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Appalachian State University men's soccer head coach Jason O'Keefe is proud to announce the addition of assistant soccer coach Brad Franks to the staff.

 

O'Keefe and Franks are no stranger to each other, as the newly-hired assistant was coached by O'Keefe in his playing days at Elon.

 

"I am very excited for Brad to join our staff here at App State," coach O'Keefe said. "I would like to thank Shaun Utterson for his time as he helped our program grow tremendously while he was here. I have known Brad and his family for about 12 years. I coached his brother Jamie at Wake Forest and then coached Brad at Elon. Brad will help our program continue to strive for excellence every day and help us achieve all our goals in the future. Brad is a tremendous young coach who has an excellent eye for the game. Brad accomplished many things at Elon (as a player and asst. coach) that we want for our players here at App State. He will be a huge support for them as we continue in the process we are in. He will be instrumental in our players' development as young men and athletes."

 

Franks has been successful at all of his stops before arriving to the High Country, where High Point (2011-13) and Elon (2014-17) were a combined 66-46-24 and 31-17-15 in conference action.

 

In his most recent stint of four seasons at Elon, The Phoenix amassed a solid 37-23-15 overall mark and a 16-8-8 record in the Colonial Athletic Association. In 2015, Franks contributed to 14 wins en route to a share of the CAA regular-season title while also seeing Elon achieve the program's highest national ranking ever at No. 8 in the country. Franks and the Phoenix returned to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year absence and recorded the program's first-ever victory in the national tournament after a 3-0 win over Winthrop.

 

In 2014, Franks helped the Phoenix to nine victories during its first season in the Colonial Athletic Association. Franks was also critical in the development of Miguel Salazar becoming first team All-CAA while helping five other members to All-CAA accolades.

 

As a volunteer assistant at High Point, Franks' role included taking care of the Panthers' day-to-day operations, the planning and execution of practices and all video analysis. High Point won 21 games and achieved its first NSCAA national ranking during Franks' first tenure with the squad.

 

A four-year starter under Powell at Elon from 2007-10, Franks appeared in 77 matches for the Phoenix and tallied 22 points on five goals and 12 assists throughout his career. He earned first-team All-Southern Conference as a senior and second team accolades as a junior.

 

"A sincere thank you to Jason (O'Keefe), Doug Gillin and Appalachian State for this tremendous opportunity," Franks mentioned. "I am incredibly excited to get the chance to work with Jason and help continue to transform the App State Men's Soccer program. Through my time as a player at Elon, I watched Jason help turn Elon into a top program through the culture and accountability on and off the field. Jason shares my belief in developing these young men in all aspects of their lives. I wish my alma mater nothing but the best and want to say thank you to Dave Blank and Marc Reeves Reeves for the unbelievable working environment during my time at Elon.

 

Franks earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Elon in sport and event management in 2011. He also holds a National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

Scott Webster (Perth, Australia/Scotch College) and Milo Bargeron (Chislehurst, England/Bullerswood) represented Appalachian State University men's tennis receiving First-Team All-Sun Belt honors.

Webster was named all-first team singles and doubles for a second straight season, while Bargeron was named all-first-team doubles with Webster for the second time in as many years.

Webster is one of two seniors on the all-singles list and the only senior on the all-doubles team. Bargeron is one of four sophomores to boast a name on the first team in either singles or doubles.

The senior for App earns all-first team singles after leading the Black and Gold with a 15-4 mark. The 15 wins are the second most in his career and the highest number of victories since his freshman year. Webster has registered at least 13 singles victories, and 12 wins in doubles all four seasons at App.

Including his fall campaign, he went 4-1 at the ITA Oracle Master's Tournament en route to a consolidation title. He also defeated then-No. 33 Eduardo Mena (Tennessee Tech) and then-No. 117 Sam Philp from Mercer. Webster reached the 100-win plateau through singles and doubles action this season. Also, he is 11-1 over his last 12 matches.

It comes as no surprise that Bargeron and Webster were named all-first team singles, boasting an impressive 14-4 mark as the top tandem in the lineup. The pairing was also named First-Team All-Sun Belt last season with a 9-3 record. Over their previous 10 matches, they own a 9-1 mark and as a tandem, are a combined 23-7 in 30 contests as a duo.

Bargeron and Webster will aim to continue their run as partners on Friday against Louisiana in the first round of the Sun Belt Championships at 6:30 p.m. (ET) in Peachtree City, Ga.

