Sweet Home Alabama
Tuskegee, Alabama. That hollowed sacred ground that birthed legends whose lore has inspired generations to taste the sweet nectar of flight. During the early years of World War II, hundreds of young men arrived in Tuskegee at Moton Field with dreams and a prayer. After a grueling year of intense training and weeding out process, many left on a wing and a prayer. Despite discrimination and antagonism on both sides of the Atlantic, the Tuskegee Airmen still managed to rack up an impressive combat record to become one of the most distinguished units over the skies of Europe.
What better way to honor that rich heritage and tradition than by flying your son on his birthday to freshmen move in day at Tuskegee University ? Christopher Stephens flew his son Bryce Stephens to college. Bryce Christopher Stephens just completed his associates degree in Information Technology with honors from Prince Georges Community College, followed by high school graduation. Now he's well on his way at Tuskegee U on a presidential ride majoring in Aerospace Engineering.
Due to COVID restrictions, incoming freshmen checked into their residence halls in alphabetical order during different time slots. The check-in process will be a curbside check-in. Residents will be limited to two vehicles, and we will not permit box trucks and/or trailers. Students will be permitted to move-in if financially cleared and proof of a negative COVID-19 test has been verified.
Tuskegee University and Fort Valley State University will play in the inaugural Red Tail Classic game at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Alabama on Sunday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m. on ESPNU. Tuskegee's opponent will be Fort Valley State University of Ft. Valley, Georgia. The Red Tails Classic and seeks to honor of the Tuskegee Airmen who fought in World War II.
“Tuskegee’s Labor Day football game will certainly be different this year. We are excited about taking on conference rival Fort Valley State University in this year’s Inaugural Red Tails Classic. The Tuskegee Airmen are our American Heroes, and we are elated to honor them in this newly branded classic.” she said. Morris was recently elected the 9th president on August 1, after being the interim for several months.
The Fort Valley Wildcats will be travelling from Fort Valley Georgia under the leadership of first year coach Maurice Flowers. The Wildcats of Fort Valley was voted third in the East Division and six Wildcats were selected to the Preseason All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams during the annual 2021 SIAC Football Media Day. "We are very excited and we have a lot of work to do for the 2021 season, We have been preparing for a while and being able to play two games in the spring helped us prepare more for this season and the opening game against Tuskegee. The games we played in the spring were invaluable for us." Coach Flowers said in a statement to the FVSU online publication.
The Tuskegee Tigers under Coach Willie Slater have a point to prove with the return of Tuskegee after a year off from the Pandemic cancellations of 2020. “I am excited about it, I think it’s a great opportunity for our players and our school. When the opportunity presented itself for us to play in the Red Tails Classic, I was all for it. I think it’s a real good opportunity to play on ESPN.”, Coach Slater expressed to ESPN. Tuskegee finished second in the SIAC West Division in 2019.
Fort Valley is coming to meet Tuskegee's challenge head on. Fort Valley State finished third in the SIAC East Division in 2019. "We have a great mix of experience on our team with seniors are ready to go. It will be a player-led team with the seniors providing our leadership," added Flowers. "We are ready to compete for a championship and NCAA Division playoff run. Our young men expect nothing less and it is what they are wanting. We don't shy away from talking about what we want to accomplish daily."
Football across the country was largely suspended during the 2020 season due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. Now, although there is a spike in the Delta Variant COVID-19, fans are hungry for some down home southern football. Corporate America is seeking to capitalize on that hunger for the gridiron. Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed and Montgomery County Commission chairman Elton Dean also share in understanding the importance of the Red Tails Classic to the local community as the City of Montgomery will reap substantial financial rewards and these games will generate a multi-million dollar impact. In a statement to ESPN Press Room, “Montgomery is proud to bring these unique sports experiences to Cramton Bowl. The Red Tails Classic and Montgomery Kickoff will be enjoyed by fans, families and local businesses alike, and these events will diversify our growing tourism sector.”, Mayor Reed said.
County Commissioner Dean also stated that, “It is no surprise that once again Montgomery County has been chosen to host not one but two nationally televised college football games this fall,” Dean shared. “We are pleased and honored to welcome the inaugural Red Tails Classic and the Montgomery Kickoff. The year 2021 continues to bring blessings as these two games will provide both national exposure and a positive economic impact. I am grateful ESPN Events continues to see how special Montgomery is in its selection of this great county and thankful for all the dedication by our residents to bring these games here." The Red Tail Classic comes on the heels of the Montgomery Kick-Off Classic between Jacksonville State and the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the Cricket MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff and Cricket Celebration Bowl.