Eryk Watson was named Pre-Season All-American by The Sporting News in their September issue. Watson led Maryville to a 23-5 mark last season in NCAA Division III. Scots coach Randy Lambert said his senior shooting guard is deserving of the national acclaim.
“I think any honor that Eryk gets, he deserves,” Lambert said. “He’s the hardest worker in my program, and he’s been a dedicated athlete since his freshman year. He’s one of the few players that I have who works just as hard in the offseason as he does in the season. I’m very happy for him. I’m sure he’ll take this kind of honor in stride. He realizes that it’s the end of the year accomplishments that make the difference.”
The preseason All-American selection, the second for the Maryville leader in as many seasons, is humbling, Watson said.
“It feels great,” he said. “In high school, I never would have thought that I would have done something like that,” he said.
The 6-foot-3 Watson has dropped in 1,316 points during his Maryville career, averaging 16.8 points per game and earning All-Great South Athletic Conference selection each of his three years as a Scot. Watson said that’s not good enough.
“I’m always trying to get better,” he said. “Senior year, I’m just trying to bust it open, try to get a National Championship and do whatever it takes.”
The Great South freshman of the year in 2007-08, Watson was named a preseason All-American last year by D3hoops.com. Following that honor, Watson threw down 478 points last season, second among Scots to senior Greg Hernandez. Shooting 82 percent from the charity stripe while adding 60 steals, Watson proved a dual threat for the Scots. Lambert predicted Watson’s success during his freshman year.
“There are certain people we bring into the program that we classify as a sure hit,” Lambert said. “He was a sure hit, and we could tell from Day 1. I think one of the remarkable accomplishments that he’s had is being the MVP of our conference tournament for three consecutive years. I knew that he had the skills and the athleticism. I could see that he was committed to excellence.”
Lambert said the loss of the All-American Hernandez at center will be a tough one to absorb. The Scots will also be without senior Ben Williams this season. Projected to be Maryville’s leader on the board, Williamson injured his knee over the summer and is taking a year off from school.
Maryville opens the 2010-11 season when it hosts rival Centre College on Nov. 15.
Head coach Pepe Fernandez and senior Jessica Peterson are both just shy of career milestones. Peterson is six goals back of the Maryville career record, but has yet to deposit a goal in her 2010 campaign. Fernandez needs one more win from the Scots or Lady Scots to claim his 500th coaching victory.
The Scots got Fernandez within a game of 500 with a 2-0 win at Birmingham Southern last week. Tom Webster struck first for Maryville, depositing his third goal of the season during the 67th minute, with Sutton Cash collecting the assist.
Tyler Tinker followed up with the first goal of his college career, the goal coming off a Cash corner kick. Bryan Walker recorded his first shutout of 2010 on five saves.
The Lady Scots fell, 2-0, to Sewanee last week. Peterson got off four shots in the match. Desiree Simmons recorded nine saves in the game.
After a midweek trip to Transylvania, the Scots are at home for the first time this season when they host the University of Dallas on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Lady Scots follow against Emory University at 5.
The Maryville College volleyball team fell to 3-10 on the season after a 3-1 loss to Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City on Tuesday. The Eagles took the first two sets, 25-14, 25-16, before the Scots rallied for a 25-19, third-set victory. Carson Newman (7-3) put the match away with a 25-19 final set win.
Kristin Findley’s double-double of 12 kills and 11 digs led Maryville. Sophomore setter Teri Lind finished with 22 assists. Katherine Nadler led the defense with 18 digs.
Maryville begins its Great South Athletic Conference schedule this weekend when it hosts Wesleyan College and Piedmont at Cooper Athletic Center beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday.