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Russell Stone, Jr., was named as the new head football coach at Hickory High School. In addition, Justin Harper was named as associate head coach.

Most recently, Stone served as head football coach for Village Christian Academy—taking the team to the state championship finals. Previous experience includes coaching at Jay M. Robinson High, Northern Guilford High, and Douglas Byrd High. Additional coaching experience includes Purnell Sweet High and West Forsyth High with earlier years coaching for Lumberton Senior High, South Robeson High and Rowland High. All told, his record is 262 wins, good for ninth all time in North Carolina history.

Harper, a 2003 graduate of Bandys played collegiatly at Virginia Tech and had stints with the Baltimore Ravens of the NFL and the Saskatchwan Roughriders and BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. His coaching resume includes stops as an assitant at Lenoir-Rhyne and Virginia State.

Both begin at Hickory High on Friday.

Monday, 27 February 2017 22:44

App State Men's Basketball Drop Fourth Straight

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Appalachian State University men’s basketball overcame early deficits to hold a one-point lead over UL Lafayette in the first half, but it would not be sustainable in a 77-62 loss on Monday night inside the Holmes Center.

The Mountaineers (8-20, 3-14 Sun Belt) overcome two nine-point deficits early in the second half to take a one-point lead at 22-21 with 9:19 to play in the opening period.

In the opening 3:32 of the game, App State remained scoreless and the Ragin’ Cajuns (18-11, 8-8 Sun Belt) were up 9-0 before a fastbreak dunk from Tyrell Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson).

Down again by nine points at 19-10, the Mountaineers engineered a 12-2 run which was sparked by a Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) layup and capped by a Jake Babic (Oakville, Ontario/The Kiski School) layup.

The Cajuns would take the lead right back on a three from Justin Miller and pushed its lead to a game-high 10 points at the break, 43-33.

Out of halftime, the Mountaineers would try and claw their way back into the game scoring a quick four points. The Black and Gold would close the deficit to five at 49-44 after a pair of free throws from Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep (W.V.)) at the 16:06 mark of the second half.

Unfortunately, the Cajuns’ lead grew to 14 points nearly four minutes later and UL Lafayette would lead by as many as 22 in the second half en route to the 15-point victory.

Shabazz led the Mountaineers with 17 points. Babic chipped in seven points and six assists, while Isaac Johnson (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) grabbed a team-high seven boards.

The Cajuns were led by 21 points from Frank Bartley, while three others posted double-figures including Bryce Washington who finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

Notes: App State moves to 0-7 all-time against UL Lafayette … Ronshad Shabazz notched his 25th double-digit scoring game of the season and 43rd of his career … Shabazz now has 832 career points - 168 shy of becoming the 32nd 1,000 point scorer in App State history … Isaac Johnson led the Mountaineers in rebounding for the 12th time this season … Jake Babic tied his career-high with six assists.

Five members of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Women's Indoor Track and Field Team and two from the men were named to the 2016-17 NCAA Division II All-Southeast Region Team by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Lenoir-Rhyne junior Haylea Salamon (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA) earned all-region honors in both the shot put and weight throw. Salamon holds the school record in the shot put (40'1") – which she set earlier this year at the Mountaineer Open – and holds the second-best distance (49'9") in the weight throw.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior Domonique Jones (Greensboro, Ga.) also earned all-region accolades in the weight throw (a school-record 54'4") and her throw was good enough to qualify her provisionally to the national championships. Jones has won the event in two meets this year: UNC Art & Linda Maillet (Jan. 14) and George Mason Last Chance (Feb. 26).

Freshman Autumn Drayton (Charlotte, N.C.) was named to the all-region team in the shot put (second-best throw of 39'8") as well for the Bears.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore Paiton Fair, a Newton-Conover grad, garnered All-Southeast Region honors in the 400-meter dash thanks to her record-breaking time of 58.39 this past weekend at George Mason.

Sophomore Savannah Drummonds (Palm Coast, Fla.) broke the program mark in the pole vault (11'0") at the UCS Invitational (Feb. 18) on her way to all-region laurels.

P.J. Lotharp garnered all-region accolades in the 60-meter dash after finishing first with a school-record time of 6.80 seconds this past weekend at the George Mason Last Chance Meet.

