Appalachian State Softball took down the Longwood Lancers 6-3 and fell to the Elon Phoenix 10-2 in five innings on opening day of its 2019 season.
The Mountaineers have not had a 1-0 start since their 2013 season. In her first complete game, Kenzie Longanecker earned the W with seven strikeouts, allowing only nine hits and two walks.
Alison Durrence hit her first career homer as a Mountaineer in the seventh inning against the Lancers. Her two-run bomb allowed the Apps to pull ahead after a tied ballgame at 3-3. App State scored its final run after a single from Sidney Russell followed by a fielder's choice and a fielding error.
In game two, Elon's offense overpowered the Apps with eight hits, four of which were home runs. Maddie Siemer and Taylor Nichols combined for six walks, four groundouts and nine earned runs.
Keri White, Haley Stewart and Megan Walker had at least one hit in each game. White and Russell each had multiple hits against Longwood.
The Mountaineers continue play in the Elon Softball Opening Weekend Tournament on Saturday at noon against Eastern Kentucky, who finished 0-2 on the day.
In their first home match of the Spring season, the Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Tennis Team (4-1) easily defeated Southern Wesleyan (1-3) in the first of five straight matches against Conference Carolinas opponents.
The Bears were tested in doubles but earned the point with wins at all three spots. The number one pair of Hamed Gandouz and Shane O'Dea came away with a 6-3 victory, followed by a mirror score in third singles from Rhodri Atkinson/Paul Lenz. Doubles finished with a number two line victory from Mauricio Hernandez and Josh Lazenby by a final score of 7-5.
The Bears would breeze through singles play and complete the sweep of SWU. Gandouz won 6-3, 6-1 and Lenz would win by default after jumping out to an early 2-1 advantage. LR wouldn't drop more than two games in any of the final three singles matchups en route to win number four for the year.
"It was a very pleasing performance from the men today," said Head Coach Tom Rees. "We did not play our best doubles but found a way to win when it mattered. The energy in singles was terrific, as was the support from LR and Hickory communities."
The Bears return to action on Thursday when they travel to North Greenville at 2 p.m.
Kicking off six straight games against Conference Carolinas opponents, the Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Tennis Team (3-1) cruised past Southern Wesleyan (1-3) by a final score of 6-1 at the YMCA of Catawba Valley on Friday afternoon.
The Bears earned the doubles point courtesy of a pair of no-doubt wins. Emily Murchland and Sanne Janssen (first doubles) and Marto Escanero and Lucy Whelan each won by scores of 6-0. LR earned a forfeit victory in third singles, giving LR a clean sweep.
Diana Babinets outlasted Jennifer Ball in first singles. Babinets won the first set 6-4 before dropping set two 4-6. In the tiebreaker, Babinets would be the first to 10, winning by a score of 10-5. The Bears would be on the losing end of a third set tiebreaker in second singles but grabbed the rest of the singles matches.
"The ladies came out and continued their strong play in doubles from last weekend," said Head Coach Tom Rees. "The energy was great today as was the support from the LR and Hickory communities. We must also give a special 'well done' to Lucy Whelan who was back in the win column in singles today after a year on the sidelines with a knee injury."
Whelan defeated Caitlynn Nixon 6-0, 6-1 in fifth singles.
The Bears continue their Conference Carolinas tour on Thursday when they travel to North Greenville for a 2 p.m. match.
The No. 19 Lenoir-Rhyne Softball Team suffered its first two defeats of the season, falling to Hillsdale in game one of the 2019 NFCA Division II Leadoff Classic, 2-1 and then dropping game two to No. 3 North Georgia, 5-0. Each of LR's opponents were NCAA Tournament teams a season ago.
Erin Boone accounted for three of the Bears four hits in the opener, all going for extra bases. Boone doubled twice and tripled but wouldn't score as she was stranded all three times. Boone was able to drive in Savannah Moorefield with a double in the third for the lone LR run of the afternoon.
Kimberly Blair suffered the loss in the circle, giving up a pair of runs in 1.1 innings. Relievers Hannah Jennings and Brandi Parks combined to throw 4.2 scoreless innings and struck out six batters.
Dana Wiedinger kept the Bears off balance all game, scattering four hits in a complete game effort. The junior struck out seven and walked two to earn her first win of the season.
North Georgia pushed a run across in the first inning and two more in the second and never looked back in the finale. The No. 3 team in the nation held LR to just two hits and handed Emily Kenley her first loss of the season.
Talon LaClair and Cassie Healy accounted for the only two singles allowed by Kylee Smith who struck out 15 and walked just one in the dominating performance. Smith led all of Division II in ERA, wins and strikeouts a season ago and was the NFCA Division II Player of the Year.
The Bears were sloppy in this one, committing four errors which led to four unearned runs for Kenley.
UNG is coming off a 62-4 season that saw them fall in the Division II National Championship to Saint Leo.
Hillsdale went to the Midwest Regional in 2018 before falling to Grand Valley St.
Day two of the Classic opens for LR tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. with a matchup against Eckerd College.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Lacrosse Team opened the 2019 campaign with high hopes following a SAC regular season championship last spring, and the Bears have started on the right foot with a 16-13 road victory over Belmont Abbey on Friday afternoon.
Lenoir-Rhyne's Rachel Elmore (White Plains, Md.) led the Bears with five goals, including a hat trick in the first half. A combination of eight others scored for the road team and Cathleen Gaffney, Adriana Williams and Gabby Sousa each had two, but Belmont Abbey outshot the Bears, 31-29, in the game.
Belmont Abbey held the advantage in groundballs (21-7) and committed turnovers (19-21) but the Bears were much better offensively on the day.
Cristi Rowland and Teanna Sieben split time in goal for Lenoir-Rhyne, with Rowland being credited with the first win of the season. Sieben picked up nine of the 14 saves for the Bears as the Crusaders pushed their attack in attempt to make a comeback in the second half.
Belmont Abbey was led by Kylie Eastman who led all scorers with eight goals and six ground balls on the afternoon.
The Crusaders split time at goalie with Annie Brannon and Elizabeth O'Ha with Brannon taking the Loss in the season opener.
