The Southwestern Athletic Conference will honor two former Alcorn State University Braves football players for their storied legacies and impact.
Dr. Tracy Cook, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Alcorn, and Roynell Young, a former star for the Philadelphia Eagles, will receive awards during the SWAC Alumni Association’s annual Legends Awards and Roast Saturday, May 20, at the Embassy Suites Ridgeland (200 Township Place) in Ridgeland, Mississippi at 7 p.m. The ceremony honors former student-athletes and former or current coaches, athletic administrators, or staff members who have positively impacted the SWAC’s history.
Cook is one of three former SWAC student-athletes who will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards for his career accomplishments. Young will receive the prestigious Dennis E. Thomas Distinguished Service Award for community service.
Cook, a Fayette, Mississippi native, recorded career highs during his senior season in 1993. He caught a career-high 22 passes for 357 yards and one touchdown in all 11 games. He became the only tight end in Alcorn history to catch over 200 yards and at least one touchdown in three consecutive seasons. His performance in 1993 earned him a spot on the All-SWAC 1st Team Offense.
He appreciates the honor and thanks those who’ve supported him.
“It’s an honor to be a new member of this group of pioneers who paved the way,” said Cook. I hope my work continues to speak for me. I have much gratitude for my loving and caring family, who has supported me every step of the way. I’m thankful and grateful that God has given me the opportunity to serve.”
Young, a New Orleans, Louisiana native, is the founder and CEO of Pro Vision, an organization that mentors youth through its co-educational primary and secondary school in Houston, Texas. Pro-Vision has evolved into an organization that works with young people in general, as the organization has added the S.H.E. (Strong, Healthy, and Empowered) Program to help develop virtue and character.
In his final season as a Brave in 1979, Young intercepted six passes for 86 yards and recorded career-highs of 61 tackles and 19 pass deflections. The Braves captured the 1979 SWAC Championship that season with an 8-2 record, with the defensive secondary only allowing 108.0 yards per game. For his outstanding numbers, Young was named to the All-SWAC and NAIA 1st Team Defense. He earned the Sheridan Broadcasting Company Defensive Player of the Year Award and was an NEA All-America 2nd Team select. He also participated in the 1980 Senior Bowl.
His collegiate performances caught the eye Eagles, who drafted Young with the 23rd pick in the first round of the 1980 NFL Draft. Young played in Super Bowl XV during his rookie year and earned a Pro Bowl selection in his second year.
The award is notable for Young because of his relationship with Thomas and how he’s helped him in his career.
“I feel good about this award because it is associated with Dennis Thomas,” said Young. “He’s legendary in multiple ways and played a significant role in me making it to the next level. He’s a big reason I’ve experienced some of my success, so I am very grateful for the award.”
Tickets for the Legends Awards and Roast are $75 each or $600 for a table of eight. Checks, money orders, or cashier checks should be made payable to “SWAC Alumni Association” and mailed to P.O. Box 5815, Birmingham, Alabama 35207.