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Athletic Notes Fall 2013

November 22, 2013
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Minter's First Win

Michael Rudisill (left) celebrates Campbell’s win over UVA-Wise on Sept. 7, the first game in the newly renovated Barker-Lane Stadium, with a Gatorade-drenched Mike Minter. The win was the first for Minter as a head coach. | Photo by Will Bratton

Men’s Sports

Courtesy of Campbell Athletics

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Barker-Lane Stadium complete after addition of new stands, press tower

Photo by Bennett Scarborough

Campbell University’s football team began the 2013 season in a completely overhauled Barker-Lane Stadium on Sept. 7. Gone were the temporary stands and press box that filled in for the program’s first five seasons. In its place stood 25 rows of 3,000-plus additional permanent seats and a two-story tower that houses a modernized press box and a presidential suite level.

The additions double the stadium’s permanent seating capacity to about 5,200, and the additions have added to the atmosphere of fall Saturdays in the Creek.

“From our student-athletes and coaches point of view, this is such a tremendous source of pride,” said Campbell Athletic Director Bob Roller. “Barker-Lane Stadium is now at or near the top of all Pioneer Football League stadiums and many FCS stadiums. We are so grateful to the generous support of Campbell alums and fans who have made this possible.”

Campbell opened the stadium on a definite high note — a 56-21 win over UVA-Wise, which also marked the first win for new head coach Mike Minter. The attendance for that opener was 5,538, which at the time was the second-biggest crowd in Campbell history (5,845 fans were on hand for Campbell’s first game in 50-plus years against Birmingham Southern in 2008). The following week, Campbell topped even that. A record crowd of 6,044 watched the Camels take on Charleston Southern.

“I played in the stadium last year, and the atmosphere is completely different being on our home sideline with the big stands behind you and the crowd right there,” said junior quarterback Dakota Wolf. “I'm really excited to see the games going forward and the big turnouts if we continue to win. I think we're going to pack this stadium out.”

While the additions have been part of the plan for the stadium since the stadium’s birth, construction on the new home side didn’t begin in earnest until June of this year. Construction crews from T.A. Loving worked 24 hours a day almost every day from June to the season opener to get the stadium fan-ready. In October, Campbell dedicated the new press tower to sponsor Carlie’s C’s Hometown Proud IGA, a local supermarket chain.

According to Jim Roberts, vice president for business at Campbell University, the new grandstands were built with the football fan in mind. Added legroom means fans won’t always have to stand up to let somebody walk by, Roberts said, and the bleachers are twice as steep as the visitor’s and student seating side, meaning views won’t be obstructed when a taller fan sits in the row ahead.

“It’s the way football was meant to be seen,” Roberts said. “We don’t have a track around our field like some stadiums, so we were able to build this in such a way that our fans — no matter how far up they’re sitting — are close to the field. I’ve been to other college football stadiums [in North Carolina], and the view from our seats beats them all.”

 

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W. Irvin Warren Day

Photo by Billy Liggett

Campbell University’s Homecoming tilt against Mercer on Oct. 26 was also W. Irvin Warren Day, honoring the successful entrepreneur and Campbell supporter. Warren, pictured above with his wife Michelle, was honored with a framed photo during the game and was marshal for the annual homecoming parade. The Dunn native is president and CEO of Warren Oil Co. Inc., and in 2012, he earned the Ernst & Young Carolinas Region Entrepreneur of the Year Award. The W. Irvin Warren Athletic Center at Barker-Lane Stadium bears his name.

Basketball

New coach likes the ‘underdog’ role for young team

With a new coach and a fairly new roster, Campbell University’s basketball team has to work to earn respect in the Big South Conference.

The Camels were picked to finish fifth out of six teams in the conference’s North Division for the 2013-2014 season. Campbell finished 13-20 overall and 7-9 in the league the previous year. High Point and Charleston Southern were picked to defend their division titles.

“When you’re picked high, it’s a compliment, but it kind of puts a target on your back,” said first-year Campbell head coach and former Richmond University assistant head coach Kevin McGeehan. “When you’re picked low, it’s kind of a motivation. But being new to the league, I really haven’t thought a lot about (pre-season) polls. I'm just excited about working with our group, making progress and getting a little better. I think we’ll surprise some people in the Big South this year.”

Cross Country

Frenette, Pitaro named to Big South All-Decade teams

Former Campbell cross country runners Ken Frenette and David Pitaro were named to the first-ever Big South All-Decade Teams to recognize the student-athletes and coaches who excelled in their respective sport since the conference's founding in 1983.

Frenette established himself as one of the University's top distance runners during his career from 1984-88. He was a two-time Big South Conference cross country individual champion and earned all-conference honors four times, and was a four-time cross country MVP who also earned track MVP honors once. Frenette coached cross country at Campbell for 23 years and was named the Big South Coach of the Year in 1991.

Pitaro ran for Campbell from 1990-93, and won the Big South Championship as a freshman and was named the 1990 Big South Runner of the Year. He was a three-time all-conference nod after sitting out his junior year due to injury.

Basketball Schedule

  • Nov. 8 Shenandoah 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 12 @ Appalachian State 8 p.m.
  • Nov. 16 @ North Carolina State TBA
  • Nov. 18 N.C. Central 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 20 @ Cincinnati TBA
  • Nov. 27 St. Andrews Noon
  • Nov. 30 @ Georgia Southern 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 3 @ UNC Wilmington 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 10 Chowan 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 13 @ Loyola (Ill.) 8:05 p.m.
  • Dec. 18 @ Robert Morris 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 21 Johnson & Wales 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 30 Georgia Southern 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 2 East Carolina 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 4 Delaware State 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 8 High Point* 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 11 @ Longwood* 5 p.m.
  • Jan. 14 @ Liberty* 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 18 VMI* 2 p.m.
  • Jan. 22 Radford* 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 25 @ Gardner-Webb* 7:30 p.m.
  • Jan. 29 Charleston Southern* 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 1 Coastal Carolina* 4 p.m.
  • Feb. 5 @ UNC Asheville* 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 8 @ Winthrop* 4 p.m.
  • Feb. 12 Presbyterian* 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 15 Longwood* 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 19 @ VMI* 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 22 Liberty* 4 p.m.
  • Feb. 26 @ Radford* 7 p.m.
  • March 1 @ High Point* 4 p.m.
  • March 5-9 Big South Tournament TBA

Wrestling Schedule

  • Nov. 17 Wolfpack Open @ Raleigh 9 a.m.
  • Nov. 24 Keystone Classic @ Philly 9 a.m.
  • Dec. 14 N. Iowa Open @ Iowa 9 a.m.
  • Jan. 1-2 S. Scuffle @ Tenn. 9 a.m.
  • Jan. 10 Appalachian State* 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 17 @ VMI* 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 23 @ Gardner-Webb* 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 24 @ N.C. State 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 1 Davidson* 8 p.m.
  • Feb. 8 Chattanooga* 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 13 The Citadel* 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 19 Southern Illinois* 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 22 Pittsburgh @ Chapel Hill 2 p.m.
  • Feb. 22 @ UNC Chapel Hill 4 p.m.
  • March 8 Southern Conference 9 a.m.
    Tourney @ Buies Creek

* - denotes Southern Conference match

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Brad Fritsch (above) and David Mathis were two of 125 regulars on the PGA Tour in 2013. Both men golfed for Campbell in the '90s. | Photos by Billy Liggett

Long roads to success for former Camel golfers on PGA Tour

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By Billy Liggett

The odds are long, and the process is grueling to become one of only 125 golfers in the world to earn a PGA Tour card each year. So what are the chances that two of the PGA’s 125 best hailed from a small Baptist university in Buies Creek, N.C., in 2013?

