Archive for July, 2012

The Citadel sets multiple admissions records – again

July 31, 2012

The South Carolina Corps of Cadets Class of 2016 is on track to smash four admissions records this year.

For the fourth consecutive year a record number of high school seniors and transfer students have sought cadet admission to The Citadel. Among the record-breaking application groups are women, minorities and African Americans. Applications from South Carolina residents are the highest in 10 years.

“We are excited that families see the value in a Citadel education and that more and more students are seeking an educational experience that gives them the opportunity to develop leadership skills as well as earn a degree,” said Admissions Director Lt. Col. John Powell, ’77, USMCR.

As of today, The Citadel Office of Admissions has received 2,760 applications for the cadet Class of 2016, which reports for military training on Aug. 11. The college expects to enroll between 730 and 775 freshmen. The largest known freshman class to matriculate, based on records dating back to 1965, was in the fall of 1975 when 763 freshmen reported.

Powell expects this year to be the sixth consecutive year that the freshman class exceeds 700 students.

“Matriculation Day is an exciting day for us. We look forward to meeting the incoming class and their families and sharing in this exciting time as these students start a new and challenging chapter in their lives,” Powell said.

Applications to The Citadel have been on the rise for a decade. Powell said this trend is a strong indicator that college-bound students are looking for an educational experience that is also meaningful and is rooted in the leadership development opportunities The Citadel provides.

“It’s good to know that students want to be challenged,” he said. “They want to walk away from college with more than a degree. They want to have the leadership skills that are going to set them apart and will be attractive to employers after graduation. The Citadel can help them get there.”

In addition to record total applications, the Class of 2016 will set records for applications from minorities, including African Americans, and from women.

  2012 record Previous record Year
All applications 2,760 2,714 2011
African American 333 328 2010
All Minorities 715 678 2011
Women 292 288 2011

In the fall of 2010, the largest number of South Carolina residents matriculated in 46 years.

Official enrollment tallies will be available in the fall, but the 977 applications from in-state students this year is the highest in 10 years.

“Our graduates go on to work, serve and live in a diverse, even global world,” Powell said. “Their success as educated and principled leaders is enhanced because they have been exposed to diverse perspectives and points of view as part of their Citadel leader development experience.”

Triple option best option for The Citadel

July 30, 2012

From: The State Newspaper  Columbia SC

Tuesday, Jul. 24, 2012
In the FCS Huddle: By The Sports Network 

If you could guess off the top of your head the FCS’ top three rushing teams last season, a couple of programs come to mind. Wofford, Georgia Southern, Sam Houston State and maybe even Towson.   If you picked the first two Southern Conference teams correctly, would you believe the next team also came from the same league?  That’s right, when you consider the nation’s top run-oriented teams use a triple option offense, the correct choice is The Citadel Bulldogs.

Under the direction of coach Kevin Higgins, the Bulldogs had to completely rebuild their foundation for success. Entering the 2010 season, his teams had hovered below the .500 mark and finished above it just once in 2007.
Change was needed, but not in the form of a new leader or new recruiting methods. Rather, it was in with the new, out with the old mentality, or even more fitting, if you can’t beat them, join them.  That’s exactly what the Bulldogs did just two seasons ago. Converting their traditional spread offense to the difficult and rarely seen triple option. Higgins hired nine new coaches, and took many steps backward, knowing it would take time and patience to adjust to a new offense.
“I talked with a lot of coaches who told me the ball is going to be on the ground quite a bit,” Higgins said, “and that we would go through agony putting it in, but that it would pay dividends for us in the end.” 

Higgins explained that he looked at teams who ran option-oriented offenses, specifically within the Southern Conference, and figured it made sense for the Charleston, S.C., military school to try to win games on the ground.
“I did a lot of research on the Naval Academy, Air Force and West Point programs who ran the triple option,” Higgins said. “The success those programs have, I think is a direct result from having the ability to run an offense that is unique throughout the country. We can recruit players that aren’t as big or fast as some of the other schools in our league but have great toughness and skills necessary to be successful in an offense like this.”

After a brutal first season in the new offense, with key players having to adjust or play new roles or positions, it made the transition difficult. Junior quarterback Ben Dupree admitted there was some doubt as to whether the team could progress.   “It has definitely been a rough and a smooth transition,” Dupree said. “At first it was difficult for everybody, some of the wide receivers and running backs had different responsibilities. Well, you know how receivers are, so when we switched from the spread, from 20-25 passes a game, and now it’s no more than 10 passes a game, so it was hard. But it’s amazing how every player no matter what the position has bought into the system now and we want it just as bad.”
Last season, The Citadel finished with a record of 4-7. It’s certainly not the type of results the Bulldogs hoped for, but there actually were a couple of signs that pointed in the right direction. Five losses came by 10 points or less, the team averaged 286.6 yards rushing per game, and the defense allowed averages of 23.4 points per game and 343.8 yards of total offense, which ranked second and third, respectively, in the Southern Conference. The Bulldogs nearly pulled out a win at traditional conference power Georgia Southern before losing 14-12, and lost a shootout versus Appalachian State 49-42.

