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LOCAL COLLEGE ROUNDUP: ASU football, volleyball players honored by conference; Skinner named Coach of the Year; Darton golf bombs in final fall tournament

ASU's Robert Skinner, the coach of three sports for the Lady Rams --- softball, volleyball and women's basketball --- was named the Coach of the Year in volleyball on Tuesday, while also receiving the inaugural Commissioner’s Commitment to Excellence Award, which is given to a coach that goes beyond the call of duty.

ASU's Robert Skinner, the coach of three sports for the Lady Rams --- softball, volleyball and women's basketball --- was named the Coach of the Year in volleyball on Tuesday, while also receiving the inaugural Commissioner’s Commitment to Excellence Award, which is given to a coach that goes beyond the call of duty.

ATLANTA — Defensive end Justin Blash and safety Dexter Moody were Albany State’s lone representatives on the 2012 football All-Conference First-Team, which was released Tuesday afternoon.

Blash, a 6-foot-5, 345-pound senior from Alma, finished the season with 30 tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble, while Moody, a 6-2, 200 pound junior from Twin City, had seven interceptions, two defensive touchdowns and 48 tackles.

ASU tight end Cessel Taylor (5 rec., 60 yards, 2 TDs), WR and Camilla native Jessie Atkins (32 rec., 553 yards, 2 TDs) and RB Nathan Hoyte (190 rushes, 917 yards, 10 TDs) were named to the All-Conference Second Team.

Tuskegee RB Derrick Washington was named the conference’s Player of the Year, while Tuskegee’s Willie Slater was tabbed the Coach of the Year.

ASU VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS HONORED: After directing his team to an undefeated conference record in the regular season and a runner-up finish in the recent conference tournament, Robert Skinner was named the conference’s Coach of the Year on Tuesday.

Skinner, also the head women’s basketball and softball coach at ASU, was also awarded the inaugural Commissioner’s Commitment to Excellence Award, which is given to a coach that goes beyond the call of duty.

ASU’s Ashley Johnson was named the co-Offensive Player of the Year along with Claflin’s Katherine Fischer, while Rams senior Jennifer Johnson was awarded the Setter of the Year.

Jennifer Johnson, Jillian Anderson and Adrienne Morris earned First-Team All-Conference, and Ashley Johnson was Second-Team All-Conference.


DARTON SCORES PROGRAM-WORST IN FINAL FALL TUNEUP:

ALEXANDRIA CITY, Ala. — Even in their new luxury van, it had to be a long ride back to Albany for the Darton State College golf team Tuesday.

The Cavaliers, who recently purchased an amenity-filled $80,000 Mercedes van with the help of private donors to use on their long road trips, posted the worst total score in their last eight seasons, stroke-wise, at the Central Alabama Community College Invitational in Alexander City, Ala. This is the same golf course Darton won the district championship on two years ago.

The Cavs shot 323 on Monday and 317 on Tuesday, leaving Darton second-year coach Bill Jones less than pleased.

“We play OK when the conditions are good,” Jones said. “When the conditions got bad, not a single person on our team played well. We just struggled when the other (teams) were toughing it out.”

Tae-Hyung Kim was Darton’s lowest scorer, posting a pair of dismal rounds (81-77).

Jones said that while his team is very talented, they are going to have to learn how to become mentally stronger before embarking on the NJCAA Division I fall season — the season that matters most.

Tuesday’s final round was Darton’s last fall tournament, and the spring season picks up the first week in February when the Cavaliers head to Brevard CC.

“We will be working their tails off during the offseason to get ready for the spring,” Jones said. “You better believe that.”

Taylor Martin, the team’s No. 1 player, did not travel with the team to the tournament because of disciplinary reasons. Jones said Martin will return to the team when the spring season begins.