Appalachian State senior Tee Sims has made the final watch list for the 2017 Hendricks Award, which goes to the nation's top defensive end.
Sims' 9.5 sacks this season rank seventh nationally and second in the Sun Belt Conference. His sacks have caused quarterbacks to lose 78 yards, a total that led the country going into App State's open week. The Mountaineers (6-4, 5-1) play at Georgia State on Saturday.
Sims also has 41 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble this year. He has 16.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss through 22 games over the last two seasons.
The award is named for former Miami defender Ted Hendricks, the first three-time All-American. The four to six players with the most votes will appear on the final ballot, and a winner will be revealed Dec. 6.
Sims is one of two Sun Belt players among 27 overall on the final watch list.
2002 - Terrell Suggs (Arizona State)
2003 - David Pollack (Georgia)
2004 – David Pollack (Georgia)
2005 - Elvis Dumervil (Louisville)
2006 - LaMarr Woodley (Michigan)
2007 - Chris Long (Virginia)
2008 - Brian Orakpo (Texas)
2009 - Jerry Hughes (TCU)
2010 – Da'Quan Bowers (Clemson)
2011 – Whitney Mercilus (Iliinois)
2012 – Jadeveon Clowney (South Carolina)
2013 – Jackson Jeffcoat (Texas)
2014 – Nate Orchard (Utah)
2015 – Carl Nassib (Penn State)
2016 – Jonathan Allen (Alabama)
Appalachian State women's basketball head coach Angel Elderkin and the coaching staff is excited to announce the signing of three future Mountaineers to the 2017-18 signing class.
App State signs the trio of Brooke Bigott, Haile McDonald and A'Lea Gilbert. All three are eligible beginning in 2018-2019 and will look to contribute immediately.
"It is with great excitement that we welcome our three signees to our Appalachian State program," coach Elderkin stated. "These young women are not only great players; they're incredible people who come from great families. During our recruiting process, it was important for us to not only identify talent but it was equally important to evaluate character. They fit in with our core values, and most of all believe in our vision for our program. I expect them to come in and have an immediate impact on our program."
Brooke Bigott | 5'10 | Point Guard | Katy, Texas | Seven Lakes High School
A multi-faceted point guard that can do it all, the 2018 signee has enjoyed copious amounts of success on and off the court. Going into her senior season, she improved her numbers the previous three seasons including an impressive stat line her junior campaign 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. Her athleticism went beyond the court with four letters in track and field, including a regional qualifying appearance her junior year Bigott played her travel ball under her father, Scott Bigott, where her team collected a silver championship at the Adidas Gauntlet Tournament while recording a Premier Basketball title an unprecedented 10 times. Her numbers during travel ball were even more staggering, averaging a triple-double with 21 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists and four steals per contest. She also shot 56 percent from 3-point land and 82 percent from the charity stripe. Born on Jan. 11, 2000, Bigott is the daughter of Scott and Tammy Bigott. She has two siblings, Brittany and Bradeon. She comes from a family with a rich basketball history. Her father played basketball and ran track at Houston Baptist University where he was a conference champion and played in the NCAA Tournament. Her grandfather, Wilbert, is a member of the Hall of Fame at Houston where he played basketball for the Cougars before playing professionally overseas, and her uncle, Kevin, was part of the national championship squad at Pace University. Bigott will major in Kinesiology when she arrives in Boone. Her hobbies include working out, Netflix, skiing and going to the beach.
Elderkin on Bigott
"Brooke is a proven winner and comes to us from a tremendous high school program. She has great ball-handling ability, is a natural scorer and has great vision in the full court. It was important for us to bring her into our program. Not only is Brooke an "A" in talent, but she is also an "A" in mindset.
