Deacons Direct Blog Archives: Sept. 1-15

Help Support a Wake Forest Cheerleader
Posted by Steve Shutt, WFU Media Relations
September 15, 2008 - 4:25 p.m.

Athlon Sports has selected Erin Kerr from Wake Forest University to represent her school, community, and the Atlantic Coast Conference in ROUND 1 of this year's Sideline Spirit contest.

To vote, click here.

Voting for ROUND 1:
START: Saturday, August 30th at 12:00am
ENDS: Friday, September 19th at 11:59pm.


Voting Option 1:
Step 1:
Log onto the Athlon Sports website

Step 2:
Create an Athlon Sports account by clicking on Voter Sign Up link (EASY)
Step 3:
Login-in to your account and vote ERIN! Here, you can vote up to 20 times per day!

Men's Golf: Making Birdies
Posted by Gary Petit, WFU Media Relations
September 15, 2008 - 12:03 p.m.

The men's golf team finished its first tournament of the year this past weekend at the Carpet Capital Collegiate in Rocky Face, Ga. The team finished tenth at 15-over par but a deeper look at the numbers may shine a different light on the weekend.

The bitter-sweet tournament had plenty of bright spots, like freshmen Lee Bedford and Daniel Meggs playing well in their first collegiate tournaments, but perhaps the most encouraging thing of the weekend was the amount of under par holes the team turned in.

Out of the four scores the Deacs counted each day, they amassed a total of 43 birdies and four eagles, which is a total of 47 holes under par. That was tops in the tournament and only Georgia Tech made more birdies (45).

Individually, senior Dustin Groves, who finished tied for 13th, led the field with a total of 16 birdies, two more than the nearest competitor.

So depending on how you want to look at the weekend, head coach Jerry Haas and his players have a lot to build on  after the first tournament of the year. Not to mention, this may have been the strongest field the team will play in all season.

Men's Basketball: Chris Paul's SI For Kids Photo Shoot
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
September 12, 2008 - 4:30 p.m.

Former Demon Deacon Chris Paul was on campus this afternoon to do a photo shoot with Sports Illustrated For Kids. The shoot was originally scheduled to happen in New Orleans more than a week ago but was postponed due to the threat of Hurricane Gustav.

Searching for an alternative location, the New Orleans Hornets contacted our office earlier this week and asked if we could host the photo shoot on campus on Friday. We moved around some basketball workouts that were scheduled for Budd Gym in the Miller Center and found a block of time in the afternoon that worked for all parties

Acclaimed 3-D photographer David Klutho was on hand to do the shoot with Chris. Klutho is publishing a 3-D sports photo book through SI For Kids next month. In order to promote the book's launch the magazine is featuring Chris in 3-D.

Having seen the book (using 3-D glasses) I can say that it is pretty amazing what Klutho is able to accomplish with a camera. For more on Klutho, check out this article, published in SI in 2000. The book, which is to be released in mid-October, is hard-bound and has Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson on the cover...for anyone thinking of getting a head start on Christmas presents.

Photo Gallery

Men's Tennis to Delay Fall Start
Posted by Kathryn Hamlett, WFU Media Relations
September 12, 2008 - 10:21 a.m.

The men's tennis team will not be opening the fall season as scheduled this weekend at the Rice University Invitational due to the building threat of Hurricane Ike. At this point there are no plans to add an additional tournament to the fall lineup, but the team may add another dual match to the spring schedule. Stay tuned to for more info.

Men's Soccer: Deacons Featured on
Posted by Chad Crunk, WFU Media Relations
September 11, 2008 - 11:45 p.m.

Wake Forest goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald is featured on the front page of Fitzgerald has been one of the main reasons why the Deacons have opened the season with a 4-0 record. Fitzgerald hasn't allowed a goal in the last 310:09 played. ESPN has Wake as the No. 1 team in the country. The complete top 10 is available here.

Men's Basketball: Anaheim Classic is Now "76 Classic"
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
September 11, 2008 - 9:25 a.m.

