Tom is a freelance journalist and has contributed to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Baltimore Sun among others. He is the author of three books.
Locally, he's a regular contributor to the Asheville Citizen-Times and Blue Ridge Outdoors
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 14, 2018) – After dropping a 2-0 road decision to Knoxville’s Emerald Force FC on Saturday, Asheville City struck a return blow with a 2-1 home victory in a Thursday night rematch.
Cameron Saul scored both goals for the Blues, and book-ended them around a sole goal by Emerald Force in the game’s 33rd minute. Saul’s second goal came just moments after Elon University’s Luke Matthews had a goal waved off following a handball call.
Keeper Bailey Spade earned the win in goal for the Blues.
The win puts Asheville City at 3-2-3 on the season, while Emerald Force is now 3-7 on the year. Both teams play within the Southeast Division of the National Premiere Soccer League’s (NPSL) Southeast Region Conference.
The Blues travel to Nashville this Saturday to face divisional foe Inter Nashville FC (3-3-1) at 7:00 p.m. (photos – Tom Flynn)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 14, 2018) – Asheville City remained undefeated on Tuesday night after a second-half goal from Brooke Bingham earned the Blues a 1-1 tie against visiting Beaufort FC.
Bingham’s goal came in the game’s 72nd minute, and answered an earlier score from Sha’Nya Stephens in the sixth minute of play. The goal by the visitors was the first allowed by ACSC at home this year, and just the second against the team in 2018. By contrast, the Blues have scored 21 times this season.
With the draw, ACSC remained undefeated on the season at 6-0-1, while Beaufort FC is now 2-1-2. The Blues return to the pitch, and the road, at noon on Sunday, June 17, to face the Women Premier Soccer League’s (WPSL) Carolina Rapids. The Rapids have a 5-0 mark this year following a 5-1 victory over Discoveries FC (Fort Mill, S.C.) on Sunday.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 12, 2018) – The Greenville Drivehave a Green Monster in left field at their home park that’s modeled after its more famous namesake at Fenway Park. The wall at Fluor Field is 7′ shorter than its 37′ counterpart in Boston but is similar by design, as the Drive are the Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox.
The park opened on April 6, 2006, to serve as the home to the Drive, who played the 2005 season at Greenville’s Municipal Stadium after relocating to the city from Columbia, South Carolina. Fluor’s outfield dimensions mimic the asymmetrical confines of Fenway, and included in its structure are bricks salvaged from local mills, adding to the similarity of the two parks despite the 94-year difference in opening dates.
Upon arrival in the city, the franchise was dubbed the Greenville Bombers but changed to the Drive coinciding with the move to their new park in 2006.
Greenville plays in the Southern Division of the South Atlantic League (SAL) along with the Asheville Tourists. As of June 12, the Drive were 21-41 and are 4-3 against the Tourists in head-to-head competition. They host the Rome Braves (38-25) tonight at 7:05 p.m. (photos – Gwinn Davis/Greenville Drive)
EUGENE, Ore. (June 10, 2018) – In Saturday’s 5,000m final at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, senior Allie Buchalski closed out her career with a first team All-America effort. Buchalski finished second overall in the event, the highest by any Paladin at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field this year, and with the finish earned the All-America designation.
Buchalski turned in a time of 15:42.77 and for the second straight year earned a spot on the first team. Last year, she finished sixth in the event.
Sophomore Savannah Carnahan finished 15th overall with a time of 15:57.42, good for second team All-America honors. Her effort helped the Paladin women’s team tie for 28th place at the meet.
Senior Frank Lara got the week off well for Furman, earning second team All-America honors on Wednesday in the 10,000m. He improved on a 19th place finish in 2017 to finish 15th this spring.
On Thursday, Furman’s Gabrielle Jennings and freshman Kristlin Gear each earned honorable mention All-American recognition in the 3,000m Steeplechase. Jennings finished tenth in her heat and 20th overall, while Gear finished 12th in her heat and 24th overall in her first season at the collegiate level.
The top eight finishers in each event at the NCAA Championships earned first team All-American honors, with finishers nine through 16 earning second team All-American accolades. Honorable mention All-American citations were awarded to athletes who finished in 17th through 24th place.
The visit by the five members of the team will be the last by any group of Paladins to the current Hayward Field as it is scheduled to be razed beginning in July. A new venue of the same name will be built on the site in advance of the 2021 IAAF World Outdoor Championships.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 9, 2018) – The broom jutting out from the Asheville press box on Saturday night summarized the day’s results as the Tourists swept the Lexington Legends in a South Atlantic League (SAL) doubleheader.
