Appalachian State University softball coach Janice Savage announced her signing class Tuesday, welcoming 11 student-athletes into the Mountaineer family for the 2015-16 season.
“I am very happy with the 2015-16 class that we have added to our Mountaineer family, said coach Savage. “There is an immense amount of athleticism and experience with this group of young ladies. Adding them to the players that we currently have on the roster is a great building block for the future of this program. Not only are they phenomenal athletes – they are great people and dedicated students, which is what it takes to wear the Black and Gold.”
MADISON BLOOM • 5-6 • Outfielder • Junction, N.J. • West Windsor-Plainsboro HS
Lettered four years in softball ... member of New Jersey Cheetahs.
Savage’s Take: “Madison has a lot of raw talent that we are looking forward to developing here at App. She comes from a strong family and is a hard worker and we are excited to see her continue to grow.”
CASEY BRESCIA • 5-7 • Outfielder • Cornelius, N.C. • W.A. Hough HS
Four-year varsity starter and was all-district, all-conference and all-state as a junior. Batted .400 with 81 hits, 28 extra base hits and 59 RBI through junior season. She’s a member of Team NC Louisville Slugger in 2013 and 2014 and batted .370 with 97 hits, 25 extra base hits and 63 RBI.
Savage’s Take: “Casey is a strong power hitting outfielder. We look for her bat to make an impact as soon as she steps on campus. She’s a great student in the classroom and a great student of the game”
MALLORY CHOPLIN • 5-9 • Utility • Yadkinville, N.C. • Forbush HS
Three-time all-conference in softball and volleyball and member of the Carolina Cardinals.
Savage’s Take: “Mallory is a tremendous athlete with great speed. She is a true lefty that slaps and can lay down the bunt. Her speed is her biggest asset and will make an impact right away in our lineup. She comes from an athletic family who is excited about this opportunity and we are excited to have her on board.”
CLAIRE EOSSO • 5-10 • Pitcher • Barco, N.C. • Currituck County HS
Named first-team all-conference and first-team all-area as a junior, while only recording two regular season losses – both in extra innings. Threw a no-hitter against the conference championship team and is a member of Virginia Legacy Elite Gold.
Savage’s Take: “Claire is right-handed power pitcher who has tremendous upside. We feel getting her in the weight room right away and getting her stronger will only elevate her game to the next level. She has great poise on the mound and we look for her to be a strong leader for the freshmen class.”
STACY FODRIE • 5-4 • Outfielder • Leland, N.C. • North Brunswick HS
Has been team MVP, all-conference, all-state and North Bruswick’s Female Athlete of the Year. Hit .500 as a freshman, .550 as a sophomore and .447 as a junior and is also a member of NC Lady Lightning Gold.
Savage’s Take: “We look forward to Stacy making an offensive impact for us, while also giving us great depth in our outfield. She is a good athlete who always wants to learn and improve her game. She’s played high-level travel ball and knows what it takes to compete in the Sun Belt Conference.”
JORDAN HARRIS • 5-7 • Catcher • Asheville, N.C. • Enka HS
State-finalist for the 2014 Wendy’s Heisman Student-Athlete Award. She was a three-time all-state, all-region, all-district and all-MAC conference. She is entering her senior season with a career batting average of .475, 87 RBI, 18 home runs and collected a .987 fielding percentage her junior campaign and also plays for FCA SC.
Savage’s Take: “Jordan has a very contagious positive attitude and excitement to be a part of the Black and Gold. Her commitment to the program and the growth of our team will have a tremendous impact as a freshman.”
JULIA HODGES • 5-5 • Utility • Dunn, N.C. • Cape Fear Christian Academy
Pitched to a 0.33 ERA in 84 innings with 109 strikeouts in 2014 and also batted .500. She was an NCISAA All-Conference first-team honoree and a 2013 all-conference second-team. Hodges is a member of the North Carolina Challengers.
Savage’s Take: “Julia offers us a lot of different options that we can utilize her on the softball field. Her versatility, hard work and academic achievements are what our program stands for.”
