Sports stories of the year: Pandemic touched everything

Games played in empty gyms (and stadia) became the norm in 2020, as the novel coronavirus pandemic made for major changes in sports. (photo by Viraj Bulla)

By Micah Weathers |
Sports contributor

The year 2020 pushed through the tough defender of COVID-19 with its abbreviated slate of sports competitions in front of usually very small audiences, or none at all. Continue reading “Sports stories of the year: Pandemic touched everything”

AU men’s basketball team moves into the top-20 of NABC Division II poll

Sophomore Lee Flenor (3) has been a big spark for the Jaguars in their first two games with a 9.5-point average, helping AU to a No. 16 ranking. (photo by Viraj Bulla)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

The Augusta University men’s basketball team received the No. 16 ranking in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division II poll this week, moving up seven spots from their previous ranking of 23rd. Continue reading “AU men’s basketball team moves into the top-20 of NABC Division II poll”

Arnold, Crawford, Lucas-White lead Jags past Emmanuel

Guard Miguel Arnold (5) nails a three-pointer en route to a 25-point night for the Jaguars in the win over the Emmanuel Lions. (staff photo)

By Justin Brosemer |
Sports writer

The Augusta University men’s basketball team earned a 97-83 victory against Emmanuel College on Saturday, Dec. 12, at Christenberry Fieldhouse. Continue reading “Arnold, Crawford, Lucas-White lead Jags past Emmanuel”

Vice President Pence holds “Defend the Majority” rally in Augusta

Vice President Mike Pence joined Senator David Perdue for “Defend the Majority” rally in Augusta, Thursday, Dec. 10. (photo by Rakiyah Lenon) 

By Rakiyah Lenon

Vice President Mike Pence flew into Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field on Thursday afternoon, Dec. 10, to campaign for the incumbent Georgia Republican Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.  

Continue reading “Vice President Pence holds “Defend the Majority” rally in Augusta”

Lopsided foul calls hurt AU against No. 16 UNG

Center Kennedi Manning (24) powers to the basket for two of her 20 points for the Jaguars against the Nighthawks. (photo by Carlos Rodriguez)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

The Augusta University women’s basketball team suffered an 87-76 non-conference loss to the NCAA Division II No. 16 ranked University of North Georgia, Tuesday night, Dec. 8, at Christenberry Fieldhouse. Continue reading “Lopsided foul calls hurt AU against No. 16 UNG”

West leads AU women to win over UNC Pembroke

Zairya West (0) led the Jaguars with 17 points and three assists in the 77-51 win over UNC Pembroke. (photo by Carlos Rodriguez)

By Jack Johnson |
Contributor

The Augusta University women’s basketball team defeated the University of North Carolina at Pembroke 77-51 at Christenberry Fieldhouse on Dec. 5 in the Jaguars’ second game of the season. Continue reading “West leads AU women to win over UNC Pembroke”

Fall 2020 commencement to be held with no guests

After extensive discussions, Augusta University has decided to exclude guests from its Fall 2020 Commencement, which will be held next Friday (Dec. 11) at James Brown Arena with three socially distanced sessions. Only the graduating seniors, faculty and administrators will attend the sessions with two colleges going at a time. The decision was made because of the recent national spike in COVID-19 cases and warnings that the situation will get worse during the winter holiday season. An email was sent Friday afternoon, Dec. 4, to AU students, faculty and staff from Dr. Zach Kelehear, interim executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, stating the following:

Continue reading “Fall 2020 commencement to be held with no guests”

The Sports Squad: Season 3, Episode 6

Listen to the Sports Squad (<–Click Here)

Bell Ringer Sports Editor Carlos Rodriguez discusses Augusta University men’s basketball on this edition of The Sports Squad. Joining Rodriguez are Chad Cook, former Jaguar hoops player and color commentator of AU basketball telecasts, and David Bulla, AU Department of Communication chair and former high school and college basketball coach. They analyze the Jaguars’ 87-72 win over Lander University in the season opener. The Sports Squad is a production of Bell Ringer-Phoenix Media. The producer is Lauren Salsman. The assistant producer is Hannah D’Arco. Continue reading “The Sports Squad: Season 3, Episode 6”