If anything, last season proved the triple option gives The Citadel the best chance to win games. For returning all-conference center Mike Sellers, the team has a different definition of success that most wouldn’t understand.
“There was times two years ago when the team didn’t know if we could do this. It was a great learning experience, but, ultimately, we came together,” Sellers said. “You have to understand what we consider success came through time. Last year, the offensive line and quarterbacks were making reads and checks, we were reading defenses better and it made things easier. It’s more about confidence now. There’s no more guessing or arguing over plays, we trust each other a lot more.”

In Sellers’ case, the transition to the triple option was even more challenging because of the unique type of lineman needed. A 6-foot, 285-pound center, Sellers, from nearby Summerville, S.C., came to The Citadel as a wrestler and running back in high school.   “That’s an example of a guy who never would have played in other systems but now has the opportunity to play in this system,” Higgins said. “In the past, we looked for huge 300-pound lineman, but now we don’t need that, we need smaller athletic players.”

“As a running back, I wanted to change the game with the ball in my hands, so I had to get out of that mind-set and play as a blocking lineman,” Sellers said as he laughed. “There were times when I literally couldn’t get the ball back to the quarterback because I had never played on the line before. Coach kept trusting me and believing in me even when we had eight or nine turnovers – a freshman center and quarterback who were both 18, new coaches and a new offense.”
With fall camp just weeks away, the Bulldogs, who have become more comfortable with their new direction, continue to build to try to make that next step as one of the top teams in the SoCon.

“Coach keeps preaching we need to keep chipping away and stay together as teammates on and off the field,” Dupree said. “We’ve all bought into it, but we know we have to take it one game at a time. Every game in the Southern Conference is probably going to be a dog fight, you can lose to the best and worst teams on any given Saturday.”
In order for the Bulldogs to achieve any type of success this season, they must first get over two important hurdles. First and foremost, even in a triple option offense that runs the ball nearly 90 percent of the time, they have to pass the ball more effectively. The Citadel finished last in the nation, passing the ball for 32.2 yards a game in 2011.
Higgins and Sellers both mentioned the needed improvement of the passing game, including the addition of triple option shot-gun packages.  “I felt like last year almost every game we focused running the ball in the middle of the field,” Sellers said, “but now we worked in a couple of passing formations, using motion and other stuff. Hopefully, now teams can’t put eight guys in the box. We weren’t great last year (passing), but we were still in games, so imagine how much better we can be if we can run and pass effectively.”

The second hurdle? A brutal schedule which includes a three-game stretch after Week 1 with games versus Georgia Southern, followed by road contests at Appalachian State and North Carolina State.  Higgins, now in his eighth season, acknowledged the test his team will face in the first four weeks of the season head-on.

“There’s a sense of urgency because of who we are playing early,” Higgins said. “Georgia Southern and Appalachian State are top-five ranked opponents and N.C. State has so much talent. We’ve got a tremendous challenge, but again, we just worry about the process and take care of what we can control from our end, and trust that the results will take care of themselves.”   “We love that we have those games early, so we can really see who we are,” Dupree said. “We don’t want to start out the season slow, you want to play against the best to be the best. By Week 4, we can see what type of team we are.”

Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2012/07/24/2366723/in-the-fcs-huddle-triple-option.html#storylink=cpy

Coaches Name Five Citadel Players to Preseason All-SoCon Team

July 27, 2012

Citadel players Rickey Anderson (left) and Derek Douglas flank Kevin Higgins at SoCon Media Day

Citadel players Rickey Anderson (left) and Derek Douglas flank Kevin Higgins at SoCon Media Day

Coaches’ Poll     Media Poll     Preseason All-Conference Teams

Spartanburg, S.C. — The head coaches of the Southern Conference have voted five Bulldogs to the preseason all-conference team for the upcoming 2012 season, the league announced at its football media day Thursday in Spartanburg.

Junior center Mike Sellers, senior defensive end Chris Billingslea and senior punterCass Couey were selected to the first team while junior fullback Darien Robinsonand junior defensive tackle Derek Douglas were voted to the second team.

The coaches also named a preseason offensive and defensive player of the year, with Wofford senior running back Eric Breitenstein and Georgia Southern senior defensive tackle Brent Russell earning those honors.

Sellers took over the starting center job late in his true freshman season in 2010 and has held that position since, becoming the anchor of The Citadel offensive line. A year ago, the Fort Dorchester High School graduate started all 11 games and helped the Bulldogs average 286.6 rushing yards per game, the third-highest mark in the nation, and was named first team All-SoCon by the coaches and the team’s offensive player of the year.

