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The South Atlantic Conference selected senior outfielder Clayton Jeffries as the winner of the Player of the Week Award for games played from April 1 through April 7, 2019. This is Jeffries' first POW Award of the season.

The Lakeland, Fla. native had a monster week at the plate as the Bears put together an impressive record of 4-1 during that stretch. Jeffries hit .556 during the week, going 10-for-18 with a double, a homerun that secured a SAC weekend sweep on Sunday and drove 11 runs in for Lenoir-Rhyne.

Jeffries has hit his way to ranking fifth in the SAC with a batting average of .399. He also is second in the conference with 46 RBIs on the season. He is also riding an eight-game hit streak and has had four-straight multi-hit games.

This marks Lenoir-Rhyne's second SAC Player of the Week honor this season, as Aaron Stamper was selected on February 18, 2019.

Tuesday, 09 April 2019 01:19

Crawdads Rained Out at Greensboro

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Due to inclement weather in Greensboro, Monday night's game between the Hickory Crawdads and the Greensboro Grasshoppers was postponed. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 9. Gates will open at 5:00pm and the first pitch of Game 1 is scheduled for 5:30pm with two 7-inning games to be played.

In day two of the South Atlantic Conference Championship, it was the Anderson Trojans who placed first and the Bears are tied in second with the Wingate Bulldogs, scoring a 300-311-611 after 36 holes of play.

Lenoir-Rhyne had three players finish inside the top ten. On Monday, it was Second Team All-Conference selection Megan Robb who led the Bears, putting her first for LR, shooting a 148. Finishing second on the team was senior Abbey Hartsell with a 150 through 36 holes. Ainee O'Connor wrapped up the second day by recording a 151 on the scorecard. Freshman Patricia Asensio (162) and Chelsea Mansell wrapped up the second round tied at 37 and 43, respectively.

The second round of the SAC Championship will continue with the final 18 on Tuesday. Due to the threat of inclement weather, conference officials have announced a double-tee start time of 8 a.m. The Championship Awards will be given out upon the conclusion of the round.

Lenoir-Rhyne Individuals:
Megan Robb: 148 (3)
Abbey Hartsell: 150 (T-4)
Ainee O'Connor: 151 (T-6)
Patricia Asensio: 162 (T-37)
Chelsea Mansel: 164 (T-43)

Team Rankings:
Anderson – 609
Lenoir-Rhyne – 611
Wingate – 611
Carson-Newman – 614
Coker – 616
Tusculum – 623
Newberry – 634
Lincoln Memorial – 635
Catawba - 639
Queens – 645
Mars Hill – 672

Saturday night the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series roared to life for another eventful evening of racing enjoyment at Hickory Motor Speedway.

Leading off the night’s racing would be the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Models in their first of two 40 lap features. Kevin Leicht in the #25 would set the fast time in qualifying to grab the top spot with a 15.02. Vince Midas in the #14, the #1 of Brody Pope and Thomas Beane in the #31 would start 2nd through fourth respectivly with all three competitors running a 15.03. The start would see the front pair side by side for several laps until Leicht would nose ahead for the early lead. Battles would rage throughout the field, but the chaos would be controlled as the caution flag would stay in the flagman’s holster. Midas would start chipping away at the lead and move under Leicht to battle for the top spot. Both drivers would give each other plenty of room to battle side by side for the top spot. Midas would finally move ahead for the top spot around the mid-point of the forty lap feature. Pope, Beane, and Chris Hudspeth in the #28 would give chase to Leicht for the second spot. Midas would hold on and grab his first Hickory Motor Speedway Late Model Victory. Pope would move up to finish a strong 2nd with Beane finishing 3rd. Hudspeth would move up to finish 4th and Leicht would hold on for 5th.

