Oglethorpe Men’s Golf Captures Conference Championship

Conference Champions! Coach Jim Owen (right) and the Oglethorpe Men's Golf team.

The Oglethorpe men’s golf team captured its 11th conference championship in 16 years Sunday, and its first Southern Athletic Association (SAA) championship, as it outdistanced second-place Berry by a whopping 23 strokes at the SAA Championship at Limestone Springs in Oneonta, Ala.

The event was comprised of only two rounds, as it was called early in the third round due to rain and the scores reverted to where they were at the end of the second, making the Petrels’ final margin of victory all the more incredible.

Freshman Braden Baer won the individual medal for the event and was named SAA Player of the Year, as well as SAA Freshman of the Year.

The Petrels placed an unprecedented six players on the All-SAA First Team. Freshman Braden Baer (three-under 141) won the individual medal for the event and was named SAA Player of the Year, as well as SAA Freshman of the Year. Oglethorpe held the first four positions in the final individual standings, a feat that Oglethorpe hasn’t accomplished since Robert Miller, Chris Summers, Trent Erb and Corey Garner did it at the 2003 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship.

Following Baer’s three-under par was runner-up, junior Anthony Amodeo (one-under 143), and in third place came junior Hayden Jones (two-over 146). Rounding out the Petrels’ top four was sophomore Will Morrow, who fired a three-over 147 for a fourth-place tie. Finishing eighth in the tournament with a five-over 149 came senior Eric Quinn, and rounding out the Oglethorpe six came sophomore Anthony Maccaglia, firing an 11-over 155, which was good for 17th place.

The team led by 11 strokes after the first round, shooting an opening-round 290. They were the only team to break 300 on the day, ahead of Berry (301), Rhodes (307), Centre (308), and Millsaps (313).

Morrow led the Petrels on the day, finishing in second place with a first-round 71, just three strokes out of the individual lead. Jones finished Day 1 in a tie for third place, four strokes back of the lead. Baer was in fifth place by himself, five strokes back, and Quinn and Amodeo were tied for sixth, six strokes back.

Maccaglia had a bit of a disappointing day, shooting a first-round 80 and finishing the round tied for 25th, but the rest of the squad picked him up, pushing the Petrels out to the 11-stroke lead.

Though the SAA does not have an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship this season, the Petrels, who currently sit at No. 1 in multiple rankings, are more-or-less assured of securing one of the four Pool B bids available to teams who don’t have the possibility of playing for an automatic qualifying spot. The field will be announced on May 6 at 2 p.m., and the event will take place May 13-16 at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla. The Petrels will be trying for their third national championship in five years, and their second in a row.

Petrel Pride Abounds in Golf, Baseball, Track

Oglethorpe student-athletes have been pulling double duty lately, between studying for finals and end-of-season practices and games—and it’s paying off in multiple sports!

Black and gold reigns! Pictured: junior Eric Quinn, freshman Anthony Maccaglia, sophomore Hayden Jones , senior Matt Rebitch, sophomore Anthony Amodeo and Coach Owen.

The Oglethorpe Men’s Golf team dusted the field this weekend to win their 10th SCAC Men’s Golf Championship at the Tunica Resorts in Mississippi. The Petrels led wire-to-wire to take the hardware for the fourth time in five years and earn their 14th trip to the NCAA Championships.

Junior Eric Quinn won medalist honors and the SCAC Golfer-of-the-Year distinction by shooting 3-under par for the event to win by 7 strokes. Freshman Anthony Maccaglia finished tied for 6th at 8-over par to earn both First Team All-Conference and Freshman of the Year honors. Sophomore Hayden Jones joined them on the All-SCAC First Team by shooting 4-over par and finishing in a tie for second place. Senior Matt Rebitch and sophomore Anthony Amodeo also enjoyed fine weekends, coming home in a tie for 14th and 17th place, respectively.

Automatic bid in hand, the Petrels will now turn their attentions to the 2012 NCAA Championships, which Oglethorpe is co-hosting with the Central Florida Sports Commission, to be held May 15-18 at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida.

OU senior Jake Spear selected to the All-SCAC first team.