Billingslea is in his fifth year at The Citadel and is a mainstay on the defensive line, having played in all 33 games in his career with 28 consecutive starts dating back to the middle of his redshirt freshman season in 2009. The Fort Mill High School product had 53 tackles last season, second among returning Bulldogs, while adding 11 tackles for loss, two sacks and three fumble recoveries to earn second team All-SoCon honors.

Couey is in his fourth season and has established himself as one of the top punters in the nation. He led the SoCon and ranked fifth in the nation last season with an average of 43.0 yards per punt, including 14 inside the 20, 10 of at least 50 yards and nine fair catches. He was named first team All-SoCon by both the coaches and media and enters the year ranked third in school history with an average of 40.5 yards per attempt, trailing only Greg Davis (42.1) and Kenny Caldwell (40.7).

Robinson is coming off a 2011 campaign which saw him play in all 11 games with 10 starts and carry 136 times for 862 yards and nine touchdowns. He led the Bulldogs and ranked sixth in the Southern Conference and 48th nationally with an average of 78.4 yards per game. Robinson’s career average of 5.90 yards per carry is seventh in school history, and he enters his senior season just 38 yards shy of reaching the 1,000 plateau.

Douglas was chosen The Citadel’s team MVP and first team All-SoCon by the coaches and media last season after ranking fifth in the conference with 14.5 tackles for loss while placing 47th in the nation with an average of 1.32 per game. He had a total of 43 tackles and added 3.5 sacks and a forced and recovered fumble. Douglas has played in all 22 games the past two seasons with 19 starts but will miss the early portion of 2012 after suffering a knee injury during spring practice.

The head coaches and SoCon media also predicted the order of finish in this year’s conference race. Both groups picked The Citadel to finish eighth with defending conference champion and FCS semifinalist Georgia Southern as the preseason favorite. The coaches voted Appalachian State second and Wofford third while the media reversed the Mountaineers and Terriers.

The rest of the preseason poll was identical, with Chattanooga picked fourth followed by Furman, Samford, Elon, The Citadel and Western Carolina.

The Citadel opens the 2012 season on Saturday, Sept. 1 when Charleston Southern visits Johnson Hagood Stadium for a 6 p.m. kickoff. The Bulldogs begin SoCon play the following Saturday when they host Georgia Southern, also at 6 p.m.

Lordy, Lordy, Travis Jervey is 40

July 26, 2012
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
The Moultrie News
By Tom Horton

Photo Provided

Photo Provided
Travis Jervey and LeShon Johnson with Nala
Local Wando and Citadel standout athlete, Travis Jervey, turned 40 this past weekend. The retired pro-football player is a local physical trainer who lives in the Old Village with his family.

It’s true. The Six-Million-Dollar Man, Number 32, Travis Jervey, quietly turned 40 this past Saturday, May 5, at his home in the Old Village surrounded by his adoring family and a yard full of exotic plants that signify his newest passion – gardening.

But don’t think for a second that this two-time Super Bowl competitor is out to pasture. Take one look at his 6 foot, 220-pound frame and youthful face and you may mistake him for a 25-year-old.  Though he’s been retired from pro-football for a decade, he’s still in tip-top shape physically, and he can be seen coaching others as a personal trainer at 101 Pitt Fitness Center. What other town this size offers a young athlete the chance to be trained daily by a former NFL great?

Travis Jervey has earned the good life, however, the road to success in the National Football League is a route that very few of us will ever experience.  We all remember the lightning fast running back who starred for Coach Dickie Dingle’s Wando Warriors back in the ’90s. Those were glory days for Wando football for they had as starters two stellar athletes who’d shine in the NFL – Travis Jervey and Dexter Coakley.  Coakley went on to star as a linebacker for Appalachian State and he played pro ball for the Dallas Cowboys. Travis Jervey was the record-breaking fullback for Charlie Taafe’s Citadel Bull Dogs, and he starred for the Green Bay Packers.  Wando teammates Jervey and Coakley played opposite each other in the Southern Conference and in the NFL. They still keep up with each other today.

Success in the NFL comes at a high price. Few will ever experience the tortuous training, the exhaustion or the pain that these athletes put themselves through in order to play a few minutes on Sundays in the fall.  Those few minutes may be worth millions to the players and mega-millions to their franchise, but the players must exhibit super-human strength and perform heroic feats of athleticism.

Everybody knows that Travis Jervey grew up here and attended Sullivan’s Island Elementary. Shortly after Travis reached Wando he became known as a bone-crunching ballcarrier who had rockets on his heels. The best season he had while at Wando was the 1988 season when the Warriors went 9 and 4 – losing to Middleton, Summerville and Berkeley twice.

