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B.A.S.S. photo by Seigo Saito / Buddy Gross from Chickamauga, Ga., is having a sensational debut season on the Bassmaster Elite Series, leading the race for top rookie and ranking second in the angler of the year standings.

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, contended early but was unable to qualify for the final day of competition in the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament that finished Sunday on Lake Champlain out of Plattsburgh, New York. Gross caught his limit of five bass each day through the first three rounds for a total of 55 pounds, 4 ounces — less than two pounds from being in the top 10 who make the final round. Gross, who was in second place after a first day haul of 21-2 and ninth after weighing in at 17-6 for the second day, finished 12th and earned $12,000. Brandon Palaniuk of Rathdrum, Idaho, won the tournament with a total of 80-1, with 21-6 of that in the final round. Jamie Hartman of Russellville, Arkansas, who led the tournament after each of the first three rounds, is first in the race for angler of the year with 351 points, with Gross six points behind in second but leading the top rookie standings by 20 points over Takumi Ito of Chiba, Japan. Gross, who turns 48 this month, has fished in all four Elite Series events in his debut season on Bassmaster's top circuit, winning at Alabama's Lake Eufaula in June — his first-place prize was $100,000 — after placing 11th at the season opener in Florida, and his other result was 35th in another New York tournament last month.

 

Schedules

* The Appalachian Athletic Conference, which includes Bryan College in Dayton and Tennessee Wesleyan in Athens, remains committed to playing fall sports in 2020, though only within the conference and no earlier than Sept. 15. The AAC updated its fall plans for cross country, soccer and volleyball early this week, but the league's release emphasized an intention to award conference championships as scheduled and before Thanksgiving. The Southern States Athletic Conference, which includes Dalton State College, has announced that it will keep cross country competition in the fall but move soccer and volleyball regular-season and championship competition to the spring. The NAIA has moved its national championship events for all of those sports plus football to the spring. Also this week, NCAA Division II and III championship events for fall sports were canceled for the 2020-21 school year; local D-III programs Covenant and Sewanee and the conferences to which they belong had already decided not to hold intercollegiate competition this fall.

 

Academics

* Sewanee added another achievement to a noteworthy 2020-21 for its student-athletes in the classroom as a record 173 Tigers made the Southern Athletic Association's winter/spring academic honor roll. The list recognizes student-athletes with a GPA of 3.25 or better for the term. Nine of Sewanee's 14 sports programs with student-athletes recognized set or tied a team record for most members on the SAA honor roll. The baseball team led all Sewanee teams with 28 players recognized; the women's lacrosse team was second with 21.

 

Baseball

* Cleveland State baseball coach Mike Policastro recently announced 18 signees for next season, with half of them expected to contribute on the mound. Those pitchers (with previous school and hometown listed) are Justin Bradt (M.M. Robinson; Burlington, Ontario, Canada); Conner Brumley (Ooltewah; Cleveland); Bryce Clark (Harrison; Kennesaw, Georgia); Owen Clark (Farragut; Knoxville); Daniel Crabtree (Pope; Marietta, Georgia); Tate Daniels (Heritage-Maryville; Greenback); Bryce Houghton (Dalton, Georgia); Dylan Jacob (Powell); and Herson Lopez (Antioch; Miami). Daniels is also listed as an outfielder, and is joined by Yosuany Herrera-Valdes (John Overton; Pinar de Río, Cuba) as a signee at that position. Five signees are listed as catchers: Taylor Alford (Johnson University; Knoxville); Hayden Maynor (Soddy-Daisy); Ryan McCarthy (Middle Tennessee State University; Knoxville); Matthew Pilkington II (Cascade; Shelbyville); and Cohen Wilbanks (Lee University; Cartersville, Georgia). Maynor is also listed as a third baseman, and Brandon Lejeune (Bearden; Knoxville) is listed at that position and first baseman, while J.D. Day (Gordon Lee; Ringgold, Georgia) and Matthew Schultz (Powell; Knoxville) are listed as infielders.

 

Basketball

* Cleveland State women's basketball coach Evelyn Thompson has signed four more players for next season. Two of them come from high school programs in Maryville — Anna Morris, a 5-foot-9 guard from William Blount and Emma Harig, a 6-0 center from Heritage — and all four are in-state players, with Middle Tennessee Christian guard Kiersten Hudson (5-9) from Spring Hill and Happy Valley forward Shalyn Whitson from Unicoi. They join previously reported signees Nicky Jones, Lyndsey Summers and Kendyl West.

 

Golf

* Jessica Shepley, a former University of Tennessee and LPGA Tour player, has joined Lee University director of golf John Maupin's staff as an assistant coach. Shepley was previously an assistant for the men's and women's teams at Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. Shepley won five events on various professional tours, including in her native Canada, from 2005 to 2014, making three appearances in major championship tournaments.

