Sports (814)

Appalachian State University wrestling head coach JohnMark Bentley has signed a contract extension that runs through the 2022-23 season, Director of Athletics Doug Gillin announced Tuesday. The extension was approved by Appalachian State Chancellor Sheri Everts and the Appalachian State Board of Trustees.

"I am extremely grateful for the support and confidence that Chancellor Everts, Doug Gillin and the Board of Trustees have shown me," Bentley said. "Over the last few years, App State Wrestling has achieved some remarkable things, but I believe the best are yet to come. I am excited for the opportunity to continue leading this historic wrestling program."

Named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year four times in his first 10 seasons as App State's head coach, Bentley helped lead the Mountaineers to a fourth consecutive SoCon regular-season title during the 2018-19 season.

Bentley's career record stands at 97-66-1 heading into the 2019-20 season, and a 5-1 league record last season is part of a 25-2 run against SoCon competition during the last four seasons. Since the native of nearby Newland, N.C., became App State's head coach, the Mountaineers have had 32 NCAA qualifiers and three All-Americans.

"We are excited to have JohnMark continue to lead our wrestling program," Senior Associate Athletics Director Jonathan Reeder said. "The sustained success App State Wrestling has had under his leadership has been exceptional. JohnMark is committed to the success of our student-athletes academically, competitively and in the community, and we are excited for the future of our wrestling program."

Appalachian State achieved national top-25 rankings during the 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2018-19 seasons, climbing to as high as No. 16 during a 12-3 season in 2016-17. Bentley finished third in voting for national coach of the year in 2012 and was also a finalist in 2018, when a young App State team swept both the SoCon regular-season and tournament titles.

Off the mat, App State posted a team GPA of 3.03 in the spring of 2019, and its number of community service hours recorded by the Helper Helper platform in 2018-19 ranked No. 1 among all Division I wrestling programs.

In the last four years, Bentley's program is 37-4 against non-Power Five Conference opponents with six victories against teams from Power Five leagues: Duke (2015-16), Indiana (2015-16), No. 15 Oregon State (2016-17), No. 25 North Carolina (2016-17), Duke (2016-17) and Duke (2018-19). While attracting some of the nation's top teams to Boone, the Mountaineers have consistently wrestled in front of standing-room-only crowds at Varsity Gym.

Of the four App State wrestlers who qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2019, Randall Diabe was the only senior, leaving rising senior Cary Miller, rising senior Matt Zovistoski and rising junior Codi Russell among the potential leaders in 2019-20. Miller and Russell both won an NCAA match during their 2019 appearances in Pittsburgh.

The College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association (CSCAA) has named the Lenoir-Rhyne University Men's and Women's Swimming teams to its Scholar All-America team for the Spring 2019 Semester. The women's team grade-point-average of 3.76 was the third highest in all of Division II, while the men tallied a 3.26 gpa.

CSCAA Executive Director Greg Earhart noted: "Coach Schiffel has long been a model for coaches seeking a successful balance between success in the pool and classroom."

The CSCAA will announce its individual Scholar All-Americans next week.

Founded in 1922, the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) – the first organization of college coaches in America – is a professional organization of college swimming and diving coaches dedicated to serving and providing leadership for the advancement of the sport of swimming & diving at the collegiate level.

The Hickory Crawdads struck early and held on for a 4-1 win to open their series against the West Virginia Power Monday night on the road.

With two outs in the first inning, Hickory drew a Jax Biggers walk. That was followed up with singles by Tyreque Reed and Melvin Novoa, which drove in Biggers.

In the third, again with two outs, Reed would single and Novoa would launch his fourth home run of the season to give Hickory a 3-0 lead.

In the fourt inning, Hickory tacked on another two-out tally on a Frainyer Chavez solo homer, his first of the year, that pushed the lead to 4-0 'Dads.

West Virginia's lone run came on a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Cole Winn took the win, his first of the season, with a career-high five scoreless innings and five strikeouts. Winn was replaced in the sixth by Jesus Linarez, who hurled three shutout innings of his own and surrendered just two hits before ceding way to Kelvin Gonzalez in the ninth.

