Hampton lacrosse hopeful for the 2018 season

Randall Williams | Sports Editor

Being the first HBCU to have a Division I lacrosse program is a big deal for Hampton University. Still, it’s safe to say the team has struggled since the program began in 2016. The Pirates have won just a single game in their first 13 matches.

However, this is not a talent issue. Hampton has gone out of state to recruit all sorts of different players. Stellar athletes include Kier Johnson, Jonathan Napier and, most recently, Carter Boone.

In their first year, the team struggled both offensively and defensively. On the offensive side, they failed to score more than five goals in every game of the year, while also giving up 15 or more on defense.

To better suit the defense, the coaching staff went out and recruited standout goalie Kevin Mondy. The following year, things got better on both sides of the ball.

“I’ve always used lacrosse as a therapeutic getaway from the world…but last year, sometimes, I got lost in that,” Mondy said about how the defense struggled. “We didn’t communicate or trust each other the way we should have, and it showed in the scoreboard.”

In their only W, the Pirates’ energy was completely different than it had been in past games. They faced adversity after being down 3-0 in the first quarter.

“In those moments, it’s so important to keep faith and really just move on from your mistakes,” the Pirates’ Preston Randolph said.

Randolph was winner of Most Improved Player of the Year last year and said, “Winning will start when we begin to become a complete team, when people pick each other up and when we follow the game plan that is given to us.”

After their game against the Firebirds, the Pirates have 11 games left. Five will be at home.

When asked what Hampton fans can expect from the games, Mondy’s response was straight to the point. “We went out and recruited some very fresh talent,” he said. “So I expect us to have a more competitive spirit and to find that drive to win.”

Randolph chimed in as well, saying, “No one wants to come to the game and watch us lose. It’s not fun for anyone involved except the opposing team.”

With more practice and more bonding, the team is sure that not only will they get better, but they will produce more W’s in 2018.

Hampton Pirates Men’s Basketball has a challenge in store

Justin Whitner | Staff Writer

The Hampton Pirates’ home games have gone extremely well for the Pirates as of late.

Jermaine Marrow and Lysander Bracey led Hampton with fantastic performances in back to back games. When the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats came to visit Hampton on January 29th, they entered the Convocation Center with a better record. Jermaine Marrow did not let that phase him, though. Marrow put up his best performance of the year thus far. He scored a career high 35 points, recorded 10 rebounds and was one assist shy of a triple double.

The game was clearly coming to him with ease, as he scored 10 of Hampton’s first 14 points. His point production pushed the Pirates to early success and the team never looked back, winning 80-69.

Two days later, another guard had an outstanding performance. Lysander Bracey carried the Pirates against Coppin State. In the beginning of the game, he struggled to find his shot, however the second half was completely different. Bracey hit multiple threes while scoring 22 points in the second half. He proved to be the “it factor” of the game, even knocking down three clutch free throws to force overtime.

In the OT period, he continued his success, knocking down two more. Hampton led by as much as 14 points before ending the game with a win.

Unfortunately, their winning streak did not carry over when they began their road trip of three games. The Pirates lost a game to North Carolina A&T, who are now sitting a half game back from the top of the MEAC with a conference record of 6-2. They now have eight games left in the regular season, and if there was ever a time to make a run for a better seed in the MEAC tournament, the time is now.

In previous years, Hampton has won two of the last three conference championships. The last two years have been a struggle for the program, which has yet to recover from the 2016 class of seniors departing.

“I think that the team will be successful with time” says Malcolm Heartwell, a fellow Hampton student. “The year got off to a rough start and it’s clearly been hard for them to recover, but if they find their rhythm before the tournament, the sky is the limit.”

Indeed, making a run would be a difficult task for the Pirates, but it is not impossible. With few games left, it’s time for maximum effort.

Can the Hampton Football Team Become Rulers of the MEAC?

Hampton - Livingstone Football Game
James Heath

William E. Ricks | Contributing Writer

The Hampton University football team will be preparing for their conference-scheduled games after playing the Monmouth University Hawks, on September 23. The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference is wide open this year, credit to the lack of a powerhouse team in the conference. The majority of the teams in the MEAC are either 1-1 or 0-2 after two weeks.
This means that, if Hampton can take advantage of this and start a win streak, the Pirates could be in contention for the conference championship when the season comes to an end. Winning the MEAC will clinch a spot to play in the Celebration Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Dome in Atlanta, Georgia. This would be the first time they’d be playing in the bowl game since it started in 2015.
The Hampton football team is already starting off well, as they defeated Delaware State, another MEAC team, 28-15. After this, they will not play another conference game until they travel to Savannah, Georgia to take on the Savannah State Tigers on October 7. In the following weeks the Pirates will continue to play other conference foes such as Norfolk State, Bethune-Cookman, and Howard University to name a few. Hampton had a record of 5-3 in the MEAC last year, with losses coming from North Carolina A&T, Florida A&M, and Norfolk State.
The Pirates averaged 21 points per game in their MEAC conference games last year. Their offense is looking much better this year with leaders Delmon Williams and Yahkee Johnson carrying the load for the team. Williams threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns vs. Delaware State and Johnson rushed for 86 yards and a touchdown. Both players are vital parts to the Pirates and are looking to build on their great performances.
Winning conference games are important, however, there are other worries as well. One of those could be their out-of-conference schedule. In 2016, the Pirates lost all three games last year. They only played one game thus far, and it resulted in a loss courtesy of Ohio University in week one. Hampton’s other two out-of-conference games like these are against Livingstone and Monmouth.
All of Hampton’s conference games seem winnable, but it will be on the shoulders of Delmon Williams and the offense. If they can put points on the board consistently, many of their MEAC opponents will be incapable of keeping up with the high scoring. Playing in the Celebration Bowl will be a huge milestone for the university, but the team must take it one game at a time and, most importantly, dominate their MEAC opponents.