Sports

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The Catawba Valley Community College baseball team continued its offensive onslaught on Friday, completing a sweep of the Piedmont International JV squad with a 19-1 five-inning victory at Henkel-Alley Field at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds.

 

Catawba Valley second basemen Jimmy Marcelli and R.J. Conner led the Red Hawks (3-0) with three RBI each, while centerfielder Cody Payne and shortstop Cory Watt also drove in two runs apiece.

 

On the mound, CVCC starter Trae Starnes allowed just three hits, one unearned run and struck out seven batters in 3.1 innings. Relievers Greg Collins and Chase Covington closed out the final 1.2 innings, combining to allow no hits, one walk and striking out four.

 

Tthe Bruins took a 1-0 lead after the top of the first, but the Red Hawks answered with six runs of their own in the bottom half of the frame, including RBI singles from Marcelli, Payne and first basemen Kyran Russ.

 

CVCC added one run in the second on an RBI sac fly in the bottom of the second inning before exploding in the bottom of the third inning for 10 runs, including a two-RBI double by Marcelli and a three-run double from Conner.

 

Starnes, Collins and Covington held the Bruin bats at bat, allowing the Red Hawks to earn the run-rule victory.

 

The Catawba Valley baseball team returns to action on Wednesday for a midweek road doubleheader against the Limestone JV squad.

Both the Appalachian State men's and women's cross country programs earned All-Academic Team honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

To qualify for the award, a team must have a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or better on 4.0 scale.

Overall, a combined 423 men's and women's squads earned the honor. The Appalachian men were one of 195 men's teams to be recognized, while the Mountaineer women were one of 228 to earn the award.

The fall season was highlighted by strong showings at the Sun Belt championships. The men's program captured their first ever Sun Belt title after being chosen fourth in the conference. The women finished second at the championships, seeing two runners earn All-Sun Belt honors.

Neill McGeachy, former director of intercollegiate athletics and executive director of the Piedmont Educational Foundation/Bears Club at Lenoir-Rhyne University, passed away early Friday morning at the age of 75.

McGeachy’s connection to LR began when he enrolled as a student in the then, Lenoir-Rhyne College, graduating in 1965. He returned to his alma mater to join the athletics department in 2002. For 14 years, he served as Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Executive Director of the Piedmont Educational Foundation/Bears Club. He retired in March of 2016.

McGeachy is credited with growing and positioning the LR athletics program into one of national prominence that it is today. Under his leadership, the number of student-athletes continued to grow (46% over a seven-year period) and eight sports were added to the program including tennis, swimming, lacrosse, and track and field. He implemented the PEF Bears Club Gala, the LR/Moretz Sports Championship Series and worked to expand radio broadcast sponsorships as well as affinity and corporate partnerships. His collaborative efforts with all constituents of LRU directly impacted the overall enrollment growth and retention rates of the institution.

During his tenure, he remained an active member of the community, becoming a popular speaker, and member – as well as past Board of Directors member – of the Hickory Rotary Club. Regionally, he also served as Chair of the South Atlantic Conference AD Council through June 2010.

Before joining LRU, McGeachy served as Director of Marketing with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southern Section in Atlanta. Prior to that, he served as founder and president of Sugar Creek Enterprises, Inc., a sports promotions company with offices in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, for 20 years.

As a student-athlete at LR, McGeachy was a three-sport standout for the Bears in football, basketball and track. He served as head basketball coach at Duke University in the 1973-1974 season. In 1987, he was inducted into the Lenoir-Rhyne Sports Hall of Fame and, in 1999, the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame. In April 2016, McGeachy was also inducted into the Iredell County Sports Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class.

Born in Charlotte and raised in Statesville, McGeachy returned to Winston Salem after his retirement to be near family.

Sophomore guard Shaniya Lester tied her career high, scoring 31 points to lead the No. 17 Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team to an 87-77 win against host Patrick Henry Community College on Thursday.

 

The Red Hawks (15-4, 10-1 in Region X) trailed by three points at halftime to the Patriots and by two points after the third quarter, but would outscore Patrick Henry 26-14 in the final quarter, including 11 points by Lester, to come away with their seventh road victory.

 

Freshman forward Zharia Brown added 17 points in the win for Catawba Valley, while Nikkyana McCaskill (12 points), Tory Agrusa (12 points) and Joyous Wilson (11 points) all reached double figures in scoring for the Red Hawks.

 

Tyeisha Williams and Zenya Butler led Patrick Henry (8-12, 6-10 in Region X) with 25 and 23 points, respectively.

