January 3, 2013
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LACROSSE IN A NUTSHELL
A game with Native Americans origins, lacrosse is played with a long-handled-stick and a rubber ball. Teams of players — 10 for boys, 12 for girls — attempt to throw a ball into the opposing team's net. U.S. Lacrosse describes it as a "combination of basketball, soccer and hockey," rewarding "coordination and agility, not brawn." It can be played outdoors and indoors, with the size of the field and team varying by league type.
The sport has experienced steady growth in North Carolina in recent years, with high schools in Charlotte, the Triad and the Triangle adding it to their program. Charlotte was also awarded a Major League Lacrosse expansion team, the Charlotte Hounds, in 2012. Duke and UNC have fielded lacrosse programs (men’s and women’s) for years, and the Big South Conference will play its inaugural women’s lacrosse season in 2013 with Campbell, Coastal Carolina, High Point, Liberty, Longwood, Presbyterian College, Winthrop and Davidson.
Head coach Phil Schuman says Campbell University has women’s lacrosse not because of Title IX regulations, but because lacrosse brings a lot to the table.
“Lacrosse student-athletes have the second-highest graduation rate of the 19 NCAA-sponsored women’s sports,” he said. “More than 90 percent of lacrosse women graduate in four years. It brings a great academic profile to your school.”
It’s also one of the fastest-growing team sports in the country. The inaugural 14-member squad has girls from eight different states.
Campbell’s lacrosse team will play games at Barker-Lane Stadium beginning next spring.
The 2013 Campbell women’s lacrosse team will include nine freshmen, four juniors and a senior. They are:
• Taelar Errington (Co-captain; Jr.; Valley Lee, Md.) "My goals for the season are to be a leader on and off the field, be the player other teams fear and improve all stats from last season (at UMBC). I think my greatest contributions to the team will be leadership, experience and a voice."
• Cloey Henchcliffe (Co-captain; Jr.; Hyattsville, Md.) "Having played at the junior college level, I hope to lead by example."
• Brittany Kincer (Co-captain; Jr.; Glen Burnie, Md.) "My goals for the season are to learn the game better and to be able to adjust my game play."
• Kaki Armiger (Fr.; Hockessin, Del.)
• Loren Day (Fr.; Bushwood, Md.)
• Sierra Fox (Fr., Raleigh)
• Lauren Frick (Jr.; Columbia, N.J.)
• Erica Hitch (Fr.; Eden, Md.)
• Lauren Kuklenski (Sr.; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
• Hannah Lamb (Fr.; Apex)
• April Reinhart (Fr.; Vienna, Va.)
• Rebecca Sheinfeld (Fr.; Weston, Fla.)
• Jordan Spain (Fr.; Winston-Salem)
• Jillian Summers (Fr.; Hamburg, N.Y.)
Feb. 2: Pfeiffer 1 p.m.
Feb. 23: Kennesaw State TBA
Feb. 26: Longwood* 7 p.m.
March 5: St. Joseph’s 7 p.m.
March 8: at Stetson 4 p.m.
March 14: at St. Francis 7 p.m.
March 16: at Detroit Mercy Noon
March 20: at Winthrop* 2 p.m.
March 23: at Howard 3 p.m.
April 1: at Liberty* 3 p.m.
April 5: at Davidson* 6 p.m.
April 12: Presbyterian* 6 p.m.
April 15: High Point* 3 p.m.
April 20: Coastal Carolina* 1 p.m.
April 26-28: Big South Tournament
May 10: NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship
* denotes Big South Conference match
Visit GoCamels.com for en extended schedule and other fighting camel schedules
The head coach of Campbell's new women's lacrosse program has built a smart, experienced team in less than a year
By Billy Liggett | Photos by Will Bratton
Phil Schuman’s first 10 months as head coach of Campbell University’s new women’s lacrosse program were a blur.
Six days in, before he had more than a desk in his office, he was getting visits from prospective student-athletes. A few weeks in, he was driving countless miles up and down the East Coast, watching high school games as far north as Boston, all the way down to Orlando, Fla.
When he wasn’t living out of his car, Schuman was trying to build a roster, recruiting not only the 2013 squad but the 2014 and 2015 teams as well. Before he knew it, fall practice began in August. Then in late September, his squad of 14 took the field for its first series of exhibition games.
In the moments before that first whistle, Schuman’s first 10 months flashed before his eyes.
“I thought, ‘My gosh, I can’t believe we’re doing this,’” the 27-year-old former lacrosse star at Washington College said. “I felt like those 10 months weren’t enough.”
The pre-game nerves quickly turned into excitement and adrenaline as his band of freshmen and junior college transfers performed well against other schools in the state, some of them also starting their programs from scratch this year.
“At times it looked like we’d had a program for three years, and at other times, we looked like a new team,” Schuman said. “The games didn’t mean anything official because we weren’t posting scores, but they meant a whole heck of a lot to us. Before that first game against Davidson, I told the girls it’ll be a moment they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
“They’re building a program, and they should be proud of that.”
From Colorado to Delaware
Schuman hails from Maryland, a state that loves its lacrosse much like North Carolina loves its college basketball.
