by Davis Yake ’09, Sports Information Director
GREAT SUCCESS FOR GOLF; O'CONNELL NCAA PARTICIPANT
Hampden-Sydney golf built on an impressive fall season with solid outings in the spring that led to senior Ronnie Fultz and sophomore Rick O'Connell (above) earning First Team All-ODAC nods while freshman Drew Arnold earned Third Team honors. O'Connell also earned PING All-South Region accolades while representing the Tigers in the 2012 NCAA Championship. Despite posting a 43rd finish individually after the first two rounds at six over par, O'Connell did not make the cut for the third round.
During the regular season, O'Connell led the Tigers with a top-ten individual ranking according to Golfstat.com. He and the Tigers began the spring season with a third place finish in the TaylorMade-Adidas Intercollegiate while Fultz paced the team finishing fourth overall individually. Hampden-Sydney followed with a 13th place finish in the highly competitive Jekyll Island Invitational, featuring 16 teams in the Division III Top-25 and two teams in the Top-10; Hampden-Sydney's 13th place finish was the best of any Virginia team.
After a ninth place finish in the Camp Lejeune Intercollegiate and tenth place finish in the Division I Manor Invitational, the Tigers placed sixth overall in the ODAC Championship. O'Connell again led the way, tying for 17th place overall. Sean Gatz was also solid in the conference championship event, shooting just one stroke over O'Connell and finishing 19th overall.
BASEBALL GROWS AROUND YOUNG TALENT
Hampden-Sydney posted a 14-27 record but advanced to and won at least one game in the ODAC Tournament for the eighth time in nine years under head coach Jeff Kinne. The Tigers had a wealth of young talent, including three freshmen All-ODAC honorees and the 2012 Rookie of the Year in starting pitcher Zach Whitaker. Whitaker, also a First-Team performer, was joined by fellow rookies and Second-Team selections Christian Hamlett (OF) and Jeff Gray (DH). Also earning Third Team All-ODAC accolades was senior outfielder Jordan Wind.
Whitaker, who earned ODAC Pitcher of the Week honors in the final week of the regular season, was solid all season for the Tigers, posting a 7-3 record in the regular season with two saves. In conference, Whitaker posted a 5-1 record with three complete games. Against Emory and Henry, the rookie pitched nine shutout innings, and against Virginia Wesleyan and Bridgewater, he allowed one run in each of his nine innings pitched. In 65.2 innings pitched, posted a 2.60 ERA with 50 strikeouts to just 18 walks. He was tied for first in the ODAC in wins, third in innings pitched, fourth in strikeouts and appearances, and tied for sixth in saves.
Hamlett made an immediate impact for the Tigers in left field appearing in 32 regular season games while posting a batting average of .327. He started his career with a bang, recording a hit in each of his first five games, including three two-hit games. Through the regular season, his .327 average and 36 hits were both third best on the team and his nine doubles were second best. He also added 17 runs and nine RBI. He posted a career-high three hits against Roanoke, and scored two runs four different times.
Gray earned Second-Team honors as a designated hitter, leading the Tigers and placing 16th in the ODAC with a .373 batting average in the regular season. Gray led the team with two home runs, was second on the team with 38 hits, and third in doubles with eight. He was consistent all season posting three separate four-game hit streaks. His top game came against Guilford College as he went 4-for-5 from the plate. Gray also recorded 14 multi-hits games and posted at least one hit in 21 of his 32 games.
Wind rounded out the All-ODAC selections for the Tigers with a Third-Team nod. The senior finished the regular season with a .281 batting on 34 hits in 121 at bats. While starting in 33 of his 34 appearances in center field, Wind lead the team with 22 runs, 10 doubles, and two triples. He also batted in 11 runs with one home run. He posted a season-high five-game hit streak from March 31 to April 7, recording seven hits in the stretch.
TENNIS REBUILDS QUICKLY ON THE COURT
The 2012 Hampden-Sydney tennis team boasted a 5-8 overall record while going 4-5 in ODAC competition, but the Tigers played a very difficult non-conference schedule that featured numerous ranked teams, even as the ODAC was arguably the most competitive it has ever been from top to bottom.
