Florida College Magazine
A Spirit of Teamwork pageâ€‰10
Join the FCAA! The Florida College Athletic Association firmly believes that athletics are an important part of the college experience. We believe this for several reasons: athletics promote team camaraderie, discipline, school spirit and healthy competition. Because of this belief, the FCAA holds the support of Florida College intercollegiate athletic programs as its core purpose. We provide current and future programs with financial support and volunteer service. We raise awareness of the College and its programs in the community by supporting student sporting and fundraising events. And we have established an endowment that will perpetually fund the Florida College athletic programs.
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Florida College Magazine is presented to you by: Editor Jared Barr ’01
Art Director Brian Harber ’07/’09
Staff Writer Chase Ray ’12
Photographer Samuel Ward ’13
Florida College Magazine is published three times a year by Florida College, and distributed free of charge to alumni and friends of Florida College. The printed magazine has a circulation of approximately 18,500. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher.
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Donna Parimore In 1999, Donna Parimore assembled a squad of volleyball class standouts. A year later, the team graduated from club status and became Florida College’s first official women’s athletic team.
10 A Spirit of Teamwork In 2011, athletic director Kenny Moorer began launching Florida College’s first-ever women’s basketball program. “With the caliber of girls that were available, we knew it was now or never.”
2 My Corner of the World 3 A Word from FCAA 4 Profile: Justin Mitchell 5 Learning His Way 7 Living His Way 8 Profile: Austin Parimore 9 Leading His Way
12 Falcon Year-End Summaries Read about the 2011–2012 athletic year with focuses on soccer, basketball, cross-country and volleyball.
Save The Date: 2012 Leadership Dinner Dr. Ben Carson is an author, a professor of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, oncology and pediatrics, and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
Follow us online: facebook.com/floridacollege twitter.com/floridacollege floridacollege.edu/linkedin
14 Profile: Kerri Taylor 15 Profile: Jenny Moorer
My Corner of the World Dr. H. E. “Buddy” Payne ’65 | President
I am pleased to present the latest edition of Florida College
As the summer comes to a close the following pages will
Magazine. This edition highlights the role that the College’s
provide a review of the 2011-12 season as well as a preview
athletic programs play in representing Florida College
of the season to come.
through its coaches and athletes.
We are blessed with many outstanding student athletes who sacrifice their talents, energy and time in order to compete honorably and represent Florida College.
This edition will highlight such athletes who excel in their
H.E. “Buddy” Payne, Jr., Ph.D.
sport as well as academically and spiritually.
A Word from FCAA Chase Clark | FCAA President
Since 2000, the mission of the Florida College Athletic As-
more from our players and coaches as we embark on a
sociation has been to enhance and support the athletic
new campaign to increase awareness of athletics and our
programs at Florida College. We feel very strongly about
membership in the FCAA.
the need for a thriving intercollegiate athletic program as an integral part of the collegiate experience that seeks to meld the mental, physical, social and spiritual elements of life.
In the past year, we have helped send teams to national tournaments, provided athletic scholarships, funded ongoing maintenance for the new soccer fields, and played an integral role in helping complete the Score for the
For the past 12 years, the FCAA has worked to promote men’s and women’s athletics through awareness campaigns and fundraising. We are thrilled about recent enhancements in the promotion of athletics through me-
Floor project with the addition of new scoreboards and shot clocks. We can do more—but we need your help! Join the FCAA and help us further enhance and support our Falcons.
dia such as this magazine and the new athletics website,
we are fc.com. This year you will be seeing and hearing
President of FCAA
Join today at we are fc.com/fcaa!
Florida College Magazine
Justin Mitchell 55
Senior | Forward | 6’5” | 175 lbs. | Wesley Chapel, Fla.
How do you balance athletics with academics? I know I won’t have time to study during my hours I’m committed to practice, so that makes planning a study schedule easier. My academics always come first; for me, basketball is a nice break from the stress of studying.
Is there any correlation between your growth on and off the court? For me, collegiate basketball has helped me grow not only in further disciplining myself, but in forcing me to be a part of something bigger than myself. That’s the biggest correlation—learning to function as a part of a team.
How has your coach impacted your academic career? He has always made it clear in practices and personal conversations that academics are the primary focus of college. Basketball is certainly very rewarding, but Coach always reminds us that it’s a way to more easily gain an education—it’s a privilege in college and should never be put first.
How would you describe your overall athletic experience at Florida College? Basketball has paid for a significant portion of my tuition. In that respect, it goes along with what Coach says about basketball being a way to more easily gain an education. Playing ball with other Christians has most affected my basketball career at Florida College. In high school, I never had the opportunity to play with other Christians. I’d rather lose all my games playing with teammates who share that commonality than win games with teammates with whom I have no interests. Basketball at Florida College has had its ups and downs, but it has overall proved to be an extension of what makes this school so great: it’s doing something you love while surrounded by wonderful people.
Virginia Maness is learning His way. Virginia Maness could not wait to arrive at Florida College.
Virginia found her independent studies in Piano Pedagogy to
The declared Music major was eager to develop her musical
be particularly helpful and believes they will be instrumental in
skills and mature spiritually—as long as she didn’t have to meet
fulfilling her aspirations of one day opening her own piano stu-
anybody in the process.
dio. Her natural inclination toward music earned her last year’s
“As a kid I was painfully shy—I would cry when I had to meet strangers. I was panicking the summer before coming to Florida College because I had no idea how I would ever make friends.” So, at the start of her freshman year, she plunged herself into the social atmosphere of the College. “I promised myself that I would overcome this fear,” she says. “I am so thankful I did because the connections I have made and the opportunities they presented have enriched my life. People became less scary as I became less scared!”
Activity Award in Piano. Virginia continued to branch out from her comfort zone in taking Aural Theory, Conducting and Music Technology classes—all socially intensive courses. She went on to win the Academic Award for Communication and has since elected to minor in the subject. Though she was initially hesitant to step into the social spectrum, Virginia now finds herself highly involved in several social endeavors. She is currently vice president of the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME) and was recently elected secretary of the student body for the 2012–2013 school year.
After overcoming this initial obstacle, excelling academically
“Learning to branch out has given me a greater confidence in
proved to be easy. In fact, the friendships she made were at
who I am. I’ll always remember how the friendships and activi-
times the source of her motivation. “This degree is one of the
ties here helped me grow.”
hardest things I’ve ever done,” she says. “There were several times I almost quit. Thanks to a couple of fellow music majors,
That’s how Virginia is learning His way.
I buckled down and learned to work through my challenges.”
Florida College Magazine
Donna Parimore YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE—the timeworn, truthful adage
her passion and dedication to be infectious. “She has a way
that spurs us all toward commitment. It reminds us that
of instilling her own fire into her players,” the star middle
success is only achieved through hard work and determina-
blocker said. “It was impossible to not feel the same pas-
tion. It is an adage that Florida College athletics subscribes
sion that she has for the game and for her players.” Amanda,
to, as well as its most winning coach.
a four-year member of Florida College’s volleyball team,
In 1999, Donna Parimore assembled a squad of volleyball class standouts and enrolled in a women’s league at the USF recreational center. A year later, the team graduated from club status and became Florida College’s first official women’s athletic team. Even in their first season the team showed promise and received an invitation to the National Tournament where they received fourth place. Since its inception 13 years ago, the program has amassed 8 USCAA National Championships and even more tournament invitations. The reason for the program’s consecutive years of success can largely attributed to the consistent, competitive nature of its coach, who perennially infuses her fiery sense of competition into each season.
