SPC’s number one fan, Wallace Thomas Johnson, is committed to student’s success from the classroom to the courts. On Jan. 23, at the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, students and staff awarded him a placard, acknowledging him as SPC Athletics’ number one fan.

Johnson taught as an adjunct instructor of computer science at SPC for 13 years. After leaving the classroom, Johnson found his passion for SPC sports as a volunteer.

“I live close to the college,” he said. “You know, one day I heard some noise in the gym, I walked in, and boy was I hooked.”

He has shown his love of SPC sports in many ways. He’s donated thousands of dollars for signs, chairs, tables and other odds and ends for the teams.

Trouble struck, however, when he learned he had stage four lung cancer. Seeing him push through his illness every day to support something he loves has had a positive effect on the entire SPC community.

“Thank you, Mr. Johnson,” said Davie Gill, Student Life and Leadership Coordinator and Athletic Director at SPC. “I don’t think he realizes how much he impacts the students and players, but we are grateful.”

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Jennifer BazylakSophomore outfielder Jennifer Bazylak has been selected to the 2nd team All American Team.  This is a prestigious award that only 16 athletes are selected to for each 1st and 2nd team. During this season, Jennifer was also selected to the All-State First Team and awarded team Offensive Player of the Year.

Coach Myers’ mentioned, “Jennifer has been a breakout player at the plate. She led the team with a .434 average and .471 OBP.” Jennifer graduated this May with her A.A. and received a scholarship to play at Union College in Kentucky next year. Congratulations Jennifer Bazylak!

On Wednesday, Outfielder Trey Amburgey accomplished a childhood dream and was drafted out of St. Petersburg College by the New York Yankees. He was selected in the 13thround (393 overall) during the 2015 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. Trey became the 66th player to be drafted out of St. Petersburg College in the last 24 years. Amburgey had this to say,

There was a lot of emotions after being drafted. I didn’t know what to expect going in. All I could do was just wait. It was a great feeling. Especially being picked by the Yankees, it was just a huge blessing. I can’t thank God enough for all the opportunities he has given me and my family for all they’ve done. The journey is just beginning.

Once he reports to Tampa, the minor league headquarters for the New York Yankees, Trey will be assigned to either the Appalachian League or the Gulf Coast League to begin his professional career.

Coach Beckman had this to say about Amburgey’s selection,

Trey is an example of what hard work can get you. While at St. Petersburg College, he learned structure, routine, and commitment to the process. His talent was there all along at SPC and he learned how to get the most out of it. The coaching staff and I are very proud for his accomplishment and we wish him the best of luck.

Amburgey was the only current or former Titan to be selected in this year’s draft.  Combined, Coach Beckman and Coach Norman this year have had 5 additional players selected.

Since joining the college in 2011, Coach Ryan Beckman has found great fortune with moving his players on to playing at four year schools. When asked about his success he responded, “It is something I take a lot of pride in. When a player does what he is supposed to do in the classroom, works hard on the field, is a solid member of the community, is willing to make the sacrifice to be a student/athlete, and plays for SPC, he has a strong possibility of finding a home somewhere else. We have been very fortunate over the years.” Over the previous four years, 38 players have continued their careers. Some went on to become professional baseball players and others attended a four year school.

Baseball Athletes Continued Careers
16 went to: Division 1 programs
15 went to: NCAA Division 2 and NAIA programs
7 went to: Professional Baseball

The 2014-2015 graduating class is no different. Coach Beckman explained, “This year we had five guys move on to division 1 programs and another two who had better scholarship opportunities at the division 2 level. We still have a few more players we are looking to place, but to have this many in place prior to the draft is special.” Below is the list of players moving on:

Tyler Shambora – University of Virginia (ACC)
Trey Amburgey – High Point University (Big South)
Duke Stunkel – University of South Florida (American)
Jordan Doyle – Flagler College(Peach Belt)
Mike Mann – Saint Leo University (Sunshine State)
Alex Demchak – Florida International University (Conference USA)
Marcus Guzman – Southeastern University (Sun)
Cornelius Copeland – Jackson State (SWAC)

St. Petersburg College’s women’s softball team had two players selected into the FCSAA All-State Team.

Jennifer Bazylak was selected to the All-State First Team. This season she was also awarded team Offensive Player of the Year. Coach Meyers’ mentioned, “Jennifer has been a breakout player at the plate. She led the team with a .434 avg. and .471 OBP.” Jennifer will graduate this May with her A.A. and received a scholarship to play at Union College in Kentucky next year.

Kelsie Sanchez was selected to the All-State Second Team. Kelsie has been the starting CF for two years. Coach Meyers’ remarked, “She runs the outfield, covers a ton of ground and leads SPC in almost every offensive category. She has been our run producer and makes things happen on the base paths.” Kelsie earned the Freshman of the Year award last season, along with 2nd Team All Conference honors, All Conference Academic team and the NFCA Scholar award. This season she has earned 1st Team All Conference, 2nd Team All-State, the team MVP and College-wide Female Athlete of the Year. Kelsie will graduate in July with her A.A. and has received a scholarship to play at Presbyterian College in South Carolina.

St. Petersburg College has exciting news about a few of its athletes. Six of our Women’s Softball players, a Men’s Basketball player and one of our Women’s Volleyball players have either signed or committed to other schools. We are excited for our athletes and this tremendous accomplishment! Go Titans!

Women’s Softball:

  • Brianna Skipper signed with Palm Beach Atlantic
  • Jennifer Bazylak signed with Union College
  • Allison Williams signed with Northwood University
  • Meghan Sullivan signed with Ava Maria University
  • Torey Scott has committed to Warner University
  • Keslie Sanchez signed with Presbyterian College

Men’s Basketball:

  • Maljhum McCrea has committed to play at Texas State University

Women’s Volleyball:

  • Becca Brown has committed to play Sand Volleyball for University of Louisiana, Monroe

Our women’s tennis team put up a great fight at the state tournament. The top 3 teams in the state get an automatic bid to the national tournament in Arizona and SPC finished 4 by 0.5 points. Even though the team did not qualify for nationals, our number one doubles team did. The doubles team of Whittaker/Tagashira won the state championship and will be representing SPC out in Arizona in a couple weeks. Go Titans!​