By David Rogers. BOONE, N.C. — Ongoing inclement weather adversely impacted local athletic competitions, but there is some news to report from outside the area.
March 16-17 — App State Wrestling @ NCAA Wrestling Championships in Tulsa, Okla.
None of the App State wrestlers made it out of the Championship bracket’s round 1, nor out of the Consolation bracket’s Round 1, but it hardly put a damper on the Mountaineers’ record-breaking season. Under head coach John Mark Bentley, the program continues to show growth while dominating Southern Conference competition. Noteworthy in Round 1 of the Championship bracket were the close, 3-2 losses by Caleb Smith (125 lb. weight class) and Tommy Askey (157) to wrestlers from bigger NCAA Division I schools (West Virginia and Michigan, respectively).
- 125 lb. – Caleb Smith (26-7)
- Championship Rd. 1 – lost to Killian Cardinale (West Virginia), by Decision 3-2
- Consolation Rd. 1 – lost to Michael DeAugstino (Northwestern), by Decision 7-2
- 133 lb. – Ethan Oakiey (21-13)
- Preliminary Rd. – defeated McGwire Midkiff (North Dakota State), by Decision 5-3
- Championship Rd. 1 – lost to Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State), by Major Decision 12-3
- Consolation Rd. 1 – lost to Joe Heilmann (Rutgers) by Decision 8-4
- 157 lb. – Tommy Askey (29-13)
- Championship Rd. 1 – lost to Will Lewan (Michigan), Decision 3-2
- Consolation Rd. 1 – lost to Jason Kraisser (Iowa State), by Decision 7-2
- 165 lb. – Will Formato (28-10)
- Championship Rd. 1 – lost to Patrick Kennedy (Iowa), by Decision 7-2
- Consolation Rd. 1 – lost to Tanner Cook (South Dakota State), by Fall 1:11
- 174 lb. – Will Miller (24-12)
- Preliminary Rd. – lost to John Worthing (Clarion), by Decision 8-4
- Preliminary Rd. – lost to Jackson Turley (Rutgers), by Decision 12-6
App State Baseball
- March 17 – Defeated Marshall in Charleston, W.Va., 12-4, in the Mountaineers’ Sun Belt Conference season opener. App State scored their 12 runs on 15 hits, led by a home run (Golston Gillespie) and four doubles by Xavier Moronta, Hunter Wilder, and Andrew Terrell (2). The Mountaineers took advantage of an ample amount of “small ball,” including stolen bases by Grey LaSpaluto, Luke Drumheller, Hayden Cross, Wilder, and Terrell (2). Pitcher Xander Hamilton picked up the win in six strong innings as the starter. Although App State picked up single runs in innings 1,5,6,7, and 8, the Mountaineers put the game on ice with a 7-run 9th inning.
The Panthers have been busy in the free agent market, according to sources ranging from ESPN to NFL.com. Among the signings are some significant names:
- Strengthened the QB position by signing Andy Dalton (formerly New Orleans) to a 2-year, $11 million deal that includes $8 million guaranteed.
- Strengthened the RB position by signing Miles Sanders (formerly Philadelphia) to a reportedly 4-year, $25.4 million deal that includes $13 million guaranteed.
- Addressed TE position by signing Hayden Hurst (formerly Cincinnati) to a 3-year, $21.75 million deal, including $13 million guaranteed.
- Other signings include OL Justin McCray (Houston), Center Bradley Bozeman (Carolina), DL Shy Tuttle (New Orleans), DL DeShawn Williams (Denver), and Safety Vonn Bell (Cincinnati)