Fanfare/Colleges: Local college sports news
ACC leaders offer pledges of solidarity
GREENSBORO — The presidents and chancellors of 15 Atlantic Coast Conference schools say they’re not considering any moves to other leagues.
In a statement Thursday, the ACC’s council of presidents said “speculation about ACC schools in negotiations or considering alternatives ... are totally false.”
It also said the schools are “united in our commitment to a strong and enduring conference.”
The statement comes a week after the council voted to add Louisville following Maryland’s decision to leave for the Big Ten in 2014.
The statement is signed by each school’s president or chancellor, including from Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame and Louisville.
Syracuse and Pitt will join the ACC next year. Notre Dame announced in September that it would join in all league sports except football.
UNC’s Dunn is finalist
GREENSBORO — Crystal Dunn of North Carolina’s national champion women’s soccer team is among three finalists for the prestigious women’s Missouri Athletic Club’s (MAC) Hermann Trophy.
The other finalists are Virginia’s Caroline Miller and Penn State midfielder Christine Nairn.
The trophy is awarded to the top men’s and women’s players in the country.
Notre Dame forward Ryan Finley, Creighton midfielder Jose Gomez and Maryland’s Patrick Mullins have been selected as finalists for the.men’s award.
A banquet will be hosted at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Friday, Jan. 11, to recognize the finalists’ accomplishments and announce the winners.
Six from ACC in Top 25
GREENSBORO — After a season which saw North Carolina win its 21st NCAA championship, six Atlantic Coast Conference women’s soccer teams found themselves ranked in the final National Soccer Coaches Association of America Top 25.
Four teams landed in the top 10 led by North Carolina (15-5-3) with the No. 1 final ranking. ACC regular season champion Florida State (20-4-0) finished at No. 4, followed by Duke (15-6-2) at No. 8 and ACC Champion Virginia (18-5-1) at No. 10. Wake Forest (14-6-3) and Maryland (14-7-2) were ranked at No. 15 and No. 16, respectively.
Virginia Tech (13-6-1) and Boston College (11-8-3) also received votes.
Duke tackle is honored
DURHAM — Duke redshirt junior offensive tackle Perry Simmons has been named to the Capital One Academic All-America second team, by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
A 6-foot-6, 300-pound right tackle from Raleigh., Simmons has started 36 consecutive games for the Blue Devils and this season has anchored an offensive unit that averages 31.3 points per game, the third highest average in school history.
A civil engineering major, Simmons owns a 3.87 grade point average and is a two-time Academic All-ACC Football Team selection.
Duke recruits in top 20
DURHAM — Duke University women’s golf head coach Dan Brooks announced on Thursday the signing of Sandy Choi of San Diego, Calif., Esther Lee of Los Alamitos, Calif., and Yu Liu of Beijing, China., to national letters of intent to attend Duke in the fall of 2013. All three rank in the top 20 of the latest Golfweek Junior rankings, highlighted by Lee at No. 3.
“I couldn’t be more excited,” commented Brooks on the class. “They’re all fantastic people. I can tell that they’re going to be great team members. They’re well-rounded people with great senses of humor and work ethic[s]. On top of that they’re very talented. I couldn’t be more excited.”
Tar Heel Cooper honored
CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina senior offensive guard Jonathan Cooper has been named a Walter Camp first-team All-America.
A native of Wilmington, Cooper is considered by many as the nation’s top guard. He graded out at 90 percent for the season and had double digits in knockdown blocks in nine of the Tar Heels’ 12 games.
The Walter Camp team is the third All-America team for Cooper. Cooper also earned first-team honors by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and the Football Writers’ Association of America (FWAA) and was one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, which goes to the nation’s top interior lineman.
NCHSAA nixes pods
CHAPEL HILL — The North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors completed its winter board meeting on Thursday by eliminating the “pod” system for NCHSAA football playoffs in favor of straight seeding.
Pods will be maintained in 1-A and 1-AA because of the extreme travel that can happen in those classifications. Pods effectively keep down travel costs, but scheduling teams as close to home as possible.
All area teams that qualified for the playoffs this year were in classifications that will go to straight seeding next season.