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Wednesday, 02 July 2014 22:15

Appalachian State Adds Wide Receiver

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Jaylan Barbour, a true freshman ranked among the nation’s top 100 wide receivers in the high-school class of 2014, has enrolled at Appalachian State University and joined the Mountaineers’ football program.

Barbour, a 5-10, 165-pounder from Monroe, N.C., signed a National Letter of Intent with Wake Forest in February but was released from the obligations of that NLI, which allowed him to enroll at Appalachian State and play immediately.

ESPN ranked Barbour as the No. 79 high-school wide receiver nationally in the class of 2014 and the Fayetteville Observer tabbed him as the 30th-best prospect in the state of North Carolina. He caught 130 passes for 2,198 yards and 20 touchdowns during his prep career, including 46 receptions for 858 yards and seven scores as a senior.

JAYLAN BARBOUR (WR, 5-10, 165, Fr., Monroe, N.C./Monroe)
Rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com and 247Sports ... tabbed as the No. 79-ranked wide receiver nationally by ESPN and No. 81 by Rivals.com ... named the No. 30-ranked prospect in the state of North Carolina by the Fayetteville Observer and No. 38 by National Underclassmen Sports ... caught 130 passes for 2,198 yards and 20 touchdowns in three seasons as a starter ... tallied 44 receptions for 861 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore (2011) ... had 42 catches for 521 yards and four scores during injury-riddled junior campaign (2012) ... bounced back with 46 receptions for 858 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior (2013) ... also averaged 29 yards per kickoff return and 18 yards per punt return during senior season ... helped lead Monroe to 13-3 record and appearance in 2013 North Carolina 2AA state championship game as a senior ... caught five passes for 132 yards and a touchdown in regional semifinal win over East Lincoln ... returned a kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown in regional final victory over Parkwood ... three-time first-team all-conference honoree ... first-team all-Union County ... coached by Johnny Sowell ... won six 1A state championships in track and field as a member of relay teams at Monroe ... cousin, Jamison Crowder, is a senior all-ACC wide receiver at Duke.

Wednesday, 02 July 2014 22:13

Crawdads Rally to Win at West Virginia

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The Hickory Crawdads seemed well on their way to a routine win Tuesday night before losing a 3-run lead in the 8th, but the resilient 'Dads rallied for five more tallies in the top of the 9th to emerge with an 11-6 win over the West Virginia Power at Appalachian Power Park.

Hickory sent all nine batters to the plate in the decisive ninth frame, with Jairo Beras' bases loaded, RBI walk breaking the tie before Ronald Guzman plated two with a single and Evan Van Hoosier tripled in a pair to give the Crawdads their 11-6 lead. The win is the 5th straight for the 'Dads and pushes their South Atlantic League best 2nd half record to 11-2. The victory also moves the Crawdads all-time franchise record to 1,498-1,497, marking the first time in team history that their record is above .500.

Prior to the 9th inning surge, the Crawdads built a 6-3 advantage through the first seven innings. 'Dads starting pitcher Ricardo Rodriguez was solid on the mound with only three runs allowed, two earned, on nine hits over 5.1 innings pitched. That gave the Hickory offense room to work, with the 'Dads scoring two in the 4th, three in the 5th, and one in the 7th.

Beras delivered the game's opening blow and he broke up a scoreless tie in the 4th with a RBI single to right to plate Lewis Brinson. Kellin Deglan also came home on the play when Power right fielder Elvis Escobar's throw to third base went off line for a 2-0 score. Following a West Virginia run in the bottom of the 4th on a RBI single by Kawika Emsley-Pai, the Crawdads used a pair of home runs in the top of the 5th to stretch their lead to 5-1. Ryan Cordell struck first with on opposite field, solo shot to right, followed two batters later by a 2-run blast by Deglan to right.

