Two Demopolis seniors sign to play collegiate soccer

Julia Singleton readies to sign with Judson College. Pictured are (seated) Judson coach Justin Pino along with (standing) DHS soccer coach Gabrielle McVay, Mitch Singleton, Stephanie Singleton and Charity Singleton.

A pair of Demopolis High School seniors are on their way to collegiate soccer careers after signing letters of intent last week. Julia Singleton inked her NLI from Judson College last Tuesday, becoming the first DHS female player to sign since Rachel Walker did it in April 2010. Walker, who was the goalie of the DHS boys team for lack of the existence of a girls program at the time, also signed with Judson.

Singleton’s connection with Judson College actually predicated through her efforts at a camp at another local school.

Julia Singleton readies to sign with Judson College. Pictured are (seated) Judson coach Justin Pino along with (standing) DHS soccer coach Gabrielle McVay, Mitch Singleton, Stephanie Singleton and Charity Singleton.

“I actually attended a camp at West Alabama this summer where I met Coach Pino and he asked me to try out for their team,” Singleton explained of her introduction to Judson coach Justin Pino.

“I really liked her work ethic. I thought her work ethic was good and I thought she wanted to improve and get better. I kind of look at that and kind of see where someone is and what their potential is as well,” Pino said.

Singleton’s tryout proved her first visit to the Judson campus and she quickly realized it might not be her last.

“It was actually my first time on campus. I got to meet a bunch of the girls and then I tried out with them. He invited me to come back to the next weekend to their preview day where I could take a scholarship test. I got to do that and have a campus tour, so it was really nice,” she said.

“Coach was real cool about it. He said, ‘Go home. Think about it. Pray about it. Come back to me later.’ That’s what we did,” her father, Mitch Singleton, said. “She loved it. We’re happy for her. We’ve been to the school and we really like it. It’s kind of a smaller venue, but everybody is real close knit. It’s got a great atmosphere.”

Pino, whose squad finished at 8-6 a season ago after suffering some narrow defeats, will look to deploy Singleton in a suitable position in the Fall. Pino did indicate Singleton likely profiles as a midfielder at this juncture.

“Julia has been a leader from the very beginning,” Gabrielle McVay, Demopolis High girls soccer head coach, said. “With a new program, we had a lot of kids come in that really have never even played soccer. She already had a good background in soccer, so she was a really good leader for all of her teammates. She always has been. She also has a lot of experience in both offense and defense, so I’ve been able to use her as a very versatile player. She can kind of play wherever I need her in some spots, so it has been nice to have.”

Zachary Chu along with his mother Lucy Chu, father Dr. Ronnie Chu, brother Jeremy Chu, as well as coaches Hayden Mitchell and Jon Kresena.

While Singleton is headed to a program that is very new to her, classmate Zachary Chu will don the familiar red and white of a program with which he has tremendous familiarity. Chu, who is foregoing his senior season of high school soccer due to commitments with his club team Birmingham United Soccer Association (BUSA), has long attended camps and been around the University of West Alabama program headed by Matthew Thorn.

“The way they play is very attractive. I just want to learn from them because they demand perfection every touch, every dribble, everything they do is perfection. That’s all I’m looking for,” Chu, who has 44 goals and 17 assists during his BUSA career, said.

Zachary Chu along with his mother Lucy Chu, father Dr. Ronnie Chu, brother Jeremy Chu, grandparents Lee and Meegam Ching, and Chris and Mary Lou Doyle.

Chu signed his NLI Friday after having received the offer from UWA back in September 2017 as the NCAA Division II program was just embarking upon the best season in school history.

“I have known Zach for many years now, he is a great talent and he has a brilliant work ethic,” said Thorn of Chu, who is also a member of the Olympic Development Program. “He will be a perfect fit for UWA.”

“I think it’s a long coming because he didn’t really get into the sport until he was 10 years old. I told him, ‘Hey, listen, you’re a little too old to play soccer.’ I told him that if he sleeps, eats and poops soccer that he would be able to do something. And he did. He and his brother basically eat, sleep and poop soccer for all those years. And I’m so happy for him because of his hard work,” his father, Dr. Ronnie Chu, said. “His next phase is to continue. We’re just happy that he’s playing under Matte because he’s a great coach and it shows because they were ranked as high as number nine in the nation last year at one point. UWA has a very good program in terms of soccer and, also, they have a very good business program. His idea is to be a corporate lawyer. First things first, get a degree and perhaps MBA and then, after that, law school. Everything is falling into place for him.”

The younger Chu will likely tackle the next phase of his athletic and academic careers with the same fervor his father taught him some eight years ago when he first took up the game.

“My dad always taught me to just immerse yourself in what you’re doing and you’ll be fine,” he said.

UWA football signs 25 for National Signing Day

Coming off a Gulf South Conference championship in 2017 and a trip to the NCAA Division II Football Playoffs, Coach Brett Gilliland and his staff received signatures from 25 football players Wednesday.

Fourteen offensive players were added to the fold, along with nine defenders, a kicker/punter and an athlete. The Tigers signed six wide receivers, five offensive linemen, five defensive backs, two defensive linemen and two linebackers. UWA inked one player each at running back, fullback, athlete, kicker/punter and quarterback.

“It’s a great day to be a Tiger as we have reloaded our roster with some great young men,” Gilliland, the 2017 GSC coach of the year said. “Our staff has worked tirelessly in order to put together a signing class that fits specific needs on our roster and includes young men who will fit within the culture of our program.

