Sports briefs


Middle school track championships

The Virginia High School League has announced plans for middle school state championships in both cross country and outdoor track in October and May of the upcoming school year. Championships will be decided in both team and individual titles. There will also exhibition races for elementary school athletes.


New ACC bowl affiliates

The Atlantic Coast Conference on Thursday announced a new six-year bowl lineup, beginning in 2020, which includes the addition of the San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl and the newly created bowl game in Boston. The lineup features bowl games across the country with outstanding matchups in Alabama, California, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and Texas.
The bowl agreements are in addition to the College Football Playoff, which has featured an ACC team every year since it began in 2014.  An ACC team will also compete annually in the Capital One Orange Bowl in years it is not hosting a CFP semifinal game. The Capital One Orange Bowl has been ‘Home of the ACC’ since 2007.
The ACC has reached agreements through 2025 with the Belk Bowl, Camping World Bowl, Hyundai Sun Bowl, Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman, New Era Pinstripe Bowl, San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl, TaxSlayer Gator Bowl and the new game in Boston, which will be named later this fall. The league will also send a team to either the Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, Birmingham Bowl or SERVPRO First Responder Bowl on an annual basis.
Additionally, the ACC will send a team to the Outback Bowl if the opponent in the Orange Bowl is from the Big Ten.


Baxter wins silver

After a vaulting battle that went back and forth between herself and Italy’s Roberta Bruni, Virginia Tech’s Rachel Baxter wrapped up her time at the World University games with a silver medal.
Baxter started the day in great form as she cleared four of her first five heights on the first attempt, one of which was her vault of 4.41 meters (14 feet, 5.5 inches) that earned her the silver medal. Baxter was neck and neck throughout the event with Italy’s Bruni, but she was unable to clear 4.46 meters, while Bruni was able to do so on her final attempt.


Academic all-state honorees

Six Hokies made the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) Academic All-State Team, as announced by the organization on Friday.
The Virginia Tech women’s golf team was well represented on the academic list, earning two spots on the team in Elizabeth Bose and Jessica Spicer, the most of any sport in Blacksburg.
Softball’s Carrie Eberle, the ACC’s Softball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, track and field’s Bashir Mosavel-Lo, a second-team All-American and CoSIDA Academic All-District III selection, swimming’s Ian Ho, an All-ACC Swimming and Diving Academic Team member, and lacrosse’s Mary Claire Byrne, an IWLCA Senior All-Star participant and All-ACC Lacrosse Academic Team pick, made the VaSID team.
Honorees have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or higher and are sophomores or higher. Thirty-three schools in the state were honored with six student-athletes from each school, making up the 198-member team.


Willis on watch list


Virginia Tech redshirt senior QB Ryan Willis has been named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, the award’s committee announced Monday.

Willis (6-4, 223) started 10 games under center for the Hokies in 2018 and finished third in the ACC with a 2.67 TD-to-INT ratio, fourth in passing yards per game (226.3 ypg), fourth in pass efficiency (138.0) and fifth in total offense (244.8 ypg). His 2,716 passing yards last season rank eighth all-time in a single season at Virginia Tech. The Overland Park, Kansas native also ran for four touchdowns and racked up 354 rushing yards, which ranked third on the team.

The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. “Tiny” Maxwell, has been given to America’s College Player of the Year since 1937. Maxwell’s contributions to the game of football were extensive, including time as a player, a sportswriter and an official.