The Good Word

May 5, 2011

TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

Happy Cinco de Mayo from the campus of Georgia Tech! It’s graduation time once again as our students complete their coursework for another semester this week. I want to congratulate the 68 student-athletes who will receive their diplomas on Mother’s Day at commencement held this year at the Georgia Dome. Take a look at the complete list of our spring graduates, and suffice to say, we are delighted that these fine young people have achieved the ultimate goal of receiving a degree from this great Institute. They have all been excellent representatives of our athletic program.

Well, it’s been a big week around here already, and we certainly have a busy couple of weeks ahead of us. As I was recounting some of our recent events and announcements from the week, I realized that there is definitely a “Tuesday” theme to this edition of The Good Word and you’ll see why.

Tennis Teams Advance, Host

First, on Tuesday, Georgia Tech received at-large selections and were named first- and second-round hosts for both the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships. The men’s team was selected for the second straight year and is the 15th overall seed for the May 13-14th event at the Bill Moore Tennis Center. The women’s team earned its 12th NCAA Tournament berth and will host first and second round matches for the seventh consecutive year.

Men’s Tennis

Kenny Thorne’s team will take on Middle Tennessee State in first-round action at 1 p.m. Friday, May 13, preceded by Florida State vs. Mississippi State at 10 a.m. The winners will meet at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 14. The winner of the Saturday match will advance, as will the survivors in the other 15 NCAA first- and second-round matches at the various campus sites to the NCAA Championship round of 16, May 19-24 in Palo Alto, Cal. Click here to see the entire 64-team bracket. The NCAA singles and doubles championships will take place May 25-30 at Stanford.

The NCAA singles and doubles championships will take place May 25-30 at Stanford where Guillermo Gomez will compete for the singles title for his fourth consecutive year at Tech. Kevin King and Juan Spir have earned their spot in the doubles championship and are the first Tech tandem to make the doubles championship since 1995.

Women’s Tennis

The Georgia Tech women’s tennis team earned its 12th NCAA Tournament berth with an at-large selection to the field of 64 also announced Tuesday afternoon by the NCAA. The 16th-ranked Yellow Jackets (13-10, 5-6 ACC) will face the Jacksonville State Gamecocks (13-10, 7-1 Ohio Valley) at noon on Saturday, May 14 at the Bill Moore Tennis Center. It will be the first meeting ever between the Jackets and Gamecocks in women’s tennis.

Also coming to Atlanta will be the 17th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils (14-6, 5-3 Pac-10) and the 40th-ranked Ole Miss Rebels (11-10, 4-7 SEC). The Sun Devils and Rebels will face off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, with the two winners meeting at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 15, with the right to advance to the NCAA Round of 16 at Stanford on May 20. Click here to see the entire 64-team bracket.

Softball Senior Day is Saturday, ACC Tourney At GT Next Weekend

Our red-hot softball team will enjoy Senior Day on Saturday when the Jackets take on Florida State at 1 and 3 p.m. at Shirley Mewborn Field. Fresh off clinching yet another ACC regular season title, we’ll honor seniors Kristen Adkins, Christy Jones, Kristine Priebe and Jessica Weaver along with three former players – Amelia Beach, Stephanie Morris and Emily Schreck – who are out of action due to injury. The ceremony will take place prior to the first pitch on Saturday. The three-game series with the Seminoles concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.

Then things really get interesting. As if a mid-May weekend of NCAA tennis on the Flats isn’t excitement enough, we threw in the ACC Softball Championship at Mewborn Field right across the street.

Congratulations to Coach Sharon Perkins and her team for clinching their third straight ACC regular season title. Also, freshman second baseman Ashley Thomas was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Softball Player of the Week, the league office announced – you guessed it – on Tuesday afternoon. Thomas is the fifth different Yellow Jacket softball player to win a player of the week award this season.

Baseball On The Road This Week, Home Next vs. UNC

Danny Hall’s baseball team plays its second straight road series this weekend – venturing out of conference to take on Illinois-Chicago for a rare Saturday, Sunday, Monday slate. The Jackets have a quick turnaround, with a home game on Tuesday vs. Savannah State.

Our nationally-ranked club will be home during all the Tennis/Softball madness next weekend for a huge league series with North Carolina. The baseball Jackets are in a critical stretch that will determine national seeding for the NCAA Regional Tournaments coming up in early June. This year’s ACC Baseball Tournament, by the way, is scheduled for May 25-29 in Durham, N.C.

Golfers Await NCAA Destination

Bruce Heppler’s golf team will learn its post-season destination Monday after running away with the ACC championship 10 days ago. Georgia Tech’s Paul Haley was been named Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Golfer of the Month for April. Haley, a senior from Dallas, Texas earned the first two individual victories of his career, outdistancing his teammate Kyle Scott by one stroke in each event and lifting Georgia Tech to team victories in each.

Johnson and Barry Win One for the Jackets!

Congratulations to Paul Johnson and former Yellow Jacket basketball standout Jon Barry who combined to shoot an 11-under-par 61 also on Tuesday to win the 2011 Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge charity golf tournament at Reynolds Plantation.

Our team held off a field of 11 other university teams of head coaches and celebrity alumni to take the $120,000 first-place prize in scholarship earnings.

After finishing second in last year’s event, Team Georgia Tech led throughout the tournament and capped the round when Johnson holed a 17-foot downhill putt on 18 to finish at -11.

Johnson also won the closest-to-the-pin contest, earning an additional $5,000 in scholarship earnings for Tech.

Spring Caravan Concludes with a bang

Tuesday was also especially rewarding as I had a chance to visit with a nice crowd of Jacket fans at our final Spring Caravan stop for 2011 – a fun event at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center. You can watch the video of this caravan stop here. It was attended by a couple of hundred live, but was also streamed live via the internet to Jacket fans world wide. We intend to get into the live internet streaming business to a greater degree in the year ahead. More details on that to come.

Following the Jackets Made Easier

For those of you who like to keep close tabs on our teams, sports and events via www.rambinwreck.com, check out one of our neatest features. Move your cursor over the “sports” tab at the top left. On the right side of the drop down display is a column labeled “Schedules.” Under that heading are: “2-Weeks At a Glance,” “Events Calendar,” “Schedule/Results Pages” and “By Sport.” These are very handy ways to categorize and dissect our upcoming events and past results in various ways. It might be worth a trip in there just to familiarize yourself with these features.

Anthony Allen Drafted

Former Yellow Jacket running back Anthony Allen was selected in last week’s NFL draft by the Baltimore Ravens. Allen was a steal for the Ravens in the seventh round, the 225th pick overall. A number of other former Jackets, including Mario Butler, Mario Edwards, Scott Blair and Joshua Nesbitt, now wait for the lockout to end so they can pursue free agent contracts.

Tech Track Takes Much Needed Rest

The Georgia Tech track and field teams have earned a much deserved break this upcoming weekend after competing in the ACC Championships from April 21-23 and the World Famous Penn Relays April 28-30. After taking first place in a field of 55 in the 400-meter hurdles, setting both and season and career best time, senior Leslie Njoku has been named the Georgia Tech Female Athlete of the Week. Njoku’s time of 58.11 moves her up the national rankings and puts her in good shape for the NCAA East Regionals on May 27-28 in Bloomington, Ind.

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