Before the beginning of the 2007 season, coach David Clawson answered questions about the football team’s prospects.
Q. The Spiders have enjoyed back-to-back winning seasons. What are the team’s goals for this year and beyond?
A. We want to be a program that competes for CAA championships, playoff bids and eventually a national championship.
Q. You have another talented class of seniors. What do they mean to the program?
A. Our seniors have contributed a lot to the success of the program during the past two years. Bryan DeMoss, Andrew Harris, Tim Hightower, Stephen Howell, Sherman Logan, Arman Shields, Tim Silver and Derek Stoudt all must have good years for our team to achieve its goals this season.
Joe Mahoney, ’08, who slugged 17 home runs last season, was selected in the sixth round of June’s Major League Baseball draft by the Baltimore Orioles.
The former Spider first baseman was assigned to the IronBirds, the Orioles’ class-A minor-league team in Aberdeen, Md.
Mahoney was the Orioles’ fourth pick overall, making him the top player drafted from an Atlantic-10 team this year. In addition to leading the conference in home runs, he finished third in RBIs with 62. The 6-7, 255-pound native of Troy, N.Y., ended his Richmond career seventh all-time in RBIs (152) and ninth in home runs (31).
His selection in the sixth round was the highest any Spider has been drafted since the San Diego Padres picked pitcher Tim Stauffer, ’04, in the first round four years ago.
Mahoney’s professional career began with a bang as he delivered three hits in the IronBirds’ season-opening 12-1 victory over Hudson Valley on June 19. One day later, he blasted a towering shot to right for his first professional home run. In his first 29 games with the IronBirds, he hit .255 with 13 RBIs.
“Learning to swing a wooden bat has been a big adjustment,” he concedes. “I’ve had to make some changes to my swing because I was breaking my bats. Also, it’s a big adjustment to learn how guys pitch to you. You get a guy every few nights who can throw every pitch for a strike. Instead of just spotting his fastball, he can throw three or four pitches for strikes.”
Two other Spiders were selected in this year’s Major League Baseball draft. Pitcher Alex Hale, ’08, was picked by the Los Angeles Angels in the 44th round, and pitcher Billy Falasco, ’11, was selected by the Angels in the 47th round. Neither Hall nor Falasco signed professional contracts, and both will play for Richmond next season.
Q. Who will be the quarterback this year?
A. Eric Ward, ’09, will go into the fall as the No. 1 quarterback, but he needs to perform well. Will Healy, ’08, has worked hard and improved. Eric gained a lot of experience last year. If he takes the things he learned a year ago, corrects some of his mistakes and grows as a leader, then he should perform at a higher level.
Q. What can we look for
A. Last year we kept things simple for Eric. He was a freshman, and we did not put too much pressure on him. This year we have a chance to open up the offense more. We’re going to have more depth at wide receiver, which will allow us to use more sets with three or four wide receivers.
Q. How about defensively? Who will replace all-conference performers such as Johnny Campbell, Adam Goloboski, Lance Gray and Damien McCallum?
A. We are going to be young, but what we lost in experience, we gained in speed and athleticism. Our defense will be fast. Our experienced—players—such as seniors Stephen Howell, Sherman Logan, Bryan DeMoss and Andrew Harris—will need to provide strong leadership.
Sept. 1 at Vanderbilt
Sept. 8 at Northeastern
Sept. 22 at Bucknell
Sept. 29 New Hampshire*
Oct. 6 at Towson
Oct. 13 Stony Brook
Oct. 20 Rhode Island
Oct. 27 at James Madison
Nov. 3 Villanova**
Nov. 10 at Delaware
Nov. 17 William & Mary
* Family Weekend
Pamela Duran, ’09, and Robin Carter, ’07, led the women’s tennis team to its fifth Atlantic 10 championship in the past six years. The team lost in the NCAA tournament to rival William and Mary, a team ranked 15th nationally.
Duran, a native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, elevated her game this spring, beating William and Mary’s Megan Moulton-Levy—the No. 5 player in the country—and Marshall’s Kellie Schmitt—the No. 46 player in the nation. Duran peaked at 68th in the national poll, the highest any Spider tennis player has been ranked in several years.
“Pamela can be a top 20 player in the country,” says coach Mark Wesselink. “She has the movement and ability to make the right shot. Now she is working on coming to the net, which will add a whole new dimension to her game.”
Wesselink notes that Duran’s strong commitment and outgoing personality help bond the team together. “She just brings dedication, determination and a happy disposition every day. In fact, it is not unusual to see her singing and dancing at practices. She loves life and has embraced our school and tennis program. How lucky are we?”
Duran was the A-10 Rookie of the Year in 2006 and the conference’s Most Outstanding Performer this year. In addition to her individual achievements, she and teammate Ashlee Vosters, ’09, won 11 doubles matches in a row this spring.
The team’s top doubles duo, however, was led by Carter, a native of Mendham, N.J., who graduated with the most wins of any player in the program’s history. She accumulated more than 50 wins in doubles, paired mostly with teammate Beatrice Grasu, ’07, and former teammate Courtney Klein, ’05.
“Robin never has a bad day,” Wesselink says. “When she shows up for practice or matches, her level of effort is the same, and it’s a total commitment to the workout or match.” Carter won all-conference honors twice in her college career. “She was the strongest she has ever been this year,” Wesselink says. “She just knows how to win.”
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