Bowie State predicted to become 2018 CIAA football champ
Fred Jeter | 7/26/2018, 6:02 a.m.
The CIAA has gazed into its crystal ball and sees the Bowie State University Bulldogs as the 2018 football champion.
Depite the CIAA issuing a forecast each year, no one will knows which team will win the title until the official championship game is played Nov. 10 in Salem.
In a vote by coaches and sports information directors held July 19 in Roanoke, Bowie State was picked to finish first in the CIAA Northern Division and first overall. Fayetteville State University was picked to finish first in the Southern Division.
Meanwhile, defending CIAA champion Virginia State University was picked to finish second in the Northern Division, with Virginia Union University at third.
The VSU Trojans were 10-1 last season and are 19-3 overall in two seasons under Coach Reggie Barlow. The team’s only 2017 loss was to the University of West Georgia in the NCAA Division II playoffs.
The VUU Panthers were 6-4 a year ago and will open their first season under new Coach Alvin Parker.
Three VUU athletes were named to the preseason All-CIAA squad — defensive backs Sterling Hammond and Quantaye Battle and offensive lineman Shamdu Nails — while VSU has one athlete, offensive lineman Frank Ball, named to the squad.
Bowie State will be led by senior quarterback Amir Hill, the reigning National Black College Player of the Year.
Hill passed for 3,519 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2017, while allowing just four interceptions in 381 throws.
VSU will play at Bowie State on Oct. 13, while Bowie State will play VUU at Hovey Field on Oct. 20.
VUU will open the Coach Parker era Sept. 1 against Seton Hill University of Pennsylvania at 1 p.m. at Hovey Field. VSU also opens Sept. 1 against Norfolk State University at Dick Price Stadium in Norfolk at 6 p.m. in the Labor Day Classic.