Though Travis is our local sports hero, he was actually born in Columbia. He has never known any other father except Ned Jervey – who became Travis’s dad when he, Ned, married Travis’s mother in the early 1970s.  However, recently Travis has come to terms with his biological father, Dyke Dolly, who passed away at age 59 two weeks ago in North Augusta.

Dolly was among the football legends of North Augusta High School. He was a big man with speed. He starred on the 1971 Shrine Bowl team and parlayed that success into a football scholarship to the University of South Carolina. Gamecock faithful remember the fleet-footed Dolly with the number 10 on Coach Dietzel’s roster.  Dyke Dolly played pro-football in the Canadian League and was a walk on with several NFL teams. He spent most of his life as an iron worker around the country.  Travis never really knew his biological father and has learned only recently that both Dyke Dolly and Dyke’s father, Richard Dolly, both played pro-football.

What Travis recently learned about his grandfather, Richard Dolly, is newsworthy in a big way. Richard Dolly, father to Dyke of 1970s Carolina fame and grandfather of NFL star Travis Jervey, won a football scholarship from Franklin High School near Augusta to attend West Virginia University in 1934. Dolly played defensive end and blocked the extra-point that gave the Mountaineers the victory in a 7-6 WVU win in the Sun Bowl.  Prior to World War II, Travis’s grandfather played both ways for the Steelers. He went in the military in WW II and returned to the Steelers and later had a career in the FBI.

Just two other players in professional football appear to have had a legacy of three generations in the sport – George Pyne III, who is Travis’s age, played for the Boston Patriots, and he is the third generation of his family to play.  Clay Matthews III, currently of the Green Bay Packers, is a third generation pro-football family.  And you can add Travis Jervey to that elite grouping.

What made fans love Travis Jervey from the first time he donned a Wando Warrior jersey through his Citadel days to his glory days at Green Bay was that he was absolutely fearless.  Whether Travis was running with the football, or tackling someone, he’d charge like a runaway freight train. Violent midfield collisions with Travis sprinting away toward the goal are the memories most of us have of this incredible athlete.

Anyone who was at Johnson-Hagood Stadium in 1994 when The Citadel smashed VMI, witnessed one of Jervey’s amazing trademark runs.  He bolted through the defensive line and scampered 68 yards for a score. Every VMI player had a hand on him at some point.  The next year in Norfolk Travis did it again against VMI – this time taking the kickoff the length of the field to score.   However, because Citadel played small teams the pro scouts didn’t take the school’s talent seriously. In fact, pro-scouts were shocked at his 40-yard dash time.  It was reported that Travis Jervey had the fastest 40-yard sprint of any of the NFL tryout in 1995.

The Citadel standout paid his dues to get where he is. He spent many lonely hours sprinting up and down the steep hill at Battery Marshall on Sullivan’s Island.   He lifted weights and worked himself into such shape that Muscle and Fitness magazine named him “the best physique in pro-football.”

Travis was officially clocked as the fourth fastest player in the NFL.   “Fast, but not elusive,” was a quote that one sportswriter used.   The pro draft was a nail-biter for Jervey.  “The Citadel doesn’t have a tough enough schedule to impress the pros,” said one writer.  Well, Citadel’s Number 32 went in the fifth round to the Green Bay Packers.

The Packers were ready to draft Terrell Davis – the UGa running back who succeeded to Herschel Walker’s slot – when the recruiters suddenly dropped Davis and picked up Jervey instead. Terrell Davis had been injury prone in his senior year at Georgia, and Travis appeared indestructible.

Travis says that pro football is business – for players and owners.  Each week he got 1/17th of his yearly pay.  “A lot of the young players can’t handle that much money coming in all at once.”  During pre-season, all players received $1,200 for what amounted to a 14-hour days of gruelling practices and game film study.  “You wouldn’t do that kind of work for $1,200 a week,” he laughs.

Our star stayed calm before games by reading Clive Cussler novels while emersed in a hot tub.  The playbook for Green Bay was complex for Travis coming from directly the Citadel’s “wishbone” offense.  Dorsey Levens was starting as tailback and Brett Farve was throwing the ball much more than C.J. Haynes had at The Citadel. The rookie made himself a place on the special teams squad. With his blinding speed and head-on-collision tackles, Travis had no trouble starting on the kick-off and punt-return teams. Green Bay’s special teams soon became the best in the league.

Sports writer John Maxymuk wrote a book “Packers By the Numbers: Jersey Numbers and the Players Who Wore Them,” in which he humorously implies that Travis Jervey was “a few yards shy of the goal line” the years he played for Green Bay. Backing up his claim, Maxymuk claims that fumble-prone Jervey slept with a football and that he kept a lion cub as a pet.

