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.


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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.

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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.

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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

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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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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)

Fieldhouse Men’s Soccer Update, 10.20.2018

Lees McRae Soccer Pol Vassert
Lees-McRae’s Pol Vassart (photo – Gerry Wall/LMC Athletics)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (October 20, 2018) – Furman has nine wins through 14 games this fall, best among men’s college soccer teams in the region. The Paladins (9-4-1) are 3-0 in Southern Conference play with three games remaining. Furman advanced to the SoCon semifinals last year while going 12-5-3 overall and are currently tied with Mercer atop the league standings.

Among the non-NCAA Division I ranks, Lees-McRae and Mars Hill have identical 6-5-2 records. The two teams faced each other on September 5, with the Lions capturing a convincing 5-1 victory over the Bobcats. The Bobcats’ Pol Vassart leads all area scorers with 13 goals and eight assists, good for 34 points. He’s also the leading scorer in the 11-team Conference Carolinas.

Montreat looks to make the NAIA’s Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) playoffs and is currently eighth in the 11-team league. The top six teams advance to the quarterfinals, with the seven-through-10 seeds playing a play-in first round game.

Brevard is transitioning into the NCAA’s Division III and is ineligible for the postseason this year. The Tornados conclude their 2018 season on October 27 against Piedmont International (N.C.) (3-8). Warren Wilson concludes its season on October 28 against Johnson & Wales – Charlotte (8-1) at home in Swannanoa.

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More soccer from Fieldhouse’s Tom Flynn (Black Mountain News, Citizen-Times)

Fieldhouse Report, 10.16.2018

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The 2018 NYC Marathon will again be preceded by the USATF 5K Championship (photo – NYRR)


Running – As the 2018 NYC Marathon approaches on Sunday, November 4, the city’s calendar will begin to fill with events leading up to the race. The annual “Dash to the Finish” 5k is staged the day before the marathon and will again serve as the USATF National Championship at the distance. 

Asheville-area running fans can watch the NYC Marathon on WLOS-ABC 13 on November 4 at 9:00 a.m. Check back for the November 3 broadcast start time for the 5K Championship on NBCSN. 

Austin Browns Mars Hill College Football
Asheville’s Austin Brown (11) leads Mars Hill (photo – Mars Hill Athletics)


College Football – Austin Brown (pictured) is a graduate of Asheville’s Erwin High School and currently directs the NCAA DII Mars Hill Lions from under center in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC). The lefty has the Lions leading the conference in overall passing and against Limestone on September 29 threw for 371 yards and tied a school record with six touchdown passes. 

The Lions (2-5) return to the gridiron on Saturday to face Wingate (4-3) on the road. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3. 

WNC Women's College Soccer

Women’s College Soccer – The WCU Catamounts are 3-4 to date in the 10-team Southern Conference and currently in seventh place in the league. In their final two regular-season games they’ll strive to move up a place in the standings as the league’s top six teams earn a spot in the conference quarterfinals, while the bottom four must compete in an additional play-in game. Last year, the Catamounts advanced to the SoCon final before falling to UNCG. (photo  – Ashley Evans, WCU Athletics) 

UNC Asheville Baseball Fall 2018
UNCA’s Chris Troost batting against Georgia (photo UNCA Athletics)

College Baseball – The UNC Asheville Bulldogs faced the Georgia Bulldogs of the SEC in a special 14-inning fall exhibition in Athens, Georgia on Sunday. Eight of the last ten College World Series champions have come from the SEC (5) or PAC-12 (3). Georgia was the #4 team in the country last year. 

“We told our guys that there were a lot of positive takeaways from today,” said UNCA head coach, Scott Friedholm. “One of the biggest aspects was having our younger guys play in a tough SEC environment and in front of a great crowd for a fall game.”  

College Cross Country – Montreat’s Lydia Wilson continued to prove herself as one of the top cross-country runners in the region as she finished 14th in a field of 413 runners at the Queens Royals Challenge on October 12 in Charlotte. The sophomore set a cross-country PR (17:45) at the 5k distance in the process and also broke the school record. 

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Preps  See last week’s Black Mountain News for an article on the rarest of three-of-a-kinds on the gridiron for the Owen High School Warhorses. (photo Tom Flynn)


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Fieldhouse Weekender, 10.07.2018

Furman Templeton
Furman’s Aaron Templeton (photo – Furman Athletics)


College Cross Country – Furman’s Aaron Templeton was named the Southern Conference men’s cross country runner of the week on October 3. Templeton finished fourth overall out of 142 runners at Notre Dame’s Joe Paine Invitational to earn the honor.

In his first race of the season, Templeton helped the Paladins to finish fourth overall in the 17-team field. Furman races this upcoming weekend at the Queen City Royals Challenge in Charlotte on October 12 and at the Pre-NCAA Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin on October 13.

College Football – Western Carolina (3-2) had a long game on Saturday, dropping a 66-28 decision on the road to Samford. Furman (1-3) had an open week, while at the NCAA DII level Mars Hill (2-4) fell to Tusculum (3-2), 31-28.

Brevard (1-3) picked up the region’s sole win on the gridiron on Saturday, with a 41-36 victory over Methodist (1-3) Check back for details on the games.

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WWC celebrates a goal at home earlier this season (photo – WWC) 

College Soccer  This week’s Black Mountain News includes an article on Lydia Vandenbergh, a former Clemson standout and current player-owner of the Asheville City Blues women’s soccer team. She’s also the head coach of the Warren Wilson College Owls, and has the team off to its best start in recent years. Click here for the full story


Owen High School Football
Black Mountain’s Owen High School football field (photo – Tom Flynn)


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