A few months ago, 68 college basketball teams from across the nation were selected for the NCAA Tournament to play for a national title. That’s about 340 Division I (D-I) student-athletes competing on national television for a month. None of those athletes are enrolled at Emory University, and I assume very few have made the trek to the third floor of the Woodruff Physical Education Center, where I sat across from Emory’s athletic director Tim Downes.
“There are maybe 450,000 student-athletes in the NCAA,” Downes says when I bring up the tourney. “And what draws the most attention—men’s basketball and football—is about 1,000 athletes.”
Downes is the face of the remaining 449,000. He’s never overseen a March Madness run, but he’s no stranger to athletic success—he was recently named the Under Armour Division III (D-III) Athletic Director of the Year after overseeing an outstanding 2013-14 season that saw the Eagles capture six conference championships and a pair of national titles. His resume reads like a Who’s Who of the U.S. News and World Report Top 20-ranked schools, beginning as a graduate assistant at Dartmouth before moving on to larger roles at Johns Hopkins, Cal Tech and finally Emory.
Fittingly enough, he comes off as more of a professor than a coach. His office—a small room not much bigger than a college dorm room—is comprised of a pair of perfectly aligned desks neatly lined with papers. The only indication of anything related to athletics is the shelves behind us, stocked full of trophies from men’s basketball to golf. There isn’t an empty spot on them. I am overcome with the urge to shuffle the pages of my notebook or knock over a chair to make the place seem less flawless.
Fit and well into his 40s, Downes’ athlete days are behind him, but he still possesses a quiet authority. He speaks softly and pleasantly and looks at me through half-rimmed glasses. Our conversation is often interrupted by his greeting his coworkers, punctuating each sentence with a “Good afternoon, Joyce” or “How’s it going, John?”
There’s another word he keeps bringing up — visibility. Visibility in the athletic offices. Visibility in the P.E. Center. Visibility around campus. With huge glass walls overlooking the bottom floor of the gym on each side, the offices may very well have been designed around the concept of visibility.
“People always come up the stairs and see me,” Downes says with a grin, gesturing at the windows. “They don’t have a choice.”
It’s a stark deviation from the Division I archetype of the “man behind the curtain” athletic director. Downes lists exercising at the students’ gym among his daily routines and makes a point to never schedule meetings in his office.
We delve so far into his life outside the office — his wife and three kids are popular topics — that it’s at least 10 minutes before we discuss the budding powerhouse that he oversees.
“This is such an easy sell,” he tells me. “It’s not hard for me to talk about what’s going on here and have people really believe that this is one of the best programs in the country.”
He’s not exaggerating. Operating out of the public eye in D-III, Emory has won an astounding 16 national championships in just 30 years. The women’s swimming and diving team is the crown jewel of the bunch, with four titles in the past four seasons and 13 consecutive top-four national finishes. In the Director’s Cup standings, which measure across-the-board athletic success for each NCAA division, Downes and the Eagles finished in second last season—all while operating under the academic restrictions that come with being the 20th-ranked university in the U.S. If this program were on a D-I level, it would most closely resemble a certain West Coast academic powerhouse.
“Stanford,” Downes says, nodding and finishing my thought for me. “We’d be Stanford.”
But even Stanford, the perennial victor in the D-I Director’s Cup, doesn’t face the same challenges as Emory. Stanford gives out athletic scholarships. Stanford’s athletic department generates enough revenue—regularly over $80 million—to finance itself.
Taken out of context and dropped into a D-I world where athletic and academic departments operate on different standards, Downes’ ideas sound archaic and idealistic. But he’s making them a reality at Emory. He attends regular Monday morning meetings on campus life and refers to his fellow administrators as superiors — President James Wagner is “Dr. Wagner”; Dean of Campus Life Ajay Nair is “Dean Nair.”
“I think that higher education and the NCAA need places like Emory,” he says. “The athletic piece can be a great complement and enhancer of the academic part of it.”
As for the 68 teams in the NCAA tourney? “That’s entertainment,” he says with a smile. “This is education.”
