Oglethorpe’s Athletics department is looking for sports enthusiasts to join the Petrel Sports Network team. The Network has openings to call the play-by-play or provide color commentary for home soccer, volleyball, basketball, baseball and lacrosse events. Both athlete and non-athlete students are welcome and—good news for those students who are looking to build their resumes—no experience is necessary. Interested candidates need only to be motivated and enthusiastic about sports.
The Petrel Sports Network was founded in 2007 by Hoyt Young, Oglethorpe’s associate athletics director for media relations. The program is one of only a few to host live stream of home sport match-ups and takes pride in its ability to enhance the experiences of both sports fans as well as the students behind the program.
“Ideally, the Petrel Sports Network … provides an opportunity for students to fast-track a career in sports broadcasting,” says Young. Although it is still developing, the Petrel Sports Network has an increasing number of followers and would make a great addition to any aspiring sports broadcaster’s resume.
Photo above: Hoyt Young and OU Athletics Director Jay Gardiner teamed up during the Petrel Sports Network’s inaugural year to broadcast on the road. The photo captures the moment immediately after the OU Women’s Basketball team beat the previously undefeated (32-0!) Thomas More College on their home floor to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16—the Oglethorpe program’s first time. Student broadcasters can be a part of moments like these.
Pictured right: The original OU student-broadcaster, Brian Chimiklis ’08, went on to work for several sports radio stations. Read more about Brian and the Petrel Sports Network in the Fall 2010 edition of the Carillon.
With the new academic year, starting in less than a week, comes the announcement of the name of Oglethorpe’s new athletic conference that will launch in 2012-13: the Southern Athletic Association (SAA).
The new conference is truly southern, in that all eight member schools represent six southern states, its territory reaching from Georgia and Alabama over to colleges in Kentucky and Arkansas. The geographic focus will result in reduced travel time and fewer missed classes, while still allowing for a strong conference of like-minded institutions, all of which integrate competitive athletics into the whole of the student’s educational experience.
In a statement released today, the SAA announced its commitment to “fostering athletic competition and cooperation among academically selective, residential liberal arts colleges located in the southeastern region of the United States.”
The SAA member schools are Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama, Centre College in Kentucky, Hendrix College in Arkansas, Millsaps College in Mississippi, Oglethorpe University and Berry College in Georgia, and Rhodes College and Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee.
Jay Gardiner, athletics director at Oglethorpe, will serve as the Southern Athletic Association interim commissioner. Oglethorpe president Lawrence Schall will serve as convener of the conference’s Presidential Council during the 2011-12 academic year while Brian Chafin, athletics director at Centre, will serve as convener of the Athletics Director Council in 2011-12.
Former Oglethorpe golfing great Olafur Loftsson, who guided the Stormy Petrels to their first ever NCAA Championship in May 2009, earned an invitation to compete in the PGA Tour Wyndham Championship held this weekend at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.
Loftsson, who now plays under scholarship as a senior for UNC-Charlotte, will compete at the PGA Tour event as an amateur after earning the invite by winning the prestigious Cardinal Amateur in Greensboro this past weekend. He fired a final round 65 to win the event by four strokes and clinch his chance to compete against the sport’s best this weekend.
In May of 2009, Loftsson, then a sophomore transfer from Gardabaer, Iceland, won medalist honors and the Arnold Palmer Player-of-the-Year distinction by leading Oglethorpe to the Division III National Championship.
Loftsson came to Oglethorpe on a foreign student exchange program as a sophomore in the fall of 2008 and was scheduled to return to Iceland following the academic year. His performance on the golf course, however, caught the eye several Division I schools with available golf scholarships. OU Golf head coach Jim Owen made phone calls on Olafur’s behalf and it wasn’t long before the “Iceman”, as he was affectionately known to teammates, had landed a full ride to compete for the 49ers of UNC-Charlotte.
The Wyndham Championship begins on Thursday and will be broadcast from on the Golf Channel from 3:00-6:00 p.m. both Thursday and Friday. If he is fortunate enough to survive the cut, Loftsson could be viewed on CBS this Saturday and Sunday from 3:00-6:00 p.m. To view the Championship website with links to a live updating leaderboard, go here.