C.J. Williams is an All-Southeast Region selection in the 200-meter dash. Williams established the school record at the Buccaneer Invitational (Feb. 4) in the event with a time of 21.76 seconds. Williams won the event at the Mountaineer Open (Jan. 21) while both athletes have qualified provisionally for the national championships.

The top-five individuals in each event from each region earned All-Region distinction, in addition to each of the members of the regions' top-three relay teams. The regions used for this award – Atlantic, Central, East, Midwest, South, South Central, Southeast and West – match those used during the cross country season.

The 2017 NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships take place on Friday, March 10, and Saturday, March 11, at the Birmingham CrossPlex in Birmingham, Ala. The outdoor season begins for Lenoir-Rhyne University this Friday, March 3, at the Braves Track Classic in Pembroke, N.C.

Going above .500 and getting its first sweep of the season, Appalachian State University baseball used 12 hits to drop Gardner-Webb, 5-1, on Sunday afternoon at Bill Masters Field.

The Mountaineers (4-3) struck out 11 batters – using just 118 pitches – and had four batters get multiple hits against the Runnin’ Bulldogs (2-5) to get their first three-game sweep on the road since 2012.

From the batters’ box, Appalachian had its most prolific day at-bat, getting on the board after three scoreless innings with a Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) single bringing around Chandler Seagle (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) – one of two RBI for Bauk on the day.

Gardner-Webb would respond in the bottom-half of the fourth but would once again trail in the sixth after Matt Vernon ( Advance, N.C./Advance) singled to left center and Seagle walked to set up Bauk’s second RBI of the day, hitting a double down the right field line. Vernon on the day finished a team season-high three hits.

After two close ninth innings in Games 1 and 2, the Mountaineers built up the lead in the eighth and ninth on Sunday to seal the win. After a Tyler Stroup (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) double to left center, Will Herman (Dunwoody, Ga./St. Pius X Catholic) pinch hit a single through the left side with two outs to bring him home. A left-center double by Calev Grubbs (Lexington, S.C./White Knoll) was brought home by a Conner Leonard (Winston-Salem, N.C./Reagan) groundout, before Seagle lasered one to left field to plate Vernon, who reached on a line-drive to shortstop.

With the two hits today, freshman Grubbs extends both his hit and reached base streak. Currently, he has reached a base on a hit in every game so far this season (seven) – a team-high.

Pitching for the Black and Gold was once again hitting its marks as senior Luke Watts (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central) received the win, going 7.0 innings and striking out seven. Herman also came in to pitch the eighth, striking out two of three batters before closer Matt Brill (Coal Valley, Ill./Moline) did the same in the ninth to put the series in the books.

The Mountaineers will next face South Carolina in a midweek contest in Columbia, S.C. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will be broadcast live on the SEC Network+.

Monday, 27 February 2017 00:20

App State Men's Tennis Wins Second Straight

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Appalachian State University men’s tennis (5-5) finished the weekend 2-0 with a 5-2 triumph over Winthrop (0-7) in Rock Hill, S.C. at Memorial Courts.

The Apps captured the doubles point and registered four of six singles matches to claim their fifth win and move back to .500 on the year. App went 4-0 in doubles matches and 9-3 in singles contests.

“I was proud of the team today to turn right back around and keep the same level of intensity,” said head coach Bob Lake. “The pairings we had in there for doubles today played really well and that translated when we went into singles. This was a great weekend for us and I look forward to our next match on Thursday.”

App got things rolling when Trey Morris (Gerton, N.C./Abraham Baldwin Agriculture) and Jack Maddocks (Newcastle, Australia/Lambton College) kept the solid weekend going with a 6-2 victory over Dias/Papayiannis. Alex Brea (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) and Alex Pavkovich (Queensfield, Australia/Mansfield State) improved to 2-2 as partners thanks to a win over Gokhale and Kayat as the third duo in the lineup.

Scott Webster (Perth, Australia/Scotch College) and Milo Bargeron’s (Chislehurst, England/Bullerswood) doubles match went unfinished against Teixeira/Quiroz as the top pairing in the lineup.

In singles play, Webster ran his record to 6-3 this season capturing the straight-set, 6-3, 6-0 win over Quiroz. Morris tallied his sixth win as well downing Papayiannis in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3, as the No. 2 in the lineup, and Bargeron kept the exceptional play going with his 6-4, 7-6 (5) notch at the four spot.