The Power plated single runs in both the 5th and 6th frames on a RBI sacrifice fly by Jeff Roy and a RBI single from Emsley-Pai respectively, but the 'Dads came through with another tally in the 7th when Beras singled home Brinson for his second RBI of the game and a 6-3 Hickory lead.

The Crawdads turned to right-handed reliever Josh McElwee to try to navigate the team through the final two innings, but the normally dependable hurler couldn't hold on to the lead as he gave up a game-tying 3-run homer to Power shortstop JaCoby Jones for a 6-6 score.

The Hickory offense would come to their pitcher's aid though, as Joe Jackson singled before Cordell and Brinson walked to load the bases with nobody out in the top of the 9th. Beras then came through with a go-ahead RBI walk that forced home Jackson for a 7-6 Crawdads lead. The 'Dads weren't done yet, as Guzman followed Beras with a 2-RBI single up the middle and Van Hoosier came through two batters later with a 2-RBI triple to center for the final runs of the frame.

All-Star closer Cody Kendall would shut the door from there with a perfect bottom of the 9th to complete the 11-6 Hickory win. McElwee (2-0) earned the win after the late rally, while West Virginia reliever Henry Hirsch (1-4) took the loss after giving up all five runs in the 9th while recording two outs.

Beras (3-4, 3 RBIs, BB, R), Cordell (3-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, BB) and Deglan (3-4, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 R, BB) all finished with three-hit games, while Brinson went 1-2, with three walks and four runs scored for the game.

The Crawdads (11-2) will play the Power (8-5) again on Wednesday in game two of the three game series, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.

A move that was decades in the making came to fruition on Tuesday morning when Appalachian State University officially became a member of the Sun Belt Conference.

With the move to the Sun Belt, one of 10 NCAA Division I conferences in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS — formerly Division I-A), all 20 of Appalachian State’s varsity sports programs will now compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics. Appalachian, which entered the NCAA Division I ranks in 1970 and was a member of the Southern Conference since 1971, had played in football in the Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) since 1982, when the SoCon moved to the subdivision formerly known as Division I-AA.

“This is a great day for Appalachian,” director of athletics Charlie Cobb said. “For the first time in more than 30 years, all of our student-athletes now have the opportunity to compete at the highest level of college athletics while raising the profile of our University on a regional and national level.”

Officially joining the Sun Belt culminates a process that began in September 2010 when Appalachian State announced that it would conduct a study to evaluate the feasibility of a move to a conference that sponsors Division I FBS. An 11-member feasibility committee convened in 2011 to study whether it was best for Appalachian State to remain in NCAA Division I FCS or seek to move to Division I FBS. After seven months of objective analysis, which included feedback from all University constituencies (students, faculty, staff, alumni and the local community), the committee determined that Appalachian State’s unprecedented athletic success, the University’s enrollment of 17,000-plus, its academic philosophy and its strategic vision going forward more closely mirrored NCAA Division I FBS institutions and recommended that the University seek membership in an athletics conference that sponsors football in FBS. Appalachian State’s Board of Trustees approved the recommendation on Sept. 23, 2011.

The search for an FBS conference that establishes natural geographic rivalries and makes sound financial sense concluded on March 27, 2013 when former Chancellor Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock and the Appalachian State Board of Trustees accepted an invitation to join the Sun Belt Conference.

The Sun Belt Conference’s membership consists of 11 full-time members — Appalachian State, UALR, Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, South Alabama, UT-Arlington, Texas State and Troy. Idaho and New Mexico State are football-only members, giving the Sun Belt 11 gridiron programs (UALR and UT-Arlington do not field football teams).

Founded in 1976, the Sun Belt’s 21 non-conference football wins in the 2013 season was a new record for the league — eclipsing the mark of 19 set the year prior. The Sun Belt also fared well against its peer opponents from other conferences whose champions did not automatically qualify for the Bowl Championship Series. The Sun Belt finished a combined 8-1 against members of Conference-USA (4-1), the Mid-American Conference (3-0) and the Mountain West Conference (1-0) , had the best overall non-conference win percentage among the four non-AQ conferences and was the No. 1-rated non-AQ conference in the final BCS rankings in 2013.

