Southeastern Fire

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Southeastern Fire
UniversitySoutheastern University
ConferenceSun Conference
Mid-South Conference
Athletic directorDrew Watson
LocationLakeland, Florida
Football stadiumVictory Field
Basketball arenaThe Furnace
Baseball stadiumTed A. Broer Stadium
ColorsBlack and Red[2]

The Southeastern Fire are the athletic teams for Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. The university is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in The Sun Conference, formerly known as the Florida Sun Conference (FSC). The Fire are associate members of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) after competing in both Division II and, more recently, Division I.[3] In the spring of 2016, the Fire joined the Mid-South Conference for football.[4] Southeastern University has won NCCAA Division II championships in all four men's sports and a NCCAA Division I championship in men's golf. In 2014, Senior Dwayne Johnson was named an NAIA All-American after leading the fire to the final four of the NAIA Division II basketball championship in Point Lookout, Missouri, while Junior Timothy Mitchell was named to the second team.[5] Johnson signed a professional contract with the Liepajas Lauvas of Latvia,[6] while senior Mitchell Wiggins Jr was one of seven players drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters.[7] The university added women's softball, men's tennis, and men's & women's cross country in 2012. Southeastern currently competes in seven men's and seven women's sports, after the addition of football in the 2014-15 academic year. The addition of men's wrestling, the first collegiate program in the state, is planned for the 2015-16 academic year[8]

The team mascot was Maniac until 2014, when a new mascot, Scorch, was introduced along with the unveiling of the new football stadium.[9]


Men's baseball[edit]

In 2018, the baseball team, coached by Adrian Dinkel, had a 50-5 regular season record, and were ranked fourth in the NAIA. After an early exit from The Sun Conference tournament, they swept the Kingsport Opening Round bracket. They then swept five games in the NAIA World Series in Lewiston, ID, winning the national championship in their first trip to the tournament. Of Manuel Mesa won the tournament Most Valuable Player and Charles Berry Hustle awards.

Men's basketball[edit]

In 2014, the men's basketball team reached the final four of the 2014 NAIA Division II Men's Basketball Tournament, in which they defeated top seeded Cardinal Stritch behind a perfect shooting night from Jake Hodges.[10] Point guard Dwayne Johnson was named to the all-America team.[11] Center Timothy Mitchell was named to the all-tournament team, while reserve Mitchell Wiggins Jr. was selected to participate in the NAIA dunk contest and was drafted by the Harlem Globetrotters.[12]

In 2018, the team qualified for the national tournament by winning The Sun Conference tournament, defeating Keiser University 87-80 in overtime.[13]

Men's golf[edit]

In 2007, the men's golf team won the NCCAA National Championship.[14]

Men's football[edit]

In 2015, in their second season, the football team won the Sun Conference Championship retroactively after Edward Waters was forced to forfeit a game.[15] In 2016, the team was able to represent the conference in the NAIA national championship tournament after completing the season with an undefeated conference record.[16] Running back Jarrell Reynolds was named the conference player of the year.[17]

In 2017, the football team won the Mid-South Conference Sun Division title and the opportunity to play in the postseason.[18]

Men's soccer[edit]

In 2006, the men's soccer team won the NCCAA DII National Championship and coach Drew Stacey was named NCCAA coach of the year.[19] In 2015, the men's soccer team won The Sun Conference championship. Freshman Jake van der Luit was named the tournament mvp.[20]

Women's basketball[edit]

In 2017, the Fire went undefeated in the regular season.[21] After winning 28 straight games, the Sun Conference regular season championship, and the Sun Conference tournament championship, they continued to the NAIA national tournament. They earned the first Sun Conference women's basketball first ever playoff victory,[22] and went to the final four. Senior Bailey Hooker was named first-team All-American, and senior Christin Strawbridge was named second-team All-American.[23]

In 2018, the team stretched their regular-season winning streak to 58 straight games and achieved the school's first ever NAIA #1 ranking in any sport.[24] They completed the 2018 regular season undefeated and won the conference tournament for the third straight year, earning the overall top seed in the national tournament.[25][26]

Professional players[edit]

Several Fire players have continued their athletic careers professionally, including Dee Gordon Second baseman for the Seattle Mariners. He previously played shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers and second base for the Miami Marlins in Major League Baseball.