had plenty of time to garner from Donna’s presence off the court as well. “She is such a caring person and always makes sure people are welcomed at the College,” she said. “I feel extremely blessed to have played for her. After four years, I’m honored to have known her as both my coach and friend.” The testament of players like Amanda remind us that of the many valuable assets Donna Parimore brings to Florida College volleyball, the most valuable is her own personality. Each season, the team takes on her likeness and mirrors her fierce competitiveness, tedious work ethic and above all, her Christ-like demeanor in winning or losing—but more often, in winning. We thank Donna for her commitment to the advancement of Florida College volleyball and her
Amanda Schaefer, a recent graduate of the Business pro-
greater desire to positively affect the lives of countless ath-
gram, spent four years under Coach Parimore and found
letes through sport.
Nikki Mackey is living His way. Sophomore Nikki Mackey’s time at Florida College was almost
Nikki’s involvement as an Academic Ambassador, Supplemen-
complete. After serving as president of Phi Theta Kappa, receiv-
tal Instruction Leader, and cross-country co-captain has provid-
ing the academic award in Biology and earning the recognition
ed her with opportunities to excel outside the classroom. She
of class Salutatorian, she required only a walk across the gradu-
was also honored as this year’s Miss Florida College. In particular,
ation stage and a handshake from the Dean of Students and
she recalls her commitment as a Supplemental Instructor for
she would receive her Associate in Arts degree—the traditional
Anatomy & Physiology, an opportunity that strengthened her
way to conclude two highly successful years at Florida College.
conviction to serve: “The position not only provided me with
But the aspiring physical therapist decided she wasn’t quite ready to conclude her Florida College education. “After receiving my Associate in Arts degree, I considered transferring to a different school to complete my bachelor’s degree. When I realized I could take all the courses at Florida College required for a physical therapy program, I knew I had to stay.” By choosing to stay, she continued to prepare herself for the competitive field of physical therapy by taking classes directly pertaining to her profession. She also gained valuable experience. “One of my professors personally arranged for me to volunteer for an entire semester at a local physical therapy clinic.
material required for graduate school; it has allowed me to interact personally with many kind-hearted and bright lowerdivision students.” When Nikki decided to stay at Florida College an additional two years, she took another step in her ultimate goal of helping people through physical therapy—but gained so much more. “The opportunities and accomplishments I have experienced here would not have been possible at any other school. They have helped strengthen my conviction that helping people is the absolute best way I can spend my time.” That’s how Nikki is living His way.
A lot of people have worked very hard to help me get into Physical Therapy school.”
Florida College Magazine
Senior | Guard | 5’10” | 160 lbs. | Temple Terrace, Fla.
How do you balance athletics with academics at Florida College? I’ve always found that playing sports has helped my schoolwork. Even though basketball takes up a lot of my time, it helps me set a schedule and manage my time.
What are your plans after you graduate? After I complete my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, I plan to pursue a master’s degree in either finance or criminology.
How has playing basketball influenced your spiritual life at Florida College? It has allowed me to become closer to the Christians on the team. My teammates have provided me with such a positive influence; I hope I’ve encouraged them as well. Coach has been a particular encouragement, and has always been open to spiritual discussions or advice.
Describe your overall athletic experience at Florida College. There have been ups and downs, but it’s been very positive overall. I feel like playing basketball here has made me a better person because of the relationships I’ve made and the many lessons I’ve learned.
Why basketball at Florida College? Were there other offers? In high school, I was actually a lot more skilled in soccer, but basketball has always been my passion. I received some offers to play soccer at different colleges in the area, but turned them down. Above anything else, my goal is to grow spiritually, and I realized that playing basketball at FC is the best way I can do that.
Is there a significant correlation between your growth on and off the court? The two are directly related. I developed my leadership and ability to overcome adversity on the court. Off the court, it’s the same thing, but in a different context—like practice.
Beau Kirkwood is leading His way. From maintaining a solid 3.8 GPA to standing out in show choir
Beau cites I Peter 2:21–25, which calls Christ our chief example,
to quarterbacking his Texas high school’s football team, Beau
as a source of inspiration and conviction.