 

The CVCC women’s basketball team returns to action on Saturday for a home conference game against Fayetteville Tech at the Tarlton Complex. Game time is set for 1 p.m. Admission is free.

Friday, 09 February 2018 08:42

CVCC Baseball Opens Season With a Pair of Wins

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The 17th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College baseball team opened its season in style on Thursday, sweeping the visiting Piedmont International JV squad at Henkel-Alley Field at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds.

 

“I’m very, very proud of our guys,” said fourth-year CVCC head baseball coach Paul Rozzelle. “I’ve been challenging them a lot here at practice lately. They responded…All of the guys were unbelievable all day. The energy was unbelievable. That’s going to be the mark of this team I think. If we can compete as hard as we did from first pitch to last out and have guys filling up the zone on the mound, playing solid defense behind them and grinding out at bats, I am going to be tickled to death for the rest of this year regardless of wins or losses.”

 

Game one: CVCC 4, Piedmont International 0

 

Behind a dominant pitching performance from sophomore captain Julian Smith, the Red Hawks one-hit the Bruins in the first game of the doubleheader on Thursday.

 

Smith allowed just one walk, no hits and struck out nine of the 13 Bruin batters he faced in Thursday’s game. It was Smith’s first game back since suffering an elbow injury on April 9, 2016 against Brunswick Community College and undergoing Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2017 season.

 

“It was great to feel good out there,” Smith said. “Coming off Tommy John (surgery), I was really excited to be back out there with the guys. It’s not like I was thinking about strikeouts. I just trusted my stuff. I had a great defense behind me. I was just pounding the zone.”

 

Red Hawk pitchers allowed just one hit in the first game Thursday, and Catawba Valley’s offense helped their cause by capitalizing on five hits at the plate, including two from leadoff hitter Cody Payne, to score four runs — three in the fifth inning — en route to the victory.

 

Jimmy Marcelli and Tyler Campbell drove in one run apiece in the contest for the Red Hawks (1-0).

 

CVCC pitchers Hunter Isaacs, Kevin Finzer and Timothy Davila combined to strike out three Bruins and hold them to just one hit in the shutout.

 

Game two: CVCC 20, Piedmont International 1

 

The Red Hawk offense erupted for 16 hits, including three apiece off the bats of Blake Jeter and Brett Macchia, to earn the 19-run victory in game two of the doubleheader against the Bruins.

 

The 20 runs are the most in a baseball game for Catawba Valley since scoring 23 against Surry Community College on Feb. 12, 2017.

 

Macchia, a former South Caldwell product, reached base three times in three plate appearances and drove in five runs, including a bases-clearing double in the third inning.

 

“I was just trying to go out the first game and get some good swings,” Macchia said. “I just wanted to hit the ball hard. Everything just felt good today.”

 

A freshman from Easley, S.C., Jeter connected on the first home run of the season by any Red Hawk player with his three-run shot to center field in the sixth inning. He finished the game with four RBI.

 

“It felt good,” Jeter said of his home run. “I struggled early in the game, but I came back good and finished up the game right. It was a great way to start off the season.”

 

Despite allowing seven walks, CVCC pitchers combined to strike out 13 Piedmont International batters, including five by starter Harry Hatcher, and the Red Hawks allowed just one hit to the Bruins.

 

“I’m really happy for our pitching staff,” Rozzelle said. “To give up two hits, I don’t care who you are facing. They did an unbelievable job.”

 

The Catawba Valley baseball team finishes its series with the Piedmont International JV team on Friday. First pitch for the lone nine-inning contest is slated for 4 p.m.

 

“It’s a great start, but it’s only a start,” Rozzelle said of Thursday’s sweep. “We played great twice. There’s going to be two games this season where we don’t play great in a row, but how you respond to that and how you keep going — that’s what this is all about. There are two (games) down and 54 (games) to go. It was a great day for our guys. I’m very proud and very happy for them to see some success and results from all the hard work.”

Appalachian State rallied behind a quick pin from Irvin Enriquez and a major decision from Gavin Londoff, but Duke claimed five-point technical falls in the last two matches to claim a 25-17 nonconference victory on Thursday.

A standing-room-only crowd gathered for Senior Night at Varsity Gym, where the victories by Enriquez and Londoff gave the Mountaineers (8-4) a 17-15 lead.

Bonus points factored into seven of the 10 matches, as App State redshirt freshman Alan Clothier's 16-5 major decision against Kaden Russell at 184 pounds tied the dual meet at 4-all. Randall Diabe improved his dual record to 10-2 with an 8-3 decision against Alec Schenk at 197 pounds, but the Blue Devils (6-5) turned a 7-4 deficit into a 15-7 lead with three straight victories.

