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Athletes Beyond Bartow: MiLB seasons wind down, Fall college sports take stride

JaCorey Johns and Rylee Evans are both off the fast starts in their respective 2022 seasons. Johns is a defensive end at Wake Forest. Evans runs cross country at Western Kentucky.

As the MiLB seasons for Cartersville products Sam Howard and Anthony Seigler begin to wind down in September, collegiate athletes with Bartow County ties hit the gridiron, court, pitch, and trail to launch their Fall 2022 seasons.

This week’s update includes notes on local athletes in college football, cross country, volleyball, and soccer contributing with their programs across the country.

Former Cartersville Hurricane JaCorey Johns, now at Wake Forest, had three tackles this week and a pair of quarterback hurries as the Demon Deacons won their season opener.

Meanwhile, Western Kentucky freshman runner Rylee Evans — a Woodland grad — was the top finisher for the Hilltoppers and led her team to a sixth place finish of 21 teams at the Foothills Invitational.

EDITORS NOTE: There were more than a dozen local college football athletes who were not on game participation lists this week produced by their respective programs. There were also athletes in the other sports who were non-participants this past week. If we missed an active contribution, however, please let us know. Email:


SAM HOWARD — Toledo Mud Hens (9th yr. pro; Triple-A Detroit Tigers organization; Georgia Southern; Cartersville HS) … made three appearances last week for the Mud Hens at Rochester. Wednesday, the southpaw earned his seventh hold of the season by retiring the final two outs of the eighth inning in a 5-4 win. Thursday night he was touched for three earned runs on two hits and a walk in the sixth inning when pitching teammate Angel De Jesus replaced Howard and surrendered a three run home run. Two of those runs (base runners) were inherited. The 29-year-old faired better on Sunday collecting his second win of the season in relief. Howard entered with two outs in the sixth inning and sat down four straight batters — three by strikeout — as the Mud Hens held on for a 6-3 win. He is now 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA in 33 MiLB appearances this season across 29.2 innings. He has a 35:20 strikeout to walk ratio with a 1.25 WHIP. The Mud Hens (70-57) are in third place in the International League’s West Division and 8.5 games behind division-leading Nashville with just 21 games remaining in the regular season. Toledo has a six game home series Tuesday through Sunday against St. Paul.

ANTHONY SEIGLER — Hudson Valley Renegades (5th yr. pro; High Class-A New York Yankees organization; Cartersville HS) … saw action in four home games last week against Jersey Shore going only 1-for-12 at the plate. The lone hit was a double that produced two RBIs. He added two more RBIs Saturday without benefit of a hit. He drove in one run with a sacrifice fly and the other with a bases loaded walk. The switch hitting catcher has appeared in 92 games this season and has a .229 batting average in just under 300 official at bats. The 23-year-old first round draft selection has seven home runs, 43 RBIs, and has stolen 16 bases. The Renegades (69-56 overall) are 35-24 in the second half standings and 0.5 games behind the Brooklyn Cyclones with just six games to play. Hudson Valley, who needs to win the second half to make the playoffs, travels to Wilmington for a Tuesday through Sunday series this week wrapping up the regular season slate.


BRYCE BURGESS — Reinhardt University (Senior, Adairsville HS) … had five carries for a total of 48 yards in the Eagles’ 34-27 win August 25 at Faulkner University. No stats were available at the time of this release for Reinhardt’s 16-8 home loss to Bethel University (Tenn.). The Eagles (1-1) will entertain Cumberland University (Tenn.) Saturday in a noon kickoff.

HAYDEN CAGLE — Berry College (Freshman, Cartersville HS) … started on the Vikings offensive line Saturday as Berry produced 252 yards of total offense including 149 rushing yards during a 31-24 home win over Maryville College (Tenn.). Berry (1-0) hosts LaGrange College Saturday in a 6 p.m. kickoff.

JONATHAN CRUZ — Ole Miss (RS Senior, Cartersville HS) … kicked off five times Saturday with all five going for touchbacks as the Rebels beat visiting Troy, 28-10. Ole Miss (1-0) hosts Central Arkansas this Saturday night.

JORDAN FERGUSON — Middle Tennessee (RS Senior, Cartersville HS) …the Cartersville High grad who prepped at Whitfield Academy, made nine total tackles including six solo tackles in the Blue Raiders 44-7 loss Saturday at James Madison. Middle Tennessee (0-1) travels to Colorado State this Saturday afternoon.

JONAH GAMBILL — University of Memphis (Sophomore, Cartersville HS) … started on the offensive line for Memphis in a 49-23 loss at Mississippi State. The Tigers produced 294 yards of total offense including 129 on the ground and two rushing touchdowns.

GAVIN GEROS — Shorter University (Sophomore, Cartersville HS) … made four tackles including one tackle for loss Saturday in the Hawks 45-6 win at Brevard College (North Carolina). Shorter (1-0) entertains Catawba College Saturday at noon.

QUANTE JENNINGS — Presyterian College (Sophomore, Cartersville HS) … carried 5 times for 13 yards Saturday in the Blue Hose 63-0 loss at Austin Peay. Presbyterian (0-1) hosts Virginia University of Lynchburg this Saturday.

JACOREY JOHNS — Wake Forest University (RS Junior, Cartersville HS) … started at defensive end and had three tackles with a pair of quarterback hurries this past Sautrday as the Demon Deacons topped visiting VMI, 44-10. Wake Forest (1-0) plays at Vanderbilt this Saturday.

TITUS JONES — Colorado State University (RS Junior, Woodland HS) …saw action for the Rams but did not record any stats in their 51-7 loss at Michigan. CSU (0-1) hosts Middle Tennessee this Saturday.

