showdown against the University of Miami. The Hurricanes are ranked No. 18 in the USA Today Preseason coaches’ poll.
The game will take place in Miami Gardens at Hard Rock Stadium with a 12:30 p.m. kickoff time.
B-CU has never defeated the Hurricanes. Back in 2015, Miami ripped B-CU by a score of 45-0.
The Wildcats return with key players like quarterbacks Larry Brihm and Akevious Williams Jr., wide receiver Frank Brown and Kaveon Mitchell, running backs Michael Jones and Jamaruz Thompkins, defensive lineman Kevin Thompson, linebacker Trenton Bridges and defensive backs Diquan Richardson and Elliott Miller.
Earlier this month, Richardson, a 5-11, 167-pound safety was named to the Black College Football Player of the Year Watch List, the only B-CU representative on this year’s preseason list.
He also was named to the All Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Preseason First Team along with Brown, placekicker Uriel Hernandez and Thompson.
“It feels good to be recognized for something special like the Black College Football Player of the Year Watch List,” Richardson stated in an article posted on B-CU Athletics’ website.
“Now I just have to go out there and help my teammates get better; help myself get better; and help the team win for Coach [Terry] Sims. Hopefully that will help us, not just me, get known even more.”
Preparing to win
Ja-Quan Lumas, a senior majoring in history, will be returning to the field as the starting tight end.
“There’s no extensive practices, however. When it’s time to practice, everyone is locked in. From the coaches to the players, even the trainers. Everybody is making sure they’re doing their job. We are very much preparing to go win games no matter what team lines up,’’ Lumas said.
The Wildcats also are preparing for the MEAC (Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference) play.
B-CU is an eight-time conference champion. The Wildcats have won at least a share of the MEAC title five times from 2010 to 2015, including an outright title in 2011. Their first title came in 1984.
They will face three of the conference’s top contenders, including defending champion North Carolina Central (Nov. 11), 2015 co-champion and Celebration Bowl participant North Carolina A&T (Oct. 21) and South Carolina State (Oct. 14).
Prayer and worship
The team also took the time this month for a team prayer and worship service as well as a day to meet their fans and supporters.
The Wildcats visited Palm Coast United Methodist Church for it’s sixth annual Football Sunday services on Aug. 20.
“It’s a great way for us to begin the year – with prayer and family, and those that care about the program beyond just the results,” Sims said in an article on the B-CU Athletics’ website.
“It’s about reminding these young men that Bethune-Cookman University is a Methodist-based institution. One founded on the church and faith. We lift our founder’s faith and legacy up in everything we do, including worship.”
The Wildcats also held its annual Fan Day Sunday on B-CU’s campus in conjunction with the women’s volleyball team and cross-country program.
During the event, the public got to take photos with the players and engage in activities such as a dunk tank and pie-throwing contest.
Information on B-CUAthletics.com was used in this report. Greg Lewis, a Daytona Times intern, is a senior Mass Communications major at Bethune-Cookman University.