2017-18 SUN BELT MEN'S TENNIS POSTSEASON AWARDS
All-Sun Belt First Team
Singles
Scott Webster, Appalachian State (Sr., Perth, Australia)
Stefano Di Aloy, Georgia Southern (So., Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Andrei Andrukhou, Georgia State (Sr., Minsk, Belarus)
Loic Cloes, South Alabama (So., Oreye, Belgium)
Clement Marzol, South Alabama (So., Toulouse, France)
Guanarteme Nuez, UTA (Jr., Las Palmas, Spain)

Doubles
Scott Webster (Sr., Perth, Australia) and Milo Bargeron (So., Chislehurst, England), Appalachian State
Loic Cloes (So., Oreye, Belgium) and Clement Marzol (So., Toulouse, France), South Alabama
Mauricio Del Rio (Jr., Irapuato, Mexico) and Guanarteme Nuez (Jr., Las Palmas, Spain), UTA

All-Sun Belt Second Team
Singles
Eddie Landin, Georgia Southern (Sr., Los Cabos, Mexico)
Sebastian Acuna, Georgia State (Sr., Miami, Fla.)
Giles Hussey, Georgia State (Jr., Swindon, England)
Elio Lago, Louisiana (So., Fortaleza, Brazil)
Mauricio del Rio, UTA (Jr., Irapuato, Mexico)
Enrique Pardo, UTA (Jr., Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain)

Doubles
Eddie Landin (Sr., Los Cabos, Mexico) and Diego Finkelstein (So., Sao Paulo, Brazil), Georgia Southern
Sebastian Acuna (Sr., Miami, Fla.) and Andrei Duarte (Fr., Atlanta, Ga.), Georgia State
Pierce Gilheany (Fr., Melbourne, Australia) and Pearse Dolan (So., Sydney, Australia), Louisiana

Player of the Year
Guanarteme Nuez, UTA (Jr., Las Palmas, Spain)

Player to Watch
Loic Cloes, South Alabama (So., Oreye, Belgium)

Newcomer of the Year
Enrique Pardo, UTA (Jr., Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain)

Freshman of the Year
Pelayo Antuña, Troy (Fr., Gijon, Spain)

Co-Coaches of the Year
Sander Koning, Georgia Southern
Jonathan Wolff, Georgia State

Thursday, 19 April 2018 07:55

Hickory Crawdads Sweep Lexington Legends

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The Hickory Crawdads closed out a three game sweep over the Lexington Legends with a 4-2 win. It was the first sweep of Lexington at the Frans since 2006.

Scoring kicked off in the bottom of the 3rd inning with a homerun by 'Dads shortstop Ryan Dorow. The Crawdads added another run to give them a 2-0 lead on a groundout by designated hitter Melvin Novoa that scored right fielder Chad Smith.

The 'Dads padded their lead in the 5th on a two run homerun by center fielder Pedro Gonzalez. Gonzalez, ranked as the number 19 prospect in the Rangers organization, already has two homeruns on the season after hitting 3 during the 2017 season and 2 in 2016.

Crawdads starter Tyler Phillips finished the morning with six shutout innings. The righty tallied 8 strikeouts no walks and 4 hits allowed.

The Legends rallied for two runs in the seventh off Alex Speas. Speas struck out the side while reaching 97 mph on the radar gun. Righty Joe Barlow pitched the last two innings, shutting down the Legends offense and recording his first save since the 2016 season.

Four student-athletes for Appalachian State University women's tennis received All-Sun Belt accolades on Wednesday, the conference office announced.

All four athletes in María José Zacarias (San Luis Potosi, Mexico/La Loma Centro Deportivo), Teodora Sevo (Futog, Serbia/ Ucenika Futog), Melissa Machado (Miami, Fla./Felix Varela) and Heidi Swope (Weddington, N.C./Weddington) received recognition by the conference for their solid regular seasons, which helped App double its win total from 2017 en route to a 10-10 mark (5-19 in 2017).

For Machado and Swope, it's their first recognition by the Sun Belt in the postseason, while Zacarias and Sevo's splash in their freshmen campaigns has led to both an all-singles and doubles honor. Sevo was also named the Sun Belt's Player to Watch as one of next season's top players to watch in the Sun Belt following 24 combined wins. Sevo is the first student-athlete from App to collect the prestigious achievement.

It's also the first time since 2015 and the first in the Blake Mosley Era that a student-athlete garnered a Sun Belt Postseason Award.

"This recognition from the Sun Belt validates all of the hard work the team has put in this season," coach Mosley said. "The awards the players received are very deserving, and I can't wait to see what they do in the conference tournament. Thank you to the Sun Belt coaches who voted for these achievements."

Swope and Zacarias were named to the First Team All-Sun Belt doubles team following a solid season of 11-6 as the No. 1 duo for the entire season. The pairing posted impressive wins against Power Five foes against Virginia Tech and NC State, while also picking up conference victories against Coastal Carolina and archrival Georgia Southern.

Zacarias was named all-second team singles with Sevo. Both first-year Mountaineers were No. 1 and No. 2 in the lineup, respectively. Zacarias was second on the team with 10 wins and defeated such opponents from VT, ODU and Charlotte, while at one point went on an 8-1 stretch over nine matches. She also had a solid showing in the fall with a win over TCU.

