The skinny Archive


Duke’s Helton wins ACC’s Jim Tatum Award

David Helton.

David Helton.

For the third year in a row, a Blue Devil has won the same Atlantic Coast Conference award honoring the concept of student-athlete. Duke senior linebacker David Helton has been named the recipient of the 2014 Jim Tatum Award, ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced Thursday.

The Tatum Award is given annually in memory of the late Jim Tatum to the top senior student-athlete (in athletic eligibility) among the league’s football players. Tatum, a two-time ACC Coach of the Year, coached in the 1950s at both Maryland and North Carolina and believed strongly in the concept of the student-athlete.

The 2014 Tatum Award will be presented at the ACC’s Night of Legends event, which will be held Friday (5:30 p.m.) at the Charlotte Convention Center as part of the festivities held around the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game.

Helton, a Psychology major who holds a 3.64 career grade point average, is one of 17 recipients of the prestigious 2014 National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards and a finalist for the NFF’s Campbell Trophy as the top football scholar-athlete in the nation. Helton was also named a Lott IMPACT Trophy finalist on Wednesday.

“David epitomizes the true student-athlete, and we couldn’t be prouder of him as the recipient of the 2014 Tatum Award,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. “His core values, instilled in him by his incredible parents, are what make him as fine a young man as we’ve had in our program. This is a tremendous honor for David and his family.”

The Chattanooga, Tennessee, native was named to the All-ACC Football Academic Team each of his first three seasons (with this year’s selections still pending) and is also a three-time member of the ACC Academic Honor Roll. He earned first-team Capital One Academic All-District III accolades in both 2013 and 2014, and is among 10 national semifinalists for the 2014 Lott IMPACT Trophy.

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior played a key role in Duke posting a 9-3 overall record and is a major reason the Blue Devils are headed to a bowl game for a school-record third straight season. An All-ACC first-team selection, Helton leads the ACC in tackles with 10.4 per game and keys a Duke defensive unit that ranks fifth in the conference is scoring defense (20.6 points per game).

Helton is the third consecutive Duke student-athlete to receive the Tatum Award after Blue Devil quarterback Sean Renfree was honored in 2012 and offensive lineman Perry Simmons was recognized last year.

ACC Jim Tatum Award Winners

1979 Scott Hamilton, Duke, G

1980-81 No Award

1982 Pat Chester, Virginia, S

Phil Denfield, Wake Forest, TE

1983-84 Not Available

1985 Kevin Anthony, North Carolina, QB

1986 David Cardenas, Virginia, DB

1987-89 Not Available

1990 Charlie Cobb, NC State, C

1991 Steve Ainsworth, Wake Forest, OL

1992 Not Available

1993 Thomas Burns, Virginia, LB

1994 Ed Glenn, Clemson, TE

1995 Russell Babb, North Carolina, OT

1996 Daryl Bush, Florida State, DB

1997 Stephen Phelan, Virginia, DB

Jonathan Claiborne, Maryland, S

1998 Ebenezer Ekuban, North Carolina, DE

1999 Noel LaMontagne, Virginia, G

2000 Louis Marchetti, North Carolina, OT

2001 Kyle Young, Clemson, C

2002 Jeremy Muyres, Georgia Tech, DB

2003 Chris Douglas, Duke, RB

2004 Nick Novak, Maryland, PK

2005 Brendan Dewan, Duke, LB

David Castillo, Florida State, C

2006 Josh Wilson, Maryland, DB

2007 Tom Santi, Virginia, TE

2008 Darryl Richard, Georgia Tech, DT

2009 Riley Skinner, Wake Forest, QB

2010 Christian Ponder, Florida State, QB

2011 Danny Coale, Virginia Tech, WR-P

2012 Sean Renfree, Duke, QB

2013 Perry Simmons, Duke, OT

2014 David Helton, Duke, LB


Four Heels, three Devils take All-America field hockey honors

uncfieldhockey3Fifteen Atlantic Coast Conference field hockey student-athletes earned 2014 All-America honors from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association, the organization announced Monday. The total is the most for any conference in the nation.

