App State is a football school, no one can deny that. But there’s no reason we can’t be just as successful in our other sports. Let’s take a look at how we are doing this season in every sport (besides football):
Men’s Cross Country
SUMMARY: They’ve already won the 2012 SoCon Championship. Next up they have the Three Stripe Invitational on Nov 3rd followed by the NCAA Southeast Regional. There they will have a chance to improve their A to an A+.
Women’s Cross Country
SUMMARY: Just like the men’s team, our women are the 2012 SoCon champs! They also beat 30 other teams to win the Winthrop invite earlier this year. Look for them to make some noise at the NCAA Southeast Regional.
SUMMARY: After finishing 6th in the SoCon last year, there is definitely some room for improvement for the program. But at the same time it could be worse. The tournament isn’t until April so they have some time to get better. They’ve finished in the top-4 at two of their four tournaments this season. But in the other two they finished 10th and 12th respectively. Josh Nichols had a top-5 individual finish at their most recent outing which is good to see. If the team needs someone to come out and show them what NOT to do, I’ll be happy to come down and volunteer.
SUMMARY: They finished 5th (out of 10) in the SoCon last season. They are basically at the same level as our men, with one exception. This year they won the Winthrop Invitational, whereas last year they placed 4th in that tourney. So they are definitely on their way up. Their other results weren’t as impressive, but they’ve at least shown some big potential.
GRADE: TBD, expect B
SUMMARY: They had a great season last year, but fell in the 2nd round of the SoCon tourney. This year they have only done 2 tournaments, with some mixed results. It’s still way to early to tell.
GRADE: TBD, expect A
SUMMARY: I think this might be their year. They had a great start to the season, finishing no lower than 3rd in any event in their first tournament. Last year was pretty good, but they fell hard in the 2nd round of the tournament. Let’s see if they can put it all together.
SUMMARY: There are 4 more games left in the season, and to be honest it can’t come fast enough. After a 21-11 (12-4 SoCon) run last year, our ladies are 6-20 (2-10 SoCon). To make things worse, most of our losses weren’t even close. 13 of our 20 losses were 3-0 sweeps. I’m sure it’s not for a lack of trying. I actually took volleyball class back in college and the entire volleyball team was in the class with me. I had a newfound respect for female athletes after that. These girls work hard. But if you take a test and you get a 23% on it, that’s an F no matter what class you’re in. A surprise finish in the SoCon tournament could do a lot to make amends though. I think the coaches will get a mulligan this year, but if next year is just as bad or worse, the heat could turn up.
SUMMARY: They finished the regular season 3-15. Last year they finished 2-17-1 so there isn’t much progress occurring either. I’m sure our girls are giving their best as always, but it’s not being reflected in the W/L column. They still have a chance for some redemption in the NorPac Conference tournament on Nov 1. But overall, I would have to think this coaching staff might be in the hot seat just due to the consistent lack of results.
SUMMARY: The team finished the regular season 7-7-3 (2-3-2 SoCon). That’s a small step down from last year’s breakout 10-win season. They still have time to bring up the grade in the SoCon tournament though.
SUMMARY: The ladies had a great season, maybe even their best ever, but it ended today unfortunately. They lost to Elon in their first game of the SoCon tournament today. They finished 10-8-1 (7-3-1 SoCon). That was a decent step up from last year’s 6 win season. Next year could seriously be a breakout season.
GRADE: TBD, expect A+
SUMMARY: So far they’ve only played an exhibition game. They won that easily, 77-43, against Mars Hill. They are picked to finished 1st in the SoCon by the media and 2nd by the SoCon coaches (behind Davidson). After the best season in school history, I have high hopes for this team. An NCAA birth would be enough for an A+ in my book. Honestly, I’m not sure how head coach Darcie Vincent hasn’t been stolen away by an ACC school yet.
Sports that haven’t started play yet:
Men’s Basketball – Nov 2
I hope I’m wrong, but I expect a rocky season with such an extremely young team.
Wrestling – Nov 4
After the best finish in school history, I can’t wait to see if we can keep it up this year.
Men’s Track & Field – Nov 30
After last year’s SoCon championship, I expect nothing but good things here.
Women’s Track & Field – Nov 30
Just like the men, they’re coming off a SoCon championship and I’m looking for them to repeat.
Baseball – No schedule
Just like wrestling and women’s basketball, baseball had its best season ever last year. But a coaching change, and a lot of players moving up to the pros, could slow things down for a year or two. I hope they prove me wrong! I’ll be watching this one closely.
Softball – No schedule
They were 22-27 last year. But they beat USC 1-0 in their fall schedule this year, so I’m expecting some big improvement. Breakout season?