- By Ryan Smith
Seniors graduated from Emory College and Goizueta Business School three weeks ago, but for 10, their time on the diamond wasn’t quite up. The Eagles worked their way out of the Losers Bracket in the South Region Tournament and then out of the Losers Bracket in the Division III College World Series (CWS) to the National Championship, falling to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Fighting out of the Losers Bracket after a first round loss to Baldwin Wallace University (Ohio) meant that the Eagles would have to win another four games, including a double-header without any rest days, to reach the Championship. Whitewater, on the other hand, only had to win two games to be granted two days of rest before the Championship. Because the tournament is double-elimination, Emory needed to outscore Whitewater in two games to capture the national title. Nonetheless, the Eagles endured, defeating Linfield College (Ore.), SUNY Cortland (N.Y.) and the University of Southern Maine. “We were in a mentality: we can’t go home,” senior outfielder Daniel Iturrey said. The players were just continuing to play the game they love. “It felt surprisingly normal,” senior catcher Jared Welch said. “There wasn’t any pressure on any of us the whole week.” Head coach Mike Twardoski reinforced this mentality to his players throughout the season. “After the loss, we just had to simplify the game,” he said. “We played one game at a time.” The team continued to have fun together and stay relaxed on the field. The lucky “Senior Bush,” a potted plant originally placed in the dugout by sophomore David Coble, accompanied the team in Appleton, Wis. for the CWS. Additionally, at the request of junior outfielder Brett Lake, junior center fielder Wes Peacock retrieved a sombrero on the side of the road near Emory’s campus. During regionals and at the CWS, the team placed the sombrero on the bush, and senior catcher Josh Bokor later wore it himself. At the World Series, announcers interviewed Bokor and thought the oversized hat was hilarious. “We’re an energy-based team, so anything that keeps us loose and having fun is good,” Twardoski said. “It’s one of the things I love about the game. [The sombrero] got us some publicity too, which always helps to promote Emory baseball.” In the Championship game, which was played in Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ Fox Cities Stadium, senior Warhawks pitcher and Tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) Scott Plaza shut out the Eagles for nine innings. “He was very consistent and hit spots the whole game,” Peacock said. “Sometimes we hit the ball where they were and we got a couple tough breaks on calls.” The Eagles’ fatigue from their double header the day before also played a part in their weaker-than-usual bats in the game. “We didn’t come out as forceful as we had earlier in the tournament,” Welch said. “It was a product of shear exhaustion.” The final score of the game was 7-0, Whitewater. Three Eagles were named to the All-Tournament team. Freshman third baseman Phillip Maldari went 11-24, leading the tournament with 11 RBIs, Welch went 11-24 with nine RBIs, and senior second baseman Jared Khan went 11-21 with seven RBIs. Additionally, senior Brandon Hannon was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Baseball Division III Third Team, for outstanding academic and athletic performance. The outfielder was the second in the program’s history to be awarded this honor. He batted .376 this season with 24 stolen bases and with 67 runs scored, the second most of any D-III player this season and of any Emory player in the program’s history. Throughout his time at Emory, Hannon accumulated 187 runs scored, breaking the school’s record. He graduated with a 3.46 GPA, earning degrees in mathematics and economics. Although some underclassmen are already thinking about next season, the graduating seniors were happy to have extended their play as long they did. “I wouldn’t have wanted to end my career any other way,” Iturrey said. “We got to finish off in the biggest cage possible.” For many, the road to the Championship game meant far more than the game itself. “It stinks to lose the last game, but to win a regional and to get that far from the Losers Bracket is a huge accomplishment,” Twardoski said. “It was one of the best exhibits of camaraderie and leadership I’ve seen.” This season was not the first in which Twardoski found success. Since taking over as Head Coach in 2000, Coach T, as he is known to his players, has now led the Eagles to four CWS appearances, including a previous advancement to the Championship from the Losers Bracket in 2007. Emory Baseball alumni, hailing from both winning and losing teams, supported the Eagles indefatigably throughout their 2014 campaign, many attending the Championship game in their old uniforms. Twardoski has worked to foster this Emory Baseball community throughout his tenure. “When I got here, there wasn’t really a lot of alumni base. I went back to when it started as just a club team. They couldn’t believe I wanted a relationship with them,” he said. “80 came back a couple years ago for the alumni game. I got 200 texts when we won regionals.” Because they signify not only the end of one stage, but the beginning of a next stage in the lives of graduating students, high school and college graduations are referred to as commencements. Perhaps the final game the team’s ten seniors is better called a commencement, as new chapters now begin in their lives. