Rodgers earns AstroTurf Special Teams Player of the Week honors

ROCK HILL, S.C. – Brevard College senior place kicker Dayton Rodgers (Belmont, N.C) has been named the South Atlantic Conference Astroturf Special Teams Player of the Week, it was announced by conference officials Monday morning.

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BC's Volleyball Tornados On The Road This Week

By Paul Morgan
Special to the Times

While every new sports team is a work in progress, Brevard College Head Volleyball Coach Anna Wagner is beginning to see the outline of a solid Tornado club that features a quartet of seasoned seniors and a tall, talented Tiger from nearby Rosman High.

Although BC lost record-setting impact players Fatima Gharachorloo and Kindle Kirkham to graduation, seniors Savannah Cox from Kannapolis, N.C., Bailey Hayes from Phoenix, Ariz., Alek Vrvilo from Beaverton, Wash. and Katie Ruff from Mill Spring, N.C. have stepped up and are playing well.

“We lost major leadership when Fatima and Kindle graduated,” Coach Wagner said, “but I have to say that this year’s seniors have made up that gap. There’s a lot of hype about senior leadership, but it’s a vital quality that can’t be overrated.”

BC’s seniors are ably supported by the strong junior class of Rachel Ruble from Advance, N.C., Bri Vargas from Maryville, Tenn., Erin Barr from Hamptonville, N.C., Maggie Weiss from Clemmons, N.C., Hannah Elmore from Salisbury, N.C., Kristen Rathbun from West Bloomfield, Mich., Kathryn Beasley from Mount Airy, N.C., Stephanie Lambert from Florence, Ky. and Josie McElroy from Lenoir City, Tenn.

Four sophomores and three freshmen make up the remainder of this year’s team. The second year players are Maura Emert from Knoxville, Tenn., Madilyn Fox from Dumfries, Va., Katelyn Didio from Mooresville, N.C. and Catherine Goss from Fairview, N.C.

There are only three freshmen on this year’s roster, Callie Chappell from Rosman, Leanne Belga from Hampton, Ga. and Chloe Mount from Trumansburg, N.Y.

Chappell has quickly forced herself into Coach Wagner’s starting lineup with her aggressive style of play. “Callie has been impressive,” Wagner said. “She constantly looks to improve her skills, and she has the competitive mentality that coaches love to see.”

The Lady Tornados traveled to St. Augustine, Fla. in early September, playing, and losing, four games in two days to larger schools Southern Indiana, Valdosta State and host Flagler as they searched for the best combination of players for this year’s starting team.

Returning to the friendly confines of its own gym, BC lost 3-2 to cross-state rival Queens College in a game that Coach Wagner described as “sloppy,” then righted the ship with a 3-2 home win over Catawba, followed by a road win over Lenoir-Rhyne by the same score.

BC then split a pair of South Atlantic Conference road matches, falling 3-0 to Tusculum in games much closer than the final score indicates, then knocking off Mars Hill in a 3-2 thriller. Last week, BC dropped a pair of matches to SAC foes Newberry and Anderson by identical 3-1 scores. BC now stands at 3-4 in conference play.

The Tornados have a rough four road game road trip this week, playing at North Greenville Sept. 27, at Coker Sept. 30 and, on Oct. 1, at Wingate for contests with both host Wingate and Wheeling Jesuit.

“It’s clear that this team’s success depends on playing with consistency on our side of the court, and that’s something that we’re still learning to how do,” Coach Wagner said. “We are building on last season’s growth (Wagner’s first as head coach), and we’re working hard on the mental piece of the game, learning how to win.”

Paul Morgan is a
Retired journalist and
Journalism Professor

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WGO carves career rounds to open Tusculum Fall Classic

GREENEVILLE, TENN. - The Brevard College Women’s Golf team recorded a career best afternoon in the opening round of the Tusculum Fall Classic, hosted by Tusculum College at the Link Hills Country Club.

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Tornados turn heads at Lees-McRae

BANNER ELK, N.C. – With the Southeast Cycling Conference Championship just two weekends away, the Brevard College Cycling team ripped through one of its final two mountain bike trials at Lees-McRae College Saturday and Sunday as many of the team’s top riders took home individual honors.

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BC's Cross Country Season At Mid-Point

By Paul Morgan
Special to the Times

Can there be another sport as demanding of the individual as cross country?

While the term warrior is much over-used in the sports world, there is no doubt that, if you are to succeed as a distance runner, you have to be just that, a gritty, committed warrior.

Your battle has nothing to do with a team, a game, defending a goal or scoring points. Rather, your battle is against the clock, the elements and your own endurance. Tenacity has to be the name of your game, and yours is often a lonely battlefield.

At Brevard College, a small band of cross country runners are mid-way through their fall schedule, and, under the tutelage of new Coach Mike McClaran, have experienced modest success in three September meets.

Led by seniors Brent Turner, Elena Raygoza and Madison Smith, and junior Hassan Kiprono, the Tornados have battled their way to respectable showings in meets at USC Upstate in Spartanburg, Furman University in Greenville, S.C. and Winthrop College in Rock Hill, S.C.

Coach McClaran returns to his alma mater this year, replacing former BC runner Josh Mower, who has moved on to do graduate work in North Dakota. McClaran was a standout distance runner at BC from 1990 to 1992, when the college was still a two year institution. He moved on to Auburn, graduating as an AU Tiger in 1995.

“I’ve been involved in distance running in one way or another for most of my life,” McClaran said. “I plan to be at Brevard for a long time, and to build a strong program. We have a proud history of distance running success here, and I hope to add to that history.

“Our goals this year are modest,” Coach McClaran added. “Everyone on the team wants to run his, or her, personal best. Hassan (Kiprono) ran his lifetime best at Winthrop a couple of weeks ago, and I was really proud of him.”

Junior Kiprono, from Kenya in East Africa, and Louisiana-born senior Brent Turner have consistently paced the Tornado men this season. On the ladies’ side of the roster, Quartz Hill, Calif. senior Elena Raygoza and fellow senior Madison Smith, from Duvall, Wash., lead the way.

Rounding out the men’s roster are senior Micah Voelzow from Charlotte, junior Henry Crowder from Tampa, Fla., sophomores Jordan Lance from Panama City Beach, Fla. and Dal Davis from Durham, and freshmen Michael Anton from Woodleaf, N.C. and Tucker Fry from Greenville, N.C.

BC ladies Raygoza and Smith are supported by talented freshmen, Kaitlin Chaump from Tyler, Texas, Mary Davis from Raleigh, Rhyanna Hadden from Rock Falls, Ill., and Olympia Poplin from Ann Arbor, Mich.

“While seniors Elena and Madison are clearly our leaders,” Coach McClaran said, “the four freshmen are also running well and give us something special to build on for next season.”

The Tornados travel to Asheville Oct. 1 for the UNCA Cross Country Challenge. Competing schools include Western Carolina, Winthrop, Mars Hill, Campbell, High Point and host UNCA. The event will be held at the Asheville Christian Academy.

“I think we are opening a few eyes with our performances this season,” Coach McClaran said. “The big thing with distance runners is to keep everyone healthy, especially w/a small group like ours. Recruiting is on-going, and with the college moving to the NCAA’s Division III, we expect to be increasingly competitive.”

Paul Morgan is a
Retired Journalist and
Journalism Professor

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