Sports (517)

2A Girls:
East Davidson: 60
East Burke: 39
The Cavaliers season ends at 22-10.

3A Girls:
Freedom: 77
Weddington: 41
Patriots take on Ashbrook in the Western Regional Finals Saturday.

3A Boys:
Hickory: 81
Freedom: 65
The Patriots season ends at 21-8. Hickory takes on JM Robinson in the Western Regional Finals on Saturday.

Following a strong showing at the National Football League Combine, Appalachian State University defensive end Ronald Blair (Greensboro, Ga./Greene County) was tabbed as the No. 65 overall prospect in the 2016 NFL Draft by Sports Illustrated on Tuesday.

In his latest “2016 NFL Draft Big Board: Top 100 Prospects” article, SI’s Chris Burke lists Blair at No. 65 overall, the No. 11 prospect from a non-”power conference” program and the No. 7 defensive end in next month’s NFL Draft, which is slated for April 28-30 in Chicago. Blair is the only Sun Belt Conference representative on Burke’s “Big Board.”

The Cleveland Browns own the 65th overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft (second pick of the third round) and should Blair go in that slot, he would match linebacker Dexter Coakley (Dallas Cowboys -1997) as the fourth-highest NFL Draft pick in Appalachian State history. Current Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Brian Quick (second round, 33rd overall - 2012) is the highest-ever selection from Appalachian, followed by linebacker Dino Hackett (second round, 35th overall - Kansas City Rams, 1986) and wide receiver Dexter Jackson (second round, 58th overall - Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2008).

Blair improved his draft stock by impressing coaches, general managers and scouts at the NFL Combine last weekend in Indianapolis. Most notably, he bench-pressed 225 pounds 32 times, which was tied for the second-most reps among all defensive linemen at the Combine (Georgia’s Chris Mayes had 33 reps). Blair also displayed prototypical size, measuring at 6-2 and 284 pounds with 34-inch arms and 10 1/4-inch hands.

Up next for Blair is Appalachian State’s Pro Day. Blair and eight of his former Mountaineer teammates — wide receiver Bobo Beathard (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield), offensive lineman Jesse Chapman (Cookeville, Tenn./Cookeville), offensive lineman Davante Harris (Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood), wide receiver Malachi Jones (Roswell, Ga./Central Gwinnett), place kicker Zach Matics (Jacksonville, N.C./Southwest-Onslow), wide receiver Simms McElfresh (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian), defensive back Doug Middleton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland) and linebacker Osvaldo Sombo (Matthews, N.C./Butler) — will work out for NFL scouts during the Mountaineers’ annual Pro Day on March 31.

Tuesday, 01 March 2016 22:14

Appalachian State Baseball Lose to NC Central

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In its midweek contest with in-state school NC Central, Appalachian State University baseball gave up home runs in the first, seventh, and eighth innings on its way to dropping a 4-1 game at historic Durham Park.

Starting pitching Breydan Gorham (Burlington, N.C./Western Alamance) made his second start of the season and pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and struck out four batters.

The Eagles (4-4) took the lead in the bottom of the first inning on Carlos Ortiz’ home run over the right field wall. The Mountaineers (1-8) looked as if they would answer in the top of the third. With a man on base, Tanner Mann-Fix (Charlotte, N.C./Olympic) singled into right field and tried to advance as the right fielder threw into third base but was thrown out at second.

In the sixth inning, Mann-Fix leveled the score with a solo shot of his own. With two outs, Mann-Fix lifted the ball over the raised right field wall for the Mountaineers only run of the game. In the bottom have of the inning, Ortiz drove a ball into center field that looked as if it would easily sail over App State defense, but Mann-Fix made a brilliant diving grab to end the inning.

After NC Central regained the lead with a homer in the seventh, the Eagles walked lead-off batter, Matt Vernon (Advance, N.C./Davie County) (Florence-Darlington Tech). Henry Davis (Darlington, S.C./Mayo H.S. for Math, Science and Technology) entered the game to run for Vernon. One batter later, Davis took off for second base and the NC Central catcher threw the ball into center field, allowing Davis to scamper over to third. Appalachian was unable to capitalize with a man on third in what turned out to be their last scoring threat.