The 2013 football season also saw two Sun Belt teams take home bowl-championship trophies, as Louisiana-Lafayette won its third-straight R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl and Arkansas State won its second consecutive GoDaddy Bowl.

However, football isn’t the only sport where the Sun Belt has enjoyed recent success. As recently as 2013, two Sun Belt squads earned berths in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. This past spring, Louisiana-Lafayette held a unanimous No. 1 ranking in baseball and got within one win of advancing to the College World Series while the Ragin’ Cajuns’ softball program did participate in the Women’s College World Series. In recent years as many as four Sun Belt teams have advanced to the baseball postseason in a single year, while as many as three Sun Belt softball teams have accomplished that feat.

While Appalachian State will undoubtedly see an increase in the competitiveness of opponents across all sports in the Sun Belt, the Mountaineers’ athletic success over the past decade has proven that they are capable of competing at a high level.

Since 2005, Appalachian State has placed in the top 115 in the Division I football Sagarin Ratings (combining FBS and FCS teams) seven times in nine seasons, earned four postseason National Invitation Tournament berths and appeared in a total of six national postseason tournaments in men’s and women’s basketball, earned a pair of top-50 Ratings Percentage Index rankings in baseball, including a run to within three wins of the College World Series in 2012, and sent individual athletes to NCAA national competitions in men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field and wrestling. App State claimed 41 conference championships in its final nine years in the SoCon.

“This day would not be possible if not for decades of vision, hard work and achievement put forth by thousands of Appalachian State students, faculty, staff, campus leaders, alumni, supporters and community members,” Cobb said. “We hope that the entire App Nation joins us in celebrating this historic day and will continue to help us rise together to achieve great things.”

Alexander County: 5
Hickory: 3
Alexander County Post 170 leads the best of five series 1-0. Game two is tomorrow night at Hickory Post 48's Henkel-Alley Field

Shelby: 9
Burke County: 7
Shelby Post 82 leads the best of five series 1-0. Game two is tomorrow night at Burke County's Shuey Field.

Mint Hill: 7
Caldwell County: 3
Mint Hill leads the best of five series 1-0. Game two is tomorrow night at Caldwell County's MS Deal Stadium.

Lenoir-Rhyne University's Ivan Vieitez and Brantley Rumford earned 2014 NCCSIA All-State College Division Baseball honors. NCCSIA is the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association.

Vieitez, a junior outfielder from Miami, Fla., garnered all-state accolades for the second straight year after leading the South Atlantic Conference in batting average (.451), third-best in the nation.

Vieitez ranked first on the team in numerous offensive categories including runs scored (39), hits (65), doubles (four), triples (four), home runs (four), runs batted in (38), total bases (100), slugging percentage (.694) and on-base percentage (.539).

Vieitez was also team's best pitcher, fashioning a 5-5 record with a 2.95 earned run average, 46 strikeouts, three complete games and two shutouts. Vieitez was a First-Team All-South Atlantic Conference and All-Southeast Region selection and was named a Daktronics NCAA Division II Third-Team All-American.

Rumford, a junior second baseman from Rock Hill, S.C., was a First-Team All-South Atlantic Conference pick in 2014 after finishing second on the squad in batting average (.376) in addition to 32 runs scored, 11 doubles, one home run, 14 RBI and a .503 slugging percentage.

Nominees were submitted by North Carolina sports information professionals and voted on by the NCCSIA members.

Founded in 2002, The North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) is comprised of sports information professionals from NCAA Division I, II, III, NAIA and independent institutions from the state of North Carolina.

The purpose of the organization is to promote collegiate athletics at all schools. Membership is open to anyone affiliated with a college, university or conference located in North Carolina, and whose area of responsibility lies within sports information.

