Newton-Conover girls soccer coach Angelo Palozzi has been named as the west's squads coach for the East-West All-Star Game in 2017. The East-West All-Star Games are held each July in Greensboro as a companion to the North Carolina Coaches Association coaching clinics. The games feature the best of just graduated seniors from the Eastern half of the state versus the best in the West.
Last year, Palozzi's Newton-Conover Red Devils girls soccer squad went 20-2-1 and his 2014 boys team won the state 2A championship.
The girls soccer game will be held Tuesday, July 18, 2017.
Lenoir-Rhyne's Noah McRea (Hickory, N.C.) and Alyx Koert (Naples, Fla.) were named 2015-16 honorable mention Scholar All-Americans by the CSCAA. CSCAA is the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America.
McRea, a sophomore psychology major with a 3.99 grade point average, earned a “B” cut qualifying time in the men’s 400-yard individual medley for the second straight year in 2016. The 400-yard individual medley (4:02.39) is one of six events which McRea holds the school record.
McRea, who was named the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Men’s Swimmer Of The Week this past October, was also part of Lenoir-Rhyne’s 400-yard medley relay which set a school record (3:29) at last year’s championship.
Koert, a freshman history major with a 3.50 grade point average, earned her NCAA Division II “B” cut qualifying time in the women’s 1,650-yard freestyle relay (a school-record 17:22.70). Koert also holds Lenoir-Rhyne records in the 500-yard and 1,000-yard freestyle events and the 50-yard and 200-yard backstrokes.
Koert was also part of the women’s 800-yard freestyle relay (7:53.61) which set the school record at the 2016 Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championship last February in Rock Hill, S.C.
To be selected to the CSCAA Scholar All-America Team, swimmers and divers must have achieved a grade point average of 3.50 or higher and have participated in their respective NCAA/NAIA/NJCAA Swimming and Diving Championships. Honorable Mention selections have similarly achieved a GPA of 3.50 and achieved a "B" time standard or competed at their respective qualifying meets.
The College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) has selected a record 853 swimmers and divers for its Scholar All-America team with 928 students were garnering honorable mentioned accolades.
Spencer Bridges has been named assistant athletics director for marketing at Appalachian State University and will begin his post on Aug. 1, announced by senior associate athletics director for development Brian Tracy on Wednesday.
“We are pleased to welcome Spencer to the Appalachian family,” said Tracy. “His varied experiences in intercollegiate athletics and the business community will allow us to grow our marketing efforts.”
Bridges will hold the direct responsibility for all marketing and promotional campaigns, brand development and game entertainment for the athletics programs and shoulder initiatives in support of the mission of the Appalachian State athletics department. He will coordinate marketing plans for all athletic programs and plan promotional events to gain fan attendance and enthusiasm.
“I am thrilled with this opportunity to join the Appalachian State athletics family,” said Bridges. “After meeting Doug Gillin and Brian Tracy, I believe that their strategic vision will allow Appalachian State to be competitive both academically and athletically. I am also excited to work with the passionate and devoted Appalachian State fans.”
Prior to his arrival at Appalachian, Bridges served as the director of licensing relations/strategic marketing at Pro-Ad Sports Inc. in Atlanta, Ga. While he was there, he led the development and execution of all B2B and B2C efforts, including marketing strategy, corporate relations, acquisition of well suited partners, obtained new retail channels, improved workflow and advancement of market penetration.
He also spent time working for IMG as a coordinator for non-apparel management.
In the collegiate athletics space, Bridges brings five years as a marketing associate at the University of Kentucky. While in Lexington, he developed, planned and implemented department marketing strategies, sales campaigns and sponsorship activation plans for football, men’s basketball baseball, women’s basketball and women’s soccer. He planned and executed over 400 events and created and launched season ticket campaigns.
Some of Bridges’ notable events include the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Celebration, Game Day Ready Tours, Big Blue Madness, hosted the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, Big Blue U, Wildcat Refuge, 5K for 5K and the CATSPY awards.
A two-time graduate of the University of Kentucky, Bridges earned his Bachelor’s of Science degree in marketing and management in 2010. He earned his Master’s of Science degree in sports management in 2012.
