Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coker Alum, Mark Sheftic, Set to Play in 91st PGA Championship

Courtesy of T.J. Auclair, Interactive Producer- PGA.com

A NICE CONSOLATION PRIZE: Mark Sheftic, a PGA Teaching Professional at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., might have left the PGA Professional Narional Championship slightly disappointed.

Making his National Championship debut, Sheftic had a shot to win right up until the final hole. With a bogey on the 72nd hole for a 2-over 73, Sheftic fell into a tie for second, one shot behind the champion, Mike Small.

The defeat was much easier to swallow seeing as it still was more than enough to earn Sheftic a spot in the PGA Championship at Hazeltine.

"What can I say?" Sheftic said. "But it's a dream come true. It's very emotional because I know how hard it is to get there. It has given me much more confidence in my abilities as a player. I'm very proud to be part of the PGA Championship and looking forward to everything to come."

As excited as Sheftic is, he also knows he won't have a lot of time to prepare for playing on golf's grandest stage.

"My first duty is to teach the members at Merion," he said. "That will not change. I have a limited time to practice because of a very busy teaching schedule. I feel very blessed to be the teaching professional at Merion and I have responsibilities I have to look after. If that means earlier mornings and later nights to get my practice time in, that's what I will do. The Philadelphia Section provides a great tournament schedule to help me prepare. I'll try to play in all the tournaments leading up to the PGA."

All in all, it's safe to say that Sheftic can't wait for PGA Championship week to begin.

"The excitement is hard to express in words," he said. "The greatest satisfaction is knowing all the long hours and hard work has paid off. I'm looking forward to putting my game up with the best in the world and see how I fare."

Sheftic is a 1998 graduate of Coker College.

FMU signs SC and FL basketball guards

FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University men’s basketball coach Gary Edwards has announced that 6-1 guard Philip Jenkins of Goose Creek, S.C., and 6-2 guard Michael Highsmith of Sanford, Fla., have signed national letters of intent to attend FMU and play for Patriots this season.
Jenkins is a graduate of Goose Creek High School, where he played for coach Brad Dobbels.
This past season, he averaged 21.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game while leading the Gators to a 27-2 record and the AAAA state championship. He scored 33 points in the title game win.
A two-time All-State selection, he was named the High School Sports Reports’ AAAA Statewide Player of the Year for 2008-09, and he was selected to play in the 2009 Carolinas All-Star Classic.
He was also an honor roll student at Goose Creek.
Highsmith is a product of Lake Brantley High School, where he played for coach Michael Cuff.
As a senior, he averaged 20 points, 7.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and 2.0 steals per game. He was a first-team All-Conference pick, earned his team’s most valuable player award, and was named to the Orlando Sentinel’s Top 30 Seniors List.
He holds Lake Brantley’s single season record for points (587).
“Philip was an important member of Goose Creek’s state championship team and he knows how to win,” said Edwards. “He can score in a variety of ways and is also a good defender. He is a good, young guard who will grow with our program.
“Mike is a big guard who was under recruited in Florida and we feel very fortunate to have him join our program. He is a diamond-in-the rough who may be ready to compete in the Peach Belt earlier than a typical freshman.”
The two signees bring to nine the number of newcomers on the Patriot roster for 2009-2010.
Francis Marion finished the 2008-09 season with a 16-12 record.

Coker Women's Basketball Signs Four

by Christian Stryker, SID Coker College

Hartsville, S.C. - Coker College head women's basketball coach, Carol Meegan, announced the signing of four players to National Letters of Intent to play basketball for the Lady Cobras in 2009-10 today.

Joining the Lady Cobras on the court will be Lucy Fish, Jaime Birr, Amanda Compton and Cassie Kirby.

Fish comes to Coker from across the Atlantic Ocean, as a native of Nottingham, England, where she was a standout player for the Nottingham Wildcats and the England's U18 National Team. Fish is no stranger to Coker, having player for Coker alum, Leanne Chandler, class of 2004. Lucy was a starter for most of the season for the Wildcats and was named England's team captain for the U18 National Team this summer competing in 2009 European Championships in Israel.

