Area Athletes Update ...
After Wingate’s football team tied Catawba 22-all in the fourth quarter on Saturday, the Bulldogs lined up for the go-ahead PAT, and the heart of Wingate’s freshman long snapper T.J. Bell beat a little faster.
“What everyone always tells me is no one ever notices the long snapper — until he messes up,” Bell said with a smile.
Bell was able to smile because he helped the Bulldogs execute on that decisive PAT. His snap was perfect, and it’s a good thing — from a Wingate perspective — that it was. Catawba made a concerted effort to block the PAT, and cornerback Gary Williams, flying in off the edge, would’ve gotten the block if the snap had been too low, too high or a little slow.
Bell, 6-foot-3 Carson graduate, has been flawless on long snaps since earning the job.
“We had Hunter Haffly long-snapping, but Hunter also is a receiver and a holder, so we decided to take a look at our freshmen candidates,” Wingate coach Joe Reich explained. “You’re never sure about a freshman, but T.J. was really performing well in practice, and we just said, ‘OK, T.J. is our guy.’ ”
Bell says college ball has been an enormous adjustment from high school.
“Everything is so much different,” Bell said. “But I’m learning lot, and it’s just so much fun.”
The long snapper is important, not just for his role on place-kicks, but for his coverage on punts. There are rules preventing defenders from pounding a defenseless long snapper while he’s snapping, so he’s often the first guy down the field.
Bell lingered on Kirkland Field to talk to his family following the game, and those family members included proud West Rowan AD Todd Bell. T.J. was obviously excited about Wingate’s rally from a 22-3 deficit to win a SAC game so close to home.
“We knew Catawba was good and we knew it was going to be a tough day,” he said. “But you can never give up, and we didn’t.”
• Catawba linebacker Desmond Lackey (Davie) tied for the team high with eight tackles and had two sacks against Wingate. Catawba’s Trey Mashore (West Rowan) caught four passes for 29 yards and rushed eight times for 21 yards.
• Linebacker Tyler L’Hommedieu (East) was one of the county’s top defensive players last season — right up there with West’s Logan Stoodley and Salisbury’s Keion Adams. L’Hommedieu is now playing middle linebacker for the United States Military Academy Prep School,
In his team’s game against Bridgeton Academy on Oct. 5, L’Hommedieu intercepted a pass and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown. He also had three solo tackles.
The U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School prepares candidates selected by the U.S. Military Academy Admission’s office for the challenges of West Point, and L’Hommedieu is on track to play for Army next season.
• Michael Church (A.L. Brown) is a backup QB for unbeaten Coastal Carolina and has played in games against Hampton and Gardner-Webb. He directed a scoring drive against Hampton.
• D-II UNC Pembroke thumped first-year FCS school Charlotte 45-22 to stay undefeated. Slot receiver Ben DeCelle (East Rowan) had a great day with 10 receptions for 80 yards, and linebacker Cadarreus Mason (South Rowan) had four tackles and two pass breakups. DeCelle, Mason and their teammates will be at Catawba this Saturday.
Kalif Phillips (A.L. Brown) rushed 11 times for 27 yards for the 49ers and ran back a kickoff 40 yards.
• Former Wingate Bulldogs Joseph So (Salisbury) and Josh Patch (East) are now involved with racing. Members of the Roush Fenway Racing team, Patch is a developmental gasman, while So is a developmental jackman.
• In J.C. Smith’s 44-17 loss to Winston-Salem State, J.P. Lott (A.L. Brown) made five tackles for the Golden Bulls. Erick Amaya (A.L. Brown) kicked a 33-yard field goal and two PATs. Amaya has been good on kickoffs. He averaged 64.4 yards on five of them Saturday with one touchback.
• John Knox (Salisbury) helped Charleston (W.Va.) win 17-10 on homecoming against Glenville State. Knox rushed 11 times for 47 yards and caught two short passes.
* West Liberty beat Fairmont State 27-21. Defensive end Quentin Sifford (West) did his share. Both of his tackles were for loss, and he was credited with one sack.