 

Soccer

* Bryan College men's soccer coach Jeremy Davidson has announced 21 signees for this season. Those players (with previous school/club and hometown listed) are back Briston Batdorf (Smith County; Carthage); forward/wing César Castro Bega (Atlético Independiente; Siguatepeque, Honduras); forward/midfielder Landon Davidson (Rhea County; Dayton); midfielder Aaron Duke (Hixson; Chattanooga); wing Chase Foster (Walker Valley; Cleveland); midfielder Adrian Franco (Walker Valley; Cleveland); back/midfielder Alexis Galvez (Lebanon); midfielder/wing Yvan Garnica (Cleveland); back Franklin Gomez (CD Leones; Siguatepeque, Honduras); midfielder Isaac Hooks (Carter; Knoxville); back Miguel Juarez (One7 Academy; Charlotte, North Carolina); goalkeeper Saahil Kapoor (Complete Academy; Guildford, England); back/wing Elias Lemus (Cleveland); midfielder/wing James Oliver (East Limestone; Athens, Alabama); goalkeeper Fabian Perez (Coahulla Creek; Dalton, Georgia); back Freddy Sanchez (Cleveland); goalkeeper/midfielder Connor Show (J. Frank White Academy; Tazewell); midfielder/wing Aggelos Stavrides (Kryoneri FC; Athens, Greece); forward/wing Josh Thomas (Sherwood Academy; Albany, Georgia); forward/midfielder Cody Tiemann (East Limestone; Athens, Alabama); midfielder Cole Tiemann (East Limestone; Athens, Alabama).

* Bryan College women's soccer coach Jayson Davidson has announced 19 signees for this season. Those players (with previous school/club and hometown in parentheses) are forward/wing Maddi Allen (Hardin Valley Academy; Knoxville); forward/midfielder Campbell Brown (Polk County; Benton); defender Blanca Castro (Destino Del Reino; Siguatepeque Comayagua, Honduras); forward Lorimar Cintron (Carmen Belen Viega; Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico); wing Gina DeLeon (Central; Chattanooga); defender Lauren Cox (Jefferson County; Jefferson City); midfielder Ivey Evans (Sherwood Christian; Albany, Georgia); goalkeeper Ashlynn Hodosi (Franklin County; Winchester); goalkeeper Alyssa Karnes (Chattanooga Red Wolves; Soddy-Daisy); defender Emily Karnes (Chattanooga Red Wolves; Soddy-Daisy); forward/midfielder Catherine Kendrick (Sherwood Christian; Albany, Georgia); defender Kaylyn Knox (McMinn Central; Etowah); forward Kyah McGee (Motlow State; Clarksville); forward/midfielder Aston Neil (LifeGate; Elkmont, Alabama); defender Megan Pfaffle (GPS; Chattanooga); midfielder/wing Brooke Stansel (Statesboro); forward Harley Thompson (Huntland); defender Allie Ward (Enterprise Select SC; Jack, Alabama); back Savannah Wenger (Franklin County; Winchester).

* Raymond Lee, a defender who played for the Chattanooga Football Club in its professional and National Independent Soccer Association debut in February, has signed with one of his former clubs, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC of the United Soccer League's Championship division. CFC finalized the deal this week with the Riverhounds, for whom Lee played 29 matches in 2018. Lee also has Major League Soccer experience with the Philadelphia Union, who drafted him in 2015 and whose staff back then included Peter Fuller as an assistant. Fuller is in his first season as CFC's head coach. "From a club standpoint, it is always difficult to see a good player and better person leave," Fuller said in a CFC release. "But I think I speak for the entire CFC family when I say thank you Ray for your time here with us." CFC opens its NISA fall schedule today with a 7 p.m. EDT match against Michigan Stars FC at Ultimate Soccer Arenas Outdoor Stadium in Pontiac, and two additions have joined the club coming off last weekend's NISA Independent Cup title for the Southeast Region: David Koloko, a midfielder/defender from Cameroon who has played in North Carolina for Gardner-Webb University, the Charlotte Eagles and Stumptown Athletic; and Shaun Russell, a defender from Chesapeake, Virginia, who has played for Virginia Beach FC, the Richmond Kickers and Forward Madison FC. CFC announced the new players Friday.

 

Softball

* Jenny Rohn, hired as Covenant College's head coach in mid-July, now has a staff with Amanda Jones as a full-time assistant and Haley Brown as a volunteer assistant. Jones was an assistant the past two seasons at Messiah College, a Division III program in Grantham, Pennsylvania, where she was a standout shortstop for four years. Brown set several program records as a pitcher at Ohio's Urbana University, and she spent a season as an assistant for the Division II program.

 

Tennis

* The Intercollegiate Tennis Association has revealed its 2020 scholar-athletes and all-academic team award winners for the NAIA, and Tennessee Wesleyan University received men's and women's team recognition in each case by having a combined GPA of 3.2 or better with all varsity letter winners factored in for the academic year. Additionally, for having a GPA of at least 3.5 for the academic year, individual scholar-athlete recognition went to the Bulldogs' Mirko Dedic, Jesus Fernandez, Patricio Gallegos, Diego Garrido, Ryan Lee, Gregorio Magnarelli, Flavio Massaki, Jhoann Osorio, Guido Picasso, Antoni Planas and Mathieu Vinet, as well as the Lady Bulldogs' Yvette Callaghan, Mandie Cox, Helena Cabezas Marti, Alejandra Nunez, Ana Ossio, Natacha Mesa Perez, Elisa Piquero and Honoka Tsuji. The ITA's honorees for all three NCAA divisions were previously announced and reported.

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

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