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Athletes Beyond Bartow: Shealy, Syracuse win title; Henson wins Top 15 bout at Stanford

Cartersville resident Russell Shealy was named Men's College Cup Defensive Most Outstanding Player as Syracuse beat Indiana on penalty kicks last Monday to win the 2022 NCAA National Championship. The Orange keeper had a key save during the shootout. In college wrestling, former Woodland star Caleb Henson has climbed the early season individual national rankings in the 149-pound weight class. He won an impressive bout against Stanford All-American Jaden Abas on Sunday. Also Sunday, former Canes' quarterback Trevor Lawrence tossed four touchdown passes in the Jacksonville Jaguars' 40-34 overtime win over the Dallas Cowboys.


Trevor Lawrence

TREVOR LAWRENCE — — Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL, 2nd-yr. pro; Clemson; Cartersville HS … completed 27 of 42 passing attempts for 318 yards and four touchdowns Sunday as the Jaguars upset the visiting Dallas Cowboys in overtime, 40-34. Lawrence had two turnovers including a fumble with 1:38 remaining in the game with his team trailing 34-31, but the Cowboys went three-and-out and punted back to Jacksonville with 1:01 remaining. Five short completions from Lawrence moved the Jaguars into position for a 48-yard field goal that sent the game into overtime tied 34-34. Jacksonville’s Rayshawn Jenkins intercepted a pass and returned it 52 yards for a Jags’ touchdown and a 40-34 victory. The touchdown passes by Lawrence included a 5-yarder to Zay Jones in the second quarter, a 59-yarder to Zay Jones in the third quarter, a 10-yarder to Marvin Jones near the end of the third period, and a 3-yarder to Zay Jones with 10 minutes remaining in the game. The 23-year-old signal-caller also rushed three times for 21 yards. Jacksonville (6-8) plays at the New York Jets Thursday night.


JONATHAN CRUZ — University of Mississippi (R-Sr., Cartersville HS) … the fifth-year senior declared for the 2023 NFL Draft last Monday making his announcement on social media. He spent the first four years of his collegiate career kicking for the Charlotte 49ers before transferring to Ole Miss for this season. Cruz accounted for 92 of Ole Miss’ points this season. He made 15-of-17 field goals and 100 percent of his extra points. His longest field goal this season was 53 yards and he has a career-long 56-yarder. Cruz will take the field with the Rebels in their Texas Bowl game on December 28 as Mississippi takes on Texas Tech in Houston.


Russell Shealy

RUSSELL SHEALY — Syracuse University (R-Sr., Cartersville resident, Darlington HS) … was named the 2022 Men’s College Cup Defensive Most Outstanding Player as the Orange defeated Indiana on penalty kicks to win the 2022 NCAA title. It is the first national championship for Syracuse in soccer as the Orange completed a 19-2-4 season. In the championship game last Monday night, the Hoosiers and Orange completed regulation and two overtime periods before going to penalty kicks. The shootout was tied 4-4 after the first round of five kicks sending the game to sudden victory. Both teams converted on their sixth attempts before Shealy made a save on Indiana’s seventh effort. Amferny Sinclair buried the next attempt for Syracuse to win the title. Shealy, who started his career at Maryland, was 18-2-4 in net this season recording 72 saves with a save percentage of .800.


GRAYSON BREEDLOVE — Lenoir-Rhyne University (Jr., Cartersville HS) … on a 400-yard medley relay team that placed 17th in 4:12.93 and on a 200-yard freestyle relay team that placed 22nd in 1:52.45 this past Saturday and Sunday at the Tampa Spartan Invitational in Clearwater, Florida. Breedlove also finished 36th in the 100-yard backstroke preliminary in 1:04.75. The event continues through Monday night. LRU competes next at Emory & Henry on January 6 in Hickory, North Carolina


ANGEL BANDA — Reinhardt University (Jr., Adairsville HS) … went 2-2 as an individual wrestling at 125-pounds as the Eagles also finished 2-2 at the Fire Duals in Lakeland, Florida. Reinhardt lost to Southeastern University and the University of Providence (Montana) but had wins over Cumberland (Kentucky) and Cumberland (Tennessee). Next on the Eagles’ schedule is the NWCA National Duals in Louisville, Kentucky January 5.

