Sport briefs:

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Four locals make all-state cheer squad

The Virginia High School League has released its 2019 cheer all-star teams with Olyssa Harris and Isabella Ankrum of Blacksburg being named to the second team Class 4 list. Blanca Wright of Auburn and Tyashia Gellner of Radford were both named to the Class 2 second-team.

Tennis Hokies welcome Alex Ix to 2020 class

Virginia Tech head coach Jim Thompson has announced the addition of Alex Ix to the fall 2020 freshman class.
He has been recognized as a four-star player by Tennis Recruiting and is ranked 94th in the nation, 18th in the mid-Atlantic region and third in the state of Virginia. He has been ranked as high as 65th nationally and No. 1 in Boys 18s mid-Atlantic by Tennis Recruiting. Ix is a three-time Virginia doubles champion who helped team to three consecutive state titles (2017, 2018 and 2019). He earned first-team All-Central Virginia honors.
Ix is the son of Charles Ix and Justine Montgomery, has two sisters, Madeleone and Rosemary and plans to major in biology.
Coach Thompson said of Ix, Alex is a player I have been able to watch for many years. He’s very talented, moves well and has tremendous grit. He has been at the top of the Mid-Atlantic section rankings at every age division. We are excited to add him to the Virginia Tech tennis family as he has a bright future in Blacksburg.”
Ix joins the nation’s No. 2 player, Ryan Fishback, who previously committed to Tech, for the fall of 2020.

Walker to coach Concord

Concord University Director of Athletics Kevin Garrett has announced the hiring of Dave Walker as the 20th head football coach at Concord.
Walker comes from Martinsburg High School in Martinsburg, W. Va., where he built the Bulldogs into one of the most successful programs in the history of West Virginia high-school football.
In addition to his coaching duties in the state’s eastern panhandle, he was also Martinsburg’s Athletic Director and Assistant Principal.
Walker just finished winning his fourth consecutive Class AAA state championship this month and led Martinsburg to 56 straight wins—the second-longest active winning streak in the entire country—before assuming the head coaching role at Concord.
Under Walker’s leadership at Martinsburg, the Bulldogs have won eight state championships (2010-13, 2016-19) while playing in 12 state championship games since 2001. Overall, the Pineville, W. Va., native amassed more than 300 wins in 32 seasons as a head coach, including his time spent at East Hardy High School in Baker, W. Va. His total of 53 playoff between the two schools is a state record.

Holies Ashby, Farley named first-team All-ACC

Virginia Tech linebacker Rayshard Ashby and cornerback Caleb Farley were named to the All-ACC first-team squad by respected college football analyst Phil Steele on Monday. Tackle Christian Darrisaw, punter Oscar Bradburn and punt returner Tayvion Robinson were named to Steele’s second-team unit. Cornerback Jermaine Waller was a third-team selection.

Ashby (5-10, 237) was named the ACC Linebacker of the Week five times this season, the only defensive player in the league to win that many player-of-the-week honors.. Ashby was a second-team All-ACC selection and finished third in the voting for ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Ashby leads Tech with 106 total tackles and ranks fourth in the ACC. He also leads the Hokies and is tied for fourth in the ACC with 14.5 tackles for loss. He has held VT’s Lunch Pail for Bud Foster the entire season and leads a VT defense that helped the Hokies become the first ACC team to post back-to-back shutouts against Power Five foes since 1978.

Farley (6-2, 207) has blossomed into one of the ACC’s top cornerbacks in just his second season, playing that position after serving as a high school quarterback. A first-team All-ACC pick, he leads the ACC with 16 passes defensed and ranks fourth in the nation, averaging 1.5 passes defensed per game. He is tied for the ACC lead with four interceptions and registered a 17-yard interception return for a touchdown in the 45-0 defeat of Georgia Tech (11/16). The Hickory, N.C., native posted a career-high four passes defensed in the 43-41 six-OT win vs. North Carolina (10/19).

C’burg’s Josh Flennor named all-state

The Emory & Henry College Football Team has seen six of its players receive all-state honors from the Virginia Sports Information Directors, VaSID officials announced Friday. The teams are voted on by the sports information directors from colleges and universities across the Commonwealth.

This year’s six selections mark the most all-state picks for the Wasps since earning seven spots on the teams following the 2009 season. E&H’s four first-teamers are also the most since 2008 when five players were honored as Virginia’s top small-college performers.

Leading the way on the all-state first team is 2018 second-team selection offensive lineman Tyler Weterrings (Glade Hill). The senior adds all-state laurels to his All-ODAC First Team pick from a month ago.

Senior wide receiver Derrick Yates (Abingdon) returns to the list on the first team after a one-year absence. The prolific pass-catcher was a second-teamer in 2017 and concluded his career this fall with multiple school records and a nod to the All-ODAC First Team.

Emory & Henry’s defensive front is well-represented as seniors Da’von Keith (Columbia, S.C.) and Josh Fleenor (Christiansburg) were named to the all-state first team in addition to their All-ODAC First-Team recognition. Keith was All-State First Team in 2016 while Fleenor earned the award in 2017.

RU’s Carlik Jones is player of week

Radford redshirt-junior guard Carlik Jones has been named the Big South Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, while Winthrop guard Russell Jones Jr. is the Freshman of the Week for games played Dec. 16-22, it was announced this week.

Jones averaged 14.5 points, 9.0 assists and 4.5 rebounds in helping the Highlanders to a 1-1 week.  In a narrow loss at Mississippi State, he had 15 points, seven assists and went 3-of-3 from long range. Jones then tallied a double-double with 14 points and 11 helpers in Radford’s 73-58 win over Richmond Sunday and grabbed six caroms while making all eight of his free throws.