Wildcat Press Volume 5, Issue 2
A publication of Johnson & Wales University Charlotte Athletics
In This Issue Men’s Basketball Recap Women’s Basketball Recap Men’s Soccer Preview Women’s Soccer Preview Volleyball Preview Athletics Updates Alumni Spotlight Department Information
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JWU Charlotte Athletics — Spring/Summer 2016
In the second year under Head Coach Jim Casciano, the Johnson & Wales Charlotte Men’s Basketball Team (16-13) made its second consecutive trip to the USCAA Division II National Championships. This year’s run began in sensational fashion as the #6 Wildcats won their first game in a double-overtime thriller over #3 Penn State Mont Alto. Their next game saw the Wildcats battle #2 Central Penn to the wire in a loss in overtime. A second trip to the USCAA Division II Final Four for the Wildcats speaks volumes to the success of the program, and the future looks bright for JWU as they hope to be playing for a national championship in the years to come. The season saw several Wildcat players reach personal milestones. Senior Josh Cohen became the program’s first 1,000-point scorer on January 6. His teammate, junior Rickey Porter, joined him with 1,000 points of his own on February 22. Not to be left out, senior guard Nick Crawford also joined the club after a career performance in the Wildcats’ victory in the USCAA National Championships. Crawford’s near tripledouble of 28 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists, four steals and two blocks put him in the 1,000 Point Club and his team into the national semifinals. The Wildcats were also able to honor three graduating seniors for their contributions to the program. Cohen and Crawford have the satisfaction of reaching personal goals for themselves, but they are also a tremendous part of the emergence of the JWU Men’s Basketball Team. Their first two seasons were a struggle, but their commitment and hard work helped the team reach new heights in their final two seasons. Team manager Doug Wamsley was also recognized for his dedication to the team and tireless work on the sidelines and behind the scenes. These three young men will be missed, and the coaches, staff, and players are very appreciative of their contributions to the program. Additionally, JWU had some players honored at the national level. Rickey Porter earned USCAA Division II 1st Team All-American Honors and then was named National Player of the Year. Sophomores Jarrett Ballard and Rodney Kirby each earned Academic All-American awards for their efforts in the classroom. The Wildcats were on hand at the USCAA awards banquet to accept these awards in person. Coach Casciano is already hard at work on the recruiting trail and in the office preparing for next season. Check out the JWU Men’s Basketball homepage for all of the latest updates and signings. Congratulations to the team on a job well done, and we are already looking forward to next season!
JWU Charlotte Athletics — Spring/Summer 2016
The Johnson & Wales Charlotte Women’s Basketball Team made great strides in their second season under the leadership of new head coach Trudi Lacey. Coach Lacey, a former WNBA coach and executive, took over the Wildcat program after the passing of her friend, Coach John Jordan, and guided the Wildcats to a 7-16 record. This season featured some signature wins and performances from the Wildcat squad. The team went 6-3 in USCAA play, with season sweeps over Mid-Atlantic Christian University and Christendom College and victories over Florida College and Penn State Fayette. The team also put a scare into visiting NCAA Division I foe North Carolina Central University, who barely escaped the Wildcat Center with a 68-58 victory in a hard- fought game. Coach Lacey is very encouraged by her team’s play this season. Several key players sustained injuries throughout the year, and the Wildcats were without some key contributors for the duration of the season following their injuries. The team was able to adjust and battle on, but the loss of these players certainly impacted the team. This offseason will be time for the roster to get healthy, and the addition of new players will further enhance the team’s potential for next season. The program honored two seniors for their contributions this season. Vanessa Taylor and Justina Tyler each played for two seasons in the Wildcat program. Taylor was part of the club team and athletics staff at JWU and was an integral part of the development of the JWU Women’s Basketball Program. Tyler transferred to JWU after managing a college team to take advantage of the opportunity to play at the college level. She was known for her toughness and poise as a mature presence on and off the court for the Wildcats. The Wildcats landed one player on the USCAA Division II All-American 2nd Team. Vanderia Shackleford, who earned All-American Honorable Mention last season, was also honored for her play this season. She set a school record by becoming the first Wildcat basketball player (male or female) to score 40 points in a game with her 40-point effort against Voorhees College. This capped a span of six straight 20point games for her, and she averaged 16.3 points per game for the season. Coach Lacey and her staff are already hosting workouts and attending recruiting events, looking for new Wildcats to join the team for next season. Make sure to check out the Women’s Basketball homepage for all of the latest news on signings and team updates.