Appalachian State University football’s annual Fan Fest is set for Saturday, Aug. 13 at Kidd Brewer Stadium. We are excited to announce this year’s edition of Fan Fest will be slightly different than in years past. The changing format will be more interactive for children to participate and interact in limited instruction with student-athletes from the football team and fall olympic sports teams.
Fan Fest begins at 5:30 p.m. with an EXCLUSIVE half-hour window for members of the Junior Mountaineer Kids Club and their parents to get autographs with their favorite Appalachian State football student-athletes and coaches before the gates open for the general public.
The gates open for the general public at 6 p.m. and student-athletes and coaches will be available for autographs until 7 p.m.
The Junior Mountaineer Kids Club is the official club for App State fans in eighth grade or younger. In addition to the exclusive early admission to Fan Fest, Junior Mountaineer Kids Club members also receive:
• membership pack with a FREE Junior Mountaineer Kids Club t-shirt, official membership credential and special gift
• FREE admission to Sept. 10 football home opener versus Old Dominion and exclusive tailgate!
• FREE admission to ALL other Appalachian State home athletic events, including men’s and women’s basketball and baseball
• And so much more!
Annual membership for the Junior Mountaineer Kids Club costs just $35 per child - additional JMKC members in the same family are $30. Pre-registrations will be taken until Wednesday, August 10 at 5 p.m. All JMKC members will be able to pick up their membership packet the day of Fan Fest and will be able to register for JMKC on site.
To pre-register, mail the registration form to:
Junior Mountaineer Kids Club
425 Jack Branch Drive
Boone, NC 28608
You can register by calling assistant director of fan engagement and promotions Shae Welsey at (828) 262-2548 or by email at email@example.com.
2016 APPALACHIAN STATE FOOTBALL FAN FEST
Saturday, August 13 • Kidd Brewer Stadium
5 p.m. — On-site registration for Junior Mountaineer Kids Club
5:30-6 p.m. — Exclusive autograph with Appalachian State football student-athletes and coaches for JMKC members only
6-7 p.m. — Gates open for the general public
Note: In an effort to allow as many fans as possible to collect autographs, student-athletes and coaches will be limited to signing one item per fan.
The Hickory Crawdads entered the seventh inning with a one-run lead Tuesday afternoon only to see their normally standout defense suffer a lapse, as the 'Dads committed three errors in the seventh and another miscue in the eighth resulting in a 6-3 loss to the Lakewood BluClaws at FirstEnergy Park.
The Crawdads took a 3-2 lead into the seventh frame, before the BlueClaws used a pair of walks from 'Dads reliever Christian Torres along with errors by shortstop Yeyson Yrizarri, catcher Tyler Sanchez, and third baseman Ti'Quan Forbes to score three unearned runs to take a 5-3 lead. The 'Claws then picked up another tally with the help of a fielding error by Crawdads second baseman Frandy De La Rosa in the eighth for the final 6-3 score. The four errors are tied for the most allowed by the 'Dads this season, who entered the game with the third best fielding percentage in the South Atlantic League.
Hickory jumped out to the initial lead in the game in the second, when Forbes and Jose Almonte reached on singles before both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch by Lakewood starter Seranthony Dominguez. Eric Jenkins followed with an RBI groundout before De La Rosa delivered an RBI base knock to right to put the 'Dads ahead 2-0.
The Crawdads still led 2-0 in the top of the second when manager Steve Mintz was ejected by home plate umpire Jason Johnson following a strikeout by Yrizarri. The 'Dads butted heads with the umpires again in the bottom of the third, when BlueClaws slugger Jose Pujols hit what was originally ruled an RBI double off the top of the fence in right-center field. The umpires then conferred and changed the ruling to a game-tying, two-run home run, prompting interim manager Matt Hagen to enter into a lengthy argument.
When play resumed, the Crawdads quickly regained the lead in the top of the fourth, when LeDarious Clark lined the first pitch of the inning over the right field fence for solo shot and a 3-2 Hickory advantage.
The score held until the seventh, where two walks by Torres and a fielding error by Yrizarri loaded the bases for Lakewood with two outs. Torres then induced a weak ground ball up the first base line that Sanchez tried to field, but the All-Star backstop slipped and fell on the play allowing two unearned runs to score. An ensuing fielding error by Forbes at third base brought in another unearned tally for a 5-3 'Claws lead. Lakewood picked up one last insurance run in the eighth on two singles, a hit-by-pitch, and a fielding error by De La Rosa for the 6-3 final score.