“These young men will be a great addition to our returning players and we look forward to working toward the fall,” Gilliland said.

The Tigers open the 2018 season with three straight home games, beginning Thursday, Aug. 30 against Lenoir-Rhyne. Miles College and Valdosta State round out the homestand to open the season.

Spring drills for the Tigers are expected to begin Feb. 22.

Following brief thumbnail sketches on the February signees, followed by the mid-year signees:

2018 West Alabama Football February Signees

McKane Atkins, DL, 6-3, 217, Beauregard High School, Opelika, Ala.
Recorded 84 total tackles, 25 solo … Helped lead BHS to 10-2 record … Had six sacks, a caused fumble and recovered two fumbles … Helped lead BHS to Class 5A state championship … Also participated in track and field in 100m, 200m, javelin and long jump.

Sam Armstrong, OL, 6-7, 270, Lawrence County High School, Courtland, Ala.
Multi-year starter … Helped pave the way for LCHS for three straight postseason appearances … All-region and all-area selection.

Jared Averette, OL, 6-4, 315, Bibb County High School, Centreville, Ala.
Helped lead Bibb County High to a playoff berth in 2017 and an 11-2 record … Played both offensive and defensive tackle.

Deveon Ball, DB, 6-4, 208, Hinds Community College, Noxubee County High School, Macon, Miss.
Recorded 33 tackles and intercepted four passes in eight games for Hinds … Had 27 solo tackles … Averaged 4.1 tackles per game … Recovered one fumble … All-State South.

Demetrius Battle, RB, 6-1, 230, John Carroll High School, Birmingham, Ala.
Rushed for 881 yards as a senior and 1,851 career yards at John Carroll High School … Scored 31 career rushing touchdowns and averaged 4.0 yards per carry … Averaged 5.7 yards per carry as a senior … Had 29 career receptions for 446 yards and two TDs … Also had 25 tackles as a defender this season, including one sack … Also played at Restoration Academy.

*Ian Blake, OL, 6-5, 310, West Blocton High School, West Blocton, Ala.
Played both sides of the line of scrimmage at West Blockton … Had 21 tackles and a sack as a junior

Nathan Cobb, K/P, 5-11, 169, Florence High School, Florence, Ala.
Averaged 40.5 yards per punt and had 44 touchbacks as a senior kicker … Helped the Falcons earn a spot in 6A playoffs … Florence TimesDaily’s Class 4A-6A first team all-area punter … Five-star rating as a punter by Kohl’s Professional Kicking Camps, 4.5-star kicker.

Lawson Darden, OL, 6-6, 305, Bibb County High School, Centreville, Ala.
Played tackle and guard on offense … Doubled as a defensive end …

Trey Elston, DB, 6-2, 180, Auburn High School, Auburn, Ala.
Averaged 14.8 yards per reception … Also played basketball at AHS, averaging 7.7 points, 2.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds.

Gavin Griffin, QB, 6-2, 190, Southside High School, Southside, Ala.
First-team All Etowah County … Helped lead SHS to a third-place finish in the region … Honor Roll and National Honor Society.

Brody Guin, LB, 6-1, 215, Sipsey Valley High School, Buhl, Ala.
Played middle linebacker and tight end at SVHS … Also plays baseball at Sipsey Valley.

Collin Herring, FB, 5-10, 225, Gordo High School, Gordo, Ala.
Helped lead the Green Wave to a 10-2 record and a trip to the playoffs … Three-time ASWA All-state, twice as a linebacker and once as an athlete … Also played baseball at GHS, hitting .281 with 24 runs batted in … Had a 10-3 pitching record with a 0.91 earned run average … Went 3-for-3 with two RBI in state championship baseball game as a junior.

Joshua Jolly, 6-1, 192, LB, T.R. Miller High School, Brewton, Ala.
Rushed for 400 yards and four TDs … on 52 carries … Averaged 7.7 yards per carry … Completed 16-of-43 passes for 281 yards and two touchdowns … Recorded 42 total tackles, 35 solo. Had an interception and five passes defended … Also played basketball at T.R. Miller as a shooting guard and small forward.

Mike Kidd, DB, 6-1, 180, Baker High School, Mobile, Ala.
Helped lead BHS to a second-place regional finish … Played on high school varsity team since seventh grade.

Jamarcus Knight, WR, 6-2, 180, Auburn High School, Auburn, Ala.
Helped lead Auburn High to a 10-2 record and state playoff appearance … Team’s leading receiver with 400 yards and 4 TDs … Long catch of 50 yards … Opelika-Auburn News All-Area Team.

Shamar Lewis, ATH, 5-11, 178, Sweet Water High School, Dixon Mills, Ala.
First-team all-state … Helped lead SWHS to a 14-1 record and a 1A state championship West Alabama Watchman Player of the Year … … Rushed for 1,205 yards and 12 touchdowns on 129 carries … Averaged 9.3 yards per carry as a senior … Recorded 94 tackles on defense … Had 32 tackles for loss, returned two fumbles for TDs … Had three sacks and five PBUs … Was Most Valuable Player in state championship game, rushing for 95 yards on 16 carries … also had a 64-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the state title game to go along with four tackles, an interception and two passes broken up … Also played baseball, hitting .375 … Played guard on the basketball team, averaging 10 points per game

RayRay Maye, WR, 5-10, 180, Excel High School, Excel, Ala.
Caught 39 passes for 487 yards and four touchdowns … Averaged 12.5 yards per reception … Had 70 carries for 248 yards and two TDs … Completed 17-of-35 passing attempts or 316 yards and five touchdowns … 793 all-purpose yards and 1,051 total yards … Punted 10 times for a 26.7 average … Averaged 11.6 yards per kickoff and punt returns.

