Area sports notes: Matt Pope to direct Carson-Newman athletics

Area sports notes: Matt Pope to direct Carson-Newman athletics

July 5th, 2018 by Staff Reports in Sports - College

Former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga administrator Matt Pope is the new vice president for athletics at Carson-Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee. He will be introduced there Monday and officially begin work at the NCAA Division II school on Aug. 6. Pope has been associate athletic director for development at Tennessee Tech the past three years. Before that he was senior associate AD for finance operations at Towson, where he went after nearly 14 years in the athletic department at UTC. Among other duties in Chattanooga, he was the tournament site director for the NCAA FCS championship game from 2001 to 2009 and the tourney manager for the NCAA golf nationals in 2010 and East Regional in 2008, and he was the interim athletic director after Steve Sloan retired in 2006. At CNU he succeeds Allen Morgan, who retired. "Matt Pope brings sterling credentials and an impressive skill set to our recent historic AD lineup of Frosty Holt, Ken Sparks, David Barger and Allen Morgan," CNU president Dr. Randall O'Brien said in a release. Said Pope: "I realize that Carson-Newman is a special place, and President O'Brien's vision for a Christ-centered athletics program of national distinction is inspiring. I look forward to providing servant leadership while partnering with the faculty, alumni, coaches, staff, student-athletes, fans and donors as we continue to build a model athletics program."

Baseball

* Cleveland State Community College announced this week 27 recruits for its baseball program, including seven transfers from other colleges: right-handed pitchers Grayson Wakefield from Montevallo and Zack Hall from USC-Beaufort, catcher Kendall Rolen from Bluefield and infielders Connor Weldy from Augusta State, Brennan Davis from Carson-Newman, Parker Hill from Wofford and Matt Hopson from McHenry. Three of the high school recruits came from nearby Bradley Central — pitcher/first baseman Andy Bunch, catcher Preston Taylor and middle infielder Pete Williams — and Walker Valley and McMinn County provided an outfielder each, Blake Peterson and Bradley Hayes. Lefty pitcher Justin Morris and outfielder Lance Dockery came from area Georgia power Heritage, catcher Jack Gobble from Fannin County and pitcher/first baseman Caleb Hopkins from Georgia Class A public school state champion Gordon Lee. The others are pitchers Tanner Doran from Dobyns-Bennett, Chase Bates from Cumberland Christian and Tyler Hartless from Karns; catchers Ryan Wilson from New Creation Academy and Nathan Blackburn from Carter; first baseman Alex Ray from Franklin; other infielders Bradford Mills from Centennial and Andrew Carpenter from Morristown East; and outfielders Bryson Johnson from Kingston, Reid Nelson from Hendersonville and Cam Smith from Pigeon Forge. "We lost three (pitching) starters and a closer, along with seven players out of our everyday lineup," Cougars coach Mike Policastro said in a release. "Overall we feel we were able to address the needs and add depth to our roster."

Golf

* Nicole Adam of Pinecrest, North Carolina — and granddaughter of Red Bank's Jim and Nancy Sims — finished tied for fourth at 221 Wednesday in the 40th Junior North & South Amateur golf tournament in her hometown. She closed with a 71 on Pinecrest No. 6. Presley Baggett of Mississippi won by four strokes at 213.

Volleyball

* Covenant College has announced its 2018 volleyball schedule, and six first-time opponents are included: SUNY New Paultz, Texas-Tyler, Mississippi University for Women, Colorado College, Johnson & Wales and Christopher Newport. Those last three will be part of the Pikes Peak Challenge hosted Sept. 14-15 by Colorado College, which with Christopher Newport was in the NCAA tournament last fall. So were Emory, Birmingham-Southern and Berry on the Scots' schedule. They open Aug. 31-Sept. 1 at the Emory Classic with New Paultz and Texas-Tyler. Covenant begins its home schedule Sept. 11 against MUW, starts USA South play Sept. 19 at Maryville and hosts league foes LaGrange and Piedmont on Sept. 22. Other matches at home, where the Scots were 11-0 last year, are Sept. 26 against BSC, Oct. 9 against Oglethorpe, Oct. 12 against Maryville, Oct. 16 against Berry, Oct. 23 against Berea and Oct. 27 against Brevard and Pensacola Christian.