Thursday, April 17, 2014

GCAC champion Nuggets still 14th in NAIA rankings


NEW ORLEANS -- Xavier University of Louisiana's women are still 14th in the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field National Team Computer Rankings announced Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

This is the first season and the second week of the rankings, which are based on the best individual times and distances during the 2014 outdoor season.

Coach Joseph Moses' Gold Nuggets won their second consecutive Gulf Coast Athletic Conference team championship on Saturday and their third in four years. GCAC individual champions for the Nuggets were Devinn Rolland in the long jump and the 100- and 200-meter dashes, Catherine Fakler in the 1,500, 3,000 steeplechase and 5,000, Angelica Alexander in the high jump and Terri Cunningham in the 400 hurdles.

Defending NAIA champion Indiana Tech remained No. 1, followed by 2012 champion Oklahoma Baptist, which climbed one notch from a week ago.

The top 25:

1. Indiana Tech
2. Oklahoma Baptist
3. British Columbia
4. Doane
5. Wayland Baptist
6. College of Idaho
7. Baker
8. Cal State San Marcos
9. Embry-Riddle (Fla.)
10. Hastings
11. Westmont
12. Concordia (Neb.)
13. Carroll (Mont.)
14. Xavier
15. Indiana Wesleyan
16. Olivet Nazarene
17. The Master's
18. Siena Heights
19. Southern Oregon
20. Biola
21. Vanguard
22. Concordia (Ore.)
23. Cornerstone
24. McPherson
25. Bethel (Ind.)

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

No. 2 Abbes one of five ranked Xavier singles players

XU freshman Nour Abbes has yet to lose a collegiate singles match.

NEW ORLEANS — Nour Abbes is No. 2, a record for a Xavier University of Louisiana women's player, in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's NAIA national rankings announced Wednesday.
Abbes is one of five ranked singles players from Xavier. Teammate Kourtney Howell is 16th, and Brion Flowers is 27th. On the men's team, Kyle Montrel is 16th, and Nikita Soifer is 29th.
Howell had been the highest-ranked Gold Nugget at No. 6 last season. But Abbes, a freshman from Tunis, Tunisia, and a graduate of Lycée Sportif d'El Menzah, reached No. 4 in the March 12 rankings. Abbes is 13-0 in singles — six victories against NCAA Division I opponents — and 11-2 in doubles.
In the NAIA national doubles rankings, Howell and Flowers are fifth, and Montrel and Soifer are 20th.
In the ITA's South region singles rankings, Abbes is second, Howell ninth and Flowers 16th. Montrel is fifth among men in the South, and Soifer is 13th.

Howell and Flowers are fourth in the South in doubles, and Montrel and Soifer are seventh.
Howell is a senior from Cypress, Texas, and a graduate of Cypress Woods High School. Flowers is a sophomore from Lafayette, La. (St. Thomas More), Montrel is a sophomore from Atlanta (Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy), and Soifer is a junior from Beer Sheva, Israel (Hof Hasharon).
The Gold Nuggets' next dual will be April 25 in the NAIA Unaffiliated Group 2 Tournament in New Orleans. Pairings and times will be announced next week. The Gold Rush will play the University of New Orleans at 3 p.m. Thursday at XU Tennis Center. Day and venue of that dual were moved.

Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director

Anderson tabbed as Mississippi Valley wide receivers coach

ITTA BENA, Mississippi -- Mississippi Valley State University head football coach Rick Comegy has added another member to his coaching staff. Sean Anderson has been hired as wide receivers coach and has already begun his new duties.

Anderson spent one season as Offensive Coordinator at Benedict College in South Carolina. While at Benedict, he took the offense to a fourth place finish in the conference in passing and had two wide receivers finish in the top 10 in receiving.

