Pair of Soccer Wins, Hall of Fame Inductions Highlight Homecoming

Keith Sudler, John Thompson & Bradley Blue
Keith Sudler, John Thompson & Bradley Blue

Rocky Mount, N.C. - North Carolina Wesleyan celebrated its 2017 Homecoming over the weekend, culminating with the Department of Athletics' Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday night in Everett Gym.

On campus Saturday morning, Wesleyan's baseball and softball teams each enjoyed good turnouts for their annual alumni games, which were followed by a pair of key USA South soccer match-ups on Youth Day at Scalf Field.

Up first, the Bishop men raced ahead of Ferrum 3-0 and held on for the eventual 3-2 victory. All three Wesleyan goals were netted in the first 30 minutes of play, with junior Sheriff Secka's second tally at 30:27 proving to be the eventual gamewinner. Freshman Jordan Williams moved to 4-2 in goal after notching four saves. Next up, the Bishops will travel to Averett University on Wednesday.

The Battling Bishop women then took the pitch for a dominating 5-0 win over Averett University in the USA South opener for both squads. Hannah Tolson tallied her first goal of the season in the 33rd minute, and it would be all the Bishops would need. Fellow senior Ella Burkhart added Wesleyan's next two scores before assisting on a goal by Victoria Burkhart less than two minutes into the second half. Sophomore Sarah Cook wrapped up the scoring off a Maddie Williams assist, and senior Ashley Major made a pair of saves to secure the shutout. The Bishops host conference rival Methodist University on Tuesday at 3:00pm at Scalf Field.

Out at Rocky Mount Athletic Stadium, Wesleyan's football took on Ferrum College in what proved to be a defensive contest. The Panthers took the early lead with a methodical opening drive that was capped by a 7-yard TD run by Brian Mann. The Bishops answered later in the quarter with a 1-yard scoring run by junior Adrian Minondo, but unfortunately, it would be Wesleyan's only points of the day. Ferrum's Dre Davis caught a 27-yard touchdown pass just before the half, and a lone 26-yard field goal in the fourth quarter would secure a 17-7 victory for FC. Defensively, Wesleyan's Antonio Johnson racked up 16 tackles on the day, including 3.5 tackles-for-loss. The Bishops will travel to LaGrange next Saturday.

Also on Saturday, a trio of Bishop teams hit the road for their respective contests. In volleyball, Wesleyan dropped a 3-1 decision to Greensboro College before bouncing back to sweep host Mary Baldwin University by a 3-0 score. Senior Emily McLain tallied a team-high seven kills, while freshman Callie Cline collected 16 digs. The Bishops continue play on Wednesday evening at USA South foe Methodist University.

In cross country, the Bishop women finished 4th out of six Division III entries the Greensboro Invitational. NCWC was led by junior Sarah Grossman (25:45), followed closely by Samantha Valeros (25:55) and Maria Gasper (26:02). As a team, Wesleyan beat out a pair of conference rivals in William Peace and Ferrum. NCWC's men failed to record a team score due to a pair of mid-race injuries, but freshman Dion Cox faired well with a time of 31:56, which placed him 30th out of 65 runners.

The day was wrapped up back on campus in Everett Gym where 2017 Hall of Fame inductees Bradley Blue, Keith Sudler, and John Thompson were officially enshrined. Blue and Sudler made their names within the Bishops' men's basketball program as top-5 scorers with over 1,600 points apiece. Blue was awarded for his efforts with an All-American nod during his career, while Sudler's collegiate prowess resulted in a successful pro career overseas. Joining them in the Hall was their coach, John Thompson. Thompson, who is the longest tenured Director of Athletics in Wesleyan history, is also basketball's all-time winningest coach. The trio was treated to dinner and induction speeches on one of the more memorable nights enjoyed in Everett Gymnasium.

Congratulations to all of our Bishops on a successful Homecoming! Please continue to check www.ncwcsports.com for the latest news, scores, and stats!