LMC vs. Montreat Golf Cancelled for Thursday

The Lees-McRae and Montreat dual match scheduled for Thursday, April 29th, at Mountain Glen has been canceled.  There is the chance of the match being rescheduled for next week; however, the make-up date has yet to be determined.  We will pass any information along as soon as it becomes available.

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Buchanan, Mitchell Win WHC Golf Tournament

Thomas Buchanan lit up the Avery Viking defense for 37 points in the WHC Basketball Tournament, and then lit up the two day WHC Golf Tournament, blistering the field to earn the top spot in the WHC tournament, as well as Most Outstanding in the WHC Tournament.

The Viking golfers finished the event in fifth place, but the story of the tournament may have been the round that didn’t count, put up by Morgan Johnson on the first day of the event.

“It’s a shame that, in conference play during the regular season,” stated Head Coach Boe Barinowski following the event, “the rules aren’t enforced while most coaches themselves play golf away from the athletes.  Then once a year at the Conference Tournament coaches and other adults that are needed to keep score, many of which do not have an adequate understanding of USGA rules, descend on the players and parents in a marginal effort to sporadically enforce rules and keep players’ scores.

“This leaves players and spectators vulnerable to being sited for violations that they may not understand and that are enforced inconsistently during the most important match of in the season.Coaches as a group are not modeling or teaching rules during the regular season and then are forced to rely upon others who don’t always know the rules or play the game to attempt to hold players, parents and spectators accountable. It’s just not  adequate or appropriate. Imagine if the football coaches scrimmaged each other during the regular season while their players competed against each other without referees, then during the conference tournament brought in referees and tried to coach.  That’s what high school competitive golf has been for decades.”

Those words came after a decision prior to the second round that disqualified Johnson’s score from the day before due to “conversation with ‘a parent’ on the course.”

“I think it affected our team as a whole,” continued Barinowski.  “We entered the round thinking we were 13 strokes out of second place, and fell to 29 strokes due to the decision.  It’s evident that it effected the kids, all three of my best golfers shot 5 over par on the 1st hole of the day.

“Golf is a great sport; when a player signs their score card they effect a written contract stating that their score for the day is correct.  When the conference coaches post the scores for players at the end of the day, they collectively state that they agree to those scores.  Disqualifying a player after we’ve agreed to the score turned in is a double standard. In normal circumstances, decisions to disqualify a player should be made the day that the infraction occurred.”

“At least 3 of the coaches knew of the rules violation before scores were posted,” continued Barinowski, “and none of us did anything about it.  In my opinion we didn’t have the right to make the decision the day after the fact.”

The Vikings performed as well as they could amidst the controversy and conditions.  Chase Watson put up an 83 on the first day and coupled it with a 45 on the second to put up a score of 128 in the two day affair; finishing 6th and earning him All-Conference honors.  Johnson shot an 83 on day one, the score that was later disqualified, and added a 46 on day two for a 129.  Ethan Buchanan had his best performance of the season, finishing third on the Viking squad and earning a spot in the regional; following up a 99 on day one with a 45 on the back nine at Mt. Glen for a 144.  Shea Buchanan shot a 147 in the tournament earning him the final slot in the Regional Tournament.  Hunter Gossett and Dylan Aldridge closed out the Avery scoring with a 150 and 152 respectively.

As a team, Avery claimed 5th in the Tournament, shooting a 550 in the tournament. Mitchell won the event with a team score of 494, and swept the honors with Buchanan earning Most Outstanding Golfer and Quentin Buchanan of Mitchell taking Coach of the Year honors.

