PC’s esports program moving into Capitol Theatre on March 2
Presbyterian College's esports program is moving, as planned, into the historic Capitol Theatre on the Public Square in Laurens this spring.
PC has invited the public to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 2, at the theater's location on 104 East Main Street in Laurens.
As renovations continue at the college-owned venue to include a restaurant and public space for films and live performances, the college's esports team will be the first to occupy the facility this spring. Eventually, teams from Laurens County school districts 55 and 56 will join them.
PC president Dr. Matthew vandenBerg said completing the first phase of the Capitol Theatre project is exciting news for esports and the entire Laurens and Laurens County communities.
"With the addition of esports now and a new restaurant and performing arts center in the near future, the Capitol Theatre is well on its way to becoming a social and entertainment hub not only for PC, but for all of Laurens County," vandenBerg said. "We are profoundly grateful for the city and county officials who have so generously made Presbyterian College a welcome partner in the cultural fabric of this great community."
A public grant funded by private industry allowed PC to purchase and renovate the Capitol Theatre. In addition to serving as an arena for esports, the venue will continue to serve as a movie theater and will blossom into a performing arts center. vandenBerg said the public-private partnership behind the Capitol Theatre will attract community and regional attention for cultural, social, and entertainment events.
Mayor Nathan Senn said the city embraces its role as Laurens County’s esports capital.
“Presbyterian College’s newly-formed relationship with the City of Laurens and this new e-sports venue is exciting on so many levels,” Senn said. “Laurens is a city committed to sustainable growth, and that means, in part, a commitment to offering a great quality of life for our younger residents. This new e-sports venue, which will also serve our city’s youth e-sports athletes, is a prime example of our collaborative efforts to pursue cutting edge youth programs. The fact that it may also provide a path to higher education for some is just as exciting.”
Senn said the City of Laurens welcomes PC with open arms.
“We are also excited about welcoming PC’s e-sports athletes into the heart of our city, with all the vitality and energy we know they’ll add to our community,” he said. “We hope this space will further cement the bond between the college and the City of Laurens! I am incredibly excited for the future of this venue and all that it will bring to our community, and I am proud that the Blue Hose now have a place they can call ‘home’ in the City of Laurens.”
The theater is poised to become an important social hub for PC students.
"The transformation of the Capitol Theatre is a prime example of PC's innovative approach to creating places for students to have a good time together," said vandenBerg. "Soon, they will be able to enjoy a meal, watch a great film together, or cheer on the Blue Hose esports team and build great memories."
PC's esports director Victor Barcenas said students are anxious to get inside the Capitol Theatre and see the facility in person.
"It's great to see the esports facility is finished being renovated," Barcenas said. "I know there are students that are really excited to see it. They've been eager to see our progress and it's great to see the hard work from everyone who helped make this happen and to see that effort pay off."
The Blue Hose' first esports team will kick off its inaugural year of competition this fall.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Following six shutout innings in his first college start on Wednesday, Presbyterian College baseball freshman Mason McDaniel (Sanford, Fla.) has been named the Big South Co-Freshman of the Week for games played Feb. 20-26, as announced by the conference office on Monday.
USC Upstate's Grant Sherrod has been named the Big South Baseball Player of the Week, while Spartan pitcher Henry Proger is the Starting Pitcher of the Week for the games played last week, it was announced today. In addition, Campbell's Aaron Rund also earned Relief Pitcher of the Week, while JC Agard of Charleston Southern joined McDaniel, earning Co-Freshman of the Week honors.
McDaniel dazzled in his first college start against Western Carolina on Wednesday as the Blue Hose left-hander tossed six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts in the victory over the Catamounts. He scattered just two hits and two walks throughout his outing to get the win.
In the start Wednesday, he tallied six strikeouts in the first four innings while only allowing one hit and totaling three innings of three up and three down. McDaniel worked around a pair of baserunners in the fifth without harm before getting his final strikeout in the sixth to earn his first collegiate win.
The Sanford, Fla. native sits with a 1-0 record, and a 2.70 earned run average on the season over 6.2 innings pitched with eight strikeouts and opponents batting just .174 on the season. McDaniel becomes the first Blue Hose to earn Freshman of the week honors since the final week of the 2021 regular season when now junior Jay Wetherington was tabbed as the top freshman in the league.
PC returns to the diamond on Tuesday for a 4 p.m. first pitch against Georgia on SEC Network Plus. The Blue Hose are back home for a three-game series beginning on Friday, March 3, against Georgia State, with first pitch set for 4 p.m. from Clinton.
Presbyterian College Blue Hose head men's soccer coach Nick Finotti has announced the hiring of Kyle Hughes as an assistant coach. Hughes's eight-year college coaching career has included stops at Mars Hill and Spartanburg Methodist and most recently this past season as an assistant coach at Gardner-Webb.
