Tuesdays with Tony: Col Lackey Talks About The Athletic Cadre

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Col. Tony Lackey ’61 has been around Citadel Athletics since the mid-1950s and provides a weekly blog on some of the sports highlights that he recalls.

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By Col. Tony Lackey ‘61

As told to Andy Solomon

Did you ever wonder when Athletic Cadre began?

For those of you who do not know what Athletic Cadre is, it is the period when our athletes arrive to school prior to the rest of the Corps so they can learn the military aspect of The Citadel.  It is during this time when they learn how to salute, march, dress appropriately, handle their rifle and other important and related “knob knowledge,” including the absorption of The Guidon.

Yes, I was involved.

Bobby Ross replaced Red Parker as our head football coach and he began his tenure prior to the the 1973 season.  He and his new staff – truly one of the best staffs ever assembled, and more on that another time — recruited and brought in a lot of kids.  However, Coach Ross lost about half of them within the first two weeks of school.

Bobby Ross started his illustrious head coaching career in Charleston, leading the Bulldog football team from 1973-77.

Bobby Ross started his illustrious head coaching career in Charleston, leading the Bulldog football team from 1973-77.

Things were obviously much different then as during the knob week — when freshmen were formally introduced to the fourth-class system – as many of the football players lived as civilians.  It was how it was back then, and always had been.

The freshmen reported, got their haircuts, and those who were football players went to practice in addition to everything else their fellow knobs had to learn and endure.

Like I said, it had always been done that way and each coach dealt with it differently.  I understand that Coach John Sauer and his top aide, Al Davis, once sequestered the football team at Parris Island.

As the football TAC officer, Coach Ross came to me and asked what could be done to help with the attrition.  We discussed the situation, and I eventually presented the question to Col Walt Clark, the Commandant of Cadets.

It was then that we decided that in 1974, we’d bring the football players in early and see if we can train them without football practice and have them ready to integrate with the rest of the freshman class.

Coach Eddie Teague, a former head football coach here who was also the director of athletics, had to secure NCAA approval, which he did, and it was approved.  Of course, Coach Teague was a former marine and being an ex-coach as well, loved the concept.

So we brought them early prior to the ’74 season.  I remember that Dickie Jones of Sumter, who was the A Company 1st Sergeant and later Regimental Commander, was instrumental in getting the Cadre started.  I believe that Richard Wieters, too, was part of the first Athletic Cadre.

Most of the Cadre then was comprised primarily of athletes, as they clearly understood the situation.

Reflecting, it worked so well that it is still in operation today, although it has been tweaked over the years.

As a side note, Coach Ross once consulted with VMI about their overall athletic program and suggested they adopt the Cadre system as we have it.

They declined.

Terrance Martin Provides Valuable Service On and Off the Football Field

By Brian Gargone
Asst. Media Relations Director

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Last week The Citadel earned an award that only five schools in the nation were honored with when Lt Gen John W. Rosa accepted The Washington Center 2013 Higher Education Civic Engagement Award in Washington, D.C.

The award, which has been given annually since 2009, recognizes institutions achieving breadth and depth of civic engagement through sustained and mutually transformational partnerships that define and address issues of public concern at any level from the local to the global.

Senior running back Terrance Martin played his role in helping his school achieve the exclusive national honor. Most cadet-student-athletes already have to quickly learn to balance a day filled with athletic duties, Corps responsibilities and studies, but as a four-year member of the football team, Martin manages one additional duty that he feels is the most important – helping others through community service.

“From the first day on campus we are expected to serve others,” said Martin in an interview with the Charleston Post & Courier. “Service makes better leaders.”

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Martin, who has played in 39 games with six starts through his four years with the Bulldogs, is averaging 5.2 yards per carry and has reached the end zone twice this season, both with runs of eight yards or more.

Last weekend, Martin scored on a 13-yard rush to pull the Bulldogs within six points at Georgia Southern. The Cowen, Tenn., native also scored on an eight-yard run in the second quarter of the home opener against Charleston Southern to put the Bulldogs up 16-0.

In the classroom, Martin studies criminal justice and hopes to pursue a career in forensic psychology upon graduating from The Citadel this spring. He hopes to continue to make a difference in the lives of the younger kids he helps in the community.

Martin spends the remaining time he has as an active philanthropist in the Charleston area. He visits elementary schools and helps children understand their potential. Martin has also become a well-known face around Healing Farms Ministries where he helps the non-profit organization achieve its mission of providing sustainable community-based supports that promote inter-dependence and empower adults with developmental disabilities, their families and communities.

In his four years as a cadet-student-athlete, Martin has bettered the Bulldog football team, The Citadel Military College and the Charleston community, so there is no doubt that the unselfish senior will have his hand in achieving his life goal – “to make the WORLD a better place.”

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SETZEKORN AHEAD OF THE PACE AS HE EARNS CITADEL RING IN THREE YEARS

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By: Jon Cole, Associate Media Relations Director

At each of the last four Citadel ring presentations, Bulldog basketball head coach Chuck Driesell has snapped a photo with a member of the team who has earned his “weight in gold.”