All seven ACC teams had at least one player recognized, led by North Carolina which had a national-best four All-Americans. Duke and Syracuse had three players selected, followed by Wake Forest with two and Boston College, Louisville, and Virginia with one each.

Of the 16-member first team, seven are from ACC schools with two from Syracuse and one each from Boston College, Louisville, North Carolina, Virginia, and Wake Forest. Four league representatives are on the second team, and four garnered third team honors.

Wake Forest’s Anna Kozniuk is the 14th player in league history to earn four career All-America honors. Boston College’s Emma Plasters, and North Carolina’s Charlotte Craddock and Emily Wold were recognized for the third time.

North Carolina’s field hockey team was ranked No. 1 before losing 3-2 to No. 4 Syracuse in an NCAA semifinal game less than two weeks ago. It was the second year in a row that UNC has been eliminated in a penalty shootout following 70 minutes of regulation and two 15-minute overtime periods. The Heels finished the season 19-4.

ACC on the 2014 NFHCA All-America Teams

First Team

Emma Plasteras, Boston College

Alyssa Voelmle, Louisville

Emily Wold, North Carolina

Alyssa Manley, Syracuse

Emma Russell, Syracuse

Tara Vittese, Virginia

Anna Kozniuk, Wake Forest

Second Team

Aileen Johnson, Duke

Lauren Blazing, Duke

Charlotte Craddock, North Carolina

Samantha Travers, North Carolina

Third Team

Abby Beltrani, Duke

Nina Notman, North Carolina

Lieke Visser, Syracuse

Georgia Holland, Wake Forest


State’s Kearney wins ACC freshman of the week again

Kaitlyn Kearney.

Kaitlyn Kearney.

NC State freshman middle blocker Kaitlyn Kearney has earned this week’s Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball Freshman of the Week honors.

Kearney takes home her third Freshman of the Week award after helping the Wolfpack split a pair of conference matches. The Frisco, Texas, native swatted a match-high 11 kills on Friday at Pitt, finishing the match with a career-best .625 attacking percentage.

Last Sunday at Notre Dame, Kearney put down 10 kills on 18 attacks with only one error to record a .500 hitting percentage. For the weekend she had 21 kills and tallied a .559 attacking percentage.


UNC’s Green honored as weekly ACC defensive back winner

Dominquie Green.

Dominquie Green.

Florida State senior Rashad Greene leads the first Atlantic Coast Conference Football Player of the Week selections of the 2014 season. Greene was named the ACC Receiver of the Week following his performance in the top-ranked Seminoles’ 37-31 win over Oklahoma State in Saturday night’s season opener.

Greene, who had 11 receptions for a career-high 203 yards and a touchdown, was one of two Seminoles to earn weekly honors, as FSU defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. was recognized as the ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week.

North Carolina safety Dominquie Green was named the ACC Co-Defensive Back of the Week.

CO-DEFENSIVE BACK – Dominquie Green, North Carolina, So., S, 5-11, 190, Laurinburg, N.C.

Green recovered three fumbles and returned one for 20 yards to set up a touchdown in UNC’s 56-29 win over Liberty. Green’s three fumble recoveries were part of six turnovers the Tar Heels gained in the win (four fumble recoveries, two interceptions). A year ago, Carolina recovered just seven fumbles all season.

Pitt and Louisville both joined the Seminoles in having two players recognized. Panthers running back James Conner was named the ACC Offensive Back of the Week, while senior guard Matt Rotheram earned ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week honors following a 62-0 win over Delaware. Louisville safety James Sample was named the ACC Co-Defensive Back of the Week, and kick returner Corvin Lamb shared the ACC Specialist of the Week honor after the Cardinals made their ACC debut with a 31-13 win over Miami on Monday night.

Virginia’s Henry Coley earned Linebacker of the Week honors, while Virginia Tech running back Shai McKenzie was named the ACC Rookie of the Week, and Syracuse kicker Riley Dixon joined Louisville’s Lamb as Co-Specialist of the Week.

