HU Football Reflects on Epic Battle at 2023 Cricket Celebration Bowl: A Journey of Resilience and Growth
The echoes of competition still lingered in the air as Howard University's football team faced the press after an intense clash against FAMU in the 2023 Cricket Celebration Bowl. Despite the scoreboard, the post-game press conference was a testament to the team's resilience, growth, and unwavering spirit.
Opening Remarks: The press conference kicked off with the team's collective thoughts on the game, a montage capturing the highs and lows on the field, revealing the raw emotions of the players in the wake of a hard-fought battle.
Players' Opinions on the Game: Individual players took the stage to share their perspectives, providing insight into the strategies, challenges, and the burning desire to return to the Celebration Bowl with a victory. Their candid thoughts painted a vivid picture of the determination that fuels this team.
Coach Scott - A Guiding Light: Coach Scott, a role model on and off the field, addressed the media. He emphasized his gratitude for the players, acknowledging their commitment and hard work throughout the season. A video clip captured the intensity of his halftime speech, rallying the team to fight back.
"Instilling Values": Coach Scott took a moment to reflect on his role as more than just a coach. He spoke passionately about instilling values into the players, molding them into formidable athletes and responsible individuals. The players echoed the same sentiment when asked what it was like having Coach Scott as their coach. QB Quinton Williams reflected on how Coach Scott believed in him and gave him the opportunity to be the quarterback for Howard once he took over his tenure as the head coach. He said he "felt grateful" for even being able to be on the team, echoing that they will be back to the Celebration Bowl but the next time to win it.
Photos taken by Ernest Ricks during the Tailgate Experience at the 2023 Celebration Bowl
"Belief and Pushing to Be the Best": The athletes expressed their gratitude for the unwavering belief the team had in themselves and their coach. A heartfelt video clip showcased Coach Scott pushing his players to be their best selves, reinforcing that they were winners, regardless of the scoreboard.
Speaking of that belief, Vice President Kamala Harris appeared to cheer on her Bison at the game. As many know, she graduated from Howard in 1984 from Howard having earned a degree in political science and economics, Harris subsequently returned to California to pursue law school at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she participated in the Legal Education Opportunity Program (LEOP). Even though she studied law elsewhere, she is loyal to Howard University. She shows an unwavering belief in the university through athletics and other ventures. Thus, it was great to have her in attendance, giving the players more support during their experience.
Moving Forward and the Celebration Bowl Experience: Coach Scott deemed the Celebration Bowl experience invaluable, emphasizing the exposure it brought to HBCU football. He praised the team for their journey and acknowledged the unique opportunity to play in Atlanta. He mentioned how he told his team that "You Already Won" due to having the chance to be in the game and to be in Atlanta. He praised the Celebration Bowl committee for the fantastic events and time they put on for the students, which allowed them to have an excellent time beforehand. Although it ended in defeat, they feel they did win because they were able to represent their university with the hopes of getting back to the Bowl game in the years to come.
Perspective on the Program in 2019: Reflecting on his start in 2019, Coach Scott opened up about choosing Howard, stating it was a calling from the heart. Essentially, Howard "chose him" and that it was an excellent choice for his career. With humility, he recognized the need for transformative work and credited the Athletic Director for providing the platform to effect positive change.
Fast Start in the Game (Video): The coach and players shared their thoughts on the team's quick start, highlighting moments of brilliance and teamwork.
Fighting Back and Looking Ahead: Coach Scott commended the team for their resilience, acknowledging their strong comeback despite the loss. Both coach and players echoed a shared sentiment — the desire to return to the Celebration Bowl, not just to compete but to emerge victorious.
As the press conference concluded, the room resonated with a collective spirit of pride, resilience, and a commitment to return more robust in the coming seasons. The Howard Bison may not have claimed the trophy, but their journey has become an inspiring chapter in the narrative of HBCU football.
This is Dez Barnes of Pretty Girls Love Sports, a journalist on the MTMV Sports platform. She is a retired US Army veteran, professional cheerleader, pet mom, and avid sports lover. Feel free to follow her writings as she dives into the latest sports news! You can find her on all social media channels @PGLOVESPORTS.