By Callie Stevens, Staff Writer
Callie Stevens is a senior Outdoor Leadership major. This year she will give readers a walk through the adventures, lessons and experiences of an OL major.
As a new year begins, exciting things are going on in the Outdoor Leadership program. The OL program is welcoming its first senior class and the second-ever junior-level “Discovery Semester,” an immersive experience centered on outdoor leadership coursework. This is the first year that the OL program has had upperclassmen, since the Southern Association for Colleges and Schools (SACS) approved Young Harris College to offer a bachelor’s degree in OL.
Because of this, the seniors have an engaging semester in front of them. We are enrolled in both “Wilderness as a Metaphor” and a senior seminar. In “Wilderness as a Metaphor” we read and discuss literature in the outdoor community and learn to make connections between lessons people can experience while in wilderness settings.
In the senior seminar class, we will start preparing for an internship during the summer by creating resumes and critical documents. In both of these classes, we are going on several trips to conferences and festivals. The largest of these are a storytelling festival inTennesseeand the Adventure Education Conference atNorthGreenvilleUniversity. These conferences are going to be fun and educational for me because we will meet a lot of people that could be future employers in the outdoor community. This year should be quite interesting for seniors.
The junior “Discovery Semester” is broken into four classes consisting of group development, water pursuits management, challenge course management and land pursuits management. These classes adhere to a block schedule, meeting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Each class is three to four weeks long, beginning with group development.
The classes take a toll on students mentally, physically, emotionally and socially. The “Discovery” group went on their first trip last weekend, where they went whitewater rafting, rock climbing and camping, kicking off what promises to be a semester filled with a lot of learning and adventure.
As a new year continues, I am excited to see what unravels in my senior year. Whether it is my own adventure in or out of class or following the juniors in their “Discovery,” I hope that this year is filled with excitement, exploration and education.
By Ashleigh Scarpinato, Staff Writer
Thomas Ballew, a freshman from Ball Ground, graduated from Creekview High School knowing that he wanted to keep music as a form of expression in his life. The music led him to Young Harris College, with an instrument in hand and the quest to succeed in his heart. Ballew was born with a special talent and wants to use his gift to earn his bachelor’s degree in music education.
As far as involvement in the arts goes, Ballew is at the top of his game. He is currently involved in six different music programs at YHC. Among those programs are: band, chorus, jazz band, saxophone quartet, clarinet chamber choir and the chapel band. In these programs, Ballew plays three different instruments. However, Ballew can play a total of seven instruments. Despite knowing a how to play a variety of instruments, Ballew has barely whet his appetite and hopes to learn to play more in the future.
Ballew’s love for music has always been a huge part of his life. He began playing in the band in middle school and followed that love into high school, where his participation thrived. While enrolled in high school, Ballew contributed his talents in every music program his school offered, from musical theatre to the marching band.
Just as participating in a college-level sport carries with it a certain level of difficulty, finding the time to balance school work and the music can be just as challenging for musicians. The musicians must practice to be the best just like any athlete. Ballew is expected to practice ten hours per instrument every week. When asked about the difficulties of balancing schoolwork and music, Ballew explained, “[my] school work is music.”
He elaborated that being a part of the music program at YHC meant “the ability to devote the maximum amount of time towards what [he] loves.” Just as athletes depend on each other to make a play to succeed, Ballew’s individual performance can influence the band as a whole, a fact that helps inspire him further to do his best at all times.
After he earns his bachelor’s degree in music education, Ballew plans to use his hobbies and love of the outdoors to help inspire him to write music. When Ballew is not playing one of the seven instruments he has mastered in one of the six music programs at YHC, Ballew enjoys rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking.
Through music, a person can acquire the confidence to perform in front of the crowd and the ability to understand the true meaning behind hard work and dedication. Ballew hopes to one day take his passion and talent in music and teach other people how to grow and learn as musicians as well.
With information from wire reports
Young Harris College was accepted as a candidate for membership in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA, on July 12.
After competing as an independent institution last season, the announcement of this achievement brings the YHC athletic program one step closer to its goal of reaching NCAA status at the Division II level.
The first year will be a provisional year, during which YHC must begin to follow the policies and procedures of the NCAA. This requires that coaching staffs for the 12 YHC athletic teams develop schedules that include Division II schools as opponents.
NCAA also requires that members join a conference. So, this year, YHC will be applying for membership in the Peach Belt Conference.
