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Lighting up the Future of Florida Tech Baseball

via The Florida Tech Crimson
by Allan Hillenbrand

Florida Tech Baseball

A Florida Tech baseball home game has never been played at night, but with the installation of new lights, that will not remain a reality for much longer. The lights are a huge step for the program and will give them advantages that they have not had before.

The first major setback to not having lights was that there would always be class conflicts due to the games being played earlier in the day.

“It’s just nice knowing I don’t have to worry about making up work or missing a major test,” said David Johannessen, a Florida Tech baseball player.

The second major downfall to not having lights was that it severely limited the time the team could practice.

“We just always felt rushed because the sun was going down. Now time doesn’t determine how long our practices will go,” Johannessen said.

“The lights will allow for us to draw more fan support and potential community support,” said Greg Berkemeier, head baseball coach at Florida Tech.

Fan support is huge for an up-and-coming team like the Panthers, and the addition of lights at the baseball field will present fans, both in the school and in the community, to come and enjoy a game that is not during school or work hours. With a boost in fan support, the Panthers can earn more money, and possibly make even more renovations to the field.

Recruiting is also a huge part of a team’s development and success. Having a field with lights offers recruits a much more desirable program to play for knowing that they will not have to struggle with missing classes and little fan support.

The lights also offer a strategic advantage, according to Brian Flynn, the starting catcher.

“Our field is large for a college park, but with the addition of the shadows that the night games provide, it could make us an even better team at home,” Flynn said.

The Panthers have been an extremely strong team at home in years past, only losing five games last year. The players are confident that with the new opportunities the lights present, this year there will be even fewer losses at home.

Whether through strategic advantage or extra practice time, the new lights at the baseball field mark a wealth of opportunity for the Florida Tech baseball team in this year and many years to come. With an ever-expanding facility, who knows where the addition of lights may take them in the future.

Tags: Florida Tech Sports, Student Stories

Women’s Rowing Closes Out FIRA Championships

by Florida Tech Sports

rowing                                Photo by Anthony James

Florida Tech wrapped up the two-day Florida Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships this past Saturday at Nathan Benderson Park.

Among the highlights was a first-place finish by the Panthers’ second varsity four. Devised of five rowers from the team’s varsity eight, Tech won the event by 13.7 seconds at a time 7:08.5. Leading the boat to victory was stroke Taylor Woodard, Erin McDevitt, Jennifer Gillette, bow Megan Taylor and coxswain Amanda Horbert.

After earning the runner-up spot in their freshman/novice four heat Friday, stroke Allison Metzger, Carolyn Chabuz, Jenna Philipp, bow Alex Barber and coxswain Emlyn MacKenzie came in second once more. They finished the 1,750-meter course at 7:35.8, eight seconds ahead of third-place Rollins. Nova Southeastern won the event at 7:22.8.

Tech’s varsity eight helped open the day as it participated in the second race with six other boats, two were Sunshine State Conference schools. Nova Southeastern snatched first, 2.4 seconds ahead of Jacksonville, at 6:29.4. Coxswain MacKenzie, stroke Horbert, Guinevere Shaw, Taylor, Gillette, McDevitt, Woodard, Aline Seekins and bow Barber grabbed fifth place at 6:48. Rollins rounded out the SSC institutions, placing sixth at 7:03.1.

The Panthers also took part in doubles as head coach Adam Thorstad entered two boats. Shaw and bow Seekins finished second, behind Stetson at 8:34.2. Horbert and bow Stephanie Spangler were the third boat to cross the finish line at a time of 8:36.9.

In the final race of the regatta, stroke Kathleen OrRico, Taylor Barvais, Amber Maiwald, bow Marie McBride and coxswain Spangler placed fourth, 11 seconds behind first-place Nova Southeastern, at 7:15.2.

Thorstad and Co. will now travel to Oak Ridge, Tenn. for the two-day Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships April 16-17.

Tags: Florida Tech Sports

Four Women’s Soccer Players Collect Well-Deserved Awards

by Florida Tech Sports












Photo Courtesy of Jim Hogue

Four members from Florida Tech’s Final Four team recently received their certificates for their outstanding play last fall. Goalkeeper Mist Eliasdottir, defender Ann-Marie Helgestad, forward Casey Lademann and midfielder Paula Lillsjo were recognized by the National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) and Performance Subaru.

Receiving the highest honor among the group was Lillsjo, who was named the program’s first-ever All-American. The Helsingborg, Sweden native was selected Third Team All-American in addition to earning First Team All-South Region. Eliasdottir, Helgestad and Lademann were tabbed to the region’s second team.

“I’m happy for Mist, Ann-Marie, Casey and Paula,” Tech head coach Fidgi Haig said. “All four of them played important roles in the success we experienced last fall.

To read more, click here

Tags: Florida Tech Sports

Florida Tech Basketball Player Justin Sedlak Wins All-American

by Florida Tech Sports

EDINBORO, Pa. (Men’s Basketball) – All of the blood, sweat and tears Justin Sedlak has given to the Florida Tech men’s basketball program the past five years culminated Tuesday when he was named Daktronics Division II Men’s Basketball Second Team All-American.

With his latest accolade, Tech’s all-time leading scorer joins recent Sunshine State Conference Hall of Fame inductee Dwight Walton as the only two Panthers who have garnered second team All-American honors.

“Words can hardly describe how proud I am of Justin for his most recent achievement and the career he’s had at Florida Tech,” head coach Billy Mims said. “When we first began recruiting Justin, we felt like he had the potential to be an All-American and now in his senior season, he’s realized that goal. It says an awful lot not only about Justin, but our program in how we’ve continued to grow in his tenure as a Panther.

“It’s a well deserved honor because over his four-year (playing) career, he’s been one of the most consistent players in one of the top Division II conferences in America. To be able to play with that type of consistency against that type of competition certainly makes a statement that he has had an All-American career.”

To read more, Click Here

To see an interview with Justin, click below.

Tags: Florida Tech Sports

Washington Nationals Sign Former Florida Tech Baseball Player

by Florida Tech Sports

Sam Palace baseball

Former Florida Tech catcher Sam Palace signed a free agent contract with the Washington Nationals last week.

He is slated to report to their Single-A team, the Hagerstown Suns, in Hagerstown, Md. Expected to join the former Panther is the organization’s highly touted prospect, Bryce Harper.

“We’re very proud of Sam and happy that he will get the chance to continue pursuing his dream of playing professional baseball,” Tech head coach Greg Berkemeier said. “He’s worked extremely hard to go from an undrafted free agent to becoming a part of an affiliated organization. He was a major part of our program for three years, and I cannot say enough about him as a person and as a player. He has a tremendous work ethic, so we’re not surprised that he was able to overcome the obstacles to get the opportunity to play professional baseball.”

Palace is the second Florida Tech baseball player to sign with a major league organization since 2007. Former right-handed pitcher Mike Piazza signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels in June 2009.

To read more, click here

Tags: Awesome Alumni, Florida Tech Sports