By JESSICA FINLEY
The Piedmont Lions mens’ teams debuted in the USA South Conference this year. The Lions succeeded in the new conference with many teams doing well in their respective conference tournaments.
The PC cross country team finished as the runner up in the USA South Conference behind Christopher Newport University. Wesley Milton was the top finisher with an 8K time of 30:32 which was good for 16th place out of 49 runners. Teammate Brandon Singh was the next runner to cross the finish line just 32 seconds later. A pair of PC runners fueled each other as Bryce Thorson and Alec Jameson finished 20th and 21st respectively. Colten Sherman recorded a 27th place finish after crossing in 32:37.
The Piedmont College men’s soccer team saw its 2012 season come to an end with a 4-1 loss at #14 Christopher Newport University in quarterfinal action of the USA South Athletic Conference Championship Tournament. The Lions wrapped up the season 6-10-2 overall. Kenneth Hearn posted 94 saves on the season for the Lions.
The men’s basketball team had an early finish to their season when, according to Athletic Director John Dzik, “A myriad of circumstances including suspensions, dismissals, and career and season ending injuries has decimated the team. We were left with too few able-bodied student athletes to continue the season.”
After this finish to the season, the men’s coach, Mark Bollinger, made the choice to step down. The team has hired a new coach, Greg Neeley, this spring who served as an assistant men’s coach from 2007 to 2010. He earned an MBA degree at the college in 2009.
Men’s lacrosse finished the season with an overall 6-9 record in the season. The Lions ended with a 13-16 loss to Huntington College. Nick Green led the team with 24 goals on the season. Mick Baker defended the Lions in the backfield with 191 saves recorded for the season.
In the Semifinal round of the USA South Men’s Tennis tournament, the Lions were overwhelmed by the number one seeded North Carolina Wesleyan by a final score 9-0. The Lions lost straight sets to the Bishops in the dual. The Lions ended the season with a 12-6 overall record on the season.
The men’s golf team finished fifth of seven teams in their last tournament of the season on their home course.
The Lions baseball team lost its fourth and final game of the USA South Conference Tournament to Lagrange College, 7-4. The Lions are currently 19-20 overall on the season and still have four games to play. Their next game is Friday, April 26 at home against Emory University.
“The biggest difference is that USA South is a larger conference, so we are now eligible for automatic bids to compete in post-season NCAA tournaments which will qualify us for regionals,” said assistant baseball coach Justin Scali.
Currently 12 schools are a part of the USA South Conference, including Christopher Newport University, which has been one of PC biggest competitors. However, they will not be a part of USA South Conference next year.
“Its unfortunate that CNU will not be in the conference next year because they are a great competitor,” said Scali