Second-half comeback lifts AU over Lander in season opener

Darren Lucas-White (11) goes up for two of is 22 points as AU rallied from 15 down at the half to win by 15 against Lander. (photo by Viraj Bulla)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

The Augusta University men’s basketball team successfully completed a comeback in the second half to defeat Lander University 87-72 on Wednesday night, Dec. 2, at Christenberry Fieldhouse in the season-opener for both teams. The game had no spectators, giving it a practice-like atmosphere. Continue reading “Second-half comeback lifts AU over Lander in season opener”

Cheerleader Moreno juggles academics, cheering and the new normal

Carmelita Moreno, a junior and Grovetown High School product, and Augustus work an AU basketball game in the holiday season. (photo by AU Athletics)

By Taylor Ferguson |
Sports writer

Not only is Carmelita Moreno a junior health, society and policy major who is minoring in Spanish, but she is also a cheerleader for Augusta University. Continue reading “Cheerleader Moreno juggles academics, cheering and the new normal”

Voter registration deadline looms in Georgia

Flyers have been mailed throughout the state encouraging voter registration. (photo by Rakiyah Lenon) 

By Rakiyah Lenon |
Staff writer

The deadline to register to vote in the runoffs for the two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia is this upcoming Monday (Dec. 7). 

Continue reading “Voter registration deadline looms in Georgia”

UPDATE: Letters to the editor

Augusta University digital countdown to the Fall of 2020 in-person commencement held on Dec. 11.

The following letter was written in an email from Kitteren A. Jester, senior psychology major, to Dr. Zach Kelehear, interim executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, regarding the in-person commencement ceremony on Dec. 11:

Continue reading “UPDATE: Letters to the editor”

From soccer player to XC runner, AU’s Taylor has perfect season in imperfect 2020

Augusta’s Mackenzie Taylor nears the finish line en route to the Peach Belt Conference championship. (photo by David Troyer, special to the Bell Ringer)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

In a year far from perfect, Augusta University women’s cross-country runner Mackenzie Taylor remained perfect. Continue reading “From soccer player to XC runner, AU’s Taylor has perfect season in imperfect 2020”

AU men’s basketball set to take on Lander in season opener

Tyshaun Crawford, the 7-foot-1 center, goes in for a dunk last season, when he averaged 13.6 points and 9.2 rebounds a game for the 21-8 Jaguars. (photo by Carlos Rodriguez)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

The Augusta University men’s basketball team will start off the 2020-21 season on Wednesday, Dec. 2, against Lander University at Christenberry Fieldhouse with the tipoff at 6 p.m. Continue reading “AU men’s basketball set to take on Lander in season opener”

AU XC has emerged from virtual unknown to DII powerhouse

The 2020 Peach Belt champion AU Jaguars are: on bottom row (L to R), Hans Troyer, Jacob Poston and Brennan Silliman; and on the top row (L-R), Chandler Kennedy, Carlos Rodriguez, Hunter Kimball and Kai Brickey. (photo by David Troyer, special to the Bell Ringer)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

When arriving at Augusta University back in 2003, Coach Adam Ward had only the women’s cross-country team to help coach. Fast forward 17 years later into his tenure with the Jags, he’s in his 11th season coaching the men’s cross-country team and recently won his fifth men’s conference title in the past decade. Continue reading “AU XC has emerged from virtual unknown to DII powerhouse”

Changing Faces helps to change fortunes

By Aunarey Herbert Jr. |
Contributor

Changing Faces is a 501c3 nonprofit organization in Augusta, Ga. The nonprofit was founded by Patricia Johnson, and the organization’s mission is to serve children, families and individuals in crisis. Changing Faces has an onsite food pantry known as “Portions,” which is located at 3070 Damascus Road, Augusta 30909. Continue reading “Changing Faces helps to change fortunes”

AU dominates in Peach Belt cross-country championships

Mackenzie Taylor, after winning the PBC championship, was named national athlete of the week. (photo by David Troyer, special to the Bell Ringer)

By Justin Brosemer |
Sports writer

The Augusta University men and women’s cross-country teams, led by Coach Adam Ward, turned in outstanding performances in their final competition of the 2020 season, the Peach Belt Conference Championship, hosted by the University of North Georgia in Gainesville, Ga., on Nov. 14. The men defended their PBC crown, and Mackenzie Taylor won the women’s championship and finished the season undefeated. Continue reading “AU dominates in Peach Belt cross-country championships”

