Alumni excited about returning for Turkey Day Classic



Thousands of alumni sit in the stadium stands, full of excitement and enthusiasm, as the Alabama State University Hornets sting the Tigers of Tuskegee University in the 97th Turkey Day Classic.

Khalil Stewart, Staff Reporter/Writer

Alabama State University and Tuskegee University alumni reunited on Thanksgiving Day to celebrate the 97th annual Turkey Day Classic. This was the first time these two schools faced each other on Thanksgiving since 2012. Also, this was the first time ASU would not be celebrating their homecoming on this day.

Gwendolyn Davis, an alumnus of ASU said she recognizes the importance of this rivalry. 

“This is my first time attending the Turkey Day Classic since 2018, which was the last time we faced Tuskegee, so I’m really excited to see some familiar faces of people who lived down the road from me,” she said.  “I wanted my daughter to stay for this event because she is a student here at ASU, but she does not understand how much this rivalry means to our fanbase. I take this more seriously than the Magic City Classic to some extent. But overall I just want everyone to be happy and safe during these challenging times of COVID.”

ASU alumnus Judith Andrews added, “I know homecoming was already celebrated amongst the students, but this is my definition of homecoming. We get to come down and reunite with former classmates and it makes for a great time. We get to watch some great football and great band performances. I want to thank Dr. Ross for making this such a beautiful event this year, because coming out of the year 2020 we truly needed a celebration. This event should be used as a time to enjoy family and friends.”

Tuskegee alumni felt strongly about the football game between the two rivals also.

“It is great to be playing State again on Turkey Day, this is how it’s supposed to be every year,” Jamaal Whaley, an alumnus of Tuskegee said.  “Whatever contract negotiations they made this time, they need to lock them in long term because this is a historic event that I want every generation of Hornets and Tigers to experience. When I was a student me and my friends used to stay here to enjoy the game before heading back home to Texas. My mom sent me here in the ‘90s to get the complete HBCU experience and that is exactly what I did. Everything went exactly how I mapped it out, so I guess for that, I want to take a moment to thank my mother for sending me to Tuskegee.”

Tuskegee alumnus Lorenzo Scott said, “Man we are not the same football team we used to be when it comes to playing State, because we used to dominate this school year after year. But this year I got a strange feeling we will find a way to lose this game. Our guys do not seem to take this as seriously as they should because they do not know the history. If we were to take the time to explain the significance of this rivalry, I believe guys would play harder. Also, I’m looking forward to seeing what our band is going to do. I knew they would perform today, because you do not miss Turkey Day, there is too much history. I bet the school told them that you can miss every game you want, but when it comes to Bama State you better be on that bus headed over Montgomery, Alabama.”