The top two teams in each division (1A/2A) earned spots in the regional tournament with the top four finishers not on a qualifying team earning slots as well.  The final results were as follows:

Overall Team:

1 – Mitchell (1A, 1A Regional qualifier) – 494
2 – Hendersonville (1A, 1A Regional) – 510
3 – Polk County (2A, 2A Regional) – 516
4 – Owen (2A, 2A Regional) – 538
5 – Avery (1A) – 550
6 – Thomas Jefferson (1A) – 607
7 – Mountain Heritage (2A) – 628
8 – Madison (2A) – 681

All Conference:

1 – Thomas Buchanan (MIT)    70  40 – 110
2 – Wiekus Tolles (HEND)      76  42 – 118
3 – Luke Stewart (MIT)           79  43 – 122
4 – Mickey McMechen (OW)  84  39 – 123
5 – Kyle Brown (PLK)             84  42 – 126
6 – Chase Watson (AVY)        83  45 – 128
6 – Dylan Jones (PLK)            83  45 – 128
8 – Davis Horne (PLK)            88  43 – 131
8 – Grant Hahn (HEND)          88  43 – 131
8 – Marcus Wood (MIT)         87  44 – 131

Regional Qualifiers (Top 4 not on Qualifying Teams)

1A – Chase Watson (AVY) – 128; Lucas Murray (TJCA) – 138; Ethan Buchanan (AVY) – 144; Shea Buchanan (AVY) – 147
2A – Gaston McGill (MAD) – 135; Tyler Emory (MAD) – 137; Spencer Bishop (MHHS) – 152; Zach Brown (MHHS) – 161

Congratulations and good luck to each of these guys as they compete in the Regional tournament on Monday, May 3rd.

Toe River Conference Baseball and Softball Tournament Schedule

Toe River Conference Tournament Schedule:

BASEBALL – Rock Gym – Newland

Wednesday, April 28th – First Round

4:00 p.m. – #3 Harris Blue Devils vs. #6 Cranberry Wildcats
6:00 p.m. – #4 Bowman Bulldogs vs. #5 Avery Panthers

Thursday, April 29th – Semifinals

4:00 p.m. – #1 East Yancey Panthers vs. Avery/Bowman winner
6:00 p.m. – #2 Cane River Rebels vs. Harris/Cranberry winner

SOFTBALL – Little League Complex – Newland

Wednesday, April 28th – Opening Round

4:00 p.m. – #4 Avery Lady Panthers vs. #5 Harris Lady Blue Devils
6:00 p.m. – #3 Bowman Lady Bulldogs vs. #6 Cranberry Lady Wildcats

Thursday, April 29th – Semifinals

4:00 p.m. – #1 Cane River Lady Rebels vs. Avery/Harris winner
6:00 p.m. – #2 East Yancey Lady Panthers vs. Bowman/Cranberry winner

Championships for both will take place on Saturday, May 1st at 11 AM.  Site still TBD – depending on way tournament plays out.

Panthers Draft Edwards in 3rd Round of NFL Draft

Courtesy Appalachian Sports Information

QB Armanti Edwards

BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University legend Armanti Edwards will move less than 100 miles to begin his professional football career, as the Carolina Panthers selected him in the third round of the 2010 National Football League Draft (89th selection overall) on Friday night.

Carolina traded a second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft to the New England Patriots for the right to draft Edwards, who was the most decorated player in NCAA Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision — formerly Division I-AA) history as Appalachian’s record-setting signal-caller from 2006-09. He ranks second in FCS history with 14,753 yards of total offense (behind only Steve McNair, who amassed 16,823 at Alcorn State from 1991-94) and is the only two-time winner of the Walter Payton Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top FCS player.

With 10,392 passing yards and 4,361 rushing yards, Edwards is the only player in Division I history (FCS or FBS) with at least 9,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards in a career and the only FCS player to reach the 8,000 passing/4,000 rushing plateau. He was responsible for 139 touchdowns in his career (74 passing, 65 rushing), highlighting his 64 ASU and 14 Southern Conference records.

The only four-time all-American in Appalachian history, Edwards compiled a 42-7 record as a starter and led the Mountaineers to back-to-back national championships (2006 and ‘07) and four-straight SoCon titles.

As a senior in 2009, Edwards threw for a school-record 3,291 yards and rushed for 679 more. His 330.8 yards of total offense per game ranked third nationally and he also finished among the nation’s top 20 in rushing touchdowns (t-3rd – 18), completion percentage (4th – .680), passing yards (8th), scoring (10th – 108 pts.), passing efficiency (12th – 147.90 rating), completions (13th – 257) and touchdowns responsible for (16th – 30).

