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Howard takes on Yale football in annual NAACP Harmony Classic

Yale Football Luncheon.jpg
Michael Lyle, Jr.
Yale University Football Head Coach Tony Reno (far right) speaks at a luncheon on Tuesday in New Haven previewing his team's contest against Howard University in the NAACP Harmony Classic.

The Yale University football team will host Howard University in the annual NAACP Harmony Classic on Saturday in New Haven.

The Connecticut NAACP has organized the event for over a decade.

It features athletic programs from historically Black colleges and universities taking on predominantly white institutions. The goal is to inspire peace, fellowship and harmony on college campuses.

Tony Reno, Yale's football head coach, said the matchup between his Bulldogs and Howard — an HBCU based in Washington, DC, whose alumni includes Vice President Kamala Harris, speaks volumes to the success of both schools in education and social justice.

“When you’re putting two of the greatest academic institutions in the country on display on Saturday in front of a great crowd, it's an honor," said Reno. "It's also letting the men of those institutions play the great game of football.”

For some players, it's about the excitement of making history.

“It’s a historic matchup," said Oso Ifesinachukwu, a defense end on the Bulldogs. "It's also the first time ever happening, so obviously that’s a really cool experience to be a part of.”

Kick-off between Yale and Howard is set for 12 p.m. at the Yale Bowl.

Mike Lyle joined WSHU Public Radio in early 2021 as a News Anchor, and was brought on full time to cover Connecticut news. He is an anchor/reporter at New England Public Media, a journalist with the National Press Club, and a weekend/fill-in news anchor at WTIC News/Talk 1080.