Haile McDonald | 6'0 | Power Forward | Winchester, Va. | Millbrook High School
A player that has put in a successful high school career under the tutelage of Erick Green, McDonald was named All-Conference 21 four-straight years while being named Group 4A All-State her junior season. She 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 Middlebrook 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 Middlebrook. 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. Born on Dec. 21, 1999, McDonald is the daughter of Easton and Julissa McDonald. She has two sisters, Leah and Elizabeth. Her hobbies include playing basketball. When she arrives at campus, she intends to major in criminal justice.
Elderkin on McDonald
"Haile is a special kid, and I learned early in the recruiting process about her desire to attend Appalachian State and be a part of what we are building as a program. She is a competitor and has a constant commitment to getting better. Her versatility will allow us to stretch the floor as well as expose mismatches in the paint. Her passion for the game shines through her and will be contagious in our program."
A'Lea Gilbert | 5'10 | Power Forward | Charlotte, N.C. | South Meck High School
An all-around athlete that has a nose for the ball, Gilbert plays under head coach Cristie Mitchell at South Meck where she has posted career averages of 11.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Gilbert was named All-South Meck Conference and all-district her sophomore and junior seasons. Gilbert has scored in double figures in 48 of 78 career games including a career-high 36 points on 15-for-22 shooting her sophomore campaign. She put up her best numbers her sophomore year averaging 15.9 points and 9.4 rebounds per contest. The North Carolina native was named Most Valuable Player her junior season and Rookie of the Year in her debut year. Born on Aug. 8, 2000, Gilbert is the daughter of Sean and Nicole Gilbert. She has three older siblings, Deshaun, Alexus, and Zachaeuss. She intends to major in business and marketing. Her hobbies include singing, swimming and traveling.
Elderkin on Gilbert
"It's important for us to continue to sign North Carolina talent, and we are excited about A'Lea. Her natural ability to rebound the basketball separated her in the recruiting process. She is another player that will provide versatility in our system with her skill set. A'Lea comes from an athletic family and understands the competitiveness and relentless work it takes to be successful."
Behind 19 points from Tanisha Wall and Shaniya Lester, the Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team won its third-straight game on Tuesday, defeating the Mt. Olive JV squad, 77-61.
The Red Hawks (4-1) gained a 35-30 lead at halftime against the Trojans, led by 12 first-half points by Wall.
Lester helped CVCC extend its lead by scoring 13 of her 19 points in the second half of the contest, helping Catawba Valley cruise to the non-conference victory.
Nikkyana McCaskill also reached double figures in scoring for the Red Hawks with 12 points.
The CVCC women’s basketball team is back in action on Sunday when it travels to Spartanburg, S.C. to take on the Converse JV team at 1 p.m.
Alexander Central: 46
Ashe County: 44
Bunker Hill: 65
West Lincoln: 33
East Burke: 68
R-S Central: 26
Ashe County: 41
Alexander Central: 35
Bunker Hill: 69
West Lincoln: 49
R-S Central: 74
East Burke: 35
For the second time this season, the Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute men’s basketball team got the better of Catawba Valley Community College.
The Cobras handed the Red Hawks an 85-69 defeat at the Tarlton Complex on Tuesday night.
Trevor Willis paced CCC&TI (6-2) with a game-high 22 points, including five made 3-pointers.
Post player Steve Ruszala had the best game so far of his sophomore campaign for the Red Hawks (3-4), recording his third career double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Fifteen of Ruszala’s 21 points were scored in the second half.
Trailing 6-0 in the early stages of the first half, the Cobras used a 16-1 run to gain control for good in Tuesday’s contest.
After making 14 3-pointers in the first meeting between the two teams on Nov. 8, CCC&TI made 12 treys in Tuesday’s contest, including nine of them in the first half.
Despite outscoring the Cobras 34-25 in the second half on field goals, the Red Hawks made just eight of their 21 free throw attempts. CVCC shot just 16-of-35 from the charity stripe in the game.
CVCC cut its deficit down to nine points with four minutes to go in the second half, but that’s as close as it would get in the game.
Tyrell Oglesby and Myles Williams also reached double digits in scoring for the Red Hawks with 14 and 12 points, respectively, and CVCC’s Isaiah Johnson was one point short of a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds.