The 2008 Anaheim Classic shall hereby be known as the 2008 76 Classic. ESPN Regional Television, which is putting on the eight-team tournament over the Thanksgiving weekend, announced yesterday that ConocoPhillips has signed on as the title sponsor of the event. ConocoPhillips is the parent company of 76 Lubricants.

The tournament will take place Nov. 27, 28 and 30 at the Anaheim Convention Center adjacent to Disneyland. The Big West Conference will serve as the host for the event, held in the 7,800-seat arena. Wake Forest opens play in Anaheim against Cal State Fullerton. For more information on the tournament, visit


Football Round-Up
Posted by Steve Shutt, WFU Media Relations
September 11, 2008 - 1:10 a.m.

San Diego chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman has decided to go ahead and haver surgery on a pair of torn knee ligaments.  The means that Deacon Jyles Tucker could move into the starting line-up.

Ryan Plackemeier was released by the Seattle Seahawks.

Ben Sankey is quarterbacking the Calgary Stampeders.

Coach Grobe's visit to ESPN earned a good deal of attention from the print media as well.

Winston-Salem Journal

Wilmington Star-News

Greensboro News & Record

ACC football power rankings from the Bleacher Report.

Lenn Robbins of the New York Post on Sam Swank's game-winner vs. Ole Miss.

The Macon Telegraph caught up with Coach Grobe in Macon on Monday.

The ACC was supposed to play its 2009 Baseball Championship at Fenway Park but a scheduling snafu has delayed that for a year.  Instead, the 2009 ACC Championship will be held at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Deacon Podcast #9 Now Available
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
September 10, 2008 - 5:45 p.m.

Deacon Podcast #9 is now available online. Check out the Deacon Podcast Center to access the new installment, as well as each of the previous eight podcasts. Podcast #9 features a recap of Jim Grobe's visit to the ESPN Studios, a recap of the exciting Ole Miss game (including a sound bite from Sam Swank) and an Olympic sport update.

It goes without saying, Stan Cotten and Alan York did another fantastic job of putting the podcast together.

Football: Photo Gallery From Jim Grobe's Day at the ESPN Studios
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
September 10, 2008 - 10:00 a.m.

The folks at ESPN were kind enough to send us several photos of Coach Grobe making his rounds at the Bristol studios yesterday. Our own Steve Shutt snapped a few shots as well. Check out the photo gallery from the link below.

Photo Gallery

Golf: Nike Visits Wake Forest
Posted by Gary Petit, WFU Media Relations
September 9, 2008 - 4:50 p.m.

Representatives from Nike came to campus today and setup their equipment truck to let members of both the men's and women's golf teams not only try out new clubs but also use a swing monitor to find the perfect club for each player.

A number of the players were able to take a swing or two or 20 on the launch monitor, which measures more things about a players swing than even the most technical of golfers could think of. As a player takes a swing, the monitor snaps a quick picture of the impact and measures the swing speed, ball speed, ball spin, launch angle, trajectory, projected carry, projected roll...(I would lose everyone if I kept going, but you get the idea).

Travis Wadkins was working with one of the reps trying to find the perfect ball flight that produced the lowest amount of spin and the greatest amount of roll. He first took his driver, which happened to be a Nike driver, and found what the ball's spin rate was coming off the club. He then continued to hit shot after shot as the reps were keeping an eye on the monitor and putting together combinations of heads and shafts that they thought would suit him best. They had a table full of heads and a countless number of shafts that could be screwed together.

The difference to a normal observer may have looked slight (mainly because Travis has such a nice swing) but to the trained eye of the Nike reps, they found the perfect combination of club head and shaft for Travis. After swings with two different drivers, he made the comment, "I could live with that one, but this club feels so much better." That shows how little difference there was in the shot types but that golf is all about feel.

Once a golfer gets the right "feel", the reps will head over the equipment trailer, which contains all of the necessary equipment to put a club together as well as tweak a club, and they can assemble that player's perfect club.

If you are anything like me, you would know how a normal player's swing changes from shot to shot. For this technology to work properly, you need to have a swing pretty well grooved so that you can take the same swing every time. Or the club they fit you with will only be good for those times you swing smoothly and not when you swing as if your trying to set a new world distance record.