Birr is a native of Burnsville, Minn., where she was a three-time All-Conference selection at the Academy of Holy Angels. A two-time captain and four year letter winner, Birr was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 2008-2009. At 6-1 Birr will add some much needed height to the Lady Cobras lineup.

Compton joins the Lady Cobras from Newark, Del., where she was a standout player at Elkton Christian. A 6-3 post player, Compton was named All-Conference in 2009, while scoring 856 points with 951 rebounds in her career. Off the court Amanda is a member of the National Honor Society.

Kirby comes to Coker from Charlottesville, Va., where she was a five-time basketball letter winner at The Miller School of Albemarle. A National Honor Society member and Honor Roll student, Kirby was named to the All-Central Va. Team, was a Second Team Virginia Independent School Blue Ridge Conference selection and was named to the Daily Progress All-Tournament Team. Cassie averaged 10 points, six rebounds and seven assists per game in 2009.

Coach Meegan and the Lady Cobras open the 2009-10 season on November 15, when they host the UNC-Pembroke Braves at 3:00 p.m. in the Timberlake-Lawton Gymnasium. This season the Lady Cobras will be looking to improve on their 11-17 record last season, their best record under Coach Carol Meegan.

Monday's rain-delayed results from the Dixie Youth baseball state tournaments


Surfside Beach 5 Midland 2

FLORENCE, SC – Trevor Bigham hit a solo homer and struck out 10 batters in a complete-game pitching effort as Surfside Beach beat Midland 5-2 in a winners’ bracket game at the 2009 McLeod Health Dixie Youth Baseball Majors State Tournament, Monday night (July 27) in Florence.

Midland’s Grant Petrey laced an RBI single down the left field line in the top of the first frame for a 1-0 advantage. Bigham used heads-up base running to score from second on a fielder’s choice grounder and knotted the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the inning.

Surfside Beach scored an unearned run in the third to lead 2-1, and then scored three times in the fifth inning. In that inning, Bigham homered to center field, and one batter later, Tyler Dillon ripped a two-run shot to right.

Austin Price scored Midland’s other run in the sixth inning when he doubled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Petrey.

Both Price and Petrey had two hits for Midland. Righty Conor Crouch was the losing pitcher.

Dillon had two hits for Surfside Beach.

Surfside Beach advances to play on Tuesday at 8 p.m. against Hartsville National. Midland will play on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Gregg Park.

McLeod Park 9 Laurens 1

FLORENCE, SC – Austin Drummond homered for the third straight game, a three-run shot, to help lead McLeod Park to a 9-1 victory over Laurens in an elimination game at the 2009 McLeod Health Dixie Youth Baseball Majors State Tournament, Monday (July 27) in Florence.

Drummond’s homer and an RBI walk by Weston Lewis gave McLeod Park a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning.

Rip Carter drove in Laurens’ lone run with an RBI ground out in the bottom of the third.

The score remained 4-1 until McLeod Park erupted for five runs in the top of the sixth and final inning. A two-run double by Grayson Cottingham and a two-run single by winning pitcher Steven Calcutt highlighted that frame.

Cottingham finished the game 3-for-4, while Calcutt was 2-for-2.

Darius Harvey led Laurens with a 2-for-2 effort. Qua Parks was the losing pitcher.

McLeod Park stays alive in the tournament to play on Tuesday at 6 p.m. against Lake Marion.

Lake Marion 10 York Central 7

FLORENCE, SC – Wyatt Rucker hammered a three-run home run and pitched two scoreless innings to earn a save and lead Lake Marion to a 10-7 victory over York Central in an elimination game at the 2009 McLeod Health Dixie Youth Baseball Majors State Tournament, Monday (July 27) in Florence.

