Coaches introduce incoming Pirate athletes
By Jay Phillips and Chris Sharp
Pensacola State College (PSC) hosted its “Meet the Athlete” event in the Hartsell Arena’s Lou Ross Center on Thursday, Sept. 28. At this event, PSC’s coaches introduced their new teams. In addition to a few familiar faces and a few new transfers, PSC’s five sports teams welcomed 46 freshmen athletes from all across the globe.
The women’s basketball team welcomed four freshmen to the team: Ashana Crawford, Brandi Washington, Sade Mobley, and Savannah Walker-Lafler.
Women’s basketball head coach Clenita “Penny” Belford also spoke and is excited about getting the season started.
“We get started next week with our scrimmage games,” said coach Belford. “November 7th is our first regular season game and the week of Thanksgiving on November 20th, 21st and 22nd are our first home games.”
Volleyball Head Coach Chris Laird and Assistant Coach Chad Fuller added 15 players to the team; 11 of them were freshman.
Laird and Fuller traveled across the country to build this volleyball team, with players from Utah and Arizona to Ohio and Texas.
Athletic Director Bill Hamilton highlighted the Lady Pirates’ 3-1 win over Gulf Coast and encouraged fans to come out and support the team for the rest of the season.
Men’s basketball coach Pete Pena addressed what he thought of his overall team.
“I like our group. They’ve worked very hard, like I know all of you have,” said coach Pena.
The coaching staff has done a great job recruiting this offseason, bringing in six freshmen, while also bringing together a group of players of many nationalities.
Thanks to Coach Pena and Assistant Coaches Justin Wright and Chad Donley, the men’s team added Florentine Diouf, Matt Johnson, Mike McDougal, Yeikson Montero, Carlos Rosario, and Jason Scott. The team added diversity to the campus this offseason by bringing players from Africa, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.
PSC baseball Head Coach Bryan Lewallyn and Assistant Coach Patrick Cottrell presented a big team with 31 players, of which 18 were freshman.
Softball Head Coach Lyndsey Angus and Assistant Coaches Caroline Powell, Tiffany Smith and Jennifer McKibben, noted that this would be Angus’s first time as a Head Coach with a full roster. They are excited for this upcoming season.
PSC President, Dr. Edward Meadows spoke about how important it was for everyone including athletes, to make friends and form long-lasting relationships with their peers while in college.
“Our coaches recruit students first and athletics second, said Meadows. “Last year, all of our athletes had an average GPA of 2.88 as well as a 96% transfer rate.”
With all of the additions to the teams and the stability PSC has seen in its coaching departments, the 2017-18 PSC sports season should hold a lot of excitement for all students and fans.