Memorable first | Sports News


The first tackle of Jaden Keller’s college football career was certainly one for the highlight.

The Virginia Tech redshirt freshman linebacker recorded a backpack from Old Dominion University quarterback Hayden Wolff with 5:57 left in the third quarter on Sept. 2.

He set up a touchdown drive and while Tech ultimately gave up a 20-17 decision against the Monarchs, the former Tennessee High star was a bright spot.

Keller played 15 snaps in a reserve role and stopped ODU running back Blake Watson on back-to-back plays in the third quarter.

Keller played four games last season for the Hokies and has already had an immediate impact in 2022. Technical coach Brent Pry called him a “talented guy” at Tuesday’s press conference and said Keller was trying still grabbing some of the first-year head coach programs.

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Either way, expect Keller to continue making games like he always has.

“Super excited for him, because I know how hard he worked,” said Mike Mays, Keller’s coach at Tennessee High. “He’s a great boy with special abilities. Besides that, he loves football. I expect more great things from him this year and beyond”

Purdue University defensive back Cam Allen (Graham) finished with six tackles and a pass breakup Sept. 1 in the Boilermakers’ 35-31 Big Ten conference loss to Penn State.

Dayne Davis (Sullivan East) and Charlie Browder (Dobyns-Bennett) both saw time on the field as the University of Tennessee opened the 2022 football season with a 59-10 thrashing of Ball State on Sept. 1.

Davis played 26 right tackle snaps on the offensive line, while Browder made his debut as a tight end for the Volunteers after being traded from Central Florida.

Bluefield University kicker Joey Dales has been selected as the Appalachian Athletic Conference Football Special Teams Player of the Week for the second straight time.

The former Graham High School standout made his lone extra-point attempt and averaged 36.4 yards on seven punts in his team’s 52-7 loss to Georgetown.

Martin Lucas (Abingdon) contributed six yards on three carries on Saturday in William & Mary’s 41-24 season-opening football win over the Charlotte 49ers.

Taymon Cooke caught, carried and fired Saturday for the North Carolina A&T football team as the Aggies lost a 28-13 decision to North Carolina Central.

The ex-Graham High School star had a reception for 18 yards, was waived for a yard loss on his only carry and gained 27 yards on his only kickoff return.

Mya Holmes (Richlands) scored her second goal of the season for the Pikeville University women’s soccer team.

She scored in the 39th minute and it was the Bears’ victory in their 1-0 victory over Midway University on August 31.

Logan Newberry, a freshman at Concord University, had the first four kills of his college volleyball career on Sept. 1.

The Patrick Henry High School graduate had four kills and a block as the Mountain Lions took a 25-13, 25-18, 25-16 win over Salem.

The Penn State-York volleyball team earned a 25-4, 25-5, 25-8 season-opening victory over Cheyney on Sept. 1, and Hannah Knight (Virginia High) helped set the tone.

She dished out a team record 15 assists and also had one kill.

Zoe Brooks (Union) has dished out 33 assists in the first four games of the season for the Hollins University volleyball team.

Sophomore Elaina Vaughan represented the St. Francis-Brooklyn volleyball team on Saturday in a five-set loss to Temple.

The former Sullivan Central High School star finished with six kills and four blocks.

Milligan University picked up a pair of volleyball victories over Tougaloo and Fisk on Saturday and a familiar trio made major contributions.

Ella Maiden (Patrick Henry) had 17 kills and nine blocks over the two games, Paxton Adkins (Sullivan East) had 20 digs and Hannah Holmes (Patrick Henry) worked her way up to eight digs.

Kelsey Harrington (Virginia High) of the University of North Carolina women’s cross country team placed third in her first race of the season Sept. 2, the Charlotte Opener.

She crossed the finish line in 17:26.8.

UNC’s Sasha Neglia (Dobyns-Bennett) was sixth in 17:44.

When it comes to college debuts, Gardner-Webb University freshman cross country runner Dylan Phillips had one to remember.

The former Abingdon High School finished second in the men’s 5k at the Carolina Challenge on Saturday in Camden, South Carolina.

He crossed the finish line in 16:45.9. Only Benedict’s Donald Kibet (15:42.2) did better.

University of Tennessee freshman Isaac Thiessen (Abingdon) finished fifth Sept. 2 at the UT Cross Country Invitational at Cherokee Farms in Knoxville.

He ran the men’s four-mile race in 20:52.92 in his college debut.

Kade Minton (George Wythe) placed 15th on Sept. 2 at the Eastern Mennonite University Heritage men’s cross-country invitational meet in Harrisonburg, Va.

Competing for Hampden-Sydney College, he clocked a time of 17:51.5 in the 5K.

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