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play at the next level,” Iturrey said. “But my last experience with Emory was getting to play with my best friends in the College World Series, so I’m cool with a new path too.” Graduating 10 leaders can be tough on a team, but Twardoski predicts that between 10 and 15 freshmen and transfers will come in next year. “There’ll be some competition for spots, and that always makes for a better team,” he said. Additionally, the underclassmen are prepared to carry on the legacy of the team. “We’ve been learning from the seniors for three years, and I think people will really step up to fill their shoes next year,” Peacock said. - By Zak Hudak
For the fourth time in the program’s history, the Emory Eagles have made it to the Division III College World Series, held in Appleton, Wis.. They will play the Ohio Athletic Conference Baldwin Wallace University Yellow Jackets in the first round of the final eight-team, double-elimination bracket this afternoon at 2:15pm.
“Whenever we ran sprints or got up early or stayed working late, it was for the World Series. Now, we’re going. Everything we’ve been talking about for three years is actually happening,” senior catcher Jared Welch said.
Unlike in some other collegiate conferences, such as the Centennial Conference and the New England Small College Athletic Conference, winning the University Athletic Association championship, as the Eagles did in mid-March, does not guarantee placement in the regional rounds of the national championship. Nonetheless, the 29-10 regular season Eagles were confident they would be selected this year, Welch said.
In their second game of the double-elimination World Series qualifying South Region Tournament, the Eagles fell to the strong pitching of Bridgewater College (Va.).
“We realized, if we lose one more, we’re done. We had our back against the wall and had to either win or go home,” All-South junior outfielder, who leads all Division III players with 64 RBIs and the Eagles with a .430 batting average, Brett Lake said.
The team fought hard and pulled ahead in the eighth inning of their next game to defeat Rhodes College (Tenn.) 4-3 and was later victorious over Shenandoah University (Va.) 12-3.
“Losing another game meant the end of our seniors’ seasons at Emory. We didn’t want that to happen,” junior outfielder Wes Peacock said.
The Eagles went on to outscore Bridgewater 11-3 and 5-2 in the final round of the qualifier.
Welch, who started every game this season, was the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.
“I, along with the rest of the team, have always played better with better competition. We play down for worse teams and we play to the level of good teams. Here, we played the best teams in the South. It was crunch time,” Welch said.
Welch is a hopeful in the 2014 Major League Baseball draft, which begins June 5, but plans to continue playing whether he is selected or not.
“Baseball has been my life for as long as I can remember and I’m not going to let somebody tell me I can’t play,” he said.
Although Emory made the South Region Tournament in 2012, the team has not made it to Appleton since 2007.
“This was the year we could have had the past four years. Every year we’ve taken what we’ve learned and put it into practice. We’ve always had talent, but baseball is so much more than that,” Welch said.
The team this year is as close-knit as ever.
“We play together really well and get along really well. We’re like a family,” Peacock said.
And the family of Emory baseball players Peacock spoke of doesn’t graduate, but rather grows year to year. As the current Eagles have moved forward in their journey to Appleton, they have experienced great support from the alumni of the program.
“They’ve been sending us emails that say, ‘Give ‘em hell,’ and changing their Facebook profile pics to themselves playing back in the day,” Peacock said.
An alumni event held every fall has allowed former players to stay in touch with current ones.
“I know them all by name and have all their numbers. We’re all part of a family. They know what it was like and they want us to experience the same things,” Welch said.
The Eagle family even started a new tradition, a lucky bush that accompanied them in the dugout throughout the South Region Tournament and that Lake assured, “will be with us in Appleton.”