Next up would see the fan-pleasing Hickory Vintage Racers hit the track for 25 laps and open up their 2019 season. The front row would be a family affair with dad, Tim Gilbert in the #95, grabbing the pole and son, Eddie Gilbert in the #00, starting second. The green flag would see the Gilbert’s battling side by side for the top spot. The caution would fly when the younger Gilbert would spin in turn 1 of the second lap. Mechanical problems would cause the spin and side line Eddie Gilbert for the remainder of the event. The restart would see Tim Gilbert at the point with Bob Hapeman in the #8 starting second. Gilbert would move to the lead with Hapeman close in tow. The caution would fly on lap 15 after contact between the #83 of Tom Fenn and #90 of Dennis Hinkle would send them both spinning. Unfortunately both cars would leave the racing surface on the hook of the wrecker. The restart would see Gilbert move back to the front for the 10 lap dash to the finish. Gilbert would hold on for the remaining laps and return to victory lane with Hapeman finishing 2nd. 83 year old, Bill Webb in the #16 would finish 3rd, 2018 Hickory Motor Speedway Champion, Bill Powell in the #71 would finish 4th, and Mackie Webb in the #16 would finish 5th.

The Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Models would roll off next for 35 laps of side by side action. Todd Midas in the #50 would make a big 2019 Hickory Motor Speedway return by grabbing the top qualifying spot while Josh Kossek in the #44 would be close behind in second. Cody DeMarmels in the #18 and Kosma Guznyakov in the #33 would make up row two. The green flag would see the front row battle door to door through turns 1 and 2. Kossek would nose ahead down the backstretch. DeMarmels would see the inside open up and move under Midas for second. Kossek would lead for several laps until he would get pressure from DeMarmels for the top spot. DeMarmels would move around to the point and send Kossek to second. DeMarmels would set sail in the lead with the battle being for second between Kossek and Midas. Midas would finally move around for the position and set his sights on the leader. DeMarmels would prove too tough and drive on to the win, his first in Limited Late Models at Hickory Motor Speedway. Midas would finish 2nd and Kossek would come home in 3rd. Ben Campbell in the #27 would finish 4th and Guznyakov would finish 5th.

Hitting the famed 3/8 mile oval next would be the 4-Cylinders for 25 laps of battle. 2018 Hickory Motor Speedway Champion, Brian Mundy in the #6, would start from the point with the #25 of Dennis Ward to his outside. Ward would move to the early lead as Mundy would pull in with mechanical issues after a hugely successful 2018 season. Cody Combs in the #9 would move to second and set his sights on the leader but the #29 of Allison Houston in third would also have a plan. Ward would drive on to the win with Combs bringing it home in 2nd. Houston would finish 3rd, Robbie Trivette in the #11 would finish 4th, and Mundy would finish 5th.

Roaring to life next would be the Street Stocks for their 30 lap feature. Drew Cox in the #21 would continue on his hot hand, after winning last week’s race, and grab the top spot in qualifying with Mark Whitten in the #77 to his outside. The start would see the front pair side by side with Cox moving to the lead after the first couple of laps. Positions would change hands throughout the field, but stay under green till a spin involving Marshall Sutton in the #64 and Jesse Clark in the #5 would bring out the caution on lap 15. Both drivers would be able to continue. The restart would see Cox at the point with the #16 of Jonathon Smith starting to his outside. As the leaders would come under the green flag they would make contact and see the leader, Cox, spin. The caution would once again fly and see the field bunched for the restart with Cox coming from the rear. The restart would see Smith and Whitten duel for the top spot. Smith would nose ahead with Whitten tucking in close behind. Cox would work his way back up to third when contact with the #03 of Kevin Eby on lap 22 would send him spinning and bring out the caution once more. One final restart would set the stage for a furious battle for the win. Smith and Whitten would restart side by side and see Smith once again pull to the front. Smith would hang on for the win, the third different Street Stock winner for the season. Whitten would hold on for 2nd and Cox, who would battle his way from the back a second time, would finish 3rd. Ethan Johnson in the #2 would finish 4th and Eby would take 5th.