The Bears took this one as payback for the heartbreaking 12-11 loss to Belmont Abbey to open the season in 2018.
This is Lenoir-Rhyne's first season-opening win since 2014 when the Bears took down St. Andrews 19-2 on February 16 in Laurinburg, N.C.
Lenoir-Rhyne opens the season 1-0 and begins a four game home stand on Friday, Feb. 15 with the Florida Tech Panthers coming to town. The game is set to begin between the bricks at 4 p.m.
Northwestern 3A/4A Conference:
Alexander Central: 34
South Caldwell: 18
Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference:
East Burke: 70
West Iredell: 65
Fred T. Foard: 53
South Fork Athletic 2A Conference:
West Lincoln: 31
East Lincoln: 51
North Lincoln: 27
Northwestern 3A/4A Conference:
Alexander Central: 45
South Caldwell: 59
Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference:
East Burke: 60
Fred T. Foard: 79
West Iredell: 54
South Fork Athletic 2A Conference:
West Lincoln: 47
East Lincoln: 53
North Lincoln: 51
Appalachian State men's basketball fell in their quest to win their fourth straight, suffering a 74-71 setback on the road at Texas State Thursday night.
Ronshad Shabazz was one of four players to score in double figures for Appalachian State with 23 points. However, it was Texas State's hot shooting that propelled them to the win. Texas State shot 31-of-56 from the field for a 55% average. App was 24-of-55 for 43%.
Shabazz scored 15 of his 23 points in the first half, helping the Mountaineers go into the locker room at the half tied, 38-38. He was four-of-seven from the field, three-of-three behind the arc and four-of-four from the charity stripe in the first half.
App was doomed in the paint in both halves. Texas State accumulated 44 of their points in the paint, compared to App's 22.
The loss drops the Mountaineers to 8-15 overall, 3-7 in Sun Belt Conference play. App will stay in Texas to face Texas-Arlington on Saturday.
A road trip from Boone to the Bull City resulted in a good-looking win for Appalachian State Wrestling.
Wearing new gold and black Nike singlets, App State claimed a 21-17 victory against Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium on Thursday night, giving head coach JohnMark Bentley's program its sixth win against a Power Five Conference team in the last four seasons.
The Mountaineers' six wins Thursday came from Angel Najar, Alan Clothier, Randall Diabe, Cary Miller, De'Andre Swinson-Barr and Codi Russell, with a comeback in Swinson-Barr's 8-4 decision against Arien Leigh at 125 pounds occurring at a critical time. The four nationally ranked Finesilver brothers, made up of two sets of twins, accounted for all of the Blue Devils' victories.
App State (6-6) trailed 10-3 before it rattled off five straight wins, capped by Russell's six-point forfeit at 133 pounds to give the Mountaineers a 21-10 advantage with two matches remaining against the Blue Devils (2-6). The streak began with decisions from Clothier (9-3 against Kaden Russell at 184 pounds), Diabe (10-3 against Alec Schenk at 197 pounds) and Miller (6-2 against Araad Fisher at 285 pounds).
With the Mountaineers moving ahead 12-10 on Miller's win, Swinson-Barr's match had the potential to be a dual-deciding one with six points guaranteed at 133 points and two ranked Finesilver brothers taking the mat in the final two matches.
Swinson-Barr trailed 4-1 in the first period before executing an escape and a tying takedown. He took the lead with a second-period escape and takedown.
Duke needed a pair of pins in the last two matches to pull off a comeback win, but 30th-ranked Josh Finesilver won a 6-2 decision against Irvin Enriquez and sixth-ranked Mitch Finesilver posted a 14-3 major decision against Matt Zovistoski.
Najar got App State off to a strong start with a 13-6 decision against Benjamin Anderson at 157 pounds. Najar had five takedowns, including two apiece in the first and third periods.
Zach Finesilver's pin at 165 pounds and Matt Finesilver's major decision at 174 pounds gave Duke a 10-3 lead before Clothier began the rally with his win. He pushed his lead to 6-1 with a takedown and two near-fall points as the first period ended.
App State returns to action Tuesday with a Southern Conference dual at Davidson.
App State 21, Duke 17
157: Angel Najar (APP) def. Benjamin Anderson (DU), 13-6 dec.
165: #25 Zach Finesilver (DU) def. #32 Michael Elliott (APP), fall, 2:13
174: #16 Matt Finesilver (DU) def. Thomas Flitz (APP), 10-2 maj. dec.
184: #32 Alan Clothier (APP) def. Kaden Russell (DU), 9-3 dec.
197: #17 Randall Diabe (APP) def. Alec Schenk (DU), 10-3 dec.
HWT: #26 Cary Miller (APP) def. Araad Fisher (DU), 6-2 dec.
125: De'Andre Swinson-Barr (APP) def. Arien Leigh (DU), 8-4 dec.
133: #31 Codi Russell (APP) won by forfeit
141: #30 Josh Finesilver (DU) def. Irvin Enriquez (APP), 6-2 dec.
149: #6 Mitch Finesilver (DU) def. #25 Matt Zovistoski (APP), 14-3 maj. dec.
Appalachian State University women's basketball (12-9, 6-4 SBC) put forth an all-around effort in a 77-56 victory over Texas State (9-13, 4-6 SBC) on Education Day in the Holmes Center.
Appalachian was dominant on both sides of the ball, limiting to Texas State to just 35.5 percent shooting from the floor, while holding the Sun Belt's second-leading scorer, Toshua Leavitt (16.7 ppg), to just 4-of-21 shooting and 10 points. Leavitt scored all 10 of her points in the first quarter before missing her final 13 shots from the floor.
A balanced effort highlighted the offense, which shot 47.2 percent from the floor with five Mountaineers scoring in double figures. Appalachian tied a season-high with a 50 percent (8-16) shooting clip from 3-point land. Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) posted an efficient performance with a game-high 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 6-of-8 shooting from the line. She added eight boards and three assists.
Lainey Gosnell (Demorest, Ga./Habersham Central) got in on the action with 15 points and five off the glass. The sophomore shot 50 percent (5-of-10) from the floor with a pair of 3-pointers. Coming off the bench to provide a spark was Tierra Wilson (Winston-Salem, N.C./RJ Reynolds), who tied a season high with four 3-pointers for 12 points. Bayley Plummer (Thomasville, N.C./East Davidson) recorded her second straight double-double and fifth of the season with 12 points and 10 boards.
