Tag: JP Wood

Firebird reaches ‘Ultimate’ goal

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Photo Courtesy of @JSUFirebird

JP Wood, Staff Reporter


Football school? Basketball school? Marching band school?

How about ultimate frisbee school?

JSU’s Ultimate team- known as Firebird Ultimate- is making some noise across the region on the ultimate field. The team, still in its infancy as a program, competed in and won their very first sanctioned tournament earlier this month at UAB.

For program founder Andrew Record, this is the culmination of three years of hard work and team building to reach this very point. “This year we finally felt like we were ready. We had beat some teams that were sanctioned earlier and realized we could really start competing.”

Record, set to graduate in May, was part of a pick-up group within the Southerners when he got the idea to start an organized university team.

“I did as much to educate myself on the sport and get better, because I had hadn’t really played competitively before. After that the biggest thing was just recruiting. And that’s the hardest thing to do in any sport, is to get people to commit.” 

Firebird started out in a developmental league for their first two years. These years saw the team playing mostly B-teams and other upstarts. After a non-sanctioned tournament in Samford in the fall which saw JSU Firebird finish second overall, the team realized they were ready for the next level.

That brought them to UAB for their first sanctioned tournament: The Magic City Invite. Entering play as the dead-last #12 seed, JSU upset #1 seed UAB 11-4 in their first game of pool play. JSU would finish pool play undefeated, taking down Middle Tennessee State, Berry, Alabama, and Ole Miss en-route to the four-team playoff the next day. In bracket play, JSU would then defeat North Georgia and Mississippi State to claim the tournament title.

Seven major wins over two days and a first-place finish, all in their first taste of sanctioned play? Not bad.

For Record, this is just the stepping off point for a program with a very high ceiling. To be performing at this level in only its third season is pretty significant. “It’s a big deal for a team this young to be defeating teams that have existed for five, ten, twenty years already, and I think we can keep building upon that.”

JSU Firebird will compete in a sectional tournament this weekend, that will see them face off against teams within their section—teams like Alabama, Auburn, UAB, and Mississippi State. A high finish there will see them move on to regionals where they will matchup with teams from all over the southeast.

With Record’s graduation next month, the program he’s shepherded from the beginning will be passed on to someone else’s hands. In fact, he’s already named two new captains this year in order to prepare them to fully take over next year. One of those captains, Luke Thomas, looks to help the program succeed well into the future.

“Success is not necessarily just from winning, but also seeing the program grow.” he says. Success, he says, starts off the field with recruitment. He also wants to see the team make deep postseason runs and compete in larger tournaments. Under his leadership, he wants to see the team continue its upward trajectory in both wins and recruitment.

JSU Firebird has already initiated one move toward growth: A women’s team. Captained by Emily Yeend, the women’s team is new as of this semester.

“In the fall, the goal is to at least attend one tournament just for fun,” Yeend says. She says that in the past, girls at rookie week can be overwhelmed, and that one goal of the women’s team is to have prospective female players less likely to be intimidated. “I’m trying to get girls interested in playing, because a lot don’t even know what it is.”

If you’re interested in joining the JSU Ultimate team, keep an eye out for their rookie week announcements at the beginning of the fall semester. Rookie week is an opportunity for new players to come out and play with other new players to ease in to the game. If you’ve never played before, don’t let that turn you away. According to the JSU Ultimate website, most players don’t actually learn the game until they reach college.

For more information on the sport and the program here at JSU, jsuultimate.com has an FAQ section with more resources.

Lupe Fiasco comes to JSU

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JP Wood, Staff Reporter


Jacksonville State University students have one more chance to “Pack the Pete” before the school year is over.

Grammy award winning Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco will be performing at Pete Mathews Coliseum Thursday April 11 at 7pm.

Admission will be free for JSU students, faculty and staff, while General Admission tickets will $10. JSU students must register for their tickets online, while faculty and staff tickets can be found on the fourth floor of the TMB.

Lupe Fiasco exploded onto the scene with 2006’s Food and Liquor which received 3 Grammy nominations. He is credited as a pioneer of the “conscious hip-hop movement” which focuses on societal and social problems such as absent parents, terrorism, religion, and war.

His latest album Drogas Wave dropped in September and received positive reviews from critics. In his career, he’s garnered multiple Grammy nominations across a myriad of categories. He won a Grammy for best urban/alternative performance for Daydreamin’ in 2008.

Lee County tornado claims 23 lives

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Washington Post photo by Kevin D. Liles
Danny Allen, foreground, and Dax Leandro search through the remnants of Chris Sward’s home in Beauregard, Ala., after a tornado destroyed it on Sunday, March 3, 2019. 