OFFENSIVE BACK – James Conner, Pitt, So., RB, 6-2, 250, Erie, Pa.
Conner was the catalyst in Pitt’s 62-0 opening day win over Delaware. The sophomore tailback rushed for 153 yards on just 14 carries – an average of nearly 11 yards per attempt – and ran for four touchdowns. Conner, who was not tackled behind the line of scrimmage on any of his carries, is tied for the national scoring lead with an average of 24.0 points per game. His performance helped the Panthers achieve their largest margin of victory in a season opener since 1913 (67-0 over Ohio Northern).

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Matt Rotheram, Pitt, Sr., G, 6-6, 335, North Olmsted, Ohio

Rotheram was Pitt’s top offensive grader in the season opener, helping the Panthers roll up 409 rushing yards (7.3 yards per attempt) and seven rushing TDs. Pitt’s rushing total was its highest single-game effort since the Tony Dorsett era of the mid-1970s. Pitt running backs were not dropped for a loss on any of their 56 carries against Delaware.

RECEIVER – Rashad Greene, Florida State, Sr., WR, 6-0, 178, Albany, Ga.

Greene had 11 catches for a career-best 203 yards and a touchdown in the Seminoles’ 37-31 victory over Oklahoma State. Greene’s yardage total was the best by any “Power Five” conference player and the second-best overall in the country. His 50-yard catch-and-run TD with just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter gave FSU a 37-24 lead. In his last two games, Greene has 20 catches for 350 yards – dating back to last season’s BCS Championship.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Mario Edwards Jr., Florida State, Jr., DE, 6-3, 294, Gautier, Miss.

Edwards had had four tackles, a sack and a pass breakup in the Seminoles’ victory over Oklahoma State. Edwards’ fourth-quarter sack was a vital play as it came with FSU holding a 27-24 lead. The sack resulted in a 14-yard loss and killed the Cowboys’ momentum. Edwards’ pressure on the quarterback helped limit OSU’s potent passing attack (335 yards per game the last four years) to just 203 yards. He played every defensive snap for the Seminoles.

LINEBACKER – Henry Coley, Virginia, Sr., MLB, 6-2, 230, Virginia Beach, Va.

Coley spearheaded a defensive effort that only allowed seven points by UCLA’s offense in the Cavaliers’ hard-fought 28-20 loss to the seventh-ranked Bruins. Coley led UVa with 14 tackles, two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, forced one fumble and broke up one pass. He had nine solo tackles. The signal caller for Virginia’s defensive front, Coley made the formation calls that allowed the Cavaliers to sack UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley and force him out of the pocket numerous times. UCLA averaged 3.0 rushing yards per carry and was just 7-for-18 on third down conversions. UCLA drives totaled 25 yards or less on 11 of 16 possessions.

CO-DEFENSIVE BACK – James Sample, Louisville, Jr., S, 6-2, 191, Sacramento, Calif.

Sample led the team in tackles with eight and also recorded an interception that stopped a potential Miami scoring drive. The Louisville defense held the Hurricanes to 244 yards of total offense in the 31-13 win.

CO-SPECIALIST – Riley Dixon, Syracuse, Sr., P, 6-5, 219, Blossvale, N.Y.

Dixon, who also serves as the Orange holder, threw what proved to be the game-winning touchdown pass to Kendall Moore in the second overtime of SU’s 27-26 victory against Villanova. On fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line, Syracuse faked a field goal. Dixon rolled left and threw the first TD pass of his career to give the Orange a 27-20 advantage. The Orange defense rose up on the Wildcats’ second OT possession, denying Villanova’s potential game-winning, two-point conversion. In addition to the touchdown, Dixon punted five times for 217 yards (43.4 avg.) with a long of 51 yards. He placed two of his kicks inside the 20. ​

CO-SPECIALIST – Corvin Lamb, Louisville, R-Jr., 5-9, 290, Miami, Fla.

In the Cardinals’ first game as member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Lamb returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown to help spark Louisville to a 31-13 win over visiting Miami on Monday night. The 97-yard kickoff return tied for the fifth-longest in school history.

ROOKIE – Shai McKenzie, Virginia Tech, Fr., RB, 5-11, 212, Washington, Pa.