Torres (0-1) took the hard-luck loss for the Crawdads after allowing three unearned runs on two hits, four walks, and five strikeouts over three innings out of the bullpen. BlueClaws reliever Zach Morris (5-1) earned the win with three shutout innings pitched on four hits and two strikeouts.
Clark led the 'Dads bats in the game, finishing 2-4 with his fifth homer of the year. Dylan Moore also had a multi-hit game after going 2-4 with a double, while Sanchez went 1-2 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch to extend his season-best hitting streak to 10 consecutive games.
The Crawdads (16-15/54-47) have an off day on Wednesday before beginning a weeklong homestand on Thursday, July 28th, with first pitch against the Hagerstown Suns scheduled for 7:00 pm from L.P. Frans Stadium.
Appalachian State University head women’s golf coach Heather Brown revealed the 2016 fall schedule on Tuesday. The Mountaineers will participate in four tournaments in the fall – two in North Carolina and two in South Carolina.
"This fall we play a tight, competitive schedule," Brown said. "We are eager to open up at East Carolina which will demand our best right out of the gate and spur us to compete well to the finish."
Appalachian begins the first two days of the fall slate at the 2016 Lady Pirate tournament hosted by East Carolina University (Sept. 26-27). The Mountaineers finished 13th at the tournament last season.
A couple weeks later, App State women’s golf will participate in the 2016 Terrier Classic hosted by Wofford on Oct. 10-11. The Black and Gold tied for fifth in the tournament last season with Emily Stinson (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) leading the board for App in a tie for 13th place with a tournament total of 154.
Next up will be a three-day event at Western Carolina’s Bill Berg Invitational on Oct. 16-18 in Hayesville, N.C. before they close the fall schedule at the 2016 Winthrop Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C. on Oct. 22-23. Last season in Rock Hill, the Mountaineers finished third in the tournament with Savanna Wood (Boone, N.C./Watauga) tying for first place with a tournament total of 148.
2016 FALL APPALACHIAN STATE WOMEN’S GOLF SCHEDULE
Date - Tournament/Opponent - Location
Sept. 26-27 - 2016 Lady Pirate - Greenville, N.C.
Oct. 10-11 - 2016 Terrier Classic - Spartanburg, S.C.
Oct. 16-18 - Bill Berg Invitational - Hayesville, N.C.
Oct. 22-23 - 2016 Winthrop Invitational - Rock Hill, S.C.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is proud to announce the eight-member Class of 2016 for the organization’s prestigious Hall of Fame. The class will be the 30th honored by the NCHSAA when they are inducted at a banquet ceremony on April 9, 2017 in Chapel Hill.
The eight selected are chosen based on their long-term contributions to high school interscholastic athletics in the NCHSAA or in the parent organizations that gave rise to the NCHSAA. This year’s eight honorees include Ralph “Jug” Wilson.
The late Ralph “Jug” Wilson began his coaching career as a football coach at Glen Alpine High School in 1949. Between that time and 1973 when the school was consolidated into Freedom High School, Wilson’s teams won four Regional State Championships (1961, 1962, 1964 & 1965) and finished as regional runner up twice (1966 & 1967). His teams compiled an impressive 198-60-8 mark at Glen Alpine including 12 conference championships and a single conference co-championship. He also served as Glen Alpine’s men’s basketball coach for 15 years, the women’s basketball coach for 10 years, the school’s baseball coach and men’s track coach winning four more conference championships collectively. Wilson was integral in the creation of the Skyline Conference and served many years in various administrative capacities.
When Glen Alpine was consolidated into Freedom in 1973, Wilson coached the football team until 1983, winning three conference championships while posting a 64-39-1 record. He was also the school’s track coach, winning two conference titles, while serving as the school’s athletic director. Wilson coached many football all-star games including the North/South Game on four occasions, the 1966 NC Shrine Bowl team and the East/West All Star Game. He was a longtime member of the Glen Alpine United Methodist Church and a charter member of the Morganton Breakfast Optimist Club. In the summer, Wilson enjoyed coaching T-Ball Summer Leagues and managing the Shuey Field baseball and softball complex for Morganton Recreation Department. He was inducted into the WNC Sports Hall of Fame and the Burke County Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.