NCCSSIA selects all-state teams in the University (Division I) and College (Division II, III, NAIA) divisions for men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball.

North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association
2014 College Division All-State Baseball Teams

First Team
C - Josh Clark, Wingate University
INF - John Macon Smith, Guilford College
INF - Daniel Fraga, UNC Pembroke
INF - Jordan Edgerton, UNC Pembroke
INF - Corey Wallace, Guilford College
OF - Ivan Vieitez, Lenoir-Rhyne University
OF - Eric Serra, Wingate University
OF - Drew Cole, UNC Pembroke
DH - Dalton Knight, UNC Pembroke
SP - Olen Little, Wingate University
SP - Craig Brooks, Catawba College
RP - Ryan McClintock, Catawba College
RP - Avery Rogers, Guilford College

Second Team
INF - Brantley Rumford, Lenoir-Rhyne University
INF - John Hunter, Chowan University
INF - Tyler Burden, Chowan University
INF - James Feldmann, Greensboro College
OF - Keaton Hawks, Catawba College
OF - Blake Throneburg, Greensboro College
OF - Jon Krecicki, Greensboro College
DH - T.J. Wharton, Catawba College
SP - Ben Currie, Wingate University
SP - Andy Sullivan, UNC Pembroke
RP - Drew Baranosky, Greensboro College

The Hickory Crawdads broke out the long ball Monday night to complete their 4-game sweep of the Greenville Drive, as Jairo Beras, Kellin Deglan, and Lewis Brinson all went yard to lead the 'Dads to a 10-3 win at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The victory makes the 'Dads the first team in the South Atlantic League to reach the 10-win plateau in the 2nd half with a 10-2 record. The win also has some historical significance for the franchise as it moves the Crawdads all-time record to 1,497 - 1,497, marking the first time the team has reached the .500 mark since they were 5-5 ten games into their inaugural 1993 season. The Crawdads have never been over .500 in their 22-year existence.

The 'Dads bats got things rolling early in the ballgame, as leadoff hitter Evan Van Hoosier doubled to right-center in the 1st before scoring on a bunt single by Michael De Leon and an ensuing throwing error from Greenville second baseman Wendell Rijo for a 1-0 lead.

The Drive quickly responded by scoring a pair of runs without the benefit of a hit in the top of the 2nd, as Hickory starting pitcher Anyelo Leclerc followed up a leadoff error by De Leon at shortstop with four straight walks to force in two runs for a 2-1 Greenville advantage. Hickory came back with another single tally in the bottom of the frame however, with Ronald Guzman doubling to center, moving to third on a base knock by Beras, and scoring on a RBI sacrifice fly to right by Janluis Castro to tie the game at 2-2.

Once again the Drive retaliated with a run in the top of the 3rd, with a 2-out double from Rijo followed up by a RBI single from Manuel Margot to put Greenville ahead at 3-2. The 'Dads would finally pull ahead for good however in the home half of the 3rd, as the team scored four runs on three hits and a walk to surge ahead 6-3. Brinson brought home the first run when Joe Jackson scored on his infield single, but it was Beras who delivered the decisive blow when he lined a 2-out, 3-RBI home run to right-center to give the Crawdads a lead they would never relinquish.

Hickory picked up single tallies in both the 5th and 7th frames thanks to solo blasts by Deglan and Brinson respectively, before capping the scoring with two more runs on three hits in the 8th for the final 10-3 score. Guzman led off the frame by reaching on a throwing error from Rijo, before Beras followed with a double to left to put runners on second and third. Guzman would eventually come home on a wild pitch by Greenville reliever Mario Alcantara while Castro plated Beras on a RBI single to right.