JP Wood, Staff Reporter


23 people are dead after an EF4 tornado barreled through Lee County on Sunday. The tornado was one of 34 that spawned during an outbreak across Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. Its 23 victims make it the deadliest tornado in nearly 6 years. 

Governor Kay Ivey, who toured the devastation, described what she saw as “absolutely horrendous.” Ivey requested and will receive help from FEMA in recovery assistance for the area. She went on to praise the response of the wider state community in their immediate outpouring of support and assistance, and stated that there is a certain resiliency in the people of Alabama. “We’ve done it before; we’ll do it again.”

Attorney General Steve Marshall says that his office will make sure that all those assisting the victims monetarily will have their money go directly to those affected. He said the damage he saw left him speechless.

As of Wednesday, all missing persons are accounted for according to Lee County sheriff Jay Jones. He stated that “there has been a river of support, and for once I’m happy to see a river of nature that overflows its banks.”

To assist in the recovery of Lee County, Marshall says people should first register with FEMA at www.disasterassistance.gov. Lee County EMA director Kathy Carson echoed the need for assistance from those in the general populous. “We can’t replace their lost loved ones, but we can help them at least get their homes and lives back together in as many ways as we can,” she said.

Gamecocks fall 5-3 to Samford

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JSU Sportswire

JP Wood, Staff Sports Writer


A freezing cold contest on the diamond at Jim Case Stadium saw JSU come up on the losing end of a close match against in-state rival Samford. 

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 4 run lead in the first, which they would never lose en route to a 5-3 win over the Gamecocks. JSU falls to 5-8 on the season while Samford improves to 8-3.

JSU starter Colin Casey was shelled for 4 runs off 6 hits early, and reliever Corley Woods was touched for the fifth Samford run in the third inning. Michael Gilliland took over in the fourth and in just his second outing, he struck out 5 of the 13 batters he faced. He retired the last 11 straight. 

Junior Chase Robinson plated JSU’s first run with 2 outs in the fifth, but it wouldn’t be until the 8th inning when JSU really started to chip away at the deficit. Robinson led off the inning with a walk, followed by an RBI triple by Tre Kirklin. Alex Webb plated Kirklin on a groundout, but the rally fell short, and JSU was unable to rack up any more runs.

Nic Gaddis also contributed a double and a single in the loss. 

JSU will get a rematch against Samford in Jacksonville on April 30th. The next Gamecock homestand will be this weekend, as Jax St starts their OVC slate against Eastern Illinois.

Jacksonville State falls to Jacksonville

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JSU fell in a series sweep to the Jacksonville Dolphins (Matt Reynolds/JSU)

JP Wood, Staff Sports Writer


Jacksonville State fell victim to Jacksonville University in a series sweep over the weekend, in a three game stretch in which the Gamecocks struggled to muster any offense.

Game one saw JSU take a 1-0 lead into the top of the ninth, but Christian Edwards would blow the save, as the Dolphins managed to walk it off 2-1. JSU’s Garrett Farmer dominated over seven innings, allowing just two hits, no walks and four strikeouts. Alex Webb accounted for all of JSU’s offense with a leadoff home run in the fourth inning. Webb went 3-for-4, while junior Nic Gaddis and sophomore Andrew Naismith provide the only other offense for the Gamecocks, each going 1-for-4. JSU struck out 14 times and left five men in scoring position.

Game two saw the Gamecocks continue to struggle offensively. JSU could muster only two hits in a game in which they were no-hit through six. Gaddis led off the 7th with a hit-by-pitch, followed by a walk from Isaac Alexander. Naismith would break up the no hitter and plated Gaddis, but was thrown out attempting to leg out a double. Cole Frederick plated Alexander with an RBI groundout, and Tre Kirklin would provide JSU with their last hit of the day with a two out single in the 7th, and the Gamecocks would go on to lose 5-2. Freshman pitcher Trey Fortner took the loss in just 3.1 innings of work.

Sunday’s rubber match featured an exciting Jax State rally late, as they attempted to fight back from a large deficit early. JU put up four runs in the first and another two in the second. Freshman Gamecock pitcher Isaiah Magwood took the loss after just one inning of work. JU extended their lead to 16-1 by the 8th before Jax State’s bats finally woke up. Nash Adams, Alex Strachan, and Tre Kirklin all recorded RBIs to cut the deficit to 16-4 going into the 9th. Taylor Craven, Brannon, and Carson Crowe all plated runs before the rally fell short and JSU lost 16-7. Gaddis extended his on-base streak to 7.

JSU returns to Jim Case Stadium this Friday for a three-game weekend series vs Florida International.