Dalton McKenzie, WR, 5-9, 180, Monroe Academy, Monroeville, Ala.
ASWA All-State selection … Three-year starter at Monroe Academy … First Team all-county, Second-team all-state … Helped lead his team to a regional championship and a runner-up state championship finish … Four-year starter, all-county and AISA Allstar in baseball … All-county and defensive player of the year in his one season of basketball.

Griffin McKenzie, WR, 5-8, 180, Monroe Academy, Monroeville, Ala.
Played quarterback at Monroe Academy … First-team all-county … First-team all-state … ASWA All-State … Helped lead his team to a regional championship and a runner-up state championship finish … Four-year letter winner in baseball … All-county and AISA Allstar in baseball.

Cordell Plott, DB, 5-10, 170, Auburn High School, Auburn, Ala.
Played cornerback and wide receiver for Auburn High … 10th rated player in state of Alabama by MaxPreps … Averaged 11.0 yards per reception … Helped lead AHS to 10-2 record and state playoff appearance.

Kornelius Rogers, OL, 6-5, 280, East Mississippi Community College, Magee High School, Magee, Miss.
Helped lead EMCC to a junior college national championship.

Callahan Saggus, DL, 6-5, 300, Opelika High School, Opelika, Ala.
Recorded 22 tackles, 14 solo … Had a half sack and recovered a fumble.

Jay Thomas, DB, 6-2, 183, Hale County High School, Moundville, Ala.
Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State player … Recorded 66 total tackles … Had three interceptions and caused one fumble … Averaged 6.4 tackles per game … Caught 33 passes as a receiver for 525 yards and three TDs … Averaged 15.9 yards per reception … Averaged 20.8 yards per kick return.

Tremayne Tolbert, WR, 6-2, 197, College of Siskiyous, Troup, Ga., West Point, Ga.
Had 32 receptions for 402 yards and two touchdowns at Siskiyous … Averaged 12.6 yards per reception … Played football, baseball and basketball at Troup County High School … Had 51 receptions for 886 yards at TCHS … Averaged 17.4 yards per reception
Jam Woods, WR, Gadsden City High School, Gadsden, Ala.

Jam Woods, WR, 6-1, 185, Gadsden City High School, Gadsden, Ala.
Averaged 26.3 yards per reception with three touchdowns,

2017-18 Mid-Year Signees

Jordyn Bowlin, LB, 6-1, 205, Ackerman, Miss., Starkville (Miss.) High School, Northeast Mississippi Community College, Jones County Junior College
Played in 10 games as a sophomore at Jones County JC, making 45 tackles, 34 solo … Recorded three sacks and recovered three fumbles as a JCJC sophomore … Played in eight games as a freshman at Northeast Mississippi Community College, recording 27 tackles … Appeared in 10 games recorded 39 total tackles as a junior at Starkville High School … Helped lead SHS to 2014 Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Division 2, Class 6A championship … Had 56 tackles in 12 games as a senior … Played in annual Bernard Blackwell All-Star Game in Gulfport.

Jon Michael Edwards, DL, 6-4, 250, Montgomery, Ala., Carver (Ala.) High School, Southern Miss
Appeared in four games as a redshirt freshman at Southern Miss, making one tackle … Named to the 2014-15 Conference USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll … Did not compete during the season, taking a redshirt … Three-star recruit coming out of Carver (Ala.) High School … according to Rivals.com, 247sports.com and Scout.com … Ranked 121 in the nation according to Scout.com … 52nd ranked defensive end and 29th best player in the state of Mississippi according to 247sports.com … Helped the Wolverines to a 39-12 overall record in four years … Named First Team All-Metro as a senior and Second Team All-Metro as a junior … Registered 152 total career tackles (101 solo), 16.5 sacks, one forced fumble and six quarterback hurries … As a senior, made 77 total tackles (56 solo) with 12.5 sacks, one forced fumble and five quarterback hurries … As a junior, made 45 total tackles (24 solo) with 2.0 sacks and a quarterback hurry … As a sophomore, made 30 total tackles (21 solo) with 2.0 sacks in seven games played … Played in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl in December 2013 in Dallas.

Lavorciay Gaddis, DB, 5-10, 180, Foxworth, Miss., West Marion (Miss.) High School, Southwest Mississippi Community College
Played in nine games and recorded 59 total tackles and an interception as a sophomore at SWCC … Played in eight games as a freshman at SWCC, recording 39 total tackles, two broken up passes, a fumble recovery and two forced fumbles … First-team all-state defensive back as a senior and all-state receiver as a junior at West Marion High School … Recorded 131 tackles and had 17 touchdowns as a senior at West Marion High.

Dorsett Johnson, LB, 6-1, 220, Memphis, Tenn., Memphis Central High School, Samford University
Played in five games in 2017 at Samford, recording Recorded 11 total tackles, six solo … Saw action in 10 games in 2016, finishing the season with 10 total tackles, including five solo stops … Redshirted in 2015 … Was an All-State linebacker at Memphis Central High School … Also named All-District and All-Metro … Selected to play in the East-West Tennessee All-Star Game … As a senior, tallied 64 tackles, 13 sacks, eight tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and one interception … Also competed in basketball and track at Memphis Central.

