Photo: Courtesy of Erykah Smith

Erykah Smith: NC A&T, Class of 2020

I grew up just 20 minutes from A&T in a town called Kernersville. I’ve always known about A&T because I knew family and family-friends that attended. A&T was the only HBCU out of all the colleges that I applied to and I am glad that I decided to go somewhere to be alongside people like me, doing successful things. 

Stepping foot on campus and being around the culture of people uplifting one another made the school feel like another home. While I was not excited about being close to home, I was happy I made the choice to stay close to home so I could spend more time with my late grandmother.

When she told me that A&T was a good choice, I knew then and there I had made the right decision.

Competitive spirit

Being the competitive person that I am, the Aggie-Eagle rivalry became one of my favorites when I decided that I was attending A&T because my cousin was attending Central at the time. I want you to know that the family beef was real!  Everytime we had family functions, there was always some trash talk about whose school was the best (A&T of course)!

If one of us did something dumb, we would say “Mm, I don’t know what they taught you over there at (names other school)”. 

We also have a few other family members that went to Central and my best friend’s parents went to A&T. Her parents are very proud Alums and were so excited when I told them I would be going to their Alma Mater! 

 Game day is another favorite because the week leading up to the game is always a fun time. I have always loved the hype, the pranks and the anticipation before the game. A memory I will always cherish is getting together with friends and pre-gaming before going out to the tailgate. Tailgating before the game is not an option, it’s mandatory!. I enjoyed being able to meet new people, eat good food, listen to the music and enjoy the game which is unmatched.

My favorite Aggie-Eagle Classic was during my junior year in the Fall 2018 when we beat Central, 45-0. They came out with a casket that had an Aggie mask in it and had a whole “funeral” for it  just for us to come back and beat them to nothing. You better believe there was a lot of talk about that prank! I don’t know how Central felt after that game, but us Aggies were very hype! 

That year was one of my favorites because I also got to see one of my childhood best friends play for Central. I love that HBCUs can still have some competition but support each other when its all said and done. 

Back to where it started

This year is going to be my first Classic as an alumna and I am so ready! It’s almost like a pre-GHOE (Greatest Homecoming On Earth). It makes it even better that the game will be in the place that I live in and at the Panthers Stadium. 

I believe having it at the Panthers Stadium shines light on both schools to play at such a big venue. I am excited to see old classmates that I haven’t seen since the beginning of the pandemic; Plans have been made, outfits have been bought and we are ready for a great time in Charlotte.

Football is one of my favorite sports to watch so I can’t wait to see the Aggie blue and gold all over the stadium and I already know how the outcome of this game will be. Central will be real silent at the end of the night, as we take another victory. Aggie Pride! Always!

Editor’s note: QCity Metro is committed to providing our readers with first-rate coverage of this year’s Aggie-Eagle Classic. To support our work, sign up for our limited-edition Aggie-Eagle newsletter and/or click here to make a donation.

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