Playing another solid game was Pre Stanley (Rockledge, Fla./Rockledge). The Rockledge, Fla., native dropped 11 points with three steals. Stanley finished 3-for-6 from the floor and 5-of-7 from the charity stripe. In addition, she was a key cog in holding Leavitt below her scoring average.
It was a high-scoring affair in the first quarter with both teams exchanging four leads and four ties. With the game tied at 14-14, App scored nine of the next 15 points in the final 2:22 of the quarter to go into the second period with a 23-20 edge.
App State flexed its muscle in the second frame by putting up a 23-9 quarter. Stanley and Story took over scoring 16 of the points, including 14 straight points by the tandem. After the duo went on a 10-2 run by themselves while leading, 27-22, Gosnell scored the last five points before going into the break to help App hold a 46-29 lead.
App shot 50 percent from the field and was a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line. The defense held TXST to just 4-of-12 shooting after the Bobcats shot 53.3 percent in the first quarter.
The Mountaineers offense struggled from the field in the third quarter, but the defense continued to shut down Texas State, forcing the Bobcats to shoot only 4-for-18 (22.2 percent). App scored 11 points while holding TXST to a second straight nine-point period.
Texas State had one last run in them, going on a 7-0 run to start the quarter and cut the App State lead to just 12, 57-45. However, App got back on track coming out of a timeout hitting eight of its final 10 shots to end the game and pull away for its first sweep over Texas State in the series. Wilson highlighted the stretch with three trifectas and nine points.
After TXST shot 53.3 percent in the third quarter, App held the visitors to just 29.8 percent shooting. The Mountaineers also posted a plus-10 rebounding margin, 42-32.
Appalachian will have another tough test against UTA on Saturday at 2 p.m. inside the Holmes Center. Saturday's game is the "Pack Holmes Pink" Play4Kay contest.
"Today was a great team win. We not only locked into our game plan, but we also had a huge amount of energy plays. We appreciate our marketing department for hosting our Education Day game and making it a great atmosphere." - Head Coach Angel Elderkin.
- App State is now 5-5 all-time against Texas State.
- The Mountaineers are 11-0 when holding their opponents to fewer than 70 points.
- Appalachian is 8-2 when it doesn't allow a 20-point scorer.
- Plummer is now sixth all-time in school history with 767 rebounds, passing Jamie Gagliano (757;1997-01) and Natasha Lettsome (758;1997-01).
- Plummer also became one of eight players in school history to record at least 100 career blocks. She is tied for seventh in the record books with Jessica Jank (101;2001-05).
- The Thomasville, N.C. is also one of four players in school history with Valorie Whiteside, Anna Freeman and Shannon Thomas to record at least 500 points, 700 rebounds and 100 blocks in their career.
- App State is 5-2 over its last five games.
Jalin Moore, a record-setting running back during his Appalachian State career, has officially been invited to the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.
Held in Indianapolis from Feb. 26 through March 4, the event will attract a total of 338 prospects, including five from the Sun Belt Conference. There have been 28 running backs invited this year.
Labeled by many in the fall as the Sun Belt’s top NFL prospect, Moore increased his career totals to 3,570 rushing yards and 34 total touchdowns before he suffered a season-ending ankle fracture and dislocation Oct. 9. He finished as App State’s all-time leader at 6.13 yards per carry for his career and is No. 6 in career rushing yards.
The ankle injury occurred at the end of a 27-yard touchdown run in which Moore, whose ability to squat 650 pounds helped put him at No. 1 among running backs on NFL.com's list of the most "freakish athletes" in college football, pulled a defender on his back for the final 10 yards.
The timetable for his recovery was set at eight to 12 weeks, making it difficult for him to be at full strength in time to participate last month in the Reese’s Senior Bowl, but the NFL Scouting Combine offers another opportunity for Moore to display his talents.
A two-time team captain, Moore had four games with at least 235 rushing yards for App State and entered his senior year with consecutive seasons of more than 1,000 rushing yards. At the time of his injury, he ranked No. 2 among active FBS players in career rushing yards.
His abbreviated senior season included two-touchdown performances in which he rushed for 119 yards on eight carries against Gardner-Webb and 123 yards on 19 carries against South Alabama. He scored on a career-long run of 81 yards in the Gardner-Webb game and had a career-high five catches in the overtime loss at Penn State, where he broke two tackles on a go-ahead, 16-yard touchdown with 1:47 left in regulation.
Appalachian State head volleyball coach Matt Ginipro has announced that Amber Hildebrandt has been named an assistant coach for the program.
"To say I'm excited to have Amber back in Boone is a huge understatement," said Ginipro. "Even as a first-year coach, she was a big part of our fantastic season in 2015 and I'm looking forward to being able to work with her again.
Hildebrandt returns to App State after serving as a coach with Southern Select Volleyball Club in 2018. She also has held coaching stints at Xavier for the 2016 and 2017 season, with App State in 2015 and with Oakland in 2014.
In two seasons at Xavier, the Musketeers posted 433 victories, including 20 in the 2016 season. Xavier posted a 13-5 mark in the BIG EAST in 2016 and advanced the conference tournament title match.
During the 2015 season in Boone, Hildebrandt helped the Black and Gold go 22-8 on the season and 13-3 in the Sun Belt, including an appearance in the Sun Belt Tournament championship match. She also helped four players to AVCA All-South East Region honors and saw five players land All-Sun Belt accolades.
Prior to Appalachian State, Hildebrandt was a volunteer assistant coach at Oakland University in 2014. The squad posted a 22-10 overall record, which marked the school's first 20-win season during Division I competition, while helping the team post a 12-2 record in conference play. The Golden Grizzlies also captured the Horizon League regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Hildebrandt was a four-year letter winner at Oakland (2010-13), helping the squad record 68 wins during her playing career. She played in 200 sets during her career and earned all-conference academic honors twice.
The Lake Zurich, Ill., native earned a bachelor's degree in social work from Oakland in 2013.