Anfernee Jordan, DB, 6-0, 170, Hazlehurst, Miss., Hazlehurst High School, Southwest Mississippi Community College
Recorded 34 tackles and had two interceptions as a sophomore at Southwest Community College … Returned one interception for a touchdown …  Saw action in six games & had an assisted tackle as a freshman at SWCC … Played at Hazlehurst (Miss.) High School … Helped lead HHS to 12-1 record as a senior … Recorded 118 career tackles, 87 solo … Had seven career interceptions and broke up five passes … Scored eight rushing and four receiving touchdowns in HHS career.

Tyriq Martin, WR, 6-3, 185, Goose Creek, S.C., Goose Creek High School, Palmetto Prep
Played last season at Palmetto Prep in South Carolina after playing at Goose Creek (S.C.) High School … Caught 64 passes for 831 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior a Goose Creek … Had 84 career receptions for 1,093 yards and 11 TDs … Also rushed the ball 79 times for 993 yards and eight touchdowns at GCHS … Averaged 12.6 yards per carry and three touchdowns of 100-plus yards … 2,402 career all-purpose yards … 2017 South Carolina Class 5A 200-meter state champion, winning in time of 21.60 … All-region selection and North-South All-Star choice … Had two catches at Palmetto for 49 yards and a touchdown.

Dorrean McLaurin, WR, 6-2, 190, Collins, Miss., Collins High School, East Mississippi Community College
Had 11 receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown as a sophomore at EMCC, averaging 10 yards per catch … Had five receptions for 53 yards as a freshman at EMCC … Averaged 10.6 yards per reception as a freshman at EMCC … Had 72 career receptions for 1,461 yards at Collins (Miss.) High School … Had 18 career prep receiving touchdowns, averaging 20.3 yards per catch.

Chase Mitchell, DB, 5-11, 190, Jacksonville, Fla., Oakleaf High School, Southwest Mississippi Community College
Had 19 tackles, all solo stops, and an interception in eight games as a sophomore at Southwest Community College … As a freshman at SMCC he appeared in all nine games, returning 12 kickoffs for 188 yards and one punt for 14 yards … As a high school senior recorded more than 50 tackles, had one interception and 10 pass breakups … Set a school-record with a 99-yard rushing touchdown

Christian Saulsberry, WR, 5-8, 180, Southhaven, Miss., Northpoint Christian High School, Itawamba (Miss.) Community College
Had 41 receptions for 510 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore at Itawamba (Miss.) Community College … Averaged 12.4 yards per reception … Caught 14 passes for 148 yards as a freshman at ICC … As a senior at Northpoint Christian High School, he earned Tennessee Sports Writers Association first-team all-state as an athlete … Helped lead Northpoint Christian to state championship game and 13 consecutive wins … Had 1390 rushing yards with 16 touchdowns and caught 22 passes for 315 yards while adding three scores as a high school senior … Had 872 combined kickoff and punt return yards, with six returned for touchdowns … As a defender had 33 tackles and five interceptions, two of which were pick sixes.

La’Thomas Sharp, OL, 6-3, 315, Woodville, Miss., Wilkinson County (Miss.) High School, Mississippi Delta Community College
Recorded 46 career tackles in two seasons at Wilkinson County (Miss.) High School, 44 solo stops … Also played basketball in high school, averaging 5.0 points and 3.2 rebounds over 46 games.

Jonnas Spivey, WR, 6-2, 190, Louin, Miss., Bay Springs High School, Mississippi State University, Jones County Community College
Caught 18 passes for 340 yards and a touchdown as a sophomore at Jones County (Miss.) Junior College … Averaged 18.9 yards per reception as a sophomore … Three-star athlete out of Bay Springs (Miss.) High School … Played on both sides of the ball and was quarterback at Bay Springs, which advanced to the second round of the 2014 Class 2A playoffs … Ranked No. 22 in the state of Mississippi by 247Sports Composite, No. 23 by Rivals.com, No. 26 by Scout.com and No. 19 by ESPN.com … In 2014, completed 80-of-112 passes for 1,431 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions, and 133 rushes for 1,002 yards and 13 touchdowns … Notched 17 tackles (five solos) and eight interceptions (three returned for a touchdowns) as a senior … Also had offers from Tennessee, Arkansas State and Southern Miss following senior year at BSHS.

Chancie Tidwell, TE, 6-0, 221, Clinton, Miss., Clinton High School, Jones County Junior College
Had eight receptions for 126 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore at JCJC … Averaged 15.8 yards per reception … Had six receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown as a freshman at JCJC … All-MACJC South second-team.

Xavier Williamson, DB, 6-0, 175, Paulding, Miss., Heidelberg (Miss.) High School, East Central (Miss.) Community College
Played in nine games and recorded 30 total tackles as a sophomore at ECCC … Played in 10 games as a juco freshman, recording 50 tackles … Had 3.5 career tackles for loss, one fumble recovery, one interception (pick six) and six broken up passes at ECCC … Played both defensive back and quarterback at Heidelberg (Miss.) High School … First-team all-county selection.