Luc Greene, who was 2-for-3, hit a two-run single and later scored to give York Central a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Lake Marion answered with five runs in the second frame, and after York Central went back ahead 7-5 in the top of the fourth, Lake Marion scored five more times in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Will Spiers had two hits, including a double, for Lake Marion. Josh Long was the winning pitcher.

John Moorfield hit a three-run homer in York Central’s fourth-inning rally. Mitchell Trotter, Greene, and Moorfield all had two hits.

Lake Marion stays alive to play on Tuesday at 6 p.m. against McLeod Park.

Gregg Park 17 Maple Park 3

FLORENCE, SC – Trailing 3-2 entering the top of the fifth inning, Gregg Park exploded for 15 runs in that frame to claim a 17-2 win over Maple Park in an elimination game at the 2009 McLeod Health Dixie Youth Baseball Majors State Tournament, Monday night (July 27) in Florence.

Both Jackson Veronee and Joseph Whitt were 3-for-4 with a home run and three runs batted in to lead Gregg Park.

Brandyn Quiller was the winning pitcher.

Alex Ward stroked an RBI single for Maple Park, while William Goodwin had an RBI ground out. Adam Martin was the losing pitcher.

Gregg Park survives to face Midland on Tuesday at 7 p.m.


Parks Field American 7 Mid Carolina 6

FLORENCE, SC – Zach Horton struck out the final two batters of the game to strand the tying and winning runs on base in scoring position and help Parks Field American to a thrilling 7-6 win over Mid Carolina in an elimination game at the 2009 McLeod Health Dixie Youth Baseball AAA State Tournament, Monday (July 27) in Florence.

Parks Field American led 7-3 entering the final inning, but Mid Carolina scored three times before Horton snuffed out the rally.

Parks Field American managed only three hits, but got an RBI single from Jonathan Watts in a key five-run third frame. Parker Bass was the winning pitcher and he also doubled.

Trey Kinard, Will Lever, Curtis Graham all had run-scoring singles for Mid Carolina. Kinard was the losing pitcher.

Parks Field American stays alive to play on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. against North Myrtle Beach.

Seneca 14 Gregg Park 5

FLORENCE, SC – Gus Johnson homered twice and drove in five runs to lead Seneca to a 14-5 win over Gregg Park in an elimination game at the 2009 McLeod Health Dixie Youth Baseball AAA State Tournament, Monday (July 27) in Florence.

Joseph Edgar singled and doubled and drove in four runs for Seneca. Jack Fassino had two hits and a pair of RBIs. Cayde Hamilton was the winning pitcher, striking out three in a complete-game effort.

Seneca pulled away with a six-run fifth inning that included a Johnson homer.

Nicholas Clary was 3-for-3 with an RBI for Gregg Park, while Noah Bentley had two hits and scored twice.

Remy White was the losing pitcher.

Seneca survives to play on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. against Pineview.

Pineview 12 Dillon 2

FLORENCE, SC – Pierce Trotter rapped out two hits, drove in two runs, and pitched a complete game with five strikeouts to lead Pineview to a 12-2 victory over Dillon in an elimination game at the 2009 McLeod Health Dixie Youth Baseball AAA State Tournament, Monday (July 27) in Florence.

In addition to Trotter, Jacob Jeffcoat, David Cannaday, and Christian Sharpe all had two hits and two RBIs for Pineview, which led 9-0 after three innings.

Layne Scott had two hits for Dillon, including a run-scoring triple. Jordan Hyatt recorded a single and a double in his two at bats.

Ray McGirt was the losing pitcher.

Pineview stays alive to play on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. against Seneca.

Maple Park 18 North Myrtle Beach 8

FLORENCE, SC – D’Juan Scudder had two hits and three RBIs, while also tossing a complete-game pitching effort, to lead Maple Park to an 18-8 victory over North Myrtle Beach in a winners’ bracket game of the 2009 McLeod Health Dixie Youth Baseball AAA State Tournament, Monday night (July 27) in Florence.

