Only This Sort of Pound Can Hold These Dogs!

Head Strength Coach Donnell Boucher

Head Strength Coach Donnell Boucher

By Cadet Nate Brecklin

The Citadel is a school of pride when it comes most things, not to mention its NCAA Division I athletics program. High caliber athletes from all over the country — even the world — come here to compete for a job on his or her sports team, and every one of the athletes want to earn the respect that they cherish.

I have always believed that the body is a temple, and being a Citadel baseball player myself, the foundation of every sport comes with fundamentals.

That’s where it all really begins — at the start. That’s what you always go back to when you’re in a slump or a struggle. Fundamentals are the building blocks of success. And I don’t just mean on the field or the court, but especially in the weight room.

That’s what Coach Donnell Boucher, The Citadel’s head strength and conditioning coach, teaches us at the beginning of every semester. Building those fundamental blocks that help to keep you injury free and your body ready to take on any task your sport may throw at you.

Coach Donnell, who began his Citadel career as a graduate assistant in May 2007 and a specialist in just about every other strength and conditioning field there is, has helped Citadel athletes from all sports climb to their potential. With the help of his assistants, Coach D presents a sophisticated and healthy way to approach strength and conditioning towards athletics, catching the eyes of many other programs along the way.

The facilities of The Citadel’s Strength and Conditioning program consists of a full 5,500-square foot space for all varsity athletes to get those paws down and dirty before, during and after the long-awaited seasons. The ‘’Dawg Pound” is equipped with multiple squat and bench racks, free weight bum bells, rubber and iron plates, TRX band systems, and many of the state-of-the-art equipment to measure speed and athleticism.

The strength and conditioning program is run to make the athletes at The Citadel operate at their full potential through a system run and built around functional movement, speed, explosiveness and athleticism. The program keeps track of all athletes’ statistical attributes including weight, bench presses and squats, power clean, 40-yard dashes, vertical jumps, broad jumps and 60-yard shuttles. These are all taken to compare past and recent successes.

The strength and conditioning program is run in a topnotch facility by topnotch people for topnotch athletes, keeping the Dawgs hungry, healthy and ready to compete at any time and at any place.

Nate Brecklin, a baseball cadet-student-athlete from Eustis, Fla.., is a student in Andy Solomon’s Sport Communications class.

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Citadel Baseball Swings Back

Baseball Hat

By Cadet Johnathan Stokes

The Citadel Bulldogs struggled throughout the 2014 baseball season and ended with a 24-34 record. They were a veteran ball club that did not play like the caliber of team that they were. A combination of entitlement and selfishness was a recipe for disaster.

Coming into the 2015 season, the Bulldogs will be without five of their starting players. First baseman Bo Thompson was taken by the New York Yankees in the draft and second baseman Mason Davis also signed with the Miami Marlins. The other three starters lost were senior left fielder Drew DeKerlegand, senior center fielder Hughston Armstrong and senior right fielder Tyler Griffin.

Upon losing these players, the Bulldogs have many returning veteran players and should have a good chance at competing for the Southern Conference championship. Returning are third basemen Bailey Rush and Brett Hines, and center fielder Jason Smith. Johnathan Stokes is returning at the shortstop position and Ryan Kilgallen will be coming back for his fifth year as the starting catcher. Along with these position players, the team has a number of starting pitchers and relievers returning, and are looking forward to having a stellar year due to their experience and hard work.

Fortunately, The Citadel did not lose any of their starting pitching and should return a very talented and veteran staff. Returning is James Reeves, Skylar Hunter, Ross White, Austin Mason, Austin Livingston, Zach Sherrill, and Zach Lavery. These pitchers saw the majority of the innings in 2014 and are projected to put up some very good numbers.

The expectations for the upcoming season are extremely high due to a winning tradition at The Citadel. Even though there are many incoming freshmen and new starters in the lineup, mediocrity will not be considered or allowed to encompass this ball club. Like every year, the expectations are to win the SoCon Tournament.

Johnathan Stokes, a cadet from Columbia, is a student in Andy Solomon’s Sport Communications class.

Stokes 6

Senior Jonathan Stokes

I’m Optimistic about Our Football Team

After a short hiatus from the blog to prepare for the ALL NEW CitadelSports.com website and video platform, we are back in action with Off the Collar: The Official Blog of Citadel Athletics. We apologize about the break, but will continue to post articles provided by various students, athletic administrators, staff and fans throughout the season.Today’s article is written by Cadet Wriston Barnes.

If you would like to write an article for the blog, feel free to email bgargone@citadel.edu.

Coach Houston Press Conference

By Cadet Wriston Barnes

With new head coach Mike Houston now at the helm of The Citadel football program, players, fans, cadets and alumni alike are all looking forward to positive and productive results this season.

The first two games of the season were hard fought, but unfortunately both ended in losses.

Even though both games did not go the Bulldogs’ way, one has to give them credit for putting up a fight with the 2013 Big South champion Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, as well as the defending BCS National Champion Florida State Seminoles. With last week being their bye week, the Bulldogs are looking to rest up, prepare and get back on track as they take on the Buccaneers of Charleston Southern and look to get their first win of the season.

As early as it is in the campaign, I am pleased with the effort and improvement of our team as compared to last season.

It may not come this year, but under the leadership of new athletic director Jim Senter and Coach Houston along with his staff, I can see The Citadel possibly bringing home a Southern Conference championship to the school.

Wriston Barnes, a cadet from Rock Hill, is a student in Andy Solomon’s Sport Communications class.