It was an interesting week in the SWAC as a whole as the baseball, and softball races are winding down with track and field set to take center stage this weekend. Two more student-athletes are now SWAC NFL Draft picks while one of the top jobs in the SWAC opened suddenly on Friday.
Congratulations to Tytus Howard of Alabama State as he became the highest draft pick in school history after being picked in the first round by the Houston Texans. This marks the second time in three years Alabama State has had an offensive lineman selected in the draft which validates solid player development in Hornet Land. You also have to give props to Prince Pearson of Bethune-Cookman University for coaching both draft picks during his time at ASU from 2015-2017.
Prairie View A&M’s Quinton Bell ended PVAMU’s 39-year NFL Draft drought as the Oakland Raiders drafted him in the seventh round. Bell was originally projected to be the next Otis Taylor back in 2015 at wide receiver but switched over to the defense in 2018 and opened eyes with an impressive pro day.
Texas Southern’s Johnetta Hayes exited stage left Friday as she was named head coach at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Hayes’ departure will draw plenty of speculation as early reports on Twitter had a pair of Basketball Hall of Famers showing interest along with numerous others. Athletic director Kevin Granger may need to invest in a second phone as we all know everyone from coast-to-coast will find a way to get in touch with him.
Alabama A&M won the SWAC East crown for the first time since 2003 after a win over Alcorn State this weekend and clinches a top seed in next month’s SWAC Tournament in Montgomery, Ala. Despite losing their head coach to Grambling State during the offseason, AAMU and new head coach Cassandra Brown didn’t miss a beat as their next objective is winning a SWAC Championship for the first time since 2002.
While AAMU celebrates its resurrection, Mississippi Valley State will not participate in this year’s SWAC Championship as they finished last in the East. Mississippi Valley State was the SWAC’s torchbearer in softball with eight titles from 2004-2013.
In the SWAC West, Texas Southern and Prairie View A&M will resume its suspended series this weekend in Houston with plenty on the line. TSU has clinched a share of the title and would win it outright with one win for the 11th straight year. Prairie View A&M is looking to win its first SWAC West title since 2003 and needs two wins for a share of the crown. PVAMU would claim the tiebreaker with two wins and the top seed for the first time since 2003.
Alabama State wrapped up the SWAC title as they held off Jackson State this weekend. The Hornets have won their fifth title in six years and look to win their first tournament and second overall title since 2016. Alabama A&M’s first half success didn’t carry over to the second half but the Bulldogs can wrap up third place with at least a win over Mississippi Valley State this weekend. Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley State are battling for fourth place.
In the SWAC West, Southern can clinch its first outright title since 2013 with a win at Prairie View A&M this weekend. However, the Jaguars found themselves in a dogfight with Grambling State as they dropped two of three on the road. Grambling State’s regular season is over the as Tigers have clinched second place. GSU can still win a share of the title as they will need Prairie View A&M to sweep Southern this weekend and SU would have to lose if they make up its game versus UAPB from April 14.
Texas Southern’s sweep over Prairie View A&M this weekend pretty much locked up third place for the Tigers.
TRACK & FIELD
The SWAC track and field meet is this weekend at Prairie View A&M. The Alabama State women are looking to win its 10th straight title while Prairie View A&M is the defending champion on the men’s side.
Based on the current times via TFRSS, the Alabama State women will be favored again while the men’s race will come down to the final day.