UWA welcomes Japan Consul General Shinozuka to campus

Pictured left to right are International Admissions Counselor Meng Xu, Special Assistant to the President Johnnie Aycock, UWA senior Jade Montgomery (Study Abroad), UWA senior Bailee Tindol (Study Abroad), Honorary Consul General of Japan Mark B. Jackson, Consul General of Japan Takashi Shinozuka, UWA President Dr. Ken Tucker, Communications Assistant Kaitlynn Beaird (Study Abroad), UWA Provost Dr. Tim Edwards, SGA President Jonathan Knox, Vice President for Institutional Advancement Dr. Chris Thomason, Professor of English Dr. Stephen Slimp, and College of Liberal Arts Dean and International Programs Director Dr. Mark Davis.

LIVINGSTON, Ala.—The University of West Alabama hosted Consul General of Japan Takashi Shinozuka and Honorary Consul General of Japan Mark B. Jackson on campus on Wednesday. Their visit included a campus tour and visits across campus, including the College of Business and Technology, International Programs, Integrated Marketing & Communications. During the visit they had a roundtable discussion with a group of campus leaders and UWA students who have participated in the Tigers International Study Abroad program.

Pictured left to right are UWA Provost Dr. Tim Edwards, Honorary Consul General of Japan Mark B. Jackson, Consul General of Japan Takashi Shinozuka, UWA President Dr. Ken Tucker, and College of Liberal Arts Dean and International Programs Director Dr. Mark Davis.

UWA announces Fall 2017 President’s and Dean’s Lists honors

LIVINGSTON, Ala.–The University of West Alabama has announced more than 500 outstanding undergraduate students named to the President’s List and the Dean’s List for the Fall 2017 academic semester.

To reach the President’s List, students must earn at least a 3.80 grade point average while attempting at least twelve semester hours.

To be named to the Dean’s List, students must obtain at least a 3.25 grade point average while attempting at least twelve semester hours.

Honorees are listed by state, then county, then city. Local honorees include:

Marengo Jennifer Belcher Demopolis AL Dean’s List
Marengo Alexis Benderson Demopolis AL President’s List
Marengo Keyonia Bowden Demopolis AL Dean’s List
Marengo Joseph Browder Demopolis AL Dean’s List
Marengo Melanie Campbell Demopolis AL Dean’s List
Marengo Tristen Fitz-Gerald Demopolis AL Dean’s List
Marengo Shanice Gracie Demopolis AL President’s List
Marengo Kathleen Jackson Demopolis AL Dean’s List
Marengo Mark Johnson Demopolis AL Dean’s List
Marengo Riley King Demopolis AL President’s List
Marengo Jason Low Demopolis AL President’s List
Marengo Cheyenne Martin Demopolis AL President’s List
Marengo Fallon Martin Demopolis AL Dean’s List
Marengo Clayton McVay Demopolis AL President’s List
Marengo Sara McVay Demopolis AL President’s List
Marengo Jackson Morrison Demopolis AL Dean’s List
Marengo Sydney Pettis Demopolis AL Dean’s List
Marengo Jarius Rembert Demopolis AL President’s List
Marengo Brittany Scott Demopolis AL Dean’s List
Marengo Luana Scott Demopolis AL President’s List
Marengo Cora Smith Demopolis AL President’s List
Marengo Heath Stanford Demopolis AL Dean’s List
Marengo Alyssa Wrensted Demopolis AL President’s List
Marengo Ethan Glass Dixons Mills AL President’s List
Marengo Ellen Alexander Gallion AL Dean’s List
Marengo Adriauna Alston Gallion AL Dean’s List
Marengo Luke McCray Gallion AL President’s List
Marengo Caitlin Thrash Gallion AL President’s List
Marengo Brandon Thrasher Gallion AL President’s List
Marengo Weldon Aydelott Linden AL Dean’s List
Marengo Devin Burrell Linden AL Dean’s List
Marengo Mary Moore Linden AL Dean’s List
Marengo Macy Morgan Linden AL Dean’s List
Marengo Kimberly Parker Linden AL President’s List
Marengo Daniel Ratcliff Linden AL President’s List
Marengo Maverick Ratcliff Linden AL Dean’s List
Marengo Joseph Sammons Linden AL Dean’s List
Marengo Blakley Tartt Linden AL Dean’s List
Marengo Hunter Webb Myrtlewood AL Dean’s List
Marengo Desha Anderson Sweet Water AL Dean’s List
Marengo Kennesha Curtis Sweet Water AL President’s List
Marengo Christopher Dunn Sweet Water AL President’s List
Marengo Chynna Ernest Sweet Water AL President’s List
Marengo Riley Overton Sweet Water AL Dean’s List
Marengo Bria Robinson Sweet Water AL Dean’s List
Marengo Curtis Witherington Sweet Water AL Dean’s List
Marengo Destany Jones Thomaston AL Dean’s List
Marengo Amber McDaniel Thomaston AL President’s List
Marengo Karlton Nathan Thomaston AL Dean’s List
Marengo Mary Rivers Thomaston AL Dean’s List
Marengo Preston Traywick Thomaston AL Dean’s List

 