Although only 25 of the 37 Eagles will be allowed to be rostered in the coming games, most of the others are traveling and will be in the dugout.
“They’re just as much a part of this team as anyone else,” Peacock said.
The eight teams the Eagles will begin matching up against starting Friday will include Linfield College (Ore.), which won the Championship last year, and the University of Southern Maine, which finished second. Regardless, the Eagles are confident against any team.
“We’ll just have to prepare like we’ve been preparing all year. All the teams there deserve to be there. We can’t take anything for granted,” Peacock said.
The games will be available via live stream on the NCAA website.
“I, along with everyone else, am just so excited to get to play baseball one more time,” Welch said.
- By>Zak Hudak
The women’s tennis team successfully completed their 2014 season by earning a Division III national title, topping second-ranked Amherst College (Mass.) 5-1 on Wednesday in the championship match.
It was the Eagles’ sixth national title in program history, but the first for an immensely successful senior class that will leave the team as national champions. Emory finished third in both 2011 and 2012, and second in 2013 before getting over the hump this season.
“I couldn’t have asked to end on a better note,” senior captain Brenna Kelly said. “It hasn’t always been an easy road, but I’m proud of how we handled adversities.”
2014 was nearly flawless for the Eagles, who only dropped two matches on the season en route to a 28-2 record, and a perfect 20-0 mark against fellow D-III teams. After sweeping the University Athletic Association (UAA) championships in late April, the Eagles entered the national tournament ranked first in the nation.
“Our mindset was really just process and focus,” Kelly said. “We know we had done everything to prepare for this moment, and looking back on our hard work was a great reminder of how ready we were.”
They didn’t disappoint. Not only did the team win each of their five matches in the tournament, but also they were barely threatened as they prevailed by a combined margin of 25-3. The Eagles swept Berry College and Washington & Lee College (Va.) at home in the first two rounds before traveling to Claremont, Calif. and dispatching UAA rival Washington University (Mo.) and Johns Hopkins University (Md.), each by a score of 5-1.
This led to the championship match, a heavyweight battle between the first- and second-ranked D-III teams in the country. The Eagles held a slim 2-1 edge after the doubles matches, falling in the top match but winning the second and third. The team of sophomore Beatrice Rosen and freshman Michelle Satterfield made short work of their opponents, prevailing 8-1, while Kelly and freshman Katarina Su won in an 8-3 decision.
Emory needed to win just three of the five singles matches to clinch the title. First was freshman Melissa Goodman, with an emphatic 6-1, 6-2 victory in the fourth spot, followed by senior Gabrielle Clark with a 6-1, 6-4 win in the first match. Su sealed the deal in the number six spot, triumphing 6-2, 6-3.
The Eagles’ championship rout was a fitting end to a dominant season. The team’s 28 wins set a program record, including 16 straight victories to end the season.
Clark will go on to compete in the singles competition—as the No. 1 ranked player nationally—and will once again pair with Satterfield for doubles. The rest of the Eagles will carry memories of one of the best teams in program history into the off season.
“I thought our team chemistry was exceptional this year,” Kelly said. “[…] I am so thankful for the friendships I’ve made on this team. We truly have some amazing girls.”
- By Ryan Smith
Photo courtesy of Emory Athletics
Courtesy of Flickr/Ed Schipul
The Houston Texans mascot, Toro, gestures on the sideline. Toro, like the Texans organization, appears unsure of what to do with the number one pick in the NFL draft.
Welcome to the last edition of the Beej Knows Best for the 2013-2014 academic year. I would like to thank all of my loyal readers — it means more than you know to hear comments about recent articles in passing, or even to get an email or two about my content.
Time has flown by, and I cannot believe that when I return I will be writing as a senior in college. Time has also flown by for the NFL draft scouting process, with the draft rapidly approaching in almost two weeks.
Although I have already made my picks and examined many players, I have a few more predictions to make. I believe that this year is going to be one of the craziest drafts, simply due to the uncertainty at the top combined with the overall depth at many different positions. So without any further ado, I would like to present my two final predictions for the overall NFL Draft.