Beras finished the night 3-4 with his third homer of the year, a double, and three RBIs. Brinson went 2-4 with his 8th long ball and 2 RBI, while Deglan ended the game 1-4 with his 11th big fly. Van Hoosier (2-5, 2B, R), De Leon (2-5, 2B), and Nomar Mazara (2-5, 2B, R) all finished with multi-hit games as well, while Mazara also turned in a defensive gem when he robbed Greenville right fielder Forrestt Allday of a homer in the 4th with a leaping catch in right field.

Hickory reliever Felix Carvallo (3-2) earned the win for the 'Dads with three shutout innings out of the pen on only one hit, one walk, and three strikeouts. Greenville starter Teddy Stankiewicz (6-6) took the loss after giving up six runs on nine hits, one walk, and four Ks over 4 frames.

The Crawdads (10-2) will now head to West Virginia for the first time this year to start a 3-game series against the Power. First pitch on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05 pm.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team, fresh off its trip to the national title game, has been ranked third and fifth, respectively, in Lindy’s and The Sporting News 2014 NCAA Division II Preseason Top 25 Polls.

The Bears went 13-2 last year and finished ranked No. 2 in the nation after advancing all the way to the NCAA Division II Championship on December 21, 2013, in Florence, Ala. L-R fell to Northwest Missouri State, 43-28, in the title game.

In addition, Lenoir-Rhyne set a school single-season record for wins in a season and won its third consecutive South Atlantic Conference Championship last fall.

L-R returns 17 starters including junior offensive lineman Joe Ray (Atlanta, Ga.) and senior fullback Isaiah Whitaker (Salisbury, N.C.), both of whom garnered preseason All-American accolades.

Ray won the 2013 Jacobs Blocking Trophy, given annually to the top offensive lineman in the South Atlantic Conference, while Whitaker finished with 912 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns last season. Whitaker has totaled 2,601 yards and 21 scores during the past three years.

Both players helped Lenoir-Rhyne set an all-time NCAA record for rushing yards in a season (5,563) last fall.

L-R also returns senior running back Jarrod Spears (Bunnlevel, N.C.) and senior quarterback Miles Freeman (Sacramento, Calif.), who finished first and second on the team with 984 and 968 yards rushing, respectively, in 2013.

Lenoir-Rhyne, under first-year Head Coach Ian Shields, opens the season on Saturda, September 6, against Point at home beginning at 7:00 p.m., at Moretz Stadium.

2014 NCAA Division II
National Preseason Polls

The Sporting News
1. Northwest Missouri State
2. Grand Valley State
3. Colorado State-Pueblo
4. Minnesota State Mankato
5. Lenoir-Rhyne
6. West Chester
7. North Alabama
8. Minnesota-Duluth
9. West Texas A&M
10. Henderson State
11. Shepherd
12. Winston-Salem State
13. Ohio Dominican
14. Pittsburg State
15. St. Cloud State
16. Indianapolis
17. Bloomsburg
18. Carson-Newman
19. Delta State
20. American International
21. Tuskegee
22. Emporia State
23. Newberry
24. East Stroudsburg
25. Azusa Pacific

Lindy's
1. Northwest Missouri State
2. St. Cloud State
3. Lenoir-Rhyne
4. Grand Valley State
5. Henderson State
6. Pittsburg State
7. Minnesota-Duluth
8. West Chester
9. Colorado State-Pueblo
10. Shepherd
11. West Alabama
12. Ohio Dominican
13. Emporia State
14. Carson-Newman
15. Winston-Salem State
16. Minnesota State Mankato
17. UNC Pembroke
18. West Texas A&M
19. Indianapolis
20. North Alabama
21. Saginaw Valley
22. Azusa Pacific
23. Bloomsburg
24. Missouri Western
25. Tuskegee

