RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — On Wednesday, Gov. Roy Cooper honored the North Carolina Central University football team for winning the 2022 Cricket Celebration Bowl.

At the event, Cooper proclaimed Feb. 15 as a day in recognition of the team. Event attendees included the team, N.C. Central Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye, Head Coach Trei Oliver, and Athletics Director Louis Perkins.

“The NC Central Eagles showed amazing determination and passion in winning the 2022 HBCU National Championship at the Cricket Celebration Bowl and they made all North Carolinians proud,” said Cooper. “Coach Oliver and his team deserve high praise for this accomplishment, and I’m glad to honor them here today.”

This is N.C. Central football team’s fourth national HBCU title since 1954. The Eagles also won the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference in 2022. They are the third team in NCCU history to reach double-figure scores, finishing the season with 10 wins and two losses.

“We are appreciative of Governor Cooper and his staff for the invitation to recognize our program for winning the 2022 HBCU National Football Championship. Our student-athletes, coaches and support staff have worked extremely hard to get us here,” said Oliver. “Their hard work and commitment to the process is what allowed us to make history. We are so proud to have been able to represent North Carolina Central University, the state of North Carolina, and our community. Thank you Governor Cooper for this special opportunity to be honored at the Governor’s Mansion.”

“The NCCU community is thrilled with the great performance of our Football team this season,” said NCCU Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye. “From the first pre-season kickoff to the final Celebration Bowl whistle, they believed in each other, bought in to their coaches’ program and delivered what we knew they could – a national championship. Beyond that, our student-athletes excelled in the classroom and we are so proud of them.”