This class brings the total number enshrined in the Hall of Fame to 180 members.
Rowan County: 8
Caldwell County: 5
Post 29 ends the season in third place in the state tournament
The Hickory Crawdads' July 25th game in Lakewood, NJ has been postponed due to rain. The 'Dads and BlueClaws will make up the contest when the Crawdads return to Lakewood in August, with a doubleheader scheduled for Tuesday, August 16th at 5:05 pm.
The 'Dads will wrap up their now three-game series vs. the 'Claws on Tuesday, July 26th, with first pitch scheduled for 11:05 am. The rainout comes on the next-to-last day of a weeklong road trip for the Crawdads, which saw the team sweep three games in Delmarva before splitting their first two contests in Lakewood.
The 'Dads return to L.P. Frans Stadium for a weeklong homestand running Thursday, July 28th through Wednesday, August 3rd, including the club's Chick-fil-A Christian Concert featuring a Big Daddy Weave post-game concert on Saturday, July 30th.
Appalachian State University volleyball was among 131 NCAA Division I volleyball programs to earn a spot on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) list of Team Academic Award winners on Monday.
The Mountaineers are one of just five Sun Belt Conference teams to be named to the AVCA’s list for the 2015-16 campaign, joining Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern and Little Rock.
“For another year, I get to be proud of the hard work our players put into their academic lives,” said head coach Matt Ginipro. “It’s a pretty amazing group who puts just as much time and effort in the classroom as they do on the court.”
Appalachian’s honor marks its eighth appearance on the Team Academic Award list and its seventh in a row during the tenure of head coach Matt Ginipro. The Apps have now earned the award a total of 10 times since its inception during the 1992-93 academic year.
In order to be named to the list, teams must compile a cumulative grade point averaged of 3.30 for the academic year. A record-total of 762 volleyball programs earned team academic honors, which broke the previous year’s total of 757. The list includes teams from all three NCAA women’s divisions, NCAA men’s volleyball, NAIA schools, two-year colleges, NCCAA institutions and high schools.
The Hickory Crawdads saw their season-best six game win streak come to a close Sunday afternoon, as the 'Dads dropped a lopsided game against the Lakewood BlueClaws with a 15-3 final score from FirstEnergy Park.
The Crawdads pitching staff entered Sunday's contest with only five total runs allowed over their past 37 innings pitched spanning four consecutive Hickory wins. The BlueClaws roughed up the 'Dads however to the tune of 15 runs on 14 hits and five walks en route to handing the Crawdads a 12-run defeat, tied for the club's largest loss of the year. The only 'Dad to pitch and not allow a run was OF/DH Connor McKay, who became the fourth Crawdad position player to pitch this season when he tossed a perfect eighth inning.
Lakewood wasted no time in jumping on the scoreboard, as the hometown team plated two runs in the first and four in the second to take a 6-0 lead. Hickory responded in the top of the third when Eduard Pinto led off the frame with a leadoff single which was followed two batters later by a 2-run home run to left by Ricky Valencia to cut the 'Dads deficit to 6-2.
The 'Claws came back with three more runs of their own in the bottom of the third to chase Crawdads starting pitcher Jonathan Hernandez and take a 9-2 lead. Lakewood pulled away from there with two more runs in the fifth and four tallies in the seventh for a 15-2 advantage. The Crawdads put up one final run in the ninth when Valencia, Yeyson Yrizarri, Ti'Quan Forbes, and Jose Almonte all singled for the final 15-3 score.
Nine different BlueClaws batters finished with at least one RBI, led by Cornelius Randolph who collected 3 RBI while going 1-4 with a double and a sacrifice fly. Number nine batter Grenny Cumana also posted a big game, going 4-5 with a double, an RBI, and three runs scored.
The 'Dads bats were led by Valencia, who collected his second homer of the year in a 2-4 game including two RBI and two runs scored. Pinto finished 1-3 with a walk and a run scored, while Almonte went 1-3 with an RBI and a hit-by-pitch.