For Sevo, the freshman registered a team-high 11 victories as the No. 2 in the lineup. Sevo downed foes from Georgia State and Georgia Southern in conference action and toppled non-conference opponents against Charlotte, UNCG, and TCU.

On top of Sevo's 11 wins, her 13 wins in doubles with Machado helped the pairing to their all-second team doubles honor. The 13 wins are a team best and are 7-3 over their last 10 matches. Machado and Sevo picked up victories over such opponents as Charleston Southern, Virginia Tech, and Charlotte.

All four athletes and the Mountaineers will look to make a run in the Sun Belt Tournament on Thursday when they take on No. 10 seed Texas State in the first round. First serve is set for 11:30 a.m. in Peachtree City, Ga.
2017-18 SUN BELT WOMEN'S TENNIS POSTSEASON AWARDS

All-Sun Belt First Team

Singles
Iryna Vardanian, Coastal Carolina (Jr., Kiev, Ukraine)
Kristin Rehse, Georgia State (Sr., Hofheim, Germany)
Kelly Drew, Louisiana (Sr., Auckland, New Zealand)
Stefana Andrei, ULM (Sr., Bucharest, Romania)
Yu Fujioka, South Alabama (Fr., Tokyo, Japan)
Alexandria Stitler, South Alabama (Jr., Bradenton, Fla.)

Doubles
Heidi Swope (Jr., Weddington, N.C.) and Maria José Zacarias (Fr., San Luis Potosi, Mexico), Appalachian State
Iryna Vardanian (Jr., Kiev, Ukraine) and Natalie Wall (Sr., Liverpool, England), Coastal Carolina
Sara Bondar (Sr., Szeghalom, Hungary) and Somer Dalla-Bona (Fr., Bokarina, Australia), Coastal Carolina

All-Sun Belt Second Team

Singles
Teodora Sevo, Appalachian State (Fr., Futog, Serbia)
María José Zacarias, Appalachian State (Fr., San Luis Potosi, Mexico)
Rylie Cox, Coastal Carolina (So., Rockwall, Texas)
Arianne de Winter, Georgia Southern (So., Nieuwerkerk aan den Ijssel, South Holland, Netherlands)
Damira Muminovic, Georgia State (So., Tuzla, Bosnia)
Karolina Snita, ULM (So., Glowgow, Poland)
Agustina Serio, UTA (Sr., Tandil, Argentina)

Doubles
Melissa Machado (Sr., Miami, Fla.) and Teodora Sevo (Fr., Futog, Serbia), Appalachian State
Arianne de Winter (So., Nieuwerkerk aan den Ijssel, South Holland, Netherlands) and Paula Boixader (So., Barcelona, Spain), Georgia Southern
Stefana Andrei (Sr., Bucharest, Romania) and Karolina Snita (So., Glowgow, Poland), ULM

Player of the Year
Kristin Rehse, Georgia State (Sr., Hofheim, Germany)

Player to Watch
Teodora Sevo, Appalachian State (Fr., Futog, Serbia)

Newcomer of the Year
Iryna Vardanian, Coastal Carolina (Jr., Kiev, Ukraine)

Freshman of the Year
Yu Fujioka, South Alabama (Fr., Tokyo, Japan)

Coach of the Year
Rawia Elsisi, Troy

For the first time in his career, Appalachian State University men's tennis freshman Ben Webster (Perth, Australia/Scotch College) was named the Sun Belt's Men's Tennis Student-Athlete of the Week.

Webster is recognized by the conference after contributing to App's thrilling 4-3 win over Davidson last weekend. The freshman and his partner, Alex Pavkovich (Queensland Australia/Mansfield State), clinched the doubles point and their 14th win of the season to give the Black and Gold the lead, 1-0.

Later in the contest, Webster fought through for a 7-5, 6-4 triumph on Court No. 3 over Axel Fries to clinch the victory for App, which snapped a four-game skid and improved the Black and Gold's season mark to 11-10. Appalachian defeated a Davidson team that had won seven out of its eight previous contests and boasted a 7-2 home record going into the match.

Webster is one of two players (Scott Webster) to have 10 singles and 10 doubles wins. He is the first player this season for the Black and Gold to receive a Sun Belt weekly award and the first since his brother won in 2017.

