Lee University baseball coach Mark Brew has released the names of six signees — a junior college player and five high school seniors, including Ooltewah's Drew Williams — for the program's first group of newcomers in NCAA Division II. The NAIA national power will be joining the Gulf South Conference next summer. "Three are outfielders as we lose four senior outfielders this year," Brew said in a Lee release. "The other three are corner infielders, and we lose two seniors in those areas as well. We will have more holes to fill as we progress into 2013 and get to the major league draft, but this group represents the core of what we needed currently." Brew praised the group's "character and academics efforts" as well as their baseball skills, and he credited assistant coach Justin Dedman with heading the recruiting work. Seth Gower is an East Georgia College outfielder-infielder from Auburn, Ga., who was the Region 8-A defensive player of the year when his Hebron Christian Academy team won the Georgia Class A championship in 2011. Brew noted his "very good swing and above-average bat speed" and the fact "he can play multiple positions." The 6-foot-3 Williams hit .350 with a home run, seven doubles, 27 RBIs and 10 stolen bases last year for Ooltewah and said he is "really excited about Lee because it's a place I can grow spiritually and academically while competing in a program that aims to win national championships." He also played for the Chattanooga Cyclones. "He has the physical size and tools and projects as a third baseman," Brew said. "He is a solid defensive player and will continue to develop at the plate. I project that he will be a gap-to-gap type guy whose power will most likely improve as he matures physically." The other high school signees are 6-5, 245-pound corner infielder Zach Steele from Seneca, S.C.; 5-11 corner man Cameron Scott from Columbus, Ga.; 5-11 left-handed outfielder Travis Perkola from Macomb, Mich.; and 6-3 outfielder Jordan Lambert from Savannah, Tenn., who has a .351 career average for Hardin County High.
• The funeral for 1940s Central High School star athlete Bob McCoy is set for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Heritage Funeral Home chapel in Fort Oglethorpe. Visitation times at the funeral home are 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday. McCoy died Monday at age 84. He played five sports and earned 11 varsity letters for Central and went on to Georgia Tech, where he earned eight letters and became All-SEC in football and team captain in baseball. He was drafted by football's Los Angeles Rams and baseball's St. Louis Cardinals. Playing football at Central for legendary coach E.B. "Red" Etter, McCoy was all-city, all-state and All-Southern and was dubbed "The Wauhatchee Express." After college he settled in Rossville, starred in fastpitch softball, coached in the recreation program and served as a city councilman, a city judge, a state representative and in a variety of business and civic roles.
• Tennessee State junior Jamin Godfrey from McMinn Central High School was the second-team All-Ohio Valley Conference place-kicker after making 16 of 20 field-goal tries with a long of 46 yards this season, and Tennessee Tech receiver Da'Rick Rogers from Calhoun, Ga., made the 11-man OVC football all-newcomer team as a junior transfer from Tennessee. He made 61 catches for 893 yards and 10 touchdowns.
• Shuler Polk, Matt Hudnut, Chris Pifer and Hunter Harrison of Covenant College and Ezequiel Nunez and Jacob Fremmer of Tennessee Temple University made the National Christian College Athletic Association Mid-East all-region men's soccer team for 2012. Goalkeeper Polk had a .781 save percentage with 82 saves and 23 goals allowed, while forwards Nunez and Hudnut had 17 and eight goals, respectively, and three assists each. Four of Hudnut's goals were game-winners, including two in overtime. Fremmer, a midfielder like Pifer, had six assists and five goals. Harrison is a defender.
• Covenant's Heather Taylor is the NCCAA Mid-East Region volleyball coach of the year after being voted coach of the year also in the Lady Scots' conference, and Covenant freshman Chelsea Van Dyk and sophomore setter Stephanie Kirkpatrick made the all-region team. Covenant libero Estes Carlson and Tennessee Temple's Natasha dos Santos Ferreti received honorable mention. Van Dyk, the Great South Athletic Conference player and freshman of the year, had 433 kills with a .390 hitting percentage in the team's 25-8 season, and Kirkpatrick, also an All-GSAC honoree, had 1,021 assists (8.88 per set) with 232 digs and 102 kills.
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