Athletic Notes Summer 2012
September 10, 2012
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2012 Football Schedule
|Aug. 30||SHORTER||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 8||UVA-WISE||6 p.m.|
@ Old Dominion
|Oct. 13||@ San Diego*||5 p.m.|
|Oct. 20||DAVIDSON*||6 p.m.|
@ Morehead State*
|Nov. 3||VALPARAISO*||1 p.m.|
|Nov. 17||MARIST*||1 p.m.|
Home Games in BOLD
* Pioneer Football League opponent
Visit GoCamels.com for en extended schedule and other fighting camel schedules
Four Campbell football games, including opener, to be played at night
Barker-Lane Stadium is now ready for primetime after the installation of new lighting, a process that began in June and was completed in late July.
The four 110-foot poles, two on each side of the stadium, feature 42 each and 168 total fixtures, providing a 100-foot candle on all portions of the playing field. The permanent lights will allow Campbell’s athletic teams more options for practice times, as well as greater flexibility for broadcasts and other sporting events.
The football team will be the first to take full advantage of the illumination. The Camels will begin their 2012 football schedule with the program’s first home night game Aug. 30 against Shorter University.
The 11-game schedule will feature a total of four night games, including Sept. 8 against UVA-Wise, Sept. 29 against Drake (Family Weekend) and Oct. 20 against Davidson (Homecoming). The final two home games of the year — Nov. 3 against Valparaiso and Nov. 17 against Marist — will be 1 p.m. kickoffs.
"We are very appreciative to the many Campbell alumni and friends who have supported this effort to bring night football to campus," said Director of Athletics Bob Roller. "This opens so many doors for selected Thursday night games, and later starts on Saturday will enhance weekends such as Homecoming and Family Weekend."
The night games should add to the building excitement toward the football program, which enjoyed its first winning season since returning to the gridiron after a decades-long hiatus in 2008. The Camels were 6-5 overall in 2011 with a 5-3 record in Pioneer Football League play.
"Night football will be an exciting addition to Campbell University, to Buies Creek, and the greater area," said head coach Dale Steele. "Being able to play at night will allow our fans and our student body an option that will make for an exciting atmosphere week-in and week-out. It’s another first for this program, and I think it’s going to be a great experience for our football players and our fans."
Passed over on NBA Draft Day despite the predictions from some he’d go in the second round, Campbell University men’s basketball standout Eric Griffin got his foot in the door by signing with the Los Angeles Lakers’ summer league team, which concluded a five-game mini-season in mid-July.
A native of Orlando, Fla., Griffin was coming off a big senior year at Campbell, where he was named a first-team All-Big South Conference and NABC District 3 performer. He averaged 16.8 points and 8.6 rebounds during his senior year for the Camels with a .610 field goal percentage. He ranked sixth in the nation in shooting and set a single-season school-record with 73 blocks. His .559 career field goal percentage is also a new school record.
Signed just a day before the start of the season in Las Vegas, Griffin saw limited action in the team’s five games, appearing in two and playing just seven minutes total. Still, his mere presence in the league goes a long way in legitimizing Campbell’s basketball program, according to head coach Robbie Laing.
"We’ve come a long way in improving our talent level, and I think Eric is the first of a line of guys that will play at a higher level, and that includes some guys in our program right now,” Laing said. “It just shows that you don’t have to sign with a BCS school or one of the big guys on Tobacco Road to make it to the next level."
Campbell’s all-time single-season hits leader Michael Felton was named a Second Team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America following the 2012 season.
Felton, a junior second baseman, helped the Camels to a 23-3 start and 18-game winning streak, both marks the best in program history. The Tempe, Ariz., native was the nation’s leader in hits (103) prior to the NCAA Tournament, and ranked fourth in batting average with a .424 clip.
Felton is Campbell's first Division I baseball All-American.
“I was so thrilled to hear that Mike is an All-American,” said Campbell head coach Greg Goff. “What a great accomplishment for not only a great player, but a great man. He has set the standard high.”
Felton led the Big South in batting average (.424) and hits, breaking the conference record. He also ranked second in on-base percentage (.474) and total bases (124) in the league and tied for fourth in runs (52).
Vaita Guillaume of Campbell University was named an honorable mention PING All-American by the Golf Coaches Association of America after he became the first Campbell player to advance to the NCAA men’s golf championship in 35 years.
The senior from Tahiti was one of two Big South Conference performers to gain All-America status and is the first Campbell men’s golfer to earn All-America honors on the Division I level.