JWU Charlotte Athletics — Spring/Summer 2016
After bursting onto the scene last season with a 9-1 USCAA record, Head Coach James Drzewiecki and the JWU Men’s Soccer Team are poised to continue their growth in 2016 through spring workouts and scrimmages against quality opponents. Coach Drzewiecki and his staff are scouring the recruiting trail in search of new talent to add to JWU’s already-impressive squad. In 2015, the Wildcats offered a balanced approach with a lightning-fast attack on offense and stout defensive play. Captains Jacob Till at midfielder and John Lowes at goalkeeper lead a 2016 JWU team that also features the strong play of JT Fucci on defense and Sam Fanning in the midfield. Coach Drzewiecki plans to look to these young men and other key returners to carry the Wildcats into their second season. In addition to a solid returning core of players, Coach Drzewiecki has also announced two signings for the Wildcats this spring. Shawn Geiger of Columbia, SC and Isaiah Villanueva of Gastonia, NC have already committed for the 2016 season. Coach Drzewiecki anticipates the signings of several more Wildcats this spring, so check out the JWU Men’s Soccer homepage and follow JWU Athletics on social media for all of the latest updates and signing news. The team reports to campus the first week of August to begin preseason training for their season, which begins August 22, when the team travels to USC Lancaster.
JWU Women’s Soccer has quickly established high standards for itself as a program by promoting academics and teamwork under Head Coach Matt Hisler. The team led the way for JWU Athletics with six Academic All-American recipients in 2015 and posted a 3.35 team GPA through the winter term. After getting the program’s first three wins in 2015, Coach Hisler’s young team will look to demonstrate their growth through the leadership of team captain and USCAA Player of the Week Danielle Doyle. The team will participate in its first spring season during April and May, which will feature skill development training sessions and be highlighted by a match day at NCAA Division II Queens University. Coach Hisler has been hard at work signing players for the 2016 recruiting class. Sydney Parker of Wilmington, NC, Lana Truese of Herndon, VA, Eva Purdy of Lexington, NC, Brianna Mosely, a Michigan native from Wilmington, NC, and Lexie Mignosa of Hillsborough, NC will all suit up for the Wildcats this fall. Before the end of the school year, Coach Hisler anticipates four or five more signings, and he is excited about all of the new additions to his roster. Check out the JWU Women’s Soccer homepage and JWU Athletics social media for all of the latest team information and signings. The team will return to campus the first week of August to begin its preseason preparation. The Wildcats’ first game is scheduled for August 22 at USC-Salkehatchie.
JWU Charlotte Athletics — Spring/Summer 2016
2016 is shaping up to be a strong year for the JWU Charlotte Volleyball Team. After completing community outreach events and study halls during their offseason, the Wildcats will be active again in the spring with a spring workout and practice schedule to prepare for their season this fall. In addition to practices, the team will participate in scrimmages with Bob Jones University and Toccoa Falls College. They may even get a visit from their friendly rivals down Trade Street, Johnson C. Smith University. After posting 16 wins in 2015, the team needs 17 wins in 2016 to reach 100 program victories for JWU Volleyball. This will certainly be a motivator for the team, who will be led by 2015 2nd Team USCAA AllAmerican Lucy Herrmann. Also returning are Halle Franklin, Mattie McGill, Kaylin Doctor, Tiy Gonzalez, and Summer Trzcinski. So far, the Wildcats have announced the following additions to the roster: Donna Harris of Powdersville, SC, Cydni Baldwin of Efland, NC, Caitlyn Coffin of Jonesport, ME, Madison Steed of Charlotte, NC, Angelique Davis of Tampa, FL, and Victoria Hicklin of Columbia, SC. Head Coach Callie Phillips also expects the signings of a few more players before the season. Stay tuned to the JWU Volleyball webpage and JWU Athletics social media outlets for all of the latest news. The Wildcats will return to campus to host their camp on July 27-29, 2016. All volleyball players grades 4-12 are welcome to attend, regardless of volleyball experience. The team begins play on August 23 at Davidson County Community College.
