In a tune-up for the start of the 2014 season, the Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team will host Meet The Bears Day on Saturday, August 30, at Moretz Stadium, at 7:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
The first 150 fans will receive a 2014 Lenoir-Rhyne Football Poster. Drinks and apparel will be available for sale.
Select Lenoir-Rhyne players will be available at the conclusion of the event as well to sign autographs near the main entrance to the stadium.
Appalachian State University women’s cross country was picked to finish fourth in the Sun Belt Conference as voted on by the league's coaches, the conference announced on Wednesday.
Leading the poll was both Arkansas State with 112 points and six of the 11 first-place votes and UT Arlington with 112 points and four first-place votes. The remaining first-place vote went to Georgia State who was picked third with 96 points. Appalachian State finished fourth with 86 points with South Alabama close behind in fifth with 82 points. Rounding out the poll was Texas State (61), Louisiana-Lafayette (59), Troy (36), Georgia Southern (29), UALR (27) and ULM (26)
The Mountaineers will open the season hosting the Covered Bridge Open in Boone. The Sun Belt Championships will take place in Mobile, Ala. on Saturday, Nov. 8.
2014 Sun Belt Conference Women's Cross Country Coaches Poll
Rank School (First-Place Votes) Points
1. Arkansas State (6) 112
2. UT Arlington (4) 112
3. Georgia State (1) 96
4. Appalachian State 86
5. South Alabama 82
6. Texas State 61
7. Louisiana-Lafayette 59
8. Troy 36
9. Georgia Southern 29
10. UALR 27
11. ULM 26
Men's Cross Country Picked to Finish Fourth
Appalachian State University men’s cross country was picked to finish fourth in the Sun Belt Conference, as selected by the league's coaches and announced by the conference office on Wednesday.
UT Arlington topped the poll finishing with 81 points and all nine first place votes. UALR was picked second with 67 points followed closely by South Alabama with 65 points. Appalachian State finished with 47 points in what will be its first season in the conference. UL Monroe sits fifth with 41 points and Arkansas State is sixth finishing with 37 points. Rounding out the poll is UL Lafayette with 30 points, Texas State with 27 points and Troy finishing with 10 points.
The Mountaineers will begin their season on Friday, Aug. 29 when they host the Covered Bridge Open in Boone. The Sun Belt Championships will be held in Mobile, Ala. on Saturday, Nov. 8.
2014 Sun Belt Conference Men's Cross Country Coaches Poll
Rank School (First-Place Votes) Points
1. UT Arlington (9) 81
2. UALR 67
3. South Alabama 65
4. Appalachian State 47
5. ULM 41
6. Arkansas State 37
7. Louisiana-Lafayette 30
8. Texas State 27
9. Troy 10
North Piedmont Conference:
North Lincoln: 3
Alexander Central: 0
Southern District 7:
East Lincoln: 0
Bunker Hill: 0
South Caldwell: 0
The Hickory Crawdads got their season-ending road trip started on the right foot Tuesday night, as the 'Dads rode the pitching of Frank Lopez and Jose Monegro to a 6-2 win over the Lakewood BlueClaws at FirstEnergy Park.
The Crawdads pitching combination of Lopez and Monegro combined to hold the BlueClaws to two runs on five hits, with the duo also striking out 10 total batters. The 'Dads offense meanwhile used a three-run 3rd inning and two-run 4th to pull away from the 'Claws, with Luis Marte (3-4, 2B, 2 R, SB) and Ronald Guzman (2-4, 2 RBI) leading the way at the plate.
It was Lakewood who struck first in the game, with BlueClaws slugger Dylan Cozens mashing his team-leading 16th home run of the year in the 2nd for a 2-run blast and a 2-0 'Claws lead. The Crawdads quickly responded in the top of the 3rd, scoring three runs on three hits and two errors to take a 3-2 advantage. Evan Van Hoosier drove in the first tally of the inning with an infield RBI hit before Guzman plated the first of his two runs on the night on a RBI single to left. Van Hoosier would then come in to score the frame's third run on back-to-back errors, as Lakewood pitcher Tyler Viza's pickoff throw to second base sailed into the outfield before center fielder Carlos Tocci overran the ball allowing Van Hoosier to score all the way from second.
The 'Dads pushed their lead to 5-2 the next inning, with Nick Urbanus driving home Marcus Greene with a RBI single while Marte singled and eventually stole home on a double steal. Hickory plated their final tally in the 7th, with Van Hoosier reaching on a fielding error by 'Claws third baseman Mitch Walding before coming around to score on a RBI base knock by Guzman to give the Crawdads the final 6-2 lead.
Lopez (3-2) earned the win with two runs allowed on four hits, two walks, and six strikeouts over five innings pitched. Viza (3-17) picked up his South Atlantic League-leading 17th loss after giving up five runs, four earned, on five hits, two walks, and six Ks over 3.2 frames. Monegro earned his first save of the year with four scoreless innings out of the bullpen on one hit and four strikeouts.
