ESP Sponsors Heritage Bowl Coaches Reception as Part of Historic HBCU All-Star Classic
(Wednesday, January 23, 2008. Seal Beach, California)
Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce President and Executive Director Bobby McDonald joins event organizer Jeff Clayton of theFight On! Foundation during pre-game ceremonies for the historical Heritage Bowl All-Star Classic
ESP President Everett Glenn addresses the 120 SWAC and MEAC all-stars participating in the historic Hertiage Bowl All-Star Classic in a post-game pep talk
ESP President Everett Glenn joined his friend and fellow transplanted Clevelander Jeff Clayton, a USC graduate and former Trojan linebacker, at the Coaches Reception sponsored by ESP as part of the festivities surrounding the HERITAGE BOWL. Coaches in attendance included Al Lavan, head coach of MEAC champs Delaware State and Rick Comegy, head coach of SWAC champs Jackson State. The Heritage Bowl is a one-of-a-kind all-star game, pitting players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities against each other. This year, players from the historic Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) will compete against players from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) at Cal State Fullerton Titan Field in Fullerton, California on Saturday, January 26, 2008.
The inaugural Navy/Marine classic was presented by the Henry T. Nicholas III Foundation and executed by the Fight On! Foundation. The game was shown on ESPNU to a national television audience. The Henry T. Nicholas III Foundation is a foundation dedicated to improving life through investment in education, sports, technology, medical research, criminal justice and national defense. The Fight On! Foundation was established to pursue a collective goal of using sport and recreation as a vehicle to enhance and foster spiritual, physical, emotional, and educational goals and development. The foundation’s purpose stems from a belief that through advocating, funding, and supporting these activities will help to secure our American way of life, as well as the development and achievement of our future leaders; our youth. ESP joined ESPN, Gatorade, Newport Rib Company, Nike, Quiznos, Pepsi-Cola, and 7-Eleven in sponsoring the Heritage Bowl.
The All Star game followed the Southern California Bowl, a high school all-star contest which pitted players from Orange, San Diego and Imperial counties against players from Riverside and San Bernardino counties including a host of Division-1 scholarship recipients.
The MEAC has produced many NFL and professional football greats, including ten pro football Hall of Famers: Marion Motley (1968); Roosevelt Brown (1975); Len Ford (1976); David “Deacon” Jones (1980); Willie Lanier (1986); Art Shell (1989); Larry Little (1993); Leroy Kelly (1994); Elvin Bethea (2003) and Harry Carson (2006). In 2007, there were over 25 former MEAC football players on NFL rosters.
The SWAC has produced its fair share of NFL Hall of Fame alumni including, but not limited to, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Mel Blount, Lem Barney, Willie Davis, Buck Buchanon, and NBA Hall of Famer Willis Reed. Recent alumni include Michael Strahan, Steve McNair, Ravens, Lindsey Hunter, Pistons and Donald Driver, Packers.
Fight On! Foundation board member Jeff Clayton, MEAC champion Delaware State head coach Al Lavin, SWAC champion Jackson State head coach Rick Comegy, and ESP President Everett Glenn get together at the fabulous Spahgettin's Bar & Grill in Seal Beach as part of the Coaches Reception sponsored by ESP.
Former Jackson State wide receiver and current San Diego Charger Cletis Gordon shares his experience and hope with the Heritage Bowl All-Star Classic participants
For more shots of the event, please click here
Photos by Jeff Lewis Photography