ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Staff photo / Ben Rebne eyes the pin during the 104th Tennessee State Amateur Championship at the Honors Course on Aug. 8, 2019, in Ooltewah.

Ben Rebne, a Dalton State College senior this past school year, is the 2020 Jack Nicklaus Award winner for the NAIA, and the former Heritage High School standout from Ringgold added to what has quickly become a tradition of success for the Roadrunners. Although Dalton State relaunched varsity athletics just seven years ago, it's men's golf program in that short span now has four winners of the award given annually to the nation's top college golfers — one in each of the three NCAA divisions, plus the NAIA and the NJCAA — with S.M. Lee winning in back-to-back years (2017-18) after Sean Elliott was the 2015 recipient. Dalton State's four trophies are tied for second with Division I programs Arizona State and Georgia Tech on the all-time list; Oklahoma State leads with five in the honor that started in 1988 and is named for Jack Nicklaus, the record-holding 18-time major winner who was an NCAA champion at Ohio State before becoming a PGA Tour legend. The Roadrunners have been coached from the start by Ben Rickett, a former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga standout. Rebne, a finalist for the Nicklaus award in 2019, averaged 70.89 strokes per round this past season, when he was No. 3 in the final Golfstat NAIA ranking after winning four of six tournaments he entered, with another top-five finish and none outside of the top 10. He also repeated as an All-American and the Southern States Athletic Conference player of the year.

* The Chattanooga Women's Amateur golf tournament's team competition was held Tuesday at Black Creek Club, with 108 women competing. In "A" division, Valleybrook's Dianne Dycus, Seong Glickman, Macall Miller and Susan Thurman won in gross scoring with a 64, while Signal Mountain's Bethany Burns, Karen Burns, Debbie Durham and Michelle Purchase won in net scoring with a 56. In "B" division, Council Fire's Patty Donahoo, Carlene Ryon, Darlene Werhnyak and Sandra Yoder won in gross with a 72, and Lookout Mountain's Sue Chamberlain, Katherine Currin, Leland Strang and Margaret Thompson won in net with a 51. In "C" division, the winners were Council Fire's Phyllis Loftsgard, Nancy Logue, Lynn McGee and Dona Robinson in gross with an 80 and Black Creek's Winkie Colvard, Kathy Markovich, Lynn McKamey and Janice Pendergrast with a 52.

* The Gulf South Conference continues to announce its all-decade awards for sports it sponsors, and the lists for golf released this week included four former Lee University players: Sam Burrus, Haverly Spence (nee Harrold) and Caroline Moore made the women's second team, and the men's team included honorable mention for Shea Sylvester. Spence was a Women's Golf Coaches Association All-America honorable mention this year as a senior, made the All-GSC first team and the conference all-tournament in 2018 and '19, and along with Burrus and Moore helped the Lady Flames in 2017 earn the program's first appearance in the NCAA Division II championship tournament and a seventh-place finish; the trio also led the way to back-to-back GSC titles in 2018 and '19, setting a tournament scoring record with the first win. Burrus and Moore were both three-time All-GSC picks (Burrus on the first team each time) before graduating in 2018, and Moore was twice a conference all-tournament honoree and a 2017 WGCA All-American. As for the Flames' Sylvester, a senior in the 2016-17 school year, he was a Golf Coaches Association of America All-American that season after being a semifinalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award as a junior, and he made the All-GSC first team, the conference all-tournament team and the All-South Region lineup in both of his upperclassman years. His scoring average of 71.38 as a senior remains the program record.

 

Wrestling

* The latest 2020 signee announced by UTC coach Kyle Ruschell is three-time Florida high school state champion Noah Castillo of Lake Highland Prep in Orlando. Castillo won the FHSAA Class 1A 152-pound title as a senior, when he was ranked No. 6 nationally by FloWrestling.com in December and was listed in the top 15 at 152 by both TrackWrestling and Intermat in March. According to a UTC release, he considered North Carolina and Purdue before picking the Mocs. He is the team's third signee announced this year, following Matthew Williams and Lincoln Heck.

 

Lacrosse

* Nick DiBernardo is the interim head coach for the Sewanee men, athletic director Mark Webb announced Thursday. An assistant the past five seasons, DiBernardo's role change comes after Marty Watters, the only head coach the men's lacrosse program has had since its launch in 2008, announced in May he would resign; that took effect June 30. Before joining Watters' staff with the Tigers, DiBernardo was an assistant for four seasons at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, where he was a four-year starter and a two-year team captain.

 

Volleyball

* Bryan College coach Jessica Day has revealed the Lady Lions' schedule for the 2020 season, her eighth in charge in Dayton. Five seniors are among the players Day will count on in a 25-match regular season that opens Sept. 5 in Richmond, Indiana, with back-to-back contests against reigning NAIA national champion Marian University from Indianapolis and Lourdes University (Sylvania, Ohio) at the IU East Invitational. Bryan's next match is also on the road but in Tennessee, its Appalachian Athletic Conference opener on Sept. 8 at Milligan University, which last month officially changed its name from Milligan College. After a Sept. 12 match at Virginia's Bluefield College, the Lady Lions will play their first of 12 scheduled home matches, taking on AAC foe Montreat College on Sept. 15. The scheduled home finale and senior night is Nov. 3, when Tennesee Wesleyan visits. Bryan went 20-13 overall and 13-7 in AAC play last year, earning the No. 5 seed for the league tournament but losing its opening match in the quarterfinals to fourth-seeded Union College.

Compiled by Marty Kirkland. Contact him at mkirkland@timesfreepress.com.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT