Sports (674)

Lenoir-Rhyne University has promoted Kathryn Geouge to Associate Head Softball Coach, school officials announced this morning.

Geouge has been with the program for the past five years – three seasons as an assistant coach (2014-16) and two as a graduate assistant (2012-13).

Geouge has helped guide the Bears to three South Atlantic Conference Regular Season Championships (2012, 2014, 2016), four berths in the NCAA Division II Playoffs (2012-14, 2016) and a pair of conference tournament championships (2012-13). In those five seasons, Lenoir-Rhyne has compiled a 205-76 record.

“Kat (Geouge) has learned a lot about Lenoir-Rhyne Softball and the sport in general since she started five years ago,” said Lenoir-Rhyne Head Softball Coach Shena Hollar. “She puts a lot of time and effort into making our team better. I’m lucky to have a person that is driven and wants to excel in the softball coaching field.”

Geouge started all 208 games in four seasons as a player at Catawba (2007-10), finishing with a .308 batting average, 189 hits, 175 runs scored, 18 home runs and 106 runs batted in. Geouge was also a member of the SAC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and an Academic All-American.

“I am honored to accept the role of Associate Head Softball Coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University,” said Geouge. “I would like to thank Shena Hollar for facilitating my growth as a person and a coach over the past five years. I also want to thank both Lenoir-Rhyne Athletic Directors I have worked under in Neill McGeachy and Kim Pate. I look forward to continuing my career at LR.”

Geouge graduated from Catawba with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 2010 before earning her master’s degree in public health from Lenoir-Rhyne in 2013.

Lenoir-Rhyne opens the 2017 season on Wednesday, February 1, in a doubleheader against Belmont Abbey in Belmont, N.C., beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Appalachian State University men’s basketball shot just 31.6 percent from the floor and 4-for-29 from long range, while NC State finished 34-for-41 from the free throw line en route to a lopsided 97-64 loss on Thursday night.

The Mountaineers (3-6) started 0-for-6 from the field before back-to-back buckets from Tyrell Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson) and Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep (W.V.)) got App State on the board.

Shabazz finished as the Mountaineers’ leading scorer with 14 points, while Jake Babic (Oakville, Ontario/The Kiski School) also finished in double-digits with 10 points. The Wolfpack (8-2) had six finish in double-figures with Dennis Smith, Jr. tallying a game-high 22 points.

Trailing 10-2 with 15:43 left, the Wolfpack’s Smith, Jr. hit a jumper before a Shabazz 3-pointer cut the NC State lead to 12-5. Over the course of the next six minutes, NC State went on a 16-7 run to open up a 28-12 lead with 8:10 left in the half.

Following a layup from Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy), the Mountaineers trailed by just 13 at 29-16, but the Wolfpack would push its lead to a game-high 24 points with a minute to go and would take a demanding 48-28 lead into the break.

NC State would extend its 20-point halftime lead to its largest of the game, 33 points at 95-62 with 44 seconds left in the game before claiming the 97-64 victory.

Despite tying a season-low with 11 turnovers on Thursday and outscoring the Wolfpack 40-36 in the paint and 14-7 in second-chance points, it wasn’t enough to cool off the Wolfpack’s hot shooting (51.8 percent) from the floor. 26 Mountaineer fouls led to 41 free throw attempts for NC State.

App State is back in action on Saturday, Dec. 17 when it hosts James Madison at 1 p.m. from inside the Holmes Center.

Notes: With the loss, App State moves to 1-12 all-time against NC State … Ronshad Shabazz tallied his 26th double-digit scoring game of his career and eighth of the season … Jake Babic collected his ninth double-figure scoring game and third of the season … Appalachian’s 11 turnovers tied a season-low (Montreat -11) … 76 field goal attempts was a season high … 13.8 percent (4-29) from 3-point range was a season-low … the Mountaineers outrebounded the Wolfpack 14-4 on the offensive glass.

Senior 125-pounder Vito Pasone upset Campbell’s No. 11 wrestler en route to Appalachian State University wrestling’s impressive 24-13 win over the Camels on Wednesday night at Varsity Gym.

Pasone came out of the gates quickly, controlling the tempo and forcing his will from the very beginning against Campbell’s Nathan Kraisser. Once the momentum was on the senior’s side, Pasone never let up, eventually taking the weight class with a 9-3 decision.

