Three Lee University women's players were voted first-team National Christian College Athletic Association Division I All-Americans by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America: senior defender Laura Thacker, junior midfielder Kinsey Cichowitz and sophomore forward Summer Lanter.
Lanter, who led the 11-5-4 Lady Flames with 10 goals in 2015 and also had three assists, is from Soddy-Daisy. She battled injuries early in the season and had eight of her goals in the last 11 matches. Thacker had four goals and an assist but primarily was honored for leading Lee's stout defense, while Cichowitz had five goals and two assists. All three were first-team All-Gulf South Conference selections, and Thacker and Lanter were NCAA D2CCA All-South Region second-team picks.
' McCallie School senior and Ooltewah resident Evan Spence recently signed scholarship papers to join the Lee University men's golf program, and Annika Gino from Dana Point, Calif., has signed to join her sister Cailey with the Lady Flames. The younger Gino said Lee was her first choice all along, and John Maupin, who coaches both Lee teams, said in a school release that "she is a tremendous player, but more than that she is a wonderful young lady who will be a great fit at Lee. She will bring a lot of high-level experience to our team next year. Annika has competed in some big amateur tournaments in California. She also has enjoyed a great deal of success on one of the top junior tours in the country, the Toyota Tour in California."
She won the Southern California PGA Junior World Qualifier and the Glendale City Amateur and was second at the CIF Regionals. Spence, a two-year McCallie captain, won the 2014 Chattanooga Junior Classic and the 2015 HJGT Huntsville Junior Challenge, tied for medalist in the 2015 Baylor Preview tournament, finished fourth in the AJGA Fore Performance tournament in Victor, N.Y., and had a 72.4 stroke average after his final high school season.
"Evan had a great senior season at McCallie. He had some strong finishes on the fall junior golf circuit," Maupin said. "When he came to visit, there were two things that were clear to us: He demonstrated all the qualities we value in our players, and he was a player that was on the rise."
Spence said he also considered Tennessee Tech, UT-Martin, Belmont, Christian Brothers and Tusculum.
' The Lee basketball teams had different results in a Gulf South Conference home doubleheader Thursday, beating Valdosta State 65-51 in the women's game but losing 83-68 in the men's. Erin Walsh scored 22 points with four 3-point baskets and Carrie Cheeks had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Lee's Lady Flames (5-3, 2-1), who overcame a six-point halftime deficit with a 39-19 second half against VSU (6-2, 2-1). Christina Johnson had 12 rebounds and three steals, and Haris Price had nine assists. Reserves Rico Overall and Keevin Tyus led the Flames (2-6, 0-3) with 17 and 15 points, Tyus adding eight rebounds.