Anderson brings more than 10 years of coaching experience to MVSU. He previously served as wide receivers coach at Campbellsville University for one season. While at Campbellsville, he coached a pair of All-Conference wide receivers. One of his receivers set the school record for longest touchdown catch. He also coached a kickoff returner who became the fourth player in school history to collect more than 500 return yards in a season and 1,000 return yards in a career.

Prior to Campbellsville, Anderson coached one year at Northwestern State University in Louisiana, where he coached wide receivers. He coached a wide receiver who amassed 908 yards of total offense and is a record holder in kickoff return yardage.

Anderson spent four years at Lincoln University in Missouri, where he served as passing game coordinator, producing four all-conference players. During his tenure, he coached a receiver to more than 900 yards of total offense in three of his five seasons as a full-time coach. While at Lincoln, Anderson coached eight All-Conference academic performers as well as four All-Conference student-athletes. In 2007, Anderson coached a wide receiver who amassed 969 yards of total offense. In 2008, he coached a wide receiver who reached 1,057 of total yards of offense.

Anderson coached for three seasons at Jackson State University. While at JSU, he served as tight end, wide receiver, offensive line and quarterback coach. In 2006, JSU's scoring offense ranked 19th in the nation and first in the SWAC.  He coached former JSU standouts, Chris Jones, Cletis Gordon and Jaymar Johnson, whom all played in the NFL.

A native of St. Louis, Anderson earned his mass communications degree from William Jewell College in 2004 after transferring from Central Missouri State University following the 2000 season. While at William Jewell, he was a two-sport athlete, starting three years at wide receiver and lettering two years in track and field.

He has a son, Keelin, and he is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.    


FAMU Rattler Tennis Teams Prepare For MEAC Tournament

NORFOLK, Virginia (April 14)  –  On Monday afternoon, the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announced the seedings for the 2014 Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships, set for Thursday through Saturday, April 17-19 at the Cayce Tennis and Fitness Center in Cayce, South Carolina. 

Both Florida A&M University teams made the tournament field from the Southern Division, and both will be seeded third in the championship event. 

The FAMU Men (9-13, 2-2 in MEAC) will face Northern No. 2 seed Hampton University, in Thursday’s opening round. 

Dr. Carl Goodman’s Rattler Men struggled some this season with a roster full of first-year players, led by the trio of Carols Agus Waitman (13-6), Admire Mushonga (12-8) and Zach Evenden (10-9), who turned in the top records in singles’ play this spring. 

Meanwhile, the FAMU Women (6-13, 4-2 in MEAC), who will square off against Northern No. 2 Morgan State in Thursday’s opening round, also had their ups and downs this season, with one of the highlights being a four-match win streak at midseason which aided their Top Four divisional finish. 

Coach Nikki Goldthreate’s squad was paced by Arrice Robinson (8-4) and Dominique Henry (9-8) in singles, with Henry and Alexis Dean (8-6), along with Robinson and Shantal Blackwood (9-8) turning in the top doubles’ performances of the spring.


Morgan State men’s and Howard women’s teams earned the top seeds in the Northern Division, while the South Carolina State men’s and Bethune-Cookman women’s teams finished atop of the Southern Division.

On the women’s side, Howard (12-4) tallied a 5-0 unblemished mark in MEAC northern divisional play to claim the title. The Lady Bison enter the tournament as the number one seed, having won 11 out of its last 12 matches, including five straight in conference play.
Rounding out the north is Morgan State (N2), Delaware State (N3), and Hampton (N4), respectively.

Bethune-Cookman swept divisional play (6-0) and ended its regular season with an 18-9 overall record. The Lady Wildcats will face Hampton, the number four seed, on Thursday beginning at 8:30 a.m.

South Carolina State (S2) earned the number two seed, followed by Florida A&M (S3) and North Carolina Central (S4). 

On the men’s side, Morgan State (4-11) picked up its third straight men’s divisional title with a 4-0 conference mark. Bethune-Cookman, earned the number four seed in the south, and will face the Bears on Thursday, beginning at Noon. 