“The lion story is true,” says Travis. The Packers were on a bus to the Dallas airport to fly back to Green Bay after losing to the Dallas Cowboys and Travis was reading the exotic pets section of the Dallas Sunday paper. “Look here, Shon (LeShon Johnson – Green Bay special teams player),” he exclaimed, “We can order a lion from this Dallas pet store.” LeShon already owned 19 pit bulls, but he was eager to go halves on the $900 lion cub. When the huge crate was delivered, the two pro-footballers hunkered down and gingerly unlocked the crate. The cat was huge. They named her Nala from the “Lion King,” and fed her mounds of frozen chicken wings. Even though she had been defanged and declawed, Nala was an awesome presence as she galumphed through the house and pounced upon their teammates and coaches who hug out there. Coach Mike Holmgren told Travis that the only Lions he cared about where in Detroit. Life was sweet in the NFL. Travis and his lioncub were the talk of the town in Green Bay, and he got to spend the off-season surfing in Costa Rica. Jervey even competed against some of the fastest men in the NFL and defeated them in the hundred meter dash. Herschel Walker lost to Travis. Yet, Coach Holmgren seldom called on his fleet footed, but fumble-prone special teams star, to play offense.

Clearly one of the reasons the Packers went to Super Bowls XXXI and XXXII was play of the special teams. One of the most memorable plays that Travis recalls from his playing years was Desmond Howard’s 98 yard kick-off return against the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI. With textbook perfect execution, the Packer return team of Jervey, McKenzie, Thomason, Beebe and Hollinquest body slammed would-be Patriot tacklers as 180-pound speedster, Desmond Howard, burned New England with the length-of-the-field run.

Before long the San Francisco 49ers came looking for a swift running back and Travis signed a six-million dollar contract with the West coast team. However, his good fortune changed and his ankle was shattered. Even with the best surgeons and a lot of metal hardware, the ankle did not heal quickly. The 49ers traded him to the Falcons, but that never worked out for much playing time.

Today you’ll find home town hero, Travis Jervey, living in the Old Village and exceedingly fit. He’s enjoying life as much as ever and, even though he still surfs regularly, his most fun these days comes from being a family man and gardening.

(Dr. Thomas B. Horton is a history teacher at Porter-Gaud School. He lives in the Old Village of Mount Pleasant. See more columns online at moultrienews.com. Visit his website at www.historyslostmoments.com).

Les Robinson Leads The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame Class for 2012

July 25, 2012

 

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Les Robinson, who guided the basketball team to its first-ever 20-win season and then led the Department of Athletics as its director, leads a list of five who make up The Citadel Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2012.

Also entering the Hall are baseball pitchers Brian Wiley and Jim Scott, football running back Travis Jervey and middle distance runner Mike Cason.

The five will be enshrined during a banquet on Friday, Sept. 28, at the Holliday Alumni Center on campus. 

This year’s induction class increases the membership of the Hall of Fame to 166 individuals.  The Hall, which originated in 1977, is located in the lobby of McAlister Field House on campus.

Les Robinson (Honorary)

Les Robinson guided Citadel basketball teams from 1974-85 and led the Bulldogs to their first-ever 20-win season in 1979, earning recognition by the NCAA as the second-most improved team in America.  He also directed teams that won a record 23 consecutive games in McAlister Field House and was voted Southern Conference Coach of the Year.  Robinson served as Director of Athletics from 2000-08 and was recognized as the 2007 Southeast Region’s AstroTurf Athletics Director of the Year.  Facility improvements included the revitalization of Johnson Hagood Stadium and Willson Field, and under his tenure the Altman Athletic Center and Inouye Marksmanship Center opened.  He spent six years as a member of the prestigious NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee and was recognized by The Citadel Alumni Association in 2006 as a Lifetime Honorary Alumnus.  

Mike Cason ’90 (Track and Field)

A seven-time All-Southern Conference selection who earned eight letters, Mike Cason garnered The Brigadier Foundation President’s Award for the 1989-90 school year, the first track and field/cross country athlete to achieve the honor in modern times.  Holding the rank of Cadet Regimental Public Relations Officer and team captain in 1990, Cason was the 1989 and 1990 SoCon indoor 800m champion and the 1989 and 1990 SoCon outdoor 800m champion. He was a member of the squad that held the school mark in the outdoor distance medley relay, indoor 4x800m relay and outdoor 4x1500m relay.  Cason continues to hold the second-fastest indoor 800m time in school history and the third-fastest outdoor 800m time and remains a member of one of the three fastest indoor 4x800m relay teams in school history.  Cason was a member of the second-fastest outdoor 4x800m relay team and third-best indoor 4x800m relay teams in school history.

