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Friday, 19 January 2018 09:49

App's Gossett to Play in Senior Bowl

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Appalachian State offensive lineman Colby Gossett has accepted an invitation to play in the prestigious Senior Bowl on Jan. 27 in Mobile, Ala.

The Reese's Senior Bowl will be held at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, where Gossett's illustrious App State career ended with a 34-0 victory against Toledo in the Dollar General Bowl on Dec. 23. The postseason all-star game will be shown on the NFL Network at 2:30 p.m. ET on the last Saturday in January.

Last year, 85 players from the Senior Bowl were drafted by NFL teams. The 6-foot-6, 320-pound Gossett joins receiver Brian Quick, who was a second-round draft pick in 2012, and receiver Dexter Jackson, who was a second-round pick in 2008, as App State players to participate in the Senior Bowl.

Ranked in the preseason as the No. 2 draft-eligible prospect in the Sun Belt Conference by SouthernPigskin.com, Gossett played right guard for the Mountaineers and finished his college career with 46 consecutive starts. He made the All-Sun Belt first team in each of his last two seasons and led App State in 2017 with 76 knockdown blocks, including 21 pancakes.

Gossett played alongside right tackle and fellow senior Beau Nunn on an offensive line that allowed only eight sacks in 2017 (No. 2 among FBS teams) and helped the Mountaineers rush for more than 300 yards in each of their last three games. App State ranked in the top 20 nationally in sacks allowed and the top 25 in rushing yards per game in each of Gossett's four seasons as a starter.

Gossett is one of four Sun Belt players who have officially accepted invitations. The others are Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers, South Alabama safety Jeremy Reaves and Georgia State cornerback Chandon Sullivan.

App State University women's basketball will take part in the 2018 Play4Kay National Free Throw Challenge during February.


The most significant fundraising initiative of the Kay Yow Fund, the free throw challenge is a chance for fans to pledge per free throw made in support for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Fans can pledge to App State by clicking HERE.

"Every year we want to make sure we do our part in the Play4Kay Initiative," head coach Angel Elderkin said. "This is a great foundation that continually does an amazing job in raising awareness in the fight against cancer. We couldn't be more honored and excited to be participating in February's free throw challenge. We hope to make as many free throws as possible and that fans will participate in a great cause!"

Last season, the Mountaineers raised over $5,000 in funds for cancer awareness and research through the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and for the Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge during the month February and early March. The Sun Belt Conference partnered with Coaches vs. Cancer to launch the 2017 3-Point Challenge. App nailed 37 3-pointers during the drive, which amounted to a total of $3,239 or $87.53 per 3-pointer. The Black and Gold's proceeds from the 3-point contest were the highest among all women's programs.

The team also helped raise $2,500 during it's Play4Kay contest on Feb. 4 against Georgia State, where a silent auction took place and App State ROTC students rode stationary bicycles in the arena to raise funds. In total, the Mountaineers helped bring in over $5,000 for cancer awareness.

This season's annual Play4Kay contest will take place against Troy on Saturday, Feb. 17 in the Holmes Center.

Two future Appalachian State University women's basketball signees were nominated for the chance to play in the 41st McDonald's All-America All-Star game.

Haile McDonald (Winchester, Va./Millbrook) and Brooke Bigott (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes) were both recognized as part of the list featuring over 700 players from 50 states.The tandem will step on campus for the 2018-19 campaign and expect to contribute right away with A'Lea Gilbert (Charlotte, N.C./South Meck).

Haile McDonald | 6'0 | Power Forward | Winchester, Va. | Millbrook High School
Rated the 11th-best recruit in the state of Virginia by MaxPreps, McDonald is recognized for her solid senior season up to this point where she is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and shooting 57 percent from the floor. McDonald has registered four double-doubles through 11 games this season. She has scored in double figures in 10 out 11 games including a season-high 23 points. McDonald has registered four games of 10 or more rebounds and eight contests with multiple assists. She has Millbrook on the winning track as it is boasting an undefeated record thus far.

Entering her senior season, McDonald posted substantial numbers her junior campaign in which she averaged 14.7 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.4 blocks per game en route to helping Millbrook earn a stellar 28-2 mark and an appearance in the 4A state semifinals. She was awarded a sportsmanship award and named the team's Most Valuable Player. Also, she is a part of the 1,000-point club at Millbrook. Last season was her best yet where she was named the Winchester Star All-Area Girls' Basketball Player of the Year, 4A West Region Girls' Basketball Player of the Year and the Conference 21 West Player of the Year.

