Cole Sands has been part of two top-five team finishes in college national championship tournaments in the past eight months, but now the Bryan College angler from Calhoun, Tennessee, has a fish tale that stands out for reasons beyond his success. This past week, Sands wrapped up a victory in the Association of Collegiate Anglers' first online tournament, the ACA's response to the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The event lasted six days and included college anglers fishing "public lakes, streams, rivers and private ponds from upstate New York to the delta in California in search of the longest bass they could catch," according to a story at collegiatebaschampionship.com. Fishing at Chickamauga Lake, Sands won a $250 Bass Pro Shops gift card with a largemouth bass that measured 24 1/2 inches and weighed 10-plus pounds. Auburn's Lucas Lindsay and Campbellsville's Jake Thornbury tied for second at 24 inches on a final leaderboard that listed 46 competitors. Sands and Bryan teammate Conner DiMauro were fifth at the 2020 FLW National Championship last month in Florida after placing second at the 2019 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship last August on Chickamauga.
The Chattanooga Football Club is adapting to the stoppage in National Independent Soccer Association play during the COVID-19 pandemic in multiple ways, from its rewind series of classic Chattanooga FC matches on its official YouTube channel to entertain fans, to sales of player trading cards to raise money for the American Red Cross in response to the recent tornado outbreak. Now CFC is teaming with Food City for a program designed "to keep kids engaged and interested in learning while staying safe at home" with school campuses closed during the pandemic. The professional club will kick off "Read with CFC" at 3 p.m. Tuesday on its YouTube channel as veteran midfielder Cameron Woodfin reads from the 1943 classic novella "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Woodfin will read the book in segments for five weeks, and other players will follow by reading other works "near and dear to their hearts," according to a release announcing the program. The videos will be available after their premieres as well. "I'm really happy to be able to stay connected to the community in a time of disconnection," Woodfin said in the release. "I love working with kids, so when I was presented this opportunity, I jumped all over it! The Little Prince is a great book for all ages. It has a great message for kids but also adults. I don't want to spoil anything, but I want to seriously encourage everyone to read it or listen to me read it!"
* Akia Harris, the former GPS and Hamilton Heights standout who completed her collegiate sports career this past winter, received Tennessee Tech's in-house Golden Eagle Award for women's basketball as the player who served as "the heart of the team," according to a release from the Cookeville program. Harris averaged a team-best 30 1/2 minutes and an Ohio Valley Conference-leading 4.7 assists as well as 7.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game as a senior.
* While much of the spring season for the Appalachian Athletic Conference was lost when sports all but shut down worldwide in mid-March, the NAIA Division II league with a membership that includes Bryan College and Tennessee Wesleyan University still presented its honorific teams for all-academic (3.25 GPA or better and at least a sophomore) and "Champions of Character" (display NAIA's five core values of respect, integrity, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership) for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. Bryan's all-academic selections, by sport: baseball — Dalton Conley, Parker Crosby, Joseph Cuomo, Jacob Dublin, Trevor Eidson, Josh Hinken, Rives Marshall, Landon Mosteller, Reece Roach, A.J. Rolle, David Scoggins, Zack Sheid; softball — Leslie Beecham, Lindsey Dunn, Kallie Hawkins, Kimmy McKernie, Brianna Nagelhout, Madison Owens, Heidi Smith, Shannon White. Bryan's "Champions of Character" selections: baseball — Landon Mosteller; softball — Heidi Smith. TWU's all-academic selections: baseball — Alex Flock, Chris Koeiman; softball — Jocelyn Cantrell, Katelyn Cantrell, Haley Hinshaw, Olivia Housewright, Claudia Hutchins, Emily Spears, Allee West, Miranda Young; men's golf — Tanner Harris, Simon Nagy; women's golf — Mattie Cardin, Jordann Handy, Megan Schauer, Carly Swabe; men's lacrosse — Jacob Brown, Kyle Gasior, Stanton Grisham, Sam Staley; women's lacrosse — Ginnabeth Day, Lorna Schoemehl; men's tennis — Andre Kaloussieh, Maximilian Kendler, Sergio Lapaz, Gregorio Magnarelli, Jhoann Osorlo, Bernat Paredes, Toni Planas; women's tennis — Helena Cabezas Marti, Yvette Callaghan, Elisa Piquero; men's track and field — Kyle Blassingame, Ramon Charles, Omar Daniels, Cody Demalavez, Heath Hicks, Dylan Ridgell; women's track and field — Bree Bogucki, Mysteree Bottorff, Rosa Cisneros, Rachel Gallison, Madison Guider, Cheyanne Jones, Danielle March. TWU's "Champions of Character" selections: baseball — Alex Flock; softball — Claudia Hutchins; men's golf — Jeovani Veloz; women's golf — Megan Schauer; men's lacrosse — Stanton Grisham; women's lacrosse — Dakota Halford; men's tennis — Valentin Popescu; women's tennis — Natasha Mesa; men's track and field — Jon Litersky; women's track and field — Moesha Moncrieffe.
Compiled by Marty Kirkland. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.