Carson-Newman College senior center Kevin Day from Soddy-Daisy is one of eight finalists for the Upshaw Award given annually to the top lineman in NCAA Division II football. One of the other finalists is tackle Ryan Schraeder from Valdosta State, which hosts Carson-Newman in a playoff quarterfinal Saturday. The only defensive lineman in the group is David Bass of Missouri Western State, who has 39.5 career sacks and 52.5 tackles for loss. Day is undersized at 6-foot and 270 pounds, but his Eagles lead Division II with 380 yards per game and all NCAA divisions with 50 rushing touchdowns. "It shows a lot about how good our coaches are," Day said in a Carson-Newman release. "We've accepted the fact that we're never going to have the inches, pounds or have the split-seconds over anyone else. Yet our coaches continue to put us in a position to be successful. It's just up to us to execute." The Upshaw Award winner will be announced on Dec. 17. The winner is guaranteed a spot in the East/West Shrine Game set for Jan. 19 at St. Petersburg, Fla.
• Ninth-seeded Lee University battled fourth seed Biola University to the end but lost 3-2 in their pool-play showdown Thursday in the NAIA national volleyball tournament at Sioux City, Iowa, after both had clinched spots in the single-elimination championship round that starts today. The set scores were 25-18, 22-25, 25-18, 15-25, 17-15. Irene Ojukwu had 19 kills and 13 digs, Camil Martinez had 45 assists and 15 digs and Libby Peigen made 25 digs for Lee (30-10), which got 12 kills from Paula Martins and 10 apiece from Nicole Sumida and Marija Zelenovic. For Biola (30-4), Christine Douglas and Chelsee Arnitz had 16 and 15 kills and Gracee Gallarda had 53 assists and 17 digs. Gallarda assisted Arnitz and then Douglas on the points after a 15-all tie in the final set.
• Carson-Newman junior Ish Sanders from Cleveland High School scored 24 points with 6-of-11 3-point shooting and added seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and no turnovers in the Eagles' 81-62 win Wednesday night at Jefferson City, Tenn., in their South Atlantic Conference opener. They are 5-0 overall. Cody Henegar from Marion County scored eight points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.
• UTC assistant men's basketball coach Brent Jolly will be the guest speaker for the Mocs Club's "Breakfast With the Coach" this Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at Wally's Restaurant on McCallie Avenue. The public is invited; reservations are not required.
• Alabama senior soccer defender Josie Rix, a Signal Mountain resident and GPS graduate, was named to the Southeastern Conference Community Service team for 2012. Rix was cited for work in Tuscaloosa as well as the Chattanooga area, including service with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Kids on the Block, Project Angel Tree, Habitat for Humanity, a magnet school Magic Festival, the Halloween Extravaganze and soup-kitchen help. She had 40 starts in her 55-game Crimson Tide career and was part of 31 wins, 12 shutouts and seven games allowing one goal.
• Tennessee Temple University women's soccer coach Emmanuel Awotula recently signed two players from Warren County High School: goalkeeper Lyndi Dodd and center midfielder Kimberly Warden. The McMinnville school reached the Class AAA sectionals this fall. Both also considered Tennessee Wesleyan. Warden said she chose Temple because "it had a great Christian atmosphere and the people all were really nice. I love the coach." Dodd echoed that, adding, "I really like the school in general, and its small size," and noting that she feels the Lady Crusaders are beginning to build and she wants to be part of that. "Lyndi is technically sound. She's been playing the keeper position since she was 6 years old," said Awotula, who saw Warren County play against Ooltewah and Soddy-Daisy. "She will add a lot of experience as we continue to get better." He said Warden "has great vision for the field, and as I watched her play I could understand what she was trying to do. Both girls are very smart -- with 3.0 GPAs or better -- and that translates to soccer. If they were on our team this year, they would have competed for starting jobs."
• The Red Bank Boxing Club's free scrimmage session scheduled for Saturday has been moved back to Dec. 8 to keep from conflicting with the Southeastern Conference football championship game. The event will start at 6 p.m. that Saturday at the Henry Luken Arena behind Red Bank High School. Golden Glove warmup bouts are scheduled there for Feb. 16 and March 9. For more information call Skipper Fairbanks at 877-4113.
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