“You pretty much come out of the womb carrying a lacrosse stick,” joked Schuman, a goalie during his college days for the 28-time Div. III champion Washington College Shoremen. “I was 6 the first time I played organized lacrosse, and from Day 1, I knew it was a fit for me. It’s a big part of who I am.”
After graduation, he became a volunteer assistant coach for the school’s women’s team, working with their goalies. He decided then that coaching would be his career.
Near the time he obtained his master’s degree, he got a call from Methodist University in North Carolina, a 7-year-old program struggling to recruit and win regularly. In a year there, Schuman revamped the roster and scored a big recruiting class, getting the attention of Coach Lyndsey Boswell at High Point University, which was starting its program in 2011.
In High Point’s first year, the team went 15-4. Schuman felt like he found a home.
Then Campbell called.
“To be honest, I didn’t know much about Campbell or Buies Creek,” Schuman said. “But about halfway through my interview, I realized this was where I wanted to be. The people are what sold it. There was an immediate level of comfort with each administrator I spoke with, as well as a shared vision. It made my decision easy.”
Under Boswell (whom he’ll face regularly in the new Big South lacrosse conference), Schuman learned the blueprint for starting a successful program.
“Lyndsey was 28 when she took the job there,” he said. “I saw that to build a program at the Div. I level, you need to do what we’ve had to do that last 10 months. It takes a lot of energy. It takes someone who doesn’t have a big family and who doesn’t mind being on the road 10 days at a time.”
Schuman started at Campbell on Dec. 1, 2011. He said he hit the ground sprinting.
The traveling. The hours and hours spent watching high school games and films. Schuman was filling out three recruiting classes during the spring 2012 semester, getting letters of intent from high school seniors, juniors and sophomores.
“The recruiting scene in Div. I women’s lacrosse is a polarizing topic,” he said. “About five years ago, three or four of the top teams in the country started committing recruits to their schools as sophomores in high school. In order to be competitive, everyone is following suit. It’s not something we are particularly pleased with, but that is the nature of our sport right now.”
Schuman had his 2013-14 freshman class of recruits filled before he finished this season’s squad. Despite the time constraints, he said he wanted to not just fill out a roster, but mold a competitive one.
And he thinks he’s done just that with the help of assistant coach Linsdey McDonald, a former McDaniel College star hired in February. Five of their student-athletes (including his three captains) are from Maryland, and others are from Delaware, Colorado, New York, Florida, Virginia, New Jersey and, of course, North Carolina. Of the 14, 10 are freshmen.
The talent’s there, even if the depth isn’t.
“Sometimes I look back and think, ‘How did we get this thing together?” Schuman said. “But we did. Recruits have been impressed with our facilities here, our academic support and our vision for the program and university.”
Taelar Errington is one of those three Maryland captains and junior college transfers. The junior from Baltimore County said she fell in love with Buies Creek during her recruiting visit, and is excited to be part of history.
“When I graduate, I’ll be able to look back and say I was a part of the foundation of this program,” said Errington. “The traditions and the winning started with us. I love the culture of lacrosse, and I’m happy we get to introduce it here.”
She said she got chills when she stepped onto the field for the first time as a Lady Camel for those fall exhibitions. The excitement was contagious, according to Schuman.
“Everyone from the kids to the training staff to the administrators were excited to be there,” he said. “And the games we ‘won’ against other new programs, we did well because our [on-the-field] leadership was better. And we’re proud of that.”
Another Maryland junior college transfer and team captain, goalie Brittany Kincer, said she was surprised at how well the team performed in their six exhibition games over two Saturdays.
“Considering the small numbers we have, I’m very pleased at how it turned out,” she said. “With the team we have right now, I feel very confident heading into the spring. I think we’ll have high expectations for a strong season … even if it is our first one.”
There’s good reason for optimism. Campbell will be a new program, but so will Coastal Carolina and Winthrop as the Big South Conference becomes one of 13 conferences that will have an automatic bid for the NCAA championship tournament. Other Big South schools in 2013 will include High Point, Liberty, Longwood, Presbyterian College and associate member Davidson.
In other words, Campbell won’t be the only team facing growing pains this spring. And Schuman is looking at 2013 as his chance to show he belongs as a Div. I lacrosse coach.
“I feel like for the first time in my career, this is really an opportunity to prove to people that I have what it takes to be successful at this level,” he said. “It is a brand new program. I’m not cleaning up someone else’s mess. And in five years, if we’re good, that’s on me. If we are bad, that’s on me, too.”
Schuman said there hasn’t been a single decision made from Day 1 that hasn’t had the “big picture” in mind. He said he came to Campbell with a 25-step plan drawn up, and he hasn’t deviated from it once.
“We will make Campbell a Top 40 program nationally. Period,” he said. “We talk with our players about being good at everything they do. Sit in the first two rows in class, go to study hall, meet with your professors. Be a good ambassador for the program and be active in community service.
“We have lofty expectations for our program, on and off the field.”
