Franklin: 8
Bunker Hill: 4
Series tied 1-1. The deciding game three will be held Saturday at Franklin.

Alexander Central: 20
Carson: 8
Cougars win the series 2-0. Alexander Central will play in the state championship series next weekend facing either Cleveland or Western Alamance.

South Caldwell: 10
Richmond: 9
Spartans win the series 2-0. South Caldwell will play in the state championship series next weekend facing Jack Britt or South Central.

Sophomore Elliott Graves (Reidsville, N.C./Rockingham Early College) advanced to the quarterfinals in the 400-meter hurdles at the NCAA East Preliminaries on Friday.

Graves, who entered the event with the 18th best time in the region, crossed the finish line in 51.74 seconds. His time ranked fourth in his heat and 21st out of 48 competitors in the event. The top three finishers from each of the six heats, plus the next six best times advanced to the quarterfinals.

He will race again on Friday at 2:30 p.m. with a chance to advance to the semifinals in Eugene, Ore. on June 6. The top-three runners from each of the three heats, in addition to the next three best times will advance to Eugene.

App State saw four other athletes compete on Thursday.

Senior Ryan Hastings (Matthews, N.C./Porter Ridge), who was making his second consecutive appearance in the East Preliminary Round, finished 33rd in the 800-meter run in 1:50.03. Hastings sees his career come to a close with the school record in the event, posting a time of 1:48.02 at the Duke Invitational last season.

Junior Tristian Shaver (Thomasville, N.C./Ledford) competed in the pole vault and finished in a tie for 33rd, clearing 15-11.00. He concludes the season with the third best height in school history, recording a mark of 16-7.50 at the Sun Belt Championships.

Sophomore Jalen Virgil (Lawrenceville, Ga./Mountain View) notched a 41st place finish in the 100-meter dash in 10.58 seconds. Virgil, who is also a member of the football team, concludes his season with the second fastest time in the event in program history, with a time of 10.29 seconds, set at the Sun Belt Championships.

After a lengthy weather delay, senior Chelsey Hargrave (McLeansville, N.C./Williams) placed 42nd in the long jump with a mark of 18-7.00. Hargrave was making her second consecutive appearance at the NCAA East Preliminaries. She ends her career ranked third all-time in the long jump, with a distance of 20-1.75, which earned her a gold medal at this season's Sun Belt Championships.

Along with Graves, sophomore Jabari Johnson (Yokosuka, Japan/Nile C. Kinnick) will also compete on Friday. Johnson is slated to compete in the First Round of the 200-meter dash at 3 p.m.

The Hickory Crawdads fell to the Delmarva Shorebirds 10-5 in the series finale on Thursday night. The 'Dads won the first two games of the series but lost in the final two to split the series against Delmarva.

Left fielder Austin O'Banion gave the Crawdads a 1-0 lead in the second inning with his first homerun of the season.

Second baseman Yonny Hernandez singled to lead off the bottom of the third in his first at bat back with the 'Dads. Center fielder Bubba Thompson doubled him home in the next at bat. Right fielder Miguel Aparicio, hit a shallow single to right that put runners on the corners with no outs. The 'Dads increased their lead to three on a sacrifice fly to right that brought Thompson in to score.

The Shorebirds rallied against Crawdads starter Werner Leal in the fourth, taking a 4-3 lead. Leal threw fourth innings, giving up nine hits and no walks and allowing the three runs. Joe Barlow took over in the fifth inning, allowing five runs on two hits and three walks that pushed the 'Dads deficit to six runs.

The 'Dads got a run back in the in the bottom half of the inning on an O'Banion single to right that scored catcher Clay Middleton.

Crawdads reliever Joe Kuzia, who took over for Barlow in the fifth, allowed another run in the seventh inning to make the score 10-4.

'Dads designated hitter Sam Huff led off the eighth inning with a homerun to left field.

Tomorrow evening the Crawdads will begin a four-game series against the Charleston RiverDogs at the Frans. Noah Bremer will get the start for the Crawdads. Bremer began the season with the 'Dads but was injured in his first start of the year. He will be facing RiverDogs right hander Alex Vargas. The 'Dads will be debuting their Patriotic Jerseys presented by StratX featuring George Washington crossing the Delaware River. Following the game, there will be a firework show.