“You probably could have made a safe bet in Vegas that you’d see two Camels here at the same time,” said Brad Fritsch, a 2000 graduate of Campbell. “The odds are long, but hey, a lot of talent goes through that program.”

Fritsch and David Mathis (’97) were a few years apart and just missed out on being teammates at Campbell, but the two have traveled together, roomed together and even teed off in the same pairing together in the past year. And in the process, they’ve shared stories about their days in the Creek. “Lots of stuff goes on on those golf trips, and most of it is pretty funny,” Fritsch said in August at the Wyndham Classic in Greensboro, N.C. “Both his era and mine, it was a good time.”

Mathis was a two-time Big South All-Conference performer at Campbell who spent five seasons on the Canadian Tour before earning two wins on the Web.com Tour to secure a spot on the PGA Tour in 2009.

“I always felt like I was going to reach a greater level as a player when I was at Campbell,” Mathis said. “I always believed in myself and had people around me who believed in me as well. Hanging out with Fritsch [on the PGA Tour], I’ve learned he had a similar experience at Campbell.”

Both Fritsch and Mathis experienced a rough-at-times 2013, each having to scratch and claw to retain their Tour cards for 2014.

Fritsch, a rookie at 35 and the first golfer from Ottawa to become a PGA Tour regular, missed the cut in Greensboro and finished just outside of the Top 125 (129th) at season’s end. But he came on strong in late September in the final event of the Web.com Tour Championship in Florida — a playoff, of sorts, for players on the fringe — and finished second overall in the tournament and keep his spot on the Tour. His stunning final round (a 4-under 66) came after missing the cut in the first three of four Web.com tournaments.

Mathis, who at 39 has played on the PGA Tour for four of the past five years, didn’t have quite the same comeback ending as Fritsch in 2013. Despite making the cut and shooting just 1-over at Wyndham, he finished the year ranked 165th in the FedEx Cup rankings and 173rd on the PGA Tour money list. Like Fritsch, he needed to finish strong in the four-event Web.com Tour to retain his card, but he missed two of the four cuts and finished 30th and 52nd respectively in the other two events.

It’s a spot Mathis has been in before, and he’s confident in his ability to climb his way back into the “big leagues” … a confidence both golfers say they developed at Campbell.

“From a golfing standpoint, as a school where you can learn and really better yourself, [Campbell] is hard to beat,” Mathis said. “Getting here was hard work, and I learned that by constantly believing in myself, I was going to get better. And by God’s grace, I finally made it here … and now it’s a matter of staying.”

Chris Hemeyer contributed to this article

Women’s Sports

Courtesy of Campbell Athletics

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Game, Set, Match

Campbell's volleyball squad celebrates the winning point against Indiana State during the Holly Springs Invitational at Gore Arena in September. The Lady Camels finished the 2013 season with 14 wins under new head coach Greg Goral, doubling 2012's total of seven. | Photo by Bill Parish

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Basketball

Watkins earns 500th win as Lady Camels head coach

Campbell head coach Wanda Watkins notched her 500th career victory on Nov. 16, with a 73-60 win over Western Carolina inside Gore Arena.

She joins a group of 27 active coaches in Division I with at least 500 wins. Watkins, who was the Camels’ first female scholarship student-athlete, is one of six coaches that has completed 32 seasons at the same institution.

"This is an amazing moment for the history of the Lady Camels' program," Watkins said. "I am honored to have been given the opportunity to have an impact on all the student-athletes and coaches that have worn the Orange and Black. Campbell is a place that I hold dear to my heart and have been grateful for the opportunity that I was given 33 years ago to lead this program."

Following the game, Director of Athletics Bob Roller congratulated coach Watkins and unveiled a banner commemorating the milestone. Before becoming coach, Watkins played for Campbell (1975-79) and served as the team's captain as a senior and earned MVP honors in 1977-78.

