Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel ranked South Alabama #86 in his ranking of all 128 FBS teams in the country for 2014.
While the ranking may not seem very high, that is truly a huge statement for a team that just finished their first season as a full FBS member and only the fifth year the football program has been in existence. Heading into last season the Jags were being ranked somewhere in the last five of the FBS teams after their 2-11 season as a FBS transitional team.
He wrote about last years team, breaks down the key losses, returning players, strengths and weaknesses of the team and the outlook for this season. He points to the loss of five defensive starters and Ross Metheny behind center as making it “tough to win enough games to earn one the Sun Belt’s limited bowl invitations”.
Head over to the Orlando Sentinel and read the whole thing for yourself and look at the other teams that they have ranked so far by clicking here.
Jereme Jones was selected as 14 for ’14 Most Freakish athletes in college football by Mike Huguenin.
The Jaguar fans were posting this all around on Social Media sites, for good reason. Jereme Jones was named #12 on the list with his 84 receptions and 10 touchdowns over the past two seasons. But little did many know that he was pound-for-pound the strongest guy on the Jaguars team.
According to the article he reportedly is 5’8″, 167-pounds, squats 545 pounds, bench presses 365 pounds and hang cleans 335 pounds. He also has been timed with a 4.48 40-yard dash can vertical jump 37.5 inches and broad jump 10’1″. He reportedly only has 7.5% body fat too.
But what they did not note was his consecutive games with a pass-reception streak is currently sitting at 39-consecutive games and also his ability to make some amazing catches. Jereme has the heart of a Jaguar with the hands that seemingly are coated with stickum spray.
Jones is in good company with players from Arizona State, Oregon, Iowa, Florida State, Northwestern, Georgia, East Carolina, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Syracuse, Auburn, Baylor and Louisville.
Congratulations Jereme! I know all of the Jaguar fans look forward to see what you do your senior season.
Head over to NFL.com and read the article for yourself. Click here for the link directly to the page.
Former USA Softball pitcher Hannah Campbell earned All-American honors for the second consecutive season by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
Campbell, a native of Satsuma, Alabama, is the Jaguars first and only All-American. She was named to the third team after her performance this season after being named to the second-team last season as an at-large selection. She was also an All-South Region selection in each of her four years with the Jaguars, three of those years she was named to the first team.
She finished the season with a 0.95 ERA, the program’s single-season best, and currently ranks second in the NCAA. She led the Jaguars pitching staff to the top ERA in the nation with a 1.29 combined mark. She allowed only 0.76 walks per seven innings this season, another program best and the third best mark in the NCAA.
In addition to being named a top-25 finalist for the 2014 Collegiate Player of the Year award, she was also named to the All-Sun Belt Conference First-Team for the second season in a row after leading the conference in ERA, strikeouts looking, saves, fewest earned runs allowed, fewest walks allowed and fewest home runs allowed.
She went 18-6 on the season with 176 strikeouts, 159 hits and 26 earned runs in 192. 1/3 innings pitched in 2014.
Hannah was drafted third overall in the 2014 National Pro Fastpitch draft by the Akron Races. She was the first-ever Jaguar softball player to make it to the professional level and the first-ever female Jaguar student-athlete to be drafted professionally.
Hannah will also be joined by her twin sister who played for the UAB Blazers collegiately. Like Hannah, she becomes the first-ever UAB softball student-athlete to rise to the professional level. The sisters will play together for the first time since they were at Satsuma High School.
Lannah earned All-Conference USA honors twice in four years with a second-team selection in 2012 and a first-team in 2013. He was also named to the NFCA Mideast Region Second Team in 2013 after leading the conference in saves (6) and led the team with 180 strikeouts. She also ranks second in UAB history with an average of 0.86 walks per game andgameseven innings mark this past season.
The Racers won their season opener against the Chicago Bandits last night by a score of 4-0. Neither of the Campbell sisters saw action on the mound.
During the Sun Belt Conference Spring Banquet, the Jaguars had a member of the football team and a former member of the team honored last week.
Rush Hendricks was selected as the Sun Belt Conference Postgraduate Scholar Athlete of the Year. The 6’3″, 235-pound tight end from Jay, Florida earned his degree in exercise science earlier this month while graduating with a 4.00 GPA. Last fall he was voted to the first-team CoSIDA All Academic All-District IV team and has been twice named to the Sun Belt Commissioner’s List.
He was ranked among the team leaders in special teams tackles with six, two of which came against Kent State in the Jaguars homecoming win where he also caught a pass. He has lettered three times while playing tight end and on special teams since joining the team in 2010.