Maple Park lead-off batter Benj Jones was 3-for-3, including a three-run homer in a decisive nine-run fourth inning.

Maple Park trailed 3-0 after the first half inning, but scored four times in its first at bat. Maple Park led 9-8 entering the fourth frame.

Zyier Turner added three hits and two runs batted in for Maple Park, which totaled 15 hits. Harrison Crouch tied a tournament record with four runs scored.

Michael Genovese, the losing pitcher, had an RBI double for North Myrtle Beach. Garrison Gause gave NMB its early lead with a three-run double in the opening frame.

Maple Park advances to play on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against Sumter American. North Myrtle Beach will face Parks Field American on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.


Tournament website: www.2009scdybstatetournament.com

2009 McLeod Health Dixie Youth Baseball AAA (Minors) State Tournament

Saturday, July 25
Game 1: North Myrtle Beach def. Dillon 5-4
Game 2: Parks Field American def. Rock Hill National 6-5
Game 4: Pineview def. Bishopville 15-5
Game 5: Sumter American def. Gregg Park 10-0
Game 3: Maple Park def. Seneca 9-4
Game 6: Mid Carolina def. Hilton Head American 8-4
Sunday, July 26
Home Run Derby (Freedom Florence lower complex) CHAMPION: Nicholas Clary (Gregg Park)
Game 7: Elimination Game Dillon def. Rock Hill National 6-4
Game 8: Elimination Game Seneca def. Bishopville 8-6
Game 9: Elimination Game Gregg Park def. Hilton Head American 7-3
Game 10: Winners' Game Sumter American def. Mid Carolina 9-7
Game 11: Winners' Game Maple Park def. Pineview 8-6
Game 12: Winners' Game North Myrtle Beach def. Parks Field American 9-2
Monday, July 27
Game 13: Elimination Game Seneca def. Gregg Park 14-5
Game 14: Elimination Game Pineview def. Dillon 12-2
Game 15: Elimination Game Parks Field American def. Mid Carolina 7-6
Game 16: Winners' Game Maple Park def. North Myrtle Beach 18-8
Tuesday, July 28
Game 17: Elimination Game Seneca vs Pineview 5:30 pm
Game 18: Elimination Game Parks Field American vs North Myrtle Beach 6:30 pm
Game 19: Winners' Game Sumter American vs Maple Park 7:30 pm
Wednesday, July 29
Game 20: Elimination Game W18 vs L19 5:30 pm
Game 21: Possible Elimination Game W17 vs W19 7:30 pm
Thursday, July 30
Game 22: Championship Game 10 am
Game 23: If Necessary Championship Game 4 pm

2009 McLeod Health Dixie Youth Baseball Majors State Tournament

Saturday, July 25
Game 1: Surfside Beach def. York Central 25-1

Game 2: Gregg Park def. Hampton/Varnville 17-1
Game 4: Lake Marion def. Walhalla 6-2
Game 5: Hartsville National def. Parks Field American 11-5
Game 3: Midland def. McLeod Park 9-8
Game 6: Maple Park def. Laurens 10-0
Sunday, July 26
Home Run Derby (Freedom Florence lower complex) CHAMPION: Jackson Veronee (Gregg Park)
Game 7: Elimination Game York Central def. Hampton/Varnville 12-6
Game 8: Elimination Game McLeod Park def. Walhalla 14-2
Game 9: Elimination Game Laurens def. Parks Field American 4-3 in 7 innings
Game 10: Winners' Game Hartsville National def. Maple Park 10-0
Game 11: Winners' Game Midland def. Lake Marion 13-5
Game 12: Winners' Game Surfside Beach def. Gregg Park 15-2
Monday, July 27
Game 13: Elimination Game McLeod Park def. Laurens 9-1
Game 14: Elimination Game Lake Marion def. York Central 10-7
Game 15: Elimination Game Gregg Park def. Maple Park 17-3
Game 16: Winners' Game Surfside Beach def. Midland 5-2
Tuesday, July 28
Game 17: Elimination Game McLeod Park vs Lake Marion 6 pm
Game 18: Elimination Game Gregg Park vs Midland 7 pm
Game 19: Winners' Game Hartsville National vs Surfside Beach 8 pm
Wednesday, July 29
Game 20: Elimination Game W18 vs L19 6 pm
Game 21: Possible Elimination Game W17 vs W19 8 pm
Thursday, July 30
Game 22: Championship Game 1 pm
Game 23: If Necessary Championship Game 7 pm