MONICA JOSEPH • 5-4 • Catcher • Dover, Del. • Dover HS
Was a second-team all-conference catcher and NCFA All-America Scholar Athlete. Previously attended PolyTech HS for three years before transferring and is also a member of NC Lady Lightning.
Savage’s Take: “Monica is a true lefty-lefty who we look to fill the catching role her freshman year. She’s a power hitter who also can play some first base for us as well. We look for her to make an immediate offensive impact in the middle of our lineup.”
NATALIE ORCUTT • 5-8 • Utility • Senoia, Ga. • Starr’s Mill HS
Four-year all-county and four-time all-region 4AAAAA first-team shortstop and also earned team Rookie of the Year and Offensive Award during sophomore and junior seasons. She broke the following school records: career batting average (.432), highest OBP (.507), most career triples (11), most walks, runs scored and total stolen bases (86). Orcutt is a member of Atlanta Vipers and was 2012 14-U PGF champions, 2013 fifth-place PGF and 2014 seventh-place ASA 18-U Gold.
Savage’s Take: “Natalie is a tremendous athlete who also swings from the left side with power. She offers us depth in the infield and in the outfield. She’s very coachable and willing to learn – we look for her to be another leader for us in this freshmen class.”
MEGAN WALKER • 5-6 • Outfielder • Raleigh, N.C. • Middle Creek HS
Has been a three-time all-conference, academic all-conference and two-time all-state player. She earned team’s Most Valuable Offensive Player and Most Valuable Defensive Player, while batting .478 as a junior. Walker plays club for NC Lady Lightning.
Savage’s Take: “Megan is a scrappy player. I love watching her play because she never takes a play off. I look forward to her bringing that mentality and intensity to our program day in and day out. Along with her hard work and dedication in the classroom she will be a great asset for our program.”
ALLISON WALTERS • 5-11 • Utility • Orange City, Fla. • University HS
Four-year letterwinner, four-time all-area first team and four-time team Offensive MVP. Batted .451 with three home runs. Walters is a member of Wagners Gold and went to ASA Nationals and is an ASA State Champion. Walters carries a career .382 batting average and over 30 home runs.
Savage’s Take: “Allison is the type of athlete that can do anything that you ask her to. She adds depth to our infield and outfield, as well as, a vast amount of experience and knowledge playing at a high level.”
Lenoir-Rhyne linebacker Tanner Botts was tabbed the South Atlantic Conference Football Defensive Player of the Year. Bears' offensive lineman Joe Ray garnered the Jacobs Blocking Trophy and Lenoir-Rhyne mentor Ian Shields picked up South Atlantic Conference Coach of the Year honors, the League announced today.
Botts, a senior from Lawrenceville, Ga., posted 82 tackles on the year for the Bears. He posted 8.5 tackles for loss on the season and chipped in 2.5 sacks. Botts registered .20 forced fumbles per game and posted one pass breakup. He anchored a Bears defense that finished the regular-season ranked No. 9 in the nation in scoring defense with 14.9 points per game. The Bears topped the League allowing just 129 rushing yards per game and ranked No. 2 in the South Atlantic Conference as it gave up just 306.4 yards of total offense per game. A three-time first-team All-South Atlantic Conference selection, Botts was tabbed an All-American during the 2013 season.
Ray, a junior from Atlanta, Ga., earned his second-straight Jacobs Blocking Trophy after anchoring an offensive line that finished the regular-season ranked No. 1 in the nation with 415.5 rushing yards per game. The Lenoir-Rhyne offense is currently ranked No. 21 in the nation with 38.5 points per game. A 2013 All-American, he helped the Lenoir-Rhyne offense punch in 48 rushing scores on the season. The award marks the fifth-straight Lenoir-Rhyne offensive lineman to win the award.
Shields coached his Bears to a No. 3 ranking in the American Football Coaches Association National Poll. His Bears are the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division II Super Region II for the second-straight year and earned a first-round bye in the 2014 NCAA Division II Football Championship. The Bears finished the season at 11-0 to mark the first time since 1962 that a Lenoir-Rhyne team finished the regular-season undefeated.