"After leaving Boone, she gained valuable experience and became an even better coach during her time at Xavier," added Ginipro. "Amber is a great teacher of the game, is filled to the brim with positive energy and our players are going to love working hard for her. I feel incredibly lucky to have all the pieces fall in place to bring her back to App State."
Hudson native Scott Triplett, a graduate of and former assistant softball coach at South Caldwell High School has been named the first Head Softball Coach at Caldwell Community College.
The Cobras announced that baseball and softball will begin play in the fall of 2019 back in November. Former Lenoir-Rhyne and CVCC head coach Frank Pait was announced as the first baseball coach for Caldwell in mid-December.
The Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball team snapped a three-game skid on Wednesday night with a 80-72 road victory against Patrick Henry Community College at Stone Hall.
Jordan Powell paced the Red Hawks (17-8, 9-7 in Region X) with 21 points, while Jonathan McFall added 19 points off the bench.
Catawba Valley fell behind 39-35 to the Patriots (10-10, 6-8) at halftime of Wednesday’s conference contest with Powell and McFall both scoring nine points during the first half.
Behind 12 points from Powell and 10 points each from McFall and guard Byron Sanders, the Red Hawks roared back in the second half to gain the lead, and CVCC held off a late charge from the Patriots for their ninth conference win of the 2018-19 campaign.
Sanders joined Powell and McFall by reaching double figures in scoring with 12 points.
The CVCC men’s basketball team returns to action on Sunday for its fifth-straight road game when it takes on Vance Granville Community College in Henderson, N.C. Tip off between the Red Hawks and Vanguard is set for 3 p.m.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team dropped its home opener to Barton on Wednesday evening by a final score of 9-4. E.J. Ranel homered to left field in the ninth inning for his second long ball of the season but the Bears late rally fell short.
Ranel finished with two hits and two runs scored on the night. The OF reached base four times against the Bulldogs as he added a pair of walks.
Zach Shoemaker added a pair of hits for the Bears who totaled eight knocks in the game. Barton had just one more hit on the night but pushed across five more runs than the hosts.
Kain Kiser earned the start on the mound for LR and took his first loss of the season. The right hander surrendered three runs on two hits and three walks in his three innings of work. Five relievers covered the final six inning for the Bears.
Connor Patterson started for the Bulldogs and came one out away from earning the win. Patterson tossed 4.2 innings and gave up just one run on one hit but walked six batters.
Colby Warren hit his second HR of the year for BC and went 3-for-4 with four runs driven in.
LR pitchers combined to strike out 11 batters on the evening, their highest total thus far in 2019.
On top of drawing seven walks, LR was hit by four pitches in this one.
The Bears drop to 1-3 on the early season. L-R is back in action on Saturday as they host Mount Olive for a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. at Bears Field.
A foul with one second remaining doomed the Lenoir-Rhyne men's basketball team on the road at Newberry, as the Bears fell to the Wolves, 103-101, Wednesday night.
With the Bears leading by one with four second remaining in the contest, Newberry called a time out. On the ensuing possesion, Jon Jean was charged with a fould on Marshall Lange behind the three point line with one second remaining. Lange hit all three free throws as the Wolves took the win.
L-R led after the first half, 55-52, but the Wolves took their largest lead of the game of 14 points iwht 7:46 remaining in the contest.
Jean led the Bears with 19 points, and was one of six players to score in double figures for L-R. Deontae Weaver was a rebound shy of a double-double as he had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Both teams shot well from the field with L-R shooting 57 percent from the field and Newberry connection on 52 percent of their shots. Newberry, however, dominated in the paint, outscoring the Bears 52-36 near the basket.
The loss drops the Bears to 16-4 overall and 9-3 in the South Atlantic Conference. L-R will host Anderson, Saturday at 4pm.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball Team went on the road in South Atlantic Conference action and took down the Newberry College Wolves on Wednesday night, 69-63. Senior Ashley Rodriguez started her second game of the year and rewarded her team with a season-high 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting.
Alyssa Wagner and Madeline Hardy were the only other Bears to score in double figures with 11 and 10 respectively, but everyone that played put in at least four points. That was also a career-high for Wagner.
Kennedy Weigt did not hit a field goal all game, but was able to make six free throws and lead all players with nine assists on the night, a career high.
The Bears were able to take the victory in large part to forcing 19 turnovers and intense defensive effort, as the Wolves were held to 22-for-54 shooting from the field (40.7 percent).
Newberry was led by Regan McCarty, who led all scorers with 17 points on 6-for-14 shooting and seven rebounds to go with her strong performance.
The Bears have proven to play well on the road all season, as they now own a 7-3 record away from Shuford Gymnasium.
The Bears improve to 11-10 overall and 6-7 in the South Atlantic Conference. L-R will return home for a SAC contest against Anderson on Saturday, Feb. 9 with tipoff set for 2 p.m.
L-R Football Signs 29, Including Alexander Central's Chapman, and Bandys Products Howard, Johnson And ShookWritten by Jason Savage
After completing the biggest turnaround in the nation in 2018, the Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team signed 29 student-athletes for the 2019 campaign. The Bears will look to defend the SAC Championship and build upon the NCAA Southeast Regional Appearance.
The breakdown by states is as follows: Georgia (12), North Carolina (11), South Carolina (four), Virginia (one) and Florida (one).
“We’re really excited about the 2019 signing class,” said Cronic. “We brought in a lot of really good players and met a lot of needs. A lot of kids want to be here and that’s because the student-athletes that are here have done a great job winning games. Our kids have done well academically and the addition of the Neill McGeachy Sports Performance Center has recruits wanting to be a part of our program. We’ve been able to sign a lot of really good high-character players. The future is bright.”
