Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy linebacker Coty Flynn committed to play football for Gardner-Webb University Monday.
“I’m pretty psyched right now,” Flynn said. ‘I thought my career was over, I kind of lost hope, but then I decided to keep putting in the work to reach my goal. Most people I talked to thought I would be a good Division II or Division III player. To have a D-I school like Gardner-Webb show an interest in me is a blessing.”
The Boiling Springs campus is located only 9.8 miles from TJCA and will allow family, friends and coaches a chance to see Flynn play on Saturdays.
“I like the fact that Gardner-Webb is close to home, but more importantly, I feel at home at Gardner-Webb," Flynn said. "I love everything about it. The campus is beautiful and the coaching staff has turned the program around after a few rough years. I’m glad to be a part of it.”
He is not the only one.
“I’m glad Coty decided to play close to home for the Runnin’ Bulldogs," TJCA head coach Jerry Cash said. “Not only will it give me a chance to see him play, but I believe he will fit in well there. Coty is a versatile player with a good work ethic. They will find a spot to utilize him.”
That place will likely be at linebacker where Flynn will be under the tutelage of GWU linebacker coach Travis Cunningham. Since 2001, Cunningham has coached 21 all-conference players and seven All-Americans. 2003 graduate Jim Maxwell enjoyed a five-year NFL career.
“I think I’ll fit in well with that linebacker tradition at GWU,” Flynn said. “I’m a competitive person. I hate to be the last one on the train, so to speak, so I will work hard to play at my highest possible level. Coach Cunningham and Coach (Carroll) McCray (GWU's head football coach) are not only great coaches but they and Gardner-Webb have a mission to serve Christ and that’s very important to me,”
If his senior season with the Gryphons is any indication, Flynn will indeed fit in with the Runnin’ Bulldogs. He tallied 172 total tackles on the season for the Gryphons, including 130 unassisted, three tackles for loss, four sacks, four forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and a blocked field goal, which was good enough to make The Daily Courier’s all-county team.
But it is a memory from his sophomore season that stands out to Flynn.
“My favorite memory is the goal-line stand we had against North Wilkes,” Flynn said. “I think that’s where it all started and we knew from that day how hard we had to work to win.”
Before he becomes a Runnin’ Bulldog, Flynn reflected on his time at TJCA.
“I’ve been here since fifth grade, so I’m going to miss being at TJCA,” he said. “My time here has made me the person I am today and I’ll always remember it, but I’m also looking forward to my new chapter at Gardner-Webb.”
GWU opens the 2015 football season on the road Sept. 5 at Football Bowl Subdivision member South Alabama.
Ryan Hodge went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and two stolen bases to lead Gardner-Webb to a 9-3 win over North Carolina A&T Wednesday night.
Highly touted point guard Laquincy Rideau has signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Gardner-Webb University and take the court for the men’s basketball team in the fall of 2015, announced head coach Tim Craft Wednesday.
The Gardner-Webb University Marketing Club is collecting No. 2 pencils during this weekend's GWU baseball games to donate to Cleveland County Schools.
Fans who bring a box of at least 10 pencils to the games Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be admitted free.
For more information on the pencil project, contact GWU Instructor Mischia Taylor at email@example.com.
Gardner-Webb hosts Virginia Military Institute at 6 p.m. tonight and 2 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday at John Henry Moss Stadium.
With the 2014-2015 season coming to a close in late March, Gardner-Webb head men’s basketball coach Tim Craft and his staff have been focused on preparing for next season, and building on the success they have enjoyed over the last two years. The Runnin’ Bulldogs’ incoming recruiting class has been busy as well, each performing at a high level in preparation for their first season at Gardner-Webb next fall.
Forest City native and Chase High graduate Josh Parks has continued to turn heads as a member of the Gardner-Webb University track and field team, posting top-10 finishes in each of the last two meets.
Scarlett Harris hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning but the Coastal Carolina softball team hit four home runs and collected 12 hits to complete the three-game sweep of Gardner-Webb with a 13-3 victory on Saturday afternoon at Crest High School.
Kelsey Ritter's RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning gave the Eagles a 4-3 victory, and despite being held to three hits, Winthrop completed the sweep with a 3-1 victory over the Gardner-Webb softball team in a Big South Conference matchup on Wednesday afternoon.
Josh Parks, a 2014 Chase High graduate who was a star runner on last year’s track and field team, competed in his first collegiate meet for Gardner-Webb University last Friday and Saturday at the 49er Invitational on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Senior Tyler Strange poured in a game-high 23 points to go along with a contest-best nine assists to lead Gardner-Webb to a 91-81 win over Charleston Southern in Big South Conference play on Senior Night in Paul Porter Arena Thursday night.