SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference announced its September athletes of the month for football, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball Thursday, highlighting excellence among student-athletes during the month.
Tyrie Adams, Western Carolina, R-Jr., QB
Western Carolina quarterback Tyrie Adams accounted for 14 touchdowns for the Catamounts in September, throwing for 10 and running for four more. The redshirt junior from St. Petersburg, Florida, went 76-for-119 for 1,023 yards through the air, highlighted by a 424-yard effort in a loss at Furman on Sept. 29 that earned him SoCon Offensive Player of the Week distinction. Adams logged two games in which he both ran and passed for more than 100 yards, doing so at Gardner-Webb (106 yards rushing, 108 yards passing) and against VMI (117/229). After opening the season with three rushing TDs and 262 passing yards in a win over Newberry, Adams threw for two scores against GWU, three against VMI and five against Furman. Adams also ran for a touchdown against VMI to bring his total to four on the day. Adams completed 63.9 percent of his passes and fashioned an impressive 160.45 pass efficiency rating in the month en route to his third straight September honor. He averaged 343.8 yards of total offense per game.
Others nominated: Lorenzo Ward (The Citadel), Quay Holmes (ETSU), Tee Mitchell (Mercer), Devlin Hodges (Samford), Bryce Nunnelly (Chattanooga) and Andre Stoddard (Wofford).
Jared Folks, ETSU, R-Sr., LB
ETSU linebacker Jared Folks recorded 36 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception to help the Bucs to a 4-1 mark in September, with their only loss coming at FBS Tennessee. The redshirt senior from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was a consistent contributor, recording eight tackles against VMI and seven in each of the other four contests. Folks had 3.5 sacks for 26 yards against the Keydets on Sept. 14, marking the second-highest total in the FCS this season and helping him earn SoCon Defensive Player of the Week honors. His forced fumble and interception also came in that game as ETSU held VMI to minus-28 yards rushing. Folks also recorded a half-sack against Mars Hill in the Bucs’ opener and had four of his six quarterback hurries in the month in ETSU’s 17-14 win over No. 20 Chattanooga on Sept. 29.
Others nominated: LeMarkus Bailey (Mercer), Aaron Harris (Samford), Marshall Cooper (Chattanooga), Jacquez Williams (Western Carolina) and Thad Mangum (Wofford).
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Ben Varghese, ETSU, So.
ETSU sophomore Ben Varghese finished both races in the month of September in the top five. In his first race of the season, Varghese finished second overall in the men’s 7.6k at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational on Sept. 14 with a time of 24:05.3. At the Louisville Classic on Sept. 29, the Kingsport, Tennessee, native came in third overall in the men’s 8k with a time of 23:48.4.
Others nominated: Dillon Dean (Samford) and Davone Hernandez (VMI).
WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
Lindsey Stallworth, ETSU, So.
ETSU sophomore Lindsey Stallworth competed in two races during the month of September. On Sept. 14 at the Virginia Tech Alumni Invitational, Stallworth placed fourth overall in the women’s 6k with a time of 22:16.9. Her time was the only time in the top seven that didn’t come from a Virginia Tech runner. The Knoxville, Tennessee, native then ran a 17:42.7 in the women’s 5k at the Louisville Classic on Sept. 29 to finish tops amongst six other Bucs who ran the course. Stallworth was named SoCon female Runner of the Week for the week of Sept. 19.
Danny Barlow, ETSU, So., F
ETSU forward Danny Barlow scored four goals in the month of September. Three of his four goals were game-winners, helping lead the Bucs to a 4-2 record for the month. The sophomore from Newcastle, England, scored two of his four game-winners back-to-back to open the month, notching the only goals in 1-0 wins over Liberty and Appalachian State. His third game-winner came against Lipscomb on Sept. 15 to give the Bucs the 3-1 win. He also scored in ETSU’s 2-1 win over Georgia Southern on Sept. 22. Barlow leads the team in shots (19) and shots on goal (10) this season and was named SoCon men’s soccer Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 11.
Others nominated: Roberto Arteaga (Mercer).
Abigail Zoeller, Mercer, So., F
Mercer forward Abigail Zoeller helped Mercer to a 3-3-3 record in the month of September and tallied 14 points, 1.56 per game, in the span. The sophomore scored five goals in five different contests and added four assists, three of which came in the 7-0 rout at Alabama State. Zoeller had a .525 on goal percentage in the month and converted on her lone penalty kick attempt. The Independence, Kentucky, native was named SoCon player of the week on Sept. 18 after she helped the Bears to a win over Alabama State and netted the equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Kennesaw State to conclude non-conference play. Zoeller leads the conference in points (24) and is tied for the conference lead in goals (9) and assists (6).
Others nominated: Logan Dix (The Citadel), Lea Ann Cutshall (ETSU), Cienna Rideout (UNCG), Ella Baggett (Samford), Ashton Shields (Chattanooga) and Reily Nelson (Western Carolina).
Alyssa Kvarta, ETSU, Sr., S
ETSU setter Alyssa Kvarta helped guide the Bucs to a conference best 9-3 record in the month of September. The senior racked up 496 assists, 10.78 per set, and five double-doubles in the span. Kvarta opened the month with three straight double-doubles and totaled a career high 21 digs in the five-set win over Tennessee on Sept. 4. She added double-doubles in the four-set win at Duke and against Northern Illinois and had a season-high 53 assists in the win over No. 22 Washington State. In addition to her 496 assists, she added 104 digs, 36 kills, 25 blocks and 12 service aces on the month. Named to two all-tournament teams in September, including MVP of the Bruiser Showcase, the Crown Pointe, Indiana, native is second in the conference in assists (692) and assists per set (10.65).
Others nominated: Sharlissa De Jesus (The Citadel), Paige Alsten (Mercer), Holly Behrends (UNCG), Krista Boesing (Samford), Merry Gebel (Western Carolina) and Catie Cronister (Wofford).
Marija Popovic, ETSU, So., L/DS
ETSU libero Marija Popovic finished the month of September with 239 digs, averaging 5.20 digs per set in 46 sets played as the Bucs went 9-3. The sophomore recorded double-digit digs in all 12 matches and 15-plus digs in nine of the 12. She led all players in digs in the wins over Tennessee (29) and No. 22 Washington State (25), and was one dig shy of her career high when she tallied 33 against Samford. She also added 53 assists and 12 service aces on the month. The Belgrade, Serbia, native leads the conference in digs and has been named the SoCon Defensive Player of the Week twice this season.
Others nominated: Sarah Dobrich (The Citadel), Meg DeMaar (Furman), Emilee Wissmach (Mercer), Christina Gregory (UNCG), Grace Tiesman (Samford), Meagan Sanchez (Western Carolina) and Taylor Gill (Wofford).
Southern Conference September Athletes of the Month
Football – offense Tyrie Adams, Western Carolina
Football – defense Jared Folks, ETSU
Men’s cross country Ben Varghese, ETSU
Women’s cross country Lindsey Stallworth, ETSU
Men’s soccer Danny Barlow, ETSU
Women’s soccer Abigail Zoeller, Mercer
Volleyball – offense Alyssa Kvarta, ETSU
Volleyball – defense Marija Popovic, ETSU