1) There will be more trades in and out of the first round, and overall, than in any other draft.
Due to the uncertainty about which prospect is truly the best — combined with the teams picking near the top having multiple holes to fill — I believe there will be a lot of trading down and out of the top five. Additionally, I believe teams in the middle part of the draft will be looking for that one missing piece, whether it be a pass rusher, mauler on the offensive line or even a game-breaker at the wide receiver position. The supply fills the demand, and teams will be looking to move.
Two examples of trades I see are the Rams and Falcons swapping positions, and the Vikings trading down with the Patriots. The Rams probably want to trade down because they can still fill one of their holes at the sixth slot, whereas the Falcons are very high on Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, or Greg Robinson.
Thomas Dimitroff has no reservations about making a home run deal, and will pull the trigger if the opportunity presents itself. I also believe that this is the year where Bill Belichick opts to make a move up, as opposed to down in the draft. New England needs one more playmaker on the offensive side of the ball, and at the eighth slot they could take either Eric Ebron or Mike Evans. Yes, it is a deep draft, but these two players could transform their offense alongside a healthy Gronk and Amendola, The Vikings have a lot of holes, but could probably draft Jimmy Garoppolo and get their quarterback of the future with the 29th pick, and address other needs later in the draft as well.
In addition to first round, I believe due to the depth of this draft, teams will be looking to try and draft talented players that drop. Specifically, I am talking about the talent at the running back position. Although most likely there will not be a single running back taken in the first round, there are starters to be had in the middle rounds. Players like Lache Seastrunk, Carlos Hyde, and Bishop Sankey can step in immediately and be starters. For teams who already have their running back situation settled, or need to fill the roster with young talent, the opportunity to trade down in the third round and pick up an extra sixth round pick, for example, will be too tantalizing to pass up.
2) Either there will be five quarterbacks drafted in the first round, or only one.
I believe the quarterback market is very hit or miss this year. There are teams that need quarterbacks, but overall the value is not the same as it was in 2012. Instead, I believe this draft will mirror 2013, a year where teams recognized their ability to wait on the quarterback position, and address other needs in the first round. However, if a quarterback does get taken early, I believe teams will get antsy, and start pulling the trigger to try and trade back into the first round to grab their guy. The five guys I could see getting drafted, if there is a run on the position, are Blake Bortles, Derek Carr, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, and Garoppolo. If only one gets taken, I could see either Carr or Bortles getting the nod.
As an aside, I am still sticking with my guns and publicly declaring that Johnny Manziel will become the best quarterback in this class, once he is able to fix some of his very fixable flaws. Additionally, there are also many good ‘flyer’ quarterbacks to be had later on in this draft.
A ‘flyer’ simply means a quarterback that a team will bring on and try to develop behind an already established starter. Guys like Tom Savage, Zach Mettenberger, and even AJ McCarron have the potential to carve out a role for themselves in this league. If they have to sit a few years behind a Peyton Manning, a Tom Brady, or even a Ben Roethlisberger, I believe they can develop into a quarterback of the future. Look for teams without explicit needs at the position to draft a quarterback this year.
Oh, and one last thing before I leave everyone alone. If all the trades fall through, it’s going to be Clowney, Watkins, Mack, Carr and Evans. Write it down, bet on it, and make some cash for the summer. You’re welcome.
—By Jayson Patel
We at On Fire love institutions. They are the things that make this country great. The institution of marriage, mental institutions, Buffalo Wild Wings … what would this country be without institutions like these, which give our lives meaning in the good times and carry us through the bad?
We at On Fire are proud that our column, like baseball, delivery pizza and Jeopardy, is one of the institutions that makes our nation awesome.
But what are the origins of this great institution? Where did On Fire come from? Your intrepid On Fire correspondent is just one is a long line of On Fire correspondents, one of innumerable brave, vigilant, conscientious, diligent, daring and witty individuals to have the privilege of corresponding with On Fire.