Lenoir-Rhyne finished first in the League with nine first team all-conference selections. Earning first team all-conference accolades were quarterback Miles Freeman, running backs Chris Robinson and Jarrod Spears, offensive lineman Joe Ray and Jim Bayer and placekicker Justin Powell. Earning first team all-conference defense honors were defensive lineman Blake Baker, linebacker Tanner Botts, and defensive back O'neil Blake.
Picking up second team all-conference honors on offense were wide receiver Victor Brannan and earning second team defense honors were defensive lineman Chris Green, linebacker Rodney Singleton, defensive back Marcus Kincaid and punter Mikey Destephens.
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
Quarterback – De'Andre Thomas, Carson-Newman AND Miles Freeman, Lenoir-Rhyne
Running Back – Andy Hibbett, Carson-Newman
Running Back – Chris Robinson, Lenoir-Rhyne
Running Back – Jarrod Spears, Lenoir-Rhyne
Wide Receiver – Dimitri Holmes, Mars Hill
Wide Receiver – Justin Houston, Tusculum
Wide Receiver – Jordan Berry, Wingate
Offensive Line – Josh Turner, Brevard
Offensive Line – Robby Ignangi, Carson-Newman
Offensive Line – Taylor Fender, Catawba
Offensive Line – Joe Ray, Lenoir-Rhyne
Offensive Line – Jim Bayer, Lenoir-Rhyne
Offensive Line – Denzell Goode, Mars Hill
Tight End – Brandon Ellington, Wingate
Placekicker – Justin Powell, Lenoir-Rhyne
Return Specialist – Lonnie Williams, Carson-Newman
Long Snapper – Dusty Nance, Carson-Newman
FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
Defensive Line – Blake Baker, Lenoir-Rhyne
Defensive Line – Alstevis Squirewell, Newberry
Defensive Line – Caushaud Lyons, Tusculum
Defensive Line – Nick Napolitano, Wingate
Linebacker – Michael Gruber, Brevard
Linebacker – Jason Taylor, Catawba
Linebacker – Tanner Botts, Lenoir-Rhyne
Linebacker – Edmond Robinson, Newberry
Linebacker – Taylor McDonnell, Newberry
Defensive Back – Jerry Miclisse, Carson-Newman
Defensive Back – O'neil Blake, Lenoir-Rhyne
Defensive Back – Sharon Irwin, Newberry
Defensive Back – Brandon Hathaway, Wingate
Punter – Kyle Clark, Newberry
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
Running Back – Kelvin Jeter, Brevard
Running Back – Jordan Ollis, Brevard
Running Back – Jamel Harbison, Mars Hill
Wide Receiver – TraShaun Ward, Carson-Newman
Wide Receiver – Carlos Tarrats, Catawba
Wide Receiver – Victor Brannan, Lenoir-Rhyne
Offensive Line – Nick Allison, Mars Hill
Offensive Line – Stephen Nance, Newberry
Offensive Line – Jake Bridwell, Tusculum
Offensive Line – Will Poteat, Wingate
Tight End – Marquez Williams, Mars Hill
Placekicker – Alex Noboa, Brevard
Return Specialist – Dimitri Holmes, Mars Hill
Long Snapper – Andrew Smith, Newberry
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
Defensive Line – William Alderman, Carson-Newman
Defensive Line – Kegan Funderburk, Catawba
Defensive Line – Chris Green, Lenoir-Rhyne
Defensive Line – Christiaan Davis, Mars Hill
Linebacker – Rodney Singleton, Lenoir-Rhyne
Linebacker – Jasper Mason, Mars Hill
Linebacker – Eric Mapoles, Wingate
Defensive Back – Mark McDaniel, Catawba
Defensive Back – Marcus Kincaid, Lenoir-Rhyne
Defensive Back – Arnez Gray, Newberry
Defensive Back – Jon Jimenez, Wingate
Punter – Caleb Berry, Catawba AND Mikey Destephens, Lenoir-Rhyne
