Spring Sports Round Up

a male and female holding trophies
At the 2019 Rhodes Athletic Awards Ceremony in April, DJ Coker ’19 was presented the Walter E. Gay Award, which honors the outstanding senior male athlete of the year, and Allie Hill ’19 received the Rebecca Rish Gay award, honoring the outstanding senior female athlete of the year.
head shot of Matt Dean
Director of Athletics Matt Dean

Of Special Note

Matt Dean Named Director of Athletics 

After being named interim director of athletics in October 2018, Dean officially became the director of athletics in April 2019. Over the course of his now 28-year career at Rhodes, Dean served as head women’s basketball team coach for 15 years, becoming the college’s winningest coach in program history with a 230-166 record. His coaching career at Rhodes also includes serving as head coach of the women’s golf program. He was the college’s first head field hockey coach, and his 2001 team won the conference tournament championship. Dean holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast news journalism and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Drake University. He retired as head women’s basketball coach at the end of the 2017 season to assume the role of assistant athletics director, a position he held until being named interim director of athletics.

a male holding a plaque
Toler Freyaldenhoven '20

Toler Freyaldenhoven ’20

SAA Men’s Cross Country Runner of the Year, Freyaldenhoven added Google Cloud Academic All-American to his list of accomplishments in track & field/cross country for 2019. The College Sports Information Directors of America recognizes student-athletes for both their academic and athletic performances; Freyaldenhoven, a biochemistry/molecular biology major, carries a 3.90 cumulative GPA, and is the only SAA student-athlete represented on the 2019 men’s track & field/ cross country Academic All-America squad.

DJ Coker ’19

After his final season of eligibility, Rhodes College offensive lineman DJ Coker signed as an undrafted free agent in May with the Houston Texans. Coker was named first team All-America his senior season by the American Football Coaches Association and was the only junior honored as an All-American (second team) in 2017. Coker is the only Lynx to garner All-America status in back-to-back years. He was named an All-American (second team) by D3football.com in 2018 and third team in 2017. At the 2019 Rhodes Athletic Awards Ceremony at the end of April, Coker (pictured above) was presented the Walter E. Gay Award, honoring the outstanding senior male athlete of the year.

2018-2019 Highlights

Rhodes once again led the SAA’s All-Academic Honor Roll in the 2019 winter and spring semesters. The Lynx led all schools with 212 academic honor roll recipients who earned the required GPA for the 2019 spring semester, and also tallied the most SAA All-Academic honors for the 2018-2019 calendar year. In the fall, Rhodes also led the conference with 126 honors for a total of 338 All-Academic honors.

Rhodes won the SAA Commissioner's Cup for the second year in a row, racking up six championships, four SAA tournament championships, and having representation at the NCAA level from 10 teams: women's basketball (33rd), men's cross country (17th), field hockey (17th), women's golf (6th), men's lacrosse (9th), women's lacrosse (33rd), men's swimming, women's swimming, men's outdoor track and field, and women's outdoor track and field. 

Rhodes finished 64th in the 2018-19 Division III Learfield IMG College Directors' Cup standings, scoring 285 points as announced by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).The Learfield IMG Director's Cup had 338 of the more than 450 NCAA Division III institutions tallying scores.Rhodes has finished in the top-65 of the Learfield IMG College final standings in each of the last six years.

Jacob Telli at bat
Jacob Telli ’19


Rhodes College baseball defeated No. 1 seeded Hendrix College 12-6, marking the team's 23rd straight SAA Tournament first-round win and pushing the Lynx to their sixth consecutive SAA Championship Series appearance. Rhodes finished their season with a record of 26-19, 12-9 against SAA competition. Senior catcher Jacob Telli was named the 2019 SAA Baseball Player of the Year and earned All-South honors from both the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) and D3baseball.com.and. Telli is now the single season and career walk leader, while senior Nick Bosma is the program's career save leader. 


The No. 18-ranked men's golf team wrapped up their season at the 2019 SAA Championship, where they placed third. Senior Hunter Bremer placed sixth individually and was named first team All-SAA.

