Sports (136)

Hickory Motor Speedway winners were Josh Berry in the first late model race with Ryan Millington winning the second late model race as he, Berry and rookie Sam Butler went three wide in turn four on the final lap. Butler took second with Berry finished third. Josh Kossek won the limiteds race, his fourth of the season and extends his points lead. The super trucks was won by Dennis Trivette, the street stocks was won by Kevin Eby and Cody Combs took home checkers in the 4 Cylinders race.

The Mid-American Conference (MAC), of which App State Field Hockey is a member, has announced the postponement of all scheduled fall contests, as well as MAC championships, due to continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The Council of Presidents unanimously voted to take this action with the health and safety of its student-athletes, coaches and communities as its top priority. It is the intention of the membership to provide competitive opportunities for the student-athletes in these sports during the spring semester of 2021.


The fall sports affected are men's and women's cross country, field hockey, football, men's soccer, women's soccer and women's volleyball. At this time, there have been no decisions made regarding winter sports.


"The decision is grounded in the core values of the Conference that prioritize student-athlete well-being, an area the MAC has traditionally taken a leadership role," said MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher. "Clearly, we are charting a conservative path – and it is one that has been recommended by our medical advisory group. It is a decision that affects roughly 2,500 student-athletes who live for the moment to compete. Those opportunities and moments are fleeting, and our student-athletes have a limited window in which to showcase their talent, passion, and drive for excellence. I am heartbroken we are in this place. However, I take comfort and want to give assurance to our student-athletes, coaches, and fans that we have their best interest at heart, and we will make every effort to provide competitive opportunities in the spring."

"Based on the MAC's decision today to postpone fall sports, we are disappointed to not compete this fall," App State head coach Meghan Dawson said. "We are looking forward to the spring and making the best of the situation that we face with COVID-19."

"This decision is in the best interest of all Mid-American Conference student-athletes, athletics departments and university communities," said MAC Council of Presidents' Chair and University at Buffalo President Dr. Satish K. Tripathi. "The Council of Presidents has always maintained that the health, safety and well-being of everyone within our conference, especially our student-athletes, is our top priority."

"This was not an easy decision but one that we had to make in the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches and institutions," said MAC Chair of the Council of Director of Athletics and Miami Director of Athletics David Sayler. "It is our responsibility to give our student-athletes an experience that allows them to participate at the highest level in the safest manner possible. After consulting with our Medical Advisory Panel, we felt there were just too many unknowns surrounding the pandemic for us to proceed with the fall season."

The MAC has begun formalizing plans for the 2021 spring semester. The Conference will continue to consult with its Medical Advisory Panel and will monitor developments surrounding the pandemic with state and local health officials, the CDC, WHO and governmental entities.

The South Atlantic Conference announced today that fall athletic competition has been postponed until the spring 2021 semester in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This announcement comes after the NCAA Division II President's Council announced the cancellation of fall championships earlier this week. This affects football, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's cross country and volleyball. A similar decision was announced recently by USA Triathlon to also cancel the fall championship due to ongoing precautions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. USA Triathlon and the CTCA are also exploring the feasibility of hosting a varsity women's collegiate triathlon season in the spring of 2021.

"We are disappointed for our fall sport student-athletes who will not get the opportunity to compete in the NCAA Championships this year, yet are optimistic they will be able to participate in SAC competition this spring," said Vice President for Athletics Kim Pate. "These are difficult decisions for all involved, but the safety, health, and well-being of our student-athletes must remain our top priority. We are blessed to have outstanding coaches who are committed to developing our student-athletes not only as players but as people, and I'm confident we will be ready and prepared to get back to competing this spring when the landscape with the pandemic has hopefully improved."

The seasons for the 2020-21 winter sports of men's and women's basketball and men's and women's indoor track and field remain unchanged at this time.

Thursday, 06 August 2020 10:06

NCHSAA Extends Delay of Fall High School Sports

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The NCHSAA provided the following statement to NCHSAA Member Schools Thursday morning. Commissioner Que Tucker released the following statement:

“At his press conference on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, Governor Roy Cooper and his health team extended Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan until at least September 11. Unfortunately, this announcement means that the start of sports for the 2020-2021 school year will be delayed beyond September 1 for NCHSAA member schools.

The NCHSAA Staff and Board of Directors will review all available options, seek input from SMAC, DPI, a sports Ad Hoc Committee, and announce a calendar for playing sports during the upcoming school year. It is hoped that we can make this announcement prior to August 17, 2020.

We want to play sports during this upcoming school year and are making plans to do so; however, the health and safety of all participants, including coaches and other essential staff, will be a priority as decisions and plans are made.”