Courtesy of Campbell Athletics
Thursday night lights: Campbell quarterback Braden Smith (right) looks for an open receiver during the Camel’s Aug. 30 season opener against Shorter University. The game marked the first night-time kick-off in Campbell football history, as lights were installed at Barker-Lane Stadium just days before the game. The announced crowd for the Thursday game was 5,130 … the third-largest crowd in the stadium’s history. Photo by Will Bratton
Five students in Campbell University’s PGA Golf Management University Program won the PGA Jones Cup by a commanding 17 strokes at the PGA Golf Club’s Wanamaker Course in November.
It marked the third time in six years that students in the Lundy-Fetterman School of Business program have won the PGA Jones Cup, which is presented by Golf Pride.Campbell also won the Jones Cup in 2007 and 2009. Only one other school has won three titles; Mississippi State University did so in 2002, 2003 and 2010.
The five students who represented Campbell were sophomore Robert Bose of Norfolk, Va.; senior Charles Gross of Fayetteville; senior Jared Morrow of Charlotte; senior Ben Pollard of Bloomington, Minn.; and senior Ryan Wolff of Shokan, N.Y.
The late Barry Howard, a former All-South defender who later served on the Campbell men’s soccer coaching staff, will be inducted posthumously into the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame in January.
Howard grew up in Buies Creek, saw his first soccer game when he watched the Campbell University men play and helped to start the first high school soccer team in Harnett County at Buies Creek High School. Upon graduation from high school, he enrolled at Campbell where he was a four-year letter winner.
He was instrumental in helping to bring youth soccer to numerous communities throughout eastern North Carolina and assisted in the formation of high school programs in many of the communities. He was also an assistant men's coach for seven seasons at Campbell and later served two years as the Camels' head coach (1989-1990).
Michael Kelly was named head track & field/cross country coach at Campbell University in August.
Kelly joined the Campbell athletics staff last January as assistant coach overseeing the distance program and has served as interim head coach since Norbert Elliott accepted a position at Purdue University last summer.
"Michael has done an excellent job as our interim head track coach, and we were very impressed with his enthusiasm and his plan for the entire Campbell track and field program," said Athletic Director Bob Roller.
"He has already made tremendous strides as the head of our cross country program for the past year, and we look forward to the entire program making itself known in the Big South Conference this year."
Redshirt junior Nick Rex and redshirt sophomore James Cookare ranked in the Top 35 wrestlers nationally in their respective weight classes by WrestlingReport.com in early November.
Rex was ranked No. 33 in the 157-pound spot nationally and 16th in the Atlantic region. Rex, from Lakeland, Fla., was also named Southern Conference preseason all-conference in his weight class.
Also a preseason all-conference selection, Cook was No. 32 nationally and 16th in the Atlantic region among 184-pound wrestlers. Cook, from Madera, Calif., placed second in the 174-pound division at the SoCon Championship last season.
Courtesy of Campbell Athletics
Campbell’s swimming team wrapped up fall competition at the UNC-Wilmington Seahawk Invitational in late November with two more wins from Kylie Warne, who has broken a few school records this year.
Kylie Warne won six individual titles in Wilmington, including wins in the 200-yard butterfly, 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 IM, 200 backstroke and the 100 butterfly.
A few weeks earlier, Warne led Campbell to its second straight team title at the Radford Highlander Invitational. The Camels completed the three-day meet with nearly double the total team points as second-place host Radford.
There, Warne broke Campbell records in the 1,650 freestyle and the 200 butterfly, winning both events.
The team will return to action Jan. 12, when it travels to the College of Charleston.
Campbell’s women’s golf team closed out a successful 2012 — one that included a Big South title in the spring — with a team title at the Palmetto Intercollegiate at Oak Point Golf Club in South Carolina in November.
Maria Jose Benavides, a junior from Lerma, Mexico, won her first individual collegiate title by producing the third-lowest 54-hole total in Campbell women's golf history, shooting a 3-under.
Benavides became the third Campbell player to win individual tournament honors this fall, joining Brooke Bellomy (Golfweek Program Challenge) and Kaylin Yost (Fighting Camel Fall Classic). The win was the 67th of head coach John Crooks' tenure in charge of the Campbell women's program. He stands fourth all-time (second among active coaches) in NCAA Division I women's golf tournament coaching victories.
The team has been ranked as high as 17th in the nation in 2012, and they’ll enter the spring ranked 26th. They’ll play Feb. 4-5 at the Miami Hurricane Invitational in Florida.
The women's soccer team was honored with the NSCAA Team Academic Award for the academic year. The award is given annually to collegiate soccer teams that post a minimum 3.0 GPA. The Camels earned a 3.28 average GPA least year.
"We're really proud of our ladies for achieving this award for yet another year," said head coach Todd Clark. "It indicates that not only does our program value on the field performance but also academic achievement."
Clark said it is a true “team award” because every player’s grades are factored into the equation.
Campbell finished the season with a 10-8-1 overall record, 5-6 in the Big South. Five Camels were named to the Big South All-Conference team: senior Taylor Brown and sophomore Ashley Clark were tabbed first team, and senior Kirsty Meyer was named to the second team. Goalkeeper Alexis Connors was named to the all-freshman team, and senior Cissy Nitz was honored to the all-academic team.