Hayward Named ASC Swimmers of the Week

2013 Swim Team PortraitsBrenau’s Courtney Hayward from Townsville, Australia, has been selected as Swimmer of the Week for the Appalachian Swimming Conference. Hayward led the way as the Golden Tigers swam to a second-place finish at the Converse Women’s Invitational. The freshman captured first in the 1650 freestyle (17:56.93), the 400 individual medley (4:46.49), and the 500 Freestyle (5:22.7). She also placed second in the 200  individual medley (2:19.93); all four of her individual swims qualify her for the NAIA National Championship Meet. Hayward also competed on two relays, splitting 26.24 on the third place 200 freestyle relay and 57.10 on the third place 400 freestyle relay.

For more information on the swim team, including other news and schedules, visit the team’s page.

Norwood named SSAC Defensive Player of the Week


The Southern States Athletic Conference named Brenau soccer player Hannah Norwood Defensive Player of the Week for the week ending Oct. 12. Norwood showed a strong performance during the Golden Tigers’ 2-1 victory over Georgia Gwinnett. The senior from Grayson, Ga. made a key clearance with a minute and a half left in the game. The Golden Tigers will face the Brewton-Parker Barons Saturday, Oct. 19 at 1 p.m. Eastern.

For more information on the soccer team, like news and schedules, visit the team’s page.

Brittany Aikens named SSAC Runner of the Week for the Third Time This Season

AikensThe Southern States Athletic Conference Brenau University named Golden Tigers cross country runner Brittany Aikens the Runner of the Week for her performance during the week of Oct. 7. Aikens, who is from Braselton, Ga., took second place at the Point University Invitational on Friday, October 11 in Lanett, Ala. Her time was 19:45 for the women’s 5K and Brittany’s performance lead her team to an impressive first place finish with a team score of 35 points.

For more information on the cross country team, including more news and schedules, visit the team’s page.

NAIA Women’s Soccer Match of the Week

Brenau vs. Belhaven SoccerThe No.20 ranked Brenau University Golden Tigers soccer team (6-2-1, 3-0-0 SSAC) hosts No.12 ranked William Carey University (6-4-0, 3-0-0 SSAC) this Saturday in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Women’s Soccer Match of the Week.

This match marks the fifth meeting between the two schools, dating back to 2004. The two programs have split the previous four meetings with the Crusaders claiming a 3-1 victory a year ago.

The Golden Tigers have won five of their last six matches, including a victory at then-No. 17 Mobile (Ala.), 3-1, last Saturday.

For the Golden Tigers, senior forward Esther Anyanwu, a 2012 NAIA All-American, currently leads the NAIA with 13 goals and ranks fourth with 28 points.

Junior goalkeeper Tori Brown has played in all nine games this season and owns a 1.19 goals against average. She has made 32 saves in 830 minutes, including a season-high six stops against NCAA Division II Union (Tenn.) on Aug. 30.

William Carey has a four match win streak in which the Crusaders have outscored their opponents 21-2, including an 11-0 victory against Brewton-Parker (Ga.) on Thursday.

Players to watch for the Crusaders include Emmaleigh Davis and Linfah Jones. Davis, a forward, leads the team with 12 scores and 25 points. Jones, a goalkeeper, owns a 1.49 goals against average and 36 saves in 724 minutes between the pipes.

The match start is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. eastern at Allen Creek Soccer Complex.

For more information on the soccer team, like news and schedules, visit the team’s page.

Three Brenau Athletes Accorded National and Regional Conference Honors

aikensBrittany Aikens

Brittany Aikens has been named Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Runner of the Week for the week of Sept. 23. Aikens, a junior from Braselton, Georgia, finished fourth out of 51 runners at the Jaguar Classic at Augusta State University with a time of 25:37. The 6K race was a first for Aikens as a collegiate runner and her showing led her team to a second place finish.

For more information on the cross country team, like news and schedules, visit the team’s page.


Brenau vs. Belhaven SoccerTori Brown

Tori Brown has been named Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 23.

The Windermere, Florida native recorded six saves and allowed only one goal in a clean sweep over Spring Hill College and the No.17 – ranked University of Mobile. Her shutout against Spring Hill was her second shutout of the season.



Brenau vs. Belhaven SoccerEsther Anyanwu

Brenau University’s Esther Anyanwu has been named the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Women’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 23.

Anyanwu was chosen out of a pool of conference, independent and unaffiliated group award winners. 

The senior forward from Lagos, Nigeria, was responsible for five of the six goals scored by Brenau last week. The forward, who was also named NAIA Offensive Player of the Week during the 2012 season, recorded her second hat trick of the season, netting all three goals in the Tigers’ 3-0 win against Spring Hill (Ala.) last Friday. Her other two goals came approximately 24 hours later against then – No. 17 Mobile (Ala.). Anyanwu opened the scoring in the second minute with a 22-yard strike before burying the eventual game-winner in the 38th minute on a penalty kick. She currently ranks third in the NAIA in goals (11) and seventh in total points (24).

For more information on the soccer team, like news and schedules, visit the team’s page.

Brenau Golden Tigers Golf Makes History with First Recruit

Morgan Wood
Morgan Wood

The new Brenau Golden Tigers intercollegiate golf team made history Friday, April 18, when it signed its first recruit ever – 18-year-old Lumpkin County High School standout Morgan Wood of Dahlonega, Ga.

