The Jackson State Tigers put on a dominating performance in the Orange Blossom Classic against Florida A&M. The team embodied Deion Sanders’ mantra to “dominate” this season.
Though the team is off to early success, there is still the issue back home in Jackson, Mississippi. The capitol city has reached a critical point, as the water system is so poor that there is no drinkable water, nor is the water suitable to cook, shower or accomplish any other basic tasks.
Sanders and the football program are no exception to the crisis, as the football team had to relocate to a hotel prior to arriving in Miami Gardens, Florida.
“I’d like to digress and send love back to Jackson, Mississippi,” Deion Sanders said during the post-game press conference. “I know throughout the game it’s like an escape for a lot of people that reside in Jackson that are dealing with the water situation we’re certainly dealing with as well.
“But we could give them the escape we did today. I’m just thankful that we could be an escape.”
Groups from all over the country are donating water to the Jackson community, which has impacted the general student body in addition to the football team. When asked about the challenge to prepare for FAMU, quarterback Shedeur Sanders echoed his dad’s sentiments about escape.
“Whenever we get in the locker room, whenever we get around football time, everything goes out the window,” Shedeur said. “So we knew the magnitude of this game, we locked in and handled our business.”
“Being around the guys [in the hotel] every day and all day. It kind of brought us closer together,” safety Cam’Ron Silmon-Craig added. “Just out having fun, so we came out on the field…went out there and had fun.”
Coach Sanders also addressed the plans now that the team is back in Jackson: the team personnel will continue to stay in a hotel and have other basic acts, like washing the clothes and eating, are handled.
“The campus is shut down,” Sanders said. “How can we go out there, dominate like that, and take a child back to something that is shut down and you have no water? You can’t even flush the darn toilet. You have to think about that stuff. Thank God we have administrators that understand priority, but it’s still $15,000 a night.”
The Tigers will continue to stay in a hotel until the team heads to Memphis to take on Tennessee State University.