On Wednesday, Feb. 6, the Laney Eagles was officially ranked as the No. 1 junior college football team nationally. According to Massey Statistics, the rankings showed that the Eagles, were not only the No. 1 junior college football team in the nation, but they also outperformed dozens of football teams in the National College Athletics Association (NCAA) including Villanova, Georgia State, New Mexico State, and Columbia.
“Being recognized as national champions is a dream come true,” said Laney Athletics Director and Head Coach, John Beam. “It validates all the hard work dedication and effort that our team and coaches put in to achieve unparalleled success. It fills my heart with so much pride to know that we won the national championship with young men who often have been counted out, their whole lives. Truly, Laney builds lives.”
Last December, the Laney Eagles won the 2018 California Community Colleges Athletics Association (CCCAA) State Football Championship, making them the No. 1 junior football team in California. The team closed the season with a fantastic 11-2 record.
To provide the campus community a chance to celebrate the team’s accomplishments, the Office of the President and the Athletics Department sponsored an event on Tuesday, Feb. 4 to recognize and honor players, coaches, and staff. In attendance were Peralta Chancellor Jowel Laguerre, members of the Peralta Board of Trustees, and Laney faculty, staff, and administrators. President Tammeil Gilkerson emceed the event and presented each player with a beautifully framed photograph of the entire team. The Eagles also received a check for $5,000 from the Oakland A’s to fund the purchase of the championship rings.
Coach Beam and players also used the occasion to surprise President Gilkerson and Vice President of Student Services Vicki Ferguson with tokens of appreciation to thank them for their support. President Gilkerson and VPSS Ferguson attended many of the games during the season to cheer along with players’ family members.
Congratulations once again Eagles!