Thursday, August 20, 2009

Inside Interviews with the A-Sun Preseason Players of the Year

Men's Soccer Preseason Player of the Year - Lipscomb, Forward Miguel DaSilva

Women's Soccer Preseason Player of the Year - Kennesaw State, Senior Forward Maylee Attin-Johnson

Volleyball Preseason Player of the Year - Lipcomb, Sophomore Middle Blocker Alex Kelly

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wet and Wild Weekend ahead for Soccer Kickoff???

The Atlantic Sun sport's year get underway this weekend as women's soccer gets things started on Friday with nine games. However it doesn't look like the weather is not going to be helping things out. The men's soccer season hasn't even gotten underway yet but we have already had our first cancellation as FGCU had to call off its exhibition with Florida Southern College on Tuesday. However it would be kind of interesting to start the season the way it ended last year with a rain filled A-Sun title game between Jacksonville and Campbell on the men's side. Hopefully we will be able to get some games in this weekend as it doesn't look like the weather will last for long. If you are looking for a game to keep an eye on this weekend then check out Kennesaw State women's soccer vs. Georgia in Athens. This game is going to have some very interesting match ups and could just be the A-Sun game of the week. USC Upstate women's soccer gets things started this weekend on A-SunTV with its match up against Navy. The Atlantic Sun Conference will release its preseason awards and coaches polls for its fall sports tomorrow also check out the new video features. will feature interviews with each preseason player of the year.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good News About the Schools

UNF's Facilities, State-of-the-Art

The University of North Florida Athletics Department is not only recently being noted as a full-fledged Division I member, but is being recognized for its state-of-the-art athletic facilities...

One of those facilities is the 9,400-seat Hodges Stadium, the 2009 & 2010 A-Sun Conference Championships location, that opened in January 2004. The stadium, which houses the men's and women's soccer teams and the men's and women's track and field teams, features a nine lane international track. The final phase of construction included installation of the Olympic quality track with Mondotrack SX surface. This is the same surface that was featured in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Danis Building Construction Company installed the surface and recently wrote a feature article about the facility. The Danis article can be found here.

ETSU plans to have baseball stadium ready for 2011 season

East Tennessee State University has found a way to complete the $4.2 million new baseball stadium...

The ballpark will sit on 11 acres bounded by Tennessee Street, Lee Street, Taylor Street and the Norfolk Southern Railroad, just east of campus. ETSU Chief Financial Officer David Collins said he hopes the decision will help spur economic development between ETSU and downtown at a time when private money is hard to come by.

Credit markets are tight for commercial developers and ETSU got no takers this spring on a request for proposals tht would have raised money through "land leases" to private developers. Those developers then would have put buildings ringing the stadium for retail, restaurants and other commercial uses.

Income from those leases would have funded a bond to build Phase One, with existing student fees covering the second phase with its grandstands and 2,000-seat capacity. Read the complete article here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Q&A with Jacksonville's Danielle Gray

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Danielle Gray, who is enter her senior season as a center with the JU women's basketball team, made her first appearance as the Atlantic Sun Conference SAAC Representative in Denver, Colo. over the summer. She recently sat down to answer some questions about the conference and her new position...

Q:How did you first get involved with SAAC on campus?
My former JU women's basketball teammate DaVina Hamilton told me about the group and asked me to join her at some of the meetings on campus. From my first meeting with Matt Dobbins and Louisa Ward leading the committee, I knew this was a place my voice would be heard and would be able to possibly change things off the court.
As the A-Sun's representative to the National SAAC, what are your responsibilities?
I am the voice between the National SAAC and the Atlantic Sun Conference SAAC. Therefore, I make sure that all parties know what is going on with each other and I also collect my conference's opinion and stance on certain issues and legislation so that the National SAAC can develop a full student-athlete position on issues and legislations.

How does the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee work as part of the NCAA?
We offer the NCAA insight about how different issues will effect student-athletes and their well-being. With our voice, we are able to influence the NCAA and offer a perspective from the people that make up the NCAA, the student-athletes.

How does it feel to continue the tradition of a JU student-athlete representing the A-Sun after Becky Watt (rowing) and Matt Dobbins (baseball)?
It is definitely an honor because it's rare that three consecutive representatives would be elected from the same school, but it goes to show how much other A- Sun student-athletes respect Jacksonville University and our JU SAAC. I am so honored to be mentioned with such leaders as Becky and Matt, and that pushes me that much more to be a great representative for both the A-Sun and JU.

