Sports (412)

Lenoir-Rhyne's Noah McRea (Hickory, N.C.) and Alyx Koert (Naples, Fla.) were named 2015-16 honorable mention Scholar All-Americans by the CSCAA. CSCAA is the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America.

McRea, a sophomore psychology major with a 3.99 grade point average, earned a “B” cut qualifying time in the men’s 400-yard individual medley for the second straight year in 2016. The 400-yard individual medley (4:02.39) is one of six events which McRea holds the school record.

McRea, who was named the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Men’s Swimmer Of The Week this past October, was also part of Lenoir-Rhyne’s 400-yard medley relay which set a school record (3:29) at last year’s championship.

Koert, a freshman history major with a 3.50 grade point average, earned her NCAA Division II “B” cut qualifying time in the women’s 1,650-yard freestyle relay (a school-record 17:22.70). Koert also holds Lenoir-Rhyne records in the 500-yard and 1,000-yard freestyle events and the 50-yard and 200-yard backstrokes.

Koert was also part of the women’s 800-yard freestyle relay (7:53.61) which set the school record at the 2016 Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championship last February in Rock Hill, S.C.

To be selected to the CSCAA Scholar All-America Team, swimmers and divers must have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and have participated in their respective NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Honorable Mention selections have similarly achieved a GPA of 3.50 and achieved a "B" time standard or competed at their respective qualifying meets.

The College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) has selected a record 853 swimmers and divers for its Scholar All-America team with 928 students were garnering honorable mentioned accolades.

Spencer Bridges has been named assistant athletics director for marketing at Appalachian State University and will begin his post on Aug. 1, announced by senior associate athletics director for development Brian Tracy on Wednesday.

“We are pleased to welcome Spencer to the Appalachian family,” said Tracy. “His varied experiences in intercollegiate athletics and the business community will allow us to grow our marketing efforts.”

Bridges will hold the direct responsibility for all marketing and promotional campaigns, brand development and game entertainment for the athletics programs and shoulder initiatives in support of the mission of the Appalachian State athletics department. He will coordinate marketing plans for all athletic programs and plan promotional events to gain fan attendance and enthusiasm.

“I am thrilled with this opportunity to join the Appalachian State athletics family,” said Bridges. “After meeting Doug Gillin and Brian Tracy, I believe that their strategic vision will allow Appalachian State to be competitive both academically and athletically. I am also excited to work with the passionate and devoted Appalachian State fans.”

Prior to his arrival at Appalachian, Bridges served as the director of licensing relations/strategic marketing at Pro-Ad Sports Inc. in Atlanta, Ga. While he was there, he led the development and execution of all B2B and B2C efforts, including marketing strategy, corporate relations, acquisition of well suited partners, obtained new retail channels, improved workflow and advancement of market penetration.

He also spent time working for IMG as a coordinator for non-apparel management.

In the collegiate athletics space, Bridges brings five years as a marketing associate at the University of Kentucky. While in Lexington, he developed, planned and implemented department marketing strategies, sales campaigns and sponsorship activation plans for football, men’s basketball baseball, women’s basketball and women’s soccer. He planned and executed over 400 events and created and launched season ticket campaigns.

Some of Bridges’ notable events include the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Celebration, Game Day Ready Tours, Big Blue Madness, hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, Big Blue U, Wildcat Refuge, 5K for 5K and the CATSPY awards.

A two-time graduate of the University of Kentucky, Bridges earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in marketing and management in 2010. He earned his Master’s of Science degree in sports management in 2012.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016 10:25

App State Football Sets Fan Fest Day

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Appalachian State University football’s annual Fan Fest is set for Saturday, Aug. 13 at Kidd Brewer Stadium. We are excited to announce this year’s edition of Fan Fest will be slightly different than in years past. The changing format will be more interactive for children to participate and interact in limited instruction with student-athletes from the football team and fall olympic sports teams.

Fan Fest begins at 5:30 p.m. with an EXCLUSIVE half-hour window for members of the Junior Mountaineer Kids Club and their parents to get autographs with their favorite Appalachian State football student-athletes and coaches before the gates open for the general public.