Hendricks will enroll in the physical therapy program this fall and has one season of eligibility remaining.
Ross Metheny was selected to be a representative on the Leadership Team after he earned second-team All-Conference honors in the fall after leading the team to a 6-6 record overall and a 4-3 record in conference play as the teams quarterback in the schools first season as a full member of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.
Metheny, a native of Stephens City, Virginia, received his master’s degree in education leadership with a 4.00 GPA earlier this month. He ranked in the top 10 in the conference in total offense, passing yards per game, pass efficiency rating and rushing yards per game.
He was also voted as the Jaguar Male Student-Athlete of the Year after his second season as a Jaguar and after his final season of eligibility.
New Additions On Campus
In other news about the football program. A number of junior college transfers and an incoming freshman are reportedly now on campus.
Defensive tackles Bryson Johnson and Dondre Chanet are now on campus. Johnson was listed at 6’4″, 295-pounds with a 4.8 40-yard dash. Chanet is listed at 6’2″, 304-pounds. Both come in to help replace a number of defensive linemen who graduated after five years with the Jaguars.
Coming off of winning the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns have earned a top ranking in the polls for the first time in program history and will host the Lafayette Regional in their quest to get to the College World Series.
The Cajuns (53-7) earned their first-ever top ranking in the Baseball America and USA Today polls and regained their top ranking in the Collegiate Baseball ranking, which they held for three weeks earlier this season.
Lafayette holds the national best record and the longest winning streak as they head into the NCAA Tournament with 10 games. Sophomore Blake Trahan was named the Sun Belt Conference Tournament Most Outstanding Player and was named as one of six Louisville Slugger National Players of the Week. His home run against UT-Arlington in the championship game of the SBC Tournament gave the Cajuns a 6-5 win. In the past four games he has gone 7-for-11 with a home run, a double, two triples and 5 RBI.
The Cajuns will open play on Friday, May 30 at 7:00pm against #4 seed Jackson State. They will then face the winner of #2 seed Mississippi State and #3 seed San Diego State who will play at 2:30pm on Friday, May 30.
Both the University of Alabama, who eliminated South Alabama from the Tuscaloosa Regional, and fellow Sun Belt Conference foe Louisiana-Lafayette both won their Super Regionals to advance to the Women’s College World Series.
After a walk-off home run in extra innings, the Crimson Tide (50-11) came back in the second game of the weekend to defeat Nebraska 2-1 to earn the Super Regional win for the ninth time in program history and for the third time for this senior class.
The #2 seed Alabama will open the Women’s College World Series against #7 seed Oklahoma on Thursday, May 29 at 9:30pm.
The Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (49-8-1) defeated Arizona 7-1 to earn their way to Oklahoma City to take on Kentucky (49-17) in the first round of the 2014 Women’s College World Series. Their game is scheduled for 7:00pm on Thursday, May 29. The winner will take on the winner between Oklahoma and Alabama.
In the other bracket #1 seed Oregon will face #8 seed Florida State at 2:30pm on Thursday, May 29. They will take on the winner between #5 seeded Florida and #13 seed Baylor that will take place at 12:00pm on Thursday, May 29.
South Alabama have nine student-athletes from the men’s and women’s track and field team that have qualified to compete in 10 different events at the NCAA Division I East Region Preliminary Championship.
Five members from the men’s team have an opportunity to compete. Freshman Renaldo Frechou and senior Adam Patterson both qualified for the hammer throw. Connor Smith qualified for the pole vault for the second consecutive season. Jan-Louw Kotze qualified for the discus. Patrick Rohr qualified for the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Noelle Jones qualified in both the women’s high jump and javelin, this is the third time in her career that the senior has qualified in the javelin after doing so in 2011 and 2012. Fellow seniors Leah Hixon and Bobbie Williams will make their third consecutive appearance in the javelin and hammer throw preliminaries respectively. Freshman Kaitlyn Beans will round out the Jaguar squad after qualifying for the triple jump.
The NCAA Division I East Region Preliminary Championships will be held at the University of North FLorida’s Hodges Stadium in Jacksonville, FL on May 29-31.
On one side of the bracket, #1 seed UL-Lafayette defeated #4 seed Texas State 11-4 to advance to face the winner between #4 Texas State and #8 UL-Monroe in Game 11 scheduled for Saturday at 11am on ESPN3.
Texas State and UL-Monroe will face off in Game 9 scheduled for 3:00pm on Friday.