In his first game action, the true freshman rushed for 106 yards on just nine carries (11.8 yards per carry) with a 39-yard touchdown in the Hokies’ 34-9 win over William & Mary.


Duke lacrosse coach speaks at Raleigh Sports Club

John Danowski.

John Danowski.

Duke lacrosse coach John Danowski will speak at Wednesday’s Raleigh Sports Club luncheoon at Bradley Hall in Highland United Methodist Church at 1901 Ridge Road..

Cemented as one of the top coaches in college lacrosse, Danowski has helped lead the Duke men’s lacrosse team to unprecedented success during his seven-year tenure. Danowski was introduced as Duke’s eighth head men’s lacrosse coach on July 21, 2006 and quickly led the Blue Devils to some of the most successful lacrosse seasons in school history and to a pair of NCAA Championships in four seasons.

The RSC will honor local high school student Michael Rubino, the kicker on Middle Creek High School’s football team, as the Student Athlete of the Week.

Buffet lines open at 11:30 a.m. and the meeting is from noon until 1 p.m. Attendance fee for members is $15 while guest fee is $25.

The annual membership fee is $70, which helps to fund the club’s scholarship fund. Each week from late August to early April meetings include a Southern buffet, door prizes, pick sheets and introduction to a deserving Student Athlete as well as hearing from a prominent sports figure as our guest speaker.
Raleigh Sports Club Membership Form


CBS pokes a little fun at NC State’s new uniforms

stateuniforms“Now, if you’re a North Carolina State fan, who just saw your team go 0-8 in the ACC last year, you could sit there and ponder what such a narrow escape means for the 2014 season OR you could look at some new black alternate uniforms,” writes CBS college football writer Tom Fornelli

To see more, please click here.


Fan guide to UNC’s home opener vs. Liberty

unclibertyNorth Carolina opens its 124th college football season on Saturday, Aug. 30, when the Tar Heels host Liberty of the Big South Conference at 6 p.m. It’s the season opener for a pair of teams looking to build off the momentum of strong finishes from a year ago. Carolina won six of its last seven in 2013, including a 39-17 win over Cincinnati in the Belk Bowl, while the Flames reeled off five straight victories to end the year.

Saturday’s game is the first meeting between Carolina and Liberty on the gridiron. The two institutions squared off in the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in 1994 with the No. 1 Tar Heels prevailing, 71-51.

Carolina is 1-1 in season openers under head coach Larry Fedora. In 2012, the Tar Heels knocked off Elon, 63-0, in Fedora’s debut as UNC’s coach. Last year, Carolina fell at No. 6 South Carolina on a Thursday night in Columbia, 27-10. A win over Liberty would be Fedora’s 50th as a head coach.

Carolina has won five of its last seven season openers. All five came against FCS competition.

Liberty is coached by Turner Gill, who is in his third season with the Flames. Gill previously was the head coach at Buffalo and Kansas.

Records: North Carolina 0-0, Liberty 0-0
Rankings: Carolina is ranked No. 23 in both the AP poll and the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. Liberty is receiving votes in the Sports Network FCS Top 25.
TV: ESPN3 (click to watch). Ryan Rose (play-by-play), Forrest Conoly (analyst) and Angela Mallen (sideline) have the call.
Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network (click to listen), a division of Learfield Communications. Jones Angell (play-by-play), Ethan Albright (analyst) and Lee Pace (sideline) have the call.
Twitter: @TarHeelFootball, @CoachFedora | @LibertyFootball, @LibertyTGill

• Carolina is ranked No. 23 in both The Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Top 25 Polls. It is the first time the Tar Heels have been ranked since 2010. That year, Carolina began the season No. 18 in the AP poll, but lost to No. 21 LSU in the season opener in Atlanta.
• Carolina had just six scholarship seniors on its 2014 training camp roster and just one senior starter on offense – tight end Jack Tabb.
• Carolina’s offensive line has just 43 starts to its credit led by junior offensive guard Landon Turner with 17. Jon Heck started all 13 games last year at right tackle and Caleb Peterson started 12 at left guard. Offensive tackle Kiaro Holts started one game in 2012 vs. Idaho.
• Carolina looks to continue its outstanding special teams play from a year ago. In 2013, the Tar Heels ranked first in the country in punt returns, 10th in net punting and 19th in kickoff returns.


