A Challenge to Blazer Fans

I wanted to put this message in a separate post on the blog so you wouldn’t miss it even though it also relates to what I just posted.

Our softball team has only two home games remaining in the season. And since they are on track to accumulate the most wins in our history, do you think we could gather the biggest crowd in Blazer softball history too?

Could we get more people out to these last two games than we’ve had to all our other games combined?

Softball doesn’t typically draw a big crowd – let’s change that for these two final home games.

Tuesday, April 6 – 2pm

Thursday, April 22 – 3 pm

Both games are at Freedom Ridge Park.  Maybe you’ve never been to a Blazer softball game before……this is your best opportunity.  Come see history in the making!  Here is the map:


Blazer Softball Making History

For the first time in our history the Blazer softball team has been ranked in the top 25 nationally by the NAIA, and to make it even better, we were ranked in the top 10 in our first ranking.

The women merited a national rank of 9th, and won a double header again today which may boost their ranking for next week. (see the list below)  Their win loss record is 33-3

Head Coach Rick Fremin has built a marvelous program taking the  Blazers from a struggling team to posting four consecutive 30+ win seasons.  Rick is the winningest softball coach in our history and sets a new milestone with this national ranking.

In the past four years our softball team has produced 6 All-Americans, 2 Regional Appearances, and broke nearly every school record.

And they have had outstanding academic success with a 3.1 team GPA and 11 Academic All-Americans.

Reading the list of accomplishments is impressive.  You can find it HERE.

This team could go to the national tournament…..stay tuned!

Softball ranking

38 Years Without Going To the Big Dance

In college basketball, the playoffs are called “the big dance,” whether it is Division I with Duke and Kansas, or the Division III schools that do not award any athletic scholarship assistance.

Belhaven University is going to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)  “big dance” – it has been 38 years since we last earned a playoff bid.

This team also had the strongest winning record in the history of Belhaven.  Way to go Coach Tom Kelsey and this team of wonderful student athletes.

The NAIA Division I is a tough brand of basketball. (The NAIA has two divisions – and so we are playing against the best.)

Here is the news release from our sports information office, and other links about the tournament in Kansas City next week:

Kansas City, MO-For the first time since 1972, the Belhaven University men’s basketball team will play in the 2010 Buffalo Funds NAIA Division I Tournament starting next week in Kansas City Missouri. The Blazers will battle Biola University in the first round of the tournament on Wednesday night at 10:30 PM in the final game of the tournaments opening day.

Belhaven comes into the tournament with an overall record of 24-9 which set a new school record for most wins in a season. Biola University out of California represents the Golden State Athletic Conference and is 27-5 in 2010. The Eagles finished second in the GSAC and are ranked 5th in the final NAIA Top 25 Poll. Belhaven finished in a three way tie for second place in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference and made it to the GCAC Tournament Championship losing before to LSU-Shreveport 101-94 Tuesday night.

Nathaniel Roche’ leads the Blazers this season averaging 13.4 points and eight rebounds per game. Larell Bailey averages 11 points per game followed closely by Rob Wallace at 10.8 points per contest. Bailey and Roche’ were also GCAC All-Conference selections for their efforts this season.

All the live play-by-play action of Belhaven’s showdown with Biola can be heard via Stretch Internet through the Belhaven Athletics website starting with the pregame show at 10:15 PM.  The Stretch Internet audio link can be accessed by clicking here. The official NAIA press release and complete tournament bracket can be viewed by clicking on the links below.

NAIA Press Release
2010 Buffalo Funds NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament Bracket

“A Few of Us Can Even Write”….Go Blazers!

If you read my last posting, you noticed this reference to the PR campaign of Mississippi to address head on stereotypes people have of our state.


Well, here is proof.

Belhaven University students have about taken over the Southern Literary Festival.  This announcement from Dr. Randy Smith is impressive!

I received notification today concerning contest results for the Southern Literary Festival undergraduate writing contest.

Out of 4 writing categories (fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, and one-act play), Belhaven students won first place in two (one-act play and fiction), second place in two (poetry and creative nonfiction), and third place in one (creative nonfiction).

This is the strongest showing I remember by any single college or university.

Congratulations to the following:

1st Place, One-Act Play:         Lea Schumacher, Shadows on the Walls
1st Place, Fiction:                    Sarah Swenson, The Grandfather Clock
2nd Place, Poetry:                   Adrianne Smith, On Home
2nd Place, Nonfiction:             Alex Freel, The Lodge
3rd Place, Nonfiction:             Anna Marie Rebmann, Reading on Eternity’s Doorstep

These students are invited to attend the 2010 Southern Literary Festival to be held at MS University for Women, April 22-24, where they will have the opportunity to read from their winning works.

Well done and well deserved to all.

Randall A. Smith, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
Creative Writing Program Director