The Crawdads (35-29) will take on the BlueClaws (23-39) again on Wednesday in game two of the three game series at 7:05 pm.
The Texas Rangers announced today that Hickory Crawdads infielder Michael De Leon and catcher Kevin Torres have been promoted to the High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans, giving the 'Dads 12 different players this season who have moved up in the Rangers organization.
The pair of promotions highlights five total player moves for the Crawdads, with infielder Janluis Castro being placed on the Temporary Inactive List, RHP Tyler Smith re-joining the 'Dads from the Temporary Inactive List, and INF Smerling Lantigua being added to the Hickory roster from the Arizona League Rangers.
De Leon, 17, leaves the Crawdads after batting .244/.302/.295, with 10 doubles, two triples, and one home run in 85 games played. The youngest player in Crawdads franchise history, De Leon was named the Texas Rangers Minor League Defender of the Month in June, while also setting the 'Dads single-season record for fielding percentage by a shortstop at .967 (11 errors in 330 chances).
Torres' promotion to the Pelicans is his second of the season. Over 30 total games with the Crawdads this year, the 24-year-old hit .226 with four home runs and 12 RBI. Lantigua, 20, earns his first assignment to full-season baseball with the 'Dads after hitting .229/.269/.354 with five doubles, two triples, and one home run in 31 games played in the AZL.
The Crawdads roster now consists of 24 active players.
De Leon joins fellow 2014 Crawdads Ryan Cordell, Kellin Deglan, Nomar Mazara, Jose Monegro, Josh McElwee, Cody Kendall, Kevin Pucetas, Lewis Brinson, Nick Vickerson, Abel De Los Santos, and Kevin Torres as players who have moved up in the Rangers organization this season.
Lenoir-Rhyne’s Blake Baker and Joe Ray were named to the 2014 D2Football.com Preseason All-American First Team while the Bears were picked seventh in its national preseason Top 25 poll.
Baker, a senior defensive lineman from Bethlehem, N.C., earned All-American honors by several publications last year after establishing a school record for single-season sacks (14.5) to go along with 56 tackles including 22 for a loss.
Baker added five quarterback hurries to go along with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery and was one of the anchors of the league’s best defense in 2013.
Ray, a junior offensive lineman from Atlanta, Ga., earned All-American laurels year as well and was the recipient of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy in 2013. The award is given annually to the top offensive lineman in the South Atlantic Conference.
Ray led a unit which finished first in the nation in rushing offense last year (370.9 ypg) and set an all-time NCAA single-season record with 5,563 yards on the ground.
Lenoir-Rhyne (13-2) won its third straight South Atlantic Conference Championship last season and advanced to the NCAA Division II Championship game last December before falling to Northwest Missouri State, 43-28, in Florence, Ala.
Lenoir-Rhyne opens the season on Saturday, September 6, at home against Point (Ga.) at Moretz Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. The Bears are coached by first-year mentor Ian Shields.
Preseason All-America Team
First Team Offense
QB - Kevin Rodgers, 6-3, 215, Sr., Henderson State
RB - Terrell Watson, 6-2, 230, Sr., Azusa Pacific
RB - Tyler Tonderum, 5-10, 190, Sr., Southwest Minnesota State
WR - Darius Davis, 5-11, 210, Sr., Henderson State
WR - Vernon Johnson, 6-1, 190, Sr., Texas A&M-Commerce
TE - Jamie Potts, 6-3, 235, Jr., Grand Valley State
OL - Cole Manhart, 6-6, 300, Sr., Nebraska-Kearney
OL - Matthew Reece, 6-3, 310, Sr., Tuskegee
OL - Joe Ray, 6-1, 270, Jr., Lenoir-Rhyne
OL - Jack Abercrombie, 6-2, 290, Sr., California
OL - Casey Beck, 6-7, 295, Sr., Upper Iowa
First Team Defense
DL - Blake Baker, 6-1, 250, Sr., Lenoir-Rhyne
DL - Charles Tuaau, 6-5, 310, Sr., Texas A&M-Commerce
DL - Matt Longacre, 6-3, 240, Sr., Northwest Missouri State
DL - Darius Allen, 6-3, 240, Sr., CSU-Pueblo
LB - Leon Furr, 6-3, 235, Sr., Fort Valley
LB - D.J. Gnader, 6-2, 225, Sr., Northwest Missouri State
LB - Ronell Williams, 6-1, 230, Jr., West Chester
DB - Tyler Thornton, 5-8, 180, Sr., Azusa Pacific
DB - C.J. Roberts, 6-0, 180, Sr., CSU-Pueblo
DB - Isaiah Davis, 5-10, 175, Jr., Central Washington
DB - Al-Hajj Shabazz, 6-1, 185, Sr., West Chester
First Team Special Teams
K - Brent Wahle, 6-2, 175, Jr., Ohio Dominican
P - Andrew Cerett, 6-5, 260, Jr., California (Pa.)