 

Travis Jervey ’95 (Football)

A local product from Wando High School, Travis Jervey waited his turn to play after backing up All-American Everette Sands for three seasons, but when his time came he had six 100-yard rushing games in 1994 and his 224 yards against VMI is the fourth-best effort in school history.  His 96-yard run on the opening play in the 1994 Oyster Bowl against VMI in Norfolk, Va., remains the longest running play in school history.  In 1994, he gained 1,171 yards, good for fifth in school history, and no one has rushed for more yards since.  Jervey averaged 7.7 yards per carry that season – tops in school history – and had 12 touchdowns.  He ranked third in the SoCon in rushing and sixth in scoring in 1994 and was named second team All-Southern Conference by both the coaches and media.  For his career, Jervey rushed for 1,490 yards.  He played professionally for nine years with the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons and is the first Citadel player ever to win a Super Bowl ring (1996).  He earned Pro Bowl honors in 1997.

 

Jim Scott ’69 (Baseball)

A hard-throwing left-hander who played for Coach Chal Port, Jim Scott appeared in 40 games from 1967-69, posted a 15-8 overall mark and recorded 14 complete games with five shutouts.  Scott allowed just 43 earned runs in 199.1 innings for a career ERA of 1.94.  He led the Southern Conference in ERA in 1967 with a 1.76 (12 earned runs in 61.0 innings) while earning all-conference accolades and continues to rank among the school’s top 10 in complete games (14), shutouts (5) and ERA (1.94).  After graduation, he joined the US Air Force where he eventually became a fighter pilot and the Commander of the 507th Tactical Air Control Center at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter who later flew missions in Operation Desert Storm.  Col. Scott was named Commander and Professor of Aerospace Studies for the AFROTC unit at The Citadel and Assistant Commandant.  He is the founder and current president of the Diamond Dogs Club, an association that raises funds for the baseball team.

 

Brian Wiley ’98 (Baseball)

The 1999 Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year, Brian Wiley led the Bulldogs to the 1999 regular-season title and tournament crowns and NCAA Regional appearances in 1998 and 1999.  Earning second team All-America honors from CoSIDA and third team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball, Wiley, a Gold Star student who graduated in 3½ years, finished with the school career record for games started (53), innings pitched (316.1) and strikeouts (431), which also established a SoCon record.  He led the nation in strikeouts per nine innings in 1998 with an average of 14.1, a mark that ranked tied for fifth in SoCon history and tied for first in school history.  His 159 strikeouts during the 1998 season ranked second in league history.  In addition to being named All-Southern Conference in 1999, Wiley was named the 1999 SoCon Preseason Player of the Year by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.

Blue Jays trade Wojo to Houston Astros

July 24, 2012

 Citadel alum and former 1st round draft pick Asher Wojciechowski has been included as part of a 10 player trade going from the Toronto Blue Jays organization to the Houston Astros early Friday. 

Wojciechowski, who graduated from Beaufort High and Pitched for The Citadel, is the top prospect of 7 players going to the Houston organization. The Astros are getting Major Leaguers RP Francisco Cordero and OF Ben Francisco along with Minor Leaguers RHP Joe Musgrove, LHP David Rollins and C Carlos Perez, and a player to be named later. Houston sent RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP J.A. Happ and RHP David Carpenter to the Blue Jays.

Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said in a conference call that Wojciechowski will be promoted to Double-A Corpus Christi, and he’s very high on what the former Bulldog might be able to do. “I had a chance to scout Wojo at The Citadel and really like his stuff.” he said.  “He’s got a plus fastball and also throws strikes. He’s repeating the Florida State League for the second year in a row. His numbers have gotten better. We’re going to go ahead and challenge him and send him straight to Corpus Christi. I have some experience with drafting players from The Citadel. They’re all high-character hard workers and I really like that aspect of it. I expect he’s going to fit in really well in our system. We need arms. Depending on how he finishes the year in AA, is a guy we would consider bringing to camp next year and exposing him to our major league staff. I can see him being in our rotation toward the end of next year”

The Beaufort alum reacted to the trade on Twitter on Friday afternoon saying “Really excited to continue this journey with the Houston Astros organization. Had a great time being a bluejay! Thanks for all the support.”

Wojciechowski was a 1st Round compensation pick for the Blue Jays in the 2010 MLB Draft, the 41st player taken overall. He made 18 starts this season for High-A Dunedin going 7-3 with a 3.57 ERA. But he had really turned things on lately going 6-2 with a 1.84 ERA in his last 10 starts. He also has 76 K’s in 93.1 IP. For his minor league career Wojo is 18-12 with a 4.05 ERA. 

He pitched 3 seasons at The Citadel going 20-7 with a 4.05 ERA.

Citadel plans independent probe

July 23, 2012

from the July 22 Post/Courier

Author(s):    by diane knich 

 Date: July 22, 2012

Citadel President John Rosa says the school never wavered from its plan to hire an independent investigator to review its handling of a complaint about child molester Louis “Skip” ReVille. The Citadel plans to investigate and to publicly release the report, he said.   Rosa’s statement contradicts a July 14 story in The Post and Courier that said the school had reversed an earlier pledge to seek a transparent, third-party review of its actions and policies in connection with ReVille. That report was based on an interview with Citadel attorney Dawes Cooke.