NC Central sealed the game with an eighth inning two-run shot to right-center field off reliever Travis Holden (Advance, N.C./West Forsyth). App State couldn’t register a hit in the ninth to keep the game alive.

Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury), Grayson Atwood (Mt. Pleasant, N.C./Mt. Pleasant), and Will Herman (Dunwoody, Ga./St. Pius X Catholic) all recorded hits to go along with Mann-Fix’s two. Gorham suffered the loss and dropped to 0-2 on the season.

The Mountaineers are back in action this weekend in Elon, N.C. for games versus Stony Brook, Bowling Green, and Elon.

Abby Cook of Alexander Central High School is one of two named recipients of the NCHSAA Performance of the Week awards, powered by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel with Jersey Mike’s Subs®.

Each week two athletes in North Carolina High School Athletic Association competition are selected for this award from nominations received from media and school administrators.

Cook, a junior, had two huge games to lead Alexander Central to first and second round wins in the NCHSAA 4A women’s playoffs. In an 81-74, 4 overtime win over Charlotte Vance on February 23, Cook scored 39 points and grabbed 18 rebounds for her nineteenth double-double of the season. Two days later, she chalked up her twentieth double-double with a 14 point, 11 rebound effort in Alexander’s second round win over Greensboro Page.

TWC SportsChannel typically announces the winners of the awards during its Tuesday night Sports Night show and will recognize the winners throughout the week. Weekly recipients will also be recognized via Twitter and Facebook.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Golf Team finished fourth out of 12 schools at the Richard Rendleman Invitational which concluded Tuesday at the Country Club of Salisbury.

The Bears finished with a 596 (+28) on the par-71, 6,665-yard course while North Greenville was the top overall team. The Crusaders carded a 582 (+14).

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore Jackson Bailey (Matthews, N.C.) led the way for the Bears. Bailey, playing as an individual, earned all-tournament honors after finishing fifth with a 145 (+3).

Belmont Abbey’s Nick Stafford rallied to win the tournament with a three-under 139. Lenoir-Rhyne freshman Ulisses Toledo, Jr. (Curitiba, BRAZIL) tied for 12th with a 148 (+6).

Lenoir-Rhyne next competes in the J. Ralph Hargett Memorial Intercollegiate on Sunday, March 13, and Monday, March 14, in Monroe, N.C., at the Monroe Country Club.

Richard Rendleman Invitational
February 29 – March 1, 2016 – Final Results
Salisbury, N.C.
The Country Club of Salisbury

Par: 71
Yards: 6,665

1. North Greenville 582 (+14)
2. Belmont Abbey 587 (+19)
3. Lincoln Memorial 593 (+25)
4. Lenoir-Rhyne 596 (+28)
5. Pfeiffer 600 (+32)
6. Tusculum 610 (+42)
7. Anderson 612 (+44)
8. King 613 (+45)
9. Catawba 625 (+57)
10. Brevard 630 (+62)
11. Davis & Elkins 631 (+63)
12. Livingstone 634 (+66)

Lenoir-Rhyne’s Players
5. Jackson Bailey 145 (+3) - individual
12t. Ulisses Toledo, Jr. 148 (+6)
14t. Hunter McCombs 149 (+7)
17t. Carlos Lasso de la Vega Jessen 150 (+8)
27t. Brad Robinson 154 (+12)
30t. Luis Lopez Malo 155 (+13)

For the fourth consecutive year, Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Kevin Baxter has qualified for the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships in the men’s 60-meter hurdles.

Baxter, a senior from Columbia, S.C., earned All-American honors in the event in both 2013 and 2015 and is ranked eighth in the nation this year with a season-best time of 7.96 which he earned at the Armory Track Intercollegiate in New York, N.Y. Baxter holds the school record in the event: 7.92 seconds in 2015.

The 2016 Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships will take place on Friday, March 11, and Saturday, March 12, at the Robert W. Plaster Center on the campus of Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kan.