Enriquez needed only 60 seconds to pin Jeremiah Reitz at 141 pounds, and Londoff recorded a 14-5 major decision against Brandon Laynaud at 149. Londoff had a sizable riding-time advantage as he entered the third period with a 7-2 lead, and his third takedown of the final period created a nine-point cushion with only 23 seconds remaining.

Duke's six victories included one from fourth-ranked heavyweight Jacob Kasper, a 2017 All-American, and a combined four from a quartet of Finesilver brothers (two sets of twins).

App State, which already has clinched at least a share of a third straight Southern Conference championship, can finish with a second straight 7-0 league record if it wins at The Citadel (1-10, 0-5) on Feb. 18.

Duke 25, App State 17

174: Matt Finesilver (DU) def. Forrest Przybysz (APP), 15-1 maj. dec. (0-4)
184: Alan Clothier (APP) def. Kaden Russell (DU), 16-5 maj. dec. (4-4)
197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Alec Schenk (DU), 8-3 dec. (7-4)
HWT: Jacob Kasper (DU) def. Cary Miller (APP), 17-1 tech. fall (7-9)
125: Thayer Atkins (DU) def. De'Andre Swinson-Barr (APP), 4-2 dec. (7-12)
133: Josh Finesilver (DU) def. Codi Russell (APP), 10-8 dec. (7-15)
141: Irvin Enriquez (APP) def. Jeremiah Reitz (DU), fall, 1:00 (13-15)
149: Gavin Londoff (APP) def. Brandon Leynaud (DU), 14-5 maj. dec. (17-15)
157: Mitch Finesilver (DU) def. Angel Najar (APP), 19-2 tech. fall (17-20)
165: Zach Finesilver (DU) def. Laken Cook (APP), 16-1 tech. fall (17-25)

Friday, 09 February 2018 08:29

App State's Webster Ranked 82nd in ITA Rankings

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Appalachian State University men's tennis senior Scott Webster (Perth, Australia/Scotch College) checks in at No. 82 in the country in the most recent Oracle/International Tennis Association (ITA) rankings.

Webster has been featured in both editions of the ITA rankings thus far while the Australian is the lone student-athlete from the Sun Belt on a list that features highly-talented players from across the nation. He's ahead of athletes from schools such as Texas, South Carolina, Oklahoma State and North Carolina. He's also one of three players from Australia (Mitch Harper - Virginia Tech/Aleks Vukic - Illinois) to make the rankings as well.

App's No. 1 in both singles and doubles has helped the Mountaineers to a 4-2 start, which is the best six-match start since the 2014 campaign. Webster is 3-1 in singles play including a three-match win streak and is two wins away from 50 career victories, while he is a perfect 4-0 with doubles partner, Milo Bargeron. Webster and Bargeron have been a dominant duo since last season where they are 13-3.

Webster and the Mountaineers will look to bounce back this weekend against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Xavier at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Despite leading by one point at halftime against Patrick Henry Community College on Wednesday, the Catawba Valley Community College men's basketball team suffered a second-half collapse on its way to an 84-76 loss at conference home to the Patriots.

 Isayah Johnson paced Catawba Valley (9-14, 4-10 in Region X) in Wednesday's game, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

 Down 35-34 at halftime, Patrick Henry (10-10, 8-6 in Region X) opened the second half on an 8-0 run to gain control for good in the conference contest.

 The Patriots led by as many as 18 points in the second half before CVCC stormed back to within five points late in the game — led by Johnson's 13 second-half points.

 However, Patrick Henry, paced by Anthony Taylor's 17 points and Tahkey Williams' 16 points, was able to hold on for the victory.

 Tyrell Oglesby (13 points), Marcus Talley (11 points) and Caleb Bryson (11 points) also reached double figures in scoring for the Red Hawks on Wednesday.

 The CVCC men's basketball team returns to action on Saturday when it takes on Richard Bland College in Petersburg, Va. Game time is set for 3pm.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team (9-13, 7-9) nearly erased a 17-point deficit in the second half but eventually fell to Catawba (8-13, 5-11), 84-77, in South Atlantic Conference action Wednesday evening at Goodman Gymnasium.

The duo of junior guards Djibril Diallo (Conakry, GUINEA) and Cory Thomas (Louisville, Ky.) continue to shine for the Bears. The pair combined for 46 points including a 26-point, 10-rebound, five-assist performance from Diallo while Thomas added 20 points off the bench.