LA’KWAYME JUPITER — North Carolina Wesleyan (RS Freshman, Cartersville HS) … seeing action at nose tackle, Jupiter made a pair of solo tackles Saturday night in a 49-7 loss at Randolph-Macon (Virginia). The Battling Bishops (0-1) play at Shenandoah University (Virginia) this Saturday night.

ANDREW NGUYEN — Berry College (Freshman, Cass HS) … made two tackles, one solo, in Saturday’s 31-24 win at Maryville College (Tenn.). The Vikings host LaGrange College Saturday night.

SAM PHILLIPS — University of Chattanooga (RS Freshman, Cartersville HS) … the wide receiver caught three passes for a total of 50 yards in the Mocs’ 31-0 Southern Conference win Saturday over Wofford. One of those receptions went for 34 yards. Chattanooga (1-0, 1-0) plays at Eastern Illinois this Saturday night.

COURTNEY SLOCUM — Mars Hill University (Junior, Adairsville HS)… saw action but did not record any stats in the Lions’ 44-7 loss last Thursday at East Tennessee State. Mars Hill (0-1) returns to action September 17 at home against Catawba.

EVAN SLOCUM — Wake Forest University (Sophomore, Cartersville HS) … saw action in Saturday’s win but did not record any stats.

KALEB SPEIGHTS — Shorter Univeristy (Sophomore, Cass HS) … had 7 kickoffs for a 61 yard average Saturday in the Hawks win at Brevard University.

BRANDON WADE — University of West Florida (Junior, Cartersville HS) … was credited with one quarterback hurry Saturday as the Argonauts routed Warner University (Fla.) 52-3. UWF (1-0) plays at Southwest Baptist (Missouri) this Saturday night.


RYLEE EVANS — Western Kentucky University (Freshman, Woodland HS) … led the Hilltoppers women’s team to a sixth place finish of 21 teams Saturday at the Foothills Invitational in Oxford, Alabama. Evans (14:43.12) was WKU’s top finisher and placed ninth out of 191 runners on the 4K Choccolocco Park course. Western Kentucky runs Friday, September 16 at the North Alabama Showcase in Huntsville.

McKENNA TRAPHEAGEN — Georgia Tech (Sophomore, Woodland HS) … ran to a fifth place finish individually in 22:29.70 Saturday as the Lady Jackets won the six-team Berry College 6K Watermelon Run. Georgia Tech competes next at the North Alabama Showcase September 16 in Huntsville.


VANESSA JOHNSON — Truett-McConnell University (Freshman, Cartersville HS) … had one kill and one dig playing in two sets August 26 during a 3-0 win over Brewton Parker College at the Carolina University Invitational. Johnson also recorded one dig Saturday playing in two sets of a 3-2 home loss to Georgetown College (Kentucky). She also saw action but had no stat line August 20 in a straight sets hoe win over Williams Baptist. The Bears (5-6) host Brenau University Thursday in an Appalahian Athletic Conference match.

MARIA PILIPOSYANS — Reinhardt University (Freshman, Cass HS) … has 31 kills, three digs, and 13 blocks through the Eagles first nine matches. She has started in each match as Reinhardt has started the season 2-7. The Eagles host Point University Thursday and travel to Columbia (SC) University Saturday.


ABBIE CRAIG — Reinhardt University (Freshman, Cartersville HS) … saw her first collegiate action August 27 in the Eagles’ 4-0 home loss to William Carey University (Miss.). Reinhardt (0-2) plays Keiser University Monday at SCAD Savannah and will host Bluefield College (Kentucky) Saturday.

HAVYN ISAAC — Young Harris College (Junior, Adairsville HS) … in three starts at goalkeeper for the Mountain Lions, Isaac has totaled 14 saves in losses to Wingate, Tusculum, and at Carson-Newman. YHC (0-3) plays at Montevallo Monday and will entertain Georgia College Saturday.

CAT WHEELER — Young Harris College (Freshman, Adairsville HS) … entered off the bench and played 14 minutes at forward last Wednesday in a 4-0 loss at Carson-Newman.

KATIE HYDE — Shorter University (Freshman, Woodland HS) … entered off the bench and played two minutes in the Hawks’ 4-0 loss August 27 at Georgia Southwestern.

CHLOE RAVISH — Shorter University (Freshman, Woodland HS) … has averaged 53 minutes as goalkeeper making a total of 16 saves as the Lady Hawks have opened the season 0-3-1. The losses were to Emmanuel College, Georgia Southwestern State, and Anderson University. She did not see action in Shorter’s 2-2 draw at home with Faulkner University. Next for Shorter is a home match with South Carolina-Beaufort Tuesday and at Christian Brothers University in Memphis this Saturday.

MIA SCOTT — Reinhardt University (Freshman, Adairsville HS) … saw action but had no stat line August 27 in the Eagles’ 4-0 home loss to William Carey University (Miss.).

RUSSELL SHEALY — Syracuse University (RS Senior, Darlington School, Cartersville resident) … in two starts as the Orange goalkeeper this season, Shealy is 1-0-1 with two saves against Iona and Vermont. Syracuse (1-1-1) also has a 1-0 home win over Penn State. The Orange play at UConn Monday and host Notre Dame Saturday.

MADISON SHOOK — Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (Sophomore, Cass HS) … did not score a goal, but took four shots and was credited with one assist in the Fillies 4-1 home win August 29 over Wesleyan. ABAC (1-1) hosts Trinity Baptist College Saturday afternoon.

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