Photos: Brevard vs. Montreat

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Montreat closed out 2018 with a win over Brevard (photo – T. Flynn)

MONTREAT, N.C. (December 31, 2018) The Brevard Tornados traveled 50 miles northeast to face the Montreat Cavaliers in a matchup of two “Mountain Five” teams on Monday. The hosts came away with a 95-72 victory over the visiting Tornados. 

Montreat’s Austin Butler had 21 points, including three three-pointers. Nicodemus Payne added 18 for Montreat. Freshman Levi Lamb had 18 points to lead the Tornados, while Cannon Lamb added 11. 

With the win, the Cavs close out 2018 with a 9-2 overall record as Brevard fell to 4-6. Montreat returns to host conference rival Bluefield (10-3) on Wednesday, while the Tornados are back on the court on Saturday when they travel to face the USA South’s Methodist (5-7).

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Fieldhouse Weekender, 12.30.2018

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 29 CFP Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl Classic - Clemson v Notre Dame
Clemson defeated Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl on Saturday (photo – Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire)


College Football – Clemson made its preliminary to facing Alabama look like a formality when it defeated Notre Dame, 30-3, in the 83rd Cotton Bowl yesterday. The Tigers will now play the Crimson Tide for the NCAA Division I FBS title for the third time in four years. 

Alabama defeated Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, 45-34, in the other semifinal matchup on Saturday.

True freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence (pictured) was 27-39 for 327 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Tigers past the Irish. On the year, Lawrence has thrown for 27 touchdowns while getting intercepted only four times in his initial college season. 

The championship is set for Monday, January, 7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. It is the first time that both Alabama and Clemson enter the game with perfect 14-0 records. 

Track & Field – As announced previously, “Underdog: Kim Conley & the Making of an Unexpected Olympian” releases on April 1, 2019. Conley continues her quest for the 2020 Olympics on January 26 when she competes in the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston. The last time the runner ran at the event was in 2014 when she captured the 2,000-meter race in the middle leg of a three-peat of convincing indoor wins that winter. She began the 2014 indoor season with a facility-record mile at New York’s century-old Armory and completed her trio at the city’s storied Millrose Games with another facility-record and victory in the 3,000-meters.

“A big part of the draw was how much fun I had during that 2014 indoor circuit. What I ended this fall feeling, was that I really wanted more races under my belt. I’ve missed it so much and I love being out there,” said Conley, who returned from a prolonged 2017-2018 injury cycle earlier this year. “Indoor provides more opportunities to get on the start line and race.” Conley will compete in the 5,000 meters at this year’s event, which will broadcast live on NBC Sports.


Men’s College Basketball The Furman Paladins dropped its second straight game, and first in Southern Conference play, when they fell to ETSU (11-4, 1-1) on Saturday, 79-56. The Paladins return home to Timmons Arena on January 3 to host the SoCon’s Mercer (5-8). 

Among the Mountain Five, Brevard (4-5) will travel to Montreat (8-2) in what should prove a competitive matchup of area teams on Monday. Tip-off is set for 2:00 p.m.

College Track & Field – Area NCAA DI teams first return to the indoor track on January 18, with the Furman Paladins heading to the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville, while the UNCA Bulldogs compete that same day at VMI’s Keydet Invitational. WCU returns to the track the following weekend at VMI’s Team Challenge.


Head to Black Mountain’s Vertical Runner for all your running needs in WNC


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Thank You From Fieldhouse


ASHEVILLE, N.C. (December 22, 2018) – As 2018 comes to a close, I wanted to send a thank you to all those who have followed/subscribed to in its initial year. As our email inboxes become increasingly crowded, I especially appreciate the decision to follow the site. 

Thank you to all the sports organizations (college & professional) who’ve provided invaluable expertise and resources during this first year – the site could not exist without them.

Thank you to the advertisers who’ve gradually been added over the past several months. Your support in the early stages of this modest but important endeavor is invaluable. 

