Books: From Boxing Ring to Battlefield

(Image – Rowman & Littlefield)

Native Texan Lew Jenkins was many things during a life that spanned from 1916 to 1981 and in the aggregate they don’t readily yield a label, description, or #hashtag. Most often they stand in sharp contrast.

He was one of boxing history’s hardest punchers and for a short period during the 1940s was the lightweight champion of the world. He also didn’t train properly, was a drunkard, a reckless daredevil, and a poor husband during his first marriage.

Overlay those descriptions with those of a soldier who served with distinction in World War II and was a decorated war hero during the Korean War. Then top it with images of a caring father and husband later in life who ultimately drew his greatest strength from the overwhelming desire to serve alongside common men in their direst moments.

Then you have some small glimpse into Jenkins. 

It is likely no coincidence then that a biography of the fighter was left unwritten for decades, and it is a credit to author and boxing historian Gene Pantalone that he takes on the daunting task in his entertaining and even-handed “From Boxing Ring to Battlefield: The Life of War Hero Lew Jenkins.”   

Pantalone is a first-rate researcher, enabling him to depict scenes that could not vary more wildly in content from Jenkins’ early fights in backwater Texas venues to lethal battles in Korea’s Haean-Myon Valley near today’s Demilitarized Zone. He describes the emotion and technique of a 1940s New York City title match with the same skill as the even more challenging nuances of 1950s land-based warfare.

The book is concisely written, as Jenkins’ life undoubtedly provided more than ample material to lead an unskilled author into the narrative equivalent of a roadside ditch. In truth, it provided far more ditches than it did level road. 

Pantalone unflinchingly stays the course and illuminates a life that is only to be believed in the reading. – TF


Footer for Fieldhouse Asheville

Fieldhouse Report, 12.12.2018

0001 Free Throw
Jimeshia Lawson follows through on one of 12 points Tuesday (photo – T. Flynn)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (December 12, 2018) The UNCA Bulldogs women’s basketball team saw a 17-point lead disappear against East Tennessee on Tuesday night. They then went on to win a thrilling game at Kimmel Arena, 56-55.   

Guard Zip Scott hit the game-winner with 23 seconds left in the contest. The senior drove right initially, then came back left before putting up a runner that gave the Bulldogs the one-point lead.

0001 UNC Basketball.jpg

ETSU (1-11, 0-0) immediately called a timeout, and with five seconds left the Bucs’ Erica Haynes-Overton was called for an offensive foul and the ball reverted to the Bulldogs. UNCA (5-3, 0-0) then stepped on the line trying to inbound the ball following the foul, and ETSU had a last-gasp effort that ended when Ali Trani came up with a loose ball for UNCA to effectively close out the win.

0001 Courside.jpg

“For us to go through all that, lose the lead, and still come out with this outcome is tremendous,” said head coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. “Exciting game. I’m really pleased with the kids. I know I’ll look at the film and see a lot of things we can improve upon, but in terms of the intangibles of having that resiliency at the end, I’m proud of them.” 

0001 Coty Jude
UNCA’s Coty Jude against WCU on December 8 (photo – T. Flynn)

Men’s College Basketball – Coty Jude was named the Big South’s Freshman of the Week on Monday. Jude averaged 13 ppg and shot 47% from the field and 100% from the charity stripe last week. Jude is one of four freshmen that start for the Bulldogs, who return home on December 21 to host Johnson City’s Milligan College (7-5). 

Records for area men’s basketball teams as of today include:

NCAA Division I:

  • Furman (#23) (Southern) (11-0, 1-0)
  • Western Carolina (Southern) (3-8, 0-1)
  • UNC Asheville (Big South) (1-8, 0-0) 

Mountain Five:

  • Montreat (NAIA DII) (#25) (7-2, 6-1)
  • Mars Hill (NCAA DII) (5-3, 0-1)
  • Brevard (NCAA DIII) (4-4, 1-1)
  • Warren Wilson (USCAA DII) (6-8, 2-1) 
  • Lees-McRae (NCAA DII) (3-7, 0-2)


Gracious Food. Southern Roots.

Tupelo Honey Three

Photos: Army Vs. Navy 2018

  Army celebrated its third-straight win against the Navy Midshipmen on Saturday (all photos – Icon Sports Wire*)

PHILADELPHIA – The tides have officially turned against Navy in the annual Army-Navy football game, as the Black Knights earned a 17-10 victory over the Midshipmen in Philadelphia on Saturday. It was the third-straight victory for West Point over their Annapolis counterparts. Prior to the three wins, Navy rattled off 14-straight victories against Army, the most in a row in the 119-game rivalry that dates back to 1890 and has been held every year since 1930.

