The following are highlights from teams across Watauga County for the week of Oct. 4-11.
• BOONE — After finishing sixth at the Live in Lou Cross Country Classic, App State men’s cross country jumped five spots to ninth in the Oct. 5 edition of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Southeast Regional rankings.
App State boasted the largest rise in the rankings this week, while it’s the first time the Mountaineers cracked the top 10, joining No. 2 Wake Forest, No. 3 North Carolina, No. 5 Duke, No. 6 NC State, No. 7 Louisville and No. 8 Kentucky.
• BOONE — With an elite-level start to the 2021 season, App State linebacker D’Marco Jackson has been added to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is presented to the top defensive player in college football.
Jackson joins preseason watch list members Demetrius Taylor and Shaun Jolly of App State, giving the Mountaineers selections on the defensive line, at linebacker and in the secondary.
A senior from Spartanburg, S.C., Jackson is third nationally with both 10.8 tackles per game and 2.0 tackles for loss per game. He’s also in the top-25 nationally with 4.0 sacks to go along with five QB hurries, two breakups and one interception for a 3-1 team. He finished a 45-16 victory against Georgia State on Saturday with nine tackles, 2.0 tackles for loss, one sack, one interception, one pass breakup and one quarterback hurry — all in the first three quarters.
On seven of Jackson’s nine tackles, the play ended with Georgia State gaining 2 yards or less.
• BOONE — App State receiver Thomas Hennigan has been named one of just 30 candidates nationally for the Senior CLASS Award, which goes to an FBS senior or graduate student with notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
Standing for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platforms in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
A two-time All-Sun Belt pick who was named an Academic All-American (second team) earlier this year, Hennigan maintains a 3.53 GPA as a marketing major with a minor in finance and banking. Last weekend, he set an App State record by making his 56th career start.
• TROY, Ala. — App State women’s soccer fell to Troy in a 1-0 clash on Thursday night in Troy, Ala.
The Mountaineers fall 4-7-1 overall, and 0-5-0 in league play, while Troy moves 5-7-1 and 2-4-0 in the Sun Belt.
Troy took the 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute of the contest, after Erin Bloomfield scored the lone goal of the contest. The Mountaineers created multiple opportunities and dominated ball possession for the majority of the contest but were unable to find the back of the net.
App State outshot the Trojans 10-5, and held a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks. Sarah Widderich led the way for the Black and Gold, recording four shots with two being on goal.
• LOUISVILLE — App State softball was ranked No. 13 on the 2020-21 Easton/NFCA All-America Scholar-Athlete list by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association on Sept. 30 in Louisville.
App State was one of seven Sun Belt conference programs to be recognized on the list. The Mountaineers tied with Coastal Carolina for first in the Sun Belt, with 19 scholar-athletes to achieve a collective GPA of 3.698. Out of 18 varsity programs at App State, softball recorded the second-highest GPA in the spring.
“This is such a tremendous honor for our softball program. Being student-athlete demands so much and for them to be successful both in the classroom and on the field is humbling for me as their coach,” said head coach Shelly Hoerner. “I am very proud of the individuals that received the All American award. We are at the top in the Sun Belt as far as the ranking and having 19 earn this shows their commitment to their academics. I would like to thank our academic staff in helping to guide these young women. Without them, our team would not have the success they are having in the classroom and as people.”
• MUNCIE, Ind. — App State field hockey battled hard in an OT thriller against MAC opponent Ball State on Friday.
Despite falling short, the Mountaineers shot 16 times, and 11 on goal compared to the Cardinals’ seven in a defensive-focused game on both sides. Addie Clark recorded six saves in the cage for the Mountaineers.
Offensively, senior midfielder Friederike Stegen was playing aggressively. Stegen led the Mountaineers with six shots, four of which were on goal. Other shot-takers for the Black & Gold were Charlotte Bosma (3), Anna Smarrelli (2) and Sterre Molkenboer (1).
After a 0-0 score in the first four periods of play, the game went to overtime where Ball State’s Lexi Kansky scored five minutes into the period for the win.
• BOONE — App State volleyball dropped a 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-17) home Sun Belt contest to South Alabama on Friday evening.
McCall Denny paced the Mountaineers offense with a match-high 14 kills. She added seven digs. Lulu Ambrose and Victoria Wilform each chipped in with seven kills apiece. Defensively, Emma Reilly recorded 18 digs. Sophie Cain dished out 29 assists.
• BOONE — App State volleyball dropped a 25-17, 25-16, 25-15 home decision to Troy on Sunday.
Anna Kincaid paced the App State offense with a team leading five kills, while hitting .308. She added a pair of service aces and a block assist.
Lulu Ambrose and McCall Denny each finished with four kills. Sam Bickley dished out 11 assists and had six digs, while Emma Reilly finished with a team-high 10 digs. Alison Siersma paced Troy with a match-high 15 kills, while Amara Anderson dished out 34 assists.
• BOONE — App State women’s soccer fell to Texas State on Sunday afternoon at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex. The Mountaineers dropped to 4-8-1 overall and 0-6-0 in conference play, while Texas State moves to 7-6-1 on the season and 4-4-0 in the league.
Both defenses held strong for the majority of the contest, keeping the match scoreless through the first half.
After the halftime break, the Mountaineers came out fighting after three back-to-back shots in the 70th minute of the contest. Breckyn Monteith caught the rebound off a shot by Olivia Cohen, who struck early, hitting the sidebar. Hayley Boyles entered the action, but the shot was saved by the Bobcat’s keeper. A penalty kick in the 81st minute was the difference for the visiting Bobcats, who took the 1-0 lead.