Brooke Bigott | 5'10 | Point Guard | Katy, Texas | Seven Lakes High School
One of the top 50 recruits in the state of Texas rated by MaxPreps, Bigott is honored after filling up the stat sheet averaging 14.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists through 28 games. Bigott is also getting it done defensively turning in 2.3 steals per contest and 0.4 blocks per contest. She has contributed to Seven Lakes' solid 22-6 record and current seven-game winning streak going into its next contest on Wednesday.

Bigott's junior year was sensational where she turned in 17 points, 8.5 rebounds and 8.5 assists per game while shooting 52 percent from beyond the arc and 74 percent from the line. Bigott has helped Seven Lakes capture three district and area championships en route to reaching the regional quarterfinals last season. She was named all-conference and all-division her first three seasons. That's not all as she landed on the all-tournament team at the College Station Nike Tournament three straight years, and was named to the Houston Chronicle's All-Greater Houston Area Team. The Texas native was recognized by Vype Magazine as a member of the All-Texas squad and was awarded the conference's Most Valuable Player Award. During her junior year, she was a Texas Girl's Association All-Star as well as putting work in the classroom, as she was all-district academic and all-regional academic.

The Appalachian State men's basketball program will participate in events during Coaches vs. Cancer week, running from January 22 through January 28.

Monday, January 22, will mark the beginning of Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Week, which is a nationwide event that unites coaches across the country to raise funds and awareness about the fight against cancer, and promotes the American Cancer Society as a source of inspiration and hope for those facing cancer.

The Mountaineer coaching staff will be wearing sneakers with special gold laces for both home contests on Thursday, January 25 against Little Rock and Saturday, January 27 versus Arkansas State in memory of 8-year old basketball fan Lacey Holsworth. In addition, specialty Coaches vs. Cancer ties will be created and sold online and through Vineyard Vines while supplies last.

All sales from the golden shoelaces will go towards cancer research, with 85 percent of proceeds going benefiting the Coaches vs. Cancer program and 15 percent benefiting Princess Lacey's Legacy. Also, 30 percent of the proceeds from each tie sold will benefit the Coaches vs. Cancer program.

Also new in 2018 is an eBay online auction, featuring sneakers and ties signed by college coaches across the country, with all proceeds going towards cancer research. Items auctioned can be found here, beginning Monday, January 22.

In addition, several coaches from across North Carolina are teaming up with local Subway® restaurants to launch a special Coaches vs. Cancer fundraising campaign that runs through February.

On Monday, January 22, head coach Jim Fox will serve as a sandwich artist from 12:15 to 1:00 at the Subway located at 1542 Hwy. 421 S, Gateway Center, in an effort to raise awareness and support in the fight against cancer.

Fox is one of five coaches taking part in this event, joining Pat Kelsey (Winthrop), Houston Fancher (Charlotte), Bob McKillop (Davidson) and Tim Craft (Gardner-Webb).

Donations in any amount can be made at the checkout of participating Subway® restaurants from Jan. 15 through Feb. 28 with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the local Coaches vs. Cancer program, which is celebrating 25 years. For more information on Coaches vs. Cancer, visit www.cancer.org.

With the victory on Monday, a 64-62 triumph over Bryant and Stratton College, CVCC head women’s basketball coach Tisha England tied mentor and first-ever Red Hawks head women's basketball coach Tommy Edwards for the most wins by a coach in program history (82).

“It is a great honor to be at the same number (of wins) as him,” England said. “Tommy Edwards is a great friend and mentor. I am grateful.”

Edwards was in attendance for the victory, which is the 10th this season for the Red Hawks.

“I had actually thought about [the record] earlier before the season started,” Edwards said. “This is (England’s) fifth season (as CVCC head coach), and it ran across my mind that she was getting pretty close (to the win record). I didn’t know today she was tying me, but it worked out very well for me to be here.”

Sophomore forward Joyous Wilson paced CVCC (10-3, 5-0 in Region X) with 16 points against the Bobcats.

Tory Agrusa (13 points, six assists), Zharia Brown (10 points, nine rebounds) and Nikkyana McCaskill (10 points) also reached double digits in scoring for CVCC in Monday’s contest.

The Red Hawks led for most of the game, but the Bobcats fought back late to take their first lead, 58-56, with two minutes, 44 seconds left in the contest.