"This is the candle on top of the cake," said Campbell head coach John Crooks. "Vaita has had a great career and certainly this past year has been special with five wins, leading the country in par-4 scoring, being named player of the year in the conference and at the University.”
Guillaume finished in a 3-way tie for top individual honors May 19 at the NCAA Greensboro Regional at 3-under par 213. He won a playoff on the first hole with Matt Schovee of Southern Methodist to earn the NCAA Championship individual berth.
Guillaume was the first Campbell player to advance to the NCAA men’s golf championship since the program moved to NCAA Division I status in 1977-78. He is the lone Camel player to play in three NCAA regionals (2009 team berth, individual bids in 2011 and 2012), and one of only five to make a regional appearance.
He finished in a tie for 77th place (75-77-72—224) at the NCAA Championship medal play event held at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
Campbell University athletics recognized both the athletic and academic achievements of its student-athletes at the inaugural CAMMYS, held in April at the John W. Pope Jr. Convocation Center.
The event was led by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which consists of male and female student-athletes from Campbell’s 20 NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics programs.
The evening showcased the best in Camel athletics over the last calendar year and was hosted by the “Voice of the Fighting Camels,” Chris Hemeyer.
Women’s golf and women’s soccer were the big winners, with the teams combining for four awards.
Sophomore golfer Kaylin Yost was named Female Athlete of the Year, while her head coach, John Crooks, was named Coach of the Year. Women’s soccer, meanwhile, was named Team of the Year, and freshman Ashley Clark garnered Female Rookie of the Year honors.
Senior Vaita Guillaume of men’s golf was tabbed Male Athlete of the Year, while Trey Freeman of men’s basketball took home the Male Rookie of the Year award.
The feature awards of the night were Mr. and Miss Campbell, who were given to Jordan Cramer from football and Libby Sanderson from swimming (pictured above with Campbell President Jerry Wallace). The honor was presented to male and female senior athletes who had a overall GPA of 3.0 or higher and displayed leadership roles both on and off the playing surface. The winners were both advocates and role models for their teams.
Eric Griffin’s now famous dunk against North Carolina A&T was named Play of the Year, while freshman swimmer Chelsea Lawson was handed the Greatest Fan award.
In its first year back in the Big South Conference, Campbell University finished fourth in the Sasser Cup, which is awarded to the member institution with the most successful year athletically based on an average points system.
Named for former commissioner “Buddy” Sasser, cup points are awarded based on both regular-season and tournament finishes in each of the league’s 18 championships.
During the 2011-12 campaign, Campbell had an average finish of fourth in all its Big South sports. The women’s golf team won the league championship, while the baseball team finished as regular season runner-up.
The men’s basketball, men’s soccer and women’s soccer teams placed third in their respective standings. The women’s soccer squad advanced to the championship game of the Big South tournament.
With an average of 9.22 points, Campbell finished behind Liberty (12.59), Coastal Carolina (11.28) and High Point (9.29) in the Sasser Cup. Campbell also placed fourth in both the men’s and women’s all-sports standings.
Liberty won the Sasser Cup for a league-record fifth-straight year and claimed the title for the 10th time in the last 15 seasons. Campbell capped its previous tenure as a Big South member (1984-94) with three-straight Sasser Cup titles (1992-94).
Campbell dedicated its newest athletic facility in April, officially opening the Irwin Belk Track and Clarence E. Roberts Field.
Named for the Charlotte philanthropist and head of Belk stores and for the late dentist and longtime Campbell University donor respectively, the facility includes a 400-meter track with eight 42-inch lanes on a polyurethane surface, a water jump for steeplechase, a high jump “D” area, pole vault runway, two shot put rings and one discus/hammer ring. There is also a long jump runway adjacent to the home stretch with a sand pit on each end to allow for wind direction changes.
“We have a first-class facility,” said head track and field coach Norbert Elliott. “I’ve been to many schools, and I’m not sure there’s another track that’s better than ours.”
Elliott thanked the Belk and Roberts families during the April dedication ceremony, calling the track “another way to showcase our beautiful campus.”
“We look forward to having great days out here going forward,” Elliott said. “This is not only the varsity track team’s facility, it’s Campbell’s, Buies Creek’s and the surrounding community’s track.”
Stadium named for softball star who lost battle with cancer
Seven months after she lost her battle with cancer, former Lady Camel softball star Amanda Littlejohn was honored by Campbell at a ceremony dedicating the University’s softball stadium in her name.
