RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Saint Augustine’s football team wrapped up the camp portion of their preseason with a scrimmage Saturday at the George Williams Athletic Complex.
In front of fans and with officials calling penalties under in-game circumstances the Falcons impressed onlookers. Most important was everyone made it through injury-free.
“Having 75 freshmen out here and for their first college scrimmage with officials, the guys paid attention to what we ask them to do — so that’s a big plus,” said coach David Bowser. “The other thing I was really excited about was until the heat started beating on them a little bit they got after it pretty good.”
No positions are guaranteed but with each practice, the players separate themselves and Saturday was no exception. The Falcons haven’t named a starting quarterback just yet but what was once a four-man race looks like it had been reduced to two contenders.
On defense Marcus Davis, Tyree Humes and Demetrius Fitzgerald continue to shine within the veteran-laden unit.
“I know we’re going to be fine there,” said Bowser. “The only thing that worries me about the defense is today we started three of the four freshmen in the secondary.”
It’s the third part of football, special teams, that still has a few wrinkles. It’s not that they have issues with their kicker, holder snapper etc. Instead, it has more to do with what the team has emphasized so far in camp.
“We spent so much time on conditioning we didn’t put as much time as I would’ve liked on special teams but we’re making up for it because Monday is going to be a heavy special teams practice,” said Bowser. “We just got to catch up on special teams so that’s on us as coaches to pick up the pace.”
Not only has it been a big week for the Saint Augustine’s football team but a big week for Bowser as well.
On Tuesday, University President Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail removed the interim title and named him the full-time athletic director. Bowser had held the interim AD position since July 2020.
What makes him the right man for the job?
“I don’t even think that it’s anything with me per se — it’s more of the philosophy that meshes between the president and myself and the athletic department,” said Bowser. “We want to take Saint Augustine’s into the 21st-century where we partner with not only the community but the city of Raleigh to bring events and activities to our complex.
If ever there was a time for new ideas it’s now. Due to social justice awareness and the latest U.S. Presidential Election, HBCU’s have received increasing and much-deserved support. Policymakers paid more attention to their missions and social issues raised awareness about their importance.
Noteworthy alums captured national headlines, several historical firsts were achieved and Saint Augustine’s wants to be right at the front of the HBCU renaissance.
“I think Saint Augustine’s is sending out a message to the city, the state of North Carolina and the U.S that if you want to be a part of something that’s impacting young lives, no matter what their color or creed, then you need to come associate with us,” said Bowser. “We want to move into the 21st century where people understand that not only are we a great HBCU but point-blank we’re just a great institution. Anybody’s child would benefit from the opportunity of coming and learning at Saint Augustine’s University.”