The teams traded the lead three times in the game’s final 35.8 seconds, but the Red Hawks were able to pull ahead for good after a key steal and lay up by sophomore Shaniya Lester.

“We are warriors. We don’t give up,” England said. “I tell them every day that we’ve got to continue to press through it and learn how to overcome adversity. In the end, we wanted it.”

England will attempt to pass Edwards as the winningest coach in program history on Thursday when the CVCC women’s basketball team hosts Patrick Henry Community College. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Appalachian State University women's basketball freshman guard Tierra Wilson (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) was named College Sports Madness Sun Belt Player of the Week on Monday.

Wilson earns the award after averaging 21.5 points through two games on an impressive 73.7 percent shooting from the field (14-of-19) and 76.9 percent (10-for-13) from beyond the arc.

The freshman guard scored a game-high 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor and 5-for-8 from deep while dishing out three assists in 39 minutes in the Apps' first home win of the season over Georgia State, 77-62. Wilson followed up that performance with a game-best 21 points on a perfect 7-for-7 and 5-of-5 beyond the arc in the 87-56 blowout win over Georgia Southern to finish the weekend at 2-0 for the first time since 2015-16 and move to .500 in conference play at 3-3. Wilson set the tone early scoring 19 of her points in the first half including 14 in the first quarter in the wire-to-wire win. App is on a three-game win streak for the first time since '15-16 and its first three-game conference win streak since 2014-15.

The Winston-Salem, N.C. native has scored 20 points or more with five 3-pointers in three straight games while averaging 12.7 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game this season. In conference play, she has upped her game averaging 17 points per contest, which is sixth in the Sun Belt and first among freshmen. She is first in free throw percentage (1.000), fourth in 3-point field goal percentage (53.5), second in 3-pointers made with 23 and sixth in league action in minutes per game (35.5). Her scoring average is the most through the first 17 games for a freshman since Ashlen Dewart in 2009-10 when she averaged 16.1 points per contest.

Wilson and the Mountaineers will look to make it four straight on Thursday when they take on defending Sun Belt Tournament champion, Troy, on Thursday at 1 p.m. (ET) in Troy, Ala.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018 08:52

L-R Head Football Coach Cronic Finalizes Staff

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First-year Lenoir-Rhyne University Head Football Coach Drew Cronic has announced his staff for the upcoming 2018 season. The Bears have hired five assistants while retaining two coaches – Aaron Brock and David Cole – from the previous regime. Hired on December 7, 2017, Cronic became the 22nd Head Coach in Bears’ history.

Bob Bodine

Offensive Coordinator & Offensive Line Coach

Bodine comes to LR after spending one season as Offensive Line Coach at Georgia Southern. Bodine also spent three seasons as Offensive Line and Tight Ends Coach at Army West Point (2014-16). The Black Knights finished second in the nation in rushing in 2016 with more than 327 yards per game, and defeated Navy for the first time in 14 seasons.

WHAT LR HEAD COACH DREW CRONIC SAYS:

"We are extremely fortunate to have Bob Bodine join our staff as Offensive Coordinator. I have known him for a long time and he is an outstanding teacher and motivator with an impressive background in college football. He will bring toughness and physicality to our offense while also being creative and innovative."

Josh Aldridge

Defensive Coordinator & ¬Linebackers Coach

Aldridge comes to Lenoir-Rhyne after serving as Defensive Line Coach, Recruiting Coordinator and NFL Liaison at West Georgia for four years (2014-17). West Georgia’s defense was ranked third in the nation in 2015 (248 yards per game) and seventh nationally in scoring defense (15.2 points per game).

The Wolves also had two players drafted – Dylan Donahue (the Gulf South Conference Defensive Player of the Year) and Alex Armah – under Aldridge’s tutelage.

WHAT LR HEAD COACH DREW CRONIC SAYS:

"We are thrilled to have Josh Aldridge join our staff as Defensive Coordinator. He has all the qualities we are looking for on our staff — smart, innovative, tough-minded, high character — and is a tireless worker and recruiter. I am excited to have him lead our defense."

Tim Foster

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends Coach & Recruiting Coordinator

Foster comes to LR after an outstanding three-year stint as an Assistant Coach at Reinhardt (2015-17), a NAIA school in Waleska, Ga. Last year, the Eagles went 12-1 on the year and earned a berth in the NAIA National Championship game. Reinhardt led the nation in rushing (359.8 ypg) and ranked fifth in scoring offense at 47.0 points per contest.

