Appalachian State University football held its final home workout of the season on Monday as preparations continued for Saturday’s Raycom Media Camellia Bowl versus Ohio (5:30 p.m. ET - ESPN).
Thanks to the weather, Monday’s practice was an unusual one. A steady rain fell throughout the day in the High Country, forcing the Mountaineers to move their workout into the Sofield Family Indoor Practice Facility. While Appalachian State’s defense practiced indoors for an hour and 20 minutes, the rain subsided, which allowed special-teams drills and the offensive portion of practice to be moved outdoors to Kidd Brewer Stadium.
The split practice was Appalachian’s final workout of the season in Boone. The Mountaineers will lift weights in the morning before boarding buses for the short drive to Hickory Regional Airport. App State’s charter flight will arrive in Montgomery, Ala., late in the afternoon and the Mountaineers will proceed directly to the team hotel. Appalachian will hold its first on-site practice on Wednesday.
SATTERFIELD TO APPEAR ON SIRIUSXM COLLEGE SPORTS NATION ON TUESDAY MORNING: Before making the journey to Montgomery, Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield will appear on SiriusXM College Sports Nation (Ch. 84) on Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Satterfield will be a guest on “The First Team” with former Alabama and NFL quarterback Greg McElroy and Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples. The national radio appearance is Satterfield’s second in less than a week, as he appeared on SiriusXM College Sports Nation’s “Full Ride” with Rick Neuheisel and Chris Childers last Thursday.
Appalachian’s first-ever NCAA bowl appearance can also be heard nationwide, as Saturday’s Camellia Bowl will be carried live on ESPN Radio.
THIS DATE IN APPALACHIAN FOOTBALL HISTORY: On December 14, 2012, Satterfield was named the 20th head coach in Appalachian State football history.
In three seasons as the head coach at his alma mater, Satterfield has posted a 21-15 record, including a 10-2 mark this season. He successfully guided Appalachian through the two-year transition from NCAA Division I FCS to Division I FBS and the Mountaineers have already matched the most wins ever by a team in its first season as a full-fledged member of FBS (formerly NCAA Division I-A). With a win over Ohio in Saturday’s Camellia Bowl, App State would break a tie with Marshall (10-3 in 1997) for the most victories by a team in its first full-fledged FBS campaign.
OFFENSIVE LINE GRANTS CHRISTMAS WISH: Appalachian State’s offensive line granted a Christmas wish to a local youngster on Monday evening when it presented him with a new bicycle following practice at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
“We want our guys to use their status as Appalachian State student-athletes as a platform to make a difference in the community,” co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford said. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to be a positive influence on others’ lives.”
The Mountaineers’ offensive line pitched in to raise funds to not only buy the youngster the bike that he wanted for Christmas, but also provided him with a safety helmet and authentic Appalachian State football jersey. Student-athletes from across the team joined in the spirit by stopping to sign autographs as they left the field after practice.
Community service has been one of Satterfield’s primary initiatives as Appalachian State’s head coach and, under Ledford’s direction, the Mountaineers’ offensive linemen have been particularly active in the community. In addition to partnering with Watauga County Schools to grant a Christmas wish, App State’s o-linemen have volunteered their time at the Hospitality House in Boone and delivered turkeys to less-fortunate families throughout the High Country prior to Thanksgiving.
The Catawba Valley Red Hawks Volleyball Program is proud to announce the addition of Courtney Eckmann to the 2016 roster. Eckmann signed on Thursday, December 10th at Cedar Ridge High School with the administration, athletic director, high school coaches, club coach and CVCC coaches present. Parents Kyle and Kim Eckmann were also there for the event which included comments from her coaches and the athletic director and refreshments for friends and family.
Eckmann was a two-year letter winner for the Cedar Ridge High School Wolves who finished the 2015 season 24-4 overall and 12-0 in conference. Her high school coaches Charlie Oakley and Linda Osterman commented about Courtney's leadership. "She is an outstanding leader who was a great contributor both on and off the court. Eckmann is a versatile player who will be a huge asset to the CVCC team."