The Black Knights never trailed, and a fourth-quarter touchdown run from Charlotte’s Kelvin Hopkins, Jr. (pictured above) ultimately proved the difference-maker. The quarterback threw for 61 yards in limited attempts, as well as running for 64 yards and two touchdowns.


The game concluded a disappointing season for the Midshipmen, who finished 3-10 after going 7-6 in 2017 and capturing a Military Bowl victory over the ACC’s Virginia.

Across the field, Army finished the regular season at 10-2. Their two defeats included a narrow 28-21 overtime loss to Oklahoma, who will face #1 Alabama on December 29 in the Orange Bowl as part of the four-team FBS playoffs. The Black Knights will play Houston (8-4) in the Armed Forces Bowl on December 22. Last year they finished 10-3 after a victory over San Diego State in the same bowl game.


*(photos 1-4 Gavin Baker, #5 Mark Goldman, #6 Andy Lewis)  

Next: Fieldhouse Report


Available via Amazon on April 1: “Underdog”

Kim Conley Underdog October31

Fieldhouse Weekender, 12.09.2018

00001 Halvorson
WCU guard Matt Halvorsen posted 14 against UNCA (photo – T. Flynn)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (December 9, 2018) – The Western Carolina Catamounts defeated UNCA at Kimmel Arena on Saturday, 71-59. For WCU, the non-conference victory moved the team to 3-8 on the season. 

WCU surged out to a 16-2 lead to open the game and took a 41-21 lead into the halftime break. In the second half, the Bulldogs improved defensively in the post and outscored the visitors, 38-30. Freshman Coty Jude had 18 points for UNCA (1-8) on the night and added three rebounds, two steals, and a block. The Catamounts were led by 15 points from freshman guard, Kameron Gibson.

Asheville UNCA Basketball WCU Basketball WCU Paladins Southern Conference Big South
UNCA’s Coty Jude led all scorers with 18 points on Saturday (photo – T. Flynn)

To the south, the #25 Furman Paladins became the first Southern Conference team to start out 10-0 since 1963-64. Furman defeated USC Upstate (2-8) at Timmons Arena on Saturday to remain undefeated. The Spartans led by four at the half, but Furman outscored the hosts by eighteen in the second half to secure the win, 74-60. For the Paladins it was their 17th win in their last 18 games dating back to last season.

Brevard College Basketball
Brevard head coach Donald Hudson speaks with his team during a November 28 game (photo –  BC/Thomas Kennedy)

In women’s basketball, the Brevard Tornados split two games over the weekend. On Saturday, they defeated Agnes Scott (Ga.) (0-7) of the USA South, 52-41. Senior Annalee Bollinger topped all scorers with 17 points. 

On Sunday, they dropped a 73-55 decision to conference rival Huntingdon (Ala.), 73-55. The Hawks are winners of five straight and are atop the USA South’s West Division with a 3-0 record in league play.   

Bollinger leads Brevard (6-3, 2-2) this season with 14.7 points per outing. The Tornados return to the court this Saturday to host Piedmont (Ga.) (7-3) at Boshamer Gym. 


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

image (1)


Fieldhouse Basketball Report, 12.07.2018

0001 Tipoff Montreat College B&W
Montreat’s Cayleigh Raby goes up for the tip (photo – MC/Codie Kunstmann)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (December 7, 2018) – Weather will have the final word this weekend on area games, as many are already postponed in anticipation of snow/ice. Some remain on the schedule, including the weekend’s first action when Brevard’s men’s team hosts Averett (Va.) this evening at 7:30 p.m at Boshamer Gymnasium

The top men’s matchup between area teams is at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday at Asheville’s Kimmel Arena, when the Bulldogs host the WCU Catamounts in the 52nd meeting of the two Western North Carolina rivals. The only women’s home game on the calendar is in Greenville, where the Paladins host Gardner-Webb in their Big South opener on Saturday.

Here’s a look at all of the region’s teams, their records, and their upcoming games. For simplicity, and in homage to Philadelphia’s storied Big 5, the five non-DI teams in the greater-Asheville area will be referred to collectively as the Mountain Five going forward.