Notre Dame favored to win ACC men’s soccer title; Heels third

notredamesoccerDefending national champion Notre Dame is the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s soccer preseason favorite, according to a vote of the league’s 12 head coaches.

The Irish were named by six coaches as this year’s team to beat, followed by Virginia with three first-place votes, North Carolina with two, and Louisville with one.

Notre Dame, with 64 points, was also named by six coaches as the favorite in the Coastal Division, edging out 2013 Men’s College Cup participant Virginia, which had four first-place votes and 62 points. North Carolina (53 points) received two nods for the division and was picked third, followed by Duke (37), Virginia Tech (23), and Pitt (13).

League newcomer Louisville was picked as the Atlantic Division favorite, receiving nine of a possible 12 first-place votes while totaling 69 total points. Wake Forest (57 points) and Clemson (50) both collected first-place votes, and are followed in the poll by NC State (30), Boston College (26), and Syracuse (20).

A national-best six ACC squads earned NCAA bids in 2013. Three advanced to the NCAA College Cup, marking the 13th straight year with at least one league team in the semifinals. Notre Dame’s championship marked the sixth title by an ACC team in the last nine years and the 16th in league history.

The 2014 season, which gets underway on Friday, Aug. 29, marks the first for the league under a divisional format. Each team will play every other squad in its division, plus three crossover games. The two division winners are guaranteed one of the top two seeds for the ACC Championship.

The 10-team ACC Championship will be held in early November, with first round games slated for Wednesday, Nov. 5, quarterfinals for Sunday, Nov. 9, semifinals on Friday, Nov. 14, and the championship on Sunday, Nov. 16. The first round and quarterfinals will be held at campus sites, with the semifinals and final at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.


(first place votes)

Overall Champion
Notre Dame (6)
Virginia (3)
North Carolina (2)
Louisville (1)

Atlantic Division
1. Louisville (9) 69
2. Wake Forest (2) 57
3. Clemson (1) 50
4. NC State 30
5. Boston College 26
6. Syracuse 20

Coastal Division
1. Notre Dame (6) 64
2. Virginia (4) 62
3. North Carolina (2) 53
4. Duke 37
5. Virginia Tech 23
6. Pitt 13


UNC women’s soccer team picked to finish third in ACC

UNC coach Anson Dorrance.

UNC coach Anson Dorrance.

North Carolina’s women’s soccer team finds themselves in an unfamiliar situation. The Tar Heels, who open the season at home Friday night against Stanford, received just one first-place vote in a poll by the league’s 14 head coaches.

UNC did rank No. 8 in a national preseason poll issued by Top Drawer Soccer but that poll had the Tar Heels the fourth best ACC team, behind Virginia Tech.

Florida State was chosen to repeat as the Atlantic Coast Conference women’s soccer champion.

The Seminoles received eight first-place votes en route to 189 total points, followed by Virginia (five first-place votes, 183 points) and North Carolina (one first-place vote, 166 points).

Virginia Tech placed fourth in the voting, followed by Duke, Notre Dame and Wake Forest. Boston College placed eighth, followed by Clemson, Louisville, Syracuse, Miami, NC State and Pitt.

FSU, Virginia and Virginia Tech were all participants in the 2013 NCAA Women’s College Cup. A total of eight ACC teams were selected for last year’s NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, including all four number-one seeds. It marked the first time in NCAA history that all four number one seeds had come from the same conference

Virginia leads the 2014 Coaches’ Preseason All-ACC Team with three selections among the 11 members, including 2013 MAC Hermann Trophy winner Morgan Brian. In addition to Brian, the preseason All-ACC teams features three more returning NSCAA All-Americans in Florida State’s Dagny Brynjarsdottir and Virginia’s Makenzy Doniak and Danielle Colaprico. Those four, along with Notre Dame’s Cari Roccaro and North Carolina’s Summer Green, were named to the 2014 MAC Hermann Watch List.