Eckmann as an outside hitter led the Wolves who placed 3rd in the NCHSAA AAA State Championship tournament with 208 kills for the season at 2.5 kills per set. She also contributed defensively with 3.3 digs per set and 19 total blocks for the season. She earned All-Conference honors as a junior and senior.
Eckmann plays club for the Jammers under the direction of Coach Michael Hodge.
Eckmann plans to pursue a career in Business and Marketing and will study in Germany after she earns her Associate in Arts degree from Catawba Valley.
Coach Hudson is looking forward to the intensity that Courtney brings to the court. "Courtney plays the game with consistency and determination and I know she will be a huge asset to our program."
Lenoir-Rhyne University has announced that Neill McGeachy, Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics will retire, following 14 years of service. He also serves as Executive Director of the Piedmont Educational Foundation/Bears Club, the official fundraising arm of the LR Department of Athletics."Neill McGeachy has been a transformational leader at Lenoir-Rhyne,” said Wayne B. Powell, President of the University. “Not only has he brought the athletic program to one of national prominence, but he also has been an integral part of our growth and positioning as a university. We look forward to his continued involvement with LR."
McGeachy’s connection to Lenoir-Rhyne began when he enrolled as a student; he is a 1965 graduate of the then, Lenoir-Rhyne College. He was thrilled to have the opportunity to return to his alma mater and join the athletics department team in 2002. It was during his first year at LRU, that McGeachy was credited with increasing the football season attendance two-fold (13,958 to 28,625) which led the NCAA Division II nationally in percentage of improvement that year. LR’s attendance has continued to rise, leading the South Atlantic Conference nine of the past 10 years.
In addition, McGeachy renewed the enthusiasm for LR football through his decision to return to night football games and create a pre-game festival environment that has included sponsored corporate tents, college and community recognition events as well as entertainment. He also implemented the PEF Bears Club Gala, the LR/Moretz Sports Championship Series and worked to expand radio broadcast sponsorships as well as affinity and corporate partnerships.
Under McGeachy’s leadership, the number of student-athletes has continued to grow (a 46% increase over a seven-year period) and eight sports have been added to the LR athletics program including tennis, swimming, lacrosse, and track and field. His collaborative efforts with all constituents of LRU have directly impacted the overall enrollment growth and retention rates of the University.
During his tenure at LRU, he remained an active member of the community, becoming a popular speaker, and member – as well as past Board of Director - of the Hickory Rotary Club. Regionally, he also served as Chair of the South Atlantic Conference AD Council through June of 2010.
Before joining the staff of LRU, McGeachy served as director of marketing with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southern Section in Atlanta. Prior to the USTA, he served as founder and president of Sugar Creek Enterprises, Inc., a sports promotions company with offices in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, for 20 years.
McGeachy’s knowledge and passion for sports stems from his own success as a student athlete. At Lenoir-Rhyne, McGeachy was a three-sport standout for the Bears in football, basketball and track. In 1987, he was inducted into the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame in 1999.
Born in Charlotte and raised in Statesville, McGeachy has maintained an affinity for North Carolina. He has two grown children, a son and a daughter and four grandchildren.
“Neill is truly one of a kind. It has been privilege to have him as a colleague and friend,” Dr. Powell added. “We are grateful for the dynamic leadership, commitment and energy that Neill has shared with LRU. His name and the impact he has had on the University will be remembered long after his retirement.”
McGeachy suffered a mild stroke in September and continues to improve daily, with the support of family and friends. He will retire in the late spring, prior to the close of the 2015-16 academic year.
A search for a new Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics will begin immediately, according to University officials. Brent Heaberlin, Associate Athletic Director, has been serving as acting Athletic Director in the absence of McGeachy.
The Appalachian State University women’s basketball team (1-6) gave the North Carolina Tar Heels all they could handle, but the upset bid fell short Saturday afternoon, 69-58, in Carmichael Arena.