• South Carolina State played Thursday and crushed North Carolina Central 44-3. Javon Hargrave (North Rowan) had three tackles, one for loss, and his forced fumble set up a score for S.C. State.
• Kevin Parks (West) rushed 28 times for 112 yards in Virginia’s 27-26 loss to Maryland. Parks scored on a 6-yard run and also had five receptions for 50 yards.
• In Georgia Tech’s 38-20 loss to BYU, Domonique Noble (West) made two tackles for the Yellow Jackets.
• In Western Michigan’s 33-0 loss to Buffalo, true freshman Keion Adams (Salisbury) made six tackles.
• In Arkansas’ 52-7 loss to South Carolina, Chris Smith (West) had no sacks, but he was in on seven tackles.
• Bradley Pinion (NW Cabarrus) averages 41.3 yards on punts for Clemson and also handles kickoff duties. He’s had 18 touchbacks on 31 kickoffs.
• In Averett’s 41-33 loss to Methodist, Hobie Proctor (West) kicked field goals of 39 and 24 yards and added three PATs for the Cougars. Zachary Grkman (Carson) made seven tackles for Averett and had a pass breakup. Dante Pinkston (A.L. Brown) had 153 yards in punt and kickoff returns for Averett.
For Methodist, Orlando Gray (A.L. Brown) made two tackles.
• Adam Smith (Davie) had a huge day for Guilford with four catches for 148 yards in a 56-29 win against Shenandoah. Smith, who was spectacular as a quarterback at Davie, had TD catches of 23 and 75 yards.
With one tournament left in the eGolf Tour season, Salisbury resident Frank Adams III is the leading money winner with $67,339.
A late surge has pushed Will Collins to 12th on the money list with $40,856 in earnings. The eGolf season wraps up with the Cabarrus Classic on Nov. 5-7.
In a 2-0 win by the Catawba women against Tusculum on Saturday, Allison Baucom (West) made the cross that set up Juliana Conte for the game’s first goal.
Karen Presnell (Salisbury) has scored two goals for the Indians. Defender Allison Parker (West) has started four games this season for Catawba, and freshman Toni Lucente (West) has started one at Wingate.
• In 3-1 win against Tusculum by Catawba’s men. Declan Stimson’s two goals fueled the victory, and Frankie Cardelle (Salisbury) made one save.
Cardelle has been credited with four wins and three shutouts this season. Kenny Bonilla (Salisbury) has four goals and two assists for the Indians and he helped Kevin Scott start the scoring in Saturday’s victory.
Lenoir-Rhyne senior Kayla Morrow (South) was a big part of the Bear’s weekend wins over Lincoln Memorial and Carson-Newman. Morrow had eight kills and five digs against Lincoln Memorial and nine kills and eight digs against Carson-Newman.
Morrow leads the Bears with 23 aces and ranks fourth in the SAC. She has 88 kills and leads the SAC with a hitting percentage of .351.
Freshman Emma Pope (South) has helped the Bears (10-4, 7-3) with 36 digs.
• Catawba Valley Community College ran its record to 30-0 with Aimee Cloninger (Carson) producing 22 kills and 11 aces in wins against Pitt CC and Rockingham CC.
Tiffany Brooks (South) had 14 kills and five blocks for CVCC in the two matches.
• Setter Nicole Barringer (South) had 69 assists, 15 digs and 10 kills as Averett swept Piedmont and Ferrum. Averett is 11-1 in the USA South Conference.
• Guilford setter Taylor Whitley (Carson) led a sweep of N.C. Wesleyan with 35 assists, nine digs and three kills.
• Hollins’ Lela Moore (West) recently was named the school’s student-athlete of the week. In a match against Bluefield, Hollins had six aces and served for 12 consecutive points. A setter, Moore had 17 assists in the match.
• Amanda Possidente (East) had three digs in Brevard’s 3-1 loss to Lincoln Memorial.
Sierra Zemanick (Carson) led Southern Wesleyan to its first team win of the season at Saturday’s Toccoa Falls Invitational in Georgia.
Zemanick was second out of 35 runners. She ran a time of 20:40.