The gates open for the general public at 6 p.m. and student-athletes and coaches will be available for autographs until 7 p.m.

The Junior Mountaineer Kids Club is the official club for App State fans in eighth grade or younger. In addition to the exclusive early admission to Fan Fest, Junior Mountaineer Kids Club members also receive:

• membership pack with a FREE Junior Mountaineer Kids Club t-shirt, official membership credential and special gift

• FREE admission to Sept. 10 football home opener versus Old Dominion and exclusive tailgate!

• FREE admission to ALL other Appalachian State home athletic events, including men’s and women’s basketball and baseball

• And so much more!

Annual membership for the Junior Mountaineer Kids Club costs just $35 per child - additional JMKC members in the same family are $30. Pre-registrations will be taken until Wednesday, August 10 at 5 p.m. All JMKC members will be able to pick up their membership packet the day of Fan Fest and will be able to register for JMKC on site.

To pre-register, mail the registration form to:

Junior Mountaineer Kids Club
425 Jack Branch Drive
Boone, NC 28608


You can register by calling assistant director of fan engagement and promotions Shae Welsey at (828) 262-2548 or by email at

Saturday, August 13 • Kidd Brewer Stadium
5 p.m. — On-site registration for Junior Mountaineer Kids Club
5:30-6 p.m. — Exclusive autograph with Appalachian State football student-athletes and coaches for JMKC members only
6-7 p.m. — Gates open for the general public

Note: In an effort to allow as many fans as possible to collect autographs, student-athletes and coaches will be limited to signing one item per fan.

The Hickory Crawdads entered the seventh inning with a one-run lead Tuesday afternoon only to see their normally standout defense suffer a lapse, as the 'Dads committed three errors in the seventh and another miscue in the eighth resulting in a 6-3 loss to the Lakewood BluClaws at FirstEnergy Park.

The Crawdads took a 3-2 lead into the seventh frame, before the BlueClaws used a pair of walks from 'Dads reliever Christian Torres along with errors by shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri, catcher Tyler Sanchez, and third baseman Ti'Quan Forbes to score three unearned runs to take a 5-3 lead. The 'Claws then picked up another tally with the help of a fielding error by Crawdads second baseman Frandy De La Rosa in the eighth for the final 6-3 score. The four errors are tied for the most allowed by the 'Dads this season, who entered the game with the third best fielding percentage in the South Atlantic League.

Hickory jumped out to the initial lead in the game in the second, when Forbes and Jose Almonte reached on singles before both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch by Lakewood starter Seranthony Dominguez. Eric Jenkins followed with an RBI groundout before De La Rosa delivered an RBI base knock to right to put the 'Dads ahead 2-0.

The Crawdads still led 2-0 in the top of the second when manager Steve Mintz was ejected by home plate umpire Jason Johnson following a strikeout by Yrizarri. The 'Dads butted heads with the umpires again in the bottom of the third, when BlueClaws slugger Jose Pujols hit what was originally ruled an RBI double off the top of the fence in right-center field. The umpires then conferred and changed the ruling to a game-tying, two-run home run, prompting interim manager Matt Hagen to enter into a lengthy argument.

When play resumed, the Crawdads quickly regained the lead in the top of the fourth, when LeDarious Clark lined the first pitch of the inning over the right field fence for solo shot and a 3-2 Hickory advantage.

The score held until the seventh, where two walks by Torres and a fielding error by Yrizarri loaded the bases for Lakewood with two outs. Torres then induced a weak ground ball up the first base line that Sanchez tried to field, but the All-Star backstop slipped and fell on the play allowing two unearned runs to score. An ensuing fielding error by Forbes at third base brought in another unearned tally for a 5-3 'Claws lead. Lakewood picked up one last insurance run in the eighth on two singles, a hit-by-pitch, and a fielding error by De La Rosa for the 6-3 final score.

Torres (0-1) took the hard-luck loss for the Crawdads after allowing three unearned runs on two hits, four walks, and five strikeouts over three innings out of the bullpen. BlueClaws reliever Zach Morris (5-1) earned the win with three shutout innings pitched on four hits and two strikeouts.