"I am pleased to welcome Kyle Hughes to our program as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator," Finotti said. "Kyle and I have known each other for 20 years, and I have long admired his professional path, tireless work ethic, and broad experience. Our values and vision align perfectly, and Kyle will prove to be a valuable member of the athletic department and our coaching staff, as well as an instrumental teacher and mentor for our players."
In his one season at Gardner-Webb, the Runnin' Bulldogs finished fifth in the Big South Conference while compiling seven wins on the season. He coached players that earned First Team and Honorable Mention All-Big South Conference honors as well as being named to the league's All-Academic team.
Prior to the 2022 season at Gardner-Webb, Hughes was the associate head coach at Mars Hill University (2020-21) for two years. He helped guide the Lions to two trips to the SAC Tournament which included a double-overtime loss in the 2021 SAC Tournament Championship game. He coached some of the league's top talent, Hughes also significantly contributed to the success of forwards Kevonte Willoughby-Williams and Peter Plougmand, a Lions duo that combined for 20 goals and 12 assists in 2021 en route to Willoughby-Williams earning SAC Freshman of the Year honors and both players were named Second Team All-SAC.
Before his time at Mars Hill, Hughes spent five seasons on the coaching staff at Spartanburg Methodist College, where he helped the Pioneers compile a 64-28-4 record. In 2015, he began his collegiate coaching career at SMC as an assistant coach for two seasons before being named head coach in 2017, a position he held for three seasons. During his tenure, Hughes led Spartanburg Methodist to the NJCAA Region 10 Conference Tournament every season, while also notching an NJCAA Division 1 Southeast District appearance in 2018.
Hughes has also served as a staff coach at the Carolina Elite Soccer Academy (CESA) and United FC.
A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Hughes played collegiate soccer at Spartanburg Methodist College and North Greenville University. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from Southern New Hampshire University in 2012.
"First, I would like to thank Coach Nick Finotti and Director of Athletics Rob Acunto for the opportunity to join Presbyterian College as the assistant men's soccer coach," Hughes said. "I have known Coach Finotti for a number of years and seen the work he has done with soccer in the state of South Carolina. With my experience as a former head coach and associate head coach, I look forward to helping guide the Presbyterian to a bright future within Division I Men's Soccer.”
Denim Yadav Named Big South Freshman of the Week
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After his performance in Presbyterian’s wins over UNCG and Tennessee Tech last week, freshman Denim Yadav was named Big South Freshman of the Week.
Yadav joins David Mamalat (January 25) as Presbyterian men’s tennis players that have earned Big South Freshman of the Week honors this season. Yadav is the 18th player in school history to capture the Big South Freshman of the Week award.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
The Indore, India native joined the team last week, he recorded two wins at number four singles for his first two collegiate victories in Presbyterian’s wins over UNCG and Tennessee Tech.
In the win over UNCG on February 17, he posted a 6-1, 7-5 win at number four singles.
In the win over Tennessee Tech on February 18, he recorded a 4-6, 6-2 1-0 (11-9) win at number four singles. In the third set super tiebreaker, Yadav rallied from a 9-4 deficit to win the set, 11-9.
Owen McCormack Named to CSC Academic All-District Team
Presbyterian College senior forward Owen McCormack was named to the 2022-23 College Sports Communicators Academic All-District Team. This marks the second straight season McCormack has earned CSC Academic All-District honors.
The CSC Academic All-District Team recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom. McCormack will advance to the ballot for the 2023 CSC Academic All-America Team, scheduled to be unveiled in mid-March.
A native of Advance, North Carolina, McCormack has a 3.84 GPA majoring in Business Administration with a Data Analytics concentration. Last season, McCormack was the Big South Men’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year. He is a two-time Big South All-Academic team selection.
This season, McCormack has seen action in all 30 games with 28 starts. He has scored in double-figures ten times including a season-high 21 points in Presbyterian’s win over Elon. For his career, he has recorded 31 double-digit scoring games while seeing action in 116 games with 70 starts.
High School Baseball: Clinton 9, Laurens 4.
Girls Basketball: Cambridge 41, Laurens Academy 34, State Championship.
Softball: PC 5, Western Carolina 2. PC 6, WCU 5. PC 5, Cornell 3. Stetson 1, PC 0. PC 3, North Florida 2. Stetson 7, PC 5. PC 2, Cornell 0.
Baseball: PC 7, Toledo 6. PC 4, Northwestern 2. PC 8, Michigan St. 6.
Women’s Basketball: USC Upstate 61, PC 56. PC 64, Charleston Southern 53
Men’s Basketball: USC Upstate 59, PC 57. Charleston Southern 85, PC 59.
Lacrosse: PC 11, Delaware St. 10. Boston University 15, PC 6.
Men’s Wrestling: Bellarmine 22, PC 20.
PC Women’s Golf wins Bright’s Creek Invitational, 221 (+5) over 54 holes.
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