It’s a privilege to serve the WNC-Upstate areas with regional coverage as well as selected national coverage. The opportunity to hear and share stories from people in the community and across the country is the best part of being a journalist.

May everyone have a peaceful and happy holiday season! – Tom

Fieldhouse Weekender, 12.03.2018

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 01 East Carolina at NC State
NC State senior Woody Cornwell celebrates after scoring his first collegiate touchdown Saturday (photo – Icon Sports Wire)


RALEIGH, N.C. (December 3, 2018)  A story that began four years ago ended on the highest of notes for NC State senior quarterback, Woody Cornwell. Cornwell played his high school football at Western North Carolina’s Tuscola High School and walked onto the NC State team in 2014. He redshirted that fall, and in December 2017 received a scholarship for his final season of eligibility.

Cornwell registered his first career statistic when he rushed for three yards on one attempt in a 47-28 win over Florida State on November 3. On Saturday,  Cornwell’s second career rushing attempt was for an 11-yard touchdown in a 58-3 win over Eastern Carolina

“To see Woody Cornell score a touchdown – awesome. We have such a special group of seniors,” said head coach Dave Doeren after the game.

The win helped the Wolfpack finish the season at 9-3 and earn a bid to the Gator Bowl on December 31 in Jacksonville, Florida. They’ll face the SEC’s Texas A&M (8-4).

Jordan Lyons
Furman defeated WCU in double overtime on Saturday (photo – Furman Athletics)

College Basketball This week saw all area men’s basketball teams compete. On Saturday, Western Carolina (2-7) took undefeated Furman (8-0) to double overtime before dropping a 90-88 decision to the Paladins. It was the first double overtime win for Furman since February 1991. Jordan Lyons (pictured) led all scorers with 29 points, including six three-pointers.

Updated records for area teams include:

  • Furman (NCAA DI) (8-0)
  • Western Carolina (NCAA DI) (2-7)
  • UNC Asheville (NCAA DI) (1-6)
  • Montreat (NAIA) (6-2)
  • Mars Hill (NCAA DII) (4-3)
  • Warren Wilson (USCAA) (4-7)
  • Brevard (NCAA DIII) (3-4)
  • Lees-McRae (NCAA DII) (3-6)

Indoor Track Some members of area cross country teams turned their attention to the start of the indoor track season this week. UNC Asheville, Mars Hill, and Lees-McRae all competed in the Appalachian State Open in Boone. Click here for results from the event.

Mars Hill also sent athletes to the Montreat College Indoor Kickoff. Although staged outdoors, the event is considered the opener for the indoor season. Senior Noah Allison of Mars Hill won the men’s 5,000m run with a 15:10.74 time. Click here for full results.


Available via Amazon on April 1: “Underdog”

Kim Conley Underdog October31

Fieldhouse Report, 11.27.2018

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 24 Illinois at Northwestern
Northwestern Wildcats wide receiver Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman (81) gets upended against Illinois on Saturday (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire)


The Northwestern Wildcats (8-4) will look for the upset this weekend when they face Ohio State (10-1) in the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. For Northwestern, the game is their first visit to the conference championship game and they would earn an automatic Rose Bowl berth with a victory. The Wildcats last won the Big Ten title in 2000, prior to the annual championship game. 

Senior Clayton Thorson will be under center for Northwestern and has started more games than any quarterback in Big Ten history.  Asheville High School‘s all-time sack leader, Andrew Leota (53, above), is a freshman defensive lineman for the Wildcats. The game is scheduled for an 8:00 p.m. kickoff and will be broadcast live by Fox Sports.

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UNCA’s Senora Dengokl brings the ball upcourt against Tennessee (photo – UNCA Athletics)


College Basketball  – UNCA’s Senora Dengokl was named the Big South’s player of the week last week after averaging 17 points per game in wins over Davidson and Wofford. It was the first such honor for Dengokl, who is shooting 50% from the field and 72% from the free-throw line through five games this season.