Cooke had told The Post and Courier that The Citadel had no plans in the works to go forward with an outside review, after an April probe by the State Law Enforcement Division concluded that there was no criminal wrongdoing on The Citadel’s part.   On Friday, Cooke said he needed to clarify his statement. Cooke said that while the investigation was not yet under way when he spoke to the reporter, it was planned.

Officials did not inform the newspaper until Friday about an ongoing plan to hire the investigator, six days after the original story was published.  “There was no intentional delay,” Rosa said. “We were trying to get the message right.” He also said the review always has been a priority. “I have, from Day One, said we will do an independent investigation. We have never said or even thought about not doing an independent review. That was just not in the cards.”

However, Rosa said The Citadel couldn’t launch an independent review until the second of two SLED investigations was complete.  That will happen soon, he said, and the military college’s Board of Visitors will begin discussing independent review firms and individual candidates at an Aug. 1 meeting.

 At issue in The Citadel case is the decision-making process that occurred in 2007 after a teen accused ReVille of watching porn and masturbating with young boys at The Citadel’s summer camp five years earlier.  The school closed the matter without notifying police following an internal investigation that yielded no action.   ReVille, a Citadel graduate and one of the camp’s counselors, went on to molest a number of children. He is now serving a 50-year prison term after he pleaded guilty last month to molesting 23 boys in the greater Charleston area.

 Rosa said he remains troubled by ReVille’s actions. “I think about it every night,” he said. “I can’t imagine the impact on the victims and their families.”   He said he finds the incidents especially disturbing when he spends time with his grandsons, who are 3 and 7 years old. “It just tears me up,” he said.

 Rosa said he wants the independent review to be completed as soon as possible, and it will answer “key critical questions,” such as:  

*what Rosa was told in 2007 about the teen’s accusations against ReVille.

 *what the Board of Visitors was told about those accusations.

 *why the school didn’t report the incident to law enforcement officials.

 *whether the school put its reputation over the safety of children.

 

 The first SLED investigation into whether the school failed to report child abuse was resolved in April, when SLED found no criminal wrongdoing on The Citadel’s part, Rosa said.

 SLED also is investigating issues concerning ReVille’s victims who attended The Citadel’s summer camp, he said. SLED has sequestered information for that investigation, without which a thorough, independent review couldn’t be conducted, Rosa said.   The second SLED investigation is wrapping up, and The Citadel’s independent review will get under way as soon as it’s complete. “I was frustrated when we couldn’t start in January,” Rosa said.   “We want it all to come out,” he said. “In my entire career, I have always had a reputation of calling it as I see it. It’s never been my nature to cover something up.”

 Rosa does have such a reputation.  

He is the man the Pentagon called upon in 2003 to clean up a sexual assault scandal as superintendent of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.   By the time Rosa took the reins at The Citadel in January 2006, he was an expert on sexual assault and harassment, taking on the issues as a professional and personal mission.

Less than a year after arriving at the military college, Rosa publicly released the results of a cadet survey that found that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 25 men reported being sexually assaulted since enrolling at The Citadel.   The release was a bold and transparent action for the traditionally insular military college, and uncommon among nonmilitary colleges and universities in the United States.

 

Reach Diane Knich at 937-5491 or on Twitter at @dianeknich.

 Copyright, 2012, The Post and Courier. All Rights Reserved.

Mike Sellers Named to The Sports Network Preseason All-America Team

July 12, 2012

CHARLESTON, SC –

Citadel junior center Mike Sellers has been selected to The Sports Network preseason All-America second team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sellers, a graduate of Fort Dorchester High School, is coming off a sophomore season which saw him named to the All-Southern Conference first team by the league’s head coaches and second team by the media while also earning team offensive MVP and honorable mention All-America honors.

The 6-0, 295-pound Sellers was the anchor of an offensive line that allowed the Bulldogs to rush for 286.6 yards per game, the third-highest mark in the nation. He started all 11 games and made 45 knockdown blocks.

Sellers came to The Citadel as a defensive lineman and made the transition to center during his freshman season in 2010. He moved into the starting lineup for the final two games of that season before starting all 11 a year ago

Asher Wojciechowski Could Be Movin’ On Up

July 12, 2012

 

Wojo may be headed to Double A ball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Charles Davis,  Rant.com

When the Toronto Blue Jays selected college right-hander Asher Wojciechowski 41st overall in 2010 out of The Citadel, they expected a meteoric rise through the system. They placed him aggressively at Advanced-A Dunedin for his first full season because of his polish and experience.

It didn’t go well.