Photo: Loftsson shown holding up his medalist trophy after guiding the Stormy Petrels to the 2009 NCAA Championship.
Most people could only dream of having a job that is the perfect blend of business and pleasure, but this summer rising senior Beth Cleary ’12 got to experience just that.
Beth just finished a one-of-a-kind internship with the Atlanta Track Club, a job that seemed made for her. An avid distance runner, Beth worked at the ATC as an all-around intern, attending to hundreds of runners and helping to organize the ATC’s flagship event, the Peachtree Road Race.
It became obvious that this was a match made in heaven when, during the beginning of her internship, she witnessed people literally “running into work.”
“You have no idea how thrilled I was to find out that they had two full bathrooms with showers,…so you could run into work or run with your coworkers before the office opened and then just get showered up there,” recalled Beth. “I was immersed in a culture and group of people that lots of [others] look at like it’s crazy…but for me, it’s a dream.”
At this year’s Peachtree Road Race, Beth had the opportunity to meet some of the world’s most elite runners. She attended the pre-race press conference, picked up invited athletes from the airport, and readied the athletes for the post-race awards stage.
Last month, we told you about Louisa Barama ’12, a hard-working OU student who was looking to finish her figure skating season with a trip to the U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships in Idaho. She’s back from the competition, and we’re proud to announce that she represented Oglethorpe remarkably, scoring 70.78 and placing seventh overall.
“I am proud of my accomplishment,” said Louisa, a physics major and rising senior. “This experience was amazing and I am so glad I finished well. This is a great competition and I really enjoyed every part of it.”
The U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships is sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating, and is the longest running collegiate ice skating program. Since most colleges don’t sponsor figure skating clubs or teams, solo skaters like Louisa represent their college at the event, competing for both individual and school pride. This year, Oglethorpe was the only college or university from the state of Georgia with an athlete at nationals, for both the junior and senior divisions of the championship.
Photo: Louisa receives encouragement from her coach at the Atlanta Open during a past season showcase.
This week, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) released its ITA Scholar-Athlete honors, and Oglethorpe’s Kayla Atkins ’11, Kate Siess ’14, Ethan Motz ’14 and Ross Beall ’11 were on that list.
The ITA is the governing body of college tennis, and oversees men’s and women’s varsity tennis across all three NCAA divisions as well as NAIA and Junior/Community College tennis. Each season, ITA recognizes outstanding varsity athletes in all divisions who maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.2.
A total of 35 female and 27 male student-athletes in the SCAC conference were named Division III Scholar-Athletes.
In golf news, the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA)announced Oglethorpe rising sophomores Chelsea Gatterdam ’14 and Dona Kiosef ’14 as 2011 Divison III All-American Scholars.
Gatterdam and Kiosef made the cut after maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.50 and competing in more than 12 rounds of competitive golf with a stroke average of 95 or better.
The 2010-11 women’s golf lineup featured five freshmen producing an average score of 92.32 to create a relative strength number of 398.96. Golfstat.com‘s Freshman Impact analysis measures the impact of a team’s freshmen in their lineup, and ranks the Oglethorpe women in 9th place nationally.
Every summer Oglethorpe hosts hundreds of kid campers who are practicing their sport, perfecting their craft, or honing their music skills. But, it’s not every day that one of those campers becomes an OU student.
Ben Hirsch attended the Peter Howell Tennis Camp when he was just 12 years old—and this fall the rising freshman art major will return to Oglethorpe in his new role.
Initially, Ben didn’t expect Coach Howell, who heads up OU’s tennis teams, to still remember him from the camp six years ago on OU’s tennis courts. “I was surprised [because] I was one of a thousand kids [that are in] his summer camps each year. I didn’t expect him to remember me at all.”
“I chose Oglethorpe first and foremost because the general atmosphere… is better than any of the other schools I applied for. [They] didn’t seem nearly as interesting as Oglethorpe… I [also] really wanted to play college tennis and Coach Howell seemed very interested in my playing for the team. Once I knew that I was going to have a spot on the tennis team I made up my mind to go to Oglethorpe.”
Ben played tennis all four years of high school, and he looks forward to improving his game with the Petrels and maybe even returning to the camp one day as an alum-coach.
