Football: Lindy’s ranks BCU football #14 in its first Preseason Poll

We are roughly three months away from the start of the college football season.  This is right about the time when your favorite bookstore’s magazine section become inundated with college and professional football preview publications (which don’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things but they are awfully fun to look at and to fuss over…but I digress).

Lindy’s was the first to release their preseason FCS Top 25 Poll earlier this week and the Cats debuted at #14 in Lindy’s rankings.  Two other HBCU’s joined BCU in Lindy’s  Top 25 rankings; Grambling State at #23 and Jackson State at #25.

The Cats open up the 2012 season against Alabama State in Orlando in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge on Sunday, September 2nd.

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BCU to face Gators in 1st round of Regional baseball play

The field of 64 teams competing for the 2012 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship was recently announced by the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee.

The Wildcats will make the two hour trip northwest to take on the top seeded Florida Gators in the Gainesville Regional.  Georgia Tech of the ACC and Charleston Southern of the Southern Conference round out the four team regional.

There are 16 regionals in total each featuring four teams playing a double-elimination format. The regionals are scheduled to be conducted from Friday, June 1, to Monday, June 4 (if necessary).

God’s Speed Tank Johnson

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Former Bethune-Cookman University Athletic Director Lloyd “Tank” Johnson,” recognized by many as the father of what is today’s Florida Classic, passed away Sunday. He was 77.

A 1958 graduate, Johnson served as athletic director from 1972 to 1991, His visionary leadership oversaw the Wildcats’ ascent to Division I and partnership with Florida A&M’s Hansel Tookes in laying the groundwork for the Florida Classic, which made its debut in Tampa in 1978. The archrivals had met to capacity crowds at Florida State University, Daytona International Speedway and Orlando, the current site, prior to that.

Johnson also served as a defensive coordinator for the Wildcat football team from 1961-78 in addition to coaching track and field in the days where coaches would oversee multiple sports.

He was named to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Hall Of Fame in 1995 and is also included in several addition halls of fame, including the 100-percent Wrong Club of Atlanta.

As a student, Johnson was on the Wildcat football, basketball, track and golf teams in 1952-54. After a two-year stint in the army he returned to B-CC in the fall of 1956 and competed in football, golf and track for the next two school years before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1958.

Johnson also served on the City of Daytona Beach Planning Board.

He is survived by his wife, Gwendolyn, and was preceded in death by his daughter, Crystal Lynn.

Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced.  Please visit www.b-cuathletics.com for updates and continued coverage of the passing of a Wildcat legend.

7th Heaven

Congratulations to Coach Jason Beverlin and the Fighting Wildcats baseball team for capturing their 7th consecutive MEAC men’s baseball title on Sunday afternoon by defeating Delaware State 8-3 at Marty Miller Field (Norfolk, VA).

BCU needed the second game of the championship round to secure its 13th title in 14 years.  Earlier Sunday morning, Delaware State defeated the Cats 3-2 forcing a “winner take all” final.  Sunday morning’s loss was BCU’s first tournament defeat since 2007.

But any notions of a hangover were quickly erased in the first inning of Game 2 against the Hornets when outfielder David Lee singled home Josh Johnson giving the Cats a 1-0 lead after the first frame.   Despite having only 1 ball leave the infield in the 3rd, the Hornets capitalized on 2 bunts, a walk, a hit batsman, and a throwing error to take a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the third. 

Nick Johnson lead off the bottom of the 3rd for the Cats and was hit by a pitch.  Brandon Turner’s single to center field chased DSU’s starting pitcher, Jordan Elliot, and a double steal by Johnson and Turner set up runners in scoring position for BCU.  David Lee’s 2 RBI single to right field scored Johnson and Turner and tied the game at 3-3. 

Lee added another RBI single in the 4th this time scoring Carlos Delgado and putting BCU ahead 4-3.  The Cats added 4 more runs in the 5th to pad their lead 8-3.  Relief pitchers Bryan Rivera and Jordan Dailey held DSU both hitless and scoreless through the final 6 and 2/3rds securing the win for the good guys. 