Turner brings loads of cheerleading experience to AU coaching post

Harleigh Turner (sitting on the court) is now in her third year coaching Augusta University’s cheerleading squad. (photo by AU Athletics)

By Taylor Ferguson |
Staff writer

When Harleigh Turner graduated from high school in Rome, Ga., she thought she was on the verge of reaching one of her childhood dreams—becoming a cheerleader for the University of Georgia. However, Turner, Augusta University’s cheerleading coach, was not able to live out her dream as she originally anticipated. Continue reading “Turner brings loads of cheerleading experience to AU coaching post”

Jaguar men, Taylor win PBC XC championships

Jacob Poston led the AU men to their third Peach Belt Conference crown in four years. (photo by David Troyer, special to the Bell Ringer)

Staff report |

The Augusta University men’s cross-country team successfully defended its Peach Belt Conference championship Saturday, and AU’s Mackenzie Taylor claimed the women’s individual title at the University of North Georgia. Continue reading “Jaguar men, Taylor win PBC XC championships”

Jaguar men look to defend PBC title in cross-country

Jacob Poston (404) leads Augusta University as the Jaguars hope to repeat as PBC champions. (photo by David Troyer, special to the Bell Ringer)

By Justin Brosemer |
Sports writer

The Augusta Jaguars men’s and women’s cross-country teams hope to finish their postseason strong in the Peach Belt Conference Championship in Gainesville, Ga., on Saturday, Nov. 14. The race will be hosted by the University of North Georgia and will take place on its campus. Continue reading “Jaguar men look to defend PBC title in cross-country”

The Sports Squad: Season 3, Episode 5

The Sports Squad: S3, E5 (<–Click here)

Join Bell Ringer Sports Editor Carlos Rodriguez as he talks AU sports with Jaelyn Autman and Chad Cook. Autman is a junior communication major, and Cook is the color commentator on SUVtv’s telecast of Jaguar basketball. They discuss the Peach Belt Conference cross-country championships, as well as basketball. Continue reading “The Sports Squad: Season 3, Episode 5”

Perdue and Ossoff will have a runoff election in January

Georgia Senate election results as of 7:00 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2020. (from the Associated Press)

By Rakiyah Lenon |
Staff writer

The Senate race in Georgia will now have two runoff elections as neither the incumbent Republican Senator David Perdue or Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff made more than 50 percent of the vote.

Continue reading “Perdue and Ossoff will have a runoff election in January”

Biden, Harris give first speeches as president-elect and vice president-elect

Photo by Sharefaith on Pexels.com

By Jenna Ingalls |
Staff writer

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris gave their first speeches on Saturday, Nov. 7, after winning the 2020 election. Continue reading “Biden, Harris give first speeches as president-elect and vice president-elect”

Georgia may turn blue

Election results at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 6, 2020. (image from the Associated Press)

By Haley Night |
Editor-in-chief

According to the Associated Press, former Vice President Biden is leading with over 1,500 votes in Georgia, turning the primarily red state blue.

Continue reading “Georgia may turn blue”

Jaguar men’s basketball team holds televised practice

Darren Lucas-White goes up for layup as Jack Johnson (L) defends during Augusta’s televised basketball practice Thursday. Coach Dip Metress (in yellow shirt) watches from beyond the three-point line. (photo by Justin Brosemer)

By Justin Brosemer |
Sports writer

Coach Dip Metress and the Augusta University men’s basketball team held a practice that was televised by SUVtv on Thursday, Nov. 5. Continue reading “Jaguar men’s basketball team holds televised practice”

Loeffler and Warnock will compete in a runoff election in January 2021

Kelly Loeffler holds a campaign stop at the Augusta Regional Airport Nov. 3. (photo by Rakiyah Lenon)

By Madison Pierce |
Staff writer

Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, achieved 32.8 percent of votes while Kelly Loeffler, the incumbent Republican, achieved 26 percent of votes in the U.S. Senate special election to replace Johnny Isakson, and there will be in a runoff election in January 2021. Continue reading “Loeffler and Warnock will compete in a runoff election in January 2021”