Closing out the evening’s festivities would be the NASCAR Whelen All American Series Late Models for the second of their 40 lap features. After the invert from the finishing order of race one the #34 of Pat Rachels would start from the point with Neil Meredith in the #36 to his outside. Row two would see Charlie Watson in the #9 and Connor Mosack in the #18. The green flag would see Rachels and Meredith dueling it out for the lead. Meredith would nose ahead and Watson would look to move around Rachels for second. After several laps Watson would look under Meredith and make his way to the top spot. Watson would set a torrid pace while Thomas Beane in the #31 would quietly work his way into second place and start chipping away at the leader. The caution would fly on lap 33 when the #25 of Ryan Vargas would spin in turn one. The restart would see Watson, Beane, and the entire field bunched up for a seven lap shootout. Watson and Beane would look to battle it out between themselves until race one winner Vince Midas in the #14 would enter the fray and look to go three wide with the front duo. The action would settle down as Watson would pull ahead. Watson would drive on to a close but hard earned win. Beane would finish 2nd with a good points night and Vince Midas would cap off his night by finishing 3rd. Rachels would hold on for 4th in a photo finish with Brody Pope in the #1 who would finish 5th.

Next week the NASCAR Whelen All American Series will be in action once again with Twin 40s for the Late Models, Round #3 of the Paramount Kia ‘Big 10’ Racing Challenge with 50 laps for the Paramount Auto Group Limited Late Models, 30 laps for the Street Stocks, 25 laps for the 4-Cylinders, and 20 laps for the Renegades.

Gates open at 4:45pm, Qualifying at 5pm, Autograph Session at 6:15 pm, and Racing at 7pm. Tickets only $12.50 for Adults, $10.50 for Teens and Senior Citizens, Children 12 & under are FREE!

 In two weeks, on Easter weekend, April 20th, the PASS Series returns for the annual Easter Bunny 150. Don’t miss the great Super Late Model action.

For more info check us out at www.hickorymotorspeedway.com, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or call 828-464-3655.

Hickory Motor Speedway Results 4/6/19

Late Model – Twin Feature 1
1 Vince Midas
2 Brody Pope
3 Thomas Beane
4 Chris Hudspeth
5 Kevin Leicht
6 Connor Mosack ( r )
7 Charlie Watson
8 Neil Meredith
9 Pat Rachels ( r )
10 Tyler Gregory
11 Jeremy Pelfrey
12 Leland Honeyman
13 Ryan Vargas
14 Dillon Houser
15 Brian Mundy

Late Model – Twin Feature 2
1 Charlie Watson
2 Thomas Beane
3 Vince Midas
4 Pat Rachels ( r )
5 Brody Pope
6 Kevin Leicht
7 Leland Honeyman
8 Neil Meredith
9 Connor Mosack ( r )
10 Chris Hudspeth
11 Dillon Houser
12 Jeremy Pelfrey
13 Ryan Vargas
14 Tyler Gregory
15 Brian Mundy
Limited Late Model
1 Cody DeMarmels
2 Todd Midas
3 Josh Kossek
4 Ben Campbell ( r )
5 Kosma Guznyakov ( r )

Street Stocks
1 Jonathon Smith
2 Mark Whitten
3 Drew Cox
4 Ethan Johnson
5 Kevin Eby
6 Marshall Sutton
7 Derek Fowler
8 Jon Austin
9 Jesse Clark

4 Cylinders
1 Dennis Ward
2 Cody Combs
3 Allison Houston
4 Robbie Trivette
5 Brian Mundy

Hickory Vintage Racing Series
1 Tim Gilbert
2 Bob Hapeman
3 Bill Webb
4 Bill Powell
5 Mackie Webb
6 Robert Webb
7 Tom Fenn
8 Dennis Hinkle
9 Daren Canter
10 Eddie Gilbert

The Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball program has made its first signing for the 2019-20 recruiting class, adding East Lincoln High School standout John Bean.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Bean averaged 14.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 2.0 steals for the Mustangs this past fall, helped East Lincoln finish 29-3 overall, 13-1 in South Fork Athletic 2A games and reach the state final four.