ACC teams are set to open regular-season play this Friday, with the first conference games slated for Friday, Sept. 19. The top four teams in the final league standings will advance to the ACC Championship, scheduled for Nov. 7 and Nov. 9 at the UNC Greensboro Soccer Stadium.

Preseason ACC Coaches Poll

1. Florida State (189 points, 8 first place votes)
2. Virginia (183, 5)
3. North Carolina (166, 1)
4. Virginia Tech (150)
5. Duke (135)
6. Notre Dame (128)
7. Wake Forest (104)
8. Boston College (95)
9. Clemson (79)
10. Louisville (72)
11. Syracuse (56)
12. Miami (44)
13. NC State (42)
14. Pitt (16)

Preseason All-ACC Team

Morgan Brian, Sr., M, Virginia
Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Sr., M, Florida State
Danielle Colaprico, Sr., M, Virginia
Makenzy Doniak, Jr., F, Virginia
Christina Gibbons, So., D, Duke
Summer Green, Jr., F, North Carolina
Kristin Grubka, Sr., D, Florida State
Stephanie McCaffrey, Sr., F, Boston College
Ashley Meier, Jr., M, Virginia Tech
Cari Roccaro, Jr., M/D, Notre Dame
Kailen Sheridan, So, GK, Clemson


McCraw, Rhodes lead West Raleigh to Ripken Series title

Team Southeast from West Raleigh, representing the USA, defeated Mexico 5-2 Saturday in the World Championship game of the 2014 Cal Ripken World Series. West Raleigh got all the runs it needed in the first inning. With a 1-0 lead, West Raleigh catcher Lane Rhodes slammed an opposite field three-run homer to right center to give the USA a 4-0 advantage. In the third, West Raleigh’s Nolan McClean lifted a […]

Garrett McCraw.

Garrett McCraw.

Team Southeast from West Raleigh, representing the USA, defeated Mexico 5-2 Saturday in the World Championship game of the 2014 Cal Ripken World Series.

West Raleigh got all the runs it needed in the first inning. With a 1-0 lead, West Raleigh catcher Lane Rhodes slammed an opposite field three-run homer to right center to give the USA a 4-0 advantage.

Lane Rhodes.

Lane Rhodes.

In the third, West Raleigh’s Nolan McClean lifted a fastball over the left center field wall to extend the lead to 5-0.

Mexico’s Jesus Castillo popped a two-run homer in the fourth to narrow the USA lead to 5-2. But West Raleigh’s pitcher Garrett McCraw buckled down and went on to toss a complete game while striking out seven Mexico batters. McCraw, who gave up only five hits, retired 10 batters in a row at one point. He also scored the first run of the game when Matthew Willadsen drove him in after he had delivered a bloop double.

With one on and two out in the final inning, Mexico’s Castillo’s ripped what looked like a single to right but outfielder McClean fielded it quickly and cleanly and fired to Penn Sealey at first to throw out Castillo to end the game.

West Raleigh has had a strong program for several years, appearing in the tournament numerous times, but it was the first time the team has won the World Series title. West Raleigh won the USA championship in 2004 and in 2013 but fell in the World Series International Game.

West Raleigh coach Ryan Holjes brushed aside tears as the players and fans celebrated the title. “This is unbelievable man, just unbelievable,” he said. “It’s surreal, it’s more than we could ever dreamed of.”

A U.S.-based team had not won the title since 2009.

The Cal Ripken World Series features teams of 11-year-old and 12-year-old baseball players from throughout the world playing in Aberdeen, Md.

The tournament is named after retired Orioles iron man Cal Ripken Jr. It’s similar to Little League except teams play on a field with 70-foot base paths and a 50-foot pitching distance as compared to Little League’s 60-foot base paths and a 46-foot pitching distance.

McCraw was named Most Outstanding Player of the tournament as he sported a 3-0 tournament record along with two home runs. Rhodes was chosen as Most Outstanding Player in the championship game. Outfielder Paul Ryder was the Most Outstanding Player of the U.S. championship game Friday. He slugged a 3-run homer in West Raleigh’s 7-5 victory over Harford (Md.).