The Mountaineers (6-1, 2-0 Southern Conference) won five of the last six bouts to seal the victory over the Camels (3-3, 0-1 SoCon), beginning with an all-out barnburner at the 197-pound weight class between sophomore Randall Diabe and Campbell’s Willie Bivens III.

Diabe used a quick start to put Bivens on his heels, however, the Camel would battle back toward the end to force the sudden death round at the end of three periods. Once in the overtime period, Diabe got caught in a bind early but made his way out of it without giving up points before returning the favor with a two-point takedown to get the 9-7 sudden victory and bring the Mountaineers within one, 8-9.

Senior No. 8 heavyweight Denzel Dejournette carried the momentum forward to put Appalachian up on the team score, taking down Jere Heino in a quick 7-2 decision, to give App the 11-9 lead.

After Pasone’s match, freshman Colby Smith continued his impressive year at the 133-pound weight class. Facing Jonathan Ryan, the two battled tough for 6:06 before Smith got the decisive pin.

Sophomore No. 15 149-pounder Matt Zovistoski sealed the win for the Mountaineers in the final bout of the evening against Benjamin Barton. After a close first period, Zovistoski took over the match and recorded the 13-3 major decision to get the win.

Appalachian had to battle back from losing three of its first four matches of the day as things got off to a sluggish start. A shining part of the first half of play came when No. 18 junior Nick Kee made a furious start to the 174-pound match, getting takedown after takedown and a few near-falls. Kee would end up getting the 17-2 technical fall victory over Alexander Herringshaw.

The Black and Gold only dropped a total of four matches all night, as freshman Gavin Londoff and senior Forrest Przybysz fell in decisions decided by less than five points each. Junior David Peters-Logue fell by just three points off a late takedown while Irvin Enriquez fell 16-6 in a major decision.

Appalachian State wrestling now heads on the road for the next three weeks, traveling to wrestle SIUE in Edwardsville, Ill. on Sunday, Dec. 18 at 5 p.m. and Missouri at Columbia, Mo. on Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. The Mountaineers then start of 2017 on New Year’s Day when they head to the Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The Apps will return home on Sunday, Jan. 8 when they host The Citadel and Clarion in Varsity Gym. Action will begin at 2 p.m.

157: Austin Kraisser (CAM) def. Gavin Londoff (APP), 4-1 dec.
165: Quentin Perez (CAM) def. #23 Forrest Przybysz (APP), 9-4 dec.
174: #18 Nick Kee (APP) def. Alexander Herringshaw (CAM), 17-2 TF
184: Ville Heino (CAM) def. David Peters-Logue (APP), 8-5 dec.
197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Willie Bivens III (CAM), 9-7/S-V - 8-9
HWT: #8 Denzel Dejournette (APP) def. Jere Heino (CAM), 7-2 dec. -11-9
125: Vito Pasone (APP) def. #11 Nathan Kraisser (CAM), 9-3 dec. - 14-9
133: Colby Smith (APP) def. Jonathan Ryan (CAM), pinned (6:06) - 20-9
141: Joshua Heil (CAM) def. Irvin Enriquez (APP), 16-6 maj dec. - 20-13
149: #15 Matt Zovistoski (APP) def. Benjamin Barton (CAM), 13-3 maj dec.

Bandys High School grad Madi Story scored a game-high 21 points, but it wasn’t enough as Appalachian State University women’s basketball (4-6) suffered a 92-66 defeat to Tennessee (4-6) Wednesday evening at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Story eclipsed the 20-point mark for the sixth time in her career while tonight’s outing was a career-best on the road for the junior.

Joi Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) rounded out the leading scorers with her seventh game of the season reaching at least 15 points. Jones also recorded a team-best seven boards in the process.

Q. Murray (Baltimore, Md./George Mason ) scored six of her eight points on a pair of trifectas in the first 3:28 of the game to help Appalachian hit four of its first six shots and take a 10-6 lead. After UT had tied the game 12-all, the Black and Gold put together a 10-4 run over a 2:25 span to capture their largest lead of the game at six, 22-16. Story scored six of the points while Cydni Cole (Glen Burnie, Md./George Mason ) and Ashley Bassett-Smith (Pickerington, Ohio/UT Martin) both chipped in with buckets.

