SSU Game with Georgia State Cancelled

Back in 2016, athletics official at Georgia State announced a football game between the Panthers and Savannah State had been set up. The game was to have been played September 19, 2020 with GSU being the host team.

In April of 2017, officials at Savannah State announced that their athletic program would drop from the Division I ranks and would return to Division II, pending NCAA approval.

SSU has submitted paperwork to the NCAA to start their transition process and they announced in early December that the athletic program has been accepted into the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. That is the same athletic conference the school competed in before upgrading to Division I status.

Savannah State will continue to compete in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference for the remainder of this academic year and next year before making the transition back to Division


Mark D. Sherrill
Mark D. Sherrill

Normally, FBS programs do not play Division II schools and that would be the case with Georgia State and Savannah State when 2020 rolls around.

“If they are Division II, we can’t play them,” said GSU associate athletic director of sports communications Mike Holmes. “Playing them won’t help our bowl eligibility,” he added.

Savannah State was set to earn $315,000 for playing GSU.

Holmes added that GSU athletic officials have a good working relationship with the Savannah State senior administration.

“Whenever we play Georgia Southern in basketball, we stay in Savannah. Officials at the school (SSU) have allowed us to come to their campus and have practice.

Although the contest will not take place, it’s possible that officials from both schools could work together to help each other find suitable replacement opponents.

Savannah State and Georgia State have only met once on the gridiron. The Panthers beat SSU 55- 21 in 2010 in a game played at the Georgia Dome.

FVSU Hires New Basketball Coach

Fort Valley State University has announced the appointment of Mark D. Sherrill as head coach of the men’s basketball team. From a pool of almost eighty diverse candidates, Sherrill was selected by a search committee made up of staff, board members, and alumni. For the past 24 years, Sherrill has served as associate head men’s basketball coach for Charlotte, North Carolina’s Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) Golden Bulls. He has been inducted into the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Hall of Fame. During his tenure coaching the Golden Bulls, the team won CIAA Western Division championships in 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 and Southern Division championships in 2016 and 2018. The team made it to the NCAA Division II tournament “Elite Eight” in 2001. Sherrill has also served as head men’s cross country coach and director of Johnson C. Smith’s basketball camp.

At Johnson C. Smith, Sherrill recruited 43 All-Conference performers, 11 All-American performers, and three players who were named CIAA Players of the Year. His experience as an elite student athlete himself gives him unique insight into student academic and athletic success. Sherrill is the JCSU second all-time leading scorer with 2,552 points. He set a school record for most points in a season with 774 during the 1990-91 season and finished eighth in the nation in the 1991 rankings. He was named to the NCAA Division II All-American basketball team, the first male to do so in JCSU history. He was named CIAA Rookie of the Year and earned a first team All-South Atlantic Region selection from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).

Sherrill will replace Sammy Jackson who announced his resignation as the Wildcats head coach in late August. Jackson’s resignation is effective September 30.

Riley, Turner Selected Team Leaders

Before the start of the current football season, the Jacksonville University football team selected its student leaders for the 2018 season.

Gathering together in the form of a team meeting, the 115 members of the Dolphins’ roster voted eight total upperclassmen into leadership positions for the season. This included two senior and two juniors as captains, and a senior, two juniors and a sophomore to the squad’s Leadership Council.

Among those selected were Savannah natives Irvin Riley and Calvin Turner, Jr.

Riley, a running back who played at Memorial Day, will serve as one of the offense captains while Turner, a quarterback who prepped at New Hampstead, will serve on the leadership council.

Riley led the team in rushing yards during the 2017 campaign with 625 and assisted the Dolphins in putting together the top rushing attack in the league and the fifth best in the Football Championship Subdivision, collecting 269 yards per-contest. Prior to making the transition to QB, Turner Jr. garnered PFL Honorable Mention honors as a defensive back and kick returner as a freshman in 2017.

The team captains will lead the team onto the field before each game and will assume duties at the coin toss prior to kickoff. Both them and the Leadership Council will meet with the team’s coaching staff once a week to communicate and discuss information associated with the program.

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