Area athletes update: Whitaker stars for Bears
By Mike London
Area athletes update …
SALISBURY — Lenoir-Rhyne redshirt freshman Ike Whitaker (Salisbury) has found the perfect home for his college career.
Lenoir-Rhyne’s offense is about as similar to Salisbury’s wishbone as any college offense could be.
“When Lenoir-Rhyne recruited me, all my coaches said it would be just the right fit for me,” Whitaker said. “It has been.”
Redshirting last season was tough for the muscular Whitaker to deal with, but he spent that year getting even more powerful. He’s listed at 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, but he appears to be shorter and thicker than his roster dimensions.
“I’ll never be the tallest guy or the fastest guy out there,” he said with a smile. “But I try to make the weight room pay off.”
The bearded bruiser helped the Bears clinch a share of the SAC title on Saturday by pounding out 87 rugged yards between the tackles in a 38-6 win against Catawba.
“It’s a great feeling being a champion,” Whitaker said. “We’ve been building up to this season. Our seniors turned this program around, and we definitely wanted to get them a championship.”
For the season, Whitaker has accumulated 815 yards on 162 carries. He scored his sixth TD of the season against Catawba.
“He’s strong as an ox and with that low center of gravity he’s very tough to bring down,” Lenoir-Rhyne coach Mike Houston said. “On top of that, he’s an outstanding person and an extremely hard worker.”
n Arkansas’ Chris Smith (West) was credited with three tackles in Saturday’s romp over Tennessee.
n Averett’s Zack Grkman (Carson) made five tackles and blocked a PAT attempt in a 33-25 loss to Ferrum on Saturday. Chase Burris (East Rowan) made two tackles for Averett, one for loss.
nTristan Dorty (West) was a factor for Wake Forest in Saturday’s 31-28 loss to Clemson. He made five tackles and was credited with a quarterback hurry. Wake’s Josh Bush (West Davidson) had another terrific day, with an interception, two breakups and eight tackles.
n Army’s Jon Crucitti (West) got to play in Yankee Stadium in Saturday’s loss to Rutgers.
n Virginia’s K.P. Parks (West) netted 78 yards in 21 carries in a 31-21 triumph against Duke. Parks had one run of 18 yards. He ranks eighth in the ACC in rushing with 616 yards in nine outings and he’s seventh in scoring with eight TDs.
n True freshman Jared Barber (Davie County) got most of the snaps at middle linebacker for West Virginia in a 24-21 win against Cincinnati on Saturday. He made three tackles.
n Versatile Jamill Lott (A.L. Brown) started as a defensive back for Appalachian State in Saturday’s rout of Western Carolina. One of Lott’s three tackles was against Western running back Shaun Warren (Carson). Warren rushed nine times for 26 yards.
n UNC Pembroke’s Ben DeCelle (East) and T.J. Johnson (A.L. Brown) had receptions in Saturday’s win against West Liberty State. Eric Cowan (West) made four tackles for West Liberty.
n Catawba’s Trey Mashore (West) returned five kickoffs for 114 yards, with a long of 31, in Saturday’s loss to Lenoir-Rhyne.
Jacorian Brown (Carson) carried twice for Catawba for 6 yards and also contributed a 6-yard reception.
Zach Long (Davie) made four tackles for L-R.
After a redshirt year to enhance his academic standing, Jamel Carpenter (West) is back on the court at Fayetteville State, and he dominated in the Broncos’ opener, a 100-79 victory against Barber-Scotia.
An All-CIAA pick in 2010, Carpenter swished three straight 3-pointers in one stretch and finished with six 3s and 26 points. He added five rebounds and three assists.
nDarius Moose (Carson) got his sophomore season at Brevard off to a good start with 19 points and 10 rebounds in the Tornados’ first two games. He started both contests.
nIsaiah Cuthbertson (West) dropped in 11 points for Catawba Valley Community College in Saturday’s 85-82 loss to Wytheville CC.
Radford freshmen Ayana Avery (West) and Ashia Holmes (Salisbury) contributed to a 100-42 rout of Division III Eastern Mennonite on Saturday.
Avery fired up eight 3-pointers in 13 minutes and connected on three. Holmes shot 3-for-4 and produced six points and three assists in 17 minutes of action.
nAyanna Holmes (Salisbury) started for Charlotte on Sunday and had six points and three boards in a romp against Arkansas State.
nBubbles Phifer (Salisbury) averaged 19.7 points a game in her first three outings for Tallahassee Community College.
n De’Rya Wylie (Salisbury) pulled down 10 rebounds and scored four points for Elizabeth City State in a 63-56 loss to West Liberty. Wylie was in the starting lineup for the Vikings.
nKatie Wise (South Rowan) scored five points and had three rebounds in 14 minutes of action for UNC Asheville in an 83-74 win against Winston-Salem State on Saturday. The 6-foot-3 Wise has battled a knee injury for several years.
n After an outstanding freshman volleyball season, Averett’s Nicole Barringer (South) will make a quick transition to basketball. Averett opens Tuesday against Southern Virginia.
Southern Wesleyan’s Sierra Zemanick (Carson) finished 70th in 20:57 in a 5K race in the National Christian College Championships held in Ohio on Saturday.
Zemanick has qualified for next Saturday’s NAIA Nationals in Vancouver, Wash.
Caleb O’Neal (South) and Erik Delgado (South) competed for the Southern Wesleyan in the 8K men’s race in Ohio. O’Neal ran 28:20, while Delgado ran 30:39.
n USC Upstate’s Ross Oden (East) ran a personal best 33:37 in the 10K Southeast Region Championships held in Louisville on Saturday. He was the No. 3 finisher for Upstate.
n Lees-McRae freshmen Katherine Shields and Emily Shields (Salisbury) will compete in the D-II Nationals Saturday in Spokane, Wash.
Lenoir-Rhyne’s Kayla Morrow (South) had six kills and five digs in a SAC tournament loss to Tusculum.