Four players scored in doubles figures for the Indians – led by Jerrin Morrison (Charlotte, N.C.) and Jordan Barber (Matthews, N.C.) with 17 points each – as the home team jumped out to a 43-26 advantage with 14:04 remaining in the contest and held on for the win.

Lenoir-Rhyne had season-highs in free throws made (27) and attempted (36) despite the loss. The two teams combined for 69 free throw attempts.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior guard Reed Lucas (Greensboro, N.C.) finished with five points and increased his career total to 1,072 (43rd on the Bears’ all-time list). Lucas also has 213 career treys.

LR did manage to cut the margin to two points – 69-67 – on a lay-up by Diallo with 2:21 left but couldn’t get any closer.

The two teams split the season series.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns home to face Mars Hill in a South Atlantic Conference game on Saturday at 4pm.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Football Team signed the first 37 student-athletes for the 2018 campaign, first-year Head Coach Drew Cronic announced Wednesday.

The breakdown by states is as follows: Georgia (19), North Carolina (15), South Carolina (one), Tennessee (one) and Alabama (one).

 

Lenoir-Rhyne Football – 2018 Signees

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Hometown (High School)

Holden Aldridge OL 6-4 285 Hickory, N.C. (Fred T. Foard HS)

Gunnar Anderson QB 6-1 190 Taylorsville, N.C. (Alexander Central HS)

Tre'Dorion Arnold DL 6-2 250 Greenville, S.C. (Greenville HS)

Tate Beaver LB 6-1 200 Newton, N.C. (Fred T. Foard HS)

A.J. Bell QB 6-3 160 Folkston, Ga. (Charlton County HS)

Warren Bell RB 5-10 230 Fayetteville, Ga. (Scotland County HS)

Raja Bradley RB 5-9 200 Waycross, Ga. (Ware County HS)

Ryan Carter WR 5-10 195 Ringgold, Ga. (Heritage HS)

Caine Crews RB 5-8 180 Brunswick, Ga. (Glynn Acad.)

Malik Dassie DB 5-7 170 Sylvester, Ga. (Worth County HS)

Phillip Davis DL 6-0 300 Belmont, N.C. (South Point HS)

Jam'l Dillard DE 6-3 225 Warner Robins, Ga. (Warner Robins HS)

Kurtis Feanny OL 6-1 270 Cartersville, Ga. (Woodland HS)

Devante Ford DB 5-10 190 Newnan, Ga. (East Coweta HS)

Myles Gadson OLB 5-11 200 Loganville, Ga. (Loganville HS)

Noah Haney DL 5-10 215 Lenoir, N.C. (Hibriten HS)

Ja'Luntray Hatcher DB 6-0 185 Griffin, Ga. (Griffin HS)

Bryce Heidinger OL 6-4 255 Raleigh, N.C. (Heritage HS)

Myles Jackson OLB 5-11 200 Kennesaw, Ga. (Kennesaw Mountain HS)

Jaelon Maxie RB 5-9 215 Winston-Salem, N.C. (East Forsyth HS)

Keygan Mayfield CB 5-10 165 Newton, N.C. (Maiden HS)

Blake Myers OLB 6-2 255 Brentwood, Tenn. (Brentwood HS)

Nate Monroe RB 5-8 170 Hudson, N.C. (South Caldwell HS)

Zeke Nance DL 6-3 220 Calhoun, Ga. (Calhoun HS)

J.P. Palmer DB 5-10 170 Townsend, Ga. (McIntosh County HS)

Cameron Parker OL 6-1 260 Clyde, N.C. (Tuscola HS)

Phillip Shukis TE 6-2 200 Boone, N.C. (Watauga HS)

Ernie Squarles WR 5-8 170 Newton, N.C. (Newton-Conover HS)

Javoris Smith DB 5-8 160 Dry Branch, Ga. (Southwest Macon HS)

Drake Starks TE 6-3 230 Ringgold, Ga. (Ringgold HS)

Jaekwon Staton WR 5-10 165 Hickory, N.C. (Hickory HS)

Holden Straughan DL/LS 6-0 175 Cherokee, N.C. (Cherokee HS)

Ameen Stevens RB 5-9 230 Savannah, Ga. (Jenkins HS)

Charles Tassinari DL 6-1 230 Lenoir, N.C. (Hibriten HS)

Malik Taylor DB 5-9 180 Griffin, Ga. (Griffin HS)

Kendrick Wade LB 5-11 200 Quitman, Ga. (Brooks County HS)

Rashad Yelding DL 6-0 260 Daphne, Ala. (Daphne HS)

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