Your ever-curious On Fire correspondent decided to dig through the archives to discover the origins of On Fire. Yes, we know what our loyal readers must be thinking – how can something that has no beginning or end have origins? To be clear, On Fire is an eternal spirit that resides in a wormhole in the far left corner of the galaxy — it is not, as our editors seem to think, a thing that your often-misunderstood On Fire correspondent just makes up.
However, there was a certain point in the history of the sports section when we first gained the opportunity to correspond with On Fire and print ITS words in our pages. This was what your vigilant On Fire correspondent was looking for while spending long hours in the dark, dirty, dusty archives.
And we found the first On Fire, published on December 3, 1999, topped with the tagline, “We’ve been here for years.”
Your intrepid On Fire correspondent, in order to discover the origins of On Fire, decided to carry out a little investigative journalism – that is to say, he (or she) tweeted at the guy who was sports editor during the time of the first On Fire.
This trailblazing man, who shall rename anonymous, as all On Fire correspondents do (if our loyal readers have any problems with this policy, they can email their complaints to email@example.com), initially thought that this was a joke – little did he know that we at On Fire never joke.
However, once we explained that we were nothing but earnest, he confirmed that On Fire was founded under his reign as sports tsar and brought other earlier On Fire correspondents into this epic email exchange. We then went on to ask about the history of On Fire — for instance, we wanted to know, was the tagline “We’ve been here for years” a reference to the fact that even though this was the first column, the spirit of On Fire is eternal and has always been a part of the sports section?
And our historic correspondents had many thoughts and memories about On Fire. The original tagline was a line from “1990s-era hip hop/popular songs played at bar mitzvahs … LL Cool J’s epic “Momma Said Knock You Out” track,” which your fact-checking On Fire correspondent confirmed on Google. However, it was not a reference to an eternal spirit – only “mocking the fact that it was the first edition.”
Here is what we know. The history of On Fire is “deep and complex.” At this time, the sports section had “carte blanche to do as we pleased, and so we did… There were no rules.” (Unlike now, when we are chained down by editorial oversight). “We tried to be funny, even though we often weren’t, but more than that, we tried to have fun.” The whole thing was “some kind of inside joke.” The name of our eternal spirit, On Fire, came either from Marv Albert’s catchphrase or from the thing that happened to players in NBA jam when they score enough points in a row.
The point is, On Fire is an institution with a long and storied history. But like the correspondents of yore, the time has come for your almost-free On Fire correspondent to say goodbye. This is his (or her) retirement column. Someone else will have the privilege of corresponding with On Fire next semester, and it seems safe to say that whatever they write will be much less funny than what our readers have grown accustomed to.
It has been one hell of a ride, guys. As always, if you want to apply for the On Fire internship, please send your resume, a cover letter and the number of Dooley Dollars that you have left to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, the 2014 Masters tournament did not disappoint. The 78th rendition of the tournament featured a constant change of leaders from the first day up until the final round with Bill Haas, Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth all leading at the end of the first, second and third rounds, respectively.
The tournament also featured something that hasn’t happened in a very long time — a chance for a new player to take over the number one seed in the PGA rankings.
2013 winner Adam Scott was one of the favorites to win this year’s Masters Tournament.
Scott remained in contention to win the tournament after remaining in third place following the second round. Scott, however, struggled in the third round and ultimately fell out of the race. Two others, Henrik Stenson and Jason Day, also had a chance to become the world’s number one but neither reached the top 10 in any of the four days.
Bubba Watson, who coincidently seems to struggle in every other PGA tournament, found his rhythm once again in Augusta as he captured his second green jacket in the past three years.
And, like a true southerner, Watson chose to celebrate his second Masters championship with a meal at a local Waffle House.
But amongst all of the bright lights in Augusta, there was one crucial element missing. If you happened to watch the tournament, you could feel a fundamental component of the excitement missing … where was Tiger Woods?
It’s hard to imagine the Masters without Tiger, but fans were forced to cheer for other players as Tiger missed his first Masters in nearly 20 years.
