Deacons Direct Blog Archives - December 2008

Women's Tennis Signee Named Girls' Tennis Player of the Year by Observer
Posted by Kathryn Hamlett, WFU Media Relations
December 28, 2008 - 8:01 a.m.

Kathryn Talbert, who signed on to play tennis for Wake Forest beginning in Fall 2009, was named Girls' Tennis Player of the Year by the Charlotte Observer. The senior at Lake Norman High School recently took the state's 3A singles title, finishing the season with a 25-0 record.


Women's Basketball Now 28th in ESPN/USA Today Poll
Posted by Kathryn Hamlett, WFU Media Relations
December 25, 2008 - 8:14 a.m.

The women's basketball team has climbed into the 28th slot of the ESPN/USA Today Poll, ranking just behind TCU and New Mexico in votes received. The movement upward comes on the heels of Wake's 77-58 win over Mississippi on Sunday in Orlando, Fla., setting the season record at 10-0.


Men's Basketball: Deacons in the News
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
December 22, 2008 - 6:35 p.m.

Posted courtside at ECU's Minges Coliseum, here are a handful of links to keep you updated on how your No. 6-ranked Demon Deacon men's basketball team is doing.


  • Wake Forest will take on run-and-gun ECU tonight - Winston-Salem Journal (Dec. 22, 2008)
  • Pirates host No. 10 Wake Forest - The Daily Reflector (Dec. 22, 2008)
  • Chas muscling up for Wake in the lane - Burlington Times-News (Dec. 21, 2008)
  • Wake Forest fends off Spiders - Burlington Times-News (Dec. 20, 2008)
  • Demon Deacons squeak by Spiders - Richmond Times-Dispatch (Dec. 20, 2008)
  • Deacs to face Spiders on the road - Winston-Salem Journal (Dec. 19, 2008)
  • Wake Forest-Richmond Preview - Richmond Times-Dispatch (Dec. 19, 2008)
  • Hale answers call for Wake Forest - Burlington Times-News (Dec. 18, 2008)
  • Experts say top freshmen not NBA-ready - Norwich Bulletin (Dec. 20, 2008)

  • Women's Basketball Ties Win-Streak Record
    Posted by Kathryn Hamlett, WFU Media Relations
    December 21, 2008 - 7:57 p.m.

    With Wake's 77-58 win over Mississippi on Sunday the Demon Deacons improved to 10-0, tying the longest winning streak in program history. In 1987-88 the Deacs finished the season 23-8, including a 10-game winning streak.

    The win came at the University of Central Florida Holiday Classic. It was a neutral site, but the Deacs definitely had an advantage in the stands, as Orlando natives Brooke Thomas and Brittany Waters brought a great fan contingent. Former teammates, coaches, friends and family of the two athletes all came out to cheer the Deacons on to victory.

    The win on Sunday was a huge mental victory for the Deacons. Even though the team has a spotless record, the win over a second SEC foe was crucial for team's confidence as they prepare for the conference gauntlet, which starts January 8 at No. 15/16 Maryland and continues on January 11 with No. 15/17 Virginia.

    All the players and everyone in the WFU travel party was beaming after the Rebels went down and head coach Mike Petersen was just as pumped. Normally after games he takes his place on the bus and quietly scrutinizes the game book, occasionally asking for a score update on another game or discussing the night's events with his coaching staff.

    But today, as I was writing the game recap and filling out the ACC Player/Rookie of the Week nomination, Coach Petersen hopped on the bus and immediately declared that Brittany Waters absolutely has to earn the ACC Player of the Week honor. And he continued loudly so the whole bus could hear, "We ARE that good. And the ACC needs to know it. You have my permission to tell them I said it!"

    So that's it for us in Orlando. Tomorrow we have 5:30 a.m. wake up call, but it doesn't seem nearly as bad after the win tonight.


    Deacs Visit Capitol, Wrap Up Practice
    Posted by Steve Shutt, WFU Media Relations
    December 19, 2008 - 3:35 p.m.

