The news site of UNC Wilmington

The Seahawk

The news site of UNC Wilmington

The Seahawk

The news site of UNC Wilmington

The Seahawk

Looking ahead: CAA conference tournament preview

Mat Batts | Staff Writer March 3, 2011

As the calendar turns to March, an excitement sweeps the nation as sports fans turn their focus to the tension and competitiveness that is the NCAA men's basketball postseason.This year's postseason begins...

Club golf to host first tournament

Mark Powell | Staff Writer March 2, 2011

UNC Wilmington's club golf team has proven they can compete and win against many renowned Division I schools on courses they have never seen before. Now they will have an opportunity to claim victory on...

Club hockey team’s loss only a temporary setback

Chad Graves | Assistant Sports Editor March 2, 2011

Just one week after pulling off the biggest upset in UNC Wilmington club ice hockey history by beating Alabama in the Southeastern regional tournament, the team's season ended with a 5-2 loss last Friday...

Extreme Makeover: Brooks Field edition

Tyler Heffernan | Sports Editor March 1, 2011

Brooks Field has come a long way.In 1962, the baseball stadium was built in the heart of Wilmington College, the community college ancestor of UNC Wilmington.Ty Rowell, assistant to the chancellor of special...

UNCW wins battle of the birds

Chad Graves | Assistant Sports Editor February 25, 2011

The UNC Wilmington baseball team came out swinging Saturday in a 7-3 win against the Miami (Ohio) Red Hawks.The Seahawks have been looking for their first win since the season opener, when they crushed...

Club ice hockey team better than ever

Chad Graves | Assistant Sports Editor February 23, 2011

After a combined record of 20-19-2 the previous two seasons, the 2010-11 UNC Wilmington hockey club has left mediocrity behind and has been enjoying unprecedented success as the Seahawks look to close...

Last man standing

Cam Ellis | Staff Writer February 22, 2011

As the Seahawk baseball players ran out to their positions to start the first game of their much-anticipated season Feb. 18, Sean Buchanan wasn't among them.He didn't start, nor would he play at all that...

Donation sends UNCW basketball programs in right direction

Tyler Heffernan | Sports Editor February 18, 2011

When former UNC Wilmington men's basketball guard Joel Justus visited his old stomping grounds this past fall, Trask Coliseum hadn't changed much. The 2004 Communication Studies graduate noticed the men's locker room remained just the way he had left it and the arena was not receiving the upgrades that other CAA programs were.

From a facility standpoint, the Seahawks were falling behind.

Friday afternoon, UNCW Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo announced that longtime Seahawk donors George and Sylvia Rountree donated $250,000 to the athletic program. In recognition of this gift, the men's basketball office suite will be named after George Rountree III. The donation will help athletic director Jimmy Bass fund the renovations he has planned for Trask Coliseum.

On Bass' wish list are installing high-definition video boards and upgrading the bleachers opposite the student section to have chairback seating for season ticket holders.

Justus said, "I think it's something that if you want to be at the top of the league, get elite recruits, show your players and everyone involved your commitment—it is something that needs to be done."

DePaolo repeatedly praised the Rountrees' financial support. "Their gift speaks volumes about their confidence in athletic director Jimmy Bass and the direction he's given to our program," she said. "Sylvia and George are such dedicated Seahawk fans and this gift is another example of their extraordinary commitment to our student athletes."

The UNCW women's basketball coaching staff and players attended the press conference. Senior forward Brittany Blackwell thanked the Rountrees, who were unable to attend for unknown reasons, on behalf of all Seahawk student athletes.

"Being a student athlete takes a lot of time, commitment and dedication and it means a lot when the community supports you," Blackwell said. "It's very reassuring and rewarding."

The donation isn't just beneficial to current players like Blackwell, though. According to Justus, facility improvements aid tremendously in the recruiting process for potential student athletes.

"So much of recruiting is bringing people in the gym in the offseason when no one is in there," he said. "That's when you have to have a little more of the flash. I think that kids are going to be very intrigued by that.

"The school has to show its commitment," he added. "When there's video boards, chairbacks and renovations, that shows a high school kid and his parents that the school is committed. Around the league, the other teams have stepped up and done some very nice things and that's where Wilmington has to step up."

But just as your mother warned you not to judge a book by its cover, Justus noted that only so much emphasis can be placed on facilities. In his mind, the basketball programs, especially the men's team, have already been upgraded, even before the Rountrees' donation.

"Above any facility and money is the product on the floor," Justus said. "That's the thing I'm the most proud of as an alumni, a former player; the players are playing harder."

While a quarter of a million dollars won't be able to provide a total facelift of a multi-million dollar facility, it's a hefty band-aid. "It immediately gets you headed in the right direction," Justus said. "We're going to get there as a Seahawk nation. I think we should all feel good about the way things are heading."

An athlete’s perspective: receiving a redshirt

Mat Batts | Staff Writer February 17, 2011

Editor's Note: Mat Batts is a pitcher on the baseball team. The southpaw transferred from Western Carolina after recording 27 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings. Per NCAA rules, he will redshirt this season....

Second time’s the charm

Chad Graves | Assistant Sports Editor February 17, 2011

The UNC Wilmington women's basketball team dominated a crucial conference game against Georgia State Thursday night, defeating the Panthers, 74-49.The last time the two teams met in Atlanta, the Seahawks...

For the love of the game, or money

Ben Brown | Contributing Writer February 17, 2011

As the 2010-11 NFL season came to a close with the Packers' 31-25 win over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, the focus of the football world shifted to the uncertain future of the league.If the owners of...

Seahawk baseball returns with high expectations

Ryan Brabrand | Contributing Writer February 16, 2011

Mark Scalf is entering his 20th season as the UNC Wilmington head baseball coach and is expecting big things from the team this season. The Seahawks are looking to return to the CAA championship game for...

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