Women's Basketball: Puttin' on the Ritz
Posted by Kathryn Hamlett, WFU Media Relations
September 9, 2008 - 12:39 p.m.

Last Thursday our women's basketball team had a portrait session outside of Wait Chapel for the upcoming 2008-09 media guide. Photographer Ken Bennett did a fantastic job (as usual). You probably can't even tell it was 90 degrees outside and brutally sunny. The team did a great job of enjoying the shoot despite the sweaty conditions!

Seniors Alex and Corinne


Football: Coach Grobe Runs the Gauntlet at ESPN Studios
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
September 9, 2008 - 10:15 a.m.

Steve Shutt from the Wake Forest Media Relations office will be traveling with Coach Grobe today to the ESPN Studios in Bristol, Conn. Steve will be sending back periodic updates from Bristol. Check here for updates throughout the day.

Deacons Enjoy a Week Off?
Posted by Steve Shutt, WFU Media Relations
September 9, 2008-1:11 a.m.

A Week Off?

A lot of people will look at Wake Forest's schedule and see an open date on Sept. 13 and assume that means a week off for the players and coaches.

Not so fast, my friend, as Lee Corso would put it.

The majority of the Deacon football assistant coaches are on the road recruiting Monday through Wednesday of this week.  That means visiting high schools, talking to high school coaches, watching film on prospective student-athletes, and devoting time to the future of Wake Forest football.

For Coach Grobe, it means public and media appearances.  Monday, Coach was the guest speaker at the Atlanta Touchdown Club and then headed to Macon to be the keynote speaker at the Macon Touchdown Club.  After a late night flight back, he will jump on a plane and fly to Bristol, Connecticut where he'll spend all day Tuesday doing interviews with ESPN and ESPN Radio shows. 

Grobe will do a live web chat at 12:30 Tuesday and if you's like to participate, click here.

After a "day off" Wednesday, Coach will do a local speaking engagement on Thursday.

The players also have a "week off."  That translates into lifting and conditioning on Monday and Wednesday and film study Wednesday afternoon.  The Deacs will hit the practice field again on Thursday about 5.

A week off?  Not really.

If you want to choose the ACC Play of the Week, the link is hereSam Swank's field goal is one of five nominees.

Men's Soccer: Gives Deacons Some Love
Posted by Chad Crunk, WFU Media Relations
September 8, 2008 - 1:35 p.m.

Doug McIntyre of gave the Wake Forest men's soccer team some love in his latest college soccer notebook. Among other things, McIntyre said "don't be at all surprised if Wake Forest retains the top spot for the duration of the regular season before successfully defending its title in December." McIntyre also has some very complimentary things to say about Deacon head coach Jay Vidovich, calling him "hands down the best coach in the NCAA." A full link to the story is here.

Wake-Ole Miss Replay
Posted by Steve Shutt, WFU Media Relations
Sept. 7, 2008-1:30 p.m.

ESPNU will re-air the Ole Miss at Wake Forest game at 5:00 p.m. today (Sunday).  For those of you on Time Warner Cable in Winston-Salem, that will be Channel 143.

 Sunday Morning Reading
Posted by Steve Shutt, WFU Media Relations
September 7, 2008-11:20 a.m.

Here are some of the post-game stories from the Ole Miss game.

Wake Forest is one of the nominees for ESPN's Game Changing Performance.

From College Football News/Fox Sports.

ESPN game story with video highlights.

From the Associated Press.

Dan Collins' game-story from the Winston-Salem Journal.

Lenox Rawlings writes about Sam Swank's redemption.

Holders don't get a lot of publicity but Ryan McManus gets props for his heads-up timeout call from Rob Daniels of the Greensboro News & Record.

From Edward Robinson III of the Raleigh News & Observer.

From Tom Berry of the High Point Enterprise.

Bob Sutton of the Burlington Times-News checks in.

Nick Bowton of The Salisbury Post.

Brett Friedlander of the Wilmington Star-News.