Clark led the 'Dads bats in the game, finishing 2-4 with his fifth homer of the year. Dylan Moore also had a multi-hit game after going 2-4 with a double, while Sanchez went 1-2 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch to extend his season-best hitting streak to 10 consecutive games.

The Crawdads (16-15/54-47) have an off day on Wednesday before beginning a weeklong homestand on Thursday, July 28th, with first pitch against the Hagerstown Suns scheduled for 7:00 pm from L.P. Frans Stadium.

Appalachian State University head women’s golf coach Heather Brown revealed the 2016 fall schedule on Tuesday. The Mountaineers will participate in four tournaments in the fall – two in North Carolina and two in South Carolina.

"This fall we play a tight, competitive schedule," Brown said. "We are eager to open up at East Carolina which will demand our best right out of the gate and spur us to compete well to the finish."

Appalachian begins the first two days of the fall slate at the 2016 Lady Pirate tournament hosted by East Carolina University (Sept. 26-27). The Mountaineers finished 13th at the tournament last season.

A couple weeks later, App State women’s golf will participate in the 2016 Terrier Classic hosted by Wofford on Oct. 10-11. The Black and Gold tied for fifth in the tournament last season with Emily Stinson (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) leading the board for App in a tie for 13th place with a tournament total of 154.

Next up will be a three-day event at Western Carolina’s Bill Berg Invitational on Oct. 16-18 in Hayesville, N.C. before they close the fall schedule at the 2016 Winthrop Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C. on Oct. 22-23. Last season in Rock Hill, the Mountaineers finished third in the tournament with Savanna Wood (Boone, N.C./Watauga) tying for first place with a tournament total of 148.


Date - Tournament/Opponent - Location

Sept. 26-27 - 2016 Lady Pirate - Greenville, N.C.

Oct. 10-11 - 2016 Terrier Classic - Spartanburg, S.C.

Oct. 16-18 - Bill Berg Invitational - Hayesville, N.C.

Oct. 22-23 - 2016 Winthrop Invitational - Rock Hill, S.C.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is proud to announce the eight-member Class of 2016 for the organization’s prestigious Hall of Fame. The class will be the 30th honored by the NCHSAA when they are inducted at a banquet ceremony on April 9, 2017 in Chapel Hill.

The eight selected are chosen based on their long-term contributions to high school interscholastic athletics in the NCHSAA or in the parent organizations that gave rise to the NCHSAA. This year’s eight honorees include Ralph “Jug” Wilson.

The late Ralph “Jug” Wilson began his coaching career as a football coach at Glen Alpine High School in 1949. Between that time and 1973 when the school was consolidated into Freedom High School, Wilson’s teams won four Regional State Championships (1961, 1962, 1964 & 1965) and finished as regional runner up twice (1966 & 1967). His teams compiled an impressive 198-60-8 mark at Glen Alpine including 12 conference championships and a single conference co-championship. He also served as Glen Alpine’s men’s basketball coach for 15 years, the women’s basketball coach for 10 years, the school’s baseball coach and men’s track coach winning four more conference championships collectively. Wilson was integral in the creation of the Skyline Conference and served many years in various administrative capacities.

When Glen Alpine was consolidated into Freedom in 1973, Wilson coached the football team until 1983, winning three conference championships while posting a 64-39-1 record. He was also the school’s track coach, winning two conference titles, while serving as the school’s athletic director. Wilson coached many football all-star games including the North/South Game on four occasions, the 1966 NC Shrine Bowl team and the East/West All Star Game. He was a longtime member of the Glen Alpine United Methodist Church and a charter member of the Morganton Breakfast Optimist Club. In the summer, Wilson enjoyed coaching T-Ball Summer Leagues and managing the Shuey Field baseball and softball complex for Morganton Recreation Department. He was inducted into the WNC Sports Hall of Fame and the Burke County Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.

This class brings the total number enshrined in the Hall of Fame to 180 members.

Rowan County: 8
Caldwell County: 5
Post 29 ends the season in third place in the state tournament

The Hickory Crawdads' July 25th game in Lakewood, NJ has been postponed due to rain. The 'Dads and BlueClaws will make up the contest when the Crawdads return to Lakewood in August, with a doubleheader scheduled for Tuesday, August 16th at 5:05 pm.

