Major League Baseball liked what it saw and snatched 18 Commodores (eight current, 10 signees) in the 2008 draft. Junior third baseman Pedro Alvarez was nabbed quickly by the Pittsburgh Pirates with the second pick of the first round. Following Alvarez were: senior shortstop Ryan Flaherty, Chicago Cubs; junior pitcher Brett Jacobson, Detroit Tigers; senior infielder Dominic de la Osa, Minnesota Twins; senior utility player David Macias, Chicago Cubs; senior catcher Shea Robin, Houston Astros; junior pitcher Nick Christiani, Cleveland Indians; and senior infielder Alex Feinberg, Colorado Rockies. The Commodores finished the 2008 season with a 41-22 record and advanced to NCAA Regionals in postseason play.
Rachel Dyer was named to the SEC Women’s Swimming and Diving Community Service Team last spring. A sophomore from Chattanooga, Tenn., she is active with the Athletes Against Assault organization. The community service teams highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to the community in superior service efforts.
Junior Hudson Johnson earned a spot in the United States Amateur golf tournament after winning medalist honors at a sectional qualifying event at the Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, Miss. His two-round total of 8-under par was the best in the field of 45 amateur golfers. “From the first day, I just told myself to focus on every shot and not worry about what was going on in front of me or behind me,” Johnson said of his victory.
Josie Earnest was voted the Division I Player of the Year by the National Tenpin Coaches Association in June. A junior from Vandalia, Ill., she is believed to be the first Vanderbilt female student-athlete in school history to become a national Player of the Year. She led Vanderbilt to the NCAA semifinals with a 205 average in 67 games. She also was named to the five-woman first-team All-America squad. Teammates Michelle Peloquin and Tara Kane, both seniors, were third-team selections, and senior Karen Grygiel received an honorable mention. Freshman Brittni Hamilton of Webster, N.Y., joined the team after finishing second at the 2008 Teen Masters, a prestigious junior tournament held in Las Vegas.
The Tennessee Sports Writers Association named former Commodore wide receiver Earl Bennett the 2007 College Football Player of the Year in July. He was the first Vanderbilt football player to win that award in this decade. Two years ago Head Football Coach Bobby Johnson was named TSWA College Football Coach of the Year.
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive recently announced that the SEC has reached a long-term agreement with the ESPN television network. “The SEC’s strength, combined with the prowess of ESPN’s promotional ability and marketing savvy, will enable us to expand national coverage of our great league,” Slive said. “This agreement, coupled with the recent extension of our CBS contract, will make the SEC the most nationally televised conference in the nation.” This is the final year for the current television agreement. More about the SEC’s television future can be found at www.secsports.com.
© 2014 Vanderbilt University | Photography: Neil Brake, Steve Green, Jenny Mandeville, Chris Livingston, Paul Levy
Conversation guidelines: Vanderbilt Magazine welcomes your thoughts, stories and information related to this article. Please stay on topic and be respectful of others. Keep the conversation appropriate for interested readers across the map.