Webster and the Mountaineers will look to make a run in the Sun Belt Championships on Friday when they play No. 2 seed Louisiana at 6:30 p.m. (ET) in Peachtree City, Ga.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:27

High School Baseball Results From Tuesday, 4/17/18

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Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference:
Bunker Hill: 3
Fred T. Foard: 2

Draughn: 12
Patton: 2

West Iredell: 10
East Burke: 1

Northwestern 3A/4A Conference:
Alexander Central: 13
Watauga: 6

Hickory: 7
Freedom: 2

St. Stephens: 8
McDowell: 6

South Caldwell: 9
West Caldwell: 0

South Fork Athletic 2A Conference:
Bandys: 7
East Lincoln: 3

Newton-Conover: 7
Lake Norman Charter: 4

North Lincoln: 8
Maiden: 3

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 08:26

High School Softball Results From Tuesday, 4/17/18

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Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference:
Draughn: 11
Patton: 1

Fred T. Foard: 3
Bunker Hill: 2

West Iredell: 7
East Burke: 3

Northwestern 3A/4A Conference:
Alexander Central: 11
Watauga: 3

Freedom: 16
Hickory: 0

South Caldwell: 8
West Caldwell: 3

South Fork Athletic 2A Conference:
Bandys: 6
East Lincoln: 5

Newton-Conover: 11
Lake Norman Charter: 4

Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference:
Fred T. Foard: 9
Bunker Hill: 0

Patton: 6
Draughn: 1

West Iredell: 1
East Burke: 0

Northwestern 3A/4A Conference:
Hickory: 7
Freedom: 0

St. Stephens: 7
McDowell: 2

Watauga: 4
Alexander Central: 1

South Fork Athletic 2A Conference:
Newton-Conover: 2
Bandys: 0

A first-inning grand slam from CJ Brown gave Appalachian State an early lead Tuesday, and Bailey Welch hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning, but visiting North Carolina Central won 7-6 by scoring two unearned runs in the top of the ninth inning.

The Mountaineers return to action Wednesday with a 5 p.m. home game against Western Carolina.

Joel McDaniel, Drew Beck and Conner Leonard also scored on the grand slam, which erased a 1-0 deficit, and App State (8-27) moved ahead 5-3 when Beck crossed home on Jason Avers' RBI double in the fifth inning.

The Eagles (22-18) managed to tie the game on a two-out, two-run single in the seventh inning, and Robert Langdon's one-out walk in the eighth set up Welch's run-scoring single to center with two away.

A dropped flyball opened the ninth inning, and North Carolina Central tied the game with a one-out single before pushing the go-ahead run across on a two-out error.­­

Welch went 3-for-5 with a triple to lead the Mountaineers' offense, and five App State pitchers combined to allow seven hits. Four of N.C. Central's runs were unearned.

"When Bailey lined out to lead off the first for us, it was still a sign that he's swinging the bat well, and he continued to do so throughout the night," App State head coach Kermit Smith said. "Our defense wasn't as sound as it needed to be to win the game."

A first-inning error led to an unearned run against starting pitcher Brandon Boone, who allowed three hits, gave up two earned runs, struck out four batters and issued six walks before leaving with two away in the fifth. Left-handed reliever Tristan Helms retired a left-handed hitter to strand two baserunners and help App State maintain a 4-3 lead.

Kaleb Bowman stranded two more baserunners when he entered with the score tied in the seventh, and he struck out two batters in a perfect eighth.

Additional injuries to an already short-handed team led to relief pitcher Bobby Hampton making his second outfield appearance of the season and relief pitcher Will Herman filling in at second base as McDaniel moved from shortstop to the outfield.

Herman, who actually started the first two games of an injury-shortened 2017 season at second base, batted for the first time since last February. He recorded the first stolen base of his career and had an infield hit in the ninth inning. Hampton, another junior, logged the first at-bat of his career and grounded out.

The Limestone Baseball Team (19-25) rallied from a nine-run deficit to defeat Lenoir-Rhyne (26-19), 12-11, in 10 innings of play Tuesday evening at FCU Founders Stadium in a non-conference, regional contest.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior first baseman Alex Reynolds (Charlotte, N.C.) hit two home runs including a grand slam while junior designated hitter Matthew Freeman (Belews Creek, N.C.) added a two-run home run as the Bears built an 11-2 advantage midway through the fifth inning.

The Saints scored the final 10 runs of the contest which included a seven-run seventh inning. Limestone won the game in the bottom of the 10th inning thanks to Chase Allen’s (Sharpsburg, Ga.) run-scoring single with one out.

Reynolds drove in five runs and Freeman totaled three hits but junior Griffin Templeton (Simpsonville, S.C.) (0-1) took the loss for the Bears.

For Limestone, John Staab (Cockeysville, Md.) and Kyle Strovink (Rocky Point, N.Y.) hit home runs while Michael Todd Harris (Union, S.C.) pitched three scoreless innings to earn the victory and improve to 2-2 on the season.

Lenoir-Rhyne’s pitchers struck out 11 batters to increase its league-leading total to 381.

Reynolds’ grand slam was the first by a Bear since Brandon Lam on Saturday, April 22, 2017, on the road against Newberry.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to face Coker in a South Atlantic Conference game Friday at 6:00 p.m.

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