Offensive Player Of The Year
Dimitri Holmes, Mars Hill
Defensive Player Of The Year
Tanner Botts, Lenoir-Rhyne
Offensive Freshman Of The Year
Keshaun Taylor, Mars Hill
Defensive Freshman Of The Year
L'Keith Brown, Tusculum
Jacobs Blocking Trophy
Joe Ray, Lenoir-Rhyne
SAC Coach Of The Year
Ian Shields, Lenoir-Rhyne
Rushing Yards Per Game: Andy Hibbett, Carson-Newman (139.1)
Passing Yards Per Game: Mike Sheehan, Catawba (206.6)
Total Offense Per Game: Mike Sheehan, Catawba (251.2)
Receptions Per Game: Justin Houston, Tusculum (6.0)
Receiving Yards Per Game: Dimitri Holmes, Mars Hill (78.2)
All-Purpose Yards Per Game: Andy Hibbett, Carson-Newman (158.3)
Passing Efficiency Rating: Mike Sheehan, Catawba (136.2)
Punt Return Avg.: Kevin Miller, Newberry (15.0)
Kick Return Avg: Lonnie Williams, Carson-Newman (34.1)
Punting Avg: Kyle Clark, Newberry (39.3)
Scoring Average (TDs): Andy Hibbett, Carson-Newman (11.0)
Scoring Average (K): Justin Powell, Lenoir-Rhyne (7.6)
Field Goals Per Game: Justin Powell, Lenoir-Rhyne (1.0)
Field Goal Percentage: Justin Powell, Lenoir-Rhyne (.917)
Tackles Per Game: Michael Gruber, Brevard (10.3)
Sacks Per Game: Blake Baker, Lenoir-Rhyne (0.95)
Tackles for Loss Per Game: Caushaud Lyons, Tusculum (1.5)
Interceptions Per Game: Brandon Hathaway, Wingate (0.5)
Team Scoring Offense: Lenoir-Rhyne (38.5)
Team Scoring Defense: Lenoir-Rhyne (14.9)
Team Passing Offense: Catawba (217.4)
Team Passing Defense: Newberry (120.2)
Team Rushing Offense: Lenoir-Rhyne (415.5)
Team Rushing Defense: Lenoir-Rhyne (129)
Team Total Offense: Carson-Newman (480.9)
Team Total Defense: Newberry (298.9)
North Lincoln: 14
West Lincoln: 35
Fred T. Foard: 28
Fred T. Foard: 60
West Lincoln: 32
North Lincoln: 74
East Burke: 69
Bunker Hill 10
East Burke: 52
St. Stephens: 72
St. Stephens: 48
West Caldwell: 27
West Caldwell: 54
Place kicker Michael Rubino (Cary, N.C./Middle Creek) has signed a grant-in-aid agreement to enroll at Appalachian State University in January and join the Mountaineers’ football program, Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield announced on Tuesday.
Rated as a two-star recruit and the nation’s No. 8-ranked kicker in the class of 2015 by 247Sports, Rubino is scheduled to graduate from Middle Creek H.S. in Apex, N.C. in December and attend Appalachian State starting in January. He will begin football activities immediately upon his enrollment and will participate in spring practice with the Mountaineers in 2015.
Rubino was the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference Special Teams Player of the Year as a junior in 2013 after making 12-of-18 field goals and sending 31-of-62 kickoffs into the end zone for touchbacks. Middle Creek recovered an astounding six of his 14 onside-kick attempts. As a punter, he averaged 36 yards per punt with 20 downed inside the 20 yard line.
A first-team all-conference honoree as both a kicker and punter under head coach Michael Castellano, Rubino was named SWAC Special Teams Player of the Week 10 times over the past two seasons. He is also a four-time academic all-conference honoree.
After advancing to the semifinals of the North Carolina 4-AA state playoffs as a junior in 2013, Rubino helped lead the Mustangs to another playoff berth as a senior in ‘14.
