Spring football, SoCon baseball, and some Beautiful Bulldogs

It was a busy weekend at The Citadel. Corps Day Weekend always is, of course. This year, there were also a number of varsity sporting events that took place at around the same time.

The basketball team was in Asheville for the Southern Conference tournament there, while the wrestling team was in Lexington, Virginia, for the SoCon championships in that sport. The tennis team played on campus on Sunday, and the baseball team hosted Samford in a three-game series to open league play. The football team played its spring game at Johnson Hagood Stadium on Saturday.

The wrestling team finished third in the league, and had three wrestlers win individual titles. Odie Delaney won his fourth Southern Conference title, the first time a wrestler at The Citadel has ever done so. The program appears to be in fine shape for the future as well, despite this being Delaney’s final year.

Saturday was a really nice day in Charleston, sunny and almost warm if you weren’t in the shadows. I wandered onto campus in time to see the end of the morning parade, which was very well attended. I don’t remember Corps Day being that popular, but maybe things have changed. The weather also helped, I’m sure.

After the parade, I walked over to Johnson Hagood Stadium for the spring game, although I first stopped to take a gander at the contestants for the “Most Beautiful Bulldog” competition, many of which were in costume. There were ballerina outfits, a dog dressed like a biker (complete with motorcycle goggles), a Batman-and-Robin combo…you get the idea.

The contest is a hoot, and a nice bit of PR for The Citadel. There is a short video synopsis of the event on Youtube: Link

You can also see some good pictures of the dogs/event via the school’s Facebook page: Link

I’m a big fan of the live mascot program; as I have often noted, re-instituting it is one of the better things The Citadel has done over the past decade. General and Boo were both around to see the other bulldogs put through their paces. Those two still look good, but it is also true that both dogs are now nine years old. General will turn 10 in June, and that’s a relatively advanced age for the breed. I was reminded of that while watching them “inspect” a bullpup on Saturday.

After leaving that area, I then watched the spring game, leaving late in the third quarter to get over to Riley Park for the baseball contest.

I’ll make a few comments about the football game, even though I won’t pretend to have much of an opinion on any of the action. I’ve always felt a bit ambivalent about the spring game, mainly because I don’t know who I should support. The Citadel? Or The Citadel?

(I posted that conundrum on Twitter and immediately got an appropriate answer: always root for the medical staff.)

The passing game wasn’t very good on Saturday. This was not entirely due to the quarterbacks. The receivers have to do a better job of, well, receiving. There was a very nice TD throw from Aaron Miller to Dalton Trevino, though. That was an interesting pass pattern, something to watch this fall.

Brandon McCladdie had an outstanding interception on a long pass attempt downfield. He was in midseason form.

Trey White looks like he is going to be a fine player (though he had a fumble that was returned for a TD). It’s always good to have depth at the quarterback position.

If you need something to worry about, worry about the punting. Based on what I saw on Saturday, the Bulldogs have work to do in that department. Luckily, there is still plenty of time to iron things out.

It was good to see guys like Rickey Anderson and Chris Billingslea in the stands cheering on their teammates.

Kudos to the marketing/sports information folks for getting the game sponsored (by Coke Zero), and for handing out plenty of posters, koozies, and even game programs. Nice job.

The baseball game was excellent. The Citadel beat Samford 2-1 on Saturday, and also won the series by a 2-1 count after dropping the Sunday contest. All in all, the opening conference series for 2013 was encouraging. This team has the potential to be very solid. It has not been as good defensively as it should be. If the squad continues to pitch and hit as well as it has so far, and improves its fielding to at least last season’s level, I believe the Bulldogs can contend for the league title. They have to put together all three of those elements, however.

I took some pictures of some of Saturday’s festivities, including a few shots of the parade, the Beautiful Bulldogs, the spring game, and a few baseball shots. As always, please remember that my photography skills are limited.

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