Wojciechowski struggled to the tune of a 4.70 ERA, giving up 156 hits in just 130.1 innings. Walks were never a problem, but his strikeouts were also less than ideal, at just 96 in those 130.1 innings. That works out to 6.63 per 9 innings. The performance was uninspiring for a college pitcher with a mid-90s heater pitching in a league known to be friendly to pitchers.

This year, Wojciechowski was assigned to repeat Advanced-A ball. It seems he’s taken that as a challenge rather than a disappointment, and consequently, he could be on the verge of a call to AA New Hampshire. As we know, once a Blue Jays’ prospect reaches New Hampshire, the clock begins to tick on their call to the big club. That clock could start ticking in the very near future for Wocjiechowski.

So, what has Wojciechowski done this year that warrants a call-up?

Most importantly, he’s beginning to miss bats. He’s giving up fewer hits, fewer home runs, and striking out more batters. Those are some key ingredients for success at higher levels, and eventually, in the majors. He’s still allowing approximately as many hits as innings pitched (82 hits in 81.1 innings, heading into his start tonight, which we’ll discuss in a moment). Nevertheless, that is a marked improvement over last year. His home runs are down substantially, meaning that he’s been inducing weaker contact. Last year, Wojciechowski allowed 1.04 home runs per 9 innings. This year, that rate is down to just 0.33, having given up just 3 home runs on the year.

The stuff has never been a problem for Wojciechowski. He has an above average fastball that sits in the mid 90s and an above average slider that sits in the low 80s. He runs into trouble when he cannot locate his fastball, as it lacks substantial late movement so can be hit when left up in the zone. By all accounts, he is locating his fastball better this year, improving his changeup, and also mixing in a curveball from time to time. The above average fastball/slider combination placed him as a top-level prospect in the Jays organization. The below average performance thwarted that status.

In order to reclaim his place as a top-level prospect in the Blue Jays’ organization, he’ll need to prove himself at a higher level. What better time than now?

Tonight, Wojciechowski went 7 scoreless innings, giving up just 2 hits and 2 walks. In the process, he struck out 5 batters. Over his last 6 starts, he’s pitched 36.2 innings. Over those 36.2 innings, he’s surrendered 26 hits, 5 earned runs, 11 walks, and has struck out 29.

Last year, Wojciechowski began to struggle when the Jays asked him to make some unwanted mechanical adjustments. He has since returned to his old arm slot, and it has paid dividends. It seems that Asher is finally on track to reach the major leagues sooner rather than later.

I will put myself out on a limb and predict that a promotion will soon come to fruition, if not within the couple of days, then certainly after one more impressive outing. The time is now for the Blue Jays to call Asher Wojciechowski to New Hampshire.

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Charles Davis is a baseball writer for RantSports.com with a specific focus on the Toronto Blue Jays, their farm system, and prospects league-wide. Read his articles here and follow him on Twitter @CPDavis90.

Cameron Wells Makes Milwaukee Bucks 2012 Summer League Roster

July 11, 2012

Milwaukee, Wisc. – Over the weekend Milwaukee Bucks General Manager John Hammond announced the team’s 2012 NBA Summer League roster, which included former Citadel standout point guard Cameron Wells.

“This opportunity is a very exciting one,” said Wells. “It’s one of those things that you dream about and I am looking forward to the experience and seizing my opportunity.”

Wells, who played last season for Zwolle (Holland), will be on a roster that includes the Bucks last three first-round draft picks, Larry Sanders (2010), Tobias Harris (2011) and John Henson (2012).

“This is a great opportunity for Cameron and my staff and I are very excited for him,” said Citadel head coach Chuck Driesell.  “I am not surprised this came about, as Cameron is an excellent player and in the right situation can play at the highest level.  I believe the Bucks will be pleasantly surprised at Cameron’s skill level and toughness. On top of that, he is an exceptional person and would make a great addition to any roster.”

Milwaukee will appear in five games from July 16-22, squaring off against New Orleans (July 16), Washington (July 18), NBA D-League (July 19), Boston (July 21) and Chicago (July 22) in Las Vegas.

Last season, Wells appeared in all 36 games for Zwolle, leading the team in five major categories, including points per game (14.3), minutes played (36.3), field goal percentage (45.5%), assists (3.6) and steals (2.4).

Wells holds the distinction of ranking in the top five in nine career categories at The Citadel, including points (1-2,049), assists (1-485), field goals made (1-753), free throws made (2-454), steals (2-188), minutes played (2-4,463), rebounds (4-657), career point per game average (4-16.1) and career free throw percentage (5-80.4%). 

Over the course of his four-year career, Wells earned the starting nod in 126 of 127 contests, along the way eclipsing the 20-point plateau 40 times, including 114 double figure contests. In the process he became the first Bulldog, and 20th player among current Southern Conference institutions, to score 2,000 points in a career.

For more information Citadel basketball visit www.citadelsports.com.