The Mountaineers started fast against the Vols (5-4) scoring 24 points on a blistering 73.3 percent (11-for-15) in the first quarter to jump out to a 24-20 lead. App State scored its most points in the first quarter this season, and the shooting performance was the highest of any quarter in 10 games.

From that point on, the Vols clamped down on defense against the Apps over the next two quarters, dooming the Mountaineers’ chances for a win. Appalachian was held to 22 points and shot below 20 percent while committing nine of its 15 turnovers in the second and third frames. In the first and fourth quarters, Appalachian outscored UT, 44-43, shot 58.1 percent from the floor and turned the ball over just six times.

Appalachian performed well from the free throw line, tying a season-high 77.8 percent (14-18) clip with Story hitting a team-best six free throws. Bria Carter (Spotsylvania, Va./Spotsylvania) and Murray both led the team in assists with three apiece. Four players recorded at least five boards with Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson), Story and Bassett-Smith following Jones with five boards each.

Five players scored in double figures with Alexa Middleton scoring a UT-high 20 points off the bench while Jamie Nared notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 boards.

App State will have six days off before UNC Asheville visits the High Country for the non-conference finale on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 1 p.m. in the Holmes Center.


Angel Elderkin

(Opening Statement)
“I really like the way that our team started the game. That has been one of the things we have really been working on. I thought we came out and really battled in that first quarter. In the second quarter, the shots that we were making in the first didn’t go down. It led to some transition baskets. We know as a group, we have to take some of the moments in this game that were very good and build on them. We need to go back and look at our transition defense and our rebounding. We need to improve as we move forward.”

(On how Appalachian State played against Tennessee’s defense in the first quarter)
“Part of our game plan was to get everyone high. We know that they are really aggressive. So, we were worried more about passing the ball with them tonight. So, our game plan was to get everybody high, and really look to attack off the bounce.”

(On Appalachian State’s defense throughout the game)
“I think when they went to the press defense, it slowed us down a little bit. When they were in the press defense, we didn’t get a chance to set up our offense. So, we were taking quick shots off the press. That was one adjustment I thought they made that disrupted us a little bit. Anytime we were able to get the ball set, we had really good shots.”

(On areas Appalachian State did well, and areas she feels that they can improve)
“I’ll attribute their paint points to their transition points. When they’re shooting layups, that is paint points. That was a lot of our transition defense. I thought that we missed a couple box-outs because we were rotating in penetration. One-on-one, I am really proud in the way our post players stepped up today.”

(On what it meant to be back in Knoxville at Thompson Boling Arena)
“It was a great feeling. Before the game, I went my old path. I didn’t walk by Tennessee’s bench. I walked where Tennessee comes out. Holly came over and she said, `you went the wrong way’. I said, `Yeah, I know, but is it bad luck?’ Then, she just game me a really big hug. I saw the same security guards and the same people. I just needed to take that walk one more time.”

Madi Story
(On quick start in the first quarter of the game)
“The biggest thing was having the opportunity to play against Tennessee. It was huge. We talked about it before the game; it’s not our house to defend, but while we’re on the court, we need to respect it. I think that was just the mindset of our team coming out. We just wanted to give it all we had. We wanted to really try and work as a team, because it was a great opportunity. There is so much history here. There have been so many great coaches and players here. I think the biggest thing was that we didn’t want to pass up our opportunity.”

Joi Jones
(On what it means to play for Coach Elderkin and wear the `We back Pat’ patches on Appalachian State’s uniforms)
“It means a lot. Coach Angel is inspiration. Pat Summitt is inspiration. To follow under Coach Angel’s lead, and know how legendary Pat Summitt was here, we had a lot to play for. We played for more than just ourselves. It meant a lot to us.”

(On the differences of Appalachian State’s performance throughout the game)
“We just got back to our offense. We shied away from it in the second and third quarter. That is why we weren’t knocking down shots. It was about us getting back to the plays that Coach Angel drew up. We executed the plays.”

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Basketball Team (4-5, 3-2) pulled out an 84-71 win over Tusculum (4-4, 2-2) Wednesday night at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium in a South Atlantic Conference contest.

Five players scored in double figures for the Bears – led by senior guard Jalen Variste (Baton Rouge, La.) with a game-high 19 points – as Lenoir-Rhyne won its second straight game.

