The following are highlights from teams across Watauga County for the week of Dec. 27-Jan. 3.

Dec. 29

• BOONE — App State Men’s Golf has added newcomers Herman Huus, Cole Bergheim and Aidan Browning as class of 2022 recruits, head coach Jason Allison announced Wednesday.

Huus has excelled on the junior golf circuit in Norway, and Bergheim is a multi-time winner in junior events in his province of Alberta in central Canada. Browning, whose older brother, Colin, is currently a member of App State’s golf team, won a 4A regional title as a junior for Charlotte’s Providence High School before placing in the top 10 at the 2021 state championships.

“We are excited to add Herman, Cole and Aidan to our roster,” Allison said. “These guys bring plenty of tournament experience that has produced wins and strong finishes in their junior golf careers. We look forward to working hard to develop these young men into really successful collegiate golfers.”

Dec. 30

• BOONE — Three App State players have received All-America recognition from Phil Steele, with cornerback Steven Jones Jr. being named a first-team All-American.

Inside linebacker D’Marco Jackson was named a fourth-team All-American, and center Baer Hunter made the All-American Honorable Mention list.

Jones, Jackson and Hunter were three of nine App State players with first-team All-Sun Belt recognition from Phil Steele, who had Mountaineers occupying 21 spots on his four teams.

Jones tied for the FBS lead with five interceptions during the regular season and leads the country with three pick-six interception returns for touchdowns. He is in the top 20 nationally with 13 passes defended, and he finished the season with 51 tackles.

He has also been named a first-team All-American by the FWAA and Pro Football Network.

With a monster 2021 season, Jackson became the only FBS player in the 2000s with single-season totals including at least 120 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, six sacks and six passes defended. His tackle total ranks fourth among FBS players on teams successful enough to post double-digit victories.

Hunter, who moved from guard to center before his final season, was the leader of an offensive line that allowed only 17 sacks (tied for 11th nationally at 1.2 per game) and averaged 34.5 points a game. PFF College assigned him a run-blocking grade of 82.6 that ranks No. 2 among Group of Five centers, and his 972 snaps rank No. 7 among FBS centers.

PFN named Jackson a second-team All-American earlier this month, and he earned honorable mention from PFF College.

Jan. 2

• CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Led by Will Formato’s fourth-place finish in a 165-pound bracket with six top-20 wrestlers, App State had four members of its program medal Sunday at the Southern Scuffle.

In addition to Formato, Caleb Smith placed fifth at 125 pounds, Codi Russell took sixth at 133 pounds and unattached Ethan Oakley was eighth at 133 pounds. Heath Gonyer (141) also advanced to Sunday’s second day of competition.

In a 30-team field with lots of ranked programs and individuals, App State amassed the eighth-most points with 56.5.

Formato’s 4-2 showing included a 3-0 record Saturday with two major decisions and a 3-2 quarterfinal win against 19th-ranked Thomas Bullard of NC State to reach a Sunday semifinal against third-ranked Keegan O’Toole of Missouri. Formato reached the third-place match thanks to an overtime takedown to cap a 6-4 decision against Iowa’s Patrick Kennedy, who had a 3-2 lead before Formato’s takedown with 17 seconds left in the third period helped force OT.

In the third-place match, Formato had a 7-6 lead and a riding time point clinched in the final minute of the third period when Minnesota’s Cael Carson executed a rare defensive fall with his torso facing the rafters.

Smith, who also placed fifth at the Southern Scuffle as an unattached true freshman in 2019, had a 5-2 weekend record that included an overtime pin of Brett Ungar, who was the nation’s top-rated 120-pound high school recruit from the 2021 prep class.

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