The college football season is finally here!!
#15 Randolph-Macon begins the 2023 season in Rocky Mount, North Carolina as they take on the Battling Bishops of North Carolina Wesleyan!
Airtime is 11:30am with Marty Wilson and Rob Witham. Hear from head coach Pedro Arruza and wide receiver JoJo Marinella on the pregame show, then catch all the action LIVE at 12pm!
CLICK HERE to listen to Marty and Rob on the call!!
CLICK HERE to watch the game at 12pm (Mute Audio on YouTube and listen to Marty & Rob!)
Saturday, September 02, 2023
The college football season is finally here!!
Thursday, August 31, 2023
Hanover 26, Monacan 0
Mills Godwin 14, Patrick Henry 13 (F/OT)
Atlee 42, Deep Run 35
Powhatan 43, Mechanicsville 23
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 2:
North Carolina Wesleyan at #15 Randolph-Macon, 12pm (airtime 11:30am exclusively at RMCAthletics.com!)
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
The following was submitted by the Lee-Davis High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Congratulations to the newest inductees!
Five Inductees Elected to Class of 2023
The LDHS Athletic Hall of Fame Committee, Mechanicsville, VA, is pleased to announce the inductees for the Class of 2023. These five individuals were elected from the substantial universe of outstanding athletes who have competed with excellence since the school’s establishment, in 1959.
The Class of 2023 is composed of four former student athletes and one former coach with accomplishments including district, region, metro, and state distinctions, and beyond.
The inductees are:
Lisa (Loving) Beadles (Basketball, Softball, Track and Field, Class of 1986),
Randy Hale (Wrestling, Class of 1988),
Davy Martin (Football, Basketball and Baseball, Class of 1998),
Johnny Redd (Baseball, Class of 1969)
Coach Cy Witherow (Head Gymnastics Coach 1978-2020).
The Induction ceremony and banquet is scheduled for Saturday, September 23, 2023, at Mechanicsville High School with introductions of the Inductees at the home varsity football game on Friday, September 22, 2023.
For more information on the upcoming 2023 Athletic Hall of Fame events, please visit the Lee-Davis High School Athletic Hall of Fame Facebook page or email questions to the LDHS Athletic Hall of Fame Committee at LDHSathleticHOF@yahoo.com.
Wednesday, March 08, 2023
The third round of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament at Randolph-Macon College is sold out.
There will be no ticket purchase options at the door.
On Friday, March 10, Johns Hopkins faces Wisconsin-Whitewater at 4 p.m., while the host Yellow Jackets meet Oswego State at 7 p.m. in Crenshaw Gym.
The winners will meet on Saturday, March 11 at 7 p.m. in the fourth round. The winner of that contest will advance to the Final Four in Fort Wayne, Ind.
All three games this weekend will be live streamed at https://odacsn.com/
Thursday, March 02, 2023
Hanover County Sports.net founder Rob Witham, who was courtside during the 2023 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Men's Basketball Championship, provides thoughts on the fourth consecutive conference tournament title and how things have been mighty different less than a decade earlier.
Longtime Randolph-Macon men's basketball fans remember.
They remember the Cinderella run to the 2010 NCAA Division III Final Four.
They remember their Yellow Jackets cutting down the nets in Salem for an ODAC Championship, only to be sent by the NCAA Selection Committee on multiple 500-mile bus rides north before finally falling short of the Final Four.
They remember 2015 when, again, the Yellow Jackets won it all in Salem, and came one shot short of forcing overtime with Virginia Wesleyan, and the pain of watching their conference rivals celebrate a trip to the Final Four in Crenshaw Gymnasium. To this day, that game had the most intense feel inside a gymnasium that I have ever witnessed. The defense played that night between the Yellow Jackets and Marlins may never be matched.
They also remember two days later when Nathan Davis announced his departure for Bucknell. Davis gone and a senior class of eight gone. What would be next?
For the first season under Josh Merkel, it was growing pains. After that, it was back to the top of the conference in the regular season. Maybe by now you had become a Yellow Jacket fan, either as a student, or lover of basketball.
You remember the pain of consecutive quarterfinal exits in the ODAC Tournament in 2017 and 2018. You remember the question surrounding Merkel being "can he win the big one"?