Junior guard Reed Lucas (Greensboro, N.C.) added 17 points for the Bears, who led by as many as 19 points – 67-48 with seven minutes left – on their way to the win.

Chase Mounce (Elkin, N.C.) scored a team-high 17 points and Kendall Patterson (Burlington, N.C.) added 16 points for the Pioneers, who lost their third consecutive contest.

Lenoir-Rhyne led the entire contest and received 15 points and three treys off the bench from junior guard Jarvis Calhoun (Birmingham, Ala.).

The Bears also hit nine three-pointers as a team and shot 59 percent (13-of-22) in the decisive second half.

In the next round of South Atlantic Conference games on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m., Lenoir-Rhyne hosts Carson-Newman at Shuford Gymnasium.

Thursday, 15 December 2016 09:15

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Dominates Tusculum

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Basketball Team (5-3, 2-2) won its third straight game in dominant fashion, 61-33, over Tusculum (1-7, 0-4) in South Atlantic Conference action Wednesday evening at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior forward Brooke Robinson, a Fred T. Foard grad, led all scorers with 16 points while sophomore forward Madi Suddreth, an Alexander Central grad, added 13 points as the Bears held the Pioneers to their lowest point total of the year.

Lenoir-Rhyne was especially dominant in the second half, outscoring Tusculum by a 33-13 margin and limiting the Pioneers to just 23 percent shooting (11-of-47) for the game.

Tusculum, losers of six consecutive games, was led by Kasey Johnson (Greensboro, N.C.) with seven points. The Pioneers also went nine-for-22 from the free throw line and turned the ball 20 times in the loss.

Lenoir-Rhyne also improved to 4-0 at home this season and pushed their winning streak at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium to 11 dating back to last year.

Lenoir-Rhyne held a 45-28 advantage on the boards as well while 12 players scored for the Bears in the victory. Sophomore guard Kendall Toineeta (Cherokee, N.C.) had an outstanding all-around contest for the Bears, totaling five points, six steals, three rebounds and three assists.

Lenoir-Rhyne remains at home to face Carson-Newman in a South Atlantic Conference game on Saturday at 2:00 p.m.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Michael DeStephens has been named to the 2016 CCA NCAA Division II All-American Football Second Team. CCA is the Conference Commissioner’s Association.

DeStephens, a senior punter from Gainesville, Fla., currently ranks fourth in the nation at 44.2 yards per punt this year.

DeStephens also pinned 26 punts inside the 20-yard line this season with his season-long being 60 yards against Wingate on October 15.

DeStephens is a three-time All-South Atlantic Conference First-Team honoree (2014-16) and was named to the All-Super Region II First Team earlier this month.

The Division II Conference Commissioners Association encourages and promotes Division II athletics and high standards of sportsmanship as important elements of higher education.

The CCA is a key communications link among the conferences as they discuss views, policies and regulations that impact Division II intercollegiate athletics and works closely with the NCAA as a communications channel to NCAA Division II member colleges and universities.

2016 CCA NCAA Division II

All-American Football Teams



TE - Adam Shaheen, Ashland (Ohio), Jr., 6-6, 275, Galena, Ohio

OL - Stephen Evans, North Alabama, Sr., 6-4, 300, Boston, Mass.

OL - Jordan Morgan, Kutztown (Pa.), Sr., 6-4, 320, Philadelphia, Pa.

OL - Chase Sherman, Northwest Missouri State, Sr., 6-0, 265, Crete, Neb.

OL - Lavonte Hights, Shepherd (W.Va.), Jr., 6-4, 295, North Chesterfield, Va.

OL - Nate Theaker, Wayne State (Mich.), Sr., 6-6, 305, White Lake, Mich.

WR - Brody Oliver, Colorado Mines, So., 6-3, 195, Elizabeth, Colo.

WR - Garry Brown, California (Pa.), Sr., 6-1, 200, Columbus, Ohio

QB - Justin Dvorak, Colorado Mines, Sr., 6-0, 200, Tomball, Texas

RB - Marty Carter, Grand Valley State (Mich.), So., 6-0, 200, East Chicago, Ind.

RB - Max Mickey, Sioux Falls (S.D.), Jr., 5-9, 185, Holden, Mo.