Hickory improves to 10-2 on the second half of the season. They play at West Virginia through Wednesday, and return home to L.P. Frans Stadium Thursday, July 4.

Lenoir-Rhyne women's soccer player Claire Neibergall is one of ten South Atlantic Conference student-athletes nominated by NCAA member schools for the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year award. The nominees came from all three NCAA divisions with 131 from Division II and a total of 585 female college athletes in all three levels of the NCAA.

Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.

Representing the South Atlantic Conference are the following:

Kasey Grant, Anderson, Softball
Taylor Hayes, Carson-Newman, Golf
Claire Neibergall, Lenoir-Rhyne, Soccer
Lise Malherbe, Lincoln Memorial, Golf
Jordan Harris, Mars Hill, Softball
Hanna Scott, Queens, Lacrosse
Josefina Taylor, Queens, Swimming
Nicole McMillen, Tusculum, Soccer, Cross Country, Track & Field
Anna Holmquist, Wingate, Volleyball
Ruva Mzinde, Wingate, Track & Field

Next, conferences will select up to two nominees each from the pool of school nominees. Then, the Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the Top 30 honorees — 10 from each division.

The selection committee will determine the top three honorees in each division from the Top 30 and announce the nine finalists in September. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then will choose the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.

The Top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at the annual award ceremony Oct. 20 in Indianapolis.

The Hickory Crawdads hit three home runs in an 8-3 win Sunday at Columbia Sunday night.

Hickory started the scoring in the fourth inning with a pair of home runs. Jonathan Ornelas started the inning off with a solo home run to left center field. Miguel Aparicio followed that up with a single, and then stole second. Jax Biggers doubled but Aparicio was thrown out at home. One out later, Melvin Novoa singled, scoring Biggers before Sherten Apostel homered scoring Novoa.

In the sixth inning, with one on, Novoa hit his third home run of the season, giving the Crawdads a 6-1 lead.

Columbia would get a run back in the bottom of the sixth.

Hickory would score again in the seventh inning. With one away, Frainyer Chaves tripled and would score two batters later when Aparicio would double.

In the eighth inning, with the bases loaded, Pedro Gonzalez would be forced out at first, but it would score Tyreque Reed.

Ronny Henriquez pitched five solid innings for the win. He gave up four hits, one run and struck out nine.

Hickory is 9-2 on the second half of the season. They will go on the road to take on the West Virginia Power. The Crawdads are back at home on Thursday, July 4.

The Appalachian State men's soccer team has announced its 2019 schedule. The 17-game slate includes 11 regular season home matches and five contests against 2018 NCAA Tournament teams.

For the second time since joining the league, the Mountaineers will host the Sun Belt Tournament from Nov. 13-17 at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex. App State hosted the championship in 2015.

"We are thrilled about the upcoming season," head coach Jason O'Keefe said. "We will be tested and challenged tremendously by this schedule. It will make us a better team and program this year and in the future."

The 2019 campaign opens with three exhibitions beginning Aug. 16 as the Mountaineers host Lincoln Memorial at 6 p.m. App State will then travel to Campbell, an NCAA Tournament team a season ago, on Aug. 19 and Winthrop on Aug. 24 to wrap up exhibition play.

Appalachian kicks off the regular season with a five-game homestand, including its second NCAA Tournament opponent. The Apps went 4-1-2 at home in 2018. The four wins were the most on their home turf since 2015.

BIG EAST foe St. John's makes the trip to Boone on Aug. 30, serving as the regular season home opener. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The Mountaineers have a quick turnaround, hosting Loyola just two days later on Sept. 1 at 7 p.m.

"To have a program like St. John's, who have won a National Championship, open the season here at Ted Mackorell soccer complex is amazing. Then to play Patriot League champions Loyola will be a fantastic way to open the season and showcase some great teams for our fan base," O'Keefe said.

