GREENVILLE — East Carolina radio and television announcer Jeff Charles, who has provided the play-by-play for Pirates athletics for the last 25 years, remains hospitalized after undergoing intestinal surgery.
Director of Athletics Terry Holland issued the following statement: “Jeff and Debbie Charles are two very important and long-time members of the East Carolina University Athletics family. Debbie is keeping us informed on Jeff’s progress. The best thing all good Pirates can do at this time is to keep Jeff and the Charles family in your prayers, just as members of the athletics department will be doing until Jeff is behind the microphone again.
“We all look forward to another 25 years with Jeff as the “Voice of Pirates.”
East Carolina: Junior Vintavious Cooper was named Conference USA’s Newcomer of the Year. It is the second time in the last three years the award has gone to a Pirate, following Dominique Davis’ selection in 2010.
Cooper, who was also a Second-Team All C-USA selection, ranks among the league leaders in rushing (fifth/85.8 pg) and all-purpose yards (sixth/104.7 pg). He totaled 1,030 yards on the ground this season on 191 carries, becoming the first Pirate back since 2009 (Dominique Lindsay) to break the 1,000-yard rushing barrier.
St. Augustine’s: Tyron Laughinghouse was named the 2012 Division II National Special Teams Player of the Year by Beyond Sports Network. He was also chosen to the BSN All-America first team as a kick returner.
“I am grateful to be recognized for such an honor,” Laughinghouse said. “I would like to thank my teammates … I wouldn’t have won this award without them.”
Laughinghouse is the NCAA Division II leader in kick return average (40.1 yards per return). He scored three touchdowns on kick returns, which also led the nation and was one short of the NCAA Division II mark. Laughinghouse ranks ninth in Division II in punt return average (15.33) with one punt return for a score this season. Teams repeatedly kicked or punted away from Laughinghouse in fear of a long return.
An explosive dual threat, Laughinghouse caught 59 passes for 801 yards and 12 touchdowns at wide receiver for the Falcons this season. He led the Falcons to a 6-4 overall record, which is their second winning mark in three seasons.
Duke: Redshirt sophomore wrestler Brandon Gambucci was named the Ronald McDonald House Charities Duke Student-Athlete of the Week after going 2-0 in the Blue Devils’ opening duals. Gambucci posted consecutive pins to earn wins over Northwestern and Stevens Tech.
Gambucci improved to 7-1 on the year with a pair of victories at the Northwestern Duals. With Duke trailing 6-0 against No. 13 Northwestern, Gambucci pinned John Coukos with three seconds left in the first period to record his fourth first-period pin of the year and even the score for the Blue Devils.