Hernandez (7-8) took the loss for Hickory after allowing a season-high nine runs on six hits and three walks over a season-low two innings pitched. Lakewood starter Alberto Tirado (2-1) collected the win after giving up two runs on three hits, two walks, and five strikeouts over five innings pitched.
The Crawdads (16-14/54-46) will look to get back in the win column in game three of their 4-game series against the BlueClaws (17-13/46-53) Monday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.
Caldwell County: 4
With the win, Post 29 continues in the elimination bracket facing Rowan County Monday at 7pm. Post 29 can finish no worse than third place.
The red-hot Hickory Crawdads won their sixth straight ballgame Saturday night in New Jersey, as a 2-out, RBI single from Frandy De La Rosa in the 10th inning gave the 'Dads a 3-2 victory over the Lakewood BlueClaws at FirstEngergy Park.
The Crawdads and BlueClaws entered extra innings in a 1-1 tie as a result of a game-tying RBI double from Yeyson Yrizarri in the seventh. Infield hits by both Ti'Quan Forbes and Eric Jenkins set the stage for De La Rosa, who delivered a ground bull that snuck into center field to bring in the go-ahead run. Reliever Blake Bass finished it off from there, as the 6'7" right-hander stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th to give the 'Dads the series opening win.
The six game win streak is the longest of the season for Hickory, with Saturday's victory coming against a Lakewood team that entered the game having won five of six. The Crawdads pitching staff has been at the forefront of the surge, with the unit allowing only five runs over the past four games totaling 36 innings.
The 'Dads bats gave the club a quick lead with a run in the top of the first, as Eduard Pinto doubled to left with two outs before Dylan Moore looped an RBI triple inside the right field line for a 1-0 score. The 'Claws came right back with a run of their own in the home half of the first, with doubles by Zach Coppola and Josh Tobias off of Hickory starting pitcher Joe Palumbo tying the game at 1-1.
Lakewood then took the lead in the second on a solo home run to left from Carlos Duran for a 2-1 BlueClaws advantage.
The score remained the same until the seventh, when Tyler Sanchez and Yrizarri collected back-to-back doubles to tie the score at 2-2. The deadlock carried into the 10th, when Forbes lined the first pitch of the inning off the leg of 'Claws reliever Sutter McLoughlin for an infield single. Following a sacrifice bunt by LaDarious Clark that moved Forbes to second base and a strikeout from pinch-hitter Jose Almonte, Jenkins kept the inning alive with a infield base knock of his own that also moved Forbes to third base. That set the stage for De La Rosa, who hit a ground ball single past the glove of Lakewood shortstop Grenny Cumana to give the Crawdads a 3-2 lead.
Bass then began the bottom of the 10th with two quick outs before Cumana reached on an infield single to keep the game going. Both Josh Tobias and Brendon Hayden followed with walks to load the bases for South Atlantic League home run and RBI leader Jose Pujols, but Bass was able to escape the jam and end the game with a groundball out to short to give the 'Dads the 3-2 Hickory victory.
Bass (4-2) earned the win for the Crawdads with three scoreless innings pitched on two hits, two walks, and three strikeouts. Palumbo earned a no-decision after allowing two runs on five hits and four strikeouts in his first start of the season, while reliever Adam Choplick tossed two shutout frames.
McLaughlin (1-2) took the loss for Lakewood with one run allowed on three hits and a strikeout in his one inning of work.
Sanchez paced the 'Dads bats and stretched his hit streak to nine straight games with a 2-3 contest including a double and a run scored. De La Rosa also extended his hitting streak to 10 consecutive games after a 1-5 night including the game-winning RBI.
The Crawdads (16-13/54-45) will look to keep their win streak going in game two of their four game series against the BlueClaws (16-13/45-53) Sunday afternoon, with first pitch scheduled for 1:05 pm.
Caldwell County: 5
Post 29 continues in the elimination bracket
The surging Hickory Crawdads stretched their winning streak to a season-best five games with another victory Friday night, as the Crawdads shutout the Delmarva Shorebirds 4-0 to complete a three game sweep of their Northern Division rivals at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
Erik Swanson, Jason Richman, and Omarlin Lopez combined to throw the Crawdads' second shutout of the series, as the Hickory pitching staff left Delmarva with only three runs allowed over 27 total innings pitched. The Crawdads offense also reached double digit hits for the second time in the series, with the 'Dads bats out-hitting Delmarva 30-18 en route to out-scoring their hosts 13-3.