2014 NCAA Division II
Preseason All-American Teams

The Sporting News
OFFENSE
QB - Kevin Rodgers, Henderson State
RB - Tyler Tonderum, Southwest Missouri State
RB - Daiquone Ford, Findlay
OL - Cole Manhart, Nebraska-Kearney
OL - Matthew Reese, Tuskegee
OL - Joe Ray, Lenoir-Rhyne
OL - Cory Tucker, Slippery Rock
OL - Garrison Ushery, West Georgia
TE - Jamie Potts, Grand Valley State
WR - Jere Brown, Shippensburg
WR - Trevor Harman, Shippensburg

DEFENSE
DL - Matt Longacre, Northwest Missouri State
DL - Darius Allen, Colorado State-Pueblo
DL - Charlie Tuaau, Texas A&M-Commerce
DL - Grant Singer, Mary
LB - Ronell Williams, West Chester
LB - Isaiah Fleming, Cheyney
LB - D.J. Gnader, Northwest Missouri State
DB - John Strickland, Indianapolis
DB - Tyler Thornton, Azusa Pacific
DB - Colin Kimball, Mercyhurst
DB - Harold Jones-Quartey, Findlay

SPECIAL TEAMS
K - Brent Wahle, Ohio Dominican
P - Patrick Carney, New Mexico Highlands

Lindy's
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
QB - Kevin Rodgers, Henderson State
RB - Tyler Tonderum, Southwest Missouri State
RB - Terrell Watson, Azusa Pacific
WR - Darius Davis, Henderson State
WR - Trevor Harman, Shippensburg
TE - Jamie Potts, Grand Valley State
OL - Joe Ray, Lenoir-Rhyne
OL - Mitchell Weideman, St. Cloud
OL - Isaiah Shelton, Shepherd
OL - Cole Manhart, Nebraska-Kearney
OL - Matthew Reese, Tuskegee
AP - Marquez Clark, Central Oklahoma
K - Brent Wahle, Ohio Dominican

FIRST TEAM DEFENSE
DL - Matt Longacre, Northwest Missouri State
DL - Darius Allen, Colorado State-Pueblo
DL - Charlie Tuaau, Texas A&M-Commerce
LB - Eric Reimer, Northwest Missouri State
LB - Troy Guptil, Mary
LB - Brian Harrington, Stonehill
DB - Sammy Siasia, Mars Hill
DB - Demarco Donaldson, Malon
DB - Colin Kimball, Mercyhurst
DB - E.J. Jacob, Carson-Newman
P - Patrick Carney, New Mexico Highlands

SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
QB - Chris Bonner, Colorado State-Pueblo
RB - Jeff Seybold, Pittsburg State
RB - Isaiah Whitaker, Lenoir-Rhyne
WR - Dimitri Holmes, Mars Hill
WR - Paul Browning, Colorado State-Pueblo
TE - Lucas Hefty, Upper Iowa
OL - Karl Eichinger, St. Cloud
OL - Derek Schatz, West Chester
OL - Cody Laubach, East Stroudsburg
OL - Shadow Stokes, Midwestern State
OL - Jarrett Stastny, Emporia State
AP - John Moscatel, Southern Connecticut State
K - Jamie McGee, Arkansas-Monticello

SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL - Kevin Brewton, Findlay
DL - Jovontay Williams, Johnson C. Smith
DL - Julian Howsare, Clarion
DL - Kenny Allen, Central Oklahoma
LB - Collin Corcoran, Winona State
LB - Tyler Zimmer, Seton Hill
LB - Derrick Bryant, Indianapolis
DB - Jamaris Brown, Walsh
DB - Brion Robinson, Lincoln
DB - Kyler Harris, Northeastern State
DB - Isaiah Davis, Central Washington
P - Kyle Jaski, Lincoln

The North Carolina American Legion Area IV playoffs will begin on Tuesday. The first round is a best three-out-of-five series. Of our area teams:

Alexander County, the number three seed in the east, takes on Hickory, the number six seed in the west.

Burke County is the number nine seed from the west and will take on top seeded west squad Shelby.

Caldwell County is the number five seed from the west and will take on East seeded number four, Mint Hill.

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