The Sports Squad: Season 3, Episode 4

The Sports Squad: S3, E4 (<–CLICK HERE)

Carlos Rodriguez and Jaelyn Autman bring you “The Sports Squad.” In this episode, Rodriguez and Autman talk Augusta University cross-country, men’s golf and basketball. “The Sports Squad” is a production of Bell Ringer-Phoenix Media. Continue reading “The Sports Squad: Season 3, Episode 4”

Taylor, Jaguars prepare for Peach Belt cross-country championships

Carlos Rodriguez shows his form as he raced to a seventh-place finish for the Jags at the North Georgia Invite. (photo by David Troyer, special to the Bell Ringer)

By Justin Brosemer |
Sports writer

Coach Adam Ward’s Augusta University cross-country teams finished the regular season strongly at the North Georgia Invite on Saturday, Oct. 31 in Gainesville. Continue reading “Taylor, Jaguars prepare for Peach Belt cross-country championships”

AU students discuss their votes

Ninth grader Jeffrey Fraizer and his grandmother, Susan Fraizer, support Trump during the 2020 election. (photo by Haley Knight)

By Madeline Burgin |
Staff writer

Augusta University students discuss who they voted for in the 2020 general election and why.

Continue reading “AU students discuss their votes”

David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler fly to Augusta

David Perdue shakes hands with ninth-grader Jeffery Fraizer at his campaign stop at the Daniel Field Airport on Highland Ave. in Augusta. (photo by Haley Knight)

By Haley Knight and Rakiyah Lenon |
Editor-in-chief and staff writer

United States Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler held campaign stops at Daniel Field Airport on Highland Avenue and Augusta Regional Airport on Aviation Way in Augusta on Monday, Nov. 2, the day before the presidential election.

Continue reading “David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler fly to Augusta”

Peach Belt Conference to play 16-game schedule for 2020-21 basketball season

Senior Troy Cracknell (21) is a returning sharpshooter for the Augusta men’s basketball team; he and his teammates will play 16 regular-season games. (photo by Carlos Rodriguez)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

The Peach Belt Conference will play a 16-game schedule for the upcoming basketball season, the league announced on Oct. 29. Continue reading “Peach Belt Conference to play 16-game schedule for 2020-21 basketball season”

AU’s Taylor wins third in a row

Augusta’s Mackenzie Taylor running her course-record 17:05 time at the North Georgia Invite. (photo by David Troyer, special to the Bell Ringer)

Staff report |

Mackenzie Taylor of Augusta University made it three straight wins to start her collegiate career as a cross-country runner, winning the North Georgia Invite in Gainesville on Saturday morning, Oct. 31. Continue reading “AU’s Taylor wins third in a row”

Jaguar cross-country prepping for PBC at North Georgia Invite

AU’s Mackenzie Taylor has won the first two cross-country meets of her college career. (photo by David Troyer, special to the Bell Ringer)

By Justin Brosemer |
Sports writer

Coach Adam Ward and the Augusta University men’s and women’s cross-country teams prepare to finish strong in their last meet of the shortened regular season this Saturday, Oct. 31. Saturday’s competition is the North Georgia Invite in Gainesville, Ga. The men will be running in a 8-kilometer race, with women running in their first 5-kilometer event of the season. Previously, they had run 6K races. Continue reading “Jaguar cross-country prepping for PBC at North Georgia Invite”

AU cross-country lands another commitment in East Coweta’s Moore

Matthew Moore (L) gives the Jaguars another outstanding Georgia runner for its 2021-22 freshman class. (photo by Chris Goltermann, special to the Bell Ringer)

By Justin Brosemer |
Sports writer

Augusta University’s cross-country program continues to build a strong incoming freshmen class for the 2021-22 season with the verbal commitment of East Coweta High School standout Matthew Moore. Continue reading “AU cross-country lands another commitment in East Coweta’s Moore”

AU Graduate School hosts virtual fair for 2021 applicants

By Jenna Ingalls |
Staff writer

The Graduate School at Augusta University hosted a virtual fair for students to learn more about the school, specific programs, how to be a competitive graduate applicant and the changes the Corona virus made to the application process. Continue reading “AU Graduate School hosts virtual fair for 2021 applicants”

Cincinnati’s MacKinnon named AU’s provost and vice president of academic affairs

Neil MacKinnon will replace Gretchen Caughman as the provost of Augusta University.