George Mason (Sept. 6), American (Sept. 8), and High Point (Sept. 14) round out the Mountaineers' homestand. High Point finished the 2018 season 13-3-2, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

App State hits the road on Sept. 17 for a 7 p.m. kick against Elon, followed by UNC-Greensboro on Sept. 21. The Mountaineers return home on Sept. 25 and Oct. 1 for matches against UNC-Asheville and East Tennessee State, respectively.

Conference play begins on Oct. 6 as the Mountaineers head to Conway, Ark. to face Central Arkansas. This fall will be the Bears' first season in the Sun Belt, coming off of a 2018 campaign that featured a regular season title, a conference tournament title and back-to-back NCAA appearances in their last season as an affiliate member of the Missouri Valley Conference.

"The Sun Belt schedule will again be very difficult and with the addition of Central Arkansas, it should be wide open and very competitive," O'Keefe said.

Following the conference opener, App State hosts Howard on Oct. 12 in another Sun Belt battle. Before facing Coastal Carolina at home on Oct. 19, UAB travels to the High Country to play the Mountaineers on Oct. 16. All three matches are set to begin at 7 p.m.

The final two non-conference matches will take place on the road, with the Mountaineers facing Big Ten opponent Penn State on Oct. 25., followed by in-state foe North Carolina on Oct. 29. UNC posted a 14-4-1 mark in 2018, en route to an ACC Coastal Division title, a trip to the ACC Tournament championship match and an NCAA Tournament appearance.

The 2019 regular season comes to a close with the Black and Gold at Georgia Southern on Nov. 2, followed by a home match against reigning Sun Belt Champion Georgia State on Nov. 9. The focus then turns to the Sun Belt Tournament beginning Nov. 13.

The Mountaineers return to the pitch this fall after ending the 2018 season as the conference's top defensive team with seven shutouts. The Black and Gold posted its highest finish in the Sun Belt and tallied seven All-Sun Belt selections The Mountaineers finished 8-5-3 in the regular season, marking O'Keefe's best record since joining the squad in 2016.

Appalachian State cross country and distance runner Emily Fedders has been named to the Google Cloud Academic All-America First Team in cross country/track & field.

It marks the second consecutive Google Cloud Academic All-America selection for Fedders and her first First Team honor. She is just the fifth Appalachian State student-athlete to earn First Team honors, joining Gill Beck of football (1977), Jamie Harris of baseball (1984), D.J. Campbell of football (1992) and David Towarnicky of baseball (2010).

Fedders also is the 16th Google Cloud Academic All-America selection in Appalachian State history and just the third student-athlete in school history to earn the honor twice, joining Gill Beck of football (1975 and 1977) and David Towarnicky of baseball (2009 and 2010).

Fedders is the second Mountaineer to earn Google Cloud Academic All-America honors for the 2018-19 school year, joining men's soccer goalie Jake Chasteen. Fedders and Chasteen's honors marks the first time in school history that Appalachian State has had two Academic All-Americans honorees in the same school year.

Fedders, a geology major, posted another strong cross country season. At the Sun Belt Championships, she earned Third Team All-Sun Belt honors with a 14th place finish, helping the Mountaineers capture the conference title for the second time in three seasons. The all-conference finish also marked her third straight All-Sun Belt accolade.

In the indoor track & field season, Fedders scored points for App State at the Sun Belt Indoor Championships, placing fourth in the 5,000-meter run in 17:39.37.

During the outdoor season, Fedders etched her name into the record books with a second-place finish in the 10,000-meter run at the Sun Belt Championships with a time of 36:33.45 Her time ranks as the seventh fastest time in the event in program history. It also marked the second straight season she earned All-Sun Belt honors in the 10,000-meter run.

The Google Cloud Academic All-America Team recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their performances on the field and in the classroom.

The Hickory Crawdads used a pair of runs in the fourth and eighth innings to defeat the Columbia Fireflies 4-0 Saturday night on the road.

Hickory scored the first two runs of the contest in the fourth inning. With two out in the inning, Matt Whatley singled. He would steal his 19th base of the season before Kole Enright homered to right center field. Matt Whatley scores.