Friday, July 24, 2009

FMU Baseball Players listed in final NCAA stats

Six Francis Marion University baseball players were listed in the final 2009 NCAA Division II baseball statistical report, while the Patriots ranked highly in several team categories.
Junior right-handed pitcher Brandon Forshee (Jacksonville, Fla.) ranked second nationally in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (5.44), 19th earned run average (2.08), and 88th in saves (4). Junior southpaw Josh Edgin (Three Springs, Pa.) was 79th in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (7.83), while senior righty David Walters (River Hill, Md.) ranked 97th in wins (7).
Junior Barrett Kleinknecht (Florence, S.C.) was listed among both batting and pitching stats. On the mound, he ranked 46th in saves (6). At the plate, he was 34th in hits (89), 45th in runs batted in (64), 55th in RBIs per game (1.19), 67th in total bases (136), and was the 56th toughest batter to strikeout, fanning only 15 times in 264 plate appearances.
Senior third baseman Keon Graves (Dillon, S.C.) ranked 40th in on-base percentage (.507) and 59th in batting average (.411), while junior outfielder Alex Lee (Blythewood, S.C.) was 46th in sacrifice bunts (10), 65th in walks (34), and 67th in triples (4).
In the team rankings, the Patriots ranked 15th in sacrifice flies (31), 16th in winning percentage (.713), 18th in sacrifice bunts (47), 28th in hits (628), 29th in fielding percentage (.965), 37th in double plays turned (45), 39th in both batting average (.333) and walks (222), 40th in fewest hits allowed per nine innings (9.39), 42nd in team ERA (4.34), 46th in hit-by-pitches (67), 48th in double plays turned per game (0.83), 49th in runs scored (410) and 51st in scoring (7.6 runs per game).
Francis Marion posted a 38-15-1 record in 2009 and finished second during the PBC regular season, won the PBC Tournament title, and earned its fourth NCAA Division II national tournament bid in the past seven years, placing third at the Southeast Regional. The Patriots were ranked 14th in the final 2009 Collegiate Baseball Magazine NCAA Division II Top 30 poll.
Approximately 228 Division II institutions sponsor baseball.

Spratt Statement at Hearing on Recovery Act

ouse Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt made the following opening statement at a hearing today, “The Recovery Act: Strengthening Our Economy.” The committee received testimony from three cabinet secretaries – Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

“Seven months ago, when President Obama took office, the country was in a fiscal tailspin and on the brink of a financial meltdown: a financial crisis had frozen credit, homes were foreclosing at record levels, the economy was losing an average of 700,000 jobs per month, and the stock market had lost nearly $10 trillion in wealth and was heading further downward. Congress and the Obama Administration took quick action to address the crisis. In February, we enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to create and save jobs through short-term investments that have both immediate and long-term economic impacts.

“That action has gradually begun to bear fruit, although we still have a long way to go before we return to where we want to be. It took years for the problem to build, and it will take time to recover fully. But we are no longer dealing with as severe a financial and economic crisis as we faced at the beginning of the year. While the country has lost 6.5 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007 – by far the worst postwar downturn in employment – we have now slowed the rate of job loss. The housing market is picking up again. Retail sales are turning up, and the forecast is for the economy to grow in the third quarter.