In Driesell’s four-year stint with the program, he has graduated 11 players, with the biggest being a 2011 class that included eight departures. The photos with beaming seniors that line the desk in his office include shots with Cameron Wells (The Citadel’s all-time scoring leader), Zach Urbanus (the school’s all-time 3-point shooter), Cosmo Morabbi (2011-12 team captain), Mike Groselle (the program’s all-time double-double leader) and most recently Dylen Setzekorn.

That last name is correct—Dylen Setzekorn—a redshirt sophomore on the court and a senior in the Corps of Cadets. Setzekorn, a political science major with a concentration in law & legal studies, received his Citadel ring at the ceremony that took place on Oct. 4.

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After earning his high school diploma from Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville, Ga., Setzekorn spent the 2010-11 season playing at The Hun School in Princeton, N.J., and between these two he transferred in 12 college credit hours before stepping one foot inside the gates of The Citadel.

The articulate Setzekorn knocked down 40 hours as a knob, added 46 more to his credit as a sophomore and over the course of the summer knocked out six additional hours to enter the 2013-14 academic year with 104 total hours. He is taking 19 hours in the fall semester which will put him 18 hours from completing the undergraduate portion of his diploma in 2014.

“The Hun School helped me a lot with that because it was so difficult that it set the bar so high for what I was expecting in college,” said Setzekorn. “Coming from there, which was so academically challenging, I was very well prepared for what The Citadel classes would offer me.

“When I got here I took as many classes as I could, knowing that I wanted to graduate in three years,” added Setzekorn. “It has always been a goal of mine to go ahead and get my masters and I will get to pursue that next year.”

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After redshirting the 2011-12 season, Setzekorn led the team in 3-point field goal percentage (.441, 15-34), placed second in free throw percentage (.788, 26-33) and was fifth in field goal percentage (.494, 39-79). He was also the only non-starter at The Citadel to top 100 points, scoring 119 on the season.

The same maturity level that allowed Setzekorn to go over and beyond a normal workload in the classroom will also prove beneficial to Driesell’s team as he begins graduate school in the fall of 2014 and continues his Bulldog career for the next two seasons at McAlister Field House.

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Citadel to Host Medal of Honor Bowl Game

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We hosted a press conference on Wednesday afternoon at Johnson Hagood Stadium to announce our hosting the inaugural Medal of Honor Bowl, an all-star game for eligible NFL draftees and free agents on January 11, 2014, and the speaking participants read like a page out of “Who’s Who.”

While former Board of Visitors member Tommy McQueeney ’74 emceed the press conference, it is Tommy who is the local organizing committee’s chairman.  A native Charlestonian known for moving and shaking and getting things done, Tommy is the perfect individual to lead the group.

Two local legislators – Rep. Dr. Samuel Rivers III, R-Berkeley, and Rep. Chip Campsen, R-Charleston – spoke eloquently on the game’s importance to the local community in addition to the state of South Carolina.

The executive director of the bowl game is Brian Woods, an attorney with strong ties to all of the NFL teams, outlined more of the specifics for the game.  Woods, who will evaluate players, set the rosters, and oversee the day-to-day operations, cited that this game would seek the best talent in the country, and hoped to secure many SEC and ACC players, especially those from South Carolina and Clemson.  There will always be one spot open for a Citadel player.

It was stated that proceeds from the event would go to the Medal of Honor Museum Foundation and the Wounded Warriors Program.  Speaking on that behalf was Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston, one of the 80 living Medal of Honor recipients.

Kathleen Cartland of the Charleston Area Sports Commission estimated that the local area would see a $3.8 million economic impact, which would come during a “slow time” on the Charleston tourist calendar.

The final speaker was The Citadel’s Director of Athletics Larry Leckonby, who stated how pleased the school was to be involved with the game as hosts.

McQueeney stated that the all-star game will feature a bowl-like atmosphere with a full week of events culminating with the game on Saturday.

“After looking at many different possibilities to bring post-season football here, this all-star format emerged as the highest and best event for the entire community and state,” Rep. Rivers stated. “I like that this is a long-term commitment and that the beneficiaries are the Medal of Honor Museum Foundation and the Wounded Warriors Program.  Every citizen of this state should be proud.”

Gen. Livingston stated that The Congressional Medal of Honor Society met in Gettysburg, Pa., last week.  Their national board and president later approved the naming of the football event and expressed appreciation for the benefit of proposed assistance to their recently announced new museum project.

The Medal of Honor Bowl will utilize a unique selection process geared at landing more of the nation’s top draft eligible seniors. Rosters will be based upon the NFL market for which the player’s school resides in as opposed to traditional North-South or East-West formats.

“For the last 15 years, the Southeast has provided more players to the NFL draft than any other part of the country.  It makes sense to utilize a format which allows us to award more roster spots to players from that region,” said Woods.

Kickoff for the game will be at 3 pm.

