Tuesday, February 23, 2016

ASN: ACU Baseball

Abilene, TX - The Abilene Christian Wildcats compete in the Division I Southland Conference, but are still in the four-year transitional period from Division II the prohibits the team from competing in postseason play.

Given that preclusion, head coach Britt Bonneau has lined up a heavyweight schedule that will quickly acclimate the team to the Division I level. They've acquitted themselves very well in the step up in competition and are poised to make a run at the top of the Southland Conference sooner rather than later. They are presently 4-1 to open the season.

I covered the Wildcats for the American Sports Network earlier this month. - TF

(photo / Abilene Christian Athletics)

Monday, February 15, 2016

College Baseball: University of New Orleans Privateers Open This Week

(Photo / University of New Orleans)

New Orleans - The University of New Orleans Privateers of the Southland Conference head into 2015-2016 with a new head coach, former LSU standout Blake Dean. They've also added batting instructor Brett Stewart to their staff. The team and the upcoming season were covered on the American Sports Network website in January.

"We saw a lot of improvements with the position guys getting stronger from the offseason speed/strength program as well as pitcher velocity increases from the offseason throwing program," said Stewart, when asked about the upcoming campaign. "I'm really fired up for the season to start. We have a bunch of blue collar, tough-minded, high-energy guys," he added.

Stewart has previous Southland experience as an assistant coach in 2013 at Nicholls State University. As an undergraduate, he was a member of the Appalachian State Mountaineers. 

The Privateers start the season by playing host to Alcorn State as part of the MLB Urban Youth Invitational. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

College Lacrosse: Montreat Cavaliers

Montreat on the road at UTC-Chattanooga (Image / Tom Flynn)
Black Mountain, NC - Last week I contributed an article to Gannett's Black Mountain News on the Montreat College Cavaliers men's lacrosse team.

They compete in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (ACC) of the NAIA and I'll include links to articles about them periodically here as I assist with the team. The Cavs are in just their second year and NAIA lacrosse is not yet well-known.

Montreat plays in Black Mountain, on its Vance Avenue campus that sits to the north of I-40. The field is located on grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who also designed Central Park, Prospect Park, the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, the Biltmore Estate grounds, and numerous parks throughout the country. The playing field was recently resurfaced with turf in a major upgrade to the college's soccer and lacrosse facilities

They're a great collection of young men and gradually making their way from a group of students (in many cases relatively new to the game) into a team that will challenge for the AAC title. - TF 

Friday, February 5, 2016

ASN: VMI Fells Boxing Giants

Virginia Military's 2015 USIBA Champions (photo / VMI Boxing)
Lexington, VA - In April 2015, Virginia Military Institute's boxing team traveled west to face the University of Michigan's Wolverines in the United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association's (USIBA) national tournament. VMI's student population is roughly 1,700 while some 43,000 students make Ann Arbor home.

What ensued was an upset that will long echo along the grounds of the historic campus tucked in the state's Shenandoah Valley. 

VMI's Keydets on parade (Photo / VMI)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

ASN: Navy Hockey

Annapolis - Several weeks ago I interviewed Navy's outstanding student-athlete, Ally Strachan, for the American Sports Network. Strachan is a senior captain on the women's ice hockey team and is headed to Ireland for the upcoming academic year after winning a Mitchell Scholarship. She'll then return to the States to train as a Navy pilot.  - TF

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