DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Thirteen North Carolina Central seniors will suit up for the final time on Saturday when the Eagles host Delaware State.
“Yeah, we want to send those guys out on a great note,” said N.C. Central head coach Trei Oliver. “They’ve given so much to the university and our football program. I think it’s important to send those guys out on a good note.”
A victory over the Hornets would give the Eagles a winning season, their first since 2017. It would also keep Central’s hopes alive for a MEAC championship. The Eagles are one game behind South Carolina State and can claim a share of the title with a win and a Bulldogs loss at Norfolk State.
“That would be huge for our program and the direction it is headed,” Oliver said. “It would be huge as far as recruiting. You know those recruits pay attention to that stuff and they want to be a part of programs that are winning.
“But we’re strictly focused on Delaware State this weekend. We’ll worry about the math and let people figure out what’s happening with South Carolina State and Norfolk State.”
There will be no scoreboard watching come Saturday. The Eagles are focused on Delaware State and the chance to end their campaign with a three-game winning streak.
“This is a must-win game,” Oliver said. “We have to win this football game. This is for a winning season. First and foremost, I want to have a winning season.”
It would be quite an accomplishment for a program that didn’t even play a year ago due to COVID-19. A memorable final salute to a senior class that did things the right way.
“Our guys have been outstanding off the field,” Oliver said. “Our guys aren’t getting into trouble across campus. They’re going to class and doing well academically.”
How well? All 13 Eagle seniors have already earned their degrees.