Andy Solomon

Cadet-Student-Athletes Participate in Ring Presentation Ceremony

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“I wear the ring!”

Four words formed by four syllables were uttered by nearly 500 seniors after The Citadel’s annual Ring Presentation Ceremony on Friday afternoon in McAlister Field House to begin Parents Weekend.

The ceremony included our senior cadet-student-athletes.

Proud mothers and fathers, grandparents, siblings and cousins crowded the field house for the annual ceremony in which seniors received The Citadel’s prized possession – their class ring.

While the navy blue chair-back seats and light-blue bleachers served as the seating area for the estimated 2,500 people in attendance, all eyes were focused on the excited and smiling faces of the anxious seniors sitting in the middle who now “wear the ring.”

There is no doubting that each experienced the feelings of accomplishment and pride as Frank Gibson ’69 of Beaufort and president of The Citadel Alumni Association informed them that they are “now full-fledged Citadel men and women who have earned the right to wear the ring.”

In addressing the assembly, Gibson proclaimed that the ring represents “those who have gone before you and those who have served our country.  You are now recognized as principled leaders who will do what is right and not convenient.”

With that, Gibson instructed the seniors to “remove their (white) gloves and carefully remove the ring from the box.  Place the ring on your left hand ring finger with the “2014” facing you, and when you graduate in May, you will turn the ring around and face the world with honor.”

With that, the assembly exploded into applause while members of the Class of 2014 congratulated and hugged each other.

It was indeed a long road.

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Lt. Gen. John Rosa, President of The Citadel and a 1973 graduate, opened the 1 pm ceremony with the sentence, “I wear the ring.”  He explained that “the band of gold is a bond of all Citadel alumni.”

Each Company voted to select one individual to present their rings and the presenters included the likes of Tom Culler ’50 (Band Company), Capt. Ken Boes ’84 (Delta Company) and Col. Leo Mercado ’79 (Victor Company), The Citadel’s Commandant of Cadets.

Adorned in their full dress uniforms, the seniors accepted the ring with the responsibilities of those who wear it.

Unlike many Citadel ceremonies, however, this one has changed over the years.

While the ceremony, which is coordinated by The Citadel Alumni Association, was held in spacious McAlister Field House – the most recent site – it had been held in Summerall Chapel and Mark Clark Hall in the past.

In years gone by it was also a closed ceremony, and then two individuals per senior were permitted to attend and eventually moved to the Field House to accommodate more witnesses to the event.

Further, the ceremony was originally held on Thursday afternoon but was moved to Friday in the 1990s to further enhance the Parents Day Weekend.

The highlight of the weekend comes on Saturday when the football team hosts Appalachian State with a 2pm kickoff.  Another feature of the Parents Day Weekend is the annual halftime performance by the famed Summerall Guards.  (There are additional festivities for the weekend.)

Immediately after the 75-minute ceremony which was concluded with the singing of the Alma Mater, outside of McAlister Field House families congregated with their Citadel Cadet, each of which now “wears the ring.”

Congratulations to the Class of 2014.  You’ve earned it!

Andy Solomon

The Diamond Dogs Are Back in Full Swing

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By Kevin Connell

The baseball team’s fall practice has begun and the excitement is running high.

As baseball players, the fall is when we get ready for the season, which begins in February.  We compete for positions and work on the areas of our game that need it.  We are coming off of an impressive season in 2013, finishing second at the Southern Conference Tournament in Greeneville.

We have 26 of the 28 roster players from last season returning as we lost two great players from last year’s team to the Major League Baseball draft.   Catcher Joe Jackson was drafted in the 5th round by the Texas Rangers and starting pitcher Austin Pritcher was drafted in the 19th round by the Detroit Tigers.

Jackson was not only a great play caller but he was also the heart of our offensive unit.  Jackson batted .386 in his senior year while displaying an astonishing outing in the tournament going 10 for 13 and reaching base 17 times in only four games.

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Pritcher was a key pitcher for us the last several years.  He was our Friday starter and had a record of 8-3 his senior year.  He did a great job of pitching to outs and that were evident with his 2.99 ERA.

With the experienced players coming back from last season, we are looking forward to starting the season and showing everyone throughout the conference that this is our year. We are starting one fifth-year player in Hughston Armstrong, three juniors and four seniors who have had a major role in the great seasons the Bulldogs have had in the past.

The pitching rotation is full of experience with senior Logan Cribb, two left-handed junior pitchers, James Reeves and me, and a freshman All-American from last year, closer Skylar Hunter.

Our motto is “Defense Wins Championships,” and this year we have more than defense as we have the offense that is capable of producing runs.

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Fred Jordan is going into his 23rd season as the coach with more than 700 career wins, all at The Citadel.  We want to win him another Southern Conference championship and return to the College World Series.

The 2014 season opens on February 14, when we host the Charleston Crab House Tournament in a three-game round robin against Delaware, West Virginia and 2013 College World Series participant Louisville.

The season concludes in May with the Southern Conference Tournament that will once again be held at Riley Park.