The 'Dads will wrap up their now three-game series vs. the 'Claws on Tuesday, July 26th, with first pitch scheduled for 11:05 am. The rainout comes on the next-to-last day of a weeklong road trip for the Crawdads, which saw the team sweep three games in Delmarva before splitting their first two contests in Lakewood.

The 'Dads return to L.P. Frans Stadium for a weeklong homestand running Thursday, July 28th through Wednesday, August 3rd, including the club's Chick-fil-A Christian Concert featuring a Big Daddy Weave post-game concert on Saturday, July 30th.

Appalachian State University volleyball was among 131 NCAA Division I volleyball programs to earn a spot on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) list of Team Academic Award winners on Monday.

The Mountaineers are one of just five Sun Belt Conference teams to be named to the AVCA’s list for the 2015-16 campaign, joining Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern and Little Rock.

“For another year, I get to be proud of the hard work our players put into their academic lives,” said head coach Matt Ginipro. “It’s a pretty amazing group who puts just as much time and effort in the classroom as they do on the court.”

Appalachian’s honor marks its eighth appearance on the Team Academic Award list and its seventh in a row during the tenure of head coach Matt Ginipro. The Apps have now earned the award a total of 10 times since its inception during the 1992-93 academic year.

In order to be named to the list, teams must compile a cumulative grade point averaged of 3.30 for the academic year. A record-total of 762 volleyball programs earned team academic honors, which broke the previous year’s total of 757. The list includes teams from all three NCAA women’s divisions, NCAA men’s volleyball, NAIA schools, two-year colleges, NCCAA institutions and high schools.

The Hickory Crawdads saw their season-best six game win streak come to a close Sunday afternoon, as the 'Dads dropped a lopsided game against the Lakewood BlueClaws with a 15-3 final score from FirstEnergy Park.

The Crawdads pitching staff entered Sunday's contest with only five total runs allowed over their past 37 innings pitched spanning four consecutive Hickory wins. The BlueClaws roughed up the 'Dads however to the tune of 15 runs on 14 hits and five walks en route to handing the Crawdads a 12-run defeat, tied for the club's largest loss of the year. The only 'Dad to pitch and not allow a run was OF/DH Connor McKay, who became the fourth Crawdad position player to pitch this season when he tossed a perfect eighth inning.

Lakewood wasted no time in jumping on the scoreboard, as the hometown team plated two runs in the first and four in the second to take a 6-0 lead. Hickory responded in the top of the third when Eduard Pinto led off the frame with a leadoff single which was followed two batters later by a 2-run home run to left by Ricky Valencia to cut the 'Dads deficit to 6-2.

The 'Claws came back with three more runs of their own in the bottom of the third to chase Crawdads starting pitcher Jonathan Hernandez and take a 9-2 lead. Lakewood pulled away from there with two more runs in the fifth and four tallies in the seventh for a 15-2 advantage. The Crawdads put up one final run in the ninth when Valencia, Yeyson Yrizarri, Ti'Quan Forbes, and Jose Almonte all singled for the final 15-3 score.

Nine different BlueClaws batters finished with at least one RBI, led by Cornelius Randolph who collected 3 RBI while going 1-4 with a double and a sacrifice fly. Number nine batter Grenny Cumana also posted a big game, going 4-5 with a double, an RBI, and three runs scored.

The 'Dads bats were led by Valencia, who collected his second homer of the year in a 2-4 game including two RBI and two runs scored. Pinto finished 1-3 with a walk and a run scored, while Almonte went 1-3 with an RBI and a hit-by-pitch.

Hernandez (7-8) took the loss for Hickory after allowing a season-high nine runs on six hits and three walks over a season-low two innings pitched. Lakewood starter Alberto Tirado (2-1) collected the win after giving up two runs on three hits, two walks, and five strikeouts over five innings pitched.

The Crawdads (16-14/54-46) will look to get back in the win column in game three of their 4-game series against the BlueClaws (17-13/46-53) Monday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

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