It’s hard to wrap your mind around the fact that Tiger is still a young 38 years old, despite entering the professional golf scene in 1996. In fact, Woods participated in his first Masters tournament while still studying at Stanford University in 1995.
Woods won his first Masters in 1997 by a ludicrous 12 strokes over fellow American Tom Kite. Woods’ 1997 performance is, to date, the best tournament score ever shot at a Masters event.
Despite all his past accolades, Tiger wasn’t an active player — or even a contestant for that matter — at this year’s Masters. In the weeks leading up to the tournament, Tiger began to sense back pain. Tiger’s problems began March 2 at the Honda Classic tournament in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. as Tiger withdrew 13 holes into the final round. Tiger then played in the Cadillac Championship in Doral, Fla. a week later.
Though he finished the final round, Tiger’s back problems resurfaced as he shot a 78 in the final round and placed 25th.
Tiger then proceeded to take some time away from the game in preparation for the Masters but received back surgery about a week before the tournament and inevitably declared himself out.
Since his infamous car accident in 2009, Tiger has never been the same. To quickly recap, Tiger’s “infamous” car accident led to the outbreak of Tiger as a sex addict. In the span of one week, dozens of women admitted to having sexual affairs with Tiger while he was married to his wife Elin.
Tiger hasn’t won a Major Championship (The Masters, PGA Championship, The Open Championship and U.S. Open) and has won only two of his 18 world golf championships since the scandal hit newsstands.
In fact, many analysts and golf enthusiasts have begun to believe that Tiger’s days are over and that he has already won his last major tournament.
Despite these claims, it’s important to think of the adversity that Tiger has overcome to reach the pinnacle of golf fame.
In 1996 when Tiger entered the PGA, Tiger was among few African Americans to play the sport of golf. Tiger endured a tremendous amount of racism at certain courses where golf was viewed as solely a white man’s game.
In May 2006, Woods’ longtime supporter, mentor and father Earl passed away. Woods struggled to cope with the loss of his father and took a two and a half month break from golf. Following his return, Tiger won six straight events.
Though many are doubting Tiger’s ability to recover from another setback, it’s simply just a setback amidst Tiger’s aging. After all, the world’s number one golfer is 38 years old. Age takes an effect on people, even in the game of golf.
In no way would I consider Tiger Woods to have already won his last master. Jack Nicklaus didn’t claim his last major victory until he was 46 years old.
Will Tiger Woods still be playing when he’s 46? Without a doubt, in my mind. Woods still has the skills that he had 10 years ago, he has just struggled with off-the-course issues lately.
Once these issues wash away, look for Woods to re-claim his fame as one of the best golfers of all time.
— By Adam Troyetsky
Courtesy of Emory Athletics
The men’s tennis team huddles together during a match. The No. 4 ranked squad defeated Georgia Perimeter College 9-0 in its last match of the season last weekend.
Over the weekend, the men’s tennis team faced off with Georgia Perimeter College in the squad’s last meeting of the regular season. The No. 4 ranked Eagles had no problem dispatching the Jaguars, as they swept Georgia Perimeter 9-0, winning all six singles matches and all three doubles matches. The victory was the final tune-up for the postseason.
Last night, the Eagles traveled to Altamonte Springs, Florida to participate in the University Athletic Association (UAA) Championships, which go from Thursday through Saturday (April 24-26).
Following a stellar regular season in which the squad went 15-5, the Eagles claimed the No. 2 seed in the UAA tournament.
On Thursday, Emory faced off with No. 7 seed New York University, which is ranked No. 25 in the nation. The Eagles cruised once again, trouncing the Violets 9-0.
The team was most dominant in singles play, earning four victories in straight sets. Only the one and two singles matches required a third set.
The victory bodes well for the team. The Eagles have a remarkable track record in the UAA championships, capturing 22 of the last 24 crowns.
Emory’s greatest foe in recent history has been Washington University in St. Louis; the two universities have played one another in the final game for eight straight years.