In all, Foster served as Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, Z-Backs, Field Goal Team and Return Coach and Video Coordinator for the Eagles.

WHAT LR HEAD COACH DREW CRONIC SAYS:

"I am excited to have Tim Foster join the Bear family. He was on my staff at Reinhardt and is an outstanding young football coach and recruiter. He has a great understanding of our offensive system and will do a wonderful job organizing our recruiting efforts."

Micheal Ramseur

Running Backs Coach

Ramseur comes to Lenoir-Rhyne after four years as Offensive Line Coach, Running Backs Coach and Run Game Coordinator at Hampton University (2014-17), an NCAA Division I FCS School in Hampton, Va.

Prior to Hampton, Ramseur served four years as an Assistant Coach at Winston-Salem State University (2010-13), guiding the Rams to multiple league titles and an NCAA Division II National Championship appearance in 2012.

WHAT LR HEAD COACH DREW CRONIC SAYS:

"I am extremely pleased to welcome Mike to the Lenoir-Rhyne family. He is an outstanding addition to our staff with an impressive background and strong North Carolina roots. He will do a wonderful job with our running backs."

Jimmy Long

Defensive Line Coach

Long recently served as a Graduate Assistant Defensive Line Coach for North Carolina State University in 2017. Long also coached the Defensive Line at Sewanee (Tenn.) – also known as the University of the South - in 2016 after serving two years as Special Teams and Defensive Quality Control Coach for The Citadel (2014-15).

Long, a 2014 graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne, was an all-conference and all-region honoree for the Bears who was a member of the 2013 National Finalists squad and was a part of three SAC Regular Season Championships (2011-13).

WHAT LR HEAD COACH DREW CRONIC SAYS:

"I could not be happier to be able to add former Bear player Jimmy Long to our staff. He played on some outstanding football teams here, and understands what it takes to be successful at Lenoir-Rhyne. Jimmy is an impressive young coach and recruiter, and will do a great job with our defensive line."

Aaron Brock

Assistant Head Coach for Operations

Aaron Brock is beginning his 10th year as an Assistant Football Coach for Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2018. This past fall, Brock assumed the duties of Assistant Head Coach for Operations after many seasons on the defensive staff. Brock also serves as the Bears' Coordinator of Academics.

WHAT LR HEAD COACH DREW CRONIC SAYS:

"Aaron Brock knows what it means to be a Bear, and I am thankful to have him return as part of our staff. He is respected by everyone on our campus and will be extremely valuable as he handles many administrative duties for us. He embodies all the qualities we look for in our coaches and players."

David Cole

Special Teams Coordinator & Secondary Coach

David Cole is beginning his third year as a member of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Football staff in 2018 and will serve as Special Teams Coordinator and Secondary Coach this upcoming fall season.

Cole served in the capacity as Co-Recruiting Coordinator for the Bears in 2017 as well. Cole also coached in the interim prior to Head Coach Drew Cronic's hiring.

WHAT LR HEAD COACH DREW CRONIC SAYS:

"We are so blessed to have David Cole return to our staff. He did a wonderful job as the interim head coach, and he and I share the same vision and values. He is an outstanding football coach and teacher, but an even better leader and family man."

Lenoir-Rhyne also retained its four graduate assistants – Cameron Clark, Michael DeStephens, Aaron Terry and Jawan Turner – from last season while adding a fifth GA: Gordon Thigpen.

WHAT LR HEAD COACH DREW CRONIC SAYS:

“This a great group of young coaches who all have a bright future in the business. I am excited to see them grow as teachers, leaders and people.”

Senior Phylissa Greeley (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) won the 800-meter run and sophomore LaBria King (Charlotte, N.C./East Mecklenberg) won the 60-meter dash to lead the Appalachian State women's track & field team at the ETSU Invitational.

Greeley crossed the finish line in 2:16.09 and King posted a time of 7.60 seconds.

Junior Imani Chapman (Raleigh, N.C./Sanderson) finished second in the 60-meter hurdles in 8.90 seconds.

In the 5,000-meter run, sophomore Megan Scannell (Nottingham, N.H./Coe Brown Northwood Academy) was fourth in 18:51.03.

Senior Hunter Welborn (Booneville, N.C./Starmount) was third in the high jump, clearing 5-5.00 and senior Ashley Muschiatti (Newark, Del./Padua Academy) placed fourth in the weight throw with a mark of 51-4.25.

