Franklin Springs, GA – Emmanuel College Head Coach Patrick Johnston announced the Lions’ schedule for the 2013 season. Despite entering only their first year of competition in school history, the Lions will face five teams ranked in the final 2012 Nike/Inside Lacrosse Division II Coaches Poll and every SELC regular season Regional Champion from 2012. Emmanuel will also square off against two NCAA DII programs.
Athletically, the Lions currently play in the NAIA and offer over 18 different sports. The 2012-2013 season will be the inaugural season for the Men’s Lacrosse team where they play in the SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference Division II. This year also marks the Lions first year in a brand new 80,000 square foot athletic complex along with two brand new athletic fields, one specifically for lacrosse.
“Our lacrosse program motto here at Emmanuel comes from Proverbs 30:30: ‘A Lion, mightiest among beasts, turns away from nothing’, and that is an everyday proposition to our staff and our student athletes. It’s our first year as a program and we’re very young as a team, but part of being a member of the Lion Pride is establishing a standard in excellence in all that we do in the class, in the community, and on the field,” said Johnston. “Excellence is a habit, and one way to establish that habit is to face it on game day. If you want to be the best, you have to play the best.”
The Emmanuel College Lions will open their inaugural 2013 season by hosting the Georgia College and State University Bobcats in a scrimmage on January 26. The following week on February 2, the Lions will travel to meet Coker College at Dorman High School in Roebuck, SC. The Cobras compete in Conference Carolinas at the NCAA DII level.
Next, Emmanuel will host the First Annual Creator’s Classic on February 15-17 which features colleges and universities with Christian affiliations. The Lions will first face their first SELC South West Region opponentEmory on Saturday, February 16 as they look to get an early edge in the region. EC then turns around to play the Palm Beach Atlantic University Sailfish the next day. The Sailfish reached a national ranking of 23rd last year and shared their SELC region title in 2012. Other games that weekend feature PBA versus Emory, Tennessee Wesleyan versus PBA, and Wofford versus Tennessee Wesleyan.
The following weekend will again pit the Lions against a regional opponent in Reinhardt and another 2012 SELC regional winner in Coastal Carolina. The Lions will square off with Reinhardt as they host the Eagles on Friday night, February 22 as they hope to continue to build off solid early regional play; and then the Lions host CCU on Sunday, February 24. The Chanticleers won the SELC North East Region and finished season ranked #23 in the nation.
Tuesday, March 5 will mark Emmanuel’s first of a string of strong out-of-conference match ups as they take on Aquinas College out of the CCLA. The Saints come marching down to Georgia after posting a 9-8 record and a CCLA play-off appearance in 2012. The Lions then head south to Palm Beach County, FL to play in PBA’s Fourth Annual Sailfish Shootout where EC will start play against Western Washington University on Friday, March 8. The Vikings were ranked nationally as high as 21st last year and look to make another deep run in the PNCLL play-offs. The Lions are back in action on Monday, March 11 when they face off versus the Sam Houston State Bearkats. The Bearkats finished 2012 ranked #14 nationally where they won their third consecutive LSA Championship earning their third straight birth to MCLA National Championships.
The travel continues the following week as Emmanuel heads to North Carolina to take on the reigning SELC DII Champions on Friday, March 15. The Elon Phoenix capped off 2012 with a #12 national ranking, a SELC Championship, and a MCLA National Championships appearance. The very next day, Emmanuel will cap off the road trip by paying the Davidson Wildcats a visit on March 16.
On March 23, the Lions will be on the road again as they set off to play Shorter University in Rome, GA. The Hawks compete at the NCAA DII level as an independent. After taking a week off in observance for the Easter weekend, EC will host former SELC member Georgia State on April 6.
Emmanuel closes the regular season off with back to back weekends against their last two SELC regional opponents where the South West Region’s play-off picture will be solidified. The Lions travel to Kennesaw State’s Owl Nest on Friday, April 12. The Owls made the 2012 SELC Championship game and were ranked #19 nationally by season’s end. The following weekend EC closes out their inaugural regular season as theTennessee Wesleyan College Bulldogs pay the Lions a visit on Saturday, April 20.
The 2013 SouthEastern Lacrosse Conference Championships will be played in Johns Creek, GA on April 26-28. The 2013 MCLA National Championships will be played in Greenville, SC from May 13-18.