Sports briefs


Concord football staff additions

Concord University head football coach Dave Walker has announced two additions to the coaching staff for the 2020 season.
Former Tusculum offensive coordinator Brian Ferguson will take over the reins of the Mountain Lion offense while one-time West Virginia Wesleyan defensive coordinator Logan Williams will run the Concord defense.
Ferguson has coached at several levels including the National Football League (NFL), Arena Football League (AFL), NCAA Division I and Division II.
Most recently, Ferguson spent four seasons as the offensive coordinator for Tusculum, a Division II school in Greeneville, Tenn. A native of Colorado Springs, Colo., Ferguson was both an assistant coach and interim head coach with the Jacksonville Sharks of the AFL from 2011-15. He also spent time at Division II’s Tiffin University as the offensive coordinator during the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Besides his time with the Sharks, Ferguson has spent time in the professional ranks as the strength coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2005 and 2008) and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2000-01).

Like Ferguson, Williams has had several stops, mostly along the Atlantic seaboard in his eight-year coaching career. In his lone season at West Virginia Wesleyan, Williams helped coach four All-Mountain East Conference selections including one of the best tacklers in the conference, John Merica—an All-MEC First-Team selection.


VT vaulter Rachel Baxter sets school record

Virginia Tech pole vaulter Rachel Baxter set a new school indoor track and field record and personal best in winning the pole vault competition at the New Mexico Invitational Saturday in A junior from Orange, Calif., Baxter cleared 4.53 meters (14 feet, 10.25 inches) on her second attempt and easily beat Nevada’s Gabrielle Palmer for the title. Palmer’s top vault was 4.10 meters (13 feet, 5.25 inches).
Baxter attempted 4.60 meters, but missed on all three attempts. She broke her own school record of 4.47 meters (14 feet, 8 inches), which she set last Feburary at the ACC Championships held at Rector Field House..


Concord runner Leichner earns academic honors

Freshman Nate Leichner of the Concord University men’s cross-country team and a Christiansburg native has been named to the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association All-Academic Team, the group announced Thursday afternoon.
To qualify for All-Academic distinction, student-athletes must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale and finish in the top 30 percent of their respective regional championship meet, among other qualifiers.
Leichner, a biology major, carries a 3.38 GPA in the classroom and finished 19th at the NCAA Division II Atlantic Regional Championship in November. The finish earned him all-region honors.
In late October, Leichner was named the MEC Freshman of the Year and to the All-MEC First Team after placing sixth at the MEC Championship.


SID’s name four Hokie football players All-State

The 2019 VaSID All-State Football Team announced on Friday included four Virginia Tech players. Linebacker Rayshard Ashby, punter Oscar Bradburn and cornerback Caleb Farley all earned first-team honors. Tackle Christian Darrisaw was a second-team selection.
Ashby was named ACC Linebacker of the Week five times. The Chesterfield, Va., native was the only defensive player in the league to win that many player-of-the-week honors in 2019. He also finished third in the voting for ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Ashby led the ACC with 120 total tackles, marking his second straight 100-tackle season.
Punter Bradburn was a semifinalist for The Ray Guy Award, presented to the nation’s top collegiate punter. He set a single-season Tech record and ranked eighth in the nation with a 46.7-yard gross punting average.

A former high school quarterback, Farley blossomed into one of the ACC’s top cornerbacks in just his second season playing that position in 2019. He led the league with 16 passes defensed and tied for fourth in the nation by averaging 1.5 passes defensed per game. He finished tied for the ACC lead with four interceptions and registered a 17-yard interception return for a touchdown in the 45-0 shutout of Georgia Tech (11/16).

A true sophomore for the Hokies, Darrisaw started all 13 games at left tackle for Tech in 2019 after starting 12 contests at that position as a true freshman.

VT runner Peter Suefer honored

Virginia Tech distance runner Peter Seufer added to his list of accomplishments Thursday when the Atlantic Coast Conference office named him the league’s Men’s Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
A redshirt senior from Lynchburg, Seufer became the first Virginia Tech men’s runner ever to receive the award. The ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards were established in September of 2007 to be awarded annually to the top junior or senior student-athletes in their respective sports. Candidates for the awards must have maintained a 3.0 grade-point average for their careers and a 3.0 for each of the past two semesters.
Seufer earned his degree in finance last year and is on track to earn a second degree in economics in May. On the cross-country courses this season, he dominated, winning the ACC title for the second consecutive season and earning All-America honors for the second straight season.


HO2kies fall in pool

Virginia Tech swimming and diving squared off against NC State on Saturday afternoon at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. Tech’s 20th-ranked men fell to the No.-6 Wolfpack, 178-120. On the women’s side, third-ranked State picked up a 181-114 win.
It was a day of fast swimming that featured former Olympians and 2020 Olympic hopefuls on both teams as well as part of an elite postgraduate group that trains under Virginia Tech head coach Sergio Lopez Miro, which swam exhibition events during the breaks.
A postgraduate group that included Hokie alum Ian Ho and Lucas Bureau put up an impressive time in the 200 free relay, breaking the pool record with a mark of 1:17.60. The previous record was 1:17.73, set when Tech hosted the ACC Championships in 2012. Ho and Bureau are part of a group of “Prokies” that also include program alum Norbert Szabo and Klaudia Nazieblo.


Concord Commissioner’s Cup

The Concord University Athletic Department sits fourth in the Mountain East Conference Commissioner’s Cup after the fall semester, the league office released Thursday.
The Mountain Lions are the top public school in the ratings behind Charleston, Notre Dame and Davis & Elkins. Fairmont State rounds out the top five. CU has a rating of 0.59 while leader UC is at 0.82.
The standings are compiled utilizing an all-sports rating. This rating is determined by a formula that awards points to a school for its regular-season finish equal to the number of teams per sport sponsored by the MEC that is then divided by the number of sports offered by the institution. The final rating is a percentage of points acquired against the number of points available.