He chose Appalachian State over Penn State and East Carolina.
“We’re thrilled to have Michael on board as a Mountaineer,” Satterfield said. “He’s going to come in and compete right away with some talented veterans for an important role on our team. More importantly, he’s a great student and person that will represent Appalachian State the right way in the classroom and the community.”
Anna Henderson, a 6’3” volelyball player for Catawba Valley Community College, signed a National Letter of Intent with UNC Charlotte on Tuesday, to play for the Lady 49ers beginning this upcoming spring.
Henderson finished the 2013 season ranked 7th in the nation in hitting percentage with a .397 and gained in that category this fall to a current 6th in the nation ranking with a .402 hitting percentage. Henderson finished 16th in the nation last fall in block assists with 115 and rounded out the blocking category with 145 total blocks. Again, Henderson improved those numbers for the fall 2014 season for 166 total blocks which brings her to a CVCC career total of 311 blocks, averaging 1.3 blocks per set.
Henderson also had 341 kills for the year for a grand Red Hawks total of 630 kills.
CVCC Head Coach Shannon Hudson adds, "With a 3.7 GPA to go along with her athletic prowess, it is no surprise that UNC Charlotte was willing to offer a full financial package to such a deserving student-athlete. I know Anna will continue to do great things in her volleyball career at UNCC with Coach Gokhan Yilmaz and I couldn’t be prouder of the player and person she is. It has been a true blessing to coach Anna these past two seasons and I look forward to seeing how God uses her in the future."
Statistical Summary for Anna’s CVCC career:
*NJCAA Division II National Rankings
7th in hitting% at .397
18th in block total at 145
47th in blocks per set at 1.1
106th nationally at 376.5 total points
6th in hitting % at .402
9th in block total at 166
18th in blocks per set at 1.28
54th nationally at 445 total points
2013 and 2014 combined stats
630 kills on 1248 attempts with only 131errors for a .400 average
70 block solos
241 block assist
The 2014 Rocky 50K Trail Race was held Saturday, Nov. 15 at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area in Alexander County. The race began with participants climbing the "Stairway to Heaven" trail, then running the rest of the trails that were specially marked for the 50K event (approximately 31 miles). The trail race was difficult, but offered some breathtaking views from atop the mountain. First place finisher was Benjamin Smoker, who completed the course in 7:32:32. Second place went to Psyche Wimberly with a time of 8:15:41, and third place went to Charles Raffensperger with a time of 8:15:46. For more information about running events in Alexander County, visit www.alexandercountync.gov/events. For more information about Rocky Face Park, visit www.rockyfacepark.com.
Lenoir-Rhyne University's Chris Green has been named the South Atlantic Conference Football Defensive Player Of The Week, league officials announced today.
Green, a sophomore defensive lineman from Albany, Ga., finished with a team-best seven tackles to go along with a sack and a fumble recovery in Lenoir-Rhyne's 27-21 win over Catawba in the regular season finale last Saturday at Moretz Stadium.
Green's fumble recovery led to a field goal for the Bears, who defeated the Indians for the sixth consecutive season.
On the year, Green has 43 tackles including eight takedowns for a loss, 2.5 quarterback sacks, a forced fumble and a blocked kick.
Green is part of a Lenoir-Rhyne defense which ranks ninth in the nation in scoring (14.9 ppg) and first in the South Atlantic Conference in total yards allowed (306.4 ypg) and rushing yards allowed (129.0 ypg).
Lenoir-Rhyne (11-0, 7-0), the third-ranked team in NCAA Division II, just capped off its fourth perfect regular season in school history.
Tusculum's Kyle Dickey and Brevard's Alex Noboa were named the South Atlantic Conference Offensive and Special Teams Players Of The Week, respectively.
Lenoir-Rhyne is the top seed in Super Region II for the second straight year and will host a second round playoff game on Saturday, November 29 at Noon. The Bears will face the winner of the first round game between fourth-seeded North Alabama (9-1) and fifth-seeded Valdosta State (8-2), which takes place this Saturday in Florence, Ala.
