Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    Laney’s first loss due to weak second half

    Despite 38–21 loss, Alumni Night notables showcase player success on field

    By Eva Hannan


    The Laney College Eagles lost their first game of the season, 38–21, against Butte College on Sept. 28, to the chagrin of fans and alumni in attendance for Alumni Night. The loss brings the Eagles’ season record to 4–1 in non-conference games.

    Laney’s National Bay 6 Conference season launches Oct. 13 with a game at City College of San Francisco at 1 p.m. after a bye.

    The Eagles maintained a slim 14–13 lead against the Roadrunners at halftime when alumni in attendance were introduced on the field by name and honored for their achievements at Laney and beyond.

    One notable alumni present was former defensive back Damion Lyons — the first Laney football player to transfer to UCLA

    Lyons went on to a career in the Canadian Football League from 1991 to 1997 and with the British Columbia Lions and Edmonton Eskimos. He also played the Memphis Mad Dogs and Winnipeg Blue Bombers of CFL.

    He recently moved back to the Bay Area after living in Los Angeles and Atlanta during the offseasons for the last 30 years, and he has been trying to give back to the community as much as possible.

    “I’m kind of entwined with McClymonds High School right now,” Lyons said. “I’m helping with the defense over there, and I’m doing peer education with the special education program as well.”

    The football team at McClymonds is going for its third consecutive state championship this season. On the Eagles, one sophomore and four freshmen are graduates of the iconic West Oakland school.

    Football can be a stabilizing force for many young men, Lyons said, and he hopes he can be a good role model to younger players since he definitely had some people who helped to guide him when he was in college.

    “The players know they have a community of people who care about them and want them to do good,” Lyons said, “A lot of them don’t even have male role models in their life, so with us telling them stuff their mom or grandmom may have told them, to reinforce it, sometimes it kicks in a little bit for them.”

    Another alumni present for the ceremony was Emeka Etta, who will play short safety for the Salt Lake City Stallions next February in the newly-founded Alliance of American football (AAF.)

    “There’s not enough room out there for players who don’t get an opportunity right after school,” Etta said, “so this [league] is for those who got overlooked. It’s a good opportunity for us to go out there on the big screen and showcase that there are still good athletes out there.”

    The AAF will operate on a different schedule from the National Football League, and hopes to make football a year-round sport. More opportunities for players coming out of college should have a positive impact on their possibilities for a career.

    “Enjoy the journey,” Etta said, “because it’s gonna be a lot of ups and downs and sometimes you can get caught up thinking, ‘Where am I gonna be in the future?’ and you can forget about where you are right now, so it’s all about living in the moment.”

    Both Lyons and Etta stressed that if players focus and put the same amount of effort into their schoolwork as they put into their work on the football field, it will encouraged students to use the discipline they learn in the sport for their study habits.

    “If you’re taking care of your schoolwork,” Etta said, “if you’re taking care of the work on the field, everything will fall into place. Just believe in that. That’s what I had to do, it wasn’t an easy route but here I am.”

    The game ended in a disappointing fashion, but some Eagles players had stand-out nights on defense. Linebacker Armani Turner-Jenkins had 14 tackles with five solo tackles, and returned an interception for 49 yards. Josh Bolding, also a linebacker, had 12 tackles, seven of which were solo.

    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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