Area Sports Briefs: Swaringen qualifying medalist for Rowan Amateur

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 15, 2020

From staff reports

Pairings are almost finalized for the 42nd annual Horace Billings Rowan Amateur golf tournament at Corbin Hills.

Michael Swaringen was the qualifying medalist with a 67 and is seeded second.

The top seed is defending champion Nick Lyerly.

The (31) and (32) spots in the bracket will be determined by a three-man playoff on Thursday —  Alex Safrit, Jon Baxter and Nick Funderburke.

Match play is scheduled for July 17-19.


Pairings for the first round

(1) Nick Lyerly vs. (32) Jon Baxter

(16) Sean Kramer vs. (17) Gary Fesperman

(9) Chace Jensen vs. (24) Ryan Burke

(11) Steve Gegorek vs. (25) Ben Rollins

(4) Chris Williams vs. (29) Chuck Stockford

(23) Brian Sutton vs. (20) Andy Lombard

(12) Will Casmus vs. (21) Ritchie Fesperman

(5) Keith Dorsett vs. (28) Todd Denton

(2) Michael Swaringen vs. (31) Alex Safrit

(15) Seth Waller vs. (18) Dwayne McIntyre

(10) Jason Bernhardt vs. (23) Preston Jones Jr.

(7) Colby Patterson vs. (26) Mike Helms

(3) Derek Lipe vs. (30) Andrew Morgan

(14) Robert Lyerly vs. (19) Shane Benfield

(11) Rusty Morrison vs. (22) Brad Vinson

(6) Kevin Lentz vs. (27) Bart Correll


Salisbury’s Adamma Anukwuem, who plays for South Iredell, shot 82 in the first round of the Dogwood Junior Girls Tournament in Greenville.



With schools scheduled to open Aug. 17 under “Plan B”  with combination of virtual and in-person instruction, Gov.  Roy Cooper delegated the fate of high school sports to the NCHSAA, which is working on scenarios and formulating a definitive plan.

Workouts continue. There’s optimism there will be a fall sports season, but it’s unlikely it will be a standard one, especially for “high risk” sports such as football.

“The governor’s decision on the starting of school for the 2020-2021 school year now puts us in a better position to make informed decisions concerning if, when, and how to resume athletic competition at NCHSAA member schools,” NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker said. “The NCHSAA staff will work with the Board of Directors, Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and other stakeholder groups to solidify the details of the best plan for the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators and the communities the Association represents. We know everyone is interested in start dates and protocols. The NCHSAA will provide further updates when they become available after Board discussion and action.”


NC3 baseball
Randolph County outscored Kannapolis 18-8 on Tuesday at McCrary Park.
Austin Dayvault had three hits for the Towelers. Chase Ervin, Luke Nelson and Bryson Bebber had two each.
Blake Marsh, Parker LaPlant, Harris Jackson had three hits apiece for Randolph.


NC3 Junior baseball

West Rowan won 12-3 against Statesville on Tuesday.

Zander Burton  was the winning pitcher. Damon Oles closed it.

Maddox Moore had three hits.

East Rowan topped Concord 4-1 at the Faith Jaycee Ballpark in Tuesday’s league game.
Chance Mako was the winning pitcher and had a double.
Dylan Valley got the save and had a hit.
Tate Green and Jacob Causey had two hits each.
Beach volleyball
Carson’s Jaden Vaughn was a champion in the AVP Summer Bash over the weekend.
High school basketball
Robert Hairston has been named as head coach of the Lexington girls basketball team.

The announcement was made Monday morning by Lexington AD Ronnie Beverly.

Hairston had success as head boys coach at Lexington from 2006-13.

Hairston was an assistant coach for the Salisbury girls the last seven seasons. A defensive mastermind, he’s been an assistant coach for outstanding West Rowan boys teams, as well as the Salisbury girls.

College athletics

Catawba College Director of Athletics Larry Leckonby announced that Chase Tripp has been named as Director of Sports Performance. He comes to Catawba after serving as assistant strength and conditioning coach at the University of West Georgia since 2015.

“We are excited to have someone with Chase’s background join us at Catawba,” stated Leckonby. “Sports Performance plays an integral part of the success for all of our teams.”

Associate AD  Craig Turnbull chaired the committee during the search process.

While at West Georgia, Tripp worked primarily with baseball, softball and men’s basketball, programming and implementing workouts and condition sessions. He also assisted the head strength and conditioning coach with all football programs and workouts.

Among Tripp’s duties were to oversee student-athletes in the weight room and enforcing proper lifting and training techniques. He helped train student-athletes for NFL Combine and prepare for Pro Days. Tripp would supervise two graduate assistants and the training and workout programs for those sports.


College football

Appalachian State senior quarterback Zac Thomas has been named to the watch list for the 2020 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award.

The list presented by The Davey O’Brien Foundation includes 30 of the nation’s top returning college quarterbacks. Thomas is one of 14 seniors on the national list and one of nine quarterbacks from a Group of Five program.

Thomas has a 22-3 record as a starter after leading App State to a 13-1 record and top-20 final ranking in 2019. He accounted for 35 touchdowns (28 passing) and 3,158 total yards (2,718 passing) last season, increasing his career totals to 67 total TDs (49 passing) and 5,779 total yards (4,790 passing).