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SIAC Moves Football Championship to Alabama

By Hal Lamar | 8/1/2014, 4:39 p.m.
The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) which includes Atlanta schools Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University is moving its annual ...
Don’t expect to see Clark Atlanta University (above) or the Morehouse Maroon Tigers in the race for the SIAC Championship. (file)

The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) which includes Atlanta schools Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University is moving its annual conference championship game from Atlanta to Montgomery, Alabama.

The SIAC made the announcement at a news conference Monday, July 21 in Montgomery preceding their annual Media Luncheon which also moved out of Atlanta and the state of Georgia. Interestingly, the game which pits the first place finishers of the SIAC’s eastern and western divisions is moving its flagship event to an area where the closest conference school is Tuskegee, located 30 miles from the state’s capital city. Alabama State, now a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference which domiciles in Atlanta, was once a member of the SIAC.

SIAC Commissioner Greg Moore, joined by Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange, Miles College President George French, who also chairs the conference’s council of presidents and members of the Central Alabama Sports Commission, said the conference’s 4th championship will be played at the Cramton Bowl, Montgomery’s municipal stadium. The 92 year old facility which seats up to 25,000 spectators and has hosted a number of important grid contests, including the Blue- Gray college all-star game, has undergone a much needed facelift.

At the media luncheon, the conference released its pre-season predicted order of finish. Albany State, the defending SIAC champs, was picked by their coaching contemporaries to finish first in the SIAC’s eastern division followed in order by Fort Valley, Benedict, Morehouse, Clark AU and Paine, playing their first conference schedule since 1957.

Tuskegee is predicted to finish first in the SIAC West, followed in order by Miles, Stillman, Kentucky State, Lane and Central State of Ohio.

The conference also announced its pre-season all conference selections led by Albany State quarterback Frank Rivers. Rivers certainly has pro-potential. He is a 6’6”, 230lb senior from Birmingham, Al. Last season he threw for 2,004 yards and 13 TDs.

Albany State registered the most selections on this year’s preseason squads with 10, including five who were voted to the first team.

Offensive lineman Victor Moli, wide receiver Jessie Atkins, kicker Zachary Gayden-Holley, and defensive lineman Grover Stewart join Rivers on the first team.  Moli, Gayden-Holley and Stewart were named to the 2013 SIAC First Team, while Atkins was voted to the second team.

Moli (6-4, 360-lb senior from Augusta, Georgia) led the ASU offensive line that helped produce 3,445 yards and 29 touchdowns.  ASU averaged 25.5 points per game.  

While no Atlanta University center players were selected to the SIAC’s all conference offensive first team, three were selected to the defensive unit and include Morehouse defensive lineman Clarence Christian, CAU linebacker Bre’nard Williams, and CAU punter Austin Casillas. Two AUC players , CAU running back Montavious Taylor, and Morehouse offensive lineman Shea Martin were chosen on the second team.

One Morehouse player hoping the Maroon Tigers can make it to this year’s championship game is Shelton Hamilton. The senior running back is a native of Montgomery and a graduate of Jefferson Davis High school. His first years of being all he- could- be at Morehouse were hampered by injuries, but Head Coach Richard Freeman said Hamilton is coming back to his final year 100%.

“I want this season to be one to remember,” he told reporters at the conference media luncheon.