What was the best advice that you received after being selected for the position?
The best advice probably came from Matt Dobbins when I told him I was nervous about taking on such an important role. He told me to relax because the people I would meet would be unbelievable and that was definitely the truth. I have met the most amazing group of people in this position and felt comfortable with them in the short time I have known them.

Describe your experience at the recent national SAAC meeting in Denver.
It was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in my life because I was surrounded by so many committed, smart and outgoing student-athletes speaking about important issues that were heard by the NCAA. These people were students that know how to be professional and know how to have fun at the same time. The meeting also showed me that there are no limits to how far I can go and I learned things that will impact me forever.

What are some of the "hot topics" in the NCAA right now that you discussed at your national meeting?
Some of the 'hot topics' are the changes in the economy and all of the cost-containment policies going on in the NCAA. We learned of things that are beginning to be cut and the changes made by the athletic departments.

What community service project did this year's national SAAC participate in?
This summer we worked with two Special Olympic softball teams with their hitting, throwing and fielding. It was really exciting because after working with them at different stations, we cheered them on as they played against each other in a game. It is always a humbling experience to do community service because you realize how much we take for granted. There are tasks we do every day that are not as easy to someone else.

Rumor has it that the Division I SAAC lost the annual kickball tournament to DII/DIII. Is this true, and, if so, how are you preparing for next year?
Let me clear this up. Our Division I team beat the DII squad in the kickball tournament before the DIII team beat the DII team. When we played the DIII team, the winner was never settled. We lost with some key errors in the last few minutes of the game, but next year we are going to be more focused because we have to let DII and DIII know who's boss.

How can JU fans stay abreast of what's happening in the JU, A-Sun and national SAAC?
The National SAAC has a twitter account at "National SAAC" and and they also have a blog for our national SAAC Speaks newsletter ( The Atlantic Sun has a SAAC page on their website as well ( and JU SAAC also has a twitter account, "JU_SAAC."

Thanks to for the photo.

A Meeting of the Minds

The staff of the Atlantic Sun Conference gathered yesterday at the Healy Point Country Club to talk about the upcoming season and come up with ideas on how to add features to their newly redesigned to website.

With the new videos features on the redesigned website the staff is looking for new and exciting ways to use it. Currently the site features videos from each of the member institutions of the A-Sun but with the soccer, volleyball and cross country seasons about to start that will soon change.

Director of Sports Services, John Roberts in conjuncture with the A-Sun’s member intuitions, is currently working on video features on the conference’s Preseason Players of the Year for its fall sports. (The Conferene will release its fall sports preseason polls and all conference teams on Aug. 20 at noon) will also look to feature a game of the week. Any game broadcast on A-SunTV will be in the running and highlights will be posted on the website.

What suggests would you have for additions to What things would you like see featured on the conference site this season?

Women’s Soccer Update
The sports season officially got underway yesterday with wins by Mercer and ETSU in women’s soccer exhibition action. The Bears knocked off Alabama in Tuscaloosa, 1-0. Danielle Hesse headed in an Ali Meek cross in the 76th minute to give Mercer the only tally of the game in which the Bears used four different keepers. ETSU opened exhibition play Thursday with a 5-0 victory over King with goals from Terri Miller, Tori Head and Morgan Jutras. Miller, a junior from Cape Coral, Fla. posted a hat trick on the day with two first half goals and a third in the 59th minute.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Welcome to the A-Sun Blog

As part of the Atlantic Sun's foray into social media, this blog, as well as our new Twitter account, newly-created Facebook page and YouTube site look to bring the conference message to our fans where they frequent with hopes of bolstering our image and recognition.

Specifically to this blog, our goal is to create a forum where fans of the conference can congregate at one location to comment on the goings-on of our schools, our sports and the conference as a whole. We plan to post news you would not have previously found on our home site, the freshly re-designed You will also read musings from the communications staff, as well as from Ted Gumbart, our Commissioner. He will partake in "Ask the Commish" features throughout the year and he has free reign to opine should the moment strike. We also intend to use the blog at our championships and potentially other events to provide an outlet for fans to interact during the contests for added insight.

Fans can sign up to the Facebook account to receive invitations and reminders about championships. Through Twitter, they will find out news first such as Player of the Week winners, postseason honors and championship results. The YouTube site will feature highlight packages in addition to the university PSA commercials

At all times, we will welcome suggestions, questions and comments for how you would like to see us utilize the blog. You may comment below or send e-mail to We look forward to venturing into the social media world, and hope it proves to be of great benefit to our fans and followers.