    As head coach Jim Grobe likes to say, the hay is in the barn.  Meaning, there's not much more that the Deacs can do to prepare for Saturday's EagleBank Bowl contest with Navy.  The club practiced at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va. on Thursday morning then toured the Capitol on Thursday afternoon.  Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post has done an excellent job of blogging about the Deacs' time in D.C.

    Thursday night, the players and coaches attended an all-you-can-eat buffet dinner at the ESPN Zone and the bowl folks put on a Kickoff Banquet for lunch today.

    As the Deacons were entering one of the halls in the Capitol, a number of players spotted former Tennessee head coach Phil Fulmer who on tour of the building with his family.  Coach Grobe and Alphonso Smith each had a chance to speak briefly with Coach Fulmer.

    Tonight, many of the people here will attend a watch party to see the Deacs take on Richmond.  Others will walk a block or two to see the Washington Wizards take on the 76ers tonight.

    Here's some pre-game reading in preparation for tomorrow's game.

    D.J. Boldin is emerging as Wake's go-to guy.

    Riley Skinner's goal is to avenge the loss to Navy.

    Joe Birdsong gets a second shot at Navy.

    Kevin Harris returns to a starting role.

    Bowl game draft prospects include a number of Deacons.

    Alphonso Smith is known for big plays.

    A good piece on the birth of the EagleBank Bowl.

    The Sports Network's game preview.

    The Deacons look for revenge against Navy.

    Navy's Bryant has no regrets.

    Wake seniors look to go out in style.

    Navy in for a devil of a rematch with Wake.

    Fearless prediction for the EagleBank Bowl from Fox Sports.

    Game preview from CBS Sportsline.

    Navy's quarterback considered retiring following hamstring injury.

    Naval Intelligence

    Tim Duncan Meets Wake's Women's Basketball Team
    Posted by Kathryn Hamlett, WFU Media Relations
    December 19, 2008 - 10:25 a.m.

    The Wake Forest basketball team is on day four of its six day trip to Orlando, Fla. Friday night will be the team's first game in the University of Central Florida Tournament, where Wake Forest will play the hosting UCF at 7 p.m. You can listen to the UCF broadcast of the game here.

    On Thursday night the Deacs got a real treat, a brief meeting with Orlando Magic Senior Vice President Pat Williams and former Deacon star Tim Duncan prior to the Orlando Magic/San Antonio Spurs game. Even though the Spurs didn't get into town until 4 a.m. that day after flying in from New Orleans the night before, Duncan was still very accommodating.

    Click on thumbnails for full versions.

    Wake Forest will finish up the tournament on Sunday, playing Mississippi, the second Southeastern Conference team on this season's slate.

    Deacons In DC, Preparing for EagleBank Bowl
    Posted by Steve Shutt, WFU Media Relations
    December 17, 2008 - 7:54 a.m.

    The Deacons are now in Washington, DC, headquartered in the DC Renaissance Hotel right in downtown.  The team charter left Greensboro Wednesday afternoon for Dulles International Airport.  The team buses came down Constitution Ave to the hotel, giving the team a quick look at the Washington Monument, the White House and the National Christmas Tree.

    Upon arrival at the hotel, the EagleBank Bowl staff and the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission put on a rousing reception for the team.

    Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post was at the reception and detailed it in his blog at

    Today will be a busy day for the Deacs. After a 6:30 a.m. wake-up call and 6:45 breakfast, the squad will break down into offensive, defensive and special teams meetings until 9 a.m. The team will bus over to Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia for practice at 9:45 and then return to the hotel at 11:30.

    After a quick lunch, the Deacs will head to Capitol Hill for a two-hour tour of the Capitol. Following a couple hours of down time, it's back in the buses to the ESPN Zone for a team party which will include an all-you-can-eat buffet.

    Football: Final Weekly Press Conference
    Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
    December 16, 2008 - 2:40 p.m.

    We held our final weekly press conference of the season today. Head coach Jim Grobe, along with Deacons Stanley Arnoux, Chantz McClinic, Matt Robinson, Riley Skinner and Alphonso Smith, met with the media contingent on hand.

    The star-studded cast of Deacon interviewees discussed Saturday's tilt in the EagleBank Bowl and gave a snippet of what's to come next season.

