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Athletes Beyond Bartow: Weekly update on the county's collegiate and pro athletes across the nation

(L-R): Caleb Henson, Jordan Mitchell, Emily Surcey

This week’s Athletes Beyond Bartow edition features two dozen athletes from Cartersville and Bartow County contributing with their college or professional teams in basketball, wrestling, swimming, tennis, and track & field.

On the collegiate wrestling mats, former Woodland standout Caleb Henson has now moved into the NCAA’s Top Ten rankings in his weight class representing the Virginia Tech Hokies. In NAIA action, former Cass Colonels’ grappler Jordan Mitchell went 4-1 at the Blue Raider Open to place third in the 141-pound division.

Meanwhile, in women’s collegiate tennis action, former Cass standout Emily Surcey won three times this past weekend to stay undefeated this year for the Mississippi State Bulldogs.


ASHTON HAGANS — Greensboro Swarm (NBA G-League; 3rd-year pro; Cartersville native; Kentucky; Newton HS) … totaled 17 points, nine assists, two rebounds, and two steals as the Swarm split games last Friday and Saturday at the Wisconsin Herd. Greensboro (3-9) are currently last in the NBA G League Eastern Conference. They host the Grand Rapids Gold Wednesday and Friday nights before entertaining the Windy City Bulls Sunday afternoon.

A.J. MOSBY — Sudbury Five (6th year pro; NBL-Canada; Alcorn State; Cartersville HS) … scored 15 points with four assists and a pair of steals but Sudbury lost for the first time this season last Friday night at the Windsor Express, 122-111. The Five (4-1) have back-to-back road games at the Windsor Express this Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.


ANGEL BANDA — Reinhardt University (Jr., Adairsville HS) … lost his bout in a narrow 3-2 decision during an Eagles’ team loss at Life University last Thursday in Marietta. Reinhardt competes next Sunday at the Newberry Open in South Carolina.

KYLE GOLHOFER — University of Northern Iowa (R-So., Woodland HS) … the 125-pounder won a major 14-5 decision Saturday in his bout but the 15th-ranked Panthers were narrowly defeated by 10th-ranked Oklahoma State, 19-17. Sunday, Golhofer lost a 2-0 decision in his bout but UNI defeated Oklahoma 23-12. Northern Iowa hosts Cal Baptist Friday night and wrestles at West Virginia Sunday afternoon.

CALEB HENSON — Virginia Tech (Fr., Woodland HS) … ranked No. 9 as an individual in the 149-pound weight class, Henson won a 14-2 major decision over 29th-ranked Tyler Baggett of Pitt Friday night but the 7th-ranked Hokies lost to the 24th-ranked Panthers, 26-12. Virginia Tech travels to Duke for a Friday night match.

BRYCE KRESHO — Franklin & Marshall College (Fr., Cass HS) … the Diplomats’ 149-pounder pinned his Sacred Heart opponent Sunday in a 35-11 win. Franklin & Marshall has a week off before hosting Millersville University (Pennsylvania) Friday, February 10.

JORDAN MITCHELL — Life University (R-Jr., Cass HS) … finished 4-1 this past Saturday and placed third in the Open 141-pound division of the Blue Raider Open in Columbia, Kentucky. Last Thursday, Mitchell won a 2-1 decision in his bout as the Runnin’ Eagles defeated visiting Reinhardt, 26-14. Life has home duals Tuesday night vs. St. Andrews University (NC) and Friday night vs. Southeastern University (FL).

JAXON SMITH — University of Maryland (R-Fr., Woodland HS) … has missed four straight matches — all Terrapins’ losses to Ohio State, Illinois, Michigan State, and Michigan — due to injury. Each of those Big Ten opponents is ranked in the Top 25. Smith, the current NCAA 19th-ranked individual in the 197-pound division, has been absent from the Terps’ lineup since a January 14 bout against Virginia. Maryland hosts 23rd-ranked Rutgers Saturday.

JABRIL WILLIAMS — Midway University (So., Cartersville HS) …. 165 lost an 8-6 decision last Wednesday to his opponent from Thomas More University (Kentucky). The Eagles also lost the team dual 29-16. Next for Midway is a home dual Thursday against Campbellsville University.


HARPER POWELL — Florida Tech (So., Adairsville HS) … was on the Panthers’ fourth place 200-yard medley relay team (1:50.46) and finished seventh in the 100-yard freestyle (57.61) last Friday in a three-way home meet with Florida Southern College and the University of Miami. On Saturday, Powell was on Tech’s second place 200-yard freestyle relay team (1:39.30) and on the third place 400-yard medley relay team (4:08.88). She also finished third (25.27) in the 50-yard freestyle and eighth (1:00.80) in the 100-yard freestyle. Florida Tech returns to action February 15-19 at the Sunshine State Conference Championships in Clearwater.


EMILY SURCEY — Mississippi State University (So., Cass HS) … in a home doubleheader match Sunday against Tennessee State, Surcey and her doubles partner Sydney Hrehorj defeated their Line 3 doubles opponents in the opener, 6-0. Then on singles Line 5, Surcey won 6-1, and her opponent retired, as the Bulldogs earned a 7-0 team victory. In the second match of the day — also a 7-0 Mississippi State win — Surcey won at singles LIne 4, 6-2, 6-0. The Bulldogs (6-0) will host Iowa State Friday prior to entertaining Memphis and Jackson State on Sunday.


