Six Vikings play in new bowl game

Kesha Williams
November 27, 2006

Six Vikings football players selected to play in inaugural bowl game in Nigeria, Africa Six members of the Elizabeth City State University football team will travel to Nigeria, Africa as participants in the first Eddie Robinson Motherland Classic on December 16. The athletes are seniors at ECSU and starters on the team: Chris Carter, a running back from Winston-Salem, NC Kevin Dodson, a punter from Camden, NC Ronnie McClary, an offensive tackle from Goldsboro, NC Emmanuel Plummer, a linebacker from Freeport, NY Dwight Richardson, a defensive back from Houston, TX Maceo Thomas, a defensive tackle from Portsmouth, VA After a successful 2006 season where many athletes earned conference awards, the Vikings clinched the Eastern Division of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (CIAA). ECSU's head football coach, Waverly Tillar, is pleased six Vikings will represent the university at the bowl game. "I'm really glad these guys will have this opportunity. It will be the first trip abroad for our guys but I'm sure they will enjoy it and remember it for a long time," Tillar said. "These young men were chosen because they are All-CIAA performers and good students. These are the kinds of students we have at ECSU." These Vikings will join other American student-athletes from three other athletics conferences to participate in a bowl that will give Nigerian residents a live view of football. The game will be held at the National Stadium in Abuja, Nigeria. Proceeds from the bowl game will support the Eddie Robinson Foundation and select Nigerian foundations. The Eddie Robinson Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by the Robinson Family in 1997 dedicated to the same principles that helped to build the Eddie Robinson model for success. Coach Eddie Robinson, an American legend, was the head football coach at Grambling State who made history on October 5, 1985 at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, TX when his Tigers beat Prairie View A&M 27-7 for the 324th victory in his collegiate coaching career. That victory vaulted him ahead of the University of Alabama's Paul "Bear" Bryant and made him the winningest coach in college football history. He would go on to win 84 more games before retiring in 1997 with an astounding 408 career victories. Robinson coached over 4,000 players (80% graduate rate among them) and paved the way for over 200 of them to play professionally of which four have been inducted in the Professional Football Hall of Fame.