Women’s NCAA Division I:

  • UNC Asheville (Big South) (4-3, 0-0) (Dec. 11 at ETSU)
  • Furman (Southern) (4-4, 0-0)(Dec. 8 vs. Gardner Webb – 2:00 p.m.
  • Western Carolina (Southern) (2-8, 0-0)(Dec. 18 at Kentucky)

Women’s Mountain Five:

  • Brevard (NCAA DIII) (5-2, 1-1) (Dec. 8 at Agnes Scott – 2:00 p.m.)
  • Lees-McRae (NCAA DII) (4-4, 1-1) (at Mt. Olive, postponed)
  • Montreat (NAIA DII) (5-6, 4-4) (at Allen University, postponed)
  • Warren Wilson (USCAA DII) (3-9, 1-0) (Dec. 7 at Piedmont Int. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Mars Hill (NCAA DII) (1-4, 0-1) (vs. Coker, postponed
Lees McRae Basketball 2018
Lees-McRae freshman Jonathan Webb (photo – LM Athletics)

Men’s NCAA Division I:

  • Furman (Southern) (9-0, 1-0) (Dec. 8 at USC Upstate – 4:30 p.m.)
  • Western Carolina (Southern) (2-8, 0-1) (Dec. 8 at UNC Asheville – 1:00 p.m.)
  • UNC Asheville (Big South) (1-7, 0-0) (Dec 8. vs. WCU – 1:00 p.m.)

Men’s Mountain Five:

  • Montreat (NAIA DII) (7-2, 6-1) (at Allen University, postponed)
  • Mars Hill (NCAA DII) (4-3, 0-1) (vs. Coker, postponed)
  • Warren Wilson (USCAA DII) (5-7, 3-1) (Dec. 8 at Trinity Baptist (Fla.))
  • Brevard (NCAA DIII) (3-4, 0-1) (Dec. 7 vs. Averett – 7:30 p.m.)
  • Lees-McRae (NCAA DII) (3-7, 0-2) (at Mount Olive, postponed)


Visit Hi-Wire Brewing, now with a third location in Durham


Fieldhouse Report, 12.05.2018

Mars Hill Basketball
Mars Hill’s Mariah Johnson brings the ball upcourt against Warren Wilson (photo – Mars Hill Athletics)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (December 5, 2018) – Last week two area DI women’s basketball teams squared off when UNCA traveled to Greenville to face Furman. The Paladins prevailed, 57-48, behind 17 points from guard Taylor Perry. The win took Furman to .500 on the season at 3-3.

Brevard leads the region’s women’s teams with a 5-1 mark through six games. The Tornados have won three straight, and face Maryville (Tenn.) this evening on the road. Brevard is led by head coach Donald Hudson, a former Tornado football and basketball player who graduated in 2011. 

In a matchup of area college teams on November 26, Lees-McRae hosted and defeated Montreat, 92-73, in Banner Elk. Warren Wilson put together back-to-back wins this week over Toccoa Falls (Ga.) and Johnson & Wales (N.C.) to move to 3-7. Senior point guard Danasia Dumas leads all area scorers with a 24.3 ppg average.

Updated records for area teams include:

  • UNCA (NCAA DI) (4-3)
  • Furman (NCAA DI) (3-3)
  • WCU (NCAA DI) (1-8)
  • Brevard (NCAA DIII) (5-1)
  • Montreat (NAIA) (5-5)
  • Lees-McRae (NCAA DII) (3-4)
  • Warren Wilson (USCAA) (3-7)
  • Mars Hill (NCAA DII) (1-4)
Furman Basketball Furman Paladins Furman Basketball Ranked
Furman, shown here during a timeout against UNCA, is ranked 25th nationally (photo – T. Flynn)

Men’s College Basketball  The Furman Paladins are 9-0 to date and broke into the AP Top-25 poll at the 25 spot on Monday. It is the first time Furman has ever earned a spot in the AP Poll, which began in the 1948-1949 season. The Paladins’ basketball program began play in 1908 and joined the Southern Conference in 1938. 


Gracious Food. Southern Roots.

Tupelo Honey Three

Footer for Fieldhouse Asheville

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.

SonoraDengokl (2)
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.


Gracious Food. Southern Roots.

Cafe Logo (1)

Photos: UNCA Vs. Furman

00001 Asheville Bulldogs Asheville Furman
UNCA warms up prior to Sunday’s game against Furman (photos – Tom Flynn)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (November 26, 2018) – On Sunday, the Furman Paladins improved upon their best start in program history when they defeated the UNCA Bulldogs, 65-51, at Kimmel Arena

The Bulldogs’ starting lineup included four freshmen and a sophomore, and a more-experienced Furman (7-0) team took a 38-22 advantage into halftime. In the second half, UNCA (1-5) outscored the Paladins by a basket.