    Press Conference Video:
    Coach Grobe
    Stanley Arnoux
    Chantz McClinic
    Matt Robinson
    Riley Skinner
    Alphonso Smith

    Men's Basketball: Deacons in the News
    Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
    December 15, 2008 - 4:05 p.m.

    Here are a few quick clippings in the wake of the Deacons' 66-53 win against Wright State yesterday afternoon.

    Also, the new national polls came out and Wake Forest cracked the top 10 at No. 10 in both the AP Poll and the Coaches Poll. It is the first time the Deacons have been in the top 10 since the final poll of the 2004-05 season.

  • Deacons grind out a 66-53 win - Winston-Salem Journal (Dec. 15, 2008)
  • Wake Forest finds Wright stuff to win after exams - Burlington Times-News (Dec. 15, 2008)
  • Raiders 'get no satisfaction' in loss to Wake - Dayton Daily News (Dec. 15, 2008)
  • Wake Forest's versatility catches Raiders by surprise - Dayton Daily News (Dec. 15, 2008)
  • Gaudio pleased with defense - Winston-Salem Journal (Dec. 14, 2008)
  • Demon Deacons want dandy defense - Burlington Times-News (Dec. 14, 2008)
  • Wake Forest AD has roots in Dayton - Dayton Daily News (Dec. 14, 2008)

  • Keep Rodney Rogers In Your Thoughts
    Posted by Steve Shutt, WFU Media Relations
    December 10, 2008 - 12:26 p.m.

    Many folks have called and written asking what they can do to help former Wake Forest All-American Rodney Rogers as he recovers from a devastating accident.

    Rodney is in a rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta.  You can send your expressions of support to:

    Rodney Rogers
    c/o Shepherd Hospital
    2020 Peachtree Rd NW
    Atlanta, GA  30309

    Many of Wake Forest's current student-athletes have signed posters, cards and even a WFU flag that have been sent to him. 

    Study Break, Part II
    Posted by Kathryn Hamlett, WFU Media Relations
    December 10, 2008 - 9:46 a.m.

    Because the first study break elicited so many reader comments and sparked some good dialogue, it would have been a shame not to write a follow up. So here is Study Break, Part II: Wednesday Morning.

    Women's basketball athlete Corinne Groves attended the same high school as NFL quarterback Brad Johnson (Owen HS, Black Mountain, N.C.).

    2007 WFU men's tennis alum Todd Paul is ranked #483 in the ATP. He cracked the 500 mark in early October and has been climbing since then. In November Paul and doubles partner Chris Wettengel took a futures tourney title in Hawaii. Catch up on all the TP happenings at

    Wake Forest field hockey athlete Liza Casella is from Rutland, Vt., the birthplace of John Deere, inventor of the steel-bladed plow.

    The U.S. Open has a 99-year agreement that fines the city of New York up to $325,000 if unnecessary flyovers from jets coming out of LaGuardia occur during the event.

    Men's Basketball: ECU Game Televised
    Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
    December 9, 2008 - 4:40 p.m.

    Wake Forest's men's basketball game at East Carolina on Dec. 22 has been picked up to be televised. Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) will carry the game live.

    Also, for Deacons fans living in eastern North Carolina, WITN will air the contest live.

    The game is shaping up to be a good one. Wake Forest is 8-0 and ranked No. 11 in the country, while the Pirates have gotten off to a 7-1 start to the season. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Minges Coliseum in Greenville.

    Football: Surprise Presentation
    Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
    December 9, 2008 - 4:15 p.m.

    NFL legend Dick Butkus was on campus today to surprise senior linebacker Aaron Curry with the 2008 Butkus Award.

    Butkus and a camera crew, which was on hand to document the day's proceedings, caught up with an unaware Curry outside of the Manchester Athletic Center. The current and former linebackers talked for awhile before Curry's family and the Deacon coaching staff came out to celebrate with him as well.

    Curry then went to the team's weekly press conference to put on a surprise of his own. As Curry was talking with the TV media, in burst Butkus to present Curry with his trophy (which weighs enough for even the toughest linebacker to think it's heavy).