Senior Hana Ratcliffe (Durham, N.C./Durham School of the Arts) placed fifth in the 3,000-meter run in 10:31.37.

Freshman De'Shawn Ballard (Wilmington, N.C./Lacey) was named the Most Outstanding Performer of the ETSU Invitational, leading a strong showing by the Appalachian State men's track & field team.

Ballard captured the 200-meter dash in a school record time of 21.36 seconds. Sophomore Jabari Johnson (Tokosuka, Japan/Nile C. Kinnick) finished right behind in second place in a season-best 21.52 seconds and freshman Brenton Ervin (Charlotte, N.C./Mallard Creek) was fourth in a personal best of 21.61 seconds.

Senior Ryan Hastings (Mathews, N.C./Porter Ridge) captured the 800-meter run, crossing the finish line 1:53.21 and sophomore Elliott Graves (Reidsville, N.C./Rockingham Early College) won the 60-meter hurdles in a PR time of 8.11 seconds.

In the 4x400-meter relay, junior Brandon Smith (Fayetteville, N.C./Douglas Byrd), Hastings, Graves and Jabari Johnson teamed up to finish first in a season-best 3:15.90.

The 5,000-meter run saw freshman Ben Cignarale (Greer, S.C./Riverside) place second in 15:08.31 and freshman Luke Bennett (Durham, N.C./Voyager Academy) place fourth with a time of 15:44.93.

Senior Evan Georges (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) was third in 9:06.81 in the 3,000-meter run.

In the pole vault, junior Michael Utecht (New Hill, N.C./Apex) was second with a height of 15-11.00 and junior Tristian Shaver (Thomasville, N.C./Ledford) finished fourth, clearing 15-7.00.

The Mountaineers will return to action next weekend, hosting the Appalachian Open at the Holmes Center on Friday and Saturday.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Teams set more school marks on Saturday on the final day of the East Tennessee State University Invitational at the Mountain States Health Alliance Athletics Center.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore P.J. Lotharp (Indian Trail, N.C.) set a new Lenoir-Rhyne record for the second straight day in the men’s 60-meter dash. Lotharp, who has already qualified provisionally for the NCAA Division II Championship, finished second in the finals of the event with a time of 6.78 seconds.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior Myles Braswell-Sample (Durham, N.C.), an all-region honoree, finished second in the men’s shot put with a program-best 50’10”.

Both the LR men’s (3:23.61) and women’s (4:01.37) 1,600-meter relay teams set new school marks after finishing sixth and fourth, respectively. The men’s team consisted of sophomores Marquez Gray (Gastonia, N.C.), Denzel Gilmore (Concord, N.C.) and Josh Adkins (King, N.C.) and freshman Petar Ivackovic (Pancevo, SERBIA).

The women’s mile relay for the Bears consisted of senior Keyua McElveen (Lexington, N.C.), juniors Paiton Fair (Newton, N.C.) and Dakota Alston (Irmo, S.C.) and freshman Saidah Hardwick (Rolesville, N.C.).

McElveen bested her own mark in the women’s 200-meter dash with a 25.57 in the finals today while senior Haylea Salamon (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA) took fourth place in the finals of the women’s shot put, establishing a new school record (40’10”).

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Indoor Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Teams will be back in action on Saturday, January 20, and Sunday, January 21, at the Wake Forest Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C., and the Appalachian Indoor Open in Boone, N.C.

Monday, 15 January 2018 08:10

CVCC Men's Basketball Falls to Fayetteville Tech

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In a back-and-forth battle that went right down to the wire, the Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball team dropped its third-straight game on Saturday afternoon, falling 97-96 to visiting Fayetteville Tech at the Tarlton Complex.

Tied 85-85 with one minute, 45 seconds left, the Trojans (9-5, 6-4 in Region X) were able to gain separation late and make their free throws down the stretch to hold on for the victory.

Despite a made 3-point basket at the buzzer by the Red Hawks’ Everett Palmer, CVCC lost by just one point.

Tyrell Oglesby scored 22 points to lead Catawba Valley (6-9, 1-5 in Region X) — the fifth 20-point performance this season by the freshman from Inman, S.C.

CVCC sophomore forward Steve Ruszala added 19 points, including 18 of those scored during the second half.

Nicolas Kuhns paced Fayetteville Tech with 20 points, while teammate Jabari Bowman added 18 points.

The CVCC men’s basketball team is back in action on Tuesday with a road game at Vance-Granville Community College in Hendersonville, N.C. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

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