Brea continued his superb play going on Sunday as the sophomore went 6-2, 6-1 over Kayat in a matchup between the No. 6 student-athletes in the lineup.

Pavkovich and Maddocks both fell in their respective singles matches, but both were hard fought and close. Maddocks fell to Teixeira, 5-7, 6-1, 10-8 while Pavkovich suffered a 2-6, 7-6, 10-2 setback to Gokhale.

App will aim to improve to 6-5 on the year and its third-straight win against North Carolina Central at 3 p.m. in Durham, N.C.

Monday, 27 February 2017 00:10

CVCC Men's Basketball Uses Huge Second Half to Win

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Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball blew out Fayetteville Tech in a 110-81 at home. The Red Hawks exploded in the second half after being down by five at the half but outscored Tech 63-29 in the second half.

Derick Brewer scored 34 points and Emmanuel Wembi had a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds as did Steve Ruszala with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Nolan Whitener also added 18 points.

CVCC improves 19-10 overall and 13-7 in the conference. The Red Hawks have clinched the #4 seed in the Region X Tournament were they receive a first round bye and will play the #5 seed in the tournament on Sunday, March 5.

Appalachian State University softball came away with their third-straight victory over the University of Maryland, Baltimore County as they trounced the Retrievers 10-3 to wrap up action in Wilmington, N.C. at the Hampton Inn University Area Seahawk Softball Classic.

“I was really proud of our pitching staff for bouncing back after Saturday,” said head coach Janice Savage. “We just have to continue to grow and be more consistent offensively, defensively and in the mound. We are really up and down and we need to find that consistent day for us.”

In the third-place Sunday showdown, Appalachian State’s (7-7) batters were on fire registering 12 hits with three Mountaineers leading the offensive charge smacking out at least two including Sidney Russell (Lincolnton, N.C./North Lincoln) (3-for-4), Natalie Orcutt (Peachtree City, Ga./Starr’s Mill) (2-for-4) and Haley Stewart (Belmont, N.C./South Point) (2-for-4). Orcutt pounded out a career-high two triples, and Stewart crashed out her sixth home run of her career.

In the circle, Annaleise Kennedy (Kents Store, Va./Fluvanna) (1-1) and Kenzie Longanecker (Sanford, Fla./ Winter Sprints) shut out UMBC for five innings, allowed only three runs (two earned), struck out six Retrievers with three apiece and did not walk a single batter.

Game Rundown: App State 10, UMBC 3

App State filled-up the scoreboard early exploding to a 4-0 lead at the bottom of the first. On the opening at-bat, Orcutt smashed her first-ever triple over the right fielder’s glove and she was followed by Ally Walters (Orange City, Fla./University) who reached on an error. With two runners on base, Russell was determined to bring them home and crashed a single to left field that scored Orcutt and Walters. Then after Taylor Rivenburgh (Rocky Point, N.C./Heide Trask) grounded out at first, Stewart cleaned-up the bases bombing her first home run of the season over dead center for a two-run RBI.

In the third, the Retrievers broke through and cut Appalachian’s lead to two after a two-run double, but the Mountaineers extended their advantage to 7-2 in the bottom half tacking on three more. Russell led the inning with a double down the left field line that set the stage for Rivenburgh to bat her in after blasting a single straight up the middle. Right after that, Maddy Bloom (Princeton Junction, N.J./West-Windsor Plainsboro North) pinch ran for Rivenburgh and scored thanks to a UMBC error. Closing out App State’s scoring-run was Cara Parker (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) who hit a sacrifice fly to right field to bring home Stewart who reached on a single.

After the Mountaineers scored two more runs in the fourth, UMBC attempted to get back in the game after knocking in a RBI, but the Apps pulled away with the victory reeling in one more run at the bottom of the sixth to neutralized the Retrievers 10-3.

Appalachian will compete in the Fairfield Inn and Suites Camel Stampede March 3-4 and will face off against Norfolk State, Rider and Campbell.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team (16-2), ranked No. 12 in NCAA Division II, made it 10 victories in a row with a pair of wins on Sunday – 2-0 over Flagler and 6-3 over Augusta – at the Mid-South Classic at Tyger River Park.

