Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Social media puts sports fans within fingertips’ reach

Facebook and Twitter updates helped bring in a crowd of supporters for a winter basketball game.

If you Facebook it, they will come.

Wheaton student-athletes, coaches, administrators and alums are seeing this more and more as they continue to raise the virtual profile of college athletics by using social media.

Just one example: Before students departed campus in December for winter break, the women’s basketball team extended an invitation to the entire campus for an important conference game against Babson College.

In addition to using the college’s in-house email system, posters and flyers, the team relied on every member of its squad to advertise the event through their accounts on Facebook, as well as send out tweets via the team’s handle @WheatonBBall to encourage people to come to the game and wear their Wheaton blue. The athletics department also used social media channels to advertise the event for about a month prior.

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Outfielder Sean Ryan ’13 shines on the diamond

Sean Ryan ’13

Sean Ryan ’13

Sean Ryan’s roots in baseball run deep. His grandfather, who is in the Boston Park League Hall of Fame, was invited for a tryout with the New York Yankees. His father used to place a plastic baseball glove in Ryan’s crib. And Ryan fondly remembers working on his swing in his front yard when he was 6 years old.

So it is no wonder that the diamond still sparkles for him. “Baseball is special to me because nothing matches the feeling of being up at the plate against the pitcher and doing everything possible to get on base,” says Ryan, a senior who is majoring in economics.

For the past three seasons, the Norton, Mass., native has occupied the outfield of Sidell Stadium, and that deep-rooted dedication to the game has made him a pivotal part of the Lyons’ success.

In 2010, he was named the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year and also earned a spot on the All-Conference Second Team. In 2011, he sustained a season-ending injury but bounced back last season by leading the Lyons in batting average, slugging percentage and runs, while also recording three home runs, 37 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. He was named NEWMAC’s Player of the Year in 2012, as well as an American Baseball Coaches Association Division III All-American (second team), which means that he was recognized for being the second-best player in the country at his position (outfield) in Division III.

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Bring your sword, Frisbee, desire to play

Club sports, intramurals offer fitness and fun

On a quiet Thursday evening, the sound of metal clinking against metal pierces the cavernous Clark Center gym, as two students lunge at each other with swords. Back and forth they go in an athletic dance of grace and aggression that ends with one touching the other with the (covered) tip of a blade.

No worries; it’s all in the name of fun and sport. They are members of the Fencing Club, which is one of a growing number of club sports and intramural activities now being offered at Wheaton to encourage fitness and friendship, as well as mental agility. [Read more...]

Making waves at Olympics

Making waves at the Olympics

Wheaton swim coach Nicole CarterNicole Carter ’02, who is a Wheaton assistant coach, also trains Algonquin Regional High swimmer Dorian McMenemy. Their hard work got the swimmer to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where McMenemy competed in the 100-meter butterfly. The 15-year-old represented the Dominican Republic, swam her personal best, was second in her heat, and rode with Michael Phelps—all with Carter cheering her on. We asked the coach about the experience:

Supporting role: I am the head coach at Evolution Aquatics, a swimming program based in Westboro, Mass. Dorian trains with me year-round with our club team. As the head coach, my role is to make sure every athlete gets the training and support they need to succeed. I must create an environment in which athletes are motivated to achieve their goals and constantly evolve in the sport of swimming and in academics. [Read more...]