The Crawdads tacked on two more in the eighth inning. After a Melvin Novoa walk, Tyreque Reed hit a home run to left center field.

Hans Crouse worked four innings for Hickory, giving up four hits and striking out one, but did not factor into the decision. Instead, Tai Tiedemann picked up the win with three innings pitched, allowing only one hit and striking out three.

Hickory Motor Speedway Results 6/29/19

Late Model Race #1

1 #12 Austin McDaniel

2 #2 Landon Huffman

3 #28H Chris Hudspeth

4 #31 Thomas Beane

5 #17 Taylor Gray

6 #18 Connor Mosack ( r )

7 #54 Drew Dollar

8 #14 Vince Midas

9 #11 Dillon Houser

10 #4 Dawson Cram

11 #97 Kyle Lockrow

12 #12C Jake Crum

13 #25L Kevin Leicht

14 #19 Jessie Cann ( r )

15 #71 Curtis Pardue

Late Model Race #2

1 #25L Kevin Leicht

2 #12 Austin McDaniel

3 #17 Taylor Gray

4 #28H Chris Hudspeth

5 #18 Connor Mosack ( r )

6 #31 Thomas Beane

7 #14 Vince Midas

8 #19 Jessie Cann ( r )

9 #54 Drew Dollar

10 #12C Jake Crum

11 #11 Dillon Houser

12 #4 Dawson Cram

13 #97 Kyle Lockrow

14 #2 Landon Huffman

15 #71 Curtis Pardue

Limited Late Model

1 #91 Stevie Johns Jr.

2 #18D Cody DeMarmels

3 #23 Brendan Doyle

4 #50 Todd Midas

5 #21 JP Dyar

6 #33G Kosma Guznyakov ( r )

7 #88 Alexx Brezeale

8 #2 Mitch Walker

9 #44K Josh Kossek

10 #32 Josh Stark ( r )

Street Stocks

1 #21C Drew Cox

2 #2 Ethan Johnson

3 #64 Marshall Sutton

4 #69 Trey Buff

5 #03 Kevin Eby

6 #5 Jesse Clark

7 #00 Todd Bradburry

8 #31 Derek Fowler

9 #77 Mark Whitten

10 #23 Emily Tracy

11 #16S Jonathon Smith

Super Trucks

1 #88T Robert Tyler

2 #26 Charlie Neill

3 #51 Allen Huffman

4 #70B Travis Baity

5 #28T Dennis Trivette

6 #97 Zach Hale

7 #33 Brett Suggs ( r )

8 #30 Joey Shuryan

4 Cylinders

1 #6 Brian Mundy

2 #17 Curtis Pardue

3 #21 Ashton Trivette

4 #11 Robbie Trivette

5 #98 Robbie Lewis

6 #88 Alex Posey

7 #9 Cody Combs

8 #59 Donn Wardo DNS

Hickory Vintage Racing Series

1 #8 Bob Hapeman

2 #16 Bill Webb

3 #71P Bill Powell

4 #16W Mackie Webb

Appalachian State Athletics and the Former Athletes Association are excited to announce the 2019 Hall of Fame class.

In alphabetical order, the 2019 inductees are Bobby Barbera (men's tennis, 1963-67), DaVon Fowlkes (football, 2000-04), Donald Sims (men's basketball, 2007-11) and Jim Whitmer (wrestling, 1963-67). Coincidentally, Barbera and Whitmer are Goldsboro, N.C., natives who roomed together at App State.

This is the 45th class in the history of the Appalachian State Athletics Hall of Fame. The group will be inducted in a ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 31, before the Mountaineers' season-opening home football game against East Tennessee State. 

Fans are also encouraged to attend the home football game to see the inductees recognized.