Caleb Henson

CALEB HENSON — Virginia Tech (Fr., Woodland HS) … ranked 12th nationally in the 149-pound weight class, Henson won a major decision over Stanford All-American Jaden Abas Sunday as the No. 8 Hokies won in Palo Alto, 22-12. Henson also added a tech fall over Ben Nohr of Lindenwood as Virginia Tech blanked Lindenwood 52-0. Next up for the Hokies will be a home match against Cornell on January 6.

QUESTAPHA LEWIS — Midway University (So., Woodland HS) … lost his bout at 133 pounds as the Eagles fell 25-16 at Kentucky Wesleyan last Wednesday. Next for Midway is matches against Siena Heights and the University of Rio Grande on January 2 at URG.


BRAXTON BENHAM — Berry College (So., Cass HS) … The Vikings, who are undefeated in D-III regular season action, suffered an exhibition loss at D-II West Alabama last Wednesday, 78-65. Benham scored eight points, grabbed four rebounds, and dished five assists with two blocks and three steals. The Vikings play Roanoke College and Hampden Sydney College Monday and Tuesday in the Nashville Shoot Out.

Claire Davis

CLAIRE DAVIS — Palm Beach Atlantic University (Fr., Cass HS) … in a pair of home wins last week she scored eight points with 12 rebounds, three assists, three blocked shots, and two steals as the Sailfish beat Johnson University (Florida) 107-34 last Tuesday. On Saturday, she scored seven points with six boards, three steals, and one blocked shot in a 74-43 win over Shaw University (North Carolina). The Sailfish (6-3, 2-2 Sunshine State Conference) host Texas A&M International Monday afternoon.

DiAnthony Heathcock

DiANTHONY HEATHCOCK — Columbia International University (Jr., Woodland HS) … recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds last Tuesday but the Rams lost in double overtime at Point University, 80-75. CIU (5-7, 4-5 Appalachian Athletic Conference) hosts Truett McConnell University on January 3.

T.J. HORTON — Georgia Highlands CC (So., Cartersville HS) … scored seven points and added five rebounds, two assists, and two steals in a 78-76 home win last Tuesday over Roane State CC. The Chargers (4-7) play next at Gulf Coast State CC on December 30.

HALEY JOHNSON — Central Georgia Tech CC (Fr., Cass HS) … did not score but had one rebound and one assist last Wednesday in a 59-46 home loss to South Georgia Tech CC. The Titans also suffered losses to Gulf Coast State CC and Tallahassee CC in Panama City during the week but stat lines for those games were not available. CGTCC (5-9, 1-5 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association) plays December 30-31 at the South Georgia Tech Classic.

JAYLON PUGH — Lander University (Grad Student, Cartersville HS) … scored six points and had a pair of rebounds in the Bearcats’ 74-59 Peach Belt Conference win at Columbus State. Lander (7-2, 1-0) plays at Southern Wesleyan (South Carolina) Monday.

ABIGAIL TAYLOR — Centre College (Fr., Woodland HS) … scored six points with two rebounds and one steal in a 92-42 Colonels’ win last Wednesday at Warren Wilson College (North Carolina). Centre also had home wins last Monday over Greenville University (Illinois) and Friday over Mount St. Joseph University (Ohio). The Lady Colonels (7-3, 1-0 Southern Athletic Association) travel to Lexington December 29-30 to play in the Transy Classic.

LONDAISHA SMITH — Alderson Broaddus University (So., Cass HS) … collected seven rebounds and scored five points with one steal in the Battlers’ 71-53 loss last Thursday at Salem (West Virginia) University. ABU (3-8, 2-4 Mountain East Conference) plays next at Bowie State (Maryland) on January 2.

NAKIYAH WASHINGTON — Piedmont University (Sr., Adairsville HS) … scored 13 points and added four rebounds and one assist as the Lions won their Collegiate Conference of the South opener at Belhaven University (Mississippi) last Tuesday, 88-87. Piedmont (5-3, 1-0) will play in the Mary Hardin Baylor Classic December 29-30 in Belton, Texas.


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