HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, VA-Fall sports are right around the corner with the start of the 2012-13 academic year, and we've successfully wrapped up the 2011-12 year. You've waited patiently for the top-12 moments of the year, and without further ado...
#1: 56 Student-Athletes Walk Across the Graduation Stage
On May 13, 56 of Hampden-Sydney's student-athletes crossed the stage at the 2012 commencement to successfully graduate.
Hampden-Sydney boasts a near flawless graduation rate and year-after-year stresses the importance of academics as well as athletics.
Of the graduating student-athletes, 27 will be named Academic All-ODAC after holding a grade point average of at least 3.25 during the 2011-12 academic year.
To see highlights from commencement as well as a list of all of the graduates, click here.
#2: Football Clinches ODAC Championship
On November 5, the Tigers sealed their fate as ODAC Champions with one week remaining in the 2011 season following a 42-35 victory over rival and defending champion Washington & Lee.
The defense blanked the Generals in the first half while Travis Lane (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin) led the offense to three scores to take a 21-0 lead into the locker room.
After the Tigers put the score up to 28-0, the Generals roared back trading scores with the home team, but it was not enough as Hampden-Sydney held on for its seventh ODAC Championship and third under head coach Marty Favret.
Lane threw for 331 yards and four touchdowns while Kyle Vance (Onley, VA/Broadwater Academy) and Sean Cavanagh (Midlothian, VA/Clover Hill) combined for 16 catches, 278 yards, and three touchdowns. On the ground, Kirk Rohle (Mechanicsville, VA/Hanover) hit the century mark rushing for 101 yards and two scores on 21 carries.
#3: Hoops Downs #23 Randolph-Macon on Senior Day
On February 18, the Tiger basketball team downed arch-rival and 23rd ranked nationally Randolph-Macon 79-71 in front of a sellout crowd in Fleet Gymnasium. The victory came right after the Tigers honored seniors Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) and Ru White (Chesterfield, VA/L.C. Bird).
The Tigers had an outstanding first half, at one point taking a 37-22 lead and heading into intermission up 37-28. The lead was quickly pushed to 19 as Hampden-Sydney scored ten of the first 12 points of the second stanza.
Despite the large lead, the game was far from over. The Jackets rallied and eventually made it a five point contest, trailing 72-67.
The Tigers were able to close out the game at the line, however, holding on for arguably the best win of the season.
Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville Road) led the Tigers with 15 points while White was sensational, scoring 13 to go with ten rebounds and six assists.
#4: Swimming Introduced, Claims First Win
On October 28, Hampden-Sydney announced the addition of swimming to the list of NCAA sponsored sports the college offers. The 14-man roster began training this winter and competed in two meets in its inaugural season.
Most impressively, it took the swim Tigers less than three months to win their first meet in a 105-64 victory over Greensboro College on January 27.
The 200 yard medley relay team edged out the Pride by 2.5 seconds as Ke Shang (Beijing, China / Beijing No. 35), Sam Smith (Kitty Hawk, NC / First Flight), William Graf (Wayne, PA / Conestoga), and Josh Hamilton (Herndon, VA / Herndon) combined for the winning effort in a time of 1:54.44. Smith and Graf took first and second in the 200 yard freestyle. Smith won the event with a 2:12.39 while Graf was runner up in 2:14.28.
Hamilton, Ayscue, and Alex Boal (Tucker, GA / Chamblee) finished 1-2-3 in the 100 yard freestyle with respective times of 53:81, 57:59, and 1:09.35. Shang and Nik Kasper (Dayton, OH / Culver Academies) took the top two places in the 100 yard backstroke as they posted times of 1:07.79 and 1:21.74. The Tigers also went 1-2 in the 500 yard freestyle as Paul Salmon (Alexandria, VA / Bishop Ireton) took first in 6:00.18 and Kasper completed the race in 6:35.69.
#5: Rick O'Connell Advances to NCAA Championship
On May 7, sophomore Rick O'Connell (Goochland, VA/Goochland) was selected as one of five individual golfers to participate in the 2012 NCAA Division III Golf Championship. The event was held at the Mission Inn Resort, in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
O'Connell, a PING All-Region performer, placed 43rd individually but was not one of the six individuals to advance to round three of the four round tournament. After 36 holes, the top 15 teams and top six individuals not on those teams advance.
O'Connell was tied for 85th out of 210 participants after the first day on Tuesday. Though shooting a 78 (+6) on day one, the sophomore shot up 47 spots in the ranks after finishing day two at even par.
#6: Carter Mavromatis Breaks Career Assist Record
On April 7, senior midfielder Carter Mavromatis (Virginia Beach, VA/Cape Henry) notched five assists in the Tigers' 15-3 win over Guilford while breaking the program record for career assists.
Mavromatis assisted Micah Keller (Richmond, VA/Christchurch) on the second goal of the day to tie the record, and then dished out four more helpers to set a new mark. The Cape Henry product ended up shattering Tommy Whiteley's previous record of 90 in 1989 with 108 career assists. He also finishes his career seventh in school history for career points (183) and second in career midfielder points.
This season, he was earned Honorable Mention All-America and First Team All-ODAC honors. He also appeared earlier in the list at number 11 for appearing alongside Keller in the 71st Annual North-South All-Star Game.
#7: Bryan Wharton Notches 100 Career Points
On October 1, senior forward Bryan Wharton (Glen Allen, VA/Deep Run) scored two goals in the final 12 minutes of action in the Tigers' 2-1 victory over Emory & Henry. Those two goals put Wharton above the 100 point mark for his career making him just the third player in school history to accomplish the feat.