The Peach Belt Conference currently consists of Armstrong Atlantic State University, Augusta State University, Clayton State University, Columbus State University, Flagler College, Francis Marion University, Georgia College & State University, Georgia Southwestern State University, Lander University, University of Montavello, North Georgia College & State University, the University of North Carolina-Pembroke, and the University of South Carolina-Aiken.
If YHC is accepted into the Peach Belt Conference, it will be the conference’s only private college.
After being accepted into the Peach Belt Conference, YHC will have one more obstacle to overcome in order to become an official member of the NCAA’s Division II. In order to be an official member, YHC will be put under review after its first provisional year. After one year as an NCAA candidate, the NCAA will send representatives to the campus of YHC to evaluate the progress of the college and its athletic program. If all goes well in that visit, YHC will then be recommended to move on to the next level of the membership process.
Only time will tell what the NCAA has in store for the athletic program at YHC. Follow the Enotah Echoes online for updates throughout the Mountain Lions’s process of achieving official NCAA membership.
With information from wire reports
According to a press release from Young Harris College, YHC President Cathy Cox has announced today that the National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA has formally accepted YHC as a candidate for Division II membership.
After three prior applications, YHC will begin the NCAA membership process.
In the press release Cox said, “Our athletic department has worked diligently in leading this endeavor, and this achievement is a significant milestone in our on-going transformation to a four-year college. We know that NCAA membership will attract many talented student-athletes to Young Harris College.”
Randy Dunn, director of YHC Athletics, said in the release that he is also looking forward to the College’s acceptance.
“I am very pleased that the NCAA membership committee considered YHC a worthy institution for provisional membership. Obtaining full membership will be a three-year process, and if everything goes well, YHC should receive full NCAA membership in 2014-2015.”
During YHC’s first year under provisional membership, the College will comply with NCAA’s rules and policies as well as create Division II athletic schedules.
Following the first provisional year, the NCAA membership committee will send representatives to review YHC’s transition; the membership committee will then decide if YHC is ready for the next level in the membership process.
Along with working to gain NCAA membership, Dunn is working to complete membership into the Peach Belt Conference.
“The next step for Young Harris College is to immediately begin work to complete the process for membership in the Peach Belt Conference, which is one of the strongest and most prestigious Division II conferences in the country.”
If accepted in the Peach Belt Conference, YHC would join other institutions such as Columbus State University, Georgia College & State University and the University of North Carolina—Pembroke.
By Ethan Burch, Sports Editor
Today the Young Harris College baseball team used a four-run rally in the bottom of the fifth inning to battle back and defeat visiting Reinhardt University by a score of 11-9.
“I’m not sure that I have ever had a team in all my years coaching that is working as hard as this team to finish the season strong,” said YHC Head Coach Rick Robinson.
YHC (23-20) began the game by scoring one run in each of the game’s first two innings to give the Mountain Lions an early 2-0 lead.
Freshman Travis Donahoo (3-1) started on the mound for the Mountain Lions. The freshman had a shaky inning in the top of the third, which resulted in four runs for Reinhardt (15-23-1). The four-run rally by Reinhardt gave the Eagles a 4-2 lead as the game went into the bottom of the third inning.
Donahoo’s problems on the mound continued when he gave up a three-run Reinhardt home run which gave the Eagles a 7-4 lead to start the fourth inning.
Freshman Jack Morrow started the Mountain Lions’ fifth inning rally with a three-run home run that tied the game up at 7-7. This was Morrow’s first home run since his last blast on March 12 in a match-up with Bloomsburg University that resulted in a 16-3 loss for YHC.
Sophomore Zach Bricknell gave YHC an 8-7 lead after plating freshman Mike Medori on a sacrifice fly ball.
YHC extended their lead to 11-7 in the eighth inning when freshman David Atwood reached base on a double in the gap and scored by way of a sacrifice fly from sophomore Josh Rudnik.
Reinhardt scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth, but it would not be enough as freshman Tyler Isbell sealed an 11-9 Mountain Lions victory.
“Isbell really wasn’t even scheduled to throw tonight,” Robinson said. “He was actually just down in the bullpen getting ready for his weekend start…so he came in to finish that inning and get the save.”
Donahoo, who started the game for the Mountain Lions, pitched four innings, giving up seven runs on five hits with a walk and a strikeout. Donahoo was relieved by freshmen Oliver Pratt, Brice Merritt and Tyler Isbell. Pratt (3-1) earned the win in four innings of relief. Isbell earned his fourth save of the season in relief.
Junior Taylor Smith (1-3) started on the mound for the Eagles. Smith pitched for 4.2 innings, giving up eight runs on nine hits with two walks. Smith was relieved by former Mountain Lion Kendrick McDonald and freshman Jeff Roberts.
