Local college notes: A-Sun, Southern Conference team up for lacrosse

mlough@macon.comJanuary 9, 2014 

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The Mercer men’s lacrosse team will become a member of the Southern Conference in 2015, as the Southern Conference assumes control of the A-Sun’s men’s lacrosse program.

BEAU CABELL — bcabell@macon.com

There might be competition for membership and between members, but the A-Sun and Southern Conference will get together for men’s and women’s lacrosse.

Beginning in 2015, the Southern Conference will take over men’s lacrosse for both conferences while the A-Sun will be in charge of women’s lacrosse. The sports will be under each conference’s name.

The Southern Conference doesn’t currently sponsor lacrosse, with members Furman’s men and Elon’s women competing in the A-Sun.

The 2014 season begins this month.

There are six men’s lacrosse programs -- Mercer, Furman, High Point, Jacksonville, Richmond and VMI -- and six women’s programs -- Jacksonville, Stetson, Kennesaw State, Elon, Detroit, and Howard -- currently under the A-Sun umbrella.

Old Dominion’s women joined the A-Sun’s group last summer for the 2015 season, competing this year as an independent.

Furman, High Point, Richmond, VMI, Elon, Detroit, Howard and Old Dominion are all members of other conferences, but those programs had no conference home until the A-Sun.

The A-Sun began fully sponsoring women’s lacrosse in 2013, and this will be the first full season for men’s lacrosse.

Mercer began men’s lacrosse in 2011 and was supposed to do the same with women a year later, quietly abandoning that until announcing in 2012 that the sport would in fact be added for 2015.

Eve Levinson was hired in Oct. 2012 as Mercer’s first women’s head coach.

Bellarmine will join in men’s lacrosse in 2015. It’s a Division II school in Kentucky that has competed on the Division I level in lacrosse since 2005, and one that is rumored to be moving up to Division I in all sports in the near future.

Elon is leaving the Southern Conference for the Colonial Athletic Association, which sponsors both sports.

Mercer and VMI are joining the Southern Conference in all sports for the 2014-15 academic year.

Around Georgia College/Peach Belt

Free basketball and fundraising for a local charity are on the agenda Saturday at Georgia College.

Admission is free for the Bobcats’ doubleheader against Young Harris. The 11-1 women tip off at 1:30 p.m., with the 5-7 men to follow.

Saturday is also “Habitat for Humanity Day”. A raffle is among the fundraising efforts the group will employ during the doubleheader.

Around Fort Valley State/SIAC

Former Mercer forward Brittnee Hazel has landed at Fort Valley State and is making an immediate impact.

In the Wildcats’ wins over Lane and Kentucky State, she averaged 9.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, two blocks and 1.5 steals to earn the SIAC’s newcomer of the week award.

Hazel played at Mercer in 2010-11 and was suspended after four games in the 2011-12 season and didn’t return. She attended Grambling State for a year, not as a player, and then transferred to Fort Valley State and became eligible this semester.

The 4-7 Wildcats hosted Tuskegee on Thursday night.

• Former Houston County standout Brandon Davey racked up another player of the week honor after averaging 17 points, 12 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals in wins over Lane and Kentucky State.

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