Interim head coach Michael Morand of Saint Augustine’s University was named USA College Football Division II Coach of the Week on Tuesday.
Morand guided the Falcons to a come-from-behind 31-30 victory over Livingstone on Saturday. The Falcons trailed 24-17 at halftime but Morand rallied the team in the second half to ruin Livingstone’s Homecoming Day.
The Falcons have won two of their last three games under the leadership of Morand, who took over as interim head coach after the first game this season. Picked to finish fifth in the Southern Division, the Falcons are currently tied for second place in the division at 2-1.
This is the first national award for Morand this season. On the same day, the Atlanta native was picked CIAA Football Coach of the Week.
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Duke: Redshirt senior offensive guard Laken Tomlinson was named to the CBSSports.com Midseason Second Team All-America squad Wednesday.
The four-year starter at right guard also earned spots on the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy watch lists during the preseason.
The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Chicago native has helped Duke to a 5-1 record, including a 31-25 victory at No. 22 Georgia Tech last weekend. Tomlinson has guided the Blue Devils’ offense to 215 points, tied for their second most through the first six games of a year in program history.
Duke has scored in 22 of its 24 quarters played this season and the 215 points are more than the Blue Devils totaled in six of the last eight years before coach David Cutcliffe took over the program.
In September, Tomlinson was one of 11 student-athletes named to the FBS Allstate AFCA Good Worlds Team, becoming to the sixth Duke player to be honored by the organization.
Tomlinson has started 45 consecutive games, tied for the longest streak among all FBS linemen. He is helping Duke rank fourth among FBS programs in fewest sacks allowed per game (0.67) and stand fifth in fewest tackles per game allowed (3.33) this season.
N.C. State: Four N.C. State wrestlers have been ranked by TheOpenMat.com in their preseason rankings. Returning NCAA Champion Nick Gwiazdowski is preseason No. 1 at 285 pounds. Junior Sam Speno checks in at No. 9 at 141 pounds, senior Tommy Gantt is No. 11 at 157 pounds, and sophomore Pete Renda is No. 18 at 174 pounds.
Duke: Junior midfielder Aileen Johnson was selected the Duke Student-Athlete of the Week after guiding the Blue Devils to a 2-0 weekend at Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium. The Oceanport, N.J., native scored in each of Duke’s one-goal victories as the squad improved to 10-3 on the season.
With the Blue Devils trailing 1-0 in the first half against ACC opponent Boston College on Friday, Johnson finished on a feed from teammate Sarah Urdahl to knot the score at 1. She also notched the first goal Sunday against Liberty, converting on a penalty stroke to lead Duke to an eventual 3-2 win over the visiting Flames.
Following last weekend’s action, Johnson is the team leader in assists (5) and ranks second on the team in points (13) while reaching career-highs in both categories. She also ranks tied for eighth in the ACC in assists per game.
N.C. State: The Wolfpack has added a new member to the team for the remainder of the season thanks to the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. Meghan Bunn has been adopted by the team and will join the Wolfpack on the bench for home matches.
The mission of the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation is to improve the quality of life for children and their families who are battling pediatric brain tumors and to raise awareness about this insidious disease. The organization pairs children and their families with college and high school sports teams to give them love, support and friendship as they fight this devastating disease.
Meghan was diagnosed with a Medulloblastoma in May of 2012, which is a brain tumor that resides at the base of the cerebellum and affects the spinal column as well. She received treatment at UNC’s medical center, but continued to show her loyalty to N.C. State by wearing Wolfpack apparel when she went in for appointments.
According to her mom Christy, Meghan is a very bright and loving child who was very involved in athletics prior to her diagnosis. One of the sports she played and enjoyed was volleyball, so she is excited to be a part of the N.C. State women’s volleyball team.
“Morgan (Cormier) came up with the idea to adopt Meghan as our community service project for the season,” said head coach Bryan Bunn. “It worked out great that she is Wolfpack fan and loves volleyball.
“I want our team to realize how precious life is and realize how fortunate they are to be able to play collegiate volleyball.”
The adoption ceremony took place Oct. 7 in the Wolfpack’s locker room following one of the practices. At the conclusion of practice, Meghan and her mom Christy joined the team in the huddle and Bunn introduced the newest member of the team.
In the locker room, Meghan was a given a contract to sign which officially made her a member of the Wolfpack. The contract encouraged her to cheer loudly at matches and also call the team if she needed them for support.
“One of my best friends is an intern with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation and she contacted me when she saw there was a young girl in the area who wanted to be adopted by an N.C. State women’s team,” said redshirt sophomore Morgan Cormier. “Meghan’s story is so inspiring and I knew she would bring positive energy to our team. When we step out onto the court from now on, we’ll be playing for her.”
The women’s volleyball team is the first N.C. State team to partner with the Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. The program has connected more than 500 children with sports teams since it was founded in 2004.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for adopting Meghan to be a part of your team and family,” said Meghan’s mom Christy. “She is so excited and humbled by this amazing experience. My ultimate dream as Meghan’s mom is to one day witness her play again. I honestly do not know if that will ever happen; however, witnessing her participate in moments such as this, will fulfill a portion of that dream. You have no idea what this means to my little girl. Sometimes it’s the little things in life that bring so much purpose and perspective. So again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing a smile to my little girl’s face!! I am forever grateful.”
The Wolfpack returns to action on Friday, when it hosts North Carolina at 6:30 p.m. in Reynolds Coliseum.