H-SC was in the midst of a rebuilding year as the Tigers had to replace the four of the five winningest players in school history, one of which was the 2011 ODAC Player of the Year. Hampden-Sydney still found success both as a team and individually, showing some bright spots for the future. The Tigers posted solid wins over Randolph (9-0), Roanoke (8-1), Virginia Wesleyan (8-1), Lynchburg (9-0), and Ferrum (9-0). Senior Ryan Davis was Third-Team All-ODAC and #4 singles and #3 doubles. Kevin Calhoun and Ian Sammler earned Third-Team All-ODAC at #1 doubles, and Franklin Bowers also was a Third-Team honoree at #3 doubles.
Calhoun closed out his collegiate tennis career as one of the top players ever at Hampden-Sydney. He earned All-ODAC honors seven times, earning First-Team on three occasions. He is third in Hampden-Sydney history for overall wins at 88, fifth in overall singles wins with 40, and is third in overall doubles wins with 46.
Sammler also had a decorated career. He is a two-time All-ODACer, 10th at Hampden-Sydney in overall wins (39) and doubles wins (20). Davis stepped into the starting lineup as a senior and responded in kind with a team-high seven singles wins and a team second-best six doubles wins. Davis also rounds out his career 15th in overall wins with 23. Barrett Polan was the fourth and final senior and he concludes his three-year tennis career with 10 total wins, five at singles and five at doubles.
Freshman Zack King provided an immediate impact playing at #2 singles. He ended the season 6-6 overall and 5-4 in ODAC play, including a big 6-2, 6-1 win over Randolph-Macon's #2 player. Freshman Houghton Flanagan showed flashes of potential playing primarily at the #5 flight, earning four wins on the season while going 4-4 in the ODAC.
Bowers, a junior, played mostly doubles, going 6-5 overall with a 4-3 mark in the ODAC. He also had some success in singles competition, earning a 3-0 mark at the #5 seed. Junior Watt Mountcastle playing sparingly but stepped up towards the end of the season when the team needed him. He won two of his three singles matches and was winning a third but the match was not completed. Filling in at #1 doubles late in the season due to an injury, he helped propel the Tigers to a win at #1 doubles against Randolph-Macon's #1 doubles team that featured the ODAC Co-Player of the Year.
The Tiger lacrosse team had another successful season this year despite being rattled with significant injuries for the entirety of the year. The Tigers finished 9-7 overall and 5-2 in the ODAC to earn the #3 seed in the ODAC Tournament.
Hampden-Sydney played a difficult schedule this year, including four games against foes ranked in the top-ten in the country. The team posted big wins over Catholic, Colorado College, Washington & Lee, and Randolph-Macon. With the Tigers earning the #3 seed for the ODAC Tournament, H-SC earned the right to host a First-Round ODAC Tournament game before falling to Washington & Lee 9-8 in a thrilling contest.
One of the big highlights of the year was a trip to Dallas, Texas, for spring break, where the Tigers defeated Colorado College 9-6 in Gerald Ford Stadium on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Following the game, there was a banquet on the SMU campus with parents, friends, and alumni along with a speech from retired NFL player Chad Hennings, the honorary captain for the game.
It proved to be a record-breaking year for Carter Mavromatis. Mavromatis finished his four-year career as one of the most prolific scoring players in school history. He shattered the record for career assists by 18 to finish with 108 and now ranks seventh in career points with 183, good for the second most of any midfielder ever at Hampden-Sydney. Additionally, he ranks fifth in all of NCAA Division III for career assists for active players and seventh in the NCAA when including all three divisions.
Five players earned All-ODAC honors, headlined by Mavromatis placing on the First Team. Earning Second-Team honors was Micah Keller, Nate Norbo, Andrew Pritzlaff, and Cameron Sheppard. Keller also closed out his career as one of the best attackman to ever wear a Hampden-Sydney jersey, ending his career fifth in career goals with 152 and sixth in career points at 192.
Keller and Mavromatis were both selected to participate in the 71st Annual USILA North-South Classic that was played at Harvard Stadium on May 25. The North-South Classic is a senior All-Star game pitting the best seniors in the country against each other prior to the National Championship game that was played two days later in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The honors continued to roll in for Keller and Mavromatis as both were voted as USILA Honorable Mention All-Americans.