Division II’s seven fall 2020 championships are canceled, the Division II Presidents Council decided Wednesday due to the operational, logistical and financial challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council made the move after the NCAA Board of Governors directed each division to make a decision on its fall sport championships. The Board of Governors also directed each division to meet various requirements to compete in the fall. Those directives include that all member institutions apply the resocialization principles to fall sports and set a 50% sponsorship threshold for a fall sport championship to be conducted, among other requirements. As of Wednesday, 11 of the 23 Division II conferences had announced they will not compete during the traditional fall season.

With the Board of Governors’ directives, the Division II Presidents Council determined that it was not feasible to hold fall championships as planned or to postpone them to the spring while prioritizing the health and well-being of student-athletes.

“After reviewing and discussing the Board of Governors’ directives, the Division II Presidents Council made the difficult decision that holding fall championships in any capacity was not a viable or fiscally responsible option for Division II,” said Sandra Jordan, chancellor of South Carolina Aiken and chair of the council. “This decision was discussed very thoroughly, and I assure you, it was not made lightly. It is important to note that fall student-athletes will be given eligibility-related flexibility to allow them championship opportunities in the future. As we move forward, we will continue to focus on providing the best championships experience for our winter and spring student-athletes who were not afforded those opportunities at the beginning of this pandemic.”

On July 22, the Division II Administrative Committee approved waivers to allow Division II student-athletes to retain the use of a season of competition if their team completes 50% or less of the sport’s Bylaw 17 maximum contests/dates of competition for the 2020-21 academic year. Additionally, student-athletes who qualify for the season of competition waiver, or whose institutions cancel the sport season entirely, will receive an extension of their 10 semesters/15 quarters of eligibility, provided the student-athlete was otherwise eligible for competition during the 2020-21 academic year. Division II schools and conferences can still choose to play part or all of their regular season in the fall semester if they follow the requirements set forth by the Board of Governors.

We will find out more how this will affect Lenoir-Rhyne athletics over the next few days.

App State and Wake Forest have agreed to postpone their 2020 football contest, which was scheduled for Sept. 11 in Winston-Salem, to a future year.

The two schools that are separated by 86 miles have also agreed to add two more games to the series, one in Boone and one in Winston-Salem, for a total of three future matchups.

“COVID-19 continues to change many of our plans,” App State Director of Athletics Doug Gillin said. “We are disappointed that this game will not be played in 2020, but we look forward to scheduling future games in the series within this decade. App State-Wake Forest is good for college football, good for our state and good for both fan bases. We are actively pursuing new opponents for all of this year’s nonconference games that have been altered to date.”

Morgan State and Wisconsin are also no longer on the 2020 App State slate due to decisions by the MEAC and Big Ten Conference. A Sept. 26 home game vs. Massachusetts is the Mountaineer’ other nonconference game currently on the schedule.

The Sun Belt Conference announced on Tuesday that its football season will be comprised of an eight-conference game schedule with an option for each member to add as many as four non-conference opponents, beginning with Week Zero. The Sun Belt will host a football championship game on Dec. 5 between the East Division and West Division champions. If necessary, the date of the championship game may be adjusted.

More updates will be provided as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to involve.

Tuesday, 04 August 2020 10:59

Sun Belt Conference Green Lights Football Season

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After extensive discussions and careful deliberation among the Sun Belt Conference Presidents and Chancellors, Athletics Directors, SBC COVID-19 Advisory Panel, medical advisors, and other governance groups, the Sun Belt Conference announced today that its football season will begin over Labor Day weekend.

Sun Belt member institutions have focused since June on a safe return to athletic activities. We believe this timetable will allow for the healthy integration of the entire campus community for each Sun Belt member.

The 2020 Sun Belt Conference football season will be comprised of an 8-conference game schedule with an option for each member to add as many as four non-conference opponents, beginning with Week Zero. The Sun Belt will host a football championship game on December 5 between the East Division and West Division champions. If necessary, the date of the championship game may be adjusted.

The Sun Belt Conference will continue to monitor health trends across our communities. Sun Belt Presidents and Chancellors, Athletics Directors, the COVID-19 Advisory Panel, and medical advisors will continue to review data to ensure a safe return to activities and competition. Our data review will cross seven states and 12 counties and include, among other things, infection rates, hospitalization rates, local health directives, advancements in COVID-19 testing and campus, department and team health trends.

The Sun Belt Conference will continue to provide updates on the league’s activities as the impact of the pandemic continues to evolve.

Currently, Appalachian State has had two non-conference games cancelled, September 5th at home against Morgan State and on the road two weeks later at Wisconsin.

Ryan LeBlanc, App State Wrestling's co-head assistant coach, has been hired as the head coach at The Citadel.

In another case of an App State assistant earning a college head coaching opportunity after working under head coach JohnMark Bentley in Boone, LeBlanc takes over a Division I program that also competes in the Southern Conference.

