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!

Two Birds of a Feather (Blue Jays & Petrels Unite!)

On January 29, Oglethorpe Women’s Lacrosse in conjunction with the Sports Medicine Department, hosted Division I Johns Hopkins’ head women’s lacrosse coach Janine Tucker for a six-hour Coaches’ Clinic in Lupton Auditorium.

129 youth, high school and collegiate coaches from all over the Southeast participated in this event making it the largest coaches’ clinic ever conducted by Hopkins and a FIRST for Oglethorpe University

In addition to providing a detailed book of skills, drills, offenses and defenses, Coach Tucker also shared her team philosophy, favorite game strategies and practice plans for the first two weeks of the Blue Jays’ preseason. Coach Tucker’s dynamic personality and enthusiasm left the coaches asking for more! 

This was a HUGE step forward for Oglethorpe Women’s Lacrosse as we prepare for our inaugural season in the 2012-13 academic year. Thank you to everyone who attended and volunteered!

LeeAnn Tutchton is the Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Oglethorpe University.

Oglethorpe’s New Athletic Conference to be Named Southern Athletic Association

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. 

 

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.”

Oglethorpe Athletics Names Aaron Nester to Lead Women’s Basketball

Coach Nester at Wartford

The Oglethorpe University athletics department has searched high and low for a new head coach for the women’s basketball team, and it seems that they’ve found the perfect match. The department announced today that Aaron Nester will lead the Stormy Petrels team, one of the most successful sports programs in OU athletics history. 

Nester comes to Oglethorpe from Wartburg College in Iowa, a Division III school where he spent five years as assistant coach for the Knights.  He finished his career at Wartburg with the team posting a 21-5 overall record this season.

Before coaching at Wartburg, Nester helped lead his alma mater, Division III Rockford College,  to their best four-year stretch in program history.  During Nester’s time as assistant coach, the Rockford Regents won their conference championship three years in a row and went to the NCAA tournament in the 2003, 2005 and 2006 seasons.

This will be Nester’s first head coaching position, and he comes to Atlanta prepared. Throughout his coaching career Nester has handled all facets of leading a successful program, including preparing scouting reports, analyzing game video and assisting with in-game strategy.

Aaron Nester (photo: go-knights.com)

He follows an incredible coaching legacy in coach Ron Satelle, who resigned as head coach of the Oglethorpe Women’s Basketball team after an impressive five years with the Stormy Petrels, who advanced to the NCAA’s Final Four in 2008. The next year, the Stormy Petrels returned to the NCAA tournament, progressing to the tournament’s famed Sweet Sixteen match-up, and claiming the school’s first ever conference championship for any women’s sport along the way.    

“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to join what I think is a great institution in Oglethorpe University,” said Nester. “…I really enjoyed meeting the great people on Oglethorpe’s campus and look forward to guiding this proud program back to the top of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.”

Keep up with all Stormy Petrel Athletics at www.gopetrels.com.