App State Starters: #2 Farrahn Wood (Kernersville, N.C./Forsyth Country Day), #10 Joi Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth), #23 KeKe Cooper (Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman), #34 Madi Story (Bandys/Maiden, N.C.), #42 Mia Marshall (Lilburn, Ga./Lilburn)
North Carolina Starters: #5 Stephanie Watts, #10 Jamie Cherry, #24 Destinee Walker, #30 Hillary Summers, #34 Xylina McDaniel
A season-high three players scored in double figures with Kaila Craven (Asheboro, N.C./Southwest Randolph) tallying a team-high 15 points, just one shy of her career best. Cooper poured in a season-high 12 points on an efficient 5-for-7 shooting from the field to go along with nine boards, just one rebound short of her second double-double of the season. Story put in an all-around performance with 11 points, four boards and three assists.
Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington,Ohio/UT Martin) and Marshall dominated the boards combining for 22 off the glass. Bassett-Smith set a new career-high racking up 12 rebounds while Marshall snagged 10 boards. Along with Cooper, the trio recorded 52.5 percent of the team’s rebounds, as App State held a 59-44 edge over UNC (6-4).
Shooting and free throws once again doomed the Apps, firing up a season-high 80 field goal attempts but converted just 27.5 percent to the Tar Heels’ 41 percent from the floor. North Carolina also doubled Appalachian’s 16 free throw attempts with 32 foul shots.
App State’s defense forced North Carolina into a season-high 23 turnovers while converting the miscues into 21 points. Appalachian also brought down 21 offensive boards to UNC’s eight, and the reserves outscored UNC’s bench 26-4. App State also assisted 13 of its 22-made field goals, which is the second consecutive game Appalachian has assisted on over 50 percent of its field goals.
The Apps and the Tar Heels both struggled from the field in the first half with both squads shooting under 32 percent from the floor. It wasn’t until the 7:54 mark that either team would score with Story hitting the back end of a trip to the free throw line.
All UNC needed was a 10-0 run over the next 1:21 to go ahead, 10-1, before eventually going into the second quarter with a 17-6 advantage. The Apps wouldn’t go away quietly outscoring the home team 12-9 in the second period.
Like the first quarter, both teams didn’t score for the first 2:59 of the frame. Trailing 19-9 with 3:40 left in the first half, a 6-2 spurt from App State sliced the deficit to six, 21-15, thanks to three-straight points from Bria Carter (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) followed by a Wood trifecta. Appalachian outscored UNC 9-7 over the run to keep the gap to single digits, 26-18 before halftime.
The Apps came out on a roll to start the third quarter with an 11-6 run over the first 3:49 to bring the score to three, 32-29. Five different players, including a pair of treys from Craven and Wood spearheaded the spurt while Wood, Marshall and Story all chipped in with buckets.
North Caroline would respond with a run of its own outscoring the Mountaineers 12-2 to take its largest lead at 13, 44-31. However, Appalachian dug deep during the rest of the contest to put the Tar Heels on the edge.
UNC went into the fourth with a 49-38 lead and at one point held a 53-41 advantage with 8:04 left in the game. App State finally started getting shots to fall with five-straight made buckets that were highlighted with two apiece from Story and Cooper. The 10-2 run trimmed the deficit to four, 55-51, with 5:21 left in the contest.
Both teams traded baskets the rest of the way, preventing the Apps to go over the hump. Marshall’s layup with 1:04 left gave the Apps a chance to get a stop-and-score to put App State within one possession, but UNC’s Jamie Cherry hit her only 3-pointer to put the Tar Heels up by eight en route to the win.
Cherry led all scorers with 20 points while Stephanie Watts led UNC with 12 rebounds.
App State will return to the Holmes Center on Thursday against Richmond at 7 p.m.
