FOOTBALL

A-State begins preseason with 19 on Athlon teams

JONESBORO — Athlon Sports has announced its 2016 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Football Team, which features a league-high 19 Arkansas State selections made up of 17 different players. Including a combined six first-team choices, Arkansas State saw eight players from both the offensive and defensive side of the ball find a place on Athlon Sports’ preseason All-SBC list. Junior cornerback Blaise Taylor was not only a member of the second-team defense, he was also named the squad’s top punt and kick returner and joined as a special-teams selection by senior kicker J.D. Houston as a third-team pick. Representing A-State’s offense on the first team were senior offensive linemen Jemar Clark and Colton Jackson. A-State had six additional offensive players named to the second, third and fourth teams. Four A-State defenders were named first team, including junior defensive lineman Dee Liner, junior defensive end Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, senior linebacker Xavier Woodson-Luster and senior safety Cody Brown. Three more were named to the third and fourth teams. Arkansas State will kick off its season with a home game against Toledo on Sept. 2.

SWIMMING & DIVING

OBU squad earns scholar award

ARKADELPHIA — With spring graduations having passed, the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) has designated the Ouachita Tigers Men’s and Women’s swimming and diving teams as Scholar All-America teams. The Tigers were the only Division II program in the state to be named to the list and one of two in-state program to have both the men’s and women’s teams honored. The Men’s swimming and diving team finished the Spring semester with a cumulative GPA of 3.03. They were one of 37 Division II men’s programs to finish the 2016 Spring semester with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. They were joined by Division III’s Hendrix College as the only men’s programs in Arkansas to achieve Scholar All-America honors. The Women’s swimming and diving team earned the honor after finishing with a 3.40 GPA for the 2016 Spring semester. The University of Arkansas, Hendrix College and Little Rock were the only other women’s collegiate programs in Arkansas to make the list. Swimming and Diving head coach Steven Bostick emphasized the reflection that this not only has on his team, but the university as a whole.

LR grabs 6th straight award

LITTLE ROCK – Little Rock swimming and diving once again continues to get it done in the classroom as it was named a Scholar All-America Team by the College Swimming & Diving Coaches Association of America on Wednesday morning. The Trojans ended the spring semester with a grade point average of 3.48, tying for 48th out of the 172 Division I teams honored, and it was one of 658 teams across the nation to receive the award. Little Rock also had the third-highest GPA among Missouri Valley Conference competitors. Wednesday’s announcement marks the sixth consecutive semester that Little Rock has obtained the prestigious academic award.

BASEBALL

LR’s Scott draws another accolade

LITTLE ROCK — After being drafted in the seventh round by the Boston Red Sox on Friday, Little Rock baseball’s Ryan Scott has been named a finalist for the 2016 Gregg Olson Award. The award is given annually college baseball’s breakout player of the year with Scott being one of 12 finalists. Scott’s proficient 2016 season was one for the record books at Little Rock. Scott became the first Trojan to earn Louisville Slugger First Team All-American honors after he broke Little Rock’s single-season records for hits (94), RBIs (66), total bases (154) and batting average (.435), Division I’s best. He also broke the program’s all-time record for doubles (44). Scott was also named the Sun Belt Conference’s Student-Athlete of the Year and took All-Sun Belt First Team honors after leading the conference in seven different offensive categories during the regular season and earned Sun Belt Student-Athlete of the Week on three different occasions.