In addition, Baxter (men’s 60-meter hurdles) was one of six Lenoir-Rhyne athletes to earn 2016 USTFCCCA NCAA Division II All-Southeast Region honors in indoor track and field. USTFCCCA is the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

On the men’s side, freshman Dandrell Utley (Wilmington, N.C.) earned all-region accolades in the men’s triple jump. Utley has a school-record 47’9” in the event.

Four Lenoir-Rhyne women’s athletes garnered all-region accolades: freshman Paiton Fair (Newton, N.C.) in the 400-meter dash, junior Domonique Jones (Greensboro, Ga.) and sophomore Haylea Salamon (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CANADA) in the weight throw, Salamon in the shot put and senior Vertrice Wilson (Carrollton, Ga.) in the 60-meter hurdles.

Fair holds the school mark in the women’s 400-meter dash (59.25) while Jones holds the Lenoir-Rhyne record in the women’s weight throw (50’2”) and Wilson has a school-record 9.12 seconds in the women’s 60-meter hurdles. Finally, Salamon has a Bears'-record 39'9" in the women's shot put.

The top five individuals in each event from each region earned the All-Region distinction, in addition to each of the members of the regions’ top three relay teams. The regions used for this award match those used during the cross country season.

Tuesday, 01 March 2016 21:56

Hickory Crawdads Spring Fling Set For March 12

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The Hickory Crawdads annual Spring Fling event is back to kick off another baseball season, with the free ballpark party of games, food, and ticket deals scheduled for Saturday, March 12th from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Single game tickets for the 2016 season will go on sale at the event, with the 'Dads offering a special "Degree Discount." The sale will discount tickets to all of the Crawdads home games in April based on what the ballpark temperature is at 11:00 am. For example if the temperature is 55 degrees, tickets will be discounted by $5.50, reducing the cost of a $9 ticket down to only $3.50.

Fans will also be able to purchase a sweetFrog Claw Club membership at a discounted price of $29 by donating select, non-perishable food items to the Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry. Food items acceptable to donate include beans (dry or canned), whole grain rice, whole grain pasta, low sugar pasta sauce, low sugar cereals, low sodium soups, low sodium tuna or chicken, and snack pack items.

Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Silver Slugger memberships will be available for purchase and pickup at the event, while fans will also be able to donate blood to the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas in exchange for a free ticket voucher good for any Crawdads game in April or May.

Other activities at the Spring Fling will include the inflatable bounce house and speed pitch, on-field games, and an arts & crafts table. Discounted concessions will be on sale as well, including $1 hot dogs and Pepsi products along with free popcorn.

The Crawdads open the season with a friendly exhibition game against Lenoir-Rhyne University on Monday, April 4th, beginning the defense of their South Atlantic League title on the road in Kannapolis on Thursday, April 7th. The 'Dads home opener will be on Thursday, April 14th against the Intimidators.

For more information regarding the Crawdads Spring Fling event, call the 'Dads front office at (828) 322-3000.

Lenoir-Rhyne University officials announced today that they have selected Kimberly Pate as the new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. Pate brings a wealth of experience to LRU, having served as Athletic Director at two Division II institutions and on multiple national committees of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

“We are extremely excited to bring someone of Kim Pate’s experience and vision to LR,” said Wayne B. Powell, University President. “She is the right person at the right time to build on the legacy of Neill McGeachy in taking LR to a position of national prominence.” McGeachy served as Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics as well as Executive Director of the Piedmont Educational Foundation/Bears Club. Earlier this year, he announced his plans to retire in late spring, following over 14 years of service.

Since 2011, Pate has served as Director of Athletics at the University of Illinois Springfield, where she was responsible for the administration and oversight of a sixteen sport NCAA DII intercollegiate athletics program in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Prior to that, she worked at Brevard College in Brevard, North Carolina for over eight years (2003-2011). In 2006, she accepted the position of Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance & Business and, just a year later, was promoted to Director of Athletics. She led the eighteen sports NCAA DII intercollegiate athletic program in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC) for over five years.