RS - Garry Brown, California (Pa.), Sr., 6-1, 200, Columbus, Ohio

PK - Matt Davis, UNC Pembroke, Sr., 6-1, 190, Richlands, N.C.


DL - Lucky Baar, McKendree (Ill.), Sr., 6-2, 250, Chicago, Ill.

DL - Sie Doe, Jr., Fort Hays State (Kan.), Sr., 6-1, 230, Cleveland, Ohio

DL - Zach Sieler, Ferris State (Mich.), So., 6-6, 275, Pinckney, Mich.

LB - Jacob Vollstedt, Northwest Missouri State, Sr., 6-2, 215, Iowa City, Iowa

LB - Tyke Kozeal, Nebraska-Kearney, Sr., 6-0, 240, Sargent, Neb.

LB - Michael Mehling, Sioux Falls (S.D.), Sr., 5-11, 200, Las Vegas, Nev.

LB - Osband Thompson, Tuskegee (Ala.), Jr., 6-0, 195, Miami, Fla.

S - Drew Hebel, Black Hills State (S.D.), So., 5-11, 170, Broomfield, Colo.

S - Kevin Berg, Northwest Missouri State, Sr., 5-11, 175, Kansas City, Mo.

CB - Tavierre Thomas, Ferris State (Mich.), Jr., 5-11, 195, Detroit, Mich.

CB - Philbert Martial, North Alabama, Sr., 5-10, 165, Mobile, Ala.

P - Tyler Ford, Bentley (Mass.), Sr., 6-0, 210, Amherst, N.H.



TE - Kenny Johnston, Florida Tech, Sr., 6-4, 220, Jacksonville, Fla.

OL - Antonio Green, Sioux Falls (S.D.), Sr., 6-3, 295, Dublin, Ga.

OL - Aaron Cox, Grand Valley State (Mich.), Sr., 6-5, 300, Macomb, Mich.

OL - Jake Daugherty, Ferris State (Mich.), Jr., 6-2, 300, Big Rapids, Mich.

OL - Hasan Shaar, Colorado Mines, Sr., 6-5, 320, Castle Rock, Colo.

OL - Jared Machorro, Texas A&M-Commerce, Jr., 6-7, 280, Coldspring, Texas

WR - Billy Brown, Shepherd (W.Va.), Sr., 6-4, 240, Gaithersburg, Md.

WR - Matt Heller, Augustana (S.D.), Sr., 6-0, 195, Lakeville, Minn.

QB - Kyle Zimmerman, Northwest Missouri State Sr. 6-1 200 Overland Park, Kan.

RB - Austin Ekeler, Western State Colorado, Sr., 5-9, 195, Eaton, Colo.

RB - Ja’Quan Gardner, Humboldt State (Calif.), Jr., 5-7, 205, Ceres, Calif.

RS - Shawn Hooks, Texas A&M-Commerce, Jr., 5-8, 165, Daingerfield, Texas

PK - Ryan Sheehan, Colorado Mesa, Jr., 5-10, 180, Chandler, Ariz.


DL - Collin Bevins, Northwest Missouri State, Sr., 6-6, 285, Creston, Iowa

DL - Whitney Richardson, Lane (Tenn.), Jr., 6-5, 235, Perkinston, Miss.

DL - Marcus Martin, Slippery Rock (Pa.), Jr., 6-3, 245, West Mifflin, Pa.

LB - Kevin Haynes, Central Washington, Jr., 6-1, 230, Battle Ground, Wash.

LB - Zachary Blair, Virginia-Wise, Sr., 6-2, 215, Front Royal, Va.

LB - A.J. Wentland, McKendree (Ill.), Sr., 6-4, 240, Machesney Park, Ill.

LB - Collin Schlosser, Grand Valley State (Mich.), Jr., 6-1, 230, Ada, Mich.

S - Jared Chester, LIU-Post (N.Y.), Jr., 5-10, 190, Mount Vernon, N.Y.

S - Aaron Terry, California (Pa.), Sr., 6-0, 205, Pasadena, Md.

CB - Jay Watkins, Indiana (Pa.), Jr., 5-10, 190, Chester, Pa.

CB - Raheem Wilson, Southeastern Oklahoma, Sr., 5-11, 185, DeSoto, Texas

P - Michael DeStephens, Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.), Sr., 5-9, 190, Gainesville, Fla.