TJ Blanding, DB, 5-11, 175, Blythewood, S.C., Westwood HS
Austin Cagle, QB, 6-1, 180, Clayton, N.C., Clayton HS
Isaac Chapman, OL/DL, 6-1, 290, Lincolnton, N.C., Alexander Central HS
Nick Corbit, OL, 6-1, 260, Stephens City, Va., Serando HS
De'Andre Cornish, LB, 6-2, 220, Duncan, S.C., Byrnes HS
Chad Crumbley, DB, 5-9, 175, Burke County, Ga., Burke County HS
Damien Devine, WR, 5-11, 190, Fitzgerald Ga., Fitzgerald HS
Cal Dickie, RB, 5-9, 185, Roswell, Ga., Centennial HS
Will Godfrey, OL, 6-3, 215, Statesville, N.C., West Iredell HS
Ethan Howard, RB, 5-11, 240, Catawba, N.C., Bandys HS
Myles Jackson, DB, 6-0, 220, Jefferson County, Ga., Jefferson County HS
Blake Jefferson, OL, 6-0, 290, Atlanta, Ga., Tucker HS
Bryce Jefferson, ATH, 6-1, 205, Atlanta, Ga., Tucker HS
Aaron Johnson, DE, 6-2, 235, Sherrills Ford, N.C., Bandys HS
C'Darius Kelley, ATH, 5-11, 185, Greensboro, Ga., Greene County HS
Deondre Lester, WR, 6-0, 175, Washington, Ga., Washington Wilkes HS
Dom Maggio, TE, 6-2, 255, Buford Ga., Buford HS
Davis Moose, DL, 5-10, 245, Albemarle, N.C., South Stanly HS
Isaiah Porter, DB, 5-11, 165, Columbia, S.C., Ridge View HS
BJ Ramseur, LB, 5-9, 230, Shelby, N.C., Crest HS
A'lajuwan Robinson, ATH, 6-0, 190, Columbia, S.C., Keenan HS
Trevis Robinson, DL, 6-1, 250, Pompano, Fla., Cardinal Gibbons HS
Aaron Scott, ATH, 6-0, 180, Huntersville, N.C., North Mecklenburg HS
De'Andre Shelton, DL, 6-2, 220, Macon, Ga., Howard HS
Nash Shook, DL, 6-4, 240, Catawba, N.C., Bandys HS
Will Watts, DB, 5-10, 175, Huntersville, N.C., North Mecklenburg HS
Shane Wells, OL, 6-4, 250, Brunswick, Ga., Glynn Academy
Demian Williams, DB, 5-11, 180, Waynesboro, Ga., Burke County HS
Rae-Kwon Young-Turner, DL, 6-1, 235, Shelby, N.C., Crest HS
With record-breaking rankings, the addition of nine more student-athletes on February's National Signing Day gave Appalachian State Football a total of 18 signees from the Class of 2019.
On Wednesday, head coach Eliah Drinkwitz announced the signing of, in alphabetical order, wide receiver Raykwon Anderson, quarterback David Baldwin-Griffin, outside linebacker KeSean Brown, offensive lineman Larry Dowdy, defensive back Emmanuel Jenkins, long snapper Christian Johnstone, offensive lineman Craig McFarland, defensive back Milan Tucker and running back Ben Williams.
In December, App State signed defensive back Tre Caldwell, wide receiver Dashaun Davis, outside linebacker Brendan Harrington, linebacker Jourdan Heilig, offensive lineman Lyle Hiers, tight end Ricky Kofoed, defensive back Nicholas Ross, defensive lineman Luke Smith and wide receiver Christian Wells. Caldwell, Davis, Harrington, Heilig, Ross and Smith already have joined the Mountaineers as early enrollees.
According to the 247Sports database, this 18-player class includes three of the six highest-rated commitments in App State's FBS history, with Baldwin-Griffin and his grade of 85.88 ranking No. 1 in program history. Anderson has an 84.85, followed by Harrington with an 84.35.
"When we talk about fit, FIT is an acronym," said Drinkwitz, noting that the staff was looking at focus, intangibles and talent. "We are looking for a young man who is focused — focused on what they want to achieve not only in football, but in life, and that's represented. Our GPA for the combined signees is a 3.42 GPA. These guys have a high academic IQ and standard, which is important to us. We want to have smart football players, and so that was the right fit.
"We're looking for intangibles, guys that we like, that like us, that fit us. Boone is a special place. Appalachian Football is a special place for special people … Looking at talent, seven of our signees had multiple Power Five (conference) offers."
App State's recruiting class is made up of four defensive backs, three offensive linemen, three linebackers, three receivers, one defensive lineman, one quarterback, one running back, one tight end and one long snapper.
The class includes six in-state prospects, tied for the highest total in the program's FBS history. There are four Florida prospects, four Georgia prospects, one prospect from South Carolina, one prospect from Tennessee, one prospect from California (Baldwin-Griffin) and one prospect from Arizona (McFarland).
"I think our administration did a great job with supporting us and making sure that we had all the resources we needed to attract quality football players here," Drinkwitz said. "Our coaching staff put in tireless hours, and our community did a great job."
Baldwin-Griffin, who is from Compton, Calif., played his final prep season at IMG Academy in Florida. A left-handed quarterback with a 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame, he is ranked as the No. 22 dual-threat QB in the Class of 2019.
Set to become the first Arizona native since 1992 to play at App State, McFarland is a top-150 offensive tackle nationally, and Anderson received all-state recognition at three different positions as a four-time honoree in Georgia.
Dowdy appeared in the prestigious Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas as a two-time all-state offensive lineman out of South Point High School in Belmont, N.C., and Williams joins Charlotte Christian teammate Ricky Kofoed as a Class of 2019 signee from a program that won back-to-back state titles.
The February signing period led to the addition of two more defensive backs in Tucker, who excelled as a two-way player in Fort Myers, Fla., and Jenkins, whose size as a 6-foot-2, 200-pound member of the secondary stands out.
An award-winning linebacker in South Carolina, Brown also performed well and scored a touchdown as a running back during the Border Bowl in Augusta, S.C., and Johnstone was ranked nationally as a top-10 long snapper during his prep career in Georgia. The Mountaineers now have another candidate to replace four-year starter Elias McMurry at that position.
Drinkwitz thanked recruiting coordinator Justin Watts, director of player personnel Andrew Blaylock and App State's other assistant coaches for their hard work. That included a high volume of flights, nights in hotels and cross-country travel, a lot of which occurred while their families are in the process of moving to the High Country.
"Justin had this group targeted, and when I signed up, we only had six days before the first signing period," Drinkwitz said. "We were able to hold on to nine committed players, and I want to thank them and their families for buying into our mission. I want to thank Justin for being able to hold it together and keep us on the right track. I thought he did a great job, once that signing period ended, to refocus on what we needed to get now."