Hampton (N2), Coppin State (N3) and Howard (N4) wrap up the men’s northern division. 

South Carolina State completed the conference schedule with a perfect 4-0 mark and will meet Howard on Friday, beginning at Noon. The Bulldogs, the defending MEAC tournament champions, finished the regular season with a 9-7 overall record. 

Norfolk State (S2), Florida A&M (S3) and Bethune-Cookman (S4) secured the remaining spots in the southern division. 

Only the top four teams in each division compete in the championship tournament. Coppin State, Maryland Eastern Shore, Norfolk State, North Carolina A&T and Savannah State’s women’s teams were eliminated from tournament play as a result of their conference finish. Maryland Eastern Shore and North Carolina Central’s men’s teams were also eliminated. 

The 2014 MEAC Men's and Women's Tennis Championship begins with women's play on Thursday, April 17 at 8:30 a.m., while the men begin action at 12 Noon.

The women's semi-final rounds start on Friday at 8:30 a.m. followed by the men at Noon.

The Championship concludes on Saturday with the women's final beginning at 9 a.m. followed by the men's title match at Noon. The championship is free and open to the public.

Portions of this article appear courtesy of

Southern keeps working after NCAA leaves

University preparing more paperwork

BATON ROUGE, Louisiana  --  The NCAA’s visit to Southern ended Tuesday afternoon, but the university’s marathon collection and submission of data continued into the night.

Two NCAA representatives spent Monday and Tuesday on campus meeting with university officials, examining documents and evaluating changes Southern has made to how it monitors student-athletes’ academic progress and records, and submits that information to the NCAA.

The discovery of “unusable data” pertaining to student-athletes’ Academic Progress Rates that had been submitted in recent years led to the NCAA instituting a postseason ban on all Jaguars athletic programs last year.

The two-day visit was the latest attempt by Southern to demonstrate sufficient improvement in its preparation to get the ban lifted.

Athletic Director William Broussard said Tuesday night that he felt the NCAA was impressed with “the culture change on campus” in terms of the implementation of new staff and task forces to support student-athletes.


TSU's Miller to Take Part in PIT

NASHVILLE, Tennessee  --  Tennessee State guard Patrick Miller was selected to take part in the 2014 Portsmouth Invitational Tournament (P.I.T.) on April 16-19.

Miller led the OVC in scoring, averaging 23.7 points per game and 26.1 in OVC contests; that ranked him fourth nationally while he also ranked sixth in the nation in minutes played at 37:44 per game.

The Chicago native scored 20-plus points 22 times and had 30 or more points in six games. He scored a career-high 38 points in the next-to-last game of the season at Morehead State, a contest that saw him hit the game-winning 3-pointer with two second remaining.
Each year for 60 years the P.I.T has invited 64 of the best college basketball players (seniors) from across the nation to participate in a four-day, twelve game tournament in front of representatives from every NBA team.
The P.I.T. has always claimed to be “more than a basketball tournament”.  Each year the P.I.T. contributes back to the community by awarding five $4,000 scholarships to student athletes from Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Virginia Beach.  In addition to the scholarships, approximately $11,500 from the tournament proceeds is presented to local non-profit organizations and charities to help them make a difference in the local community, creating a grand total of over $31,500 given back the community each year.
Miller’s assigned squad is Cherry Bekaert and the team’s first contest will be April 17 at 9 p.m. ET against Portsmouth Partnership.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jackson leans on Jackson State QBs to lead

JACKSON, Mississippi -- Earlier this week, the Jackson State coaches held exit meetings with players.

The crux of the message they wanted to get across was the importance of studying the playbook, coach Harold Jackson said.

“We threw a lot at them,” Jackson said. “Now they (have) got a mix of what’s really happening, what’s really going on. All they (have) got to do is go and study and put it all together.”

JSU concluded the spring with the Blue and White game on Saturday, but the new coaches felt the 14-day, two-hour practices weren’t enough for the players to ...