North Piedmont Conference:
Alexander Central: 68
South Iredell: 43
South Mountain Athletic Conference:
Kings Mountain: 51
Southern District 7:
East Lincoln: 42
Bunker Hill: 45
West Caldwell: 34
North Piedmont Conference:
Alexander Central: 60
South Iredell: 42
South Mountain Athletic Conference:
Kings Mountain: 47
Southern District 7:
East Lincoln: 84
Bunker Hill: 44
West Caldwell: 50
A.C. Reynolds: 65
The Hickory Metro Sports Commission has announced the pairings for the 29th annual Dick's Sporting Goods Classic Tournament scheduled for Monday, December 28 thru Wednesday, December 30, 2015. The tournament will feature the men's and women's teams from eight area high schools competing in the three day event.
Hickory is the top seed in the men's bracket and will play #8 St. Stephen's at 8:30 p.m. at Catawba Valley Community College, which serves as the site for all tournament games. The other opening round match-ups in the men's division include #2 Maiden versus #7 Newton-Conover (11:30 a.m.), #3 Bunker Hill versus #6 South Caldwell (2:30 p.m.), and #4 Alexander Central versus #5 Fred T. Foard (5:30 p.m.).
Undefeated South Caldwell is the top seed in the women's bracket and will play #8 Fred T. Foard at 7:00 p.m. at Catawba Valley Community College, which serves as the site for tournament games. The other opening round match-ups in the women's division include #2 Hickory versus #7 Bunker Hill (10:00 a.m.), #3 Maiden versus #6 Newton-Conover (1:00 p.m.), and #4 Alexander Central versus #5 St. Stephens (4:00 p.m.).
The Dick's Sporting Goods Classic has been well known throughout the region as the premier holiday high school event over the past 28 years. The Hickory Metro Sports Commission serves as the host organization for the event and distributes the gate receipts among the participating schools. Following the 2014 event each high school playing in the event received a donation of more than $3,200.
Conference Passes are not accepted for this event, including Northwestern 3A/4A, North Piedmont and Southern District 7 Conference Passes.
South Caldwell's Butch Carter is stepping down as the head coach of the Spartans football team as he has resigned his post.
In 15 seasons at the helm of the Spartans, Carter ammased a record of 104-79 and made 11 playoff appearances
South Caldwell will begin a search for only their sixth head coach in school history.
Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Joe Ray has been named to the 2015 AFCA NCAA Division II Coaches All-American Team. AFCA is the American Football Coaches Association.
Ray, a senior offensive guard from Atlanta, Ga., garners All-American honors for the third straight season and leaves Lenoir-Rhyne as one of the best players in school history.
This year, Ray won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy – given annually to the top offensive lineman in the South Atlantic Conference – for the third time and was once again a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award. The Gene Upshaw Award is given to the top lineman in Division II.
Ray, a four-year starter on the offensive line, has anchored a unit that has paved the way for the Bears to lead NCAA Division II in rushing offense the past three seasons including this fall (384.7 yards per game).
In 2014, Lenoir-Rhyne finished 11-1 on the season and rushed for a 416.2 yards per game – a single-season average record for NCAA Division II – and ended the year ranked No. 8 in the nation.
Two years ago, the Bears earned a berth in the NCAA Division II Championship game and rushed for an all-time NCAA record for a season (5,563 yards) while finishing 13-2 on the season.
Ray, a three-time all-league and all-region first-team honoree (2013-15), has been a part of four South Atlantic Conference Championships teams and three squads who earned berths to the postseason.
The AFCA has selected an All-America team since 1945 and currently selects teams in all five of its divisions. What makes these teams so special is that they are the only ones chosen exclusively by the men who know the players the best — the coaches themselves.
