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The Good Word

Feb. 21, 2008

It’s always a good feeling when we begin playing baseball and softball again. Kind of signals the early beginnings of spring. And while our two basketball programs battle their way toward conference tournaments and hopefully post-season play, it may be a good time to take an early look at “the boys and girls of summer.”

Danny Hall’s baseball Jackets begin play tomorrow at 4 p.m. (weather permitting) when Youngstown State comes in for the three-game weekend series. Tomorrow’s opener will be followed by a 2 p.m. first pitch on Saturday and a 1 o’clock game on Sunday. The college baseball permissible opening date is a bit later this year, shortening the window to get in our 56 regular season games. This means we’ll play more mid-week games than in previous years. Next week, as an example, we will play Georgia Southern at Russ Chandler Stadium on Tuesday and Wednesday. Game times are 4 p.m. each day.

Sharon Perkins and our softball team are already eight games into the season, posting an early 4-5 mark, all on the road. Another major road tournament awaits this weekend when the Jackets travel to the University of South Florida in Tampa for a slate of games. It’s the same story next weekend when they participate in a tournament over in Columbus, GA. The home opener for this nationally-ranked club is March 4 vs. Virginia to start a three-game mid-week series.

And speaking of softball, you may be aware that we are in the process of relocating our softball complex onto a piece of land adjacent to O’Keefe High School. The land where the current softball field sits off of 14th street has been sold by the Georgia Tech Foundation, precipitating the move to take place in time for the 2009 season. Within days you’ll begin to see signs of construction just off of Fowler Street on our campus. This will be a great benefit to us in bringing softball into our contiguous footprint with basketball, tennis, track, baseball and the football practice fields.

And if all this baseball and softball talk has you dreaming of summer, how about a dip in the pool? Well, it’s certainly not summer, but Georgia Tech is currently hosting the ACC Swimming and Diving Championships at the Campus Recreation Center. The women’s competition is taking place today through Saturday with the league’s men’s teams coming to Atlanta next weekend to compete. Our Senior Woman Administrator, Theresa Wenzel, along with coaches Stu Wilson and Marty Hamburger have mobilized many volunteers to insure the success of these events.

Back on dry land, our men’s and women’s tennis teams are going great. The men’s team under Kenny Thorne is off to a 6-1 start and has a home match this Sunday at 1 p.m. vs. South Carolina. The women continue to defend their No. 1 national ranking and will take on Georgia this Saturday at 1:00 at the Bill Moore Complex. Both days present a great opportunity for a tennis-baseball duo for the whole family.

While activity abounds on the courts, fields and in the water, there has been plenty to talk about otherwise. Three Yellow Jacket student-athletes were named this week as recipients of ACC post-graduate scholarships. Congratulations go out to track and cross country athletes David Herren and Taylor Narewski and tennis star Kristi Miller, all of whom were selected to receive these prestigious $5,000 awards. They will be honored by the league at a luncheon in Greensboro, N.C., on April 16.

Closer to home, I want to welcome a new member of my administrative staff here at Tech. Frank Hardymon has recently joined the team as our Chief Financial Officer after an expansive search. Frank comes to us from William and Mary where for 10 years he was associate AD. We also get an added bonus with Frank. His wife Lisa is a Georgia Tech graduate. Needless to say, they are elated to be back here in Atlanta.

Frank will also jump right into the fire as we are beginning to receive responses to our TECH Fund invoices for 2008 football. Anticipation for Paul Johnson’s first season is running high. If you would like to take care of your TECH Fund donation on line just go to Ramblinwreck.com and select “Tickets” at the top of the page and then click into “Ticket Information.”

JACKETS AT THE COMBINE
Six Yellow Jackets are at the NFL Combine this week – punter Durant Brooks, running back Tashard Choice, linebacker, Gary Guyton, defensive end Adamm Oliver, defensive end Darrell Robertson and linebacker Philip Wheeler. Good luck to all of them as they pursue their dreams of playing in the NFL.

CAGERS PREPARE FOR HOMESTRETCH
Coach Paul Hewitt’s men’s basketball team has six regular season games remaining, including a home game tonight against Virginia. The Yellow Jackets also have home games March 1 vs. Wake Forest and March 6 vs. Clemson. Coach MaChelle Joseph’s squad, eyeing a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance, has just one home game remaining – Feb. 29 vs. Virginia Tech.

TRACK TEAMS IN TOP 30
Two Georgia Tech teams not receiving the attention they deserve are the men’s and women’s track and field teams. Coach Grover Hinsdale’s men’s team is ranked 27th nationally and Coach Alan Drosky’s women’s team is ranked 22nd. Georgia Tech will be hosting the ACC Track and Field Championships in April.

TWO JACKETS ON HOGAN LIST
Georgia Tech golfers Cameron Tringale and Chesson Hadley are both on the spring watch list for the 2008 Ben Hogan Award. This award is golf’s equivalent to the Heisman and maybe even more difficult to win. The Hogan Award includes candidates from NCAA Division I, II or III, NAIA and junior colleges.

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