"I'm extremely happy for Ryan — he is extremely deserving of this opportunity," Bentley said. "I believe he is well-prepared, and The Citadel is getting a good man. I consider Ryan a close friend and am thankful for all his contributions to App State Wrestling."

Earlier this offseason, co-head assistant coach Josh Roosa became the head coach at King's College close his hometown in northeast Pennsylvania. With Bentley, Roosa and LeBlanc working together for the last four seasons, the Mountaineers won three straight SoCon titles before producing a school-record six NCAA qualifiers from a 9-3 team in 2019-20.

"It's a testament to the type of championship culture we have at App State," Bentley said. "I think it says something when you have two assistants who are both offered head coaching jobs at the same time. I am extremely happy for Ryan, and now I'm focused on the opportunities ahead to continue our growth."

In LeBlanc's four seasons as an App State assistant, the program totaled 18 NCAA Championships qualifiers and had a combined record of 40-17 in dual meets. That included a 25-2 record in SoCon duals.

After a standout career at Indiana and his first post-college coaching stint at SUNY-Cortland, LeBlanc arrived in Boone in 2016. The 2016-17 team finished 13-3 and climbed to as high as No. 16 in the national rankings from Intermat.

This past season, a young App State team with new starters at six positions led Division I wrestling with four dual meet shutouts, was one of only three Division I teams with at least four conference champions and was one of only six Division I teams that had all 10 starters finish the season with a winning record.

Off the mat, App State posted a school-record GPA of 3.45 in the spring of 2020, pushing the cumulative GPA to a program-best 3.11, and its number of community service hours recorded by the Helper Helper platform in 2019-20 ranked No. 4 among all Division I wrestling programs. A year earlier, the Mountaineers led all Division I wrestling programs in community service hours.

"I would like to thank JohnMark Bentley, Doug Gillin and the rest of the Appalachian State University athletics department for helping to shape me into the coach I am today," LeBlanc said. "I will be forever grateful to have had the opportunity to coach alongside Coach Bentley and work with the amazing student-athletes who have been part of the wrestling program these past four years. I would also like to thank his family for helping my wife and I become part of this community and always opening their door to us."

During his collegiate career at Indiana, LeBlanc amassed a career record of 103-51. He was a three-time NCAA qualifier (with a finish in the round of 12 as a senior), a three-time academic All-American, a two-year captain and a Big Ten Academic All-Conference team member for four straight seasons.

LeBlanc was also selected as the Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient, one of the most prestigious conference awards in college athletics. First awarded in 1915, the Medal of Honor is given to one student-athlete from the graduating class of each university who attains "the greatest proficiency in athletics and scholastic work."

A native of Morrisville, N.Y., he graduated in 2014 from Indiana with a bachelor's degree in exercise science before receiving his master's in sports management in 2016 at SUNY-Cortland and relocating to Boone with his wife, Morgan.

Thursday, 30 July 2020 20:20

L-R Men's Tennis Named All-Academic Team by ITA

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Lenoir-Rhyne men's tennis was named an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic team, posting a 3.8397 GPA for the 2019-20 academic year.

To be named an ITA All-Academic Team, programs must meet the following requirements: have a team grade point average of 3.2 or above (on a 4.00 scale), all student-athletes included should be listed on the institutional eligibility form, and all varsity letter winners should be factored into the cumulative team GPA for the current academic year.

In addition, ten of the eleven Bears were named 2020 ITA Scholar-Athletes. Patrick Alvestrand, Rhodri Atkinson, Alex Ayguavives, Mauricio Hernandez, William Hewett, Josh Lazenby, Paul Lenz, Tales Miranda, Lewis Scot, Eric Van Nunen,

To be named an ITA Scholar-Athlete, one must meet the following requirements: have a grade point average of at least 3.5 (on a 4.00 scale) for the current academic year and be listed on the institutional eligibility form

Thursday, 30 July 2020 20:17

Hickory High's Wood Named All-American

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App State women's soccer signee Izzi Wood (Hickory, N.C./Hickory High School) was honored by United Soccer Coaches as a member of the Scholar All-American and All-Region team.

The Hickory, N.C., native posted a solid 3.75 GPA, while she was one of 121 student-athletes from across the country, featuring 69 girls and 52 boys.

Before the season was canceled due to COVID-19, Wood was dominating her senior season with 12 goals and four assists in four matches at Hickory High School. She adds the prestigious academic honor to an already long list of awards from her high school career.

In her junior season, Wood was named to the US Soccer Coaches All-Mid Atlantic Region squad. She was recognized as the 4A/3A Northwestern Conference Player of the Year after being the top scorer in the North Carolina 3A with a whopping 53 goals and 14 assists, which was top 10 in the country. The staggering numbers led to her 2019 Charlotte Observer All-First Team selection and Offensive Player of the Year award.

Wood signed with 10 other freshmen that made up the signing class, giving the Black and Gold 11 newcomers for the 2020 campaign.

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