With scores of teammates and school mates turned out in the school gym to cheer her on, Wood celebrated her 18th birthday by signing a letter of intent to attend Brenau and play on the new Tigers team starting next fall term. She is the daughter of Tina and Dewayne Wood. She has one sibling, brother, Gunner.

“I have no doubt that Morgan will excel in every way at Brenau,” said first-year Brenau Head Coach Damon Stancil, who also just moved to the Brenau campus from Dahlonega, where he had been an assistant coach for the women’s team at the University of North Georgia.

“It is a great day for the Brenau University golf,” said Stancil. “She is our first signee for the 2013-14 and therefore the first golfer in the history of Brenau University. I am happy we are able to hold the ceremony on Morgan’s birthday, which makes this event even more special.”

Wood has been twice named the Blitz Girls Golfer of the Year for Northeast Georgia. She is also a member of the Georgia High School Golf Coaches Association AAA Girls All-State team, a two-time Honorable Mention for Gainesville Times All-Area Girls Golf Team, and three-year winner of Lowest Stroke Average award for Lumpkin County High School.

“I believe she holds every Lumpkin County High School individual girls golf record,” said Stancil. 

Among Morgan’s high school golf accomplishments are T- 4th at 2011 Bronco Invitational; T – 3rd in 2011 Region 8-AAA Girls Championship, where she set nine-hole school record with a 39 on back nine and tied her own 18-hole school record with an 89; and T-15th in 2011 State AAA Girls Championship, where she set school record for state tournament round with a 92.

Brenau launched the golf program just this year as the 10th women’s intercollegiate sport in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

“I am so excited to be the first athlete for the Brenau Golf program and to be a part of Golden Tigers team,” said Morgan.

Head Coach Thomas Earns Career Softball Victory No.300

Brenau Head Coach Devon Thomas
Brenau Head Coach Devon Thomas with Students

Brenau University’s defeat of Emmanuel College 11-1 last Tuesday not only signified the team’s 27th win of the softball season, it also marked the 300th career win of head coach Devon Thomas.

Thomas, who started the softball program at Brenau, reflects back on the journey, noting how far the program has come since its inception in 2004. “Our first record was 2-37. I had to recruit constantly to stay competitive and to even field a full roster,” said Thomas. “In my third year, we won 37 games which was an incredible turnaround. But I never thought I would get to 300 wins”.

Over his ten year career at Brenau, Thomas has coached 38 SSAC all-conference selections, 58 SSAC all-academic selections, two SSAC Players of the Year, three SSAC Freshmen of the Year, four NAIA All-Americans and three NFCA All-Americans. Thomas was also an NAIA National Coach of the Year finalist in both 2009 and 2012.

When asked to reflect on his journey to 300 wins, Thomas noted that his most memorable moment was not his team’s 2012 Final Four appearance in the NAIA national tournament which secured a final #3 national ranking, but instead it was winning a regular season Conference Championship in 2009. “That championship validated how far this program had come from its beginning,” said Thomas. “That was the moment I was most proud of because that represented all of our hard work”.

In his ten seasons, Thomas has a cumulative record of 300-174, with four seasons of 30-plus win and three seasons of 40-plus victories.

Competitive Cheer Earns Fifth at NCA National Championships

Brenau Golden Tigers Competitive Cheerleading Team
Click to view image larger.

The Brenau Golden Tigers Competitive Cheerleading team placed fifth at the NCA Collegiate National Championships this past weekend.

After day one of preliminary competition in the Intermediate All-Girl II category, the Golden Tigers were ranked fourth out of 12 teams. With only eight teams making the finals, the Golden Tigers felt confident going into the finals and placed fifth overall behind eventual champion University of Central Oklahoma, Texas A&M International, Dallas Baptist University and Ocean County College.

“We worked so hard this season and pushed through some injuries in the last week. We pulled together as a team and put our heart into every competition,” said Head Coach Krista Britt. “The competition was tough. 12 teams competed and 8 qualified for finals.”

Coach Britt discussed the finals and entire season noting that not only did the Cheer team finish highly at the NCA Championships, but it also had a strong fourth place finish at the Cheersport National Championships in Atlanta, Ga. earlier this year. In recapping her season, Coach Britt noted that, “We continue to build a foundation for our program and people are starting to know who we are on the national level”. Brenau University has sponsored the Competitive Cheer program for two years and continues to attract excellent student-athletes to the program.

The team graduates one senior from this year’s squad and looks to continue to grow. The competitive cheer program will welcome nine new athletes for the 2013-2014 year.

Brenau’s Dominika Jasova ranks 4th in National ITA Pre-season Poll

Jasova Dominika
Dominika Jasova

Brenau University junior Dominika Jasova from Kosice, Slovakia, placed fourth nationally in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s pre-season women’s singles player rankings. Sophomore Maria Perdomo-Medina of Canary Islands, Spain, ranked No. 22.  Two Golden Tigers doubles teams also made the top 25: Stephanie Moniz from London, England and Eline Nagels of Antwerp, Belgium, placed 22nd and Jasova, who pairs with Zalina Nazarova from, Nalchik, Russia, were listed at No. 24.  This marks the first time five Brenau players have made it to the top 25 simultaneously.

“It is nice to see that Dominika and Maria’s strong performance have paid off,” said Head Tennis Coach Andre Ferreira.  “We spent a good amount of time at practices working on our doubles game, and it definitely paid off, too. We made a significant progress.”