You remember finally breaking out of the quarterfinals in 2019, reaching the championship only to fall to Guilford. But Randolph-Macon's resume was good enough to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Division III Championship, the Yellow Jackets bested Morrisville State and York. And had Darryl Williams' put back try at the buzzer had a little more height, it may have been Randolph-Macon, and not Swarthmore, playing for a national title.
Then 2020 arrived. The tournament trophy returned to the Yellow Jackets, then, two more NCAA wins, setting up the most talked about game of the tournament up to that point with Randolph-Macon set to host Yeshiva.
I don't need to remind you what happened next.
The season abruptly ends at 28-2, a legitimate shot at a national title denied. Then, another shot denied in early 2021 as the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic doomed the Division III Championship once again. Randolph-Macon won the ODAC title.
You can only imagine the adrenaline pumping in that Crenshaw locker room when the 2021-22 season finally arrived. There were a few peaks and valleys regarding the pandemic, but, save a one-point loss Thanksgiving weekend to Christopher Newport, it was all Yellow Jackets. When you win the national championship game by 30 points, it's hard not to use the term "domination".
Now, take all that, and return with me to Salem last Sunday. No Buzz Anthony, no David Funderburg, no matter. A new generation of Yellow Jackets were there to claim the championship. Some blossomed, others arrived.
People were already buzzing about freshmen Jabril Robinson and Keishawn Pulley, Jr, as they should be. But the man who took his team and placed them square upon his shoulders was Daniel Mbangue. The "M" in his last name may be silent, but his game isn't anymore.
Nineteen points in a title game where he simply outwilled the Guilford defense time after time. His humble explanation for his play in Salem, which earned him the tourney's Most Outstanding Player award?
"It's an emphasis to playing to our strengths," Mbangue said. "My teammates are putting me in a good position. I feel we stick to our principles. With this amazing community and all these people behind you, I feel like we play for the same thing every single year. We play for R-MC, we play for that family. Every time, it gets better, yes."
Words of wisdom from the junior from Fairfax. And thus, my reflection and thoughts to Yellow Jacket fans on the night before yet another first round home game in the NCAA Tournament.
CHERISH THESE CHAMPIONSHIPS.
Sounds simple, but it really isn't. Randolph-Macon has now won five outright ODAC regular season titles since 2018, tied for first in 2017 and only lost out on the shortened regular season crown in 2021 because Roanoke played more conference games.
The Class of 2023, Josh Talbert, Miles Mallory, and Noah Lindsay, played in, and won FOUR ODAC Tournament Championships. The last time anyone could say that was the Class of 1987 at Roanoke College, when the Maroons ripped off seven tournament titles in a row from 1981 to 1987. A generation ago.
No matter what transpires for 2022-23 Randolph-Macon men's basketball over the next two plus weeks, I hope that fans will take a few moments prior to each game, however many they may be, and remember:
Longtime fans, remember the disappointments. Remember the uncertainties.
Recent fans, remember the victories, remember the players, remember the nets being cut down.
Now, to all fans, learn about what you haven't experienced, so you understand why you witnessed such a celebration in Fort Wayne a year ago, then, should they be able to win six more times, be ready to fully celebrate again.
But if it's not in the cards to cut down the nets in Fort Wayne in 2023, celebrate these Yellow Jackets anyway. They have set a standard for the Randolph-Macon program that begins and ends with striving to be the absolute best.
And for that, we thank them all. Because, isn't that what our life's journey should also be about?
(Author's Note: Rob's journey with Yellow Jacket men's basketball began with producing their NCAA Tournament run in 2010 on the former WHAN Radio in Ashland, then covering the team for the Herald-Progress from 2011-12 to 2017-18, and for the RVA Sports Network, the Mechanicsville Local, and The Richmond Times-Dispatch from 2018 to present.)
(Pictured: Daniel Mbangue after Randolph-Macon's ODAC Championship win over Guilford in Salem Civic Center, February 26, 2023)
Wednesday, January 25, 2023
It was the only thing that didn't go Kagey's way on this night, as she dominated the court from end to end, pouring in 28 points, grabbing eleven rebounds, and creating openings for her teammates as Randolph-Macon pulled away from the Hornets for a 65-49 victory to improve to 10-2 in ODAC play, and 13-5 overall.
But Randolph-Macon rolled off five quick points before the media timeout to take the lead for good at 35-30, extending it to 45-37 after three periods.
