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The Good Word

Feb. 24, 2011

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

Great February weather and an exciting young roster combined last weekend to give our baseball team one of the more enjoyable starts in recent memory. Danny Hall’s club took two of three from Kent State as more than 6,000 fans enjoyed the spring-like temperatures at Russ Chandler Stadium. The Yellow Jackets started a remarkable seven freshmen in the season opener last Friday.

More hardball is on the way this weekend as St. John’s visits for a three-game set with game times at 4 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. I hope you get an opportunity to come out to the ballpark.

And Sharon Perkins’ softball team has started its season as well, albeit with a slate of road games. The 7-4 Jackets return to action on Tuesday with a single game at Georgia State (5 p.m.). Live audio and stats will be available at RamblinWreck.com. Tech then hosts Niagara the next day – Wednesday March 2 — at 5 p.m. in the 2011 home opener at Shirley Mewborn Field. Admission is free.

Golfers Rock the Islands
As if the tropical breezes in Atlanta weren’t enough, Bruce Heppler had our golf team down in Puerto Rico earlier in the week where James White did Georgia Tech proud by winning low medalist honors in the strong field. White, a junior from Acworth, shot a pair of 69’s and then finished with a 68 to post a 10-under-par total. As a team Tech finished 23-under for the tournament but finished second to red-hot Alabama. All-in-all it was another great showing for our golfers.

Tight Race in Women’s Basketball
If you want to enjoy a tremendous race to the finish, check out the standings in ACC women’s basketball. Three teams are tied at the top going into the last weekend before the tournament. Duke, Miami and FSU are all at 10-2 and then our Yellow Jackets and North Carolina are tied at 8-4, with Maryland right behind at 7-5. This means seeding for the tournament in Greensboro next week is far from decided.

MaChelle Joseph’s team has reached the 20-win plateau for the fifth year in a row. Quite an accomplishment since it had happened just three times at Tech prior to MaChelle’s tenure. The Yellow Jackets will be in a huge battle tonight in Chapel Hill as they take on No. 13 North Carolina. Listen to the game on 91.1 FM WREK.

Please make a special effort to come out on Sunday as the women’s basketball team celebrates Senior Day and says thank you to Alex Montgomery and Deja Foster in its regular season finale vs. No. 12 Miami. Game time is 2 p.m. with all children 12 and under admitted for just $2. Not a youngster? Well…just wear white to the game and we’ll sell you a $2 ticket as well. It’s Whiteout Sunday at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Thanks for the Memories
Hopefully this weekend’s visit will be the first of consecutive Sundays you’ll spend with us at the AMC. Sunday, March 6th, is a very special day here as we bid farewell to Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Our men’s game vs. Miami at 2:30 p.m. will mark the last event before construction begins on the new McCamish Pavilion, scheduled to open in the fall of 2012.

We have some exciting events planned for the finale including giveaways, prizes, former players and nostalgia that recognizes the 55-year history of the grand old building at 10th and Fowler. It will be a historic event you don’t want to miss. I hope you have a chance to read Adam Van Brimmer’s excellent piece on Alexander Memorial Coliseum in the recent edition of Buzz Magazine.

Yellow Jacket Football
Football season ticket sales are ticking along at a fast pace in the early weeks of renewals. Be sure to renew or purchase your seats soon for one of the most exciting home schedules in years. And you’ll enjoy seven home games on the Flats next fall. Click here to see the 2011 schedule and click here to purchase or renew your tickets.

For those of you marking your calendars for the spring, please note that our annual spring T-Day game is set for Saturday April 23rd at 12 noon. Admission is free.

Georgia Sports Hall of Fame
We are extremely proud that two of our own will be inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Saturday night at a ceremony in Macon. Joe Delany is a long time resident of Atlanta who played football at Georgia Tech. Following his playing days, Delany became an SEC football official. In 30 years of officiating, he worked 20 bowl games — including the Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, and Cotton Bowls — and six national championship games. During his time with the SEC, Delany served in a variety of leadership roles and was asked to co-author the SEC Mechanics Manual of Football Officiating that is still in use today.

Bill Ploeger, a native of Brunswick, Ga., proved himself one of the state’s best golfers at every level of competition. As captain of Georgia Tech’s golf team in 1963, he was named an Honorable Mention All-American. Among the many golf tournaments that Ploeger won during his career are 11 Golden Isles Invitational championships. He went on to have a stellar career as a senior playing in both the U.S. and British Senior Opens. He is a member of the Georgia Tech Hall of Fame and the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.

Women’s Tennis Hosts ACC Opener Saturday
Coach Bryan Shelton’s women’s tennis team, undefeated at home this spring, hosts Florida State Saturday at noon in the ACC opener. The weather should be ideal for this key match against the Seminoles so come out to the Bill Moore Tennis Center. Tech is 5-3 overall, including a win over 18th-ranked Washington last Sunday, and is ranked 15th nationally.

ACC Swimming Continues Thru Saturday On The Flats
The ACC Men’s Swimming Championships are being held here on the Tech campus and will continue through Saturday. The Yellow Jackets are in sixth place heading into Thursday’s competition. A good story on Tech swimmer Jeffrey Phillips ran in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution this morning. A link to that story can be found below.

Track At ACC Indoors
The track and field teams are in Blacksburg, Va., Friday and Saturday to participate in the ACC Indoor Championships at Virginia Tech.

Great Start For Thorne’s Squad
Head coach Kenny Thorne’s men’s tennis team is off to an outstanding start to the 2011 spring season. Ranked 15th nationally and riding a four-match win streak, the Yellow Jackets are 4-0 against opponents from the SEC, winning at Auburn and South Carolina, and beating rival Georgia and Mississippi State in Atlanta. Tech is off until hosting Florida State March 6 (1 p.m.), William & Mary March 9 (2:30 p.m.) and Illinois State March 10 (2:30 p.m.).

Interesting Reads

GeorgiaTech Grad To Pilot Space Shuttle – AJC
Tech’s Phillips Is Truly A Freestyle Swimmer – AJC
GeorgiaTech Hosts Negro League Exhibit – AP

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