Many basketball players have gone on to play professionally, including Ali Hosni (2013), Jacob Blankenship[27] (2012), Povilas Gaidys (2012), Amir Royal (2013),[28] Malcolm Pollock (2013),[29] Dwayne Johnson (2014),[30] and Tim Mitchell (2015) [31]

Justin Michel plays soccer for the Bonaire national football team. Gerritson Craane has played for the Curaçao national football team.[32]


  1. ^ Beasock, Ray (August 23, 2014). "Say Goodbye to Maniac, Hello to Scorch". Retrieved September 12, 2015.
  2. ^ "Southeastern University Athletics - Athletic Communications". June 22, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  3. ^ "NCCAA Division I". Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  4. ^ Wilson, Michael (February 25, 2016). "Local teams officially join Mid-South football conference". The Lakeland Ledger. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  5. ^ "NAIA Division II Men's Basketball All-Star Team Announced". National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  6. ^ "SEU's Johnson Signs Pro Basketball Contract". Victory Sports Network. June 4, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  7. ^ "Harlem Globetrotters draft Johnny Manziel, Landon Donovan". The Orlando Sentinel. June 24, 2014. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  8. ^ Milligan, Del (September 24, 2012). "Southeastern Unveils Initiative to Build 5,000-Seat Football Stadium". The Ledger. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
  9. ^ Beasock, Ray (August 23, 2014). "Say Goodbye to Maniac, Hello to Scorch". Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  10. ^ "Southeastern vs Cardinal Stritch". NAIA. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
  11. ^ "NAIA Division II Men's Basketball All-America Teams". Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  12. ^ "Harlem Globetrotters Select College Slam Dunk Champs, 7-Foot-5 Sim Bhullar and Soccer Superstar Landon Donovan in 2014 Player Draft". Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  13. ^ "Southeastern Men's Basketball Claims First TSC Title with Overtime Win". February 28, 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  14. ^ "Men's Golf National Champions" (PDF). Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  15. ^ Fouts, B.Lynn (October 26, 2016). "VSN's Game of the Week for October 29". Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  16. ^ Smith, Donnie. "Football Earns First Playoff Berth". Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  17. ^ "Southeastern has 14 players named to All-Sun Conference". November 18, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  18. ^ Long, Ryan (November 12, 2017). "Four Mid-South Teams selected in the NAIA Football Playoff Championship Series". Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  19. ^ "Men's Soccer Division II Champions" (PDF). Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  20. ^ Pierre, Ducharme (November 9, 2015). "Southeastern wins first title in school history". The Lakeland Ledger. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  21. ^ "No. 2 Southeastern Remains Unbeaten". March 9, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  22. ^ "Southeastern Claims Sun Conference Women's Basketball Tourney in Dominating Fashion". The Sun Conference. Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  23. ^ "2016-17 NAIA Division II Women's Basketball All-Americans Announced". March 16, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  24. ^ Fredericksen, Brady (February 6, 2018). "SEU women ranked No. 1 in the NAIA basketball poll". Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  25. ^ Flemming, Jed. "2018 NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship Qualifiers & Bracket Announced". Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  26. ^ Fredericksen, Brady (February 28, 2018). "Southeastern women net top overall seed in NAIA Tournament". Retrieved March 2, 2018.
  27. ^ "Peristeri signed Jacob Blankenship". Retrieved October 25, 2018.
  28. ^ "Southeastern University ex players". Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  29. ^ "Malcolm Pollock Basketball Profile". Latin Basket. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  30. ^ "Dwayne Johnson". FIBA. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  31. ^ Fredericksen, Brady (May 30, 2015). "Pro Deal a Dream Realized for Fire Star". The Lakeland Ledger. Retrieved October 22, 2015.
  32. ^ "National Football Teams". Retrieved January 9, 2017.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 28°01′43″N 81°55′02″W / 28.0286214°N 81.9173312°W / 28.0286214; -81.9173312