The Bulldogs are 3-2 overall. Records for area women’s teams this season to date include:

  • Furman (NCAA DI) (2-3)
  • WCU (NCAA DI) (1-7)
  • Brevard (NCAA DIII) (2-1)
  • Lees-McRae (NCAA DII) (3-3)
  • Montreat (NAIA) (4-4)
  • Mars Hill (NCAA DII) (1-2)
  • Warren Wilson (USCAA) (1-7)

College Soccer – Closing out fall soccer coverage, Brevard seniors Ashley Hughes and Caroline David earned NCCSIA All-State honors. Hughes set the Tornados’ NCAA-era single-season goals record with 19 this fall and totaled 41 points, another Brevard NCAA-era record. David set records for single-season and career assists.


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Fieldhouse Weekender, 11.18.2018

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 17 Yale at Harvard
Harvard hosted Yale on Saturday at Boston’s Fenway Park (photo – Icon Sportswire)


Two weeks ago, Asheville held its version of “The Game” at the high school level when Asheville School faced Christ School for the 92nd time. On Saturday, the original version pitting Harvard against Yale was staged for the 135th time. This year’s game was held at Fenway Park, home of the current world champion Boston Red Sox

Harvard (6-4) defeated the Bulldogs (5-5), 45-27, before 34,675 fans at the century-old ballpark. Crimson quarterback Tom Stewart threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns to lead Harvard to the win. The game concluded the season for both teams.

Yale v Harvard
The Harvard Crimson and the Yale Bulldogs shake hands after Saturday’s game. (photo – Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)


College Football – The Brevard Tornados (NCAA DIII) ended their 2018 season on a high note with a 46-10 win over Allen University in Brevard. Dalton Cole, a Hendersonville native who attended West Henderson High School, threw for 1,847 yards and 20 touchdowns in his freshman year. The Tornados (4-6) won four games for the second consecutive season after winning a total of two games during the 2014-2016 seasons.

Mars Hill (NCAA DII) finished its season with an identical 4-6 mark. The Lions closed out the year with consecutive victories, including Saturday’s 21-17 win over Newberry. Erwin product Austin Brown was under center for Mars Hill this season and passed for 2,137 yards and 18 touchdowns and added 354 rushing yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

The Western Carolina Catamounts dropped a 49-26 to UNC (2-8) on Saturday to end their 2018 season. Quarterback Tyrie Adams rushed for 151 yards and two scores while passing for 290 yards. Adams rushed for 1,215 yards and passed for 2,417 yards for WCU (3-8) this season and should be in line for postseason honors. Erwin graduate Mitchell Chancey had 135 tackles on the year, good for fifth in the country at the FCS level and tops in the Southern Conference. 

While their 2019 schedule isn’t yet fully finalized, the Catamounts will play NC State (September 7) and Alabama (November 23) on the road next season.

Furman (6-4) defeated Mercer (5-6) on Saturday, 35-30, behind five touchdown strikes from senior Harris Roberts. The win puts the Paladins in a three-way tie for the Southern Conference title with Wofford and ETSU. Wofford (8-3) earned the conference’s automatic qualifier to the FCS postseason, while Furman and ETSU (8-3) must wait to see if they receive an at-large bid on Sunday.

Asheville School Football
Junior Chris Hemphill helped lead the Blues to a 7-5 mark in 2018 (photo – T. Flynn)

Asheville School fell in the NCISAA Division III state championship game against Victory Christian Academy (11-1), 39-8, on Friday in Fayetteville. The Blues finished 2018 with a 7-5 mark. The seven wins were the most for the team since 2011, when they went 10-3. 

Next: Basketball and Cross Country updates in this week’s Fieldhouse Report.


