Lions Leaving a Legacy: Piedmont Athletics Rack Up on Awards


Senior Carter Ballstadt added a Gold Glove award to his accomplishments as a Piedmont Lion. // PHOTO COURTESY PIEDMONT BASEBALL INSTAGRAM

Brett Loftis, Managing Editor

Even through a pandemic, the Piedmont Lions athletics roared during the spring semester of 2021.  Just as the Lions roared very loudly in the spring, the aftershock was felt long into the summer.

“Considering that it was our last year competing as Piedmont College and all the hurdles that COVID-19 presented, we had a historic year in the department,” said Piedmont Athletic Director Jim Peeples.  “That couldn’t have happened without the commitment from our coaches, staff band student-athletes to navigate those challenges.  We worked together as a family and worked through each challenge we faced.”

The Lions worked together and compiled a long list of accomplishments.  On the court, the Piedmont Women’s Basketball team was represented by sophomore forward Nakiyah Washington on the All-South Region second team.  Piedmont Men’s Basketball also had a representative on All-South Region Second team in the form of Sophomore guard, Ryan Jolly.

Imani Vincent, sophomore women’s tennis player, won the USA South Women’s Tennis player of the year.

On the diamond, Piedmont baseball racked up the hardware.  Fifth-year senior left handed pitcher Sam Carpenter was named a fourth-team All-American by, a third-team All-American by ABCA and All-South Region First team by ABCA as well.  Junior closer and center fielder Carter Ballstadt was also named a fourth-team All-American by, All-South Region Second team by ABCA and won a Rawlings Division-III Gold Glove.  Fifth-year senior second baseman, Jack Bartlewski also brought home an All-South Region Second team by ABCA honor.

On the other diamond, Piedmont Softball brought home a national award as junior outfielder Katelyn Perry was named to the NFCA First Team Atlantic Region team.  Perry was also named the USA South Player of the Year, as teammates junior pitcher Martina Maloch and freshman pitcher Emma McBrayer won the USA South Pitcher and Freshman Pitcher of the year, respectively.

Out on the Piedmont Men’s Lacrosse field, fifth-year senior goalkeeper Zach Czulada brought home the USA South Defensive Player of the Year.

On the golf course, freshman Josh Hebrink, sophomore Fred Roberts IV, senior Matt Leeman and fifth-year senior Ben Balen all were named to the PING All-South Region team by GCAA.  Balen and Roberts were also named to the second-team and honorable mention PING All-American teams by GCAA, respectively.

Piedmont Track & Field was also recognized on the men’s and women’s side as well.  Fifth-year senior Alvin Jacobs and junior Madison Cassidy were both named to the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association South/Southeast All-Region teams.

Piedmont also awarded a men’s and women’s senior student-athlete of the year award.  The recipients of these two awards were senior men’s golfer Matthew Leeman and senior women’s soccer player Cassie Kirk.

“First it is important to note that our student-athletes aspire to pursue excellence in everything,” said Peeples.  “These awards are a reflection of excellence in the classroom, the fields of play and individual and team commitment to that pursuit of excellence.”

Student comes first in the name “student-athlete” for a reason.  Piedmont Softball had two Academic All-District team members, elementary education major Martina Maloch and nursing major Katelyn Perry.  Piedmont Women’s Soccer players junior Katelyn Smith, junior Amanda Weinhart, sophomore Sarah Fisher and senior Madison Hatfield were also named to the Academic All-District team.  Hatfield was also named an Academic All-American.  Piedmont Men’s Soccer player senior Cameron Earls was named to the Academic All-District and All-American teams.  The Women’s Golf Association named three Piedmont Women’s Golfers, sophomore Carson Weiner, sophomore Morgan Calhoun and senior Sarah Hustey, as All-American Scholars.

“Our coaches are leveraging this in the recruiting process.  We are attracting new student-athletes who want to be a part of the culture we work so hard to cultivate,” said Peeples.  “I also think that is evident with the majority of the transfers who also come and join our programs.  Highly motivated people want to have the opportunity to be outstanding.  We have been able to do that throughout our department.”

Jamie Jiminson, Piedmont Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Head Coach, was named the USA South Coach of the Year.  Trey Martin, Piedmont Women’s Tennis Coach, and Terry Martin, Piedmont Softball Coach, were also named USA South Coach of the Year in their respective sports.

“I would love to give a special thank you to our athletic communications staff who do an amazing job nominating and finding all these tremendous postseason awards for our student-athletes and our teams,” said Peeples.  “Without their work, none of these things would have happened.”