Just days before, two members of the Oglethorpe baseball team earned All-SCAC honors. Senior second baseman Jake Spear was selected to the All-SCAC first team, and senior Joe Parillo was selected as All-SCAC honorable mention as a designated hitter. This selection represents the second All-SCAC honor for Spear, who made the 2009 honorable mention list as a freshman. This is Parillo’s first All-SCAC selection.

And good news comes in three! The Track Petrels took the podium at the SCAC Championship in Birmingham. The women’s 4×100 relay team (junior Sherry Blystone and sophomores Kyana Jenkins, Ky’Laine Rogers and Raven Foust) had the highest relay finish in school history by finishing a close second to national leader Rhodes.

Record holder Katy Galli

Freshman Katy Galli concluded a spectacular first year by breaking her own school record TWICE in the 100 meter hurdles by running a 15.69 in the preliminaries and then breaking it again in the final with a 15.44. Galli’s second place finish was right behind national champion Tiarra Goode’s conference record-breaking victory.  Galli’s first year concludes with six indoor and outdoor school records. The women’s team finished 8th overall, the same as last year, but scored a higher point total in a much tougher conference.

The OU Petrels now turn focus to their next immediate goal—conquering final exams!

Oglethorpe to Join New Athletic Conference

It’s official—Oglethorpe University and seven other schools in the NCAA Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) decided yesterday to leave the conference, effective July 1, 2012, and form a new athletic conference.  While OU and other current SCAC schools will honor their scheduled commitments for next season, the future  unnamed conference will be ready for play at the start of the 2012-2013 season. Jay Gardiner, OU’s athletic director, will serve as interim commissioner of the conference.

News spread like wildfire Tuesday afternoon as President Larry Schall informed Oglethorpe community about the decision. As explained in a press release yesterday, “the new conference is being formed to foster athletic competition and cooperation among academically selective, residential liberal arts colleges located in the southeastern region of the U.S.  The geographic focus will result in reduced travel time and costs, 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.”

“This is an exciting new chapter in Oglethorpe athletics, which promises to benefit both our university and our student athletes,” said Dr. Schall.

This map shows the newly formed conference, of which OU is a part. Source: gopetrels.com

Oglethorpe’s new conference looks very similar to the SCAC sans the five colleges out west:  Southwestern College, Austin College, Colorado College, Trinity, and University of Dallas.  The Stormy Petrels will continue to compete against the rest of our current rivals, and we’ll add one more school into the mix—Rome, Georgia’s Berry College. Read more about it on the OU athletics website www.gopetrels.com.

What do you think of the future conference line-up?

Oglethorpe Lacrosse Names New Coaches for Men’s and Women’s Teams

Coach Tom Higgins

Following a historic inaugural season, Oglethorpe lacrosse fans have something more to be excited about.  This week the Oglethorpe athletic department announced the hiring of two head coaches to lead the OU men’s and women’s teams. 

Coach Tom Higgins, who served as the Petrels’ associate head coach all last season, is stepping up to fill the role as head coach for next season.  Lee Ann Tutchton has accepted the position of head women’s coach for the Lady Petrels’ inaugural 2012-2013 season.  She will spend this year recruiting and scheduling to develop a program ready for play in 2013.

Tutchton and Higgins both bring a wealth of experience to their repective programs, as both starred on their Division-1 college lacrosse teams before embarking on their coaching careers. 

In the 1980s, Tutchton started the first under-11 girl’s lacrosse team in Georgia.  Most recently, she served as the Varsity Community Coach at Lassiter High, guiding the Trojans to the state championship.  “With her longstanding relationships with countless young players in the state, she is the perfect fit to construct this team,” said Oglethorpe athletics director Jay Gardiner.

Coach Lee Ann Tutchton

Coach Higgins coached lacrosse at State University of New York-Farmingdale where he led the Rams to back-to-back second place junior college finishes.  Upon moving to Georgia, the former University of Delaware lacrosse standout became an ambassador for the sport, coaching for short terms at Mill Creek High School and Georgia State University.

“Tom brings nearly 30 years of lacrosse experience to our program and will be an excellent leader for our student-athletes,” said Gardiner. “I can’t wait to watch him build our young team up to the competitive standards of the SCAC and am confident he will be successful.”