September 10, 2009 Volume CXXVI Issue 1

GC Students help make miracles

By WHITLEY ARENS
Staff Writer

For most people in the world of sports, the fall is exciting because it means the return of college football. However, there’s another exciting sports return at work in the fall as well. At 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, the Miracle League will start up another great season of baseball fun for its participants and volunteers.

As described on their Facebook page, “The Toyota Bluegrass Miracle League is a baseball program for youth and adults with specialneeds that plays at Shillito Park in Lexington, Ky. The all-accessible field is the only one of its kind in Kentucky, with leagues in both spring and fall.” The special field to which the description alludes is a, as Faith Griffith described, “one-of-a-kind field that’s kind of this rubbery material so you can fall flat on your face and not hurt yourself.” This unique playing area and the help of the volunteers are the only things the children need to go out and play ball.

As the video on their website— http://www.bluegrassmiracleleague.orgstates, “they have the determination,” and “they have the heart.” So, for the last few years, Georgetown College—particularly the Phi Mu sorority and the GC baseball team—has been volunteering with Miracle League, helping the kids use their heart and potential out there on the field. GC Faculty member Faith Griffith has been a buddy for Miracle League since the fall of 2007. Being a “buddy” just means being paired with a kid and going to games and events with him/her.

Through conversations with GC alumna Jesse Hines, the Phi Mu sorority officially got involved last fall. So, the fall 2009 season will be the third season of volunteering for the Phi Mus. Lee Birdwhistell, sophomore, is the Chair of this activity for the sorority and reports that this fall a total of 48 Phi Mus will be participating. She enthusiastically added, “12 more than last year! Six girls from each of our three teams will go each week to be buddies to the players. It averages out that each volunteer will go to about two or three games.”

Birdwhistell, who hasn’t actually participated before, is excited about volunteering for Miracle League for the first time, while Miracle League veterans like Becky Hellman, junior, and Ciera Mills, senior, are excited to be participating for the second year in a row. Mills’ favorite part of helping, “is seeing the smiles on the kids faces when they get to play a game they love ‘just like everyone else.’ It’s like it’s their special day and there’s something very genuine about that.” Hellman’s favorite part is that, “There’s no such thing as losing! Everyone wins!” This is true; score isn’t kept in Miracle League games so all the kids are winners.

While Phi Mu has only been involved with Miracle League for just over a year, the GC baseball team has been volunteering since the league began four years ago. Although, due to time constraints, they won’t be quite as involved as in the past, the team will once again be helping with Miracle League this fall. Baseball coach, Erik Hagen explained the best part about working with Miracle League: “For players, it’s not about them. That’s the best thing about it. It’s about somebody else and helping somebody else, and giving back to someone who’s not as physically gifted as they are. You also impact the families of the kids, too.

The parents wrote an editorial to The News-Graphic about our team one time…the mother was just so thankful.” Though the Phi Mus and baseball team will be representing GC in the Miracle League this fall, that’s no reason that other students can’t get involved. Hellman urged everyone who’s interested to volunteer. She said, “Join in, it’s fun! You get to play ball with some of the coolest kids you’ll ever meet, what’s better than that?”

For more information, see http://www.bluegrassmiracleleague.org or contact Kevin Haury, KHaury@ymcaofcentralky.org.


NAIA Hall of Fame inducts Georgetown’s own

“…but I learned early that life isn’t always greener elsewhere and it’s more about how we persevere and do the best with what we have”
By HILLARY THORNTON
Staff Writer

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics has selected fifteen individuals for the 2009-2010 Hall of Fame Class; Georgetown’s own Susan Johnson is among these distinguished coaches and athletes. Women’s basketball head coach Susan Johnson adds this achievement to a long list of awards and achievements she has acquired while at Georgetown College.

Coach Johnson was named the Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year four times and the KIAC Coach of the Year three times. In 1994, she received the NAIA Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year Award. In addition to these coaching awards, her teams have earned many titles including six Mid-South Conference Championships, three KIAC Championships and three NAIA District/Regional Championships. She has led her teams to eleven NAIA National Tournament appearances and three Elite Eight finishes.

Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a great career distinction for any athlete or coach. Coach Johnson is truly honored to be receiving such an award. She admits that it will not fully sink in until the actual induction ceremony in March. Johnson will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame at the NAIA Women’s Basketball Championship in Jackson, Tenn. To be inducted into the Hall of Fame, the individual must represent excellent leadership ability, high moral and overall outstanding character. Inductees are also held in high regard and respected by their fellow coaches and athletes. This is very much the case with Coach Johnson. She truly cares about her student- athletes. She says her favorite part about coaching is “the day-to- day aspect of helping the players reach their potential and trying to bring them together as a cohesive group. We have had many outstanding individuals in our program and I enjoy seeing them succeed after graduation.”

In coaching, it is very important to not only coach the players about the game, but also about everyday life and how to succeed off the court. Coach Johnson is certainly a coach who gets this. “I hope that I impress upon them that we should all have servant hearts. The most important part of being a team is to look for ways to sacrifice for and give to others.” said Johnson. Luckily for Georgetown, Coach Johnson has proved to be a positive influence on countless students because she has been here since 1978.

Another notable trait of Coach Johnson is that she is involved on campus in other ways besides simply being the Women’s Basketball coach. She is the co-sponsor of the Student-Athlete Leadership Council and teaches a section of Lifetime Fitness each semester. Coach Johnson also serves on various campus committees when asked. You can often see Coach Johnson out supporting other Tiger athletics, as well as other campus events. Coach Johnson will be the first to tell you that she loves Georgetown College and is thankful for the opportunities it has given her since 1978 and the opportunities it continues to give her. “I could not imagine doing anything else. There have certainly been ups and downs, but I learned early that life isn’t always greener elsewhere and it’s more about how we persevere and do the best with what we have. I appreciate Georgetown giving me the opportunity to grow up through this job. I was only twelve years old when I started the job, you know!”

Coach Johnson truly brings out the inner-child in all of us and will continue to inspire the young women that she coaches, the people that she works with, and the lives that she continues to touch. As the women’s basketball season begins its practices they will not only learn basketball traits from Coach Johnson, but they will learn how to be better people as well.


College football 2009

By ANDY RUSSELL
Sports Editor

As we look toward week two in college football we begin to see new things on the horizon for many teams. Here are my top three games of the week:

No. 18 Notre Dame @ Michigan

Notre Dame surprised me this past weekend with their lopsided victory over Nevada. Rolling into the Big House is a different story. Still, the luck of the Irish prevails.

No. 4 USC @ No. 6 Ohio State

Ohio State survived a scare in their opener against Navy. USC freshman quarterback Matt Barkley impressed fans by throwing for 233 yards. USC wins big.

South Carolina @ No. 21 Georgia

Can Georgia bounce back from a crushing loss to Oklahoma State? Will South Carolina score more than seven points? Georgia will retreat to the hedges to pull out a win in SEC play.

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