All-American credentials

Watson, Scots highlight big MC sports weekend

Scots junior Eryk Watson was selected a preseason All-American earlier this week.

Photo by Brandon Shinn

Scots junior Eryk Watson was selected a preseason All-American earlier this week.

Maryville College senior Lindsy Little (24), the Great South Athletic Conference Player of the Year, celebrates a big point with teammate Katherine Nadler during last week’s Great South tournament.

Photo by Brandon Shinn

Maryville College senior Lindsy Little (24), the Great South Athletic Conference Player of the Year, celebrates a big point with teammate Katherine Nadler during last week’s Great South tournament.

Junior Jessica Peterson, the Great South Athletic Conference Player of the Year, paces the Maryville College women’s soccer team into Thursday’s NCAA tournament opener with a team-leading 18 goals on the season.

Photo by Brandon Shinn

Junior Jessica Peterson, the Great South Athletic Conference Player of the Year, paces the Maryville College women’s soccer team into Thursday’s NCAA tournament opener with a team-leading 18 goals on the season.

Football is home for the season finale.

Volleyball and women’s soccer open NCAA tournament play.

Men’s basketball has a new All-American within its ranks, junior Eryk Watson becoming only the second player in Randy Lambert’s 30 seasons as coach to be so honored.

It’s all part of a big sports weekend for Maryville College the next four days.

Women’s soccer (13-4-1) kicks off the weekend hosting Mary Washington University (12-4-5) in a first round NCAA tournament game Thursday, Nov. 12, at 6 p.m. The Lady Scots are paced by Great South Athletic Conference Player of the Year Jessica Peterson. The junior striker has found the opposing net for a team-leading 18 goals this season.

Women’s volleyball (29-5) takes its first steps in the big dance on Thursday as well, journeying to Georgetown, Texas, for a first round match with the University of Texas at Dallas (25-0), the only unbeaten in the Division III bracket. Great South Player of the Year Lindsy Little champions a big-hitting Maryville lineup with six players with 100 or more kills on the season.

Women’s soccer and volleyball both enter their respective national tournaments after claiming Great South tournament championships last weekend.

Saturday, Maryville football (4-5) hopes to capitalize on last week’s upset of Christopher Newport when it closes the 2009 campaign hosting Ferrum College (4-5) at Honaker Field at 1:30 pm.

Sunday, the men’s and women’s basketball teams tip off the new season, with the Scots and Lady Scots hosting Methodist in an afternoon doubleheader. The women’s game tips at 1, with the men following at 3.

“I believe we’re ready to get started,” Lambert said. “I hope so, but you never know what the opposition is going to throw at you.”

In a year men’s basketball hopes to make history with a first-ever trip to the Division III Final Four, Watson’s selection as D3hoops.com All-American is a great start. The 6-foot-3 guard pumped in a team-leading 19.0 points per game last season to pace the Scots. Named an All-South performer a year ago, Watson hit on 40 percent of his 3s, collecting 4.2 rebounds per contest to rank only behind senior Greg Hernandez (8.5) for the team lead.

Watson finished in the top five, behind only guards Jordan Damron, Jared Laverdiere and Wes Lambert, in assists a year ago.

“It’s a great honor for (Watson),” Lambert said, “and a very deserving honor. We don’t have anybody that works any harder than that man does.

“He’s just a lot of fun to work with. He’s very coachable, and he always puts the team first. Sometimes we have to ask him to be more selfish.”

The Scots could hardly be more balanced. Four players — Watson, Hernandez (16.1 points), Damron (10.6) and Wes Lambert (10.2) — return who averaged double figure scoring a year ago. Maryville distinguished itself in a scrimmage with Tusculum recently, the Scots finishing out front after two halves of hotly-contested play. The sixth-ranked Pioneers, with a pair of All-Americans on the roster, are expected to contend for a national title at the Division II level.

“I thought we played exceptional defense,” Lambert said. “Despite their size, we battled.”

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