Lenoir-Rhyne 2, Flagler 0
Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore Brandi Parks (Roaring River, N.C.) threw a six-hit shutout, her fourth of the season, to lead the Bears to the win. Parks also struck out six batters and improved to 8-0 on the year.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior catcher Sarah Kenley (Charlotte, N.C.) drove in both runs for the Bears with a RBI double in the third inning and a solo home run in the fifth frame.

Flagler's Ally Marcano (Middletown, N.Y.) fell to 9-2 on the year after suffering the loss despite going the distance and allowing just two runs.

Lenoir-Rhyne 6, Augusta 3
The Bears rallied from a 3-1 deficit to take its second victory of the year of the Jaguars.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior outfielder Dakota Keller (Mooresboro, N.C.) tied the game at three with a solo home run in the fourth inning before senior first baseman Sydney Landreth (Disputanta, Va.) gave the Bears the lead for good with a two-run single in the sixth frame. Keller now has a team-leading five home runs on the year.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore Ty Triplett, a Draughn High School grad, came on in relief to earn the win. Triplett (5-0) did not allow a run in nearly five innings of work.

Augusta's Lydia Hausman (Thomaston, Ga.) had two hits and two runs batted in but Kristen Mills (Harlem, Ga.) fell to 1-7 after taking the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to face Limestone in a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 1, beginning at 3:00 p.m., at Bears Field.

Appalachian State University softball dropped two ballgames on Saturday at the Hampton Inn University Area Seahawk Softball Classic in Wilmington, N.C. The Mountaineers fell to UNCW 14-2 in the afternoon and slipped to North Texas 7-3 in the nightcap.

App State (6-7) registered nine hits on Saturday, and three ladies smacked out two apiece including Natalie Orcutt (Peachtree City, Ga./Starr’s Mill) (2-for-7), Sidney Russell (Lincolnton, N.C./North Lincoln) (2-for-5) and Cara Parker (Valdosta, Ga./Lowndes) (2-for-5). In the night game against NT, Jenny Dodd (Mocksville, N.C./West Forsyth) crashed out her 11th career home run.

Game One: UNCW 14, App State 2 (5)

App struck first with a run in their opening at-bat on Heather Josey’s (Statesville, N.C./North Iredell) third RBI of the tournament, scoring Megan Walker (Raleigh, N.C./Middle Creek) who reached on a hit by pitch, but UNCW (6-2) answered back at the bottom of the first with three RBI to take the 3-1 lead.

In the following inning, the Mountaineers shaved the Seahawk’s advantage to one after a RBI from Orcutt, but UNCW regained their lead tacking on three more to the board to end the second up by four.

After the Apps went three-and-out at the top of the third and the Seahawks ‘exploded for six runs in the bottom half, UNCW pulled away with the win scoring two more runs in the bottom of the fourth for the 14-2 victory.

Parker was 2-for-2 with two doubles to lead the App offense, and Katie Williford (Kannapolis, N.C./Northwest Cabarrus) struck out three Seahawks.

Game Two: North Texas 7, App State 3

Taylor Rivenburgh (Rocky Point, N.C./Heide Trask) started the game off for the Mountaineers hitting a RBI single off the right center fence to bring home Walker who reached on a walk to take the one-run advantage after the first.

At the top of the third, North Texas ruptured Appalachian’s lead scoring three runs on a solo RBI single and a two-run RBI double. Then two innings later, the Mean Green smacked a two-run homer over the left corner fence to extend their lead to 5-1.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Mountaineers chopped down North Texas’ lead some more thanks to a two-run homer from Dodd, her first of the season, but the Mean Green answered back in the top of the seventh with a pair of RBI. Appalachian tried to muster up the right plays to rally back into the game at the bottom half of the inning, but App went down in order and the Mean Green won the rematch 7-3.

Rivenburgh, Russell, Dodd and Orcutt spearheaded the App State offense cracking out a single base hit apiece with Dodd pounding in two RBI. On the mound, Apps’ pitching staff struck out six batters and only gave up one walk.

Up Next

After going 1-3 in the tournament, the Black and Gold earned the three seed and will play the fourth seed, UMBC, tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Boseman Field.

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