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SWAMP SIGHTINGS (Vol.2 for 2003)

(Interesting Notes about Patriot athletics)

  • Former Francis Marion University baseball player Steve Roadcap is in his first season as manager of the Inland Empire 66ers, the Seattle Mariners’ affiliate in the Class A California League.  The 66ers, located in San Bernardino, Calif., concluded the league’s first half with a 36-34 record and were tied for the second-half South Division lead at 16-10 as of July 16.  A switching hitting catcher, Roadcap played two seasons at Francis Marion, batting .330 in 1981 and earning All-District and team most valuable player honors in 1982 with a .328 average (24 runs batted in). This is Roadcap’s 13th season as a minor league manager.  He has compiled a 718-755 mark, while coaching for two years with the Mariners’ organization and 11 with the Chicago Cubs.  His teams have qualified for the playoffs three times.  He spent the 2002 season as a roving instructor in the Mariners’ system, and was Seattle’s minor league catching coordinator in 2000 when the Mariners were named the Organization of the Year by the Topps Company.  In the offseason, Roadcap lives in Elkview, W.V.
  • Former Francis Marion men’s tennis player Jim Dempsey was recently named the Director of Tennis at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston.  Dempsey played two seasons for the Patriots, occupying the No. 1 singles and doubles positions in 1984 and No. 1 doubles in 1985.  He left college to play professional tennis and then entered the coaching field in 1986, starting at the prestigious Harry Hopman Academy in Saddlebrook, Fla.  A year later, he moved to the Vitas Gerulaitis International Tennis Academy in Delray Beach, Fla.  In the early 1990’s, he returned to the Hopman Academy where he served as a top instructor and Coordinator for Touring Professionals.  In 1994, Dempsey was asked to coach on the WTA Tour and over the next six years, he guided some of the top players in the game, including International Hall of Famer Pam Shriver, Lori McNeil and Lisa Raymond.  During this time, he was asked by the WTA Tour to assist them in developing a Coaches Registration program, a tool to foster the highest standards in coaching.  Dempsey is a certified member of the United States Professional Tennis Association (since 1994) and for the last ten years has been a Prince Tennis Touring Professional.   Prior to accepting his new position, he served as Director of Tennis for the Isleworth Country Club in Orlando.  The Family Circle Tennis Center, home of the Family Circle Cup, is a public facility operated by Family Circle Magazine. 
  • Former FMU women’s basketball player Jontell Johnson spent a week during the summer playing in a tournament in the Netherlands.  Playing on a nine-member squad organized by USA Athletes International, Johnson started every game and helped lead her team to the championship of the 14th-annual Mega International Tournament (MIT), held at Utrecht University.  The team was comprised of NCAA Division II players from across the country.  Johnson’s squad also visited Belgium where they played and beat a Belgium club team.  A 6-0 center, Johnson was named to the Peach Belt Conference All-Conference Team this past year after leading FMU in scoring (15.1 ppg) and rebounding (8.2 rpg).  The Charleston native ended her college career as the conference’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 231.  Her other career totals include 995 points and 816 rebounds.
  • Michael Bairefoot, a 1991 Francis Marion graduate and a former Patriot tennis player, recently won the “American Idol”-style “Magic Idol” contest at the 2003 International Brotherhood of Magicians convention in Kansas City, Mo. IBM has nearly 15,000 members worldwide including Siegfried and Roy, Lance Burton, and David Copperfield. Bairefoot currently displays his magical talents at Angelo’s Steak and Pasta in Myrtle Beach.  Now a resident of Surfside Beach, Bairefoot hopes to open his own magic shop at Coastal Grande Myrtle Beach Mall when it opens.  Bairefoot was a member of the 1989, 1990, and 1991 Patriot tennis teams.


Last Published: March 25, 2004 4:26 AM
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