April 30, 2012
By Matt Winkeljohn
There’s actually still quite a bit that is incomplete in Georgia Tech Athletics, but with this being finals week there is a slowdown among the spring sports that are still active and the off-season student-athletes are, for the most part, committed entirely to their books.
It may not be the best time to reflect on the academic/sports year that is nearly complete, especially since baseball, softball, women’s tennis, both track & field teams and men’s tennis players Kevin King and Juan Spir have work ahead.
In more cases than in recent years, there are uphill battles. The Yellow Jackets have scuffled on and off the fields of play this season relative to the past few, and that includes even some former Tech athletes. I was reminded of this the other day when Iman Shumpert tore an anterior cruciate ligament while playing for the Knicks.
Good news has been spread more thinly this season than in many, with the very notable exceptions of the golf team winning its fourth straight ACC title, and then women’s basketball team setting a slew of program records, making it to the Sweet 16 for the first time in school history, and sending a player to the first round of the WNBA draft for the second year running.
Actually, there’s been more than that.
The football team beat Clemson at the high-water point of the season, and you can never beat the Tigers too much.
The women’s cross country team earned USTFCCCA All-Academic status.
The men’s basketball team won AT Georgia for the first time in the lives of every Tech student, dating back to 1976.
Kaleigh Colson, Susan Carlson, Monique Mead and Nicki Meyer made the ACC All-Academic volleyball team.
Julienne McKee is long-jumping with the wind at her back (she won the Penn Relays title last week), Buck Farmer is having a rock-solid season on the bump for the baseball team, and wide receiver Stephen Hill was drafted early in the second round by the Jets on Friday.
Former Tech athletes have come through, too.
Shumpert surpassed all expectations as a rookie with the Knicks, Anthony Morrow had a 42-point game for the NBA’s Nets and Chris Bosh has been beat up a bit but he’s chasing an NBA title with the Heat. Shumpert, Morrow and Derrick Favors all earned trips the NBA’s All-Star weekend, although injury prevented Shump from participating.
Former golfer Paul Haley won a Nationwide Tour event in his third try as a rookie and Matt Kuchar was knocking on the door at The Masters until nearly the final moments.
And what about Calvin Johnson?
He lit up the NFL last season, and will be on the cover of “Madden 13.” The amazing wide receiver is one of the best players in professional football regardless of position, and Matt Wieters is on his way to becoming one of the best catchers in the Major Leagues with the Orioles.
There is, and has been, more than this.
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