Alcornites enjoy food, fun and a Braves victory in their home opener

Nothing is better than spending a Saturday afternoon tailgating, socializing with friends and family and cheering the Alcorn State University Braves football team on to victory.

Students, faculty, staff, alumni and fans gathered on campus Saturday, Sept. 10 for the Braves home opener against the Alabama State University Hornets, a game that ended with the Braves winning 21-18.

The atmosphere on campus was amazing as usual. Keith Gates and his sister, Karen Gates Matlock, were among many Alcornites who tailgated before kick-off. Matlock, a former member of the Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Marching Band who graduated from Alcorn in 1980, enjoyed every minute of being on her old stomping grounds.

“Alcorn defined who I am as a person,” said Matlock. “I love coming back here because I enjoy the camaraderie that I share with my classmates. Tailgating gives our families and us a chance to come and enjoy the atmosphere together. And the new scoreboard is beautiful.”

Keith Gates, a 1990 Alcorn graduate who went on to become an attorney, showed his pride in his alma mater. He gave Alcorn credit for being one of the factors in shaping him into the man he has become.

“I love Alcorn and I love being here for game day,” said Gates. “I’ve been an attorney for about 15 years, and I can honestly say that I would not be where I am without Alcorn State University.”

Even the young Braves fans were excited about the festivities. Deuce, 9, and Alonzo Gates, 7, who are both members of the Braves Kids Club, were happy to be at the school they said they hope to attend one day.

“When I grow up, I want to go to Alcorn State University and become a lawyer,” said Duece.

“I want to go to Alcorn too,” said Alonzo.

Dennis Jones, a 2003 graduate, was more excited about the football game than the food. He said that watching the Braves in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge convinced him that they will win a third consecutive SWAC Championship.

“I feel that this team will have another great season this year,” said Jones. “I was impressed with what I saw in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge, so I’m looking forward to the Braves winning another SWAC Championship.”

For freshman and Bassfield, Mississippi native Maliek Daniels, attending his first college football game at Alcorn was an experience to remember.

“My first Braves football game was amazing,” said Malik. “It was a fun experience. The band sounded great and the football team got their first win of the season. It’s an experience that I’ll never forget and I look forward to attending the rest of the games this season.”

You too can get in on the Braves action. Tickets can be purchased at the Alcorn Ticket office located at 1000 ASU Drive in Lorman, Mississippi. Fans can also find more ticket information by calling the automated ticket line at 601-877-680 or the ticket office at 601-877-6818, 601-877-6823 or 601-877-6822. Tickets can also be purchased on

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