BILL ARCHER — University of Montevallo (So., Cartersville HS) … at the 20-team KMS Invitational on January 22 in Birmingham, Archer placed fourth in the 800 meter run (1:59.27) and fourth in the one mile run (4:24.70). The Falcons will compete Sunday at the South Alabama Invitational hosted at the Birmingham Crossplex.

STEPHEN SMITH — Kennesaw State University (Jr., Cass HS) … finished 13th in the pole vault Saturday clearing 15 feet, 1-1/2 inches (4.61m) at the Clemson University Bob Pollock Invitational. The Owls send split squads Friday and Saturday to the Scarlet & White Boston University Invitational and the Virginia Tech Elite Meet in Blacksburg, Virginia.

ERIC TOVIAVE — Belmont University (Fr., Cartersville HS) … placed 17th in the 60 meter hurdles (8.59) and 31st in the 400 meter dash (51.80) January 20-21 at the Vanderbilt Invitational. The indoor meet included more than 25 teams. Belmont heads to the Bellarmine Classic in Louisville, Kentucky this Friday.


Braxton Benham

BRAXTON BENHAM — Berry College (So., Cass HS) … scored a game-high 17 points while grabbing seven rebounds and issuing four assists in the Vikings’ 74-51 home win Friday night over Hendrix College (Arkansas). Sunday afternoon, Benham scored 13 points, gathered five rebounds, and had two assists, one steal, and one blocked shot in a 55-54 home win over Rhodes College. Berry (18-2, 9-0 Southern Athletic Association) entertains Millsaps College Friday night and Birmingham Southern College Sunday afternoon.

CLAIRE DAVIS — Palm Beach Atlantic University (Fr., Cass HS) … started both home games last week for the Sailfish. She scored six points with two steals, a pair of blocked shots, and one assist last Wednesday in a 66-63 win over Florida Southern. Davis then scored nine points with three steals, two rebounds, and one block in a 62-58 loss to Saint Leo University. PBAU (9-10, 5-8 Sunshine State Conference) travels to Nova Southeastern University Wednesday and hosts Tampa University Saturday.

JUSTICE HAYES — Point University (So., Cass HS) … the Skyhawks’ starter finished with three points, one rebound, and one assist last Wednesday in a 79-74 home loss to Bryan College (Tennessee). Point (11-11, 11-8 Appalachian Athletic Conference) plays at Reinhardt Tuesday night and at Johnson University (Tennessee) Saturday afternoon.

DiAnthony Heathcock

DiANTHONY HEATHCOCK — Columbia International University (Jr., Woodland HS) … scored 16 points, collected four rebounds, and added two assists last Wednesday in an 81-79 win at St. Andrews University (North Carolina). He followed that performance with 21 points and eight rebounds in a 79-73 home win Saturday over Tennessee Wesleyan. CIU (10-10, 9-8 Appalachian Athletic Conference) plays at Truett-McConnell University Tuesday before hosting Bryan College Thursday night and Milligan University Saturday afternoon.

T.J. HORTON — Georgia Highlands College (So., Cartersville HS) … in an overtime 85-83 win last Wednesday at South Georgia State CC and a 67-62 home win over South Georgia Tech Saturday, Horton totaled 13 points, seven rebounds, six steals, and three assists. The two wins also extended the Chargers’ current win streak to six games. GHC (11-8, 5-0 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Conference) hosts Gordon State CC Wednesday night and plays at Albany Tech Saturday afternoon.

HALEY JOHNSON — Central Georgia Tech CC (Fr., Cass HS) … saw limited minutes and missed her only shot taken in the Titans’ 61-54 home win Saturday over Spartanburg Methodist. Central Georgia Tech also had a loss last Wednesday to visiting Georgia Highlands. CGTCC (8-15, 2-8 Georgia Collegiate Athletic Association) is off until a home game Wednesday, February 8 against Albany Tech.

KEARA McDANIEL — Toccoa Falls College (Fr., Cass HS) … scored six points with two rebounds, one assist, and one steal in the Screaming Eagles’ 76-58 home win last Friday over Warren Wilson College. TFC (14-6) plays at Bob Jones University Tuesday night before hosting that same team Thursday night and Southeastern Baptist College (Mississippi) Saturday afternoon.

JAYLON PUGH — Lander University (Grad student, Cartersville HS) … totaled nine points, six rebounds, and four assists off the Bearcats’ bench as Lander won 69-54 at Georgia College last Wednesday but lost Saturday at home to Flagler College in overtime. Lander (15-5, 7-3 Peach Belt Conference) plays at Young Harris College Wednesday night and at USC-Aiken Saturday afternoon.

LONDAISHA SMITH — Alderson Broaddus University (So., Cass HS) … scored 12 points with four boards, three assists, one blocked shot, and one steal last Wednesday in a 104-74 home loss to Glenville State. She then added 10 points, six rebounds, and one assist Saturday in a 93-77 road loss at Concord College. The Battlers (4-15, 3-11 Mountain East Conference) will look to snap a five-game losing skid Wednesday night at Davis & Elkins before hosting West Virginia Wesleyan Saturday afternoon.

NAKIYAH WASHINGTON — Piedmont University (Sr., Adairsville HS) … scored 17 points and had seven rebounds, three steals, two assists, and two blocked shots in a 76-63 home loss last Wednesday to LaGrange College. The Lions (10-8, 6-3 Collegiate Conference South) also won Saturday at Covenant College but stats for that game were unavailable. Piedmont plays Tuesday night at Wesleyan College and will host Agnes Scott College Saturday afternoon.

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