For the third-straight week, an Appalachian State University football standout is the Sun Belt Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week, as running back Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga./Dacula) has received the award for the second time, the Sun Belt office announced on Monday morning.
Cox’s latest honor comes on the strength of his 229-yard rushing performance in Saturday’s 37-32 victory at three-time-defending Sun Belt champion Arkansas State.
The sophomore’s 229 yards came on a career-high 40 carries, which were the third-most in Appalachian State history and the most by a Mountaineer since Damon Scott toted the ball 42 times in a win over Chattanooga in 1996. The 229 rushing yards were the 13th-highest total in school history.
Cox had two touchdown runs (one and 14 yards), added two receptions for 54 yards and averaged 5.7 yards per rush and 6.7 yards per touch in the win over Arkansas State. He took over the game in the third quarter, when he accounted for 139 of Appalachian’s 176 yards in the period to help the Mountaineers turn a 20-13 halftime deficit into a 27-20 lead.
The 200-yard rushing effort is Cox’s second in three games and the third of his 22-game career. He rushed for a career-high 250 yards against Georgia State on Nov. 1 and had 215 yards on the ground in last season’s finale versus Western Carolina.
Cox, who has six 100-yard games this season and 12 in his career, upped his season rushing total to 1,142 yards on Saturday to become the first running back in Appalachian State history to rush for 1,000 yards as a freshman and sophomore. Quarterback Armanti Edwards (2006-07) is the only other Mountaineer to accomplish the feat.
The Sun Belt honor is Cox’s second, following the one he received after his 250-yard effort against Georgia State. Last week, App State quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) was the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for 276 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-29 win over UL Monroe.
Winners of four-straight, Cox and the Mountaineers travel to Sun Belt power UL Lafayette (7-3, 6-0 Sun Belt) on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET at Cajun Field in Lafayette, La.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Volleyball Team (22-9) has earned a berth in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Tournament and will face Armstrong State (28-2) in the quarterfinals on Thursday at Cuddy Arena in Wingate, N.C.
Lenoir-Rhyne, the seventh seed in the region, is making its third appearance in the NCAA Division II National Tournament. The Bears also made the postseason in 2004 and 2012.
Second-seeded Armstrong State is ranked No. 20 in the nation and won both the Peach Belt Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships. The two teams met in the season opener in Charlotte, N.C., on Friday, September 5, with the Pirates prevailing in three sets.
Lenoir-Rhyne is led this year by senior outside hitter Haley Rhyne (Statesville, N.C.), a three-time All-South Atlantic Conference honoree (2012-14). Rhyne is second on the team in kills this year with 290 to go along with 115 blocks while junior setter Briana Gottberg (Mooresville, N.C.) has 1,145 assists and 323 digs.
Middle blocker Brooke Redmond (Statesville, N.C.) earned league freshman-of-the-year honors for the Bears. Redmond leads the team in kills (317) and is second in digs (327).
Wingate (31-2), ranked No. 12 in NCAA Division II, will serve as the host school and the top seed. The Bulldogs won the SAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships in 2014 and have advanced to the Elite Eight three of the last four seasons.
2014 NCAA Division II Southeast Region
November 20-22 – Wingate, N.C.
Thursday, November 20 – QUARTERFINALS
Match One – No. 3 USC Aiken (21-8) vs. No. 6 Carson-Newman (26-6), Noon
Match Two – No. 2 Armstrong State (28-2) vs. No. 7 Lenoir-Rhyne (22-9), 2:30 p.m.
Match Three – No. 4 GRU Augusta (26-8) vs. No. 5 Anderson (25-8), 5:00 p.m.
Match Four – No. 8 Erskine (21-8) at No. 1 Wingate (31-2), 7:30 p.m.
Friday, November 21 – SEMIFINALS
Match Five – Match One winner vs. Match Two winner, 5:00 p.m.
Match Six – Match Three winner vs. Match Four winner, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 22 – FINALS
Match Seven – Match Five winner vs. Match Six winner, 5:00 p.m.