“Because so many Americans are continuing to experience the negative impact of this recession, even encouraging signs such as these cannot come fast enough. Yet, the Recovery Act is beginning to provide stability to get the economy moving and bolster hard-hit families, businesses, and states. Already, the Recovery Act has provided a tax credit for 95 percent of working families, assisted more than 12 million jobless Americans with extra unemployment benefits, and increased food assistance to low-income families. Already, states have drawn down more than $23 billion in additional Medicaid funds as they deal with record budget shortfalls. And the Recovery Act has already allowed tens of thousands of teachers, law enforcement, and firefighters to keep their jobs.

“I know that we all share the goals of putting people back to work and lowering the unacceptably high unemployment rate, of ensuring that local communities don’t have to lay off teachers and firefighters due to budget shortfalls, and providing necessary health care and food assistance to those who need help during this economic downturn. While we in Congress may have had disagreements at the time that the economic recovery legislation was passed, I believe it is important for all of us to come together to assess the results to date, to examine what is working and what needs more attention, and to consider the next steps in the country’s recovery.

“The economic recession that began during the previous Administration also has taken its toll on the federal budget, leaving the Obama Administration and this Congress with a massive deficit. Efforts to combat the economic decline – like the Recovery Act – have necessarily eroded the budget’s bottom line even further, and we must first get the economy back on track before we can balance the budget. At the same time, the unacceptably large deficits that we now are facing give us all the more reason why we need to ensure that the stimulus dollars are being spent as effectively as possible.

“We are fortunate today to have three of the most important people charged with implementing key components of the Recovery Act. They are – in the order of when their agencies were incorporated: Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior; Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture; and Ray LaHood, Secretary of Transportation. These three gentlemen need no introduction; they have years of experience working to improve the lives of Americans across the country through their various positions in business, government administration, and politics – we have a former governor, Senator, and Representative here.

“We look forward to hearing how your agencies are using the Recovery Act to provide immediate relief, to save and create new jobs, and lay the groundwork necessary for future investments in our physical and human infrastructure. Each of your agencies is focusing on different aspects of the Recovery Act, and we are interested in what you have to report after these first few months of implementation.

“We very much appreciate your joining us today. Before turning to you for your testimony, let me turn to our Ranking Member, Mr. Ryan, for any statement he cares to make.”

Patriot cage team picks up transfer pair

Francis Marion University men’s basketball coach Gary Edwards has announced that 6-6 swingman Andy Peterson of Sarasota, Fla., and 6-9 post player Andrew Smith of South Milwaukee, Wis., will transfer to FMU and join the Patriot program this fall.
Peterson will transfer to Francis Marion after two seasons at Manatee Community College in Florida.
This past season, he averaged 11.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game and connected on 54.1 percent of his field goal attempts while earning second-team All-Suncoast Conference recognition.
As a freshman, he averaged 10 points and five rebounds per contest and shot 56.8 percent from the field as the Lancers posted a 17-14 record and made their first state tournament appearance in nine years.
A three-year starter in high school, he tallied 18 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists per game as a senior at Sarasota High School. He gained first-team All-Area honors and was named the most valuable player of the 2007 Sarasota-Manatee County PAL Game.
The 260-pound Smith is transferring from the University of Texas-Pan American, where he played one season. As a freshman, he averaged 3.0 points and 1.8 rebounds, while shooting 54.2 percent from field and 69.6 percent at the foul line.
He was a highly decorated player at South Milwaukee High School where he scored more than 1,000 points. He was a first-team All-State and All-Southeast Conference selection while also earning conference Player of the Year honors and being named an All-Star selection.
“Andy had an outstanding junior college career in Florida and is an experienced player who can play a variety of positions,” Edwards said. “He is very skilled, but slender, and I hope we will be able to play him away from the basket a little more in the Peach Belt.
“I am very pleased Andrew will be a part of our program for the next three years. He gives us size and strength around the basket, but he can also step away from the basket and shoot the ball. Each year we have tried to recruit more size and power and this addition keeps us moving in that important direction.”
The two transfers bring to seven the number of newcomers on the Patriot roster for 2009-2010.
Francis Marion finished the 2008-09 season with a 16-12 record.