App State Football 2018-19 Signing Class
*Tre Caldwell | DB | 5-10 | 186 | Greensboro, N.C. (Southeast Guilford)
*Dashaun Davis | WR | 5-9 | 160 | Deerfield Beach, Fla. (Deerfield Beach)
*Brendan Harrington | OLB | 6-1 | 205 | Pittsboro, N.C. (Northwood)
*Jourdan Heilig | LB | 6-1 | 195 | Concord, N.C. (Concord)
Lyle Hiers | OL | 6-5 | 260 | Lake Wales, Fla. (Lake Wales)
Ricky Kofoed | TE | 6-3 | 220 | Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte Christian)
*Nicholas Ross | DB | 5-10 | 175 | Marietta, Ga. (Kell)
*Luke Smith | DL | 6-1 | 292 | Lebanon, Tenn. (Friendship Christian)
Christian Wells | WR | 5-11 | 170 | Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (University School)
Raykwon Anderson | WR | 5-9 | 175 | Folkston, Ga. (Charlton County)
David Baldwin-Griffin | QB | 6-4 | 215 | Compton, Calif. (IMG Academy)
KeSean Brown | OLB | 6-2 | 210 | Bamberg, S.C. (Bamberg-Ehrhardt)
Larry Dowdy | OL | 6-4 | 285 | Belmont, N.C. (South Point)
Emmanuel Jenkins | DB | 6-2 | 200 | Canton, Ga. (Sequoyah)
Christian Johnstone | LS | 6-3 | 240 | Loganville, Ga. (Archer)
Craig McFarland | OL | 6-6 | 275 | Phoenix, Ariz. (Chaparral)
Milan Tucker | DB | 5-11 | 165 | Lehigh Acres, Fla. (Fort Myers)
Ben Williams | RB | 5-10 | 185 | Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte Christian)
* Already enrolled at App State
Raykwon Anderson – WR
Folkston, Ga. (Charlton County)
BIO: Four-time all-state selection at three different positions in Georgia, excelling as a receiver, quarterback, returner and defensive back … Playing quarterback for an 8-4 team as a senior, amassed 2,580 all-purpose yards and had a hand in 30 touchdowns ... Rushed for 1,064 yards with 15 touchdowns and threw for 1,283 yards with 14 touchdown passes … Also had one touchdown catch, 104 kickoff return yards, 97 punt return yards and a 34.3-yard average as Charlton County's punter ... As a junior receiver, had 63 catches for 941 yards and 12 touchdowns on a 9-3 team … Also rushed for 514 yards and nine touchdowns that year, passed for 96 yards (with two TDs), totaled 455 kickoff return yards (with a 26.8 average), had 150 punt return yards (for a 16.7 average with one TD) and intercepted two passes … GHSA-A First Team All-State as a returner during his sophomore year, when he recorded 16 touchdowns, more than 1,250 all-purpose yards, three interceptions, two blocked punts and 29 tackles … Also received all-state recognition as a returner during his freshman season … Played for Rich McWhorter at Charlton County, which went 17-7 over his final two seasons … Committed to App State in February 2019 … Considered a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings and the 15th-best cornerback recruit from Georgia.
David Baldwin-Griffin – QB
Compton, Calif. (IMG Academy)
BIO: Dual-threat, left-handed quarterback from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., shared time at that position for a 7-1 team that was ranked No. 5 nationally in USA Today's final high school poll for 2018 … Ranked by 247Sports as the No. 22 dual-threat quarterback in the Class of 2019 … Totaled 10 touchdowns with 532 passing yards and 244 rushing yards as a senior … In his sophomore and junior seasons at Upland (Calif.) High School, totaled 5,052 yards (4,181 passing, 852 rushing) with 54 touchdowns (46 passing) … As a junior, led Upland to an undefeated regular season and 12-1 record with 2,510 passing yards, 32 touchdown passes and just six interceptions … Named Offensive Player of the Year in the Baseline League as a junior … As a sophomore, threw for 1,671 yards and 14 touchdowns ... Played for coach Kevin Wright at IMG … Committed to App State in January 2019 … Considered a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings.
KeSean Brown – OLB
Bamberg, S.C. (Bamberg-Ehrhardt)
BIO: Versatile standout on a 10-2 team that reached a Class 2-A regional final, playing primarily linebacker and running back … Second-team USA Today All-South Carolina pick at linebacker with nearly 100 tackles and four forced fumbles ... Was on 13-3 state finalist as a junior, when he made the all-area team as a running back/receiver, and played for an 11-2 team as a sophomore … Had 123 rushing yards and two touchdowns on five carries in a first-round win during his senior year … Rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown while representing South Carolina at the Border Bowl in Augusta, Ga. ... Named an All-American in wrestling by the Wrestling USA magazine in the summer before his senior year, after he helped lead Bamberg-Ehrhardt to the Class 2-A Duals State Championship as a junior … Won individual state wrestling titles as a sophomore and junior ... Coached in football by Robert Williams at Bamberg-Ehrhardt … Committed to App State in January 2019 … Considered a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings, which also lists him as the state of South Carolina's top OLB prospect in 2019.
Larry Dowdy – OL
Belmont, N.C. (South Point)
BIO: Two-time first-team all-state selection by the Associated Press and USA Today as an offensive lineman … Only two-time AP all-state player in the history of Gaston County … Rated the fourth-best offensive tackle prospect in the state by Rivals and seventh by 247Sports … Four-year starter and four-time all-conference selection for a South Point team that made four straight playoff appearances, including a 3-A state title in 2016 and 3-A runner-up finish in 2015 … Playing for coach Adam Hodge, helped South Point to a 46-12 overall record in four years … Three-time All-Gaston Gazette pick … Provided blocking for an offense that racked up 3,626 rushing yards and 52 rushing TDs his senior year … Played for the North Carolina Shrine Bowl team in 2018 … Committed to App State in January 2019 … Rated a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings.