By Haley Knight |
Editor in chief

After extensive interviews with the three final provost candidates, Augusta University (AU) has named Neil J. MacKinnon has the new provost and vice president of academic affairs starting Jan. 19, 2021. Continue reading “Cincinnati’s MacKinnon named AU’s provost and vice president of academic affairs”

Jaguar golfers finish second at Bash in the Boro at GSU

AU’s Alex van Wyk hits a tee shot during the Bash in the Boro golf tournament en route to a fifth-place finish. (photo by JP van der Walt, special to the Bell Ringer)

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

After completing the last round of the two-day Bash in the Boro golf tournament hosted by Georgia Southern, the Augusta University men’s golf team kept their position to finish second overall Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 20, in Statesboro. Continue reading “Jaguar golfers finish second at Bash in the Boro at GSU”

Chiming in: Transition into autumn season can provide various benefits

The autumnal season could be useful to enhancing both mental and physical health. (photo by Rakiyah Lenon) 

By Rakiyah Lenon |
Staff writer
 

Fall has made its debut in the CSRA with numerous pumpkin spiced products in stores, endless varieties of autumn scented candles and countless pieces of fall decor, it is hard to miss that this season is in full swing. 

Continue reading “Chiming in: Transition into autumn season can provide various benefits”

Vajda in first, Jags in second, heading into second day of Bash in the Boro

By Carlos Rodriguez |
Sports editor

After the first 36 holes of the Bash in the Boro golf tournament hosted by Georgia Southern, Augusta University sophomore Jack Vajda leads the field, finishing the day 11 under par. Continue reading “Vajda in first, Jags in second, heading into second day of Bash in the Boro”

Taylor wins, AU men finish second at UAB XC meet

Jacob Poston (404) en route to third place in the Blazer Classic; Poston led AU to a second-place finish in the race. (photo by David Troyer, special to the Bell Ringer)

By Justin Brosemer |
Sports writer

Augusta University’s cross-country program proved itself to be among the best in the biggest competition of the season thus far at the UAB Blazer Classic on Oct. 16. The men’s team finished in  second place in their 8-kilometer race, while the women’s team, led by individual winner Mackenzie Taylor, placed sixth in their 6K event in Birmingham, Ala. Continue reading “Taylor wins, AU men finish second at UAB XC meet”

AU men’s golf opens play at GSU’s Bash in the Boro

AU’s Alex van Wyk, a business major from South Africa, is coming off a ninth-place finish at the Alabama-Birmingham tournament. (staff photo)

By Brian Mitchell |
Sports writer

The Augusta University men’s golf team opens play in Georgia Southern’s Bash in the Boro golf tournament today (Monday, Oct. 19). Continue reading “AU men’s golf opens play at GSU’s Bash in the Boro”

Jaguar cross-country teams face challenging meet at UAB

Sophomore Mackenzie Taylor leads the Jaguar women’s cross team into the Blazer Classic on Friday. (photo by Paula Toole, AU Athletics)

By Justin Brosemer |
Sports writer

Coming off wins for their respective teams, Coach Adam Ward and the Augusta University men’s and women’s cross-country teams will participate in their second of three events for the season on Friday, Oct. 16. Continue reading “Jaguar cross-country teams face challenging meet at UAB”

The COVID report with David Blake: Aerosol spread of the coronavirus

Thursday, Oct. 15

The guidance on public health for the coronavirus has recently changed to include aerosol spread. That means small bits of water from an infected person’s lungs can, if their concentration is high enough, infect others. It also means we have a new set of weapons to fight the coronavirus, mainly those of indoor air quality.

Continue reading “The COVID report with David Blake: Aerosol spread of the coronavirus”

In-person commencement in December

By Haley Knight |
Editor-in-Chief

Augusta University has announced through email that an in-person commencement ceremony for all spring, summer and fall graduates will be held on Friday, Dec. 11, at James Brown Arena.

Continue reading “In-person commencement in December”