Juliana Park only scored three points, but they came at an important juncture, answering a Shenandoah basket to start the fourth period, stretching the margin to nine at 50-41 with seven minutes left. About two minutes later in transition, it was time for Kagey to feed Hatfield, blasting a one-hop pass forty feet down the court to a cutting Cheridan for two. Then, Kagey forced a turnover near the top of the key, was fouled at the basket and made two free throws for a 56-43 lead with 5:03 left, a sequence that sealed the Yellow Jacket win.
Wednesday, January 11, 2023
There were enough side stories for Wednesday night's men's basketball showdown between Randolph-Macon and Christopher Newport to fill Crenshaw Gymnasium, as fans did on this evening.
--Randolph-Macon, #2 in the nation, sought its 57th consecutive home victory
--Christopher Newport, #5 in the nation, not only sought to end the Crenshaw run, but hand the Yellow Jackets a loss for the second straight season.
--Thus, Randolph-Macon sought revenge for a 77-76 overtime loss in Newport News on November 28, 2021.
But, as it turned out, once the ball was tipped, none of that matter. And, despite a slow offensive start by both teams, combining for just three made buckets in their first 21 attempts, what unfolded was simply, truly, a magnificent battle on both sides of the court.
Down three at the half, and by as many as seven, the Yellow Jackets began to finally seize momentum in the game's final seven minutes, highlighted by a Miles Mallory block for the ages as the Yellow Jackets downed the Captains 64-59.
"I'm trying to think, because I've seen that guy make some big-time plays," noted Randolph-Macon head coach Josh Merkel after the win. "His ability, too, to not just block but keep it in play, get it back himself is super special."
The block occurred when, with just under a minute left when Christopher Newport's Ty Henderson battled to the glass, only to see his bank shot never actually bank. The long arm of Mallory pinned the basketball against the backboard, and, using strength and dexterity, the senior grabbed possession, and didn't let go. It was a four-point game at the time, 58-54.
Then Mallory called for an offensive play which should give him an open look from three at the top of the key. He calmly sinked it to send the White Out crowd at Crenshaw into a frenzy and the Yellow Jackets to their fourteenth win of the season.
While Mallory shined down the stretch, it was a team effort to keep up with Christopher Newport, who led 25-22 at the break and quickly jumped out to a 35-28 lead early in the second half. The Yellow Jackets (6-0 ODAC, 14-1) slowly began to reel the Captains in. This is when junior forward Daniel Mbangue went to work.
Beginning with a block with 15:22 to play, Mbangue scored eight critical points over the next eleven and a half minutes to help the Yellow Jackets finally retake the lead, then begin to build it, ever so slightly.
The other key to the victory? The free throw line. Randolph-Macon couldn't have been pleased with walking off the court at the end of the first half seeing the scoreboard say "1" for the number of fouls called on Christopher Newport. While it's one thing to tell your team at the half to create free throw opportunities, it's another to actually go out and do it.
"We talked about we were taking shots that they wanted us to take," Merkel said of the halftime conversation in the locker room. "We just talked about playing with more force, getting downhill, attacking some of the shot blockers' chests, playing two-man games. Those guys know that they can do it, they played with force before. I like how we played in the second half."
Mallory led the Yellow Jackets with 19 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks, while Mbangue had 15 points and eight boards, and Josh Talbert added 12 points and five assists.
"He's filling the box score," Merkel said of Mbangue's improvement this season. "His leadership, his belief in himself. The first shot he made is one he's been working on."
Freshman Keishawn Pulley, Jr. (St. Christopher's) played 28 minutes off the bench, and while struggling from the floor, hit all four of his second half free throws and grabbed six big rebounds for Randolph-Macon. Jahn Hines led Christopher Newport with 26 points, while Trey Barber added 15.
The victory ended an eight-day odyssey to begin 2023 that saw the defending Division III National Champions take their best shot from archrival Hampden-Sydney on the road, then ODAC rival Guilford and the Captains in back to back huge home tests. The Yellow Jackets will look to avoid a letdown when they travel to Lynchburg for a 2pm tip on Saturday against the Hornets.
(Miles Mallory, #10 left, drives to the rim in the first half of Randolph-Macon's 64-59 win over Christopher Newport Wednesday night at Crenshaw Gymnasium to improve to 14-1 on the season. Photo: RVA Sports Network)