Kirkwood was always in the position to lead. His academic achievements presented him with multiple scholarship opportunities, and his astute quarterbacking skills peaked the interest of NCAA recruiters. Wherever Beau decided to go in college, it appeared that his future would be bright. But the summer after his senior year broadened his options. In his final year at Florida College’s Louisiana camp, he became a Christian and decided shortly after to take his first trip to Temple Terrace to tour the campus. Weeks later he arrived again, this time eager to begin his first semester at Florida College. “My original plan was to play football at the next level,” he said. “I never even considered coming to Florida College, but I’m glad I did.” Here, Beau easily translated his high school achievements to the collegiate atmosphere. Most importantly, he learned—or rather, relearned—the concept of leadership. “In high school, I was in plenty of positions to lead,” he said. “But I had an incorrect idea of what leadership truly is. I’ve recently discovered that for a Christian, leading is more about following.”
Beau has since continued in his high school talents under this assumption, and exercised his refreshed outlook on leadership in society sports, where he relived his quarterbacking glory days. He also has contributed two years in the College’s performance group, Friends, where he is a lead singer, multi-instrumentalist and a pattern for first-year vocalists. As Beau enters his junior year, he plans to incorporate his academic rigor and newfound interest in leadership into the medical field. After completing his Associate’s degree, he decided to follow in the footsteps of his father, a private practice physician, and enrolled in Florida College’s flourishing Pre-Med program. “I realize now that example is key in any type of leadership. If anyone wants to correctly lead in anything, he must be a follower of Christ’s example,” Beau said. “Wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, I know I need to be that kind of a leader.” That’s how Beau is leading His way.
Florida College Magazine
A Spirit of Teamwork In 2011, athletic director Kenny Moorer began the process of launching Florida College’s first-ever women’s basketball program. “We had been talking about starting a women’s team for a while now,” he said. “But timing is everything, and with the caliber of girls that were available last year, we knew it was now or never.”
The team began an unofficial club season on January 7, 2012 and quick-
Freshman Porter was pleasantly surprised at the team’s success, which
ly proved Coach Moorer’s instincts to be spot-on. The team of walk-ons
she attributes to their ability to quickly coalesce on the court. “We
enjoyed a surprising level of success, achieving a record of 8–3 against
didn’t have the same time to prepare as our opponents did, and we
established collegiate programs comprised of sought-after recruits.
had to rely a lot on instinct at first,” she said. “But as the season pro-
On the court, the team was led by captains Jenny Moorer and Kelsey
gressed, so did our trust in one another, as well as our level of play.”
Porter. Moorer contributed as the team’s leading scorer (16 points per
For senior Amanda Schaefer, the news of the program’s official induc-
game) and achieved a team-high 35-point game, while Porter assisted
tion this fall came as bittersweet. “It’s a bit sad to me that I just barely
through her versatility, anchoring the offense at point guard and serv-
missed the team’s official induction,” she said. “But it was a privilege
ing as the team’s most tenacious perimeter defender.
to be a part of this team’s beginning. In a way, we all made history.”
With the lone senior’s departure comes a class of freshman recruits,
“Our expectation is to earn an invitation to a national championship,”
the first of which is Bowling Green’s Molly Lamb.
Coach Moorer said. This upcoming season, however, he will readily await
Lamb, an outstanding high school talent, set records at her alma mater, finishing second all-time in rebounding and first in scoring (19.9 points per game her senior season). In signing with Florida College, she set another record in becoming the women’s basketball program’s first signee.
the fulfillment of that expectation from the stands as he leaves the team in the capable hands of his assistant, Cornelia Jones, a two-time All-American and Hall of Famer at Delta State. “I feel privileged to have started this program,” Moorer said. “But it was always my intention to do only that. I’m entirely confident that Coach Jones will pick up next season where
With a high school phenom already on the roster and eight returning play-
we left off.” Jones and the Lady Falcons aim to do just that. “To say that
ers, next year’s season already looks to be a success. But the Lady Falcons
we’re excited for next season is an understatement,” added Kelsey Porter.
expect to achieve much more than just success.