Among the guests in attendance for the ceremony, held April 20 between doubleheader games against Coastal Carolina, were Amanda’s parents Jim and Kim Littlejohn, her former coach Andy Kim and former teammates Ashton Hardison and Brittany Lee Stanley.
Current head softball coach Drew Peterson presented a plaque to the Littlejohn family before the name of the facility was unveiled to the 300 fans, supporters and current and former players in attendance.
"Our softball family is greatly saddened with the loss of our dear friend," Peterson said. "We deeply miss her, but we will cling to the daily example she set for us to battle, never give up and never make excuses. She was a true warrior and wonderful friend."
Peterson said it was both meaningful and fitting that the renovated stadium bear Amanda’s name.
"She will always be near and dear to our hearts," he said.
Littlejohn battled various forms of cancer over the last four years of her life and passed away on Sept. 1, 2011. She was the starting catcher for the Camels during the 2007 and 2008 season despite being diagnosed with melanoma in 2007.
She finished the 2008 season with a .367 batting average, 15 home runs and a school-record 72 RBI. She helped lead Campbell to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 13 years.
Her three-run homer helped catapult the Camels to a 7-6 victory at North Carolina in the Regional.
The stadium renovation includes new grandstand seating and an enclosed press box. It was made possible by donations from Campbell alumni, supporters and friends of the softball program.
For the 15th time in 20 years, Campbell University participated in NCAA women’s golf postseason play in 2012.
Ranked No. 49 in the final Golfstat NCAA head-to-head rating, Campbell earned the Big South Conference’s automatic berth by winning the league championship in April at The Patriot Golf Club in Ninety Six, S.C.
Under the direction of 21st-year head coach John Crooks, Campbell won its 11th league title and made its 15th regional appearance since 1993 when the Camels captured the Big South title by six strokes over Coastal Carolina. At the NCAA East Regional in State College, Pa., Campbell produced its second-best ever team showing in postseason play and senior Michelle Koh narrowly missed a chance to advance to the national finals.
In addition to the Big South crown, Campbell also won the Xavier/LPGA International Invitational and Fighting Camel Classic during the 2011-12 campaign. At the Big South Championship, Campbell led from start to finish and claimed a six-stroke edge over runner-up Coastal Carolina.
Big South player of the year Kaylin Yost tied for second on the individual leaderboard, followed by senior Michelle Koh, who was fourth. Conference freshman of the year Lisbeth Brooks finished seventh, while junior Teresa Urquizu was eighth. Freshman Brooke Bellomy was 13th.
Each of Campbell’s five starters ranked among the top-nine Big South players in stroke average. Yost (75.1) topped the league, while Koh (75.24) was second, Brooks fourth (76.03), Bellomy eighth (76.89) and Urquizu ninth (76.91).
As a team, Campbell tied for 24th nationally with 355 birdies in 12 events.
Campbell’s women’s lacrosse coaching staff hosted the school’s first summer camp in the sport in late July. Head coach Phil Schuman, assistant coach Lindsey McDonald and visiting coaches taught high school players fundamentals of the game as well as fitness and nutrition of athletes.
"We spent three days coaching and teaching the sport that we love to a group of athletes that love the sport," Schuman said. "We look forward to Campbell University Lacrosse Camps becoming a summer tradition."
The camp introduced high school players to the lacrosse program and facilities at Campbell the summer before the school’s inaugural women’s lacrosse season in the spring of 2013.
"It was great to finally have lacrosse on the campus of Campbell University," said Schuman. "This has been a long time in the making and the feedback we have received has been incredible. The lacrosse community continues to be impressed with our facilities, staff and community."
As a cheerleader at Campbell University, Lauren Dixon routinely performed in front of crowds between 3,000 and 5,000 at home basketball and football games.
This fall, her potential audience will be exponentially greater when she steps on the field at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte in front of 73,778 NFL fans.
A 2012 graduate, Dixon was one of 24 individuals who made the final cut as Carolina Panthers TopCats cheerleaders for the 2012 season.
A health communications major from Summerfield, Dixon was one of 11 rookies who earned a spot on the squad along with 13 returning members. She earned her place during a monthlong tryout process from a pool of nearly 150 aspiring TopCats.
"Lauren is one of the most well-rounded cheerleaders I have ever coached," said Campbell head cheerleading coach Lisa Stewart. "She is self-motivated and extremely skilled, not only in cheerleading but also in dance. Her exuberant personality shows not only on the sidelines but in her day-to-day life. While at Campbell, Lauren was always a crowd favorite and did a wonderful job getting the fans involved in the game."