Hickory got on the board in the top of the second, when Tyler Sanchez lined a one out, solo home run to left for a 1-0 score. The Crawdads' lead doubled to 2-0 in the fourth, as Eduard Pinto singled to center, Dylan Moore doubled down the right field line, and Pinto came home to score on a throwing error by Shorebirds' right fielder Natanael Delgado.
The fifth inning saw that 'Dads score another run on singles by Jose Almonte and Chuck Moorman prior to an infield, RBI base knock by Frandy De La Rosa for a 3-0 Hickory advantage. The Crawdads then capped off the scoring with one last tally in the eighth, with infield hits by both De La Rosa and Moore setting the stage for an RBI sacrifice fly from Sanchez for the final 4-0 advantage the 'Dads would win by.
Sanchez finished the game 1-1 with his seventh home run of the season to go along with two RBI, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch to lead the 'Dads bats. Moore ended the night 2-3 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base, while De La Rosa went 2-4 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored.
Swanson (6-4) earned the win for the Crawdads after tying a career-high with eight strikeouts over 5.2 scoreless innings pitched, while both Richman (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K) and Lopez (1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 K) kept the Shorebirds off the scoreboard as well to preserve the shutout.
Delmarva starter Cristian Alvarado (7-7) took the loss after allowing three runs, two earned, on six hits and six strikeouts over his five innings on the mound.
The Crawdads (15-13/53-45) will now head to Lakewood, NJ to start a four-game series against the BlueClaws, with first pitch Saturday night scheduled for 7:05 pm.
Senior linebacker John Law (Atlanta, Ga./Grady) was named the Sun Belt’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year on Friday, which highlighted the six Appalachian State University football student-athletes that received preseason all-Sun Belt recognition, the league office announced.
Representing the Mountaineers on the first team were App State quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) and offensive lineman Parker Collins (North Augusta, S./C./North Augusta) on offense while Eric Boggs (Belton, S.C./Belton-Honea Path) and Law were selected to the preseason all-first team. Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga./Dacula) and Colby Gossett (Cumming, Ga./North Forsyth) made the all-second team list.
It’s the second-straight season that Law and Cox were named preseason all-Sun Belt while Lamb, Gossett, Collins and Boggs are first-time recepients.
Law was selected as the Preseason DPOY after having an impressive 2015 campaign where he was a first-team all-Sun Belt honoree, finishing second on the team in tackles (72), tackles for loss (9.5), and sacks (4.0). The ball-hawking linebacker tied for 25th in the league with 6.0 tackles per game and also ranked among the leaders in sacks (ninth) and tackles for loss (12th). Law was just one of four student-athletes to rank in the top 15 in both sacks and tackles for loss and top 25 in tackles. Entering his senior year, Law is tied for 20th among all active NCAA Division I FBS student-athletes with an impressive 236 total career tackles.
After having a 2015 season that was one of the best campaigns seen at quarterback in App State history, Lamb was the lone signal caller from the conference to be named to the Davey O’Brien Watch List as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. His 31 touchdown passes set a single-season school record, passing the previous record of 30 set by Appalachian and SoCon Hall of Famer Armanti Edwards in 2008. The two-year starter threw for 2,387 yards, which was good for 10th in school history. Lamb’s 160.7 passing efficiency was 10th in the nation, and he also ranked ninth in touchdown tosses. His passing yardage was the third highest in the league and his 2,823 yards of total offense ranked fourth in the conference, leading him to a spot on the Sun Belt Honorable-Mention list.
Collins, who was named to the Outland Trophy Watch List for the best linemen in the nation, is coming off an impressive 2015 campaign where he led the team with 105 knockdowns while allowing just one sack and committing only two loafs in 680 snaps. The big-time blocker recorded a 73-percent technique grade and a 78-percent job performance grade, which was third on the squad. Collins helped an Appalachian offense ranked sixth in rushing and one of the most efficient offenses in the nation. Collins anchored an offensive line that allowed just 11 sacks all season, tied for the fourth-fewest in the country.
