Volleyball player Catherine Conley and cross country and track runner Brandon Raleigh received the Dr. Paul Conn Student Athlete of the Year awards for Lee University's 2016-17 school year. The awards named for the school president go annually to the seniors deemed best all-around for athletic and other achievements. "Cat combines academic excellence, extracurricular involvement, service and leadership," volleyball coach Andrea Hudson said of Conley in a Lee release. "She aspires to shape culture through film, and as an African-American woman her voice is under-represented in cinematic discourse. Cat knows the obstacles to realizing her dreams, but her work at Lee demonstrates she has what it takes to get there." Hudson also noted Conley's frequent contributions in service projects. Raleigh has helped Lee win three Gulf South Conference men's team championships and the 2015 NCAA South Region cross country title and holds the school 8k record of 24 minutes, 50 seconds. Individually all-region in both cross country and track this school year and a team captain, he has a 3.7 grade point average. "He exemplifies the academic, spiritual and athletic standards of this prestigious award," coach Caleb Morgan said. "He has diligently balanced academics, athletics and work, while maintaining a positive influence on the team and inspiring others."
» Women's soccer player Christine Kent from Lookout Mountain, Ga., and runner Tyler Boone from Murfreesboro recently received Bryan College's 2017 Lion of Valor honors for their all-around accomplishments and for modeling "the character qualities of Christ on and off the field of play," according to a release from the Dayton school. Part of the distinction is demonstrating their faith "with the tenacity, might and valor of the Lion of Judah." Kent's defensive ability and versatility helped her Lady Lions reach the AAC tournament championship game last fall, and "her ability to relate to people from all walks of life meant that she played a big part in developing our culture and creating an environment where respect and teamwork were highlighted," soccer coach Paul Babba said. Boone is a two-time AAC cross country and two-time AAC track champion, a five-time NAIA national qualifier in the two sports and a seven-time all-conference honoree. He has a 3.6 GPA. "He has not only scored on the conference level and run fast on the national level of competition, but he has been a consummate leader on and off the track," coach Josh Bradley said.facebook
» The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga had four women's sports programs — basketball, cross country, tennis and track and field — receive NCAA Public Recognition Awards for placing in the top 10 percent of the nation in the most recent multiyear Academic Progress Rate. That covers the school years 2012-13 through 2015-16, and UTC tied East Tennessee State in the Southern Conference for most teams honored.
» UTC's softball team challenged SoCon leader Furman on Thursday but lost 2-1 and 4-2 at Greenville, S.C. UTC's Celie Hudson pitched a three-hitter with six strikeouts and Aly Walker homered in the first game, but the Mocs (13-36, 3-14) got only two hits off Lindsey Bert, who struck out 11, and Casey Bigham hit a two-run single in the fifth inning for the Paladins (31-20, 11-5). Furman took a 4-0 lead in game two before UTC's Jesslyn Stockard hit a two-run homer. She and Katy Richardson each was 2-for-3 in that loss, and Halie Williamson and Walker had a hit in each game.
» Lee pitchers Leigh Beatenbough and Taylor Moran were voted to the 2017 All-Gulf South Conference second team, along with Shorter's former Gordon Lee High School standouts, pitcher Kalei Clark and outfielder Tiffany Holland. Shorter senior Ericka Bynum from Ringgold was first-team All-GSC as an at-large selection. Bynum has a .371 batting average with 10 home runs, 14 doubles, 60 runs batted in and 33 scored, while Holland is hitting .365 with 26 stolen bases and 45 runs. Clark has an 8-6 record with a 2.84 earned run average. Beatenbough, a junior, is 16-8 with a 3.15 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 146 2/3 innings for Lee (33-17), which is seeded sixth in this weekend's GSC tournament in Huntsville, Ala. She also is batting .295 with 15 RBIs, while Moran — a freshman from Silverdale Baptist Academy — has seven homers as a batter and a league-best 1.34 ERA with six saves and 82 strikeouts in 104 2/3 innings.
» Covenant College junior catcher Shannon Schmitt is one of only two softball players from the USA South on the 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District team. An honoree must be "a significant contributer" to her team and have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.3 on a 4.0 scale, according to CoSIDA's criteria. A biology major with a minor in mathematics, Schmitt started all 39 games this season and batted .367 with 26 runs scored and four three-hit games. She threw out six baserunners trying to steal.
» Third-seeded Bryan stayed alive in the AAC baseball tournament in Kingsport, Tenn., with a 16-11 win Thursday morning over Milligan. Union (Ky.) then eliminated Bluefield, 5-4, and Truett McConnell topped No. 2 seed Point 9-1. Top seed Tennessee Wesleyan was tied at 4 with an ongoing four-run sixth inning against Reinhardt when rain stopped play for the night. For Bryan (36-17), which next plays Point, Trevor Behrent batted in four runs and he and Tyler Scott each was 4-for-5 with three runs scored, and Fernando Garcia was 2-for-4 and scored twice and matched Brookes Jones with three RBIs. Wade Weinburger was 3-for-5 with two runs and an RBI.
» The Covenant baseball and tennis teams received USA South sportsmanship awards for their spring-season sports, giving the Lookout Mountain school five for the school year. It was the fourth year in a row for the baseball Scots.
» The Red Bank Boxing Club will host the Southeastern Association state tournament Saturday at the Luken Sports Facility behind Red Bank High School, beginning at 3 p.m. Categories range in age from 8-10 to 15-16 and in weight from 55 pounds to 176-plus. The 11-12 and 13-14 age groups will include one female matchup each. Red Bank has three participants — Keegan Cable, Chase Curvin and Zaqui George — plus one uncontested fighter, Tristan Curvin, who knows already he'll be advancing to the regional in Shreveport, La. Chattanooga's YCAP program will be represented by Keyvon Long, T.J. Arnold and Marcus Hyatt. Spectator admission costs $7, $3 for students, with no charge for ages 12-under.
» Jasmine Hickman scored three goals in Tennessee Wesleyan's 17-6 loss Thursday to Lawrence Tech (17-1) in an NAIA Invitational women's lacrosse quarterfinal in Greenville, S.C. TWU finished the season 13-5.
» High-level visiting coaches Dan Tun, Stacee Seay and Sofia Anastasopoulos and local paratriathlete Liz Baker, who finished fourth in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, are set to help with SPARC's paratriathlon training clinic Saturday and Sunday, based at Girls Preparatory School. It starts at 9 both mornings, and anyone interested can visit www.sparctn.org.