Sammy Batten of the Fayetteville Observer.

And a smattering of articles from the Ole Miss media contingent.

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal on Sam Swank.

And Parrish Alford's take on Ole Miss QB Jevan Snead.

Scott Cacciola of the Memphis Commercial-Appeal.

Football: Ole Miss Gameday Blog
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
September 6, 2008 - 12:00 p.m.

We'll be filing live updates from the pressbox at BB&T Field for today's Ole Miss game. Be sure to check out the second gameday blog of the season.

Football: NFL Update
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
September 4, 2008 - 5:40 p.m.

Of the six former Demon Deacons who were released on or prior to Saturday's NFL cut deadline, only wide receiver Kenny Moore has been signed to a practice squad. The Detroit Lions, who took Moore in the fifth round of the 2008 Draft, signed him to their eight-man practice squad.

Fellow rookie Steve Justice is still in competition for the Colts' starting center gig. With Indianapolis' regular center Jeff Saturday possibly out for up to six games with a knee injury, Justice and rookie Jamey Richard are battling for the spot. No one is tipping their cap as to who will start according to this article by the Indianapolis Star. believes that second-year man Jyles Tucker is up to the task of replacing Pro Bowler Shawne Merriman if needed. Undrafted out of Wake Forest in 2007, Tucker was just signed to a new five-year deal by the Chargers.



Football: ABC/ESPN2 Coverage Maps for Ole Miss Game
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
September 4, 2008 - 5:15 p.m.

Can't make it to BB&T Field on Saturday? Wondering where to watch the Deacs take on Ole Miss? Here are the television coverage maps for the ABC and ESPN2 broadcasts. Click on each thumbnail for a larger image.

Football Potpourri
Posted by Steve Shutt, WFU Media Relations
September 3, 2008 - 11:06 p.m.

If you are looking for easy access to all the latest information on ACC football, follow this link
to This Week in the ACC.

If you would like to see This Week in the ACC in video format, this is the link for you.

Listen to Jim Grobe and all the ACC coaches from Wednesday's ACC Teleconference.

Bob Sutton of the Burlington Times News checks in with a look at Deacon Tower.

Women's golf coach Dianne Dailey is excited about the coming season.

Rob Daniels of the Greensboro News-Record takes a look at Wake Forest's No. 20 ranking.

A video tour of Deacon Tower courtesy of the News-Record. Kudos to our own Katy Hamlett for the guided tour.

Tom Berry of the High Point Enterprise has a profile on wide receiver D.J. Boldin.

Edward Robinson of the Raleigh News & Observer recaps Coach Grobe's Tuesday media lunch.

Here's a look at the season-opening win by Ole Miss courtesy of John Davis of the Oxford

David Brandt of the Clarion-Ledger looks at the Wild Rebel formation.

Deacon Podcast #8 Now Available
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
September 3, 2008 - 5:15 p.m.

Deacon Podcast #8 is now available online. Check out the Deacon Podcast Center to access the new installment, as well as any of the previous seven podcasts. Podcast #8 features an Olympic sports update and interviews with Jim Grobe, Chip Brinkman and Ben Wooster. As always, Stan Cotten and Alan York did a fantastic job putting the podcast together.

Men's Basketball: Start Time for ECU Game Pushed Back An Hour
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
September 3, 2008 - 5:00 p.m.

The start time for Wake Forest's basketball game at East Carolina on Dec. 22, 2008, has been pushed back an hour to 8 p.m. ET. The game has also been picked up for TV. CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV) will broadcast the contest, giving the Deacons a total of 22 television appearances during the 2008-09 regular season.

Wake Forest Field Hockey is BIG Time
Posted by Kathryn Hamlett, WFU Media Relations
September 3, 2008 - 4:40 p.m.

Well duh. We all knew that Jennifer Averill's squad is top notch. The team has three national championships and made its eighth consecutive trip to the Final Four at the end of the 2007 season. Now the Demon Deacons are set to host the 2009 NCAA Tournament right here in Winston-Salem.

