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Biltmore Hills Park – Tennis is serious.

When I arrived at Biltmore Hills Park, I wasn’t so sure that a football

games wasn’t going on. With all of the yelling and “motivational speak”

that was going on and at times “unintentional” taunting, this could not be

tennis.

That is how the game is played especially at the collegiate level.

After getting down 3-0 losing all three doubles, an argument between

players and a coach from opposing teams which led to a 10-minute delay,

the Shaw men’s tennis team roared back to win 5-of-6 singles matches to

defeat visiting Bloomsburg 5-4 for the right to move on to the NCAA

Division II National Tournament.

For the Bears it was the second-straight year they hosted and won the

regional.

“We lost our focus in the middle of the game,” said head coach Sunday

Enitan. “We should have won at least one of three doubles.”

During the contest, Bloomsburg coach Marty Coyne argued a call with a

tennis official which led to an argument between Coyne and Shaw players,

which led to the 10-minute delay.

The delay allowed Shaw to regroup and refocus.

Number three singles player Charles Silva got the first win for the Bears

over the Huskies’ Lee Wexler 6-1, 6-2. Shortly thereafter, Daniel Vasquez

turned in a 6-0, 6-4 victory over Bloomsburg’s Jeff Nuhfer in the number

four singles slot.

Gabriel Nicotra then tied the match with a 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Mark

Schroeder at number two. All three remaining matches all went into a

third set.

Bloomsburg’s Mike DiSanto downed Shaw’s Andre Monti 6-1, 6-7, and 7-3 in

the tiebreaker in the number six slot.

Artur Latypov, Shaw’s number one, won his first set easily 6-1, but

dropped the second set 6-1 to Ricky Dove. Latypov bounced back and

claimed the third set 6-3 to tie the match at four apiece.

With the fifth singles remaining and the match tied 4-4, Shaw’s Juan

Sanchez took on Tyler Pultro. Pultro took the first set 6-3, but Sanchez

rebounded with a 6-4 decision in the second.

After holding a 3-0 lead early in the third set, Sanchez allowed Pultro

back in the set. Tied at 5-5, Sanchez held serve to go up 6-5 and then

broke Pultro’s serve to take the set and match with a 7-5 score.

This year’s match was eerily similar to last year’s match against

Bluefield State, where the Bears got down early, came back, and the last

match was won by Shaw, which led the Bears to victory.

Shaw, winners of eight-straight CIAA Championships, advances to the NCAA

National Tournament May 16-19 in Louisville.

Other HBCU Sports News

Thompson Drafted: South Carolina State safety Christian Thompson was the

only player from an HBCU taken in the 2012 NFL Draft. Thompson was taken

in the 4th round (130th overall) by the Baltimore Ravens.

“This can’t be real,” Thompson said when I asked about his initial

reaction to being drafted. “One of my favorites teams was calling me and

there was a possibility they were going to be drafting me.

“When I saw my name come across that screen, I was ecstatic. I really

didn’t know what to say or what to do.”

What makes being drafted by the Ravens more special is the fact that

Thompson was a huge fan growing up of Ravens free safety and future Hall

of Famer Ed Reed.

Prior to the draft Thompson had a chance meeting with Reed through his

agent. Thompson’s agent works with some financial advisors that Reed

works with and setup a meeting between the two.

“Once I met him in person we stayed in contact and shot each other a

couple of text every now and then,” said Thompson. “[Growing up in North

Lauderdale and cheering for University of Miami] He and Sean Taylor were

my favorite players.”

Thompson reports to Ravens rookie minicamp on May 10.

I wasn’t surprised that Thompson got drafted; however I was surprised at

the number of HBCU players who did not. In most peoples estimation,

Bethune-Cookman defensive end Ryan Davis was one of the best players in

all of Black College Football and after his pro day performance as well as

the pro day performance he had as an invitee to the University of Miami

pro day, he was projected to be anywhere from a 3rd – 5th round. Three

days passed and Davis’s name did not pass across the screen.

“I expected to be drafted, but that’s the way it goes,” Davis said.

Davis, a native of Tampa, signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In my estimation there were at least four legitimate potential draftees

including Thompson and Davis, PVAMU defensive end Adrian Hamilton the

Boxtorow Willie Davis National Defensive Player of the Year, who

registered 20.5 sacks this year, and Hampton’s Micah Pellerin who along

with Thompson was the only other HBCU player invited to the NFL combine.

Grambling wide receiver Mario Louis, who head coach and Grambling Legend

Doug Williams called the best NFL prospect he has ever coached (that is

saying something because Williams coached former Lions fifth round draft

choice Scotty Anderson), could have been drafted had he played previous to

his senior season and South Carolina State defensive back Dominique Ellis

also had chances to be drafted.

This year’s class was more talented than last year’s where three players

were drafted.

Typically punters aren’t drafted so Fort Valley State’s Marquette King, who

signed a three-year free agent deal with the Oakland Raiders, is like

being drafted.

Who knows, King could become the next Ray Guy.

All of the aforementioned players have signed contracts and so have these

players:

Bethune-Cookman’s Ryan Davis (Jaguars)

Fort Valley State’s Marquette King (Raiders)

Hampton’s Micha Micah Pellerin (Colts)

South Carolina State’s Dominique Ellis (Chiefs)

South Carolina State’s Donovan Richard (Jaguars)

Grambling’s Mario Louis (Texans)

Prairie View A&M’s Adrian Hamilton (Cowboys)

Morgan State’s Lamont Bryant (Ravens)

Jackson State’s Casey Therriault (Falcons)

Jackson State’s Donovan Robinson (Jets)

Florida A&M’s Kevin Elliott (Jaguars)

Tennessee State’s Rico Council (Falcons)

Tennessee State’s Donte’e Nicholls (Buccaneers)

Tennessee State’s Joseph Wylie (Dolphins)

Bowie State’s Delano Johnson (Texans)

Winston-Salem State’s Nic Cooper (Packers)

Howard’s Willie Carter (Redskins)

Tuskegee’s DeMario Pippen (Broncos)

LaQuinton Evans (Titans)

Bethune-Cookman’s Jean Fanor (Chiefs)

Southern’s Jared Green (Panthers)

Morgan State’s Zary Stewart (Bears)

Known as the Voice of Black College Sports, Donal Ware has covered historically black college and university sports and pro sports across the U.S. for years. He is the host of the nationally syndicated FROM THE PRESS BOX TO PRESS ROW which airs on SiriusXM Channel 141 Fridays from 1-2 p.m. and on radio stations around the country including Saturdays from 11-Noon on WAUG-AM 750 in the Triangle and from 1-2 p.m. at http://www.boxtorow.com You can follow him on twitter @dware1 or @boxtorow

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