Editor's Note: Campbell Magazine will feature
Watkins in its upcoming Spring 2014 edition

Golf

Team wins its sixth consecutive fall classic tournament

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With all five golfers among the top 11 individuals, Campbell won its Fighting Camel Fall Classic for a sixth-straight time on Oct. 29 at Keith Hills Country Club.

Kaylin Yost shared individual medalist honors, and Campbell set a tournament 54-hole record by finishing at 23-over-par to claim a 10-stroke victory over runner-up Old Dominion in the 11-school field.

A senior from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Yost defended her 2012 FCFC crown and won her third collegiate individual title in the process. She became the fourth Campbell player to win her school's invitational, joining Mara Larrauri (1997, 1998), Laura Torrisi (2000, 2001) and Maite Ortiz de Pinedo (2007, 2008). Campbell won its home tournament for the 15th time in 19 years and for the 13th time in the last 14 occasions the event has been held.

Volleyball

Sophomore sets single-season team record for digs

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Campbell sophomore Mary Crema tallied 17 digs in the Lady Camels’ 3-0 win over South Carolina State on Oct. 29 to break the program’s single-season digs record with seven regular-season games remaining.

The match put Crema’s season total for digs — a “dig” is tallied when a player stops and successfully passes a hard-driven kill attempt from the other team — at 545, passing Melissa Harvey on Campbell’s all-time list. Harvey set the mark of 539 in 2006. The Loveland, Ohio native finished the season with 682 digs, the fourth-highest by a Big South player in league history.

Basketball Schedule

  • Nov. 9 Erskine 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 13 @Wake Forest 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 16 Western Carolina 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 19 UNC Wilmington 11:45 a.m.
  • Nov. 23 @ Mt. St. Mary’s Noon
  • Dec. 2 Radford* 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 11 UNC Asheville* 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 16 @ N.C. Central 6 p.m.
  • Dec. 18 Virginia-Wise 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 20 @ Elon 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 28 @ Liberty* 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 30 @ Longwood* 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 4 High Point* 1 p.m.
  • Jan. 6 @ N.C. A&T 6 p.m.
  • Jan. 9 Charleston So.* 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 11 Coastal Carolina* 1 p.m.
  • Jan. 16 @Gardner-Webb* 11 a.m.
  • Jan. 18 @ Presbyterian* 5 p.m.
  • Jan. 23 Winthrop* 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 25 @ Radford* 5 p.m.
  • Jan. 30 Longwood* 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 1 Liberty* 1 p.m.
  • Feb. 6 @ High Point* 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 13 @ Coastal Carolina* 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 15 @ Charleston So.* 2 p.m.
  • Feb. 20 Presbyterian* 7 p.m.
  • Feb. 22 Gardner-Webb* 1 p.m.
  • Feb. 27 @ UNC Asheville* 7 p.m.
  • March 1 @ Winthrop* 1 p.m.
  • March 4-9 Big South Tournament

Lacrosse Schedule

  • Feb. 1 @ Pfeiffer (exh.) 1 p.m.
  • Feb. 14 @ Navy 4 p.m.
  • Feb. 16 @ American 1 p.m.
  • March 1 @ Kennesaw St. 1 p.m.
  • March 3 St Francis (Pa.) 7 p.m.
  • March 7 Detroit Mercy 7 p.m.
  • March 13 @ Longwood* 1 p.m.
  • March 15 Elon 2 p.m.
  • March 21 @ George Mason 7 p.m.
  • March 23 @ St. Joseph’s 1 p.m.
  • April 4 Liberty* 7 p.m.
  • April 7 Davidson* 7 p.m.
  • April 11 Winthrop* 3 p.m.
  • April 13 @ Longwood* 1 p.m.
  • April 16 St. Mary’s (Calif.) 7 p.m.
  • April 19 @ Presbyterian* 1 p.m.
  • April 21 @ High Point* 6 p.m.
  • April 27 @ Coastal Carolina* 1 p.m.
  • May 2 Big South Tournament

* - denotes Southern Conference match
















 

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