For the first time since 1960, Lincoln University has a football team! Since the days I attended Lincoln from 1988-1992, my buddies and I longed to have a football team to cheer for or play for, but we had to settle for playing intramural football throughout our college careers. As a matter of fact, I was a part of the Ghetto Knights of McCrary Dorm that won the intramural championship in 1991. Not only did we long to have a football team for Lincoln, but we actually played a flag football game for homecoming one year, to try and generate interest in bringing football back to Lincoln. The game was a popular draw, and I do remember making one of the most memorable blocks that occurred on that day. When I hit this one guy during a play, his entire body was parallel with the ground! LOL!
Fast forward 16 years later (wow!), and Lincoln has renewed its committment to football on the division II level. Rahesha and I (both LIncoln grads) jumped in the car and headed up to Lincoln for this historic occassion. Since Lincoln doesn’t have a football stadium yet, the home games are played at Avon Grove High School, which has a very nice football stadium. The stadium is only 6 miles from Lincoln, so it is very close for students and visitors. The stadium was packed with over 2,000 people, which included current students and alumni! I saw the specs for the stadium, and it holds 2,300 people, but there was standing room only, and there were a lot of people, including Rahesha and I who had to stand for the game. There were also hundreds of people outside who didn’t even go into the game.
Lincoln University came out with cool uniforms, which consisted of burnt orange helmets and burnt orange jerseys, which if they go on sale, will sell like hotcakes amongst alumni and students alike. The atmosphere was charged with excitement as Lincoln took the field for the first football homecoming game in 48 years! Unfortunately, that is where the excitement ended. This being Lincoln’s first official football season, the team wasn’t quite ready talent wise to deal with Elizabeth City State a perrenial power in its division II conference. When Rahesha and I left in the beginning of the 4th quarter it was 56-6 in favor of Elizabeth City State. Despite the fact that we were blown out, it was exciting to have college football team to root for that I have a true personal connection to. Although I live in Penn State country, I am going to add a little royal blue and orange to the mix!
Rahesha and I left the football game and attended homecoming on Lincoln’s campus. Never before had we seen so many people on the campus celebrating homecoming. There were literally thousands of people on campus. I saw old friends from years ago, and students that I taught in high school who are currently attending the school. It was truly a memorable experience. The football game, and the addition of the Roarunit, (an online myspace type page for Lincoln Alum), created an urge for past and present Lincolnites to attend and take part in this historic day in Lincoln’s history. Another historic event involved the legendary Lincoln alum Tick Coleman, who graduate in 1935 with my grandfather (graduated from seminary) and Thurgood Marshall. After 48 years of waiting, Mr. Coleman finally got to see the return of Lincoln Football down on the sidelines. It has been said that he didn’t want to pass on until football returned to Lincoln. He got his wish today!
Football is back at Lincoln, and I couldn’t be happier. I can see I will be taking a number of trips back to my alma mater to support the good’ ol Orange and Blue!