Sumter Brooklyn Bryan Cuba AL Dean’s List
Sumter Valerie Larkin Cuba AL Dean’s List
Sumter Payton McElroy Cuba AL President’s List
Sumter David Castleberry Emelle AL President’s List
Sumter Ebone Newton Emelle AL Dean’s List
Sumter Elizabeth Waddell Emelle AL President’s List
Sumter Lathia Adams Epes AL Dean’s List
Sumter Deanna Clark Epes AL Dean’s List
Sumter Tajah Bell Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Michelle Campbell Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Laurel Carrier Livingston AL Dean’s List
Sumter McKenzie Dawson Livingston AL Dean’s List
Sumter Holli Gandy Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Victoria Gandy Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Nikki Giles Livingston AL Dean’s List
Sumter Langdon Griffith Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Christopher Hester Livingston AL Dean’s List
Sumter Anna Holycross Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Rebekah Horton Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Shanice Jones Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Kathryn Kelley Livingston AL Dean’s List
Sumter William McDaniel Livingston AL Dean’s List
Sumter Guadalupe Meza Livingston AL Dean’s List
Sumter Jade Montgomery Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter John Morgan Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Brittney Pratt Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Hunter Ray Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Jordan Robinson Livingston AL Dean’s List
Sumter Tyesha Ruffin Livingston AL Dean’s List
Sumter Laprease Sparks Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Christopher Spencer Livingston AL President’s List
Sumter Ashley Thorne Livingston AL Dean’s List
Sumter Felix Woods Livingston AL Dean’s List
Sumter Devante Giles York AL President’s List
Sumter Ja’roderick Parker York AL President’s List
Sumter Denetria Ruffin York AL Dean’s List
Sumter Be’ana Wade York AL President’s List
Sumter Alexis Watkins York AL Dean’s List
Sumter Dandre Watson York AL Dean’s List
Greene Debora Henderson Boligee AL Dean’s List
Greene Tyreice Mack Boligee AL President’s List
Greene Curtis Davidson Eutaw AL Dean’s List
Greene Summer Earle Eutaw AL President’s List
Greene Rosemary Horton Eutaw AL Dean’s List
Greene Nicole Aledo Forkland AL Dean’s List
Greene Kanigia Pelt Forkland AL Dean’s List
Perry Kiara Payton Marion AL President’s List
Perry Karsyn Roye Uniontown AL Dean’s List

UWA to seek SACS approval for doctoral program in rural education

LIVINGSTON, Ala.—The University of West Alabama has announced plans for offering its first doctoral program in the near future. Pending approval from its accrediting body, UWA will soon offer through its Julia S. Tutwiler College of Education a unique Ed.D. in rural education.

The proposed program will offer two tracks to best meet the needs of educators. The teaching and learning track is designed for teacher leaders in a variety of settings, instructional coaches, directors, team leaders, and lead teachers. A track for organizational change and leadership is designed for curriculum leaders, instructional leaders in a variety of settings, directors, team leaders, lead teachers, higher education leaders, or leaders of non-profit organizations.

“ACHE’s approval of our Ed.D. in Rural Education is outstanding news for our university,” said UWA President Ken Tucker. “This innovative and unique doctoral program, the only one of its kind in the nation, has the potential of being a national model for other universities in rural environments.”

The University received approval from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education in early December, and the proposed degree program will go before the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges in the summer of 2018. Should SACS approve the proposed degree program, UWA will begin offering the Ed.D. in rural education in the fall of 2018.

“The entire UWA family is excited about our unique doctorate of education degree in rural education and are very thankful to the Alabama Commission on Higher Education for their support and approval,” Tucker said. “Pending SACS approval, this will be the first and only doctoral degree in our university’s history.”

The proposed program is geared toward working adults, with courses created in conjunction with partner schools in an effort to provide relevant experiences unique to rural education.

According to dean of the College, the proposed degree offering answers a growing demand from both within the UWA community and beyond.

“The demand from our current students and alumni for an advanced degree such as a doctoral program has been an ongoing request for the last several years,” explained Dr. Jan Miller, dean of education at UWA. “It is common practice for an advanced graduate student to want to continue his or her education. Our current students, alumni and prospective students have expressed their excitement about the opportunity to learn and to network with others throughout the state and the nation to improve rural education and rural communities.”

Miller said that the plan for an advanced degree in rural education has developed as part of the college’s commitment to meeting the region’s greatest needs with the unique tools and programs necessary.

“UWA’s Ed.D. in rural education is our response to a growing demand to educate highly qualified professionals trained in rural K-12 education and trained in better understanding the dynamics within rural communities,” Miller said. “Thriving rural communities need thriving rural schools.”

UWA’s commitment to rural education has continually grown over recent years, including the establishment of the Black Belt Teaching Corps, partnerships with the National Rural Education Association and the Rural Schools Collaborative, a position as the Alabama Affiliate for Rural Education, and a broad slate of programs and initiatives designed to equip rural educators. The college is a Teacher Quality Partnership grant recipient, awarded $3.3 million for training the region’s best educators.

“Dr. Jan Miller, dean of the College of Education and Online Programs, and Dr. B.J. Kimbrough, dean of Graduate Studies, were the primary architects of the proposal and deserve accolades on the excellent work they did,” Tucker said. “This degree, once approved by SACSCOC, will align nicely with that part of our mission which addresses rural education and rural economic and workforce development.”

UWA Provost Dr. Tim Edwards said that the program offering brings a new opportunity to the region and to the nation.

“This new doctoral program in rural education has transformative potential for this institution and this region,” Edwards said. “As our graduate dean, Dr. Kimbrough, says, ‘It’s a game changer.’ And it truly is. But really it’s just one more aspect of a larger transformational vision President Tucker has charged our university with realizing. Exciting times are ahead at UWA.”

For more information on UWA’s plans for offering an Ed.D. in rural education pending approval from SACS, please contact College of Education Dean Dr. Jan Miller at jmiller@uwa.edu.