Women’s golf placed sixth at the SAA Championships, with senior Emily Salamy placing third individually—her first-ever national top-10 finish. Salamy, the 2019 SAA Women’s Golfer of the Year, earned second team All-American honors by the Women’s Golf Coach’s Association. Freshman Susan Morris was tabbed the SAA Newcomer of the Year before she, Salamy, and sophomore Tabitha Diehl earned All-Region honors. Head coach Mike Clary was tabbed SAA Coach of the Year.


The 2019 Southern Athletic Association Men's Lacrosse Tournament Championship is the second consecutive title for the Lynx, earning them another bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. Rhodes finished the year 16-4, breaking the program win mark (14) from 2017 and 2018. The Lynx tied their season-high win streak (eight) and broke multiple team records, including goals, assists, points, saves, caused turnovers, ground balls and face-offs won in a season. Senior goalkeeper Cameron Link was chosen to play in the 2019 USILA Senior All-Star game and  freshman Alexi Thomas was named SAA Newcomer of the Year. Six different single season records were broken by Christian Cisneros '22, JJ Hoot '20, and Link, while the trio, alongside Henry Hasbrouck '19, broke five single game records. Hoots and Link combined for four career marks, as well.

Rhodes women's lacrosse advanced to the NCAA Division III Tournament for the fifth year in a row. The Lynx finished the season 13-4 overall and 6-0 in the SAA, earning both the SAA regular season and tournament championships for the fifth year in a row. Rhodes freshman Baylee Barker was named SAA Newcomer of the Year, before earning All-Region honors alongside seniors Daly Colarossi and Annika Hedlund. Junior goalkeeper Lauren Lazure is now the program’s single-game and career saves leader. It's the third year in a row for head coach Meghan Keelan that the Lynx have gone undefeated in conference play.

Senior day for men's lacrosse team
The Men's Lacrosse Senior Day photo


Earning their first national ranking in program history (18th), Rhodes softball advanced to the SAA Tournament Championship game for the second year in a row. The Lynx finished the season 27-16, the most wins since 2010 and most wins for head coach Luke Wagner. Senior Kendall Henry earned CoSIDA Academic All-District and All-Region honors by the NFCA. She also is tied for most doubles in a single season and career games played (166) alongside senior Jill Healy. Henry is also the program’s career leader in the following categories: doubles, RBIs, and games started. Senior Bri Maniscalco is the program’s all-time leader for pitchers in games started, appearances, innings pitched. She threw her first career no-hitter her senior season.


Women’s tennis ended their season in the SAA semifinals with three Lynx named to the SAA All-Conference teams.They finished the season 13-5, the most wins in a season since Rhodes went 13-6 in 2010-11.

Ranked No. 9 in the Atlantic South, the men’s tennis team placed second in the 2019 SAA championship, their highest finish since 2013. They concluded the season 14-7 overall, with three juniors named to the SAA All-Conference teams.

Leda St. Cyr jumping a hurdle at a track meet
Leda St. Cyr '20

Track & Field

Rhodes College track and field had four participants qualify for the 2019 NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships. Freshman Billy Clark broke Rhodes’ 400m record, while Alli Cundiff was named SAA Women’s Track Newcomer of the Year and Coach Robert Shankman and staff picked up Coaching Staff of the Year honors.

Leda St. Cyr ’20 opened for the Lynx in the preliminary heats of the women's 400m intermediate hurdles. Seeded 21st, the junior finished the race in 18th place in a time of 1:04.68. Last year, in her first national appearance, St. Cyr placed 19th in 1:05.28. 

Senior Spencer Fields, the 2019 SAA Men's Track AThlete of the Year, placed 13th iin the 10K field n a time of 31:26.45. Fields leaves Rhodes as the record-holder in the 10k, 5k and 3k. Fields, Freyaldenoven, and Alex McTaggart '19 earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors.

Sophomore Sara Kate Capel placed 16th in the high jump. Seeded 19th at 1.67m, Capel cleared the opening height of 1.56m on her first try before jumping 1.61m (5' 3.25") on her second attempt. Her national-high jump of 1.61m comes after placing 21st last year at the national championships with a jump of 1.57m.  

Senior PJ Settles ’19 made his national debut in the final day of competition on Saturday. He wrapped up the championships with a 13.99 mark on his second attempt in the triple jump to place 18th.