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Prep Sports Report, 11.10.2018

Asheville School Football Chris Hemphill Asheville Football
Chris Hemphill, shown here against Christ School, had 262 yards rushing on Friday (photo Blake Madden/A.S.)

ASHEVILLE, N.C (November 10, 2018) – In area prep football on Friday, Asheville School defeated SouthLake Christian Academy (7-5) at home by a final score of 33-28. The game was an NCISAA Division III semifinal and propels the Blues (7-4) to the divisional championship game on November 16 on the road against Fayetteville’s Village Christian Academy. Village Christian (10-1) advanced to the championship with a 49-14 victory over Harrell’s Christian Academy (5-5) in the division’s other semifinal on Friday

Leading Asheville School to the win was senior signal-caller, Chris Hemphill. Hemphill rushed for 262 yards and four touchdowns. Fellow senior Titus Morrison had the Blues’ other score and rushed for 94 yards on the ground. Running back/outside backer Uchenna Ikwuakor ran for an even 100 yards. Offensively, the Blues compiled 439 yards of offense, all on the ground.

Christ School Football
The Greenies, shown here in the 2018 version of ‘The Game’, fell to Charlotte Christian on Friday (photo – Christ School)

In the other Friday night playoff game, Christ School fell to Charlotte Christian, 43-14, in the NCISAA Division I championship game in Charlotte. Charlotte Christian is the defending DI champion and concludes their season with a perfect 11-0 mark. Their last loss was on August 18, 2017 and they’ve won 21 straight games. 

The Greenies closed out their 2018 season with a 10-2 mark – check back for final stats and notes from their fall campaign. 

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Photos: The Carolinas’ Oldest Prep Rivalry

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Asheville School traveled to Christ School for the 92nd meeting of the two teams (photos  Blake Madden/A.S.)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (October 30, 2018) – On Saturday, Asheville School faced Christ School in Arden in the area’s prep version of “The Game.” It was the 92nd time the two teams have faced each other, making it the oldest high school rivalry in the Carolinas. This year, Christ School (9-1) captured a convincing 48-0 home win.

Senior Keyvaunn Cobb paced the Christ School attack with 113 yards rushing and two touchdowns. The Greenies’ standout quarterback Navy Shuler was 17-27 through the air with two touchdown strikes. The Blues were limited offensively and were led defensively by outside linebacker, Uchenna Ikwuakor. The senior backer led the team with nine total tackles and has 85 stops, including three sacks, on the season.

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The two schools play in different divisions of the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA) but meet annually in continuing the storied rivalry. The Greenies are members of the NCISAA’s Division I, while the Blues compete in the primarily smaller school Division III ranks.

The first game between the rivals was held in 1911, and they have faced each other every year since 1933. The Blues lead the all-time series, 50-38-4. The teams battle annually for the Arbogast-Fayssoux trophy, named for former football coaches at Asheville School (B.H. Arbogast) and Christ School (Richard Fayssoux), respectively.

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Both teams have the postseason in their 2018 plans. On Friday, the third-seeded Greenies travel to Trinity Christian (9-0) in Fayetteville for the opening round of the Division I playoffs. The game is also the divisional semifinals, with the winner advancing to the championship on November 9.

madden-7719Asheville School Sidelines

The Blues have a bye week, and then will host the winner of SouthLake Christian Academy (6-4) and Hickory Grove Christian (2-7) on November 9 at Arbogast Field in the divisional semifinals. The Blues defeated SouthLake Christian, 34-12, on September 13 and Hickory Grove Christian, 55-0, on September 28.


For the complete brackets for both schools, click here. Check back next week for updates on their playoff progress.


More football from Fieldhouse’s Tom Flynn (Wall Street Journal)

Photos: Furman vs. WCU

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WCU dropped a 1-0 decision to Furman on Saturday (photo  Tom Flynn)

Cullowhee, N.C. (October 28, 2018)  – Last night, the Furman Paladins parlayed a first-half goal into a  1-0 Southern Conference quarterfinals road victory over Western Carolina. An Isabelle Gutierrez header found its mark off a feed from Erin Houlihan in the game’s 27th minute to put the #5-seeded Paladins ahead. 