UWA’s Blair to play in Tropical Bowl All Star Game

West Alabama All-America offensive tackle Dontavius Blair has accepted an invitation to play in the Division 1 FBS SPRIAL Tropical Bowl All Star Game in Daytona Beach, Florida on January 14.

The SPIRAL Tropical Bowl showcases the top college football seniors to NFL scouts and GM’s who travel from around the country to the event. The weekend is focused on scouting, teaching, and football.

The SPIRAL Tropical Bowl has featured 70-plus NFL Scouts from 26-plus NFL Teams. Over 110 SPIRAL Tropical Bowl alumni have gone on to the NFL since its inception in 2016.

The game kicks off at 8 a.m. central time at Daytona Beach Memorial Stadium. Tickets are $27 and can be purchased online through Ticketmaster or at the gate the day of the game.

The game will be video live streamed by Flosports at flofootball.com. A Flofootball subscription is required.

UWA to recognize nearly 700 graduates on Dec. 9

LIVINGSTON, Ala.—The University of West Alabama will honor nearly 700 graduates during fall commencement exercises Saturday, Dec. 9. The undergraduate ceremony begins at 10 a.m. in Pruitt Gymnasium on the UWA campus. The graduate ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m., also at Pruitt Gymnasium. Presidential Receptions will be held prior to each ceremony and are open to all graduates and their guests at 8 a.m. and noon in the Bell Conference Center.

Guests must have tickets, which are available from the graduates, to attend each ceremony in Pruitt Gymnasium. Overflow seating to watch the commencement exercises will be available in Bibb Graves Auditorium. Ceremonies will also be streamed live online at www.uwa.edu/live.

The University will confer degrees in the colleges of liberal arts, natural sciences and mathematics, business, and education during the morning ceremony, and the school of graduate studies during the afternoon ceremony.

The University will recognize students graduating from the UWA Honors Program and those graduating with honors. There will also be special recognition for the faculty recipients of the Nellie McCrory Service Excellence Award, the McIlwain Bell Trustee Professor Award and the William E. Gilbert Award for Outstanding Teaching.

The University will also induct four individuals into the Society of the Golden Key, a prestigious organization established to honor University alumni, faculty, and staff who have brought distinction to their alma mater through exceptional service in their fields. The four inductees are John D. Crawford of Valdosta, Ga., Amelia Hawkins Mackey of Demopolis, Ala., James W. Brown of Montgomery, Ala., and Tim Mansour of Loganville, Ga.

Director of Choral Activities Christopher Shelt will lead the UWA Choirs in a special performance honoring graduates. Livingston United Methodist Church minister Steve Spining will give the invocation and benediction.

For more information on UWA Commencement Exercises, contact Dr. Tina N. Jones, commencement chairperson, at tnj@uwa.edu or 205-652-3833.

UWA drops Delta State to move on in D2 playoffs

LIVINGSTON, Ala. – West Alabama fell behind early and then rallied back to take care of business and defeat Delta State, 27-20, in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division II Football Playoffs Saturday at Tiger Stadium.

The win advances West Alabama into the third round of the playoffs against yet another Gulf South Conference opponent. The Tigers will host West Florida (9-3) next Saturday at noon. The Argonauts eliminated West Georgia, 17-14, in the second round. Delta State ends its season 9-4.

The Tigers improved to 10-2 with the win, making this UWA team the first to notch 10 victories since the 1975 team finished 10-3 and lost in the Division II Semi-finals to Northern Michigan.

“Coach (Todd) Cooley runs a great program and Delta State is a heck of a football team,” UWA head coach Brett Gilliland said. “We knew it was going to be a challenge and we definitely didn’t come out firing on all cylinders, but we buckled down in the second quarter.”

Delta State jumped to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run by quarterback Breck Ruddick and a 36-yard field goal by Vince Sciorrotta. The Statesmen outgained the Tigers 167 to 27 yard in the first 15 minutes of the game.

West Alabama returned the favor in the second period, putting up 20 points and 182 yards while limiting Delta State to just 35 yards and no points to take a 20-10 lead into the half.

“That was two good football teams. That second quarter felt like it lasted forever,” Delta State head coach Todd Cooley said. “I am so proud of the fight in our kids. We lost to a good football team today. They deserved it.”

Harry Satterwhite and Donta Armstrong hooked up for the first of two touchdown passes, this one a 27-yarder. Tyler Rogers and Lakenderic Thomas tacked on 1-yard TD runs for the Tigers, who scored three times in the last 7:32 of the first half.

“That was a big play to get us on the board and get us rolling,” Satterwhite said. “Once we get rolling we can be hard to stop, but Delta State is a really good football team and you are not going to score every time you get the ball against them.”

Satterwhite and Armstrong connected again from 15 yards out with 11:05 left in the third quarter to stretch the UWA lead to 27-10.

A 6-yard completion to Corey Davis late in the first quarter made Satterwhite the West Alabama single-season record holder for completions. Finishing the day 25-of-37 for 275 yards and two TDs gives the junior from Mobile 303 completions this season, shattering his head coaches’ record from 2002 when Gilliland completed 280.

Satterwhite needs just 117 yards passing against West Florida next week to pass current UWA running backs coach Deon Williams for the single season passing yards record. Williams passed for 3,392 yards in 2010.

“I’m not sure about the receivers that Coach G had, but the ones I have are great,” Satterwhite said. “When I throw a 50-50 ball I know they are going to go get it, and of course what a job by our offensive line every week. I didn’t sacked at all today.”