The match-up between the Mountain Lions and the Eagles hosted YHC’s tenth annual Steak Night at Zell B. Miller Baseball Field. However, it was an energized Rick Robinson that put a spark in the Mountain Lions when he sprinted back to the team huddle after meeting with Reinhardt Head Coach Bill Popp in the batter’s box before the game.
“The guys really didn’t know that I was going to do that,” Robinson joked. “I think it actually caught some of them off guard. It may have even scared a couple of them.”
By Ethan Burch, Sports Editor
On Saturday, the Young Harris College baseball team fell 14-10 to the visiting North Greenville University as six team errors plagued the Mountain Lions defense.
The Crusaders (23-9) stuck first by scoring a run in the first inning of game one in Saturday’s doubleheader.
The Mountain Lions (17-18) answered with one run in the bottom of the third off of a run driven in by freshman. David Atwood. Atwood later scored by way of a two-run home run from sophomore Josh Rudnik. This was Rudnik’s fourth home run of the season.
North Greenville plated four runs in the top of the third inning to put the Crusaders on top 5-3 after YHC committed three fielding errors.
“It’s simple. It’s what I’ve said all along,” said YHC Baseball Head Coach Rick Robinson. “When you play defense you win, when you don’t play defense you don’t win.”
YHC scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game up at 5-5.
North Greenville started a late rally in the top of the seventh inning as Adam Taylor plated Brian Giles on a single. The rally resulted in a 9-5 Crusaders lead as the game entered the bottom of the seventh.
The Mountain Lions answered the Crusaders’ rally with one of their own when freshman Jack Morrow plated freshman David Atwood with an RBI single. YHC continued to rally as freshman Evan Carr scored off of a single by freshman Trey Rogers.
Freshman Ryan LaRose put the Mountain Lions within one run of the Crusaders after plating freshman Jack Morrow by way of a single. With one out in the bottom of the seventh and the bases loaded, sophomore Zach Bricknell attempted a sacrifice bunt, but Rogers was thrown out at the plate.
Freshman Tommy Ferguson then plated Mike Medori and Josh Rudnik to give the Mountain Lions a 10-9 lead at the end of the seventh inning.
The Crusaders battled back in the top of the eighth inning as freshman Adam Moore allowed North Greenville to score five runs. The rally by North Greenville gave the Crusaders a 14-10 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.
YHC held off North Greenville in the ninth inning with the pitching of freshman Taylor Topping, but the Mountain Lions were unable to recover from the four run deficit resulting in a 14-10 Crusaders victory.
Rudnik (3-3) started on the mound for YHC. Rudnik threw for six innings and allowed four runs on four hits and six strikeouts. Rudnik was relieved by freshmen Oliver Pratt (2-1), Adam Moore, and Taylor Topping.
Drew Provence started on the mound for North Greenville and earned his third win of the season. Provence pitched 6.1 innings and allowed six runs on 12 hits with five strikeouts. Provence was relieved by Caleb Phillips and Nate Richards.
The Saturday doubleheader for the Mountain Lions was preceded by a youth baseball clinic given by YHC players and coaches that was free for all that attended. The clinic started at 11 a.m. and the 35 youth baseball players that attended the clinic were provided a free meal and also invited to attend the doubleheader between the Crusaders and the Mountain Lions.
“We have done that every year,” said Robinson. “People enjoy coming out and watching their kids work with the players. I am all about helping the community and making the community feel part of the college.”
The Saturday also featured YHC baseball’s Junior Day, which attracted a number of high school recruits that have been targeted by the Mountain Lions. The high school juniors were given a tour of the YHC campus and invited to watch the match-up between YHC and North Greenville.
By Ethan Burch, Sports Editor
In game two of a double header against North Greenville University on Saturday, the Young Harris College baseball team jumped out to an early lead and held on to defeat the Crusaders 3-1.
The Mountain Lions put themselves on the scoreboard first with a leadoff home run by sophomore Zach Bricknell to start the first inning. This was Bricknell’s sixth home run of the season.
North Greenville tied the game up at 1-1 in the top of the third inning when Freshman Tyler Isbell walked in a run with the bases loaded.
YHC pulled ahead in the bottom of the fourth inning when an RBI single by sophomore Zeke Gribble plated freshman Trey Rogers to give the Mountain Lions a 2-1 lead. YHC continued to extend their lead after an RBI double by Bowen Klosinski plated Gribble to extend the Mountain Lions’ lead to 3-1.