Along with Law, Boggs was one of the leaders on the defense, leading the team and ranking fifth in the conference with 104 total tackles. Boggs notched four sacks for the fourth most on the team while picking off three passes. The linebacker was the only student-athletes in the conference to be named Sun Belt’s Defensive Student-Athlete of the Week twice in 2015. In his career, Boggs has shown to be a stable linebacker where he’s played in all 25 games in his career with 19 starts. His 2015 campaign led him to a second-team all-Sun Belt award.
A stud at running back, Cox had another historical season and will stamp his name in the record books once it’s all said and done. Cox rushed for a personal-best 1,423 yards on the ground while ranking 13th in the nation at 118.6 ypg. The App State tailback 17th in rushing yards and 20th in all-purpose yards per game (131.92). Cox was one of the top backs in the Sun Belt, as he ranked third in rushing yards and rushing yards per game He’s just 717 yards away the all-time rushing record of 4,804 rushing yards, held by Kevin Richardson (2004-07), and Cox needs just one more game of 100 yards to break his tie with John Settle (1983-86) for the most all-time at 23. Cox was named second-team all-Sun Belt last season for his performance in 12 games.
One of the top linemen in the nation, Gossett led the team with 744 snaps with the second-highest number of knockdown at 72. Gossett didn’t allow a sack all season with just one loaf and four penalties allowed. He was second on the team with a 78-percent technique grade and one of two student-athletes on the offensive line with at least an 80-percent job grade.
Caldwell County: 3
Post 29 falls into the elimination bracket
A surging Hickory Crawdads offense produced one of their finest games of the year Thursday night, as the 'Dads bats set a new season high with 16 hits en route to a 7-3 win over the Delmarva Shorebirds at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
All nine members of the Crawdads lineup finished with at least one hit, with five players producing a multi-hit game. Both Frandy De La Rosa (3-5, RBI, R) and Eduard Pinto (3-5) led the way with three hits apiece, while Dylan Moore (2-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Chuck Moorman (2-4, HR, 3 RBI), and Yeyson Yrizarri (2-5, RBI) all finished with two-hit nights. All the offense provided ample support for starting pitcher Dillon Tate, who earned the win after holding the Shorebirds to one run while tying a season-best with six innings pitched.
The Hickory hitters got on the board in the second inning, when Moore roped a solo home run down the left field line for his eighth long ball of the year. Two outs later, Ti'Quan Forbes laced a double to right and Moorman delivered an RBI single to left for a 2-0 Crawdads lead. The 'Dads advantage doubled two innings later in the fourth as Jose Almonte was hit by a pitch and scored on Moorman's first homer of the year, a 2-run blast to left that gave Hickory a 4-0 lead.
Delmarva cut the deficit to 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth on a double from Ademar Rifaela and an RBI single by Austin Anderson, but the Crawdads quickly responded with a run of their own in the top of the sixth courtesy of a ground-rule double from Moore and an RBI base knock by Almonte to push the score to 5-1.
The 'Dads plated their final two tallies in the top of the ninth on RBI singles by De La Rosa and Yrizarri for a 7-1 lead. The 'Birds picked up two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame on an RBI groundout by Ricardo Andujar and an RBI single from Rifaela, before Hickory reliever Garrett Brummett closed the door for a 7-3 Crawdads victory.
Tate (3-3) earned the win for the 'Dads with one run allowed on five hits, one walk, and one strikeout over six innings pitched. Delmarva starter Michael Costello (1-2) took the loss after giving up four runs on six hits and three strikeouts during his five innings pitched.
The Crawdads (14-13/52-45) have now won four straight games to tie a season high, and will go for the three-game series sweep over the Shorebirds (11-16/53-43) Friday night, with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 pm.
Appalachian State University football was picked to win the Sun Belt Conference in 2016 by the league’s coaches, the conference announced on Thursday.
Appalachian being picked as conference favorites comes as no surprise. The Mountaineers return 17-of-22 starters on the offensive and defensive sides from the 2015 team that won the most games in Sun Belt Conference history with 11 victories while capturing the 2015 Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. The Apps’ lone setbacks came to national runner-up Clemson and Sun Belt Champion, Arkansas State.