Following in the footsteps of her sister, Ivy Eller is joining the Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball program.

The senior guard from Newton-Conover High School signed on Wednesday to continue her academic and athletic career with the Red Hawks during a ceremony held at the Tarlton Complex.

“I’m just glad I was able to have the opportunity,” Eller said of her signing. “(CVCC head women’s basketball) coach (Tisha) England is a really wise person in the lives of my family. I’m glad that I will be able to be coached under her.”

A two-time all-conference selection and one-time All-Catawba Valley Classic tournament team member, Eller led the Red Devils to a 17-11 overall record and 9-5 mark in South Fork 2A conference play this past winter, including a berth in the 2A playoffs.

Eller also helped the Newton-Conover girls basketball team win a regular-season conference championship and two conference tournament championships during her four-year varsity career.

“I’m just excited to have her,” England said of Eller. “She is a great person and brings energy to the team. To have someone from Newton-Conover High School is going to top it off. Newton-Conover has great pride and so does CVCC. I think she will fit right into the system, come in and make a great impact for us.

“She’s going to bring speed,” England added. “She runs the floor very well and has a knowledge of the game. Her intensity level is what we need. Ivy is going to be able to put the ball in the hole and score. She’s going to be able to play defense. All of that is going to be vital to our success.”

Ivy becomes the fourth Newton-Conover alumni to join the CVCC women’s basketball program — a list that also includes Samiya Pitts (2011-13), All-American Kadesha Gibbs (2012-14) and Ivy’s sister MaKenzie Eller (2015-16),

England, a 1988 alumnus of Newton-Conover, is excited to add yet another player from her alma mater to her CVCC program.

“The tradition of Newton-Conover — it was Samiya Pitts, Kadesha Gibbs and MaKenzie Eller who have already came through the program and graduated and went on two four-year schools,” England said. “To have alumni come and be a part of our program is special.”

Ivy said her sister’s advice played a huge role in her ultimate following her path to Catawba Valley.

“She told me to really just to work hard and if I really want to pursue another college in the future then I have to work hard, stay focused and not slack off,” Eller said. “That’s what I’ve got to do.”

Eller becomes the sixth member of the 2018-19 CVCC women’s basketball recruiting class, joining Alexander Central’s KeyKey Miller, Ashbrook’s Trinity Jones, Chapel Hill’s Aniya Taylor, Sugar Creek Charter’s Shamicah Sturvidant and South Caldwell’s Payton Kale.

This spring, Appalachian State student-athletes posted a 3.12 grade point average, the highest recorded cumulative GPA in history for the athletics department. This past semester was the 12th consecutive semester with a GPA above 3.0 for Mountaineer student-athletes.

The 2018 spring semester GPA was a 3.06 for all of athletics, boosting the cumulative GPA above last semester for a new App State athletics record. Impressively, all nine women's teams had both a semester and cumulative GPA above 3.0.

Thirteen teams posted a semester GPA above 3.0. Women's cross country led the women's sports for the second semester in a row with a 3.49, while men's tennis topped the men's sports with a 3.23 GPA.

Thirteen teams also maintain a cumulative GPA above 3.0 with women's cross country leading the way with a 3.53. Men's cross country holds the highest cumulative GPA among men's sports with a 3.26.

Six of the 18 varsity sports increased their semester GPA from the fall: men's basketball, men's soccer, softball, men's tennis, volleyball and wrestling. Softball made the highest jump from a 2.91 fall GPA to a 3.35 spring GPA for a 0.44 difference.

TEAM                               SPRING 2018 GPA     CUMULATIVE GPA
Women's cross country               3.49                           3.53
Women's soccer                          3.40                           3.48
Volleyball                                     3.37                           3.30
Softball                                        3.35                           3.15
Women's golf                              3.345                          3.36
Field hockey                                3.34                           3.41
Women's tennis                           3.32                           3.29
Women's track & field                  3.28                           3.32
Men's tennis                                 3.23                           3.14
Men's cross country                     3.17                           3.26
Women's basketball                     3.13                           3.26
Men's golf                                     3.04                           3.13
Wrestling                                      3.00                           2.98
Men's soccer                                2.95                          3.04
Men's track & field                        2.904                        2.96
Men's basketball                          2.902                        2.92
Baseball                                       2.80                          2.91
Football                                        2.67                          2.83

A total of 64 student-athletes graduated from App this spring, including five with master's degrees.