AP - Marquez Clark, 5-11, 190, Sr., Central Oklahoma
Second Team Offense
QB - Chris Bonner, 6-7, 225, Sr., CSU-Pueblo
RB - Anthony Taylor, 5-11, 210, Sr., Ashland
RB - Daiquone Ford, 5-7, 190, Jr., Findlay
WR - Marquez Clark, 5-11, 190, Sr., Central Oklahoma
WR - Trevor Harman, 6-2, 210, Sr., Shippensburg
TE - Lucas Hefty, 6-4, 235, Sr., Upper Iowa
OL - Cory Tucker, 6-4, 280, Jr., Slippery Rock
OL - Cody Clay, 6-6, 330, Sr., Azusa Pacific
OL - Jim Walsh, 6-5, 310, Jr., Grand Valley State
OL - Jarrett Stastny, 6-4, 300, So., Emporia State
OL - Josh Meeker, 6-1, 285, Sr., Minnesota State
Second Team Defense
DL - Julian Howsare, 6-3, 255, Sr., Clarion
DL - Kevin Brewton, 6-3, 250, Sr., Findlay
DL - Bryan Thomson, 6-1, 290, Sr., East Stroudsburg
DL - Brandon Yost, 6-2, 280, Jr., Northwest Missouri State
LB - Grant Singer, 6-1, 215, Sr. , Mary
LB - Justin Shirk, 6-1, 240, Sr., Bloomsburg
LB - Isaiah Fleming, 5-11, 220, Jr., Cheyney
DB - Mike Jordan, 6-0, 190, Jr., Missouri Western
DB - Harold Jones-Quartey, 5-11, 200, Sr., Findlay
DB - Colin Kimball, 5-11, 160, Sr., Mercyhurst
DB - Joe Beckham, 5-11, 180, Jr., Miles
Second Team Special Teams
K - Justin Linn, 6-1, 195, So., Washburn
P - Scott Groner, 6-4, 200, Sr., Missouri Western
AP - C.J. Davis, 5-9, 180, So., Shepherd
Preseason Top 25 Poll
1. Northwest Missouri 15-0
2. Grand Valley 12-3
3. CSU-Pueblo 11-1
4. Minnesota Duluth 11-2
5. Minnesota State 11-1
6. North Alabama 10-3
7. Lenoir-Rhyne 13-2
8. Henderson State 11-1
9. Pittsburg State 10-2
10. Ohio Dominican 10-1
11. West Chester 13-2
12. St. Cloud 12-2
13. West Texas A&M 11-3
14. Shepherd 11-1
15. Indianapolis 10-2
16. Carson-Newman 10-3
17. Winston-Salem State 10-2
18. UNC Pembroke 9-2
19. Emporia State 9-2
20. Saginaw Valley 9-3
21. Ferris State 8-3
22. Tarleton State 7-3
23. Indiana (Pa.) 9-2
24. Missouri Western 8-3
25. Bloomsburg 10-2
Appalachian State University women’s soccer midfielder, Merlin Beckwith (Rochester Hills, Mich./Rochester Adams), was awarded with Sun Belt Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors, voted on by the league’s coaches and announced by the conference office on Tuesday.
“It is an honor to have joined the Sun Belt Conference, but to have received this recognition right out of the gate is truly special,” said head coach Sarah Strickland. “I cannot think of a more deserving player than Merlin Beckwith to receive this recognition. Merlin defines what Appalachian State women’s soccer represents.”
Beckwith came out strong in the Mountaineers’ season opener at Elon last Sunday with two goals. Her first goal came in the 52nd minute to open up the scoring on a ball played in by freshman Lindsey Tully (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic).
The Rochester Hills, Mich. native would make the score 3-0 a mere 10 minutes later in the 62nd minute. Following a goal from Tully, Beckwith struck again from 20 yards out on an assist from another freshman, Erin Settle (Mooresville, N.C./Mooresville).
This marks the second time in Beckwith’s career that she has scored two goals in a single game. Last season, Beckwith tallied two scores on Oct. 25 in a 9-3 rout of The Citadel.
The Mountaineers will be back in action for their second game of the regular season on Thursday, Aug. 28 when they travel to ETSU. Kick off is set for 7 p.m.
Bunker Hill: 0
North Gaston: 3
St. Stephens: 0
South Caldwell: 3
West Caldwell: 1
South Mountain Athletic Conference:
East Burke: 5
North Lincoln: 2
Bunker Hill: 2
North Iredell: 1
Charlotte Catholic: 5
St. Stephens: 0
Ashe County: 1
Fred T. Foard: 0
South Caldwell: 0
South Iredell: 2
West Iredell: 6