    Check out the video archives from today's press conference to catch up on all the action. The link to Curry's video shows Butkus coming in and giving him the trophy mid-presser.

    Press Conference Video:
    Dick Butkus
    Aaron Curry
    Coach Grobe
    Stanley Arnoux
    Alphonso Smith
    Chip Vaughn

    Study Break!
    Posted by Kathryn Hamlett, WFU Media Relations
    December 8, 2008 - 6:45 p.m.

    It's exam week here at Wake Forest. And while hopefully you are not studying for exams like the students (and if you are really getting ready for an exam ... stop procrastinating and GET BACK TO THE BOOKS BUSTER!), everyone could always use a good study break. My favorite type of study break involved Ben and Jerry's Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream, but since I can't offer you that over cyberspace, here are some interesting tidbits inspired by the student-athletes and coaches I work with.

    Del Mar, California, the hometown of men's tennis athlete Steven Forman, is also the current place of residence for former Journey frontman Steve Perry.

    Drawings of men playing a sport that appears to be a version of field hockey have been found in a Nile Valley tomb, dating back more than 4,000 years.

    During WWII, The Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburg Steelers combined teams to cut costs and became The Steagles. The roster was made of athletes from both teams who were not serving in the military. This fact is dedicated to Bob Clark, an assistant women's basketball coach that lives and breathes anything Philly, including the Eagles; and to Jason Eshbaugh, director of operations for WBK, who is the only Steelers fan I know in North Carolina.

    Christian Tara, a women's tennis athlete majoring in mathematics, inspired the last one: If you've ever spent time wondering where coined its name (haven't we all??) well here's origin: "Googol" is the mathematical term for 10 100. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

    Consider this your Red Bull and pizza. Now get back to work!

    Women's Basketball Receives AP Poll Votes
    Posted by Kathryn Hamlett, WFU Media Relations
    December 8, 2008 - 5:09 p.m.

    The Wake Forest women's basketball team earned several votes in the AP Poll this week. The Demon Deacons are 7-0 and one of only 11 DI teams in the national still undefeated. Wake Forest is breaking from competition this week for exams and will return to the Joel on Monday, Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. to host Presbyterian.

    Men's Basketball: Deacons in the News
    Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
    December 8, 2008 - 2:35 p.m.

    Here are just a few quick links to get you caught up on what's happening with the Deacon men's basketball team following its win against Bucknell on Saturday.

    Also, the new polls came out this afternoon and Wake Forest climbed to No. 11 in both the AP and the Coaches Polls. This is the highest the Deacons have been ranked since being No. 5 in the final poll of the 2004-05 season.

  • Deacons romp 81-52; Williams solid - Winston-Salem Journal (Dec. 7, 2008)
  • Teague takes charge for Wake Forest - Burlington Times-News (Dec. 7, 2008)
  • Wake Forest improves 3-point proficiency - Burlington Times-News (Dec. 6, 2008)
  • Deacons: to shoot 3 or not to shoot 3? - Winston-Salem Journal (Dec. 6, 2008)

  • Football: Game Program Articles
    Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
    December 8, 2008 - 9:20 a.m.

    For those of you who were unable to pick up a game program at either of Wake Forest's last two home football contests this fall, you're in luck. The final two Evan Lepler-penned articles of the season have now been posted online.

    Check out his feature on sixth-year defensive end Matt Robinson from the Boston College game.

    And then read his profile on Wake's group of fifth-year seniors, who helped transform the program into a title contender.

    Men's Golf: Simpson in the hunt at Q-School
    Posted by Gary Petit, WFU Media Relations
    December 8, 2008 - 8:50 p.m.

    Webb Simpson, a 2008 Wake Forest graduate, has had a tremendous start to his professional career and today, he could take his game to the highest level. Simpson is currently two shots inside the number to earn his 2009 PGA Tour card at the PGA Q-School in La Quinta, Calif.

    Simpson tees off today at 1:20 p.m. local time on the Nicklaus Tournament course, the easier of the two courses used this week. So far, Webb has played pretty steady, carding rounds of 69-68-68-70-69. One more round like those and Simpson will have made it through the grueling six-day tournament.