But last week the team became officially larger than life when 8-by-10 foot banners were hung on the nets at Kentner Stadium.

Last season the squad started with one banner, placed in remembrance of Maria Whitehead, a standout field hockey alumna who passed away tragically in 2006 after battling cancer.

The look of the banner was so striking that the team decided to allow former players and their families to have their images placed around Kentner as a fundraising project for the current squad. Maria of course still has the best seat in the house.

In the coming weeks there will be adjustments and changes as the coaching staff and operations staff works together to find the best way to keep both the banners and stadium in quality condition through the unpredictable weather this season.

Football: Scholarship Seniors
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
September 3, 2008 - 9:15 a.m.

While much has been made of Wake Forest's mass redshirting and the amount of veteran players the Deacons have on defense this season, it is interesting to note where the team stands nationally in terms of scholarship seniors.

According to research compiled by football SIDs across the country, Wake Forest is tied for 16th in the nation in fewest scholarship seniors on its 2008 roster. Including fourth-year, fifth-year and sixth-year (Hey, Matt Robinson!) players, Wake has 14 scholarship seniors on its roster.

Where Wake gains its veteran advantage is the contributions of this group of seniors. Of the 14, eight are listed as starters on defense. On offense, D.J. Boldin and Chip Brinkman (listed as a backup on the depth chart) started against Baylor. Add in Sam Swank as the Deacons' punter/placekicker and you have 11 scholarship seniors who start for Wake Forest.

The other three scholarship seniors are listed as backups on the two-deep. Ryan McManus, a non-scholarship senior, is also a key special teams contributor.

Among ACC schools, Wake Forest is tied for second with the fewest scholarship seniors. North Carolina has the least with 11, while Wake and Virginia Tech follow with 14 apiece. Virginia is 24th nationally with 16 scholarship seniors.

Fewest Scholarship Seniors on Roster:
1. Alabama, 9
1. Middle Tennessee State, 9
3. Central Michigan, 10
3. Toleo, 10
5. Minnesota, 11
5. North Carolina, 11
7. Arizona, 12
7. Central Florida, 12
7. Fresno State, 12
7. UTEP, 12
11. Illinois, 13
11. Indiana, 13
11. Iowa, 13
11. Kent State, 13
11. LSU, 13
16. Virginia Tech, 14
16. Wake Forest, 14
24. Virginia, 16

Football: Weekly Tuesday Press Conference Video
Posted by Scott Wortman, WFU Media Relations
September 2, 2008 - 5:50 p.m.

We held our weekly Tuesday football press conference earlier today in the Rovere Room of the Miller Center. Head Coach Jim Grobe, wide receiver Chip Brinkman, defensive tackles Boo Robinson and John Russell and tight end Ben Wooster met with the print and electronic media. Below are links to watch the archived video of the press conference free of charge in Wake Forest All Access.

One interesting thing to note from today's press conference is the teamwork used by the Deacons. We normally encourage players to wear Wake Forest apparel whenever they are going to appear in front of a camera. John Russell, who to his credit is great with the media, forgot his Wake gear. Chip Brinkman was right there to give John the shirt off his back, literally. Teamwork applied on and off the field...

Coach Jim Grobe
Chip Brinkman
Boo Robinson
John Russell
Ben Wooster

Baseball: Deacons Open Fall Practice on Wednesday
Posted by Chad Crunk, WFU Media Relations
September 2, 2008 - 4:05 p.m.

The Wake Forest baseball team opens fall practice on Wednesday afternoon at Hooks Stadium. The Deacons return five position starters from the 2008 team and two pitchers with previous weekend starting experience. Wake Forest welcomes 12 freshmen for the 2009 season.

"The main thing we are looking to accomplish during fall practice is to instill the system and acclimate the freshmen to this level of ball and get them accustomed to what to expect," head coach Rick Rembielak said. "We need to see what we need to work on with them and see what they are capable of doing. There's going to be some position decisions to be made after fall ball. We want to end up playing some guys at different positions and see where they fit in best for us."

A full recap of the first practice of the fall will be available on the website tomorrow afternoon.

Spring Game