Delta State scored the final 10 points of the game. Chris Robinson had a 5-yard touchdown run and Sciorrotta nailed a 30-yard field goal with 8:41 left to end all scoring.

West Alabama knelt on the ball twice from the DSU 8-yard line to run out the clock and end the game.

UWA finished with 406 total yards and allowed Delta State 371, outgaining the Statesmen 379-204 over the final three quarters of the game. The Statesmen had 276 yards rushing and the Tigers 275 passing.

Ruddick was 17-of-27 passing for 95 yards, but rushed 16 times for 71 yards. Robinson led all ball carriers with 105 yards on 23 carries. LeDarion Peterson carried eight times for 82 yards. Kam Mayers caught eight passes for 30 yards.

Thomas led West Alabama ball carriers with 95 yards on 20 carries, with 33 of those coming on third-and-10 with less than a minute to play to ice the game away. He moved past Tony Truelove (1982-85) into eighth all-time at UWA with 1,732.

Armstrong and Barnard McGhee had six receptions each, Armstrong for 71 yards and McGhee for 45. Corey Davis caught four balls for 72 yards. And Broc Malcom four for 43.

Armstrong now has 172 career receptions, tied for second on the UWA all-time list with Matt Carman (1990-93). Gerald Worsham holds that record with 241 receptions from 2008-11.

“Their quarterback makes the throws and they have two of the best receivers in the nation, and I’m talking about all of Division I and II,” Delta State linebacker Landry Tullo said. “They are a great football team. If they don’t win the national championship I will be surprised.”

Taderion Myhand led West Alabama with 12 total tackles and a forced fumble that led to Tiger points. Jordan Jones racked up 10 stops, Devante Davis nine and Khalia Hackett eight tackles plus three quarterback hurries. Terrence Jones recorded a sack.

Tevin Madison, Nico Peterson and Robert Myers each recovered a fumble, while Madison also forced one and broke up a pass.

Johnquavious McBride had 10 tackles to lead Delta State and Chandler Ector added eight.

UWA men’s soccer No. 2 seed in South Regional

INDIANAPOLIS – After winning the Gulf South Conference regular season and tournament championships, the West Alabama Tigers are not done hunting for accolades after being selected as the No. 2 seed in NCAA South Regional.

UWA (15-2-1) will travel to face the No. 3 seeded Tampa Spartans in Tampa, Fla. on Sunday, Nov. 12 starting at 12 p.m. locally. The Spartans come in after defeating Rollins 2-1 in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championship to earn an automatic bid.

“Delighted to be here at this stage at the season and still be playing shows that you’ve had a successful year in the toughest region in the nation,” said Head coach Matthew Thorne. “We’re confident we compete with anyone and I look forward battling Tampa. I’m proud of these guys for what they’ve done so far, but we’ve got a lot more to do this season.”

Despite being the higher seed, The Tigers will have to win in Tampa’s home stadium. However, Thorne is proud of reaching the post-season and reaching new highest for UWA Men’s Soccer.

“The No. 2 seed is great to see. It shows how far we’ve come as a program,” said Thorne. “It’s the highest seed we’ve ever had and we’re looking forward to going down to Tampa and pusing forward with the win.”

Palm Beach Atlantic earned the top seed and will face No. 4 seed Lynn on this side of the regional bracket.

Two to six teams were selected from each of the eight regions.  Teams from the same region will be paired for first- and/or second-round competition, which will be conducted November 9-12 on campus sites.  Third-round/quarterfinals will be held on campus sites and completed by November 19. The semifinals and final will be played November 30 and December 2 at Children’s Mercy Victory Field at Swope Soccer Village in Kansas City, Missouri, hosted by Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, Rockhurst University and Kansas City Sports Commission.

UWA soccer wins GSC title on penalty kicks

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – For the fourth year in a row, the West Alabama Tigers have captured the Gulf South Conference Men’s Soccer Championship crown. This time the win comes over the University of Alabama -Huntsville 1-1 (5-4) in penalty kicks on Sunday at the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex.

UWA’s record moves to 15-2-1 overall after advancing on penalty kicks. UAH most likely ends the season at 9-6-3.

“No matter what happened there today, we never broke,” said UWA Head coach Matthew Thorne. “. Getting 1-0 down to a quality UAH, they caused all sorts of problems. We stepped up. Even on the penalties, we really believed no matter what situation we were going to win. Credit to all those seniors and credit to all those players not just on the field, but on the squad.”

In the penalty kick portion, the Tigers had goals from Keegan McQueen, Jamie Cox, Alvaro Macias, Jean-Baptiste Meyniel and finally Harrison Roberts. Brad Louis blocked the shot of Tucker Watts to give UWA the edge needed for victory.

UAH found the back of the net first at the 30:28 mark when Clennett Guy scored on an assist from Khalil Bell.

It would take over 30 more minutes for UWA to find the back of the net, but the freshman Cole Webster scored his third goal of the year off an assist from Gaspard Voituriez-Donnelly with 69:22 remaining in regulation.

Both teams played each other evenly in the physical matchup as UWA and UAH both finished with three shots-on-goal throughout the match.

Meyniel was named GSC Men’s Soccer Championship MVP and Louis, Cox and Roberts were named to the All-Tournament team.

The Tigers advance to the NCAA South Regional due to claiming the GSC’s automatic berth with the tournament championship victory. The NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Tournament Selection Show is Monday at 5:30 p.m. and there the Tigers will discover their next destination.