However, this year will likely be more competitive for Emory, as seven of the eight UAA teams in the tournament are ranked in the top 30 nationally. Wash U (Mo.) is ranked No. 2, Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) is ranked No. 9, Case Western (Ohio) is ranked No. 10, Chicago (Ill.) is ranked No. 17, and Brandeis (Mass.) is ranked No. 30.
The Eagles will match up with No. 3 seed Carnegie Mellon.
Other matchups feature No. 1 seed Wash U taking on No. 8 seed Brandeis, while No. 4 seed Case Western matches up with No. 5 seed Chicago.
The squad had well-balanced efforts all season long, with six members of the team winning 13 or more matches in singles. Juniors Ian Wagner and Alex Ruderman were the team’s two singles wins leaders, going 20-4 and 17-3, respectively. The duo also formed the most successful doubles pairing, as they went 8-5 on the year.
Sports Editor Ryan Smith
—By Ethan Morris
Faisal Kidwai, public relations officer for Al-Farooq Masjid Mosque, talks to CNN reporters on Friday about the arrest of a Georgia Tech junior on terrorism charges.
The baseball team beat LaGrange College Wednesday night in a game initially scheduled for Tuesday but postponed due to anticipated bad weather. The Eagles seemed to be unaffected by the postponement and beat their hosts 13-1 in a dominant performance.
The win marked Emory’s 26th of the season, a mark that is the team’s highest since 2007. Emory’s offensive output of 13 runs was the 15th time the Eagles have been in double figures this season, a statistic made even more impressive given that the team has only played 36 games.
With Wednesday’s victory against LaGrange, the Eagles have beaten the last seven Division III opponents they have faced.
Emory got off to a quick start in the first inning and loaded the bases for senior catcher Jared Welch, who hit a three RBI double with two outs. The three runs batted in moved Welch’s tally to 26 in his final season.
Senior Brandon Hannon scored in the third inning off of a single by junior Brett Lake, who was promptly knocked in on a double from senior Daniel Iturrey.
Freshman Philip Maldari reached on an error to drive in Iturrey, and the inning was capped at four runs when Maldari scored on junior Jordan Selbach’s double.
Hannon earned his fourth walk of the day in the fifth inning, resulting in a run because of loaded bases. Lake was hit by a pitch in the following at bat, leading to another run.
The Eagles took a 9-0 lead into the sixth inning. Selbach came up big again, this time driving in junior Wes Peacock with a two out double, to bring the Eagles into double digits.
In the next inning, Hannon scored yet again off of a single from Iturrey before Peacock hit his fourth home run of the season. Peacock’s four home runs tie him with Lake for the team high.
After 13 unanswered runs, the Eagles gave up an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh inning. The final two innings would be scoreless.
Freshman Jackson Weeg was given the nod as starter against LaGrange and was credited with the win, the third of his Emory career. Weeg pitched fantastically, retiring the first eight batters he faced.
The lefty’s six shutout innings saw him allow only four hits and a solitary walk.
Weeg escaped a sticky situation in the bottom of the fourth inning, as LaGrange loaded the bases with one out, but would safely end the inning with two strikeouts. Weeg threw four additional strike outs in the game.
After the win, Weeg’s earned run average is now the lowest on the team at 1.79. Senior Robert Gross, along with juniors Michael Byman and Graham Bloomsmith, would each pitch an inning to close out the game.
Lake continued his impressive season, as he only needs to add nine RBIs to his season 54 to tie the school record. His current tally is the sixth highest in program history.
Hannon also reached sixth on a school record list in this game, as his 52 runs scored this season are also good for sixth in Emory history. Selbach continued his hot streak at the plate and has 13 hits in his last 21 plate appearances.
LaGrange pitcher Justin Yestrumsky was given the loss for LaGrange. With the loss, LaGrange’s record fell to 12-22 on the season.
The game was the first of four in Emory’s final week of the regular season. The Eagles will finish their regular schedule this weekend in Alabama in a weekend series against the Huntingdon College Hawks (Alabama).
The team will certainly be looking to carry momentum from the LaGrange game into their matchup against Huntingdon, and into the postseason.
—By Oliver Rockman
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