Ron Lenz National Players Of The Year

Offense - Justin Dvorak (QB), Colorado Mines

Defense - Lucky Baar (DL), McKendree (Ill.)

Girls basketball
North Piedmont Conference:
North Iredell: 52
Alexander Central: 44

Southern District 7:
East Lincoln: 56
Bandys: 50

Maiden: 51
Bunker Hill: 29

Newton-Conover: 47
West Caldwell: 39

McDowell: 62
Fred T. Foard: 41

Boys basketball
North Piedmont Conference:
Alexander Central: 59
North Iredell: 20

South Mountain Athletic Conference:
Draughn: 62
East Burke: 56

Southern District 7:
East Lincoln: 78
Bandys: 38

West Caldwell: 76
Newton-Conover: 50

McDowell: 86
Fred T. Foard: 68

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 22:26

App State Wrestling Moves Up In Polls Again

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Appalachian State University wrestling continued to make history on Tuesday, ranking a program-best No. 21 in the nation in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll and No. 20 in the InterMat duals rankings.

The Mountaineers (5-1, 1-0 Southern Conference) enter their ninth week in program history ranked in the USA Today/NWCA poll Top 25 – all coming in the last two seasons. Appalachian is the lone member of the Southern Conference in the Top 25 for the second-straight week (Chattanooga is third in the “others receiving votes” category) and is one of five schools in the rankings to have at least five wins and no more than one loss.

With four nationally ranked wrestlers, App State was also ranked a program-best No. 20 in the InterMat duals rankings. Sophomore 149-pounder Matt Zovistoski (Paramus, N.J./St. Joseph Regional) and senior heavyweight Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) led the way rankings wise, pulling in top rankings at No. 15 (OpenMat) and No. 7 (TrackWrestling), respectively.

Nick Kee (Laurinburg, N.C./Scotland) also ranked in the top 20 in the 174-pound weight class, coming into this week with 18th in the nation (WIN) after going 2-0 last week while Forrest Przybysz (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson) ranks No. 23 (TrackWrestling) at 165 pounds.

Appalachian wrestling’s USA Today/NWCA Top 25 ranking continues to be, outside of App State football being ranked in the FCS poll, the only Appalachian sports team to have been ranked in the Top 25 of a major national poll since App State baseball was ranked No. 24 in Baseball America’s May 14, 2012 poll.

The Mountaineers return to action Wednesday night when they host the 3-2 SoCon foe Campbell at Varsity Gym. The Camels are coming off back-to-back tournaments at the Navy Classic and the Journeymen Tussle before their first conference match against App State. The action begins at 7 p.m.

Appalachian State University football freshman defensive back Clifton Duck (Matthews, N.C./Butler) added to his already impressive season, as he was named to USA Today's Freshman All-American team.

After being named the Sun Belt’s Freshman of the Year, Duck made a prestigious list that included players from 17 different Power Five schools. He is also one of seven players from Group of Five programs and one of two players from the Sun Belt (Joe Dillon - Louisiana) to crack the list.

Duck made a splash in his first season in a Mountaineer uniform, starting in all 12 games as a true freshman and leading the Apps with five interceptions, eight breakups and 13 deflections. Duck was tied for second in the Sun Belt in picks and first amongst all freshman. In addition, the lockdown cornerback led the league in passes defended and helped an App State squad rank third in the nation in interceptions with 20 while holding Sun Belt opponents to the fewest points allowed in the league with 94.

Appalachian’s pass defense ranked 29th in the country in passing yards allowed at 200.3 per game and third in the conference.

Duck’s numbers were on par with some of the top defensive backs in the nation as he was tied for ninth in the nation in interceptions and was tied with freshman Jessie Bates (Wake Forest) for the most amongst freshmen.

Duck also showed his aggressiveness by recording 54 tackles, which was fourth on the team. Duck’s career-high 13 tackles against Akron (9/24) was a team best this season, while 41 of his tackles were solo stops and notched 2.5 tackles for a loss.

His best stretch of the season came against Idaho and Georgia Southern, where he tallied three interceptions. His two-interception performance against Idaho also included his first career touchdown that came on a pick six.

Duck and the Apps will look to become 2-0 all-time in bowl games on and record a second-consecutive 10-win season against Toledo in the Camellia Bowl on Saturday in Montgomery, Ala. Kickoff is at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN.

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