2015 AFCA NCAA Division II
Coaches’ All-America Team
QB - Jason Vander Laan, 6-4, 245, Sr., Ferris State (Mich.), Tony Annese, Frankfort, Ill. (Chicago Christian)
RB - Damian Baker, 5-8, 195, Sr., Carson-Newman (Tenn.), Ken Sparks, Columbus, Miss. (Columbus)
RB - Ja’Quan Gardner, 5-7, 190, So., Humboldt State (Calif.), Rob Smith, Ceres, Calif. (Central Valley)
WR - Jon Schnaars, 6-3, 210, Sr., East Stroudsburg (Pa.), Denny Douds, Harrisburg, Pa. (Central Dauphin)
WR - Reece Horn, 6-3, 215, Sr., Indianapolis (Ind.), Bob Bartolomeo, Carmel, Ind. (Cathedral)
TE - Adam Shahee, 6-6, 240, So., Ashland (Ohio), Lee Owens, Galena, Ohio (Big Walnut)
OL - Shane Thompson, 6-3, 245, Sr., Texas A&M-Commerce, Colby Carthel, Keller, Texas (Fossil Ridge)
OL - Cory Tucker, 6-4, 305, Sr., Slippery Rock (Pa.), George Mihalik, South Park, Pa. (South Park)
OL - Joe Ray, 6-1, 270, Sr., Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.), Ian Shields, Atlanta, Ga. (Druid Hills)
OL - Chris Reaper, 6-3, 280, Sr., Findlay (Ohio), Rob Keys, Toledo, Ohio (Whitmer)
OL - Jordan Morgan, 6-4, 300, Jr., Kutztown (Pa.), Jim Clements, Philadelphia, Pa. (Parkway Northwest)
DL - Josh Gordon, 6-2, 255, Sr., Minnesota State, Todd Hoffner, Milwaukee, Wis. (Wisconsin Lutheran)
DL - Justin Woods-West, 6-2, 265, Sr., Central State (Ohio), Cedric Pearl, Detroit, Mich. (Kettering)
DL - Morgan Fox, 6-4, 260, Sr., Colorado State-Pueblo, John Wristen, Fountain, Colo. (Fountain-Fort Carson)
DL - Clayton Callicutt, 6-4, 275, Sr., Angelo State (Texas), Will Wagner, Crosby, Texas (Crosby)
LB - Kyle Kitchens, 6-2, 205, So., Catawba (N.C.), Curtis Walker, Decatur, Georgia (Decatur)
LB - Jewell Ratliff, 6-1, 240, Sr., Tuskegee (Ala.), Willie Slater, New Orleans, La. (McDonogh 35)
LB - Alex Wahl, 6-2, 235, Sr., Upper Iowa, Tom Shea, Elgin, Ill. (Larkin)
DB - Michael Jordan, 6-0, 200, Sr., Missouri Western State, Jerry Patridge, Hazelwood, Mo. (Hazelwood Central)
DB - Marqui Christian, 6-1, 205, Sr., Midwestern State (Texas), Bill Maskill, Spring, Texas (Spring)
DB - Solomon St. Pierre, 5-11, 180, Sr., Sioux Falls (S.D.), Jed Stugart, Wagner, S.D. (Wagner)
DB - Jordan Shaw, 6-2, 215, Sr., Shorter (Ga.), Phil Jones, Jasper, Ga. (Pickens County)
PK - Brent Wahle, 6-2, 175, Sr., Ohio Dominican, Bill Conley, Pataskala, Ohio (Bishop Hartley)
P - Brett Benes, 6-0, 180, Jr., Charleston (W.Va.), Pat Kirkland, Boca Raton, Fla. (Cardinal Newman)
AP - Tyreek Hill, 5-10, 185, Sr., West Alabama, Brett Gilliland, Douglas, Ga. (Coffee)
Bunker Hill: 44
Fred T. Foard: 29
East Burke: 59
South Caldwell: 50
Alexander Central: 33
Alexander Central: 72
South Caldwell: 39
East Burke: 86
Fred T. Foard: 40
Bunker Hill: 34
Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball fell to Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute 92-71 Wednesday night at CVCC. Mon'Darius Black led CVCC with 20 points.
The Red Hawks fall to 7-4 on the season. They will play at Lenoir Community College on Saturday.
Caldwell Community College improves to 8-2 on the season. They host Central Carolina Community College on Saturday.