In the first game, lefty Lucas Gilbreath earned the win as the Tourists downed the Legends, 7-1. Gilbreath is now 4-3 on the year. Second baseman Bret Boswell went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, and RBI while batting lead off for Asheville.
In the nightcap, the Tourists earned a 5-3 victory as Braxton Lorenzini picked up his second win in relief this season. The right hander out of California’s West Hills College was perfect, allowing no hits and fanning three in two innings of work.
Robert Tyler earned the save, his third of the season, and hit 98 on the radar gun late in the evening against Lexington (32-29).
The two teams close out the condensed five-game series on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. at McCormick Field. With Saturday’s doubleheader sweep, the Tourists have taken three straight from Lexington, and three of the first four games in the series. (photos – Tom Flynn)
The center fielder hails from LaGrange, Ga. and started all 52 games for Furman in 2018. He led the team with a .361 batting average and also was tops on the squad with 39 RBIs. Anderson led the team in hits, triples, total bases, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and multi-hit games.
In the field, he handled 133 of 135 chances for a .985 fielding percentage. Anderson is the first Paladin freshman to earn first team All-SoCon honors since 1979.
GREENVILLE, S.C. (June 7, 2018) – The Furman Paladins’ track & field teams sent a total of five representatives to the 2018 NCAA Track & Field Championships currently underway in Eugene, Oregon.
Senior Frank Lara competed in the men’s 10,000m finals on Wednesday night after finishing 11th with a semifinal time of 29:33.95 in late May. He closed out the year with a 29:42.87 in the finals, good for 15th in the country and second team All-American honors.
On Saturday, senior Allie Buchalski and sophomore Savannah Carnahan will run in the 5,000m finals at 8:25 p.m.
Buchalski’s best time this season is a 15:39.17 that she recorded at the Virginia Challenge. In 2017, she earned All-American recognition as the sixth-place finisher in the event.
Carnahan, posted the ninth-best time in the semis to advance to the finals. Last year, she finished 20th in the event at the NCAA East Preliminaries. Her best mark this season is a 15:49.89 time that she posted at the Raleigh Relays.
The first eight finishers in each event at the NCAA Championships earn All-American honors, while the nine-through 16 finishers earn a spot as second team All-Americans. The 17-24 place finishers garner honorable mention All-American citations.
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 5, 2018) – The Asheville Tourists put up eight runs in the second inning tonight en route to an 11-6 win over the Rome Braves in a South Atlantic League matchup at McCormick Field.
Asheville starter Nick Kennedy benefited from the offensive outburst and earned his first win of the year. Kennedy is up from the Short-Season A Boise Hawks this season and was drafted by the Tourists’ parent, the Colorado Rockies, in the fifth round in 2017 out of the University of Texas.
The lefthander struck out eight Braves in six complete innings of work, while allowing nine hits and five runs. At the plate, Tourists’ righfielder Sean Bouchard went 3-for-5 with four RBIs to pace the home team.
The two teams face each other in the second game of a three-game set on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. (photos / copyright Tom Flynn)
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (June 4, 2018) – The campus of Wake Forest University is located in Winston-Salem, some 100 miles west of the town of Wake Forest. The reason? In 1946, following large donations from a philanthropic foundation established by descendants of R.J. Reynolds, the (then) College decided to relocate to grounds on the estate of the family within the much-larger city. The move was completed a decade later in 1956.
The former Wake Forest College campus is now home to the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. At the time it occurred, the move came as a heavy economic blow to the small town, which grew up around the College and derived its name from it. A silver lining today is a campus and town that, away from the dramatic growth that accompanied the expansion of many institutions within the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), retain much of the character and architecture of a small, historic community.
Pictured here are several shots of historic Gore Gymnasium (now part of the Seminary’s Ledford Center), and some of the 19th century buildings that line the quad. (photos – copyright Tom Flynn)
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (June 2, 2018) – The Asheville City Blues men’s side dropped an NPSL match tonight to Chattanooga FCbefore a reported 2,500 at Asheville Memorial Stadium. Chattanooga (4-2-4) moved out to a 2-0 advantage and withstood a late goal off the foot of Asheville City’s Cameron Saul in the 81st minute to earn the 2-1 victory.
The teams were facing off in the second game of the Blue Ridge Derby, an annual competition between the two clubs for soccer supremacy and city bragging rights. The teams tied earlier this season on May 23 when the Blues traveled to Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium and earned a 1-1 draw.
Chattanooga captured the Blue Ridge Derby “Keg” in 2017 and retains it this year after outscoring ACSC, 3-2, overall. With the loss, the Blues are now 2-2-3 on the season and 2-1-3 in NPSL play. (photos – copyright Tom Flynn)