Three Mountaineer teams were also recognized by the NCAA last week with APR Public Recognition Awards – women's golf, women's soccer and women's tennis – while five teams recorded perfect single-year APR scores in 2016-17 – field hockey, women's golf, men's soccer, women's soccer and men's tennis.

Since its 2014-15 transition to the Sun Belt Conference for all but two sports (wrestling and field hockey), App State has paced the league in academic performance among its student-athletes. Last year, App State won the Sun Belt Institutional Graduation Rate Award for the second time in three years. The Mountaineers led the league with 237 combined student-athletes on the 2016-17 Sun Belt Commissioner's List (3.5+ GPA) or Academic Honor Roll (3.0-3.49 GPA).

Athlon Sports' preseason All-Sun Belt football teams have 14 overall selections and four first-team picks from reigning conference champion Appalachian State.

Running back Jalin Moore, cornerback Clifton Duck, linebacker Anthony Flory and offensive lineman Victor Johnson were first-team choices by the publication.

Defensive lineman Myquon Stout, cornerback Tae Hayes and tight end Collin Reed represented App State on the second team.

The third team includes three sophomores in center Noah Hannon, quarterback Zac Thomas and receiver Thomas Hennigan, who was also a fourth-team selection as an all-purpose player.

The fourth team lists safety Desmond Franklin, running back Marcus Williams Jr. and punter Xavier Subotsch.

App State ranked second in the league with seven offensive selections and tied for third with five defensive selections.

Moore is one of six FBS players entering 2018 with back-to-back seasons of 1,000 rushing yards, and he's the only active FBS back who's rushed for at least 235 yards in four career games. With 26 straight starts at left tackle, Johnson was also a first-team All-Sun Belt pick last season after helping the Mountaineers rank No. 2 nationally with only eight sacks allowed and No. 22 nationally by rushing for 223.6 yards per game.

Duck led the league with six interceptions last season, and his 11 picks over the last two seasons are tied for first place nationally. An inside linebacker, Flory had 87 tackles last year for a group that ranked in the top 30 nationally (and top two in the Sun Belt) in scoring defense and total defense. He was the defensive MVP in the Dollar General Bowl shutout of Toledo.

Stout's 41 tackles last season ranked third among Sun Belt interior linemen, Hayes' four interceptions were among his 16 passes defended, a total that ranked second in the league, and Reed's five touchdown catches ranked second among Sun Belt tight ends.

With 2017 senior Taylor Lamb at quarterback, Hannon had no bad snaps in 13 starts and 871 plays as a true freshman, while Hennigan's seven touchdown catches ranked second nationally among the nation's true freshman wide receivers. Thomas appeared in four games as the primary backup to Lamb as a redshirt freshman in 2017, when six of the league's top eight passers were seniors.

On the fourth team, Franklin had 49 tackles (31 solo) and three interceptions as a free safety. Williams rushed for 500 yards with two 125-yard games in his three starts, and there were 22 fair catches on Subotsch's 55 punts.

Appalachian State opens the 2018 season at Penn State on Sept. 1 and has a six-game home schedule that concludes with back-to-back visits from Georgia State and Troy in November.

4A Softball Regional, Game 1:
South Caldwell: 3
Richmond: 2
Spartans lead the best of three series, 1-0. Game two is Thursday at South Caldwell.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 22:00

Hickory Crawdads Fall at Home to Delmarva

The Crawdads fell to the Delmarva Shorebirds 7-0 on Wednesday evening. With wins over the Shorebirds on Monday and Tuesday, the 'Dads secured at least a split in the four-game series, which wraps up tomorrow night.

'Dads center fielder Franklin Rollin recorded a pair of walks and stole second base both times. Rollin has 8 steals in just 15 games with the Crawdads this season. First baseman Clay Middleton also stole second, his first of the year.

The Shorebirds put the first run of the game up with a two out single to center in the fifth. The next batter hit a triple to left field that gave them a 2-0 lead. In the fifth inning Zach Jarrett, alumni of Hickory High, went deep to increase the Shorebird's lead to 3.

'Dads starter Alex Eubanks completed six innings, allowing 3 runs, 7 hits, no walks and struck out 6 hitters. Right hander Demarcus Evans took over and threw two scoreless innings in relief before Tyler Ferguson allowed four runs in the ninth to give the Shorebirds a 7-0 lead.