A two-year captain as a junior and senior, Bean finished his Mustang basketball career with 1.093 points, 409 rebounds, 246 assists, 145 steals and 29 blocks.

He was a part of three conference regular-season titles, two conference tournament championships and four 2A playoff appearances, including a 2A state championship appearance as a freshman.

During his time at East Lincoln, Bean was a part of a Mustangs basketball program that went 101-19 overall and 51-5 in conference play.

“We are very excited to have John join our CVCC men’s basketball team,” said Red Hawks head coach Bryan Garmroth. “He comes from a very successful high school program at East Lincoln. John is the type person, student and player we want in our program. He is an exceptional shooter who knows how to play on both ends of the floor. He also has a special toughness about him.”

Bean joins a Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball team that is coming off ones of its best seasons in program history, finishing 22-9 overall and earning its first-ever national ranking in history.

The South Atlantic Conference announced its AstroTurf Men's Lacrosse Players of the Week for games played during April 1 through April 7. Lenoir-Rhyne captured offensive and defensive honors with Joe Buduo and Noah Johnson, respectively. This is the second time the duo has swept the weekly conference awards.

A senior attack, Buduo erupted for seven points in a 17-5 conference road victory over Lincoln Memorial. The Shrewsberry, Mass. native scored five goals and dished out a pair of assists, with the goals coming on only six shots. This is Buduo's second Offensive Player of the Week honor of the season.

A freshman goalkeeper, Johnson was superb in goal for the Bears against the Railsplitters, relenting only four goals. The Johns Creek, Ga. native made 13 saves with a 76.5 save percentage, while scooping up two ground balls. This is Johnson's second Defensive Player of the Week honor of the season.

Appalachian State University women's basketball head coach Angel Elderkin has agreed to a four-year contract extension that runs through 2023, director of athletics Doug Gillin announced Monday. The extension was recently approved by Chancellor Sheri Everts and the Appalachian State Board of Trustees.

"I want to thank the Board of Trustees, Chancellor Everts and Doug Gillin for their confidence in me and our program," Elderkin said. "It's truly an honor to be the head women's basketball coach at Appalachian State. I'm excited about the future of this University and the team. This is a reflection of the commitment and hard work from an incredible group of student-athletes as well as the most dedicated coaching staff a head coach could ever hope for."

Elderkin, who just finished her fifth season in the High Country, led the Mountaineers to their most successful season in recent history with a 22-win season. Appalachian is fresh off its second WBI championship after defeating North Texas 76-59 on Wednesday in front of a Holmes Center record 1,823 fans, setting the mark for a women's basketball home game. The 17-point triumph was the largest margin of victory for a WBI champion.

"We are very excited to have Angel continue to lead our women's basketball program," Gillin said. "Under Angel's leadership, our student-athletes are excelling in the classroom, in the community and on the court. The energy and enthusiasm for our women's basketball program has continued to grow during Angel's time at Appalachian. The future is incredibly bright, as we witnessed with the WBI Championship."

The Mountaineers reeled off a 10-2 stretch over their last 12 games of the season en route to their 22-14 mark. The 22 victories are the program's most wins since the 2011-12 campaign and the seventh-best win total in a season. Elderkin also led the Black and Gold to one of the top turnarounds in the nation. On top of the 14-win improvement tying a program mark for the largest turnaround in school history, the Apps' jump from eight wins in 2017-18 to 22 victories this season was the fifth-best resurgence in the nation.

Elderkin's squad was dominant on its home floor with a 14-3 record, which is the best mark at home in program history.

In Sun Belt play, App State registered 10 league wins for its highest total since joining the league. The Mountaineers' fifth-place standing was also their best finish in Sun Belt action. App State put forth its deepest run in the Sun Belt Tournament with a pair of victories over Coastal Carolina in the first round and Georgia State in the quarterfinals.