Appalachian set a new record for victories by a team in its first season as a full-fledged member of NCAA Division I FBS (previously Division I-A) after transitioning from Division I FCS (previously I-AA) and the first team to win a bowl game in its initial season as a full-fledged FBS squad.
The Mountaineers and defending league champion, Arkansas State, were tied with five first-place votes apiece, but the Mountaineers edged the Red Wolves, 114-110, in total number of points, placing the Red Wolves to second place. Last season’s preseason favorite, Georgia Southern, was voted into the third slot with one first-place vote. Georgia State was picked to finish fourth while Troy and UL Lafayette were tied to finish fifth at 70 points.
Rounding out the preseason poll are South Alabama (7th), Idaho (8th), New Mexico State (9th), Texas State (10th) and UL Monroe (11th).
Last season, the Black and Gold were selected to finish fourth in the league and went on to finish second to their only Sun Belt loss of the season, Arkansas State. The last team picked to win the conference and go on to win the title was UL Lafayette in 2013. But the 2013 title was later vacated, making Troy’s 2009 SBC title run the official last time a team has won after they were favored in the preseason.
Seven different times has the team selected to win the league championship went on to claim the league trophy, while four preseason favorites have won the championship outright.
Fans can also still enjoy the perks that come with being a Yosef Club member by joining for the 2016 membership year, which runs through Dec. 31, 2016. Yosef Club membership comes with access to exclusive seating and parking for Appalachian State football (at certain membership levels). Additionally, Yosef Club members at the $100 annual and above will be eligible to participate in July’s single-game tickets pre-sale.
To join the Yosef Club today, visit appstatesports.com or call the Yosef Club office at (828) 262-3108.
(Sun Belt Preseason Favorites Stat via Sun Belt Conference)
2016 Sun Belt Football Coaches Predicted Order of Finish (first place votes)
1. Appalachian St. (5) - 114 pts
2. Arkansas State (5) - 110 pts
3. Georgia Southern (1) - 98 pts
4. Georgia State - 73 pts
5. Troy - 70 pts
5. UL Lafayette - 70 pts
7. South Alabama - 62 pts
8. Idaho - 48 pts
9. New Mexico St. - 37 pts
10. Texas State - 30 pts
11. UL Monroe - 14 pts
A Hickory Crawdads team that had been riding a hot hitting lineup of late turned back to an old strength Wednesday night, as 'Dads pitchers Wes Benjamin, Christian Torres, and Joe Palumbo combined to toss a three-hit shutout for a 2-0 Hickory win over the Delmarva Shorebirds at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium.
The trio of lefty hurlers didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning and didn't permit a baserunner to reach third base until the eighth. The dominant performance marked the sixth shutout of the year by the Crawdads pitching staff, and their first since they blanked the Shorebirds 1-0 in game one of a doubleheader on June 18th.
Supporting the standout pitching was a Hickory offense that made the most of their four hits and seven total baserunners. The 'Dads bats got on the board in the first, when Frandy De La Rosa reached on a hit-by-pitch, Eduard Pinto singled to right, and Tyler Sanchez blooped an RBI double to center for a 1-0 score. That lasted all the way until the sixth, when Dylan Moore drew a two-out walk and stole second base, Sanchez coaxed a free pass, and Yeyson Yrizarri delivered an RBI, groundball single to center to give the Crawdads a 2-0 advantage.
That proved to be more than enough for the Hickory hurlers. Benjamin (4-4) earned the win for the 'Dads after throwing 5 scoreless innings on just one hit, two walks, and two strikeouts, while Palumbo (8) picked up the save with a shutout ninth inning. Sanchez was awarded a hold for his three frames pitched without a run allowed.
Delmarva starting pitcher Reid Love (6-6) took the loss after allowing two runs on four hits, two walks, and six strikeouts during his 5.2 IP.
Sanchez paced the 'Dads bats with a 1-3 game including a double, an RBI, and a walk. De La Rosa also reached base multiple times by going 1-3 with a double, a hit-by-pitch, and a run scored, while Yrizarri finished 1-4 with an RBI.
The Crawdads (13-13/51-45) and Shorebirds (11-15/53-42) will match up again Thursday night at 7:05 pm in game two of their 3-game series.