Emmanuel Jenkins – DB
Canton, Ga. (Sequoyah)
BIO: Two-time 6-A All-Region 6 selection … Playing at both cornerback and receiver, helped Sequoyah to three straight playoff appearances, including a quarterfinals berth in 2018, under coach James Teter … Had 45 tackles and two TFLs as a senior and 29 tackles and two forced fumbles as a junior … Hauled in 14 catches for 180 yards and a TD as a receiver in 2018 … Named to the Cherokee Tribune Super Six prior to his senior season … Committed to App State in January 2019 … Rated a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings … Ranked the 22nd-best cornerback prospect in Georgia by 247Sports.
Christian Johnstone — LS
Loganville, Ga. (Archer)
BIO: Excelled as a long snapper and center at Archer … Ranked 10th nationally among long snappers in the Class of 2019 and was one of 18 long snappers to receive a five-star grade from Rubio Long Snapping … Ranked as the No. 9 long snapper in the Class of 2019 by 247Sports … Ranked 10th nationally by Kohl's … 2018 Gwinnett Daily Post All-County selection as a senior for an 11-3 team coached by Andy Dyer … In March 2018, named to the top performers list at the Rubio Long Snapping Camp in Cornelius, N.C. … Committed to App State in February 2019 … Rated a two-star prospect by 247Sports.
Craig McFarland – OL
Phoenix, Ariz. (Chaparral)
BIO: Two-time first-team 6-A All-Desert Valley pick and USA Today All-Arizona honorable mention … Played left tackle and defensive end for coach Brent Barnes at Chaparral, where he protected the blind side of an all-state quarterback … In the Class of 2019, ranked as the 147th-best offensive tackle in the nation and 43rd-best prospect in Arizona by 247Sports … Made the Sports360AZ All-Academic First Team with a 4.26 GPA … Would be the first Arizona native on an App State football roster since 1992, when Chandler, Ariz., native Jason Budinger was a senior offensive lineman for the Mountaineers … Committed to App State in January 2019 … Considered a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings.
Milan Tucker – DB
Lehigh Acres, Fla. (Fort Myers)
BIO: Played both ways for Fort Myers, racking up over 1,000 all-purpose yards and 12 total touchdowns (nine receiving, three rushing) to go with 34 tackles, an interception and a blocked field goal as a senior … Saw time at cornerback as well as receiver and running back in the Green Wave's new spread offense in 2018 … Helped coach Sam Sirianni's team to a 10-3 record and second round of the Florida 6-A playoffs and earned first-team all-area honors from The News-Press … Second-team all-area as a junior in 2017, when he totaled nearly 750 all-purpose yards and seven TDs as one wing in the Green Wave's wing-T scheme and intercepted two passes, recovered a fumble and blocked a punt … Committed to App State in June 2018 … Rated a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings.
Ben Williams – RB
Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte Christian)
BIO: First-team NCISAA All-State selection at running back after rushing for 623 yards and 12 touchdowns while helping Charlotte Christian to an undefeated 2018 NCISAA State Championship season under coach Jason Estep … Added 136 receiving yards, a touchdown reception, 112 kickoff return yards, 44 tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble as a senior ... Part of a three-year run with a 31-3 record that also included a 2017 state title … Committed to App State in January 2019 … Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports … High school teammate of December signee Ricky Kofoed … Also ran track for Charlotte Christian, helping his 4x100-meter relay team qualify for a state title in 2018 and runner-up finish in 2017.
* Tre Caldwell – DB
Greensboro, N.C. (Southeast Guilford)
BIO: Before suffering a season-ending injury, played in seven games as a senior, totaling 37 tackles, two interceptions, three breakups, one quarterback hurry and three tackles behind the line for a 14-2 team that reached the state 3-AA final … Also had 14 catches for 256 yards with two touchdowns and 14 carries for 78 yards with one touchdown … Had two interceptions in a 27-8 win against Southern Alamance in Southeast's seventh game of the season … All-region and all-conference as a junior on a 9-3 team … Coached by Kennedy Tinsley … In track, was all-conference in the 4x100 relay (seventh in the state) and 4x200 (fourth in the state) … Considered a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings.
* Dashaun Davis – WR
Deerfield Beach, Fla. (Deerfield Beach)
BIO: Standout receiver as a senior for a Deerfield Beach team that went 12-2 and reached the semifinals of the Class 8-A playoffs in Florida … Had a 26-yard touchdown in a regional final victory against Palm Beach Central … Coached by Jevon Glenn … Played as a junior at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach … A three-star prospect by Rivals and two-star prospect based on 247Sports' composite rankings.
* Brendan Harrington – OLB
Pittsboro, N.C. (Northwood)
BIO: Versatile player who had 64 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, five sacks and one interception as an all-conference linebacker during his senior season at Northwood … Also a key contributor at running back, had 840 rushing yards with 16 TDs and 322 receiving yards with two TDs in eight games offensively … Three-time all-conference pick as well as a two-time all-region pick from the News & Observer and a two-time team captain … Honor roll student who was a four-year starter in football while also playing basketball and running track at Northwood … A president of Northwood's chapter of My Brother's Keeper, a program that focuses on academic achievement for minority students … Coached at Northwood by his uncle, Brian Harrington, and was on a 7-5 team as a senior … Had four interceptions, including two touchdown returns, during a junior season in which he totaled 949 all-purpose yards and was an all-conference defensive back … Also an all-conference defensive back as a sophomore, when he scored on one of his four interceptions and also had a punt return for a touchdown … Intercepted two passes and had 10 breakups as a freshman … Considered a three-star recruit by the 247Sports composite rankings.
* Jourdan Heilig - LB
Concord, N.C. (Concord)
BIO: The two-time All-South Piedmont Conference selection had 176 tackles, seven tackles for loss, one sack, one interception and two pass breakups as a senior … Had 398 career tackles, including 151 as a junior and 63 as a sophomore … Posted at least 17 tackles in five games as a senior, highlighted by a 25-tackle performance against Mount Pleasant and 20 stops against Central Cabarrus … Played his final season at Concord for head coach and App State grad Marty Paxton … Cousins include Concord football greats Dee Bost, who was a Mississippi State basketball standout before playing in the NBA Summer League, and Lance Lewis, who excelled as an East Carolina receiver before spending time with four NFL franchises … Rated a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings.