YHC held on to their lead throughout the game to finish with a 3-1 victory.
Tyler Isbell started on the mound for the Mountain Lions. Isbell pitched for 3.2 innings and allowed one run on three hits and four strikeouts. Isbell was relieved by freshman Brice Merritt (2-4).
“We make no errors the second game and win a 3-1 game,” said YHC Baseball Head Coach Rick Robinson. “When those kinds of things happen, you’re going to win.”
Sean Willingham (1-1) started on the mound for North Greenville. Willingham gave up three runs on three hits and seven strikeouts.
By Callie Stevens, Staff Writer
Last weekend, the back country living skills class went on the annual Banff backpacking trip. The class was lead by Rob Dussler, chair of Outdoor Leadership, and left Friday afternoon for Brevard College in N.C. The group attended a film festival called the Banff Mountain Film Festival, then went on a two-day backpacking trip that the class organized.
Banff Mountain Film Festival is a competition held annually where outdoor enthusiasts send in videos of extreme stunts they have attempted. After the competition, a selection of the best films go on tour across Canada, the United States, and internationally from Scotland to South Africa to China, Japan and points in between.
Each year, the films travel to 30 countries reaching more than 210,000 people at over 550 screenings. Brevard College is one of the sights that is nearest to Young Harris College.
Before the videos start, local outdoor programs hold booths to advertise and give away free items for the event. This is always one of the best parts of the trip because students get a bag of free outdoor stickers and information about possible future employers. After the film festival, the class goes and car camps for the night and wakes up early the next day to start their backpacking trip.
Students had to plan everything from location, to how hard the trip is, to food and even decide what gear is taken. Students had to think about things such as trail length, and if the elevation changes a lot.
Despite the difficulty of the trip, freshman outdoor leadership major, Melissa LeViner from Woodstock enjoyed hiking to the top of John Rock, which is a rock face in Pisgah National Forest located in the Appalachian Mountains in Western N.C. This provided the backdrop for the YHC students to eat their lunch.
“Banff got me really excited [about] being an outdoor leadership major and knowing that I will work in this field,” said LeViner. “It was cool to be surrounded by people that view the world and share the same passions as me.”
By Ethan Burch, Sports Editor
On Friday, the Young Harris College baseball team lost to King College by a score of 8-1 after falling behind 4-0 in the first inning.
King College (14-10) struck again for two runs in the fifth inning to give the Tornado a 6-0 lead over the Mountain Lions. The final two runs for King College came in the top of the seventh inning.
YHC (17-17) put themselves on the scoreboard in the seventh inning when freshman Mike Medori scored the Mountain Lions’ only run of the game after being drove in by sophomore Zach Bricknell. However, the one run plated by Bricknell would not be enough to put the Mountain Lions in reach of a victory.
With the series split, YHC head coach Rick Robinson felt that the Mountain Lions were facing a competitive King College team.
“The King [College] team is a very good team,” said YHC Baseball Head Coach Rick Robinson. “They do some really good things on the bases, put the ball in play. Their pitchers work fast and throw their pitches for strikes, which really kept us off balance.”
Freshman Brice Merritt (1-4) started on the mound for the Mountain Lions. Merritt lasted 0.1 of an inning, and he allowed four runs on three hits and a walk. Merritt was relieved by freshmen pitchers Adam Moore and Nick Boutwell.
Alex Martin (2-0) started on the mound and earned the win for King College season. Martin gave up four hits, one walk and earned four strikeouts.
This match-up was the second game of the three-game weekend series between YHC and King College. After the YHC loss in game two, the series was tied at one a piece.
“I think in game one we played pretty well,” said Robinson. “We pitched well and did some really good things.”
The Mountain Lions will work off of their positives in game one to win the weekend series over King College.
The winner of the three-game series between YHC and King College will be decided at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 26.
By Ethan Burch, Sports Editor
with information from wire reports
Athens, Tenn.– On Wednesday, the Young Harris College softball team ended the night with one win and one loss against Tennessee Wesleyan.
The Mountain Lions won the opener 8-7, but fell 6-4 in the second game of the series.
Lisa Wilson started on the mound for the Mountain Lions in the first game and earned the win. Brittany Allen and Emily Wilson each hit home runs in the win. Wilson’s home run drove in three runs.
Sophomore Victoria Sink started on the mound for YHC in game two, taking the loss.
Kayla Jones and Victoria Hilton each accounted for a home run in the second game.
YHC (9-17) returns to action at 3 p.m. on Thursday in Cleveland as the Mountain Lions take on Truett McConnell.