Longtime Johnson & Wales Charlotte Director of Athletics Stephen Byrd announced his resignation in early March 2016. Hired in 2006, Byrd was tasked with developing the recreation and intercollegiate athletics programs from scratch at the Charlotte Campus. Under his guidance, JWU Charlotte has established five varsity sports, and the professional staff has grown from one to 17. Byrd has accepted the position of Associate Director for Programs Within Recreational Sports at Virginia Commonwealth University. JWU Charlotte Athletics and the Charlotte Campus as a whole are extremely grateful for Stephen Byrd’s work at the school and wish him the best in this endeavor. A nationwide search is underway for this replacement, and the position will be filled by the incoming Dean of Students at Johnson & Wales. In the meantime, Head Volleyball Coach Callie Phillips will serve as Interim Director of Athletics until a new Director is hired. Your participation and help are needed! JWU Athletics will be holding some fundraising events under the leadership of Matt Hisler. We are planning a spring festival (tentatively scheduled for May 13) that will feature indoor and outdoor attractions like a dunk tank, Knockerball, and Hungry, Hungry Hippos (with humans)! We also hope to hold the 1st Annual JWU Athletics Golf Tournament in early August 2016. The staff is hard at work in the planning stages, and we will release more information as it becomes available. Both of these events will benefit the entire department and assist the men’s and women’s soccer teams with their travel to Providence, RI to compete in the JWU Cup this fall. Check out the JWU Athletics website and follow us on social media for the most up-to-date information. If you are interested in participating in, donating to, or volunteering for these events, contact Coach Hisler at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks in advance for your help with these events for JWU Athletics!
1. What was your major at JWU, and what years did you attend? Sports/Entertainment/Event Management — 2010-2013 2. How were you involved in Athletics, and what other organizations did you join on campus? I was a part of the first year of the varsity volleyball program at JWU, which was a true learning experience I wouldn't change for the world. My senior year, I served as Captain along with my good friend and teammate, Chelsi. Also, I worked side-by-side with professors in the Hospitality College. 3. What were your long-term goals while attending JWU? Did your goals stay the same as you moved through the program? While attending JWU, my long-term goals included concert and event production. As I moved throughout the program, my goals stayed the same, but I began to explore every facet of my major from catering to sports marketing. 4. Where do you work now, and what are your responsibilities? Thanks to my internship through JWU, I landed my current job. For the past two years, I have served as the Assistant Show Manager for the Southern Women's Show in Charlotte and Savannah. I am in true show business here at Southern Shows, Inc. 5. How did JWU prepare you for your current situation? Words can't express how tremendously prepared I felt after graduating from JWU. Not only was the curriculum significantly helpful in learning every aspect of the industry, the professors showed a genuine interest in helping you succeed. I was fortunate to attend a university with high career-oriented standards. The hands-on opportunities I experienced and the industry professionals I met while attending JWU are things I will always cherish. 6. How did Athletics help you prepare for your career, and what can Athletics at the college level do for student-athletes and general students? Athletics have been a crucial part of my life since I was a child, and I thank my parents for involving me in something so life- changing. Being a part of a team and competing is what I lived for my whole life. At the college level, Athletics gave me a feeling of responsibility, drive, and passion, which are traits that have carried over into the work field. In the entertainment industry, having a sense of urgency and determination will keep you in the forefront. I am a firm believer in if you love what you do, then you won't work a day in your life. 7. What is the biggest change you've seen at JWU since your time here? The news of President Gallagher's departure was bittersweet for many of us. Knowing such a stand out man and seeing his bow tie every day was a true honor. 8. What would you like to see happen next at JWU (Athletics or otherwise)? As a member of the first varsity volleyball team, my one dream has always been to see varsity athletes get scholarships. Since we train to compete in national titles, scholarships would provide a true sense of meaning to the athletes. In addition to Athletics, I hope to see more degree programs added to the Charlotte Campus.
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