“I think I speak for the team when I say that we’ll leave it all on the court.”
Florida College Magazine
Comprised of nine freshmen and only one senior, this year’s women’s soccer team was forced to overcome their inexperience with skill, discipline and a level of maturity that surpassed their youth. The team achieved an impressive 7–4–3 record under the leadership of coach Chris Oliver,
who attributed much of their success to their coach-ability. “They’re ‘FC girls’,” he explained. “They exemplify the type of character that makes coaching simpler and more enjoyable.” The team looks to maintain the same attitude next season as they grow in experience and skill. With the help of several experienced transfer players and five seniors, this year’s men’s soccer team achieved a 10–3 record and a trip to the National Championship game. Freshman Daniel Ramirez, who grew up playing soccer and has competed on various levels, cannot compare FC soccer to any other athletic experience. “The players were the best thing about this team,” he recalls. “We shared the same mentality as a group and encouraged one another. It showed on the field.”
Men’s and Women’s
There will never be a highlight reel of game-winning intangible plays, nor will the game ever be measured by the immeasurable. But this year’s men’s basketball team was motivated by something intangible—in fact, another “I.” “We were motivated by asking ourselves ‘What can I do as an individual to make the team better?’” junior point guard Austin Parimore explained. “Our motto for this season was to focus on the ‘I’ in ‘team.’” The team’s 7–16 record was less than expected, but was riddled with several intangible—and some very tangible— victories, as well as a roster of “I”s committed to individual improvement for the betterment of the team. This philosophy produced an unforgettable win against Southeastern University, a 15th-ranked team in the superior NAIA conference. The team was led by Coach Robb Mitchell (’91) and senior captains Jesse Hastings and Nic Gilbert. Hastings came back from a torn ACL last year to have a successful season that topped off a likewise successful basketball career (1,316 points, 633 rebounds), and Gilbert continued to contribute through his vocal leadership and tenacious hustle (417 points, 199 assists).
Men’s and Women’s
This season the cross-country team treaded new ground by setting a hand-
captain David Smelser. “We’re all committed to being the best runners
ful of competitive and inter-team records. Hannah Keehn became the first
we can be, but we still maintain goals of higher importance off the track.”
woman at Florida College to be named the USCAA Athlete of the Week.
The aspiring physical therapist was referring to the team’s most notable feat
She also captured the first women’s trophy, securing 10th place at the
of producing six runners who qualified as Academic All-Americans. More
Florida Tech meet and setting a new women’s 5K record for the College.
important still is the spiritual focus the team maintains every season—
“It’s been a privilege to run for this team during my last two seasons,” said
glorifying God, whether winning or losing.
This year marked their third USCAA National Championship in three years,
attained in the USCAA tournament. There, senior Amanda Schaefer and
an elusive “three-peat.” It seemed to be the only way to raise the bar set by
juniors Kerri Taylor and Jenny Moorer led the team with their post-season
Coach Donna Parimore’s sterling 13-year program, during which the Lady
experience. The trio qualified as both All-Americans and Academic All-
Falcons won seven national championships in the past decade.
Americans, and Kerri Taylor won her second consecutive tournament MVP.
With seven returning players and several talented freshmen, the team com-
A “four-peat” won’t exactly have the same ring to it as its precursor, but
pleted a season record of 30–7. But the team’s greatest achievements were
given their preference for excellence, it’s likely the Lady Falcons won’t mind.
Kerri KerriTaylor Taylor
Senior | 6’1” | Forward | Colorado Springs, Colo.