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“Western Carolina is always a tough place to win, but Kellsey [Weaver] made some big saves to keep us in the match early and we were able to score a nice goal,” said Paladin head coach Andrew Burr in a postgame release. “There’s no doubt we’re excited to be playing into November and we will be prepared for next Friday.”

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The Catamounts were thwarted by seven saves from Weaver. They had a total of fifteen shots, with eight on goal. Jacquelin Gnassi had four saves for WCU as the Catamounts concluded their season with an 8-8-2 record after going 9-10-2 in 2018.

Furman (11-6) advances to face top-seeded Samford (12-5-1) in the SoCon semifinals in Macon, Georgia on Friday at 4:00 p.m. The Bulldogs defeated ninth-seeded Citadel (9-10) on Saturday to advance.

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Next: Fieldhouse Weekender

Fieldhouse Report, 10.24.2018

UNCA Asheville Bulldogs Mens Soccer Asheville
UNCA’s Austin Howard (photo – UNCA Athletics)


ASHEVILLE, N.C. (October 24, 2018) – College Soccer The Big South’s UNCA Bulldogs picked up a 1-0 win over the Southern Conference’s VMI on October 20. Junior midfielder Austin Howard (pictured), a graduate of Asheville’s Carolina Day, scored what would prove the game-winner just ten minutes into the contest. The Bulldogs (2-11-2) outshot the Keydets, 14-8, and put three shots on goal. VMI fell to 1-14-1 with the loss.

UNCA travels to face the Big South’s Campbell (6-7-1) on Saturday and hosts conference rival Gardner-Webb (3-9-1) on Wednesday, October 31 at 6:00 p.m. at Greenwood Field. The game will conclude the 2018 season for the Bulldogs.

Check back this week for a snapshot of all area college soccer teams as the postseason approaches.

College Cross Country – The Bulldogs’ cross country teams head to the Big South Conference Championships in High Point, North Carolina on Friday, October 26. The UNCA women’s side will be paced by three-time conference runner of the week, Clara Wincheski.

The NCAA’s Division I Regional Championships are held on November 9 in Rock Hill, South Carolina this season. Rock Hill is home to the Big South’s Winthrop

Montreat’s Lydia Wilson continued to prove herself the area’s top runner at the college level when she placed seventh out of 293 runners at the USC-Beaufort Sand Shark Invitational this past Saturday in Hardeeville, South Carolina.

College Football It was a long weekend on the gridiron regionally as Brevard (1-5), Furman (2-4), Mars Hill (2-6), and Western Carolina (3-4) all fell in conference games last Saturday.

The Catamounts head to nearby Johnson City, Tennessee to face the ETSU Bucs (6-2) this weekend for the inaugural “Blue Ridge Border Battle.” The two teams have faced each other 47 times dating back to 1932, with WCU holding a narrow 24-22-1 advantage. This year’s game will be the first time the rivalry bears the newly-minted moniker.

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Greenville celebrates after an early season goal (photo – Greenville Swamp Rabbits)

Pro Hockey – The Greenville (S.C.) Swamp Rabbits are the area’s sole hockey entry.  The team is out of the gate at 1-3 in the 27-team ECHL, a 30-year-old circuit one competitive rung below the American Hockey League (AHL), and two rungs beneath the NHL. Greenville was an affiliate of the New York Rangers in 2017-2018 but entered this season as an unaffiliated franchise.

The Swamp Rabbits play their home games at Greenville’s Bon Secours Wellness Arena and return there on October 27 to host Atlanta. The arena is just over an hour by car from Asheville.  


More hockey from Fieldhouse’s Tom Flynn (Wall Street Journal, Blue Ridge Outdoors)