Local college notebook: Stretch run begins for Mercer teams

mlough@macon.comOctober 19, 2011 

The pennant races in pro baseball are over, but the races for the postseason in some college sports is at full speed.

Ask Mercer, which has three teams hoping to finish strong and make their respective A-Sun tournaments.

The Bears’ men’s soccer team has four games remaining.

Mercer is 1-3 in A-Sun play and in eighth place. The Bears are behind USC Upstate and East Tennessee State, both at 2-3-1, for the final spot in the six-team field.

And plenty of the drama will take place at Bear Field, with Mercer hosting USC Upstate at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and ETSU at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Wednesday’s game is Coaches vs. Cancer night, and Saturday is senior night for Phil Thoren and Ryan Young.

The Bears finish the conference schedule at Lipscomb and Belmont, and then they visit Duke on Nov. 4.

ETSU also plays USC Upstate on Oct. 29 in the conference finale for both teams. So the Bears could send the race for the sixth spot down to the final regular-season day by at least splitting with Upstate and ETSU.

Mercer’s women have two huge road contests, Friday at last-place USC Upstate and Sunday at third-place East Tennessee State, as they try to qualify for the A-Sun tournament.

Half of the women’s soccer field is set, led by Florida Gulf Coast at 6-0-1. The Eagles are joined by Jacksonville, East Tennessee State and North Florida.

Belmont is in fifth at 3-3-1, followed by Mercer and Stetson tied for sixth at 2-4-1 and then Kennesaw State and Lipscomb at 2-5.

Belmont has a tough pair of games, hosting Stetson and co-leader FGCU. Stetson also faces Lipscomb on the road.

The Bears have the fourth-best overall record among A-Sun teams at 8-6-1.

The volleyball team is in ninth place, 1-5 in A-Sun play and 8-15 overall.

The Bears have seven conference matches left on the 13-match A-Sun slate, starting with Friday’s visit to East Tennessee State.

Mercer is at home for two huge matches, on Oct. 28 against North Florida and a day later against Jacksonville.

UNF is 2-6 and Jacksonville 3-5 in conference play, with USC Upstate in between at 2-5.

GC readies for the madness

Georgia College will unveil this year’s “Bobcat Madness” on Thursday to signify the start of basketball season.

The doors open at 7:30 p.m., with a tailgate featuring “Elastic Skyline.”

Inside the Centennial Center will be a men’s intrasquad scrimmage, 3-point shootouts for both the men and women, a dunk competition, performances by cheerleaders and the Sassy Cats dance team, plus a live show of the Georgia College rap by NGP.

There is also a halfcourt shot with a $10,000 prize.

Georgia College’s women finished 22-7 overall and 11-6 in conference play, second in the West, while the men were 16-10 overall and 10-7 in the PBC, good for a tie for second in the West with Clayton State and Montevallo.

Around Georgia College/Peach Belt

The Georgia College women’s soccer team will host Armstrong Atlantic State in its annual “Think Pink” game at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

The team will take donations and sell pink T-shirts as well as hold a silent auction for the special pink gameday jerseys the players wear for the contest.

Proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in the name of athletics department administrative assistant Patti Weimer, who is battling stage one breast cancer.

The game raised more than $650 last year.

The auction website is www.gcbobcats.com/thinkpink. Bidding will take place at the concession stand or by texting 202-4239 with bid amount and last name.

Alumni update

Ronald Carswell grayshirted last winter at Alabama, and it looks as if the former Westside standout will get more time to absorb the Crimson Tide experience before taking the field.

Carswell is a freshman receiver at Alabama, but he hasn’t played yet this season, according to the latest participation chart.

The Tide’s depth chart for last week’s Tennessee game listed seven receivers on the three-deep chart. And playing time at the position next season will be hard to come by. Of the 16 players listed at receiver, only four are seniors.

South Carolina’s Brison Williams broke his arm during preseason camp and has been sidelined, but that changed when he made his season debut with two tackles against Auburn.

The Northside graduate had the cast taken off a week earlier, and his return gives the shaky Gamecocks’ secondary some needed depth. Williams is listed at No. 2 safety behind DeVonte Holloman, and has four tackles in two games.

He didn’t play last week against Mississippi State.

Former Westside star running back Travis Evans has landed again, this time at Division II Northeastern State of Tahlequah, Okla.

Evans was co-All-Middle Georgia player of the year in 2003, sharing the honor with Peach County quarterback A.J. Bryant.

Since then, Evans has been at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, Chattanooga and Tarleton State (Texas).

He was listed as a senior on the 2008 roster at Tarleton State, and he is listed the same way on Northeastern State’s roster this season.

Evans ran 20 times for 119 yards and two touchdowns in Northeastern State’s 45-38 overtime loss to East Central (Okla.) last month. He has 173 yards in five games.

Corico Hawkins is doing his part to help Clemson get off to a rousing 7-0 start.

The former Baldwin standout is tied for sixth with 31 tackles for the Tigers, who visit Virginia Tech on Saturday. The junior averages 54 snaps a game.

To contribute to the Alumni Update, send information (high school, college and class in 2011-12) to sports@macon.com or call 744-4626.

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