David Lee finish the contest with 4 RBIs and was named the tournaments Most Outstanding Player honors.  BCU will find out their NCAA Regionals destination on Monday, May 23rd when the pairings are announced.

Elliott, Speller Named Bethune-Cookman Athletes Of The Year

NEWS RELEASE
May 15, 2012
 
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Bethune-Cookman University Athletic Department has named Stanley Elliott and Stacey Speller its 2011-12 Male and Female Athletes of the Year, it was announced Friday in conjunction with university commencement exercises.
 
The awards are based on criteria including academic and athletic achievement, as well as leadership and high character. The selection committee consisted of the B-CU Athletic Department’s senior management.
 
Elliott, a senior men’s basketball player from Newark, N.J., was a four-year starter for the Wildcats. He graduated Saturday as the first player since the program elevated to Division I in 1980 to enjoy a winning record in each of his four years. During his time, B-CU won its first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) regular season championship in 2011, played its first post-season game in the 2011 NIT and appeared in the MEAC Tournament championship game for the first time in 2012.
A Mass Communications major, he leaves B-CU as the all-time leader in games played and ninth on the all-time steals list.
 
“I have watched Stanley Elliott perform at a very high level both academically and athletically the past four years,” said B-CU athletic Director Lynn W. Thompson. “For him to cap off a tremendous career on the court, walk across the stage and receive his degree, and being named Male Athlete of The Year is is the perfect trifecta for a well-deserving young man.”
 
Speller, a senior women’s tennis player from Bronx, N.Y., was named to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference first team after compiling a 15-8 record in singles play and 16-8 in doubles play. Her leadership helped Lady Wildcats improve from a 5-15 mark in 2011 to 20-7 this season.
She received her Biology degree on Saturday.
 
“Stacy’s story is a true success story for the whole world to know,” said B-CU Senior Women’s Administrator Sandra L Booker. “Not only has she been an excellent student-athlete, but she is a wife and mother as well. Her accomplishments in athletics are only a small portion of the success of this outstanding young lady.”

Congratulations to the Lady Wildcat Softball and Golf teams

Coach Chris Cochran and the Lady Wildcats wrapped up their third consecutive MEAC Softball Tournament title  by defeating arch rival FAMU 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. 

Cesley Tafoya’s RBI double down the left field line plated 2 Wildcat runners in the bottom of the 2nd and that was all of the offense the Cats would need.  Sophomore pitcher, Shanel Tolbert allowed just one run in the top of the 1st and secured yet another championship (8th overall) for the Lady Wildcats.

The Lady Wildcats will now travel to College Station, Texas to take on Texas A&M in Regional play.  Texas State and LSU will also compete in the College Station Regional.

The women’s golf team withstood a hard charge from South Carolina State to win the PGA’s National Minority Golf Championship (NMGC) for a record 9th time. 

Here are a number of fun facts for you. 

  • The Women’s NMGC has been in existence for 15 years. 
  • BCU’s women’s golf team have won 9 of the 15 titles. 
  • This year’s 916 three-day shot total is only 4 more than the tournament record.  (And to think, this current National Championship team is made up entirely of underclassmen).

 

Miami Dolphins sign former BCU linebacker Ryan Lewis to free agent deal

The Miami Dolphins have signed former BCU linebacker, Ryan Lewis, to a rookie free agent deal according to the Palm Beach Post.

Lewis is a two time All-MEAC defensive performer and was selected as the conference’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year in 2011.  But don’t expect to see the 6-1, 245 pound Pompano Beach native making tackles, taking on offensive linemen,  or guarding tight ends if he’s on Miami’s roster next year.  The Dolphins are expected to convert Lewis to fullback.

Lewis is the third BCU player to ink a free agent deal this week (Ryan Davis, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars; and Jean Fanor, S, Kansas City Chiefs).

Best of luck to Ryan Lewis in all of his future endeavors.