In the other side of the bracket #6 seed Troy fell to #2 seed UT-Arlington 7-3 to advance to play in game 12 scheduled for 12:30pm Saturday on ESPN3. They will face the winner of Game 10 between #6 Troy and #3 Arkansas State which is scheduled for 6:30pm on Friday.
Jaguar Locke St. John took the loss after throwing 7 2/3 innings where he only allowed one earned run on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks. ASU’s Bradley Wallace allowed one earned run on seven hits with six strikeouts and two walks to earn the win.
Arkansas State took the lead in the top of the first inning after a leadoff walk to Zach Maggio. He would move to second on a throwing error by St. John in a failed pickoff attempt at first base. Tanner Ring would hit a one-out RBI single up the middle to score Maggio for a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first, the Jaguars loaded the bases on three consecutive singles by Garrett DeGallier, Bud Collura and Cole Gleason. DeGallier would score when Erik Hindmon reached on a fielder’s choice to tie the game at 1-1.
In the bottom of the second, Davis Knapp would hit a leadoff single to right field. Collura would single with one out then Gleason would single again to load the bases. However Wallace would get Connor Hawthorne to fly out to right field ending the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Jags took the lead after DeGallier reached on a two-base fielding error by the ASU first baseman to lead off the inning. Hawthorne would hit a two-out RBI single to right field to score DeGallier for a 2-1 lead.
ASU would tie the game in the top of the eighth on an RBI single by pinch hitter Derek Birginske. The would then retake the lead 3-2 with an RBI single to center field by Austin Baker and forcing St. John from the game.
The Red Wolves would add an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Stuart Levy would hit a one-out single to right field then advance to second when Cameron Cummings mishandled the ball in the gap. A two-out RBI single to center field by Lucas Feddersen would put them up 4-2 going into the bottom of the ninth.
With one out, DeGallier doubled down the left field line. He would then score the final run of the game on a two-out RBI single to right field by Gleason, but the Jags were unable to push another run across the plate to send it to extra inning.
Cole Gleason went 3-for-5 with one RBI to lead the Jags at the plate. Garrett DeGallier went 2-for-5 with a double, two RBI and three runs scored. Bud Collura had two hits.
The Jags season ends with a 22-33 record overall while Arkansas State (31-26) to Advance.
After advancing to the Regional Final in the Tuscaloosa Regional to face #5 Alabama, the #21 ranked Jags fell 3-0 to end their season.
Jaclyn Traina struck out 11 Jaguars to improve her record to 22-3 on the season while holding USA to only two hits for the game.
Farish Beard took the loss in the game after giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out one with one walk in four innings of work. Hannah Campbell threw four innings of relief and only allowed one hit.
Chloe Rathburn and Emily Messer were the only Jaguars to record hits in the game.
The Jags defeated SIU-Edwardsville and USC-Upstate to get into the final for the third trip to a regional final in as many seasons.
“I am extremely proud of my kids,” said Jaguar head coach Becky Clark. “I can honestly say that they left everything on the field, there was no holding back. Our kids went after it 100 percent, even in front of a stadium full of people. They had the audacity to believe that they could come out and win two games. That is what you are supposed to do, you are supposed to step out on the field knowing that you can get it done. If you don’t believe that you shouldn’t be on the field. Our kids did that and I am proud of them for making that decision.”
The Jaguars end the season with some new single-season records. They set records for: Lowest ERA (1.29), Fewest Walks Allowed Per Game (1.4), Most Strikeouts (416), Fewest Earned Runs Allowed (70) and Fewest Walks Allowed (76).
This was the programs third consecutive 40-win season in only thier eighth year of existence.
Senior Hannah Campbell finished her career as a Jaguar as the program’s All-Time leader with the fewest walks allowed per seven innings (1.24), Wins (83), Saves (16), Appearances (149), Complete Games (93), Games Finished (40), Innings Pitched (791.1) and Strikeouts Looking (180).
Fellow senior Julie Moss, who missed most of the season due to an injury, finishes her career among the All-Time Top-10 in Batting Average (.301), Slugging Percentage (.452), Hits (113), Triples (5), Home Runs (11), RBI (65), Total Bases (170), Sacrifice Flies (5) and Sacrifice Hits (19).
“I’m extremely proud of our seniors and what they’ve done for this program,” Clark said of the two Jaguar seniors. “It kills me that I won’t get to coach those kids again. It’s been an amazing experience to coach those kids, not only because of what they’ve done on the field, but because they’ve 100-percent done it the right way. They’ve done it with class, and they’ve represented our program in a first-class manner.”
Hannah and Julie, thank you for your hard work and determination both in the classroom and on the field. Once a Jaguar, always a Jaguar!