Elderkin and the Mountaineers have been a staple in the community as well, working on such projects as Habitat for Humanity and the High Country Breast Cancer Foundation. While raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research, Appalachian finished sixth in the country and first in the Sun Belt in the Play4Kay Free Throw Challenge during February by raising $3,234.

The Mountaineers return a loaded squad with 14 of 16 players back next season, including starters Pre Stanley, Ashley Polacek and Bayley Plummer.

Victor Santos threw four scoreless innings in relief to close down the first BlueClaws win of the season, a 6-2 Sunday victory over Hickory at FirstEnergy Park.

Santos (1-0) gave up four hits and struck out two in relief to snap a BlueClaws three-game skid to start the season.

The BlueClaws jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Crawdads starter John King gave up five runs, three earned, in four innings of work.

Hickory drops to 3-1 on the season. The Crawdads will be in Greensboro Monday through Wednesday. Hickory will have their home opener on Thursday against Kannapolis.

Despite a dominating performance from starting pitcher Trae Starnes, the 20th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College baseball team fell victim to a late game home run in a 3-1 loss to conference foe Southeastern on Sunday afternoon at Henkel-Alley Field.

With the defeat, the Red Hawks fall to 24-15 overall and 10-7 in Region X games.

A left-hander sophomore from Taylorsville, N.C., Starnes had one of the best outings of his CVCC career on Sunday.

In his seven-inning performance, Starnes allowed just three hits, two walks and struck out 14 batters — the second-straight day that a Red Hawks starting pitcher tied the program mark for strikeouts in a single game (Blake Dockery struck out 14 batters for the second time this season during the first game of the three-game set on Saturday).

Despite Starnes’ stout performance on the mound, Catawba Valley batters struggled to give him a lead, stranding 12 total base runners in Sunday’s series finale.

Even with that adversity, the Red Hawks would be the first team to break through offensively, scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning when center fielder Rod Munoz reached base on an error, allowing third baseman Grant Tilley, who had drawn a walk earlier in the frame, to score.

Starnes exited with the lead following the seventh inning, and the Rams fought back in the eighth inning against Red Hawk reliever Timothy Davila.

Southeastern would get its first two batters on base in the eighth inning when left fielder Ted McNeill drew a walk and shortstop A.J. Brooks was hit by a pitch.

During the next at bat, a ground ball by first baseman Gage Hammonds led to a double play, putting CVCC in position to get out of the inning unscathed.

However, the fourth Rams batter of the inning — catcher Riley Cameron — was intentionally walked, setting the stage for the go-ahead three-run home run by Rams right fielder Trent McKay to deep left center field.

CVCC would attempt to answer back from its two-run deficit, but could only get two runners on base during the final two innings — both coming in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The Catawba Valley Community College baseball team attempts to bounce back on Wednesday when it returns to action at home doubleheader against USC Lancaster. First pitch between the Red Hawks and Lancers is set for 5 p.m.

The Lenoir-Rhyne University Spirit Team placed first overall with its performance in the Division II Gameday division of the 2019 National Cheerleading Association (NCA) Championships to claim a National Championship. The Bears finished in second place a year ago and completed the season-long goal of winning it all in 2019.

The Bears sent cheerleading-only teams to past NCA Championships but this was their second year under Head Coach Christy Creson to perform as a group in the Gameday Division event. This was Creson's ninth season at the helm of the program and her first title as head coach.

According to Creson, "I knew when the Gameday Division was created, it was made for us! We thrive to create the best Gameday in D2 before there was a championship to win."

The field included eight teams that were judged according to the following categories: execution of band chant, skill incorporation, visual appeal, game day material, effective use of game day props, execution of fight song and overall impression. 

The Bears scored a perfect 10 out of 10 in the Game Day Material, Skill Incorporation and Effective Use of Game Day Props while scoring at least a nine out of 10 in six of the seven remaining judgment categories. 

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