SFU’s Neal among top returning LBs

LORETTO – St. Francis linebacker Bishop Neal earned a spot on the 2014 College Football Performance Awards FCS Linebacker Award Watch List.

“Congratulations to Bishop Neal on earning a spot on this year’s watch list,” said CFPA Executive Director Brad Smith. “Neal will be one of the top NEC players to watch in 2014.”

Last season, Neal led the Red Flash and was fifth in the NEC with 79 tackles. He also was fourth in the league with 16.5 tackles for loss, good for 12th in the nation and fourth in the NEC in that category. He earned an All-NEC Second Team selection.

The initial watch list includes 38 linebackers vying for the top linebacker award in the Football Championship Subdivision.

Eagles honored

HUNTINGDON – The honors continue to pour in for Juniata College men’s volleyball.

After helping lead the team to its first NCAA Division III national championship match, redshirt junior Alex McColgin, juniors Paul Kuhn and Joe Bortak, and sophomore Chad Albert were named Eastern College Athletic Conference All-Stars.

Juniata tied reigning national champion Springfield College for the most all-star selections.

“Well deserved honor,” said head coach Pat Shawaryn. “They put in the time all year. Being recognized by other coaches is a great honor and these four deserve it.”

Smith to play hoops

LORETTO – St. Francis University women’s basketball coach Joe Haigh announced the addition of current SFU women’s volleyball sophomore Cydney Smith to its roster.

Smith has played one season of collegiate volleyball for the Red Flash and will join the basketball team to become a two-sport athlete at St. Francis.

“We are extremely excited to be able to add Cydney to the basketball team for the upcoming season,” said SFU head coach Joe Haigh.

“Cydney is a very talented athlete who turned down Division I scholarship offers to come to Saint Francis on a volleyball scholarship. After spending a year away from the sport of basketball, she realized that she really loves the game, and she loves St. Francis University – and those are two of the top qualities we look for in our student-athletes,” Haigh continued.

The 6-foot-3 center lettered in basketball for three seasons at St. Mary’s Ryken High School, playing for head coach Kris Grazzini-Sandberg. In addition, she lettered two years of volleyball, one of which she was named the Volleyball Player of the Year.

The Tobacco, Md. native averaged nearly 11 points per game and eight rebounds per game during her senior season of high school, and her rebounding average led the team. She also led her squad in blocks per game and total blocks during her senior season. St. Mary’s Ryken plays in the WCAC, which is one of the most competitive high school conferences in the country.

Smith also received All-WCAC second team honors in 2013 and was named to the first team All-County in St. Mary’s County. She also played for the Fairfax Stars and coach Aggie McCormick-Dix, one of the Nike Elite Youth Basketball summer programs.

“She will play both sports this upcoming school year, and when she is able to join the basketball team full time, she will provide us with an inside defensive and rebounding presence as we head into conference play.”

SFU wins Cup

SOMERSET, N.J. – For the second consecutive season and the fourth time in program history, St. Francis University claimed the Northeast Conference Joan Martin Women’s Commissioner’s Cup.

In the race for the overall Brenda Weare Commissioner’s Cup, the Red Flash finished in second place, tying its highest ranking in the 33-year history of the NEC. The runner-up spot improves upon back-to-back third-place finishes.

“Our Red Flash family is very proud of our female student-athletes and coaches for the great accomplishment of winning the Joan Martin Cup for a second consecutive year,” said SFU Deputy Director of Athletics Erika Renwick. “The Department of Athletics would like to thank the entire St. Francis University community for its continued valuable support of our women’s athletics program.