“I don’t think we made a ton of adjustments [at halftime], I just thought our guys played a little bit smarter.  It all boils down to turnovers. We didn’t give them the ball as much in the second half as we did in the first half,” said UNCA head coach Mike Morrell after the game. “When you do that, you have the ability to set your defense and you’re not scrambling as much on the other end.”

The Paladins were led by Matt Rafferty’s 20 points. The senior also had 11 rebounds, five assists, a steal, and a block. The Bulldogs were paced by 14 points from freshman guard Tajion Jones. Fellow freshman Cress Worthy added 10 points and led the Bulldogs with six rebounds.

0004 Matt Rafferty Furman Paladins

With the win, the Paladins remained undefeated on the season and have victories over Villanova and Loyola Chicago on their 2018 resumé. They will play their first Southern Conference game on Saturday when they host Western Carolina (2-5) at Timmons Arena.

The Bulldogs travel to face UT Martin (4-2) in a non-conference match on Saturday in Martin, Tennessee. Their Big South Conference games begin in early January.

0004 MidCourt UNCA0004UNCA Bulldogs Basketball Mike MorrellLyons Furman Basketball Furman PaladinsJude UNCARafferty



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

image (1)



Fieldhouse Report, 11.22.2018

Furman defeated Villanova on November 17 (photo – Furman University)

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (November 22, 2018)   On November, the Furman Paladins registered the biggest win by any basketball team in the region when they defeated the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats, 76-68, in overtime. Matt Rafferty (pictured) had 17 rebounds and 15 points for the Paladins. 

They followed that up on Wednesday with a win over Southern Wesleyan (0-5) to move to 6-0 for the first time in program history. Furman turns its sights north toward UNC Asheville (1-4) when it faces the Bulldogs on Sunday, November 25 at Kimmel Arena at 4:00 p.m. 

Mars Hill senior Jackson Vernon (photo – Mars Hill University)

The Mars Hill Lions are vying to be this year’s turnaround story as they are out of the gate at 3-2 after last year finishing at 4-24. 

They’re led on the scorer’s sheet by Ja’Shawn Brooks (pictured) who is averaging just under 20 points per game through five outings. Brooks had 31 against Warren Wilson in the Lions most recent win on November 20. The squad has rattled off three straight after starting off the season 0-2. They travel to face Division I Wofford (3-2) this Friday in their toughest test of the 2018 campaign. 

The Lions’ Ja’Shawn Brooks pulls up for a jumper against Regent (photo – Mars Hill Athletics)

Among the area’s non-Division I schools, Montreat paces the pack with a perfect 6-0 record to start the 2018 season. The Cavaliers are already five games into their AAC conference schedule and have won all five outings. 

Teams & Records (2017 record in parenthesis)

  • Furman 6-0 (NCAA DI) (2017- 23-10)
  • UNCA 1-4 (NCAA DI) (21-13)
  • WCU 1-4 (NCAA DI) (12-16)
  • Montreat 6-0 (NAIA) (21-10)
  • Mars Hill 3-2 (NCAA DII) (4-24)
  • Warren Wilson 3-5 (USCAA DII) (16-14)
  • Brevard 2-3 (NCAA DIII) (4-18)
  • Lees-McRae 2-3 (NCAA DII) (23-9)

Cross Country – This year’s fall cross country season produced several collegiate All-Americans. Foremost among them was Furman’s Aaron Templeton, who finished fifth overall in the NCAA National Championships to claim first-team All-American honors. Fellow Paladin Savannah Carnahan finished 20th overall to earn a place as an honorable mention All-American.

In the colleges, Montreat’s Lydia Wilson earned second-team All-American honors at the NAIA Nationals in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It was the first time in the history of the Cavaliers’ men’s and women’s program that a cross-country runner earned All-American recognition. Warren Wilson’s Julian Rohn-Capellaro earned second-team All-American honors for the Owls at the USCAA Nationals on November 9 in Virginia Beach.

History – This article in the November 14, 1899 Asheville Daily Gazette hyped the upcoming Thanksgiving football game pitting Bingham Military School, which closed in 1928, against an assemblage of Asheville-area players.

ASheville November 14, 1899 -

*Happy Thanksgiving to all our Fieldhouse readers. Thank you for helping us get off to a great start in 2018*


Gracious Food. Southern Roots.

Tupelo Honey Three

Footer for Fieldhouse Asheville