BOBBY BARBERA (Men's Tennis — 1963-67)
Four-time national NAIA tournament participant helped App State win four Carolinas Conference and four National Association of Intercollegiate District 26 titles … Career regular-season winning percentage of .653 in singles and .733 in doubles … Native of Goldsboro, N.C., helped the Mountaineers place in the top 11 of the national tournament four times, highlighted by finishes of third and fourth place in Kansas City … Two-time Carolinas Conference singles champion and three-time finalist … Placed in the top 16 of the national tournament three times in singles … Three-time Carolinas Conference doubles champion and four-time finalist … Member of the District 26 championship doubles team as a senior and a top-16 doubles team at the national tournament as a junior … Team captain as a senior … Also played one year of men's soccer at App State ... Became a teacher, multi-sport coach and administrator at Oak Ridge Military Academy following his graduation from App State.

DAVON FOWLKES (Football — 2000-04)
Southern Conference Player of the Year and first-team All-American as a senior in 2004 before being named Southern Conference Male Athlete of the Year for 2004-05 … Three-time first-team all-conference (receiver in 2004 in addition to return specialist in 2002, 2003 and 2004) … Finished third in voting for the Walter Payton Award (FCS Player of the Year) in 2004, when he led FCS players in all-purpose yards, catches and receiving yards … Holds App State records for single-season receiving yards (1,618), single-season touchdown catches (14), single-season receptions (103), single-game catches (17), single-game receiving yards (280) and career punt return yards (1,276) … Second in Southern Conference single-season history with 2,313 all-purpose yards in 2004 and totaled 5,017 for his career … Ranks third in App State history in career receptions (200) and receiving yards (2,960) … Fourth in App State history with 22 career touchdown catches … Responsible for three of the five longest receptions in App State history … His 17 catches for 280 yards (both SoCon records) and three touchdowns occurred in a 48-7 home win against Elon in 2004 and were part of a record-setting three straight games with at least 200 receiving yards … Native of Fort Wayne, Ind., signed with the Indianapolis Colts following his college career.

DONALD SIMS (Men's Basketball – 2007-11)
App State's career scoring leader (2,185 points) and single-season scoring leader (754 points in 2009-10) … 2010 Southern Conference Player of the Year after averaging 20.4 points for a 24-13 team that won the SoCon North title by two games, reached the SoCon Tournament final and advanced to the semifinals … Two-time first-team all-conference selection (2010, 2011) … Also App State's career leader in made 3-pointers (358), made free throws (545), and free throw percentage (.892) … App State's single-season leader in made 3-pointers (123 in 2009-10) and free throw percentage (.951 in 2009-10) … Averaged 16.8 points for his career, highlighted by a 21.0 average as a senior … Scored a career-high 44 points in a 78-68 win at Davidson in 2010 by going 13-for-19 from the field, including 5-for-7 on 3s, and 13-for-13 at the line … Led team in assists as a freshman, sophomore and senior … Led team in steals as a senior … Tied for third in App State history with nine made 3-pointers in one game (vs. Chattanooga in 2009) and shot 40.5 percent from 3-point range in his App State career … Gaffney, S.C., native made the all-freshman team in 2008 and was a member of the SoCon All-Tournament team as a sophomore … Played professionally last season for San Lorenzo of the Argentinian La Liga with previous pro stints in the NBA Development League, Venezuela, Latvia, Ukraine and Belgium.

JIM WHITMER (Wrestling — 1963-67)
Wrestled for Hall of Fame coach Steve Gabriel at App State and was a two-time NAIA All-American at 137 pounds … Placed sixth nationally at 137 pounds in 1966 and fourth nationally at 137 pounds in 1967 … The Goldsboro, N.C., native had an unbeaten record during the 1966 team's run to a 9-0 record that included wins against NC State, North Carolina and Georgia Tech ... Was a senior on an 8-1-1 team in 1967 … Is one of three two-time wrestling All-Americans from App State along with Bruce Schlegal (three-time) and Mark Fee … App State had two unbeaten seasons while going a combined 32-3-1 in his four years at Appalachian State … Majored in Biology and attended graduate school at Appalachian State … Founded the wrestling program at Enka High School in 1970 and was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Oklahoma in 2008 thanks to a 351-80 record as a coach … Received the Laurel Wreath Award, North Carolina's highest honor for athletic achievement, in 2018.

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