The bottom of the eighth was briefly interrupted by a rain shower but the game was resumed after a 29-minute delay.

Tomorrow evening right hander Werner Leal will make his debut with the Crawdads as he gets the start in the series finale against Delmarva. Leal appeared in 12 games for the Arizona Rangers last season, pitching to a 2-3 record with a 5.01 ERA. He will face left handed pitcher Cameron Bishop (3-2, 2.19 ERA). The evening will be the Crawdads Tribute to Jim Carrey. Fans who dress up as their favorite Jim Carrey character will get a free ticket to the game. Thursday will also be Thirsty Thursday so fans can enjoy discounted beer and Pepsi products throughout the night thanks to Sheetz and Focus News. Following the game DJ Slikk will be performing a concert on the Thirsty Thursday stage presented by Cody Law Firm.

The homestand will continue as the Charleston RiverDogs come to town for a four-game series. On Friday night the 'Dads will debut their Patriotic Jerseys presented by StratX featuring George Washington crossing the Delaware River. Following the game, there will be a firework show.

Three members of the Lenoir-Rhyne University Men’s Lacrosse Team – senior midfielder Ben Corrigan (Alpharetta, Ga.), senior goalkeeper Ryan Crompton (Frederick, Md.) and senior long stick middle Collin Lett (Greensboro, N.C.) – will play in the 77th annual United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association/Nike North-South All-Star game.

The trio for the Bears will play for the NCAA Division I/II South Division squad. The contest takes place at Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium on the campus of Providence College in Providence, R.I., on Friday, May 25, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free.

This contest is one of the most storied traditions in college lacrosse in which the highest caliber seniors from across the country are showcased on the same field.

The North-South game kicks off a Memorial Day weekend filed with lacrosse in the New England area as the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Semifinals and Championship games will be held 25 miles north of Providence at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Bill Dunn of NYIT will coach the D-I/II North Team while Drew McMinn of Robert Morris will coach the South Division Team.

All three players were 2018 First-Team All-South Atlantic Conference honorees who led Lenoir-Rhyne (17-3, 8-0) to a third straight league regular season championship and a berth in the NCAA Division II National Semifinals this year.

Lett was the 2018 SAC Player of the Year while Corrigan finished second on the team in goals scored (45) and total points (81) in addition to a team-high 36 assists. Crompton, a three-year starter, graduated as the team’s all-time leader in saves with 516.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018 21:51

Appalachian State APR's Released

Five of Appalachian State University's 18 varsity teams recorded perfect single-year scores in the 2016-17 NCAA Division I Academic Progress Rate (APR) data, which was released Wednesday by the NCAA.

Field hockey, women's golf, men's soccer, women's soccer and men's tennis all obtained a perfect score of 1,000 after the completion of the 2016-17 academic year. Both women's golf and women's soccer sustain a perfect multiyear (four-year) rate as well.

The APR scores for women's golf, women's soccer and women's tennis all rank at the top of the Sun Belt Conference in their sports, with App State being the only women's soccer program in the league to boast a perfect score. In addition, women's basketball, men's cross country, field hockey, men's soccer and men's track & field all rank among the top three conference schools in their sports.

All App State teams possess multiyear rates above 945 and single-year rates of 940 or higher. Three teams from App State ranked among the top 10 percent in APR for their sports and were honored with the Public Recognition Award by the NCAA last week: women's golf, women's soccer and women's tennis.

The APR measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester or academic term. It is a multiyear score that provides insight of the academic performance for each team in every sport. The most recent APRs are based on scores from the 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 academic years. All teams must meet an academic threshold of 930 to qualify for the postseason and can face penalties for continued low academic performance.

Women's Golf 1000 1000
Women's Soccer 1000 1000
Field Hockey 1000 987
Men's Soccer 1000 987
Men's Tennis 1000 981
Women's Track & Field 985 985
Women's Basketball 982 982
Wrestling 982 982
Men's Basketball 980 980
Football 978 962
Men's Cross Country 971 993
Softball 971 966
Women's Tennis 969 1000
Women's Cross Country 967 987
Men's Golf 957 946
Volleyball 953 954
Men's Track & Field 946 976
Baseball 940 956

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