Area Sports: Catawba football picked 6th in SAC; Romar Morris returns to CFL action

Published 11:11 pm Saturday, August 3, 2019

From staff reports

Catawba was picked sixth in the South Atlantic Conference Football Coaches Preseason Poll.

Six Catawba Indians were  selected to  preseason All-SAC teams.

Wide receiver Will Sweeper and linebacker Jeremiah Ferguson were named to the first team.

Defensive back Cris Page, offensive lineman Demetrius Blackwell, defensive lineman Cameron Davis and linebacker LJ Melvin are on the second team.

Sweeper led Catawba in receiving yards last year, catching 24 passes for 548 yards.

Ferguson was the second-leading tackler on defense, making 84 stops.

Page intercepted one pass and led the team with eight breakups.

  Davis led the team with 7.5 sacks and 17 stops for losses. He recorded 61 total tackles with an interception and two fumble recoveries.

Melvin was third on the team with 83 tackles.

Blackwell has been a mainstay as a starter at right tackle since his red-shirt freshman season in 2016.

Lenoir-Rhyne was voted as the conference favorite after earning the title in 2018.  The Bears collected five first-place votes.

Wingate was tabbed second and claimed three first-place votes, while Tusculum took the other top nod and is fourth in the poll.

Lenoir-Rhyne defensive lineman Dan Louba (Hickory Ridge) and L-R linebacker Clayton Horn (Mount Pleasant) made All-SAC preseason teams.

On Thursday, Sept. 5  Carson-Newman, Newberry, Tusculum and Wingate are in action.

Catawba opens against West Georgia at home at noon on Sept. 7.

Coaches Poll

1. Lenoir-Rhyne (5) 68

2. Wingate (3) 64

3. Carson-Newman 55

4. Tusculum (1) 54

5. Newberry 45

6. Catawba 37

7. Mars Hill 33

8. Limestone 21

9. UVa-Wise 19


Little League baseball

Wilson, the N.C. representative in the Southeast Regional at Warner Robins, Ga., was eliminated with a 7-1 loss to Virginia and a 5-3 loss to Tennessee.

Little League softball

Rowan Little League’s 12U all-stars will fly to Portland on Monday for another World Series appearance, the fourth in five years.

Opening ceremonies are Tuesday. Rowan plays Louisiana at 7 p.m. on Wednedsay to start pool play.

Pro basketball

Former Pfeiffer star Kyle Riddley  has signed a professional contract with an Estonian team in the  Baltic Basketball League.

Riddley averaged 28.4 points for Pfeiffer as a senior.

Minor leagues

KANNAPOLIS —  Lenyn Sosa scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the 11th inning, as the Kannapolis Intimidators defeated the Lexington Legends 3-2 on Saturday.

Sosa scored the game-winning run after he started the inning on second and advanced to third on a single by Romy Gonzalez.

After Lexington’s Eric Cole drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the 10th, Kannapolis tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the inning when Ian Dawkins hit an RBI single, scoring Cameron Simmons.

Reliever Justin O’Conner (1-0) picked up the win after he struck out three over one scoreless inning. Andres Nunez (3-2) didn’t record an out and allowed one run in the South Atlantic League game.


Peyton Williams (Catawba) has struggled (1-3, 10.22 ERA) since his promotion to the Danville Braves, but he was good on Thursday, throwing two scoreless innings and striking out two.


Ike Freeman (East Rowan, UNC) has struggled (2-for-24)  since his promotion to Lake County in the Class A Midwest League.


Zac Almond (Catawba) is batting .221 with five homers, 15 doubles and 41 RBIs for the Kane County Cougars in the Class A Midwest League.

Almond has five RBIs in his last three games.


Bryan Blanton (Catawba) is 1-2 with a 3.16 ERA and two saves while pitching for three New York Yankee farm teams this season.

Blanton had a strong outing on Wednesday for the Staten Island Yankees in the New York-Penn League,  striking out five in two scoreless innings.

He has some good numbers, with 46 strikeouts and only one homer allowed in 31 innings.


Craig Brooks (Catawba) has pitched for the Chicago Cubs’ Double A and Triple A teams this season and is 3-0 in 33 apperances with seven saves and a 2.57 ERA. Brooks has struck out 76 in 49 innings.

College baseball

Hunter Shepherd (Catawba) is having a big summer for the Morehead City Marlins and is batting .340 with five homers and 42 RBIs.

He’s tied for sixth in the Coastal Plain League in RBIs.


Jackson Raper (Catawba) is 5-for-6 in his last two games for the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks. He’s batting .345 with six homers and 35 RBIs.


Sawyer Strickland (Catawba) is 3-1 with a 3.53 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 28 innings for the Weyburn Beavers in Canada.

Also pitching for the Beavers are Catawba’s Pearce Wilhelm (0-1, 2.16 ERA, 25 strikeouts) and Caleb Link (1-0, 5.28 ERA, 12 strikeouts).


Romar Morris (Salisbury, UNC) returned to action for the Calgary Stampeders in Saturday night’s game with Edmonton.

Morris had five catches for 49 yards,  returned four punts for 21 yards and had 14 rushing yards in a 24-18 Calgary victory.

Morris had been out since last year’s playoffs with an Achilles tendon injury.


Jumal Rolle (Catawba) has two interceptions and 10 tackles for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.


Former Catawba star LJ McCray had made two tackles for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

NC golf

Only two golfers remain in the 10th North Carolina Amateur Match Play Tournament.

Ben Woodruff of Huntersville and Zack Swanson of Charlotte, will battle it out in the final match today.

Michael Childress, Davis Richards and Walker Cress all won in the Round of 32 on Friday but lost in the Round of 16.

College soccer

Pfeiffer has hired Sean Esterhuizen  to lead the   women’s soccer program.

Esterhuizen, an 11-year college coaching veteran, comes to Pfeiffer after spending the past five seasons as the head women’s coach at Division II Clarion University in Clarion, Pa.