He won his second-straight Payton Award in a landslide, receiving 55 of a possible 108 first-place votes and 431 total points in a vote by national media and sports information directors to easily out-distance Elon wide receiver Terrell Hudgins, who received 16 first-place votes and 268 points, for the 2009 honor. He was also a landslide winner of the 2008 Payton Award, garnering 398 total points and 53 first-place votes, compared to 290 points and 17 first-place nods for James Madison quarterback Rodney Landers. Edwards is one of only six underclassmen to ever take home the FCS version of the Heisman Trophy.

Off the field, Edwards graduated from ASU in December with a bachelor’s degree in graphic arts and imaging technology. An honors student, Edwards earned his degree in just three-and-half years, a feat accomplished by less than three percent of all ASU undergraduates.

Edwards is the 19th Mountaineer ever selected in the NFL Draft and the first since wide receiver Dexter Jackson and safety Corey Lynch were drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (second round) and Cincinnati Bengals (sixth round), respectively, in 2008. Edwards will be reunited with Jackson in the NFL, as Jackson signed with the Panthers’ organization during the 2009 season. As the No. 89 overall pick, Edwards was selected higher than all but five of ASU’s previous 18 NFL draftees. Linebacker Dino Hackett remains Appalachian’s highest-ever selection, going to the Kansas City Chiefs with the 35th overall pick (second round) in 1986.

Edwards will play as a pro at Carolina’s Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., just 99.5 miles from ASU’s Kidd Brewer Stadium. The Panthers’ headquarters are also only 135 miles from Edwards’ hometown of Greenwood, S.C.

Viking Track and Field with Great Performances at North Buncombe

Alex Villanueva posted a personal best 15.5 seconds in the 110 Hurdles to qualify for the State Meet (Submitted Photo)

The Avery Track and Field team traveled to North Buncombe for a meet on Tuesday, April 13, with a number of athletes putting up a number of personal records along the way.

In the 100 m dash, Kyle Griewisch put up another personal record, posting a time of 11.18 and taking first, also qualifying himself for the 1A State meet.  Alex Villanueva qualified in two separate events, performing well in both as he put up state qualifying times; finishing 2nd in the 110 Hurdles, posting a personal best time of 15.5 seconds, as well as a 44.82 in the 300 Hurdles.

Caroline Crenshaw and Sara Wiseman also qualified for State competition putting up season and personal bests.  Crenshaw joins Villanueva in the 300 m Hurdles,  posting a new PR with 52.56 seconds; and Wiseman posted a 30′ throw in the Shot Put to qualify for the State Meet.

The Vikings will HOST their first track event in recent years on Tuesday, April 20th to break in the new facility at MacDonald Stadium.  Head on out and support your Viking Athletes with competition getting underway around 3:30 PM in Newland.  Congratulations to the Vikings on a great meet at North Buncombe and Go VIKES!

Apologies and Updates:

Due to an overwhelmingly busy spring coaching the Cranberry Middle Baseball team, as well as some internet connection and blogsite issues, I offer my deepest apologies for the lack of updates on the blog.  We should be back and ready to continue bringing you great coverage of local sports, including Avery’s spring schedules as well as the updates on local colleges and athletes at the collegiate level.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

Spring Round-up:

Viking Baseball Battles Tough; Falls to Heritage 17-9

The Vikings seemed to have the contest in control, jumping on top early taking a 6-3 lead after one inning of play, the Heritage Cougars battled their way back to overtake the Vikings and earn the victory.  Avery’s bats were electric as the contest got underway, but the Cougar bats answered the Vikes, tying the contest in the bottom of the second.  Avery Battled tough, taking the contest into the sixth inning tied at 9, but an offensive explosion from the Cougars opened it up to 17-9.

The Lady Viking softball team fell to the Lady Cougars 15-1 in Thursday’s action. The Vikings host Mitchell in their home opener on Tuesday, April 13 with Varsity action getting underway at 4 PM.  Go Vikes!

Becca Biggerstaff (Jessica Puckett Photo)