Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Lots to SHOUT About in the Big South

Hard to believe, but it's been three weeks since the last entry on SHOUT, which is a record gap for the 18 months this blog has been around--so my apologies for the absence of updates on this front...I promise that won't happen again anytime soon, particularly not with the seasons cranking up for the fall--let's play!

First the promotional part of the program--let's talk about what the Big South has going on this year with its online offerings (then we'll move on to the real action, I promise)...

Everything begins with the main page, BigSouthSports.com. That's the official source for your news, stats, standings, photos, videos, and various links to the world of the Big South. When in doubt, start there and you'll get to where you're going. Heck, make it your browser home page--go ahead and do it now, I'll wait...

Of course, if you're reading this--and it appears you are, hopefully you know all about Big South SHOUT, but if you're new to our entry in the blogosphere (welcome!), this is the place for some additional perspective on news, notes, and events going on around the Conference. This year we hope to add a lot in the form of guest bloggers and other special elements, so that it's not always me you're hearing from when catching up with the blog (not to say that's a bad thing, right?)...

Let's scale it down a bit and talk microblogging--the Big South has been very active on Twitter, and we encourage you to follow the Conference Twitter feed. Right now we're on our push to get to the 300 follower mark by the first football game--it's going to be close at our current pace, so do your part and join our Twitter following for quick updates on events, awards, results, changes, and retweets from a myriad of Big South sources (latest and greatest example: RT @SparkyWoodsVMI We are building a Team. It’s awesome! Competition is back and forth. Unity is stable. Go Keydets!)

On a similar subject, you can also find the Big South on Facebook. Become a fan of the Big South Conference page to share in discussions of Big South matters large and small, catch important links, see event notices, and more. Our Facebook fan numbers have been lagging behind the Twitter followers, so help the Fan Page grow!

"What about video?", you may be saying (Hey Mark, what about video?)...so glad you asked. In addition to finding the occasional clip right here within SHOUT blog entries, you can also see what the Big South is up to on YouTube at our BigSouthSports channel. See the season preview videos, look back on our 25th Anniversary retrospectives, and catch program guides for the Big South Network--in addition to upcoming extras like leadership features and highlight clips...

And what was that about the Big South Network? That's the new name of the Big South's online video source at BigSouthSports.com (no longer known by its former name, The EDGE). The Big South Network is your only source for video streaming of live competition for Big South teams!!! Order by the game, by the sport, by the season, or by the year--but go to the Big South Network, because that's the only place to get this content. Free archives of the games become available once the games are done, uploaded, and posted, but again only through the Big South Network at BigSouthSports.com.

Ooooooooookay, no more plugs--time for the quick review of what's ahead...

Women's soccer has already begun! The preseason poll for WSOC gave the nod to defending tourney winner Radford as this year's favorite, but it was hardly a consensus. RU edged out defending regular season champ Coastal Carolina by just one point (86-85) in the voting, and those two teams tied with Charleston Southern at three first-place votes each (the tenth top vote was awarded to Liberty). Radford goalkeeper Lisa Lubke was named the Preseason Player of the Year. With the first weekend of play behind us now, CSU's Jen Vroman was the season's first WSOC Player of the Week (Vroman notched both goals in Charleston Southern's 2-1 win over Georgia Southern on Saturday).

Less ambiguous is the expectation for volleyball in 2009--all nine votes in that preseason poll went to Liberty, a clear favorite going into the year. LU's Kallie Corbin earned Preseason Player of the Year honors as well. Action goes into full throttle for teams across the Big South starting Friday, August 28th.

Men's soccer tells a familiar story, as Winthrop has been pegged as the MSOC preseason favorite for a fourth consecutive year. Coach Rich Posipanko (@winthropgaffer) says he doesn't see it in this year's team yet, but that's an early and modest appraisal from the successful Eagles leader, whose senior midfielder, Stephen Nsereko, took the title of Preseason Player of the Year. Meanwhile, Coastal Carolina and High Point also received first-place votes in the poll, and competition is expected to be fierce across the Conference. Regular season play begins September first.

For cross country, last year's winners are this year's favorites, as preseason poll results tabbed Liberty the top choice for the men and Coastal Carolina the top pick for the women. Teams will see their first official competition this year in the opening week of September.

And then there's football--starting last, but far from least...we've already reviewed some of the details in this space (even with three weeks between posts), but Liberty is the early selection to take the Conference, with VMI's Tim Maypray and GWU's Jeffery Williams named the Preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year respectively. Coastal Carolina has the first game of any Big South team this year, opening Thursday night, September 3rd, at Kent State. The rest of the Conference hits the gridiron with games on Saturday, September 5th, highlighted by two games against FBS/BCS powerhouses: Liberty at West Virginia and Charleston Southern at defending national champion Florida.

That should get us all caught up, right? In summary--bookmark the home page, follow us on Twitter, find us on Facebook, subscribe to our channel on YouTube, order your desired games at the Big South Network, and above all else, enjoy the fall season and the tremendous performances of our student-athletes in the upcoming competition!!!

The Big South Conference: Developing Leaders Through Athletics..........SHOUT, out!

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