On the day, Wharton's second goal gave him 100 career points, the third best mark in program history, ranking behind Jeff Mencini '84 with 105 and Mike Melvin '97 with 119. He additionally ranks third in goals with 44 - two shy of Mencini (46) and four short of Melvin (48).
The Deep Run product finished his career tied with Mencini in both points (105) and goals (46). He twice cracked into the top-ten in single season points and goals.
#8: Kyle Vance Breaks Single-Game Receiving Yard Record
On September 17, senior receiver Kyle Vance (Onley, VA/Broadwater Academy) helped the Tiger football team to a 38-14 win over Ferrum while breaking the school record for single-game receiving yards with 228 on 14 receptions. All-American Conrad Singh held the record with 224 yards against Catholic in 2003. Vance's 14 catches ranked second in school history only to All-American Drew Smith (15 vs. Bridgewater in 2007).
Vance started out the day with two 19-yard receptions – including one touchdown – on the Tigers' first drive of the game that lasted under two minutes. Three of his other four receptions in the first quarter went for double digit yardage, including a 40-yard reception – his high for the day.
He added three more receptions in the second quarter to end the half with 10 receptions for 155 yards and a score.
He continued his work into the second half, with four catches for 33-, 18-, 7-, and 15-yards.
The senior was named the ODAC Offensive Player of the Week following the game and First Team All-ODAC, All-State, All-Region, and All-American following the season. His 103 receptions for 1,391 yards and 16 touchdowns helped seal his name in the record books.
#9: Zach Whitaker Throws Two Complete Game Victories in Four Days
On Wednesday, April 18, rookie pitcher Zach Whitaker (Roanoke, VA/Patrick Henry) picked up a key conference win against the Marlins of Virginia Wesleyan while going the distance in the 6-1 decision. Whitaker allowed just one run on five hits.
Four days later - Saturday, April 21 - the ODAC's Rookie of the Year did it again. This time against the Bridgewater Eagles, Whitaker pitched nine solid innings, allowing just one run on eight hits.
In his 18 innings pitched, the freshman surrendered just two runs on 13 hits. He also struck out 11 while walking just four.
For his efforts that week, he was named the conference Pitcher of the Week. During the regular season, he posted a 7-3 record with two saves. In conference, he was 5-1 with three complete games. In 65.2 innings pitched, the Roanoke native 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.
#10: Two Hoops Stars Reach 1,000 Point Milestone
This season was the first time since Mike Edwards and Drew Prehmus in 2007 that two players reached the 1,000 point plateau in the same season. Junior Harrison George (Raleigh, NC/Leesville Road) was the first to accomplish the feat on December 3 after scoring a game-high 26 points in an 81-72 win over Ferrum College.
Senior captain Ben Jessee (Midlothian, VA/Cosby) then scored his 1,000th point in an 18 point effort on February 1. Jessee's 18 were a game-high in the Tigers' 87-62 win over Bridgewater College.
The two were the 40th and 41st players in school history to reach the milestone, and currently George stands 11th on the all-time scoring list with 1,335 points while averaging 16.9 points-per-game in 79 contests; Jessee capped off his career as the 28th best scorer at 1,160 points with an average of 10.7 points-per-game in 108 appearances.
#11: Keller and Mavromatis Participate in USILA North-South All-Star Game
On May 25, seniors Micah Keller (Richmond, VA/Christchurch) and Carter Mavromatis (Virginia Beach, VA/Cape Henry) were selected as two of the top 64 seniors in Division III and two of the top 32 in the South while representing Hampden-Sydney in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA)/LaxWorld North-South Senior All-Star Game.
The 71st annual game between the North and South was played at Harvard Stadium in Boston, Massachusetts. The two Hampden-Sydney All-Americans were victorious as the South took a 14-13 victory.
Mavromatis notched one goal and one assist in the effort. The game box score can be seen here.
The two offensive standouts were named All-Americans in 2011 and 2012. This past season, they were both team captains helping lead the team to a 9-7 overall record and third place finish in the ODAC.
#12: Travis Lane Nearly Flawless Against Bishops
On September 10, the Tiger football team took a 56-17 win over the Battling Bishops of North Carolina Wesleyan behind an inspired performance from senior quarterback Travis Lane (Richmond, VA/Mills Godwin). Lane was nearly flawless in the effort, completing 28 of his 32 attempts with 389 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions. More impressively, Lane put up nearly all of these numbers while playing only one snap in the fourth quarter.
The play caller was named the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week while his 87.5% completion percentage and seven touchdowns both rank second in ODAC history, and his seven scores tie a Hampden-Sydney record.
Lane got the offense going from the start, scoring on the third play of the game courtesy a 36-yard connection with Kyle Vance (Onley, VA/Broadwater Academy). He led the Tigers on two more scoring drives in the quarter with five- and nine-yard touchdown passes to sophomore Eric Gorsline (Virginia Beach, VA/Norfolk Academy).
The second quarter brought another touchdown pass on a five-yard play to Vance. On the next drive, Lane led the Tigers 98 yards for the touchdown while going 3-for-3 for 71 yards. In the third stanza, he completed another touchdown pass to Vance - this one from 25-yards out - and had one-play scoring drive via a 50-yard pass to Dallas Steelman (Walnut Cove, NC/Glenn).
Lane played just one snap in the fourth quarter - a 12-yard touchdown pass to Vance, the fourth time the duo connected on scoring plays.