The Red Hawks return to action following the Thanksgiving break, hosting Richard Bland in Region X action on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 3 p.m. Caldwell will play Wednesday, November 29th at Patrick Henry Community College.
The Newberry Women’s Basketball Team (4-2, 1-0) opened South Atlantic Conference play with a 61-54 victory over Lenoir-Rhyne (2-3, 0-1) Tuesday evening at Eleazer Arena.
Newberry’s Shelby Britten (Shepparton, Vic, Australia) led all scorers with 25 points to go along with four treys while Meg Essex (Glamorgan Vale, Qld, Australia) added 14 points in the victory.
Lenoir-Rhyne junior guard Kendall Toineeta (Cherokee, N.C.) totaled a team-high 20 points while grabbing eight rebounds and junior forward Madi Suddreth, an Alexander Central grad, added 12 points and eight boards in the setback.
The Bears were limited to just 32 percent shooting (20-for-62) in the loss.
The Bears are 1-1 on the road this season.
Lenoir-Rhyne’s 54 points scored were a season-low in the loss as well.
Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to face Lees-McRae on Saturday at 2:00 p.m., in a non-conference game at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
Appalachian State women's basketball (0-5) couldn't overcome a hot-shooting NC A&T team in an 81-56 defeat to North Carolina A&T (2-2) on Tuesday evening at Corbett Sports Center.
Kaila Craven (Asheboro, N.C./Southwestern Randolph) fired in a team-high 14 points off the bench with four of her five-made field goals from beyond the arc, while LaPresha Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge) rounded out the leading scorers with a personal-high 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting. The duo of Craven and Stanley shot a combined 10-for-17 from the field. Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) corralled a team and personal-high 10 off the glass in her second straight start.
After scoring 14 points on Tuesday evening, Craven is now averaging 10.6 points for her career on the road (8.9 overall).
The Mountaineers tied a season-high with seven 3-pointers and shot a season-best 42.3 percent from the field. However, the Aggies picked Tuesday night to have its best shooting performance of the season going 10-for-20 from outside the arc and 44.4 percent from the field. Going into Tuesday's contest, NC A&T (2-2) came into the game shooting 35.1 percent from the floor and a 27.3 clip from 3-point land.
App State hit two of its first three shots with Armani Hampton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Atkins) and Stanley scoring a pair of buckets in the first 1:20 of the game to take a 4-0 lead. But the hosts responded with a 7-0 run over a 1:56 span until Nicola Mathews (Adelaide, Australia/College of Central Florida) buried a trifecta to stop the run. NC A&T ended the quarter with a 15-11 edge, a lead that it wouldn't relinquish the rest of the game.
The Aggies pushed the lead to as much as 15, 32-17, with 3:02 left in the first half before App outscored NC A&T, 10-6, the rest of the way to slice the lead to 11, 38-27. Once again the Aggies stopped the Black and Gold from gaining any momentum keeping the lead in double digits. Craven nailed a deep triple to bring the Apps to within single digits, , 50-42. It was the closest App would be within reach as NC A&T never had the lead dip below 10 points following Cinia McCray's 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.
C'Coriea Foy scored a game-high 25 points while Kala Green scored 17 points and McCray rounded out the Aggies' scorers with 14. The tandem of Foy and McCray did the damage from beyond the arc with nine treys combined.
The bench reached 20 points for the second time in the past three games after the Apps received a season-high 27 points from the reserves. Also, Appalachian's 12 points in transition is a season best.
Appalachian will look to bounce back and seek its first win of the season against College of Charleston on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Appalachian State and its wrestlers are continuing to get respect in the national rankings.
With five voting points in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released Tuesday by the National Wrestling Coaches Association, the Mountaineers are unofficially 29th in the country. After being 31st with two voting points last week, App State had the fifth-most team points at the Keystone Classic in Philadelphia thanks to two third-place finishes and four fourth-place finishes.
