Sports With Walter Moore


Mitchell Earns All American Honors

Savannah native Kadari Mitchell was one of four members of the South Carolina Beaufort indoor track & field team to earn NAIA All Americans honors for the 2021 indoor track season.

At the NAIA meet Mitchell was tied for the fourth-fastest time (6.85) with three other sprinters. With his quick time, he advanced to the finals in the event and also matched a personal record.

The junior earned that status in the 60m, as he earned All-American honors (USCB’s first-ever All-American) last year in the men’s 200m. This year Mitchell finished eighth overall with a time of 6.96. He was just 0.23 seconds off from the first-place finisher.

At the Sun Conference Indoor Championship Meet, the education major finished fifth in the men’s long jump with a leap of 6.14m. He placed third in the men’s triple jump with a jump of 12.06m.

Mitchell, who attended Savannah Christian before transferring to New Hampstead, is the son of Ken Mitchell and Kiwander Davis Mitchell.

Kadari Mitchell
Kadari Mitchell

Former SSU Coaches Land New Jobs

Several former Savannah State football assistants have landed new jobs since the new year has started.

We already did stories on coaching moves by Steve Wilkes and Wesley

McGriff about their new gigs at Missouri and Florida respectively but now we add Michael Villagrana, BJ Johnson, Manrey Saint-Armoer and Favian Upshaw to the list.

Villagrana, who spent the 2014 season as the Tigers wide receivers coach, has been hired as the general manager of the Marshall University football program.Villagrana worked at Mississippi State as the Bulldogs Director of Recruiting in 2018.

Johnson, who spend the 2019 season as the SSU wide receivers coach, was named an offensive graduate assistant at Texas Tech and will work with the Red Raiders’ inside receivers and tight ends. he spent he 2020 season as a defensive graduate assistant at Colorado.

Michael Villagrana
Michael Villagrana

Saint-Amour was the Savannah State offensive line coach in 2019 and spent the 2020 season as a offensive line graduate assistant at Florida State. Recently he was named a offensive line graduate assistant at Alabama.

Upshaw was hired as the Tigers wide receiv- ers coach in 2020 and in 2021 he was named quarterbacks coach at Benedict. In March 2021, Upshaw was announced as the running backs coach at Georgia Southern.

SSU Volleyball and Softball Teams Open Seasons With Wins

The Savannah State volleyball and softball teams opened their 2021 seasons on a winning note with the volleyball team defeating Benedict on March 17 while the softball team swept Albany State in a double header on March 20.

Benedict won the first set of the volleyball match 25-20 but SSU bounced back to capture the second set 25-13. Benedict went ahead 2-1 with a 25-21 victory in the third set. Savannah State forced a extra set with a 25-15 win in set four and went on the win the match with a 15-8 victory in the fifth and deciding set.

Favian Upshaw
Favian Upshaw

Imani Williamson led SSU with nine kills while Jeilynn Brown had 12 aces, Jedaiah Daniels had five blocks, freshman Sydney Harvile had 14 assists and Liz Ortiz had 27 digs.

The Lady Tigers won their softball opener by score a of 13-8. SSU trailed 8-5 entering the bottom of the sixth but scored eight runs on ten hits and went on to get the win.

Tanisha Williams struck out five batters in seven innings to earn the win. At the plate, SSU collected 16 hits. Amaiya Green had a two-run single and a two-run double for SSU while Shayla Byers had three hits, three RBI and scored three times.

In the second game, Savannah State broke a 1-1 tie with seven runs in the second inning in a 10-1 win over the Rams.

Morgan Green had three hits, two RBI and scored twice for Savannah State while Alisyn Ferrell limited SSU to just four hits in five innings.

Imani Williamson
Imani Williamson

SSU’s Johnson Invited To HBCU Combine

Savannah State football player Michael Johnson has been invited to the 2021 HBCU Combine. The combine will be held on April 9th-10 that the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

All on-field drill and tests that are performed during the HBCU Combine will be administered and performed to NFL Regional Combines specifications. Fusion Sport’s SMARTSPEED timing system will be used to electronically time the 40-yard dash and short shuttle drill.

The HBCU Combine Recognition Dinner will be held at the Hilton Birmingham the evening of April 9th for participants and invited guests which will highlight the legacy of HBCU football. The featured speaker will be Darryl Orlando Ledbetter, award-winning Atlanta Falcons Beat Writer for The Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The HBCU Combine will take place as part of the schedule of events during the Birmingham Coaching Clinic presented by UAB Football. The Legion Pavilion at the University of Alabama-Birmingham will be the site for on-field performance assessments.

Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson

The event will consist of eight defensive backs, seven defensive linemen and six linebackers on defense. On offense there will be two quarterbacks, a pair of running backs, eight wide receivers, two tight ends and six offensive linemen.

Johnson, who has already earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Savannah State, participated in the Tropical Bowl in mid-January and the Hula Bowl which was held January 31.

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