Local standouts making strides in college football, soccer, volleyball this fall

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Another exciting weekend of college football is in the books as North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest all grabbed victories, while Duke fell 19-10 to No. 23 Northwestern and Navy ran all over East Carolina 45-21 in Annapolis, Maryland.

DaQuan Barnes. Photo courtesy- John Crouch
DaQuan Barnes. Photo courtesy- John Crouch

There are some 18 athletes from the area making strides for their respective universities and colleges this fall, including junior transfer Terry Caldwell. The former Hoggard standout has three tackles in three games and one forced fumble for No. 15 Ole Miss as the Rebels pulled off the upset of the week in a 43-47 victory over No. 2 Alabama.

Several local players were suited up for the North Carolina A&T versus Elon matchup. Freshman Julius Reynolds (Hoggard) had the best game of his college career with five tackles, one sack and one tackle for loss in a 14-7 bounce back win for the Aggies. Tariq Lane (Laney), Keevin Thompson (Hoggard) and Sylvester Smith (Hoggard) were also on the sidelines for Saturday’s matchup.

Frank Keller (Ashley) made his first start of the season at right guard for Presbyterian College, who picked up their first win of the season 23-13 over Campbell. The Blue Hose rushed for 148 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.

Catawba College quarterback Mike Sheehan (Laney)  completed 19-of-24 passes for 163 yards in a 14-7 win. He threw for one score and ran for another.

The Indians got on the scoreboard first when Sheehan ran in from seven yards out with 1:25 to go in the first quarter.  It capped a 12-play, 74-yard drive that featured three third-down conversions.  On those downs, Sheehan completed passes of 15 yards, 13 yards and ran one for 15 yards to the Carson-Newman six that set up the score.

With the game tied in the fourth quarter, Sheehan hit on the biggest offensive play of the game with a 57-yard toss to the Eagle 13.  On third down, Sheehan found Gary Williams (South Brunswick) from eight yards out to put Catawba on top 14-7 with 10:35 remaining.

While East Carolina dropped its conference opener to Navy, New Hanover High School product DaQuan Barnes got into the action for the Pirates and finished with two catches for 17 yards. Trevon Brown (New Hanover) is also expected to return to practice this week after serving a three-game suspension for violating the university’s conduct policy.

Local soccer plays shine at the college level 

As the college soccer season continues this fall, several local players have been making an impact for their respective universities and colleges.

Ian Bennett. Photo courtesy- Appalachian State Athletics
Ian Bennett. Photo courtesy- Appalachian State Athletics

Sayres McKenna (Hoggard) has one goal and four assists as the freshman has eight starts and played in all nine games for Western Carolina. She’s tied for the team lead in total points, with six. The Catamounts are 4-3-2 overall this season.

Ian Bennett (New Hanover) scored the lone goal for Appalachian State over the weekend in a 2-1 setback to Radford. He had two of the Mountaineers’ three shots on goal for the night and tried to bring the Apps back with his 83rd minute strike from outside the box that sailed into the top of the net.

It was Bennett’s first goal of his college career as the freshman has also picked up one assists in six games played this season. Appalachian State is 3-3-0 overall.

Former Laney High School teammates Michael James and Ryan Kawczynski are also competing together for the Queens University of Charlotte program. The Royals are 2-3 on the year as Kawczynski has started all five matches this season.

Senior forward Chelsea Frankeny has also started in all six games for Charleston Southern, who are 2-2-2 overall.

Pair of Hoggard volleyball standouts making strides 

Sophomore Cassidy Stephenson has seen increased time on the floor for Appalachian State. She had a career-high 13 kills against South Alabama on Friday. For the season, Stephenson has played 30 sets, with 46 kills on the year. The Mountaineers are 9-4 overall.

Freshman Aylssa Zupan has started all 15 games for Western Carolina. The Catamounts are 6-9 overall, while Zupan is third on the team with 100 kills.

Zupan and Stephenson were both four-year starters on the Hoggard varsity team. They advanced to the state tournament all four years and made a run to the state championship match in 2011.