One of App State's third-place finishers, senior Forrest Przybysz, has appeared this week at No. 20 in InterMat's national rankings for the 174-pound division.
Przybysz is 9-3 this year and 65-40 for his career after a 5-1 showing in Philadelphia. He also placed fourth at the season-opening Hokie Open and posted a 2-0 record at the Mountaineer Duals, which included a Southern Conference victory against Davidson.
Another App State team member, Matt Zovistoski, who has been wrestling unattached this season, is ranked No. 14 at 149 pounds by InterMat.
The Mountaineers return to action Sunday at 2 p.m. with a road match against North Carolina, which is unofficially 33rd in the NWCA poll with two voting points. App State is back in Varsity Gym to face No. 6 N.C. State on Dec. 10.
The Newberry Men’s Basketball Team (5-1, 1-0) scored the final 13 points of the game to rally and defeat Lenoir-Rhyne (0-4, 0-1), 77-75, Monday evening in the South Atlantic Conference opener at Eleazer Arena.
The Wolves’ Marshall Lange (High Point, N.C.) was one of three players to score in double figures, leading the squad with 18 points on the night. The Wolves were also in control from the free throw line, connecting on 15-of-20 attempts.
Lenoir-Rhyne senior guard Billy Bales (Elizabethton, Tenn.) led all scorers with 22 points including six treys off the bench to go along with five rebounds while junior guard Cory Thomas (Louisville, Ky.) added 16 points in the setback. Lenoir-Rhyne junior forward Bertrand Awana (Yaounde, CAMEROON) had a big night – totaling 12 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks – in the losing effort.
The contest was a game of runs as the Bears put together a 44-16 run through both halves to turn a 14-point deficit into a 14-point advantage.
Lenoir-Rhyne has now lost nine straight games dating back to the end of the last year.
Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to host Limestone on Saturday afternoon beginning at 4:00 p.m., at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
Appalachian State head women's cross country coach and track & field distance coach Michael Curcio has announced the signing of Izzy Evely (Huntersville, N.C./Lake Norman Charter School).
"We are very excited to have Izzy join our program," said Curcio. "She has shown the talent and work ethic to step right in and contribute to our continued success in cross country."
Evely helped guide her team to a runner up finish at the state championship meet, posting a career-best time of 18:07 in the meet.
During the track season, her primary focus will be on middle distance. As a sophomore, she earned All-State honors after posting a third place finish in a personal record 2:17 in the 800-meters. As a junior, she placed third in the 1600-meters in a personal record of 5:15 to also earn All-State honors.
"Just as importantly she has showed range from the 800m up," added Curcio. "We 'll need that that range to stay successful in the Sun Belt. She has already expressed an interest in the steeplechase. She has the right tools and mindset to be a factor at the Sun Belt level and beyond."
On the men's side, Curcio also announced the signing of Dakota Mendenhall (Winston-Salem, N.C./Forbush) for the 2018 season.
Mendenhall was the 2A West Regional Cross Country champion in the 2017 season. As a junior, he finished as the runner up at the 2A State Cross Country meet.
In addition, he also has had success and will provide a boost in distance events for the Mountaineers in track & field. As a junior, he was runner up at the outdoor state championships in the 1600-meter run.
"We are certainly looking forward to having Dakota up here on the mountain. We've watched Dakota mature over that last two years. We got to see his work ethic up close last summer when he came to our summer distance camp. He shows solid range with a personal best as a junior of 4:21 over the full mile," said Curcio. "At the state meet we watched the kind of competitor he is as he battled from the gun to a runner up finish in the 1600m. I think he will be able to step up the 8k distance to join a rapidly maturing group of current Mountaineers."
Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Alyx Koert has been named the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Women’s Swimmer of the Week, league officials announced.
Koert, a junior from Naples, Fla., had an outstanding performance this past weekend at the 2017 Marriott Fall Frenzy, finishing ninth in the 200-yard backstroke with a school-record 2:06.59 and 10th in the 200-yard freestyle (1:56.30).