* Lyle Hiers – OL
Lake Wales, Fla. (Lake Wales)
BIO: Four-year offensive lineman for a Lake Wales team that went 10-2 in 2018 with per-game averages of 226.5 rushing yards, 412.1 total yards and 35.4 points … Excelled at offensive tackle while also seeing time at guard and center in his career … Credited with as many as five pancake blocks in a game as a senior … Team went 18-5 over his final two seasons … An honor roll student at Lake Wales … Hiers' older brother, Luke, started his college career at UCF before transferring to Warner University … Played for coach TraVaris Johnson at Lake Wales … Rated a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings.
* Ricky Kofoed – TE
Charlotte, N.C. (Charlotte Christian)
BIO: Finished career with back-to-back NCISAA state titles a Charlotte Christian, where he caught 26 passes for 446 yards and five touchdowns for an 11-0 team as a senior … A two-time all-conference and all-state selection … In his final three years, had 80 catches for 1,218 yards and 14 touchdowns … Made 30 receptions for 452 yards and four touchdowns as a junior following a sophomore season in which he recorded 24 catches for 320 yards and five scores … As a defender, had 119 career tackles and 8.5 career sacks, highlighted by four sacks as a sophomore and 90 tackles as a junior … Posted 55 tackles and three sacks as a senior … Made seven catches for 156 yards with a 57-yard score in a 47-21 win against Providence Day in the 2017 state title game and followed that with two catches for 68 yards and a 59-yard score in a 43-14 victory against The Christ School in the 2018 state final … Best game as a senior was a 104-yard, two-touchdown effort against Charlotte Latin … A top target for Charlotte Christian quarterback and Mississippi State recruit Garrett Shrader … In his three-year run that also included a state runner-up finish as a sophomore, the Knights went 31-3 under coach Jason Estep ... Father, Bart, played five NBA seasons over six years from 1987-93 as a guard for Utah, Golden State, Seattle and Boston after being a fifth-round pick of the Jazz out of Nebraska-Kearney in 1987 … A three-star prospect in the 247Sports composite rankings.
* Nicholas Ross – DB
Marietta, Ga. (Kell)
BIO: Had 69 tackles (50 solo), two forced fumbles and five pass breakups during the 10-game regular season as a senior for a Class 5-A team that went 9-3 under coach Brett Sloan … Posted a season-high 13 tackles against Rome during his final prep season … Recorded 80 tackles as a junior and 30 as a sophomore on a state semifinal team that went 11-3 … A three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings.
* Luke Smith – DL
Lebanon, Tenn. (Friendship Christian)
BIO: Four-time Division II-A Middle/East All-Region player and the region MVP as a senior playing just outside of Nashville … Two-time all-state and all-county selection … Had 31 tackles for loss and seven sacks among his 72 stops as a senior nose tackle for a 10-3 team that reached the Division II Class A state final … Also a left guard and long snapper, helped Friendship Christian go 24-2 over the last two seasons …Recorded back-to-back games with seven tackles for loss apiece against Clarksville Academy and Middle Tennessee Christian, which gave up 14 tackles to the interior lineman … Had a three-sack game against Fayette Academy … Posted 219 career tackles (197 solo), 57.0 tackles for loss and 21 sacks in 45 career games … Coached by John McNeal at Friendship Christian … Considered a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings.
* Christian Wells – WR
Fort Lauderdale, N.C. (University School)
BIO: Standout, big-play receiver as a senior on an 11-2 team coached by Daniel Luque … Averaged approximately 30 yards per catch, as he followed a four-catch, 139-yard, two-touchdown effort in a second-round playoff win with two more touchdowns in a Class 4-A semifinal loss. That game included a 32-yard touchdown, a 17-yard touchdown and a one-handed, 23-yard reception … Also contributed as a defensive back for the Sharks … Reached the state semifinals as a junior, catching 23 passes for 391 yards on a 10-2 team ... Rated a three-star prospect by the 247Sports composite rankings.
The 20th-ranked Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team won its ninth-straight game on Tuesday afternoon, pummeling visiting Patrick Henry 103-58 at the Tarlton Complex.
Sophomore forward Sherry Johnson set a new career high with 32 points, while freshman guard Ivy Eller also etched a new career high in scoring with 21 points.
CVCC’s Taziah Hardin also tied her career high with 12 points, and freshman Deja Ross recorded a new career high with six points.
Despite only scoring two points during the game’s first four minutes, the Red Hawks (17-3) outscored the Patriots 28-3 during the final six minutes of the first quarter to take an early 30-6 lead.
Johnson would go on to score 17 first-half points, helping Catawba Valley build a 51-20 halftime lead against the Patriots (3-12).
In a balanced second half by both teams, Patrick Henry scored 19 points apiece in each quarter during the second half, but CVCC maintained its double-digit lead by scoring 26 points in each of the third and fourth quarters on its way to a 45-point victory.
Zharia Brown and Aniya Taylor also reached double figures in scoring for Catawba Valley with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
Keme Lester led the Patriots with 24 points, while Vernicia Glass added 17 points.
The CVCC women’s basketball team returns to action on Saturday for the first of two road conference games in two days.
The Red Hawks face off with Wake Tech in Raleigh, N.C. at 2 p.m. Saturday before traveling to Kinston, N.C. on Sunday for a 2 p.m. contest against Lenoir Community College.
Junior All-American, P.J. Lotharp, is setting indoor tracks ablaze with his third South Atlantic Conference Track Athlete of the Week Honors this season, as the league office announce on Tuesday morning.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Track and Field Team set five new school records on the first day of the ETSU Buccaneer Invitational this past Friday, and Lotharp held two of them. The Indian Trail, N.C. native put his name on the top of the list for the 50m dash with a time of 6.73 seconds, good enough for No. 2 in the NCAA, and the 200m sprint with a time of 21.57, which sits at No. 14 in the NCAA. Lotharp was also a part of the school record-breaking 4x400m relay team who set a top mark of 3:23.19 while taking first place at the meet in the 60m with a time of 6.81.
The Bears continue their indoor season as they head to Winston Salem, N.C. for the JDL College Team Challenge on Feb. 7.