By the end of July, Oglethorpe will have hosted 16 summer camps, giving young campers the opportunity to experience the Oglethorpe campus and work with professional instructors in many different sports, including lacrosse, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and football.
In the world of golf, there are three major levels of play: junior, amateur, and pro. Only a select few college athletes who have both the talent and resources go pro—and Scott Pugh ’11 wants to join that club.
A four-time all conference player, Scott is one of three Petrels to become two-time All-Americans in the history of OU’s golf program. He’s had the lowest scoring average on the team for the last two years, and was a major player in the Petrels’ storied 2009 NCAA Division III National Championship win. Now, with his NCAA days behind him, he wants to focus on making it in the professional golf arena.
Scott says he’s wanted to go pro since he was a child—back in the days when he used a make-shift golf club that his grandfather pieced together to fit Scott’s four-year-old frame.
“Although the reasons for pursuing a professional golf career have changed through the different seasons of my life, I have always wanted to play golf on the professional level,” said Scott. “There was not a [specific] point in time [that] I realized I could play on the professional stage, but after looking back on my time as an amateur and seeing my success, [I knew] that I needed to advance to the next level—the professional level of golf.”
As part of his push to go pro, Scott’s family will host a golf tournament on July 31 to help defray the costs of his first year on tour, estimateed at $25,000. The tournament, to be held in Carlisle, Penn., is called the Scott Pugh Project. Scott plans to begin pro play this fall at the Peach State Professional Golf Tour, a major development tour for those at the entry level of pro golf. There, he hopes to have at least one top-3 finish, and advance to more competitive fields. His ultimate goal is to swing with the heavy-hitters in the famed PGA Tour, which he hopes to accomplish in one to three years.
In more than 30 years of coaching OU athletics, Coach Jim Owen said he’s had only five players attempt this route, and if anybody can make it, Scott can. Read More→
The summer heat was intense this afternoon—and Atlanta’s CBS affiliate WGCL 46 wanted to know how kids at summer camps are keeping cool. What better place to find campers than at Oglethorpe, where hundreds of budding athletes train for their favorite sports, including soccer, lacrosse, basketball, and tennis.
The CBS news team caught up with the kids at the Peter Howell Tennis Camp, coached by none other than Georgia Tennis Hall of Fame member Peter Howell, who also coaches Oglethorpe’s Men’s and Women’s teams. CBS 46 journalists interviewed several giddy campers, as well as Oglethorpe tennis player Rajiv Dinakaran ’14, who works as an assistant coach at Howell’s camp.
Watch out for the spot on WGCL’s 5:00 p.m. broadcast on Tuesday!
Oglethorpe hosted some of the nation’s most elite high school basketball talents this past Saturday, Sunday, and Monday as the Amateur Athletic Union played top flight summer league games on Pinholster Court with many of the top college hoops coaches in the country looking on.
Among the elite talents on display was Rival Basketball’s top ranked class of 2012 recruit, Shabazz Muhammad of Las Vegas, Nevada. Muhammad, a 6’6″ small forward with a dizzying array of talents, is being courted by college basketball’s top programs like Duke, Kentucky and Kansas, to name a few. Other top players in attendance were Rival’s #30 ranked player, Tony Parker, and #78 prospect, Demetrius Henry. Parker, a local product from Lithonia, is considering such stalwarts as Connecticut, Florida, and Ohio State for his college destination. Henry, a gifted 6’8″ power forward from Florida, is deciding between the likes of Georgia Tech, Texas, and Florida State.
Adding allure to the high-powered hoops games on Pinholster Court were the bevy of highly regarded coaches in attendance. Among those silently recruiting their future stars were Thad Matta (Ohio State), John Calipari (Kentucky), Rick Pitino (Louisville), Billy Donnovan (Florida), Drew Gregory (Georgia Tech), and Mark Fox (Georgia).
Calipari, whose influence on the college game is demonstrated by his 1.1 million+ Twitter followers, took to the social media platform to query about the origins of Oglethorpe’s famed mascot, tweeting, “Does anyone know what the mascot is for Oglethorpe University and the story behind it?” Naturally, he received more than one accurate response. To view the feed stirred by Calipari’s tweet, go here.