Koert also holds school records in three freestyle events – 500-yard (5:06.99), 1,000-yard (10:29.14) and 1,650-yard (17:22.70) – and two other backstroke events: 50-yard (28.92) and 100-yard (59.45).
Lenoir-Rhyne next competes in a tri-meet against top-ranked Queens and Limestone on Saturday, January 13, in Charlotte, N.C.
The Sun Belt Conference announced Monday that it will exercise its six-day selection option in determining the Dec. 2 kickoff times for the Appalachian State-Louisiana and Arkansas State-Troy football games.
The regular season finale between the Mountaineers and Ragin' Cajuns on Dec. 2 in Boone has been tentatively scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff on ESPN3, but it could possibly move to 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2 if it's selected over the finale between Arkansas State and Troy, who could both be 6-1 in the league with at least a share of a Sun Belt title going to the winner of that meeting in Jonesboro, Ark.
App State, Arkansas State, Troy and Georgia State are currently part of a four-way tie for first place with 5-1 league records, and Louisiana is one game behind them at 4-2.
The Sun Belt plans to release official times and networks for the App State-Louisiana and Arkansas State-Troy finales on Saturday night, after the Mountaineers' game at Georgia State and other noteworthy games have been completed. In most cases, the league releases kickoff times and network assignments 12 days in advance, as it did Monday with three other Dec. 2 games.
Dec. 2 is set to be an eventful day in Boone, as a home basketball game between App State's men and American Athletic Conference member South Florida has been scheduled to follow an afternoon football game and have a 7 p.m. start time at the Holmes Center. The Bulls play in North Carolina at Elon that Thursday night and have a home game two days after the appearance in Boone.
If the football kickoff time moves to 7:30 p.m, further basketball implications will be announced to fans at a later date.
In an exciting and hard-fought battle, it was Newton-Conover that got the lone goal to win the school’s third State Championship in Men’s Soccer in the school’s history.
The two teams both showcased a very physical brand of soccer, each creating numerous chances throughout the game. First Flight peppered Newton-Conover keeper Jon Joplin all game, showering the sophomore with 15 shots, 11 of them on frame. Joplin stood firm, making all 11 required saves for the shutout.
The sparkling championship moment for the Red Devils came in the 58th minute as a clearance out of the Devil defense found the lone forward at the time, Francisco Tapia at midfield. Outnumbered 3-1, Tapia forced the issue, dribbling through the Nighthawk rear defenders and working the ball to his left foot. Tapia slotted a shot low and hard along the ground just to the left of the sprawling left foot of keeper Stryker Owens to give Newton-Conover a 1-0 lead.
Tapia’s goal made him the match MVP and was the lone goal surrendered by the emergency keeper for First Flight. Owens was tapped as the starter when First Flight’s starting keeper, Lucas Neitherlander, sustained a hand injury during the pre-game warm-ups.
First Flight ended the season 21-2, with an 8-0 record in the Northeastern Coastal 2A where they were the champions of the league. They won the Eastern Regional for the second straight year and fourth time in school history.
Tapia, who won the MVP honor in 2014 as well, becomes only the third player in state history to win MVP honors for a second time.
Newton-Conover secured the school’s third State Championship in Men’s Soccer. The Red Devils season concluded with 27-0-2 with a perfect 14-0 record in the South Fork 2A. The Red Devils won the Western Regional title for the third time in school history and the first time since 2014.
In just her second game back from a knee injury, guard Tory Agrusa scored a team-high 16 points, leading the Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team to an 88-56 victory against the Belmont Abbey JV team on Sunday.
Center Zharia Brown added 15 points in the win for CVCC, which improves to 3-1 overall on the season.
Red Hawk sophomores Nikkyana McCaskill and Shaniya Lester also reached double digits in scoring in the contest with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Red Hawks return to the court on Tuesday for a road non-conference contest against the Mount Olive junior varsity squad. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.