How do you balance athletics with academics? There are definitely some late nights involved, but it is all about time management. Doing your homework in between classes in the library rather than hanging out in the Student Center, doing homework and studying on the bus and at hotels on trips, and most of all talking with the teachers about it.
What are your plans after you graduate? I plan on finishing my bachelor’s in Elementary Education next year, and hopefully teaching after that.
How has volleyball positively influenced your spiritual life at Florida College? Our teams sing, have a devo, and pray before and after games. We all know that the only reason we are able to play and have success is from God. We want to give him all the glory and we try to make sure that before games we focus on God, we keep a Christ-like attitude during games, and give him the glory (win or loss) after the game.
Why volleyball at Florida College? I chose to play volleyball at Florida College because I love this school and this sport. I have been able to grow in my passion for the sport because I love being around my teammates and my coaches! They are my family and we have such a deeper bond than any other team could have because we have the common ground of Christianity.
How has your coach impacted you? Coach Parimore pushes us as athletes. She keeps up with us in the summer and makes sure that we are doing our workouts and doing them correctly. Even in practice, she pushes for perfection. She supports our academic careers by making sure we are registered for classes on time, know when drop/add deadlines are, and offers her support and help if we are struggling in a class. She is willing to talk about school and help us to the best of her ability!
Jenny Moorer 22
Senior | 5’10” | Forward | Temple Terrace, Fla.
How do you balance athletics with academics? Two words: time management. It’s taking advantage and utilizing the free time you have. As Coach always says, “Bring your homework on the bus or else you’ll have a late night studying!”
What are your plans after you graduate? I plan to attend graduate school and specialize in professional counseling.
How has basketball positively influenced your life at Florida College? It taught me to prioritize and in some ways motivates me to prove to myself that I can push myself and try to improve at everything I do. Socially, playing sports has created many new friendships that I probably wouldn’t have gained otherwise.
Describe your overall athletic experience at Florida College Having won 3 national championships and being a part of the first ever women’s basketball team, I’d say it’s been pretty awesome.
Why athletics at Florida College? At a place like Florida College you aren’t expected to eat, sleep, and breath the sports you play. Yes, you’re expected to give that sport 110%, but the coaches also realize there is more to life than the sport itself. You really do get a well-rounded college experience as an athlete and I really appreciate that.
How has your coach impacted your athletic career? Academic career? Growing up, my dad was my coach who taught me the fundamentals of basketball. His emphasis on every detail of the game helped me develop discipline as an athlete.
Florida College Magazine
Save the Date
The 2012 Florida College Leadership Dinner
Benjamin Carson, M.D. September 27, 2012 The son of a single mother in a tough urban neighborhood, Carson was running with the wrong crowd and failing in school, feeling he had no way out. He could easily have spiraled downward, but he chose another path. Driven by a passion for science and helping those less fortunate, Carson pursued medicine, and ultimately became one of the most respected neurosurgeons in the world. Carson’s riveting presentation inspires audiences to take charge of their lives, no matter what obstacles confront them. Soft-spoken yet charismatic, Carson commands the stage. He captivates people with a compelling presentation that’s humorous, insightful and thought-provoking, showing them the keys to turning great challenges into still greater triumphs.
Dr. Carson is an author, a professor of neurosurgery, plastic surgery, oncology and pediatrics, and the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
“Some say he would be a great man even if he never picked up a scalpel.” (PARADE) “Dr. Ben Carson has conquered many risky situations in his lifetime, both personally and professionally. In ‘Take the Risk,’ he explains how he looks at life and why God put us here on earth.” (Tony Dungy) “Read Ben’s advice, and you won’t just be more willing to accept risk, you’ll want to embrace it as something that can make your life better and more fulfilling.” (George Lucas)
To read more, visit floridacollege.edu/leadershipdinner.
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Saif Alsafeer (’13) (#10, Jacksonville, Fla.) anticipates his teammate’s passing the ball at Qualls Field on Florida College’s Athletic Complex.