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Darton State College winter sports enter competitive seasons

By   /   November 1, 2012  /   Comments

ALBANY – As fall athletics at Darton edge closer to the final days of their championship seasons, winter sports are eagerly entering the Cavalier spotlight as competitions begin this weekend.

 
The Lady Cavaliers will be the first to tip off a new season as they host West Georgia Technical College at 2 p.m., Friday, in the Darton Classic tournament.
 
Returing sophomores Chanteniece Fann and All-American Mitchell Mitchell will join freshmen Jasmine Wilson, Kadayasha Jones and Iesha Bonner to comprise the starting lineup. The Darton coaching staff expects the starters to sync well, as Wilson and Fann are former teammates from Northside High School in Warner Robbins, while Jones and Mitchell played together at Dodge County High in Eastman.
 
An additional seven freshmen and returning sophomore post-player Crystal Reed bring a lot of depth to the program as well.
 
“That’s going to be one thing different from last year,” head Darton women’s basketball coach Lea Henry said. “We’re deeper. But we’re also young, and it’s going to take some time for them to learn the system and understand the offenses, but they’ve been working hard.”
 
The men’s swimming team has also been training hard and is eager to get into competitions as well, head men’s swim coach Will Breehl said.
 
“We’re really looking forward to racing someone other than ourselves,” he said. Finally, and after over two months of training, the Cavaliers will travel to Douglas, Saturday, to compete in the South Georgia College Invitational meet.
 
“We are a lot faster and deeper coming into this season than last season, and I thought we had a good season last year,“ Breehl said.
 
Returning Darton sophomores include All-Americans TJ Bland and Dennis Jariga, and NJCAA Championship point-scorers Ben Smith, Matt Jones, Cody Aselton, Juan Vendrell, Trey Martin, BJ Janas, Shane Walters and Chris Flowers. The sophomores bring maturity after earning a 4th place finish at the NJCAA Championships last spring.
 
The Cavaliers welcomed a very good recruiting class as well, headlined by Nick Muffler, a high school All-American who joined the Cavaliers out of Woodstock.
 
The women’s swim team returns All-American and NJCAA gold and silver medalist Anna Macht, and backstroke and IM contender Emily Mitchell. The duo hope to lead the team to a complete sweep Saturday at South Georgia.
 
“That’s what we’re hoping for,” head women’s swim coach Molly Gilbert said. “A full sweep.”
 
New faces on the roster include Daytona State College transfer Anna Barnes, sprinter Sarah Hoop of Alabama and Columbian Sandra Guerrero.
 
And on the mat, the young Cavalier wrestlers will face experienced competition at The Citadel, Saturday, as they enter their first open tournament.
 
Darton recently brought in a new coaching staff for the program, and looks to head wrestling coach James Hicks and assistant Albert White to continue the team’s development. The two recruited a large class of freshmen student-athletes, including 184-pounder Kalin Willhite and 141-pounder Adrian Martin, who could turn some heads in South Carolina this weekend.
 
“We hope to bring back good positive results from Saturday,” White said. “Our freshmen guys will get their feet wet, and we’ll see where to start making our next moves for improvement.”
 
The Cavalier athletics website, cavs.darton.edu, will post the latest updates in Darton sports as competitions continue.
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