During her two tenures, Pate led a number of exciting initiatives including transitioning Brevard College from NAIA to NCAA DII status, implementing multiple new sports programs including football, establishing a new 500-member booster club while more than doubling fundraising contributions, as well as leading multiple capital facility improvements including the development of a new baseball facility, golf driving range, and numerous other facility renovations. While at Brevard, Pate also gained collegiate coaching experience serving as the assistant softball coach for three years. She helped lead the team to a program record winning season of 28–22, during her first year of coaching.

Pate’s experience also includes over six years of active involvement on numerous national athletic committees and organizations. She has served as a representative on the NCAA DII Legislative Committee, Chair of the NCAA DII Interpretation Subcommittee, Vice Chair of the NCAA DII Membership Committee as well as a member of both the NCAA Diversity & Inclusion Fellows Design Team and the SAC Conference Strategic Planning Committee to name just a few.

She is also a member of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), DII Athletic Directors Association (DII ADA), National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), and the Illinois Women in Leadership. In 2015, she was recognized by the Springfield Business Journal as a Woman of Influence Honoree.

Pate received her Master in Business Administration from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. Her undergraduate studies were completed at Brevard, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Business and Organizational Leadership, graduating Summa cum Laude.

“Throughout my career, my goal has remained to provide an enriched student-athlete experience that will inspire, empower, and develop student-athletes to achieve their full potential in all aspects of their lives,” Pate stated. “I am thrilled to be able to continue that commitment here at Lenoir-Rhyne and look forward to being a part of such an exceptional athletic program, University and community.” Pate expressed her admiration and positive outlook of the LR program. “I strongly believe that LR is positioned to be a perennial powerhouse in Division II and compete on the national scale year-in and year-out. I will look to build on the success and solid foundation in place and inspire a bold strategic direction for the future to advance the LR Bears to new heights,” she said.

“Kimberly has articulated a strong vision for continuing to bring Lenoir-Rhyne to national prominence in athletics while enhancing our commitment to the true concept of a student-athlete,” Dr. Powell added. “We welcome her to Lenoir-Rhyne and look forward to what her leadership will bring to our athletic program.” According to Dr. Powell, Pate was selected from over 100 candidates who applied for the position.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Ines Flueck has been named the AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Women’s Lacrosse Defensive Player Of The Week.

Flueck, a sophomore from Coppell, Texas, tallied 20 total saves for the week and led Lenoir-Rhyne to wins over Pfeiffer (9-8) and Saint Leo (11-6) at home last Tuesday and Saturday, respectively.

Against the Falcons, Flueck made 12 stops in preserving the Bears’ first victory of the year. On the season, Flueck has a 10.00 goals-against average with 35 saves. Fluek was a 2016 All-South Atlantic Conference Preseason Second Team selection.

Lenoir-Rhyne (2-2) returns to action on Wednesday when the Bears host Regis (Colo.) at Moretz Stadium beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Lenoir-Rhyne University has announced the hiring of Jack Winter as the Interim Head Men’s Soccer Coach.

Winter has served as an assistant coach for the Bears for the past three years. Winter takes over for Tom Gott, who resigned in November after seven years at the helm and is now the Head Women’s Soccer Coach at Mars Hill University.

“I am very excited about the opportunity of leading the Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Soccer Program,” said Winter. “First and foremost, I would like to give a huge thank you to (President) Dr. Powell and (Acting Director of Athletics) Brent Heaberlin for displaying their confidence and trust in me as a coach and person.”

“We already have a highly-talented group of players in our team and I have no doubt that with the right direction and application from all members, this program can become extremely successful. I would also like to say thank you to my fellow coaching colleagues at Lenoir-Rhyne who have shown me considerable support in this transitional period.”

Lenoir-Rhyne went 8-8-2 this past fall including a 5-5-1 mark in South Atlantic Conference, good for a seventh place in the league standings.

Winter was an All-American at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla., and was part of the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championship squad for the Fighting Knights.

Winter also played for Hartpury College (England) where he also won a national championship and has two silver medals representing Great Britain at the World University Games in China in 2011 and Russia in 2013.

Winter earned his undergraduate degree from Lynn and is on track to receive his MBA from Lenoir-Rhyne this year.

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