    You can track Simpson's progress on or tune into the Golf Channel from 3:30-7


    Women's Basketball Quickie
    Posted by Kathryn Hamlett, WFU Media Relations
    December 5, 2008 - 2:51 p.m.

    Alex Tchangoue's feature on Fox 8 was posted online today: Check it out here.

    The team is currently getting ready for its final game before exams begin on Monday. In case you missed it, Wake is also currently ranked first in the nation in steals with an incredible average of 17.6 per game. The team is also ranked first in scoring defense, second in turnover margin, fourth in field goal percentage defense and seventh in scoring margin.

    As of December 4 the Demon Deacons were ranked 19th in the Jeff Sagarin/CBN Women's College Basketball Ratings.

    You can use your ticket from Saturday's game vs. Coppin State (2 p.m.) to get in free to the men's game against Bucknell that evening (while supplies last).

    Men's Basketball: Rivals Power Rankings
    Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
    December 4, 2008 - 11:30 a.m.

    Three Demon Deacons are listed in the latest individual power rankings on

    James Johnson moved up to the No. 4 power forward, while Jeff Teague has ascended to the No. 11 shooting guard (despite playing the point most of the season).

    Al-Farouq Aminu is also listed as the No. 2 overall freshman in the country by Rivals.

    Men's Basketball: Deacons in the News
    Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
    December 4, 2008 - 11:20 1.m.

    Here is a sampling of news clippings on the Deacs following last night's win against Indiana.


  • Hot-shooting Deacons roll - Winston-Salem Journal (Dec. 4, 2008)
  • Deacons run roughshod over Hoosiers' roster of walk-ons - Greensboro News & Record (Dec. 4, 2008)
  • Odd Pairing: Deacs rip some sort of Hoosiers - Winston-Salem Journal (Dec. 4, 2008)
  • Wake Forest dunks Indiana - Burlington Times-News (Dec. 4, 2008)
  • ACC-Big Ten Challenge: Wake Forest 83, Indiana 58 - Salisbury Post (Dec. 4, 2008)
  • Wake too much for IU: Hoosiers lose 83-58 - Indy Star (Dec. 4, 2008)
  • A second look at IU-Wake Forest - Indy Star (Dec. 4, 2008)
  • IU tries out new defense - Indy Star (Dec. 4, 2008)
  • No. 15 Wake routs Indiana 83-58 - Associated Press (Dec. 4, 2008)
  • IU bested 83-58 by Wake Forest Demon Deacons - Indiana Daily Student (Dec. 4, 2008)
  • Pike graduate finds a home - Indy Star (Dec. 3, 2008)
  • Reeling Hoosiers in town tonight - Winston-Salem Journal (Dec. 3, 2008)
  • Learning Fast: Gaudio says his young Deacons team has grown up in a hurry - Winston-Salem Journal (Dec. 2, 2008)
  • Demon Deacons too much for young Hoosiers - Indiana Daily Student (Dec. 2, 2008)
  • Walker working and waiting at Wake Forest - Wilmington Star News (Nov. 22, 2008)
  • Former Cheyenne East star continues to impress at Wake Forest - Casper Tribune (Nov. 20, 2008)

  • Women's Basketball Upcoming Fox 8 Features
    Posted by Kathryn Hamlett WFU Media Relations
    December 3, 2008- 7:42 p.m.

    Fox 8 spent some time with women's basketball athletes Alex Tchangoue and Secily Ray after the South Carolina game today. Since both athletes are from the area (Alex graduated from Forsyth Country Day and Secily from Thomasville HS), the plan was to do one feature on both. But as Alex's interview got underway Timmy Hawks, the Fox 8 sports producer, decided there was enough material do to two separate features on the athletes.

    Alex's story, which is scheduled to air on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 5:40, includes her discussing her childhood among other things. Alex left her home in France at the age of 13 to go to boarding school in the U.S. and has hardly been back home since. During today's interview Alex also touched on the inspiration for her unique hair-do and some other things you probably don't know about her.

    The interview will be added to the Fox 8 website after it airs.

    I didn't get to hear all of Secily's interview but from what I understand Ses showcased her singing abilities. The package will probably air in late December/early January.


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