Maybe USC Aiken women's coach Phil Stern has found the key to recruiting - choose farm girls. Two Lady Pacer players have been recognized by the All-American Farm Team program.
Janell Gerk was named to the first team while Jami Cornwell was an honorable mention selection. The All-American Farm Team picks outstanding collegiate student-athletes who call a farm or ranch home.
"Obviously it's a very specialized award," Stern said. "Those two have good enough stats from last year to be on any All-American team. We're happy that the awards keep coming from last year."
With Gerk's first-team selection, a $500 scholarship will be donated in her name to USC Aiken. An article will appear in the Jan. 1, 2001, issue of Successful Farming magazine featuring the award winners.
As for Stern recruiting any more farm athletes, he said, "I think that's strictly coincidence."
USC AIKEN MEN: Mike Roberts picked up his 50th collegiate career win in exciting fashion on Tuesday night. The Pacers (3-3) trailed by 17 with 9:36 left in the game. But Areon Atkinson's 3-pointer with four seconds remaining lifted USC Aiken to a 62-61 win.
The Pacers are making all home basketball games accessible for fans via the Internet by putting live stats on their Web site. Anyone interested can go to www.usca.sc.edu/athletics/ and click on the "Live Stats" portion to get continually updated stats on the game in progress.
AUGUSTA STATE: Gary Tuell, now in his fourth year as Augusta State coach, has the Jaguars off to their fastest start since he came aboard.
Augusta State is 4-2 with a loss to West Georgia in overtime and a 15-point loss to No. 8 Wingate.
In his first season at Augusta, the Jaguars began the season at 1-4 and in his second season the team opened at 2-4 before going on to win a share of the conference title. Last year, the team opened the season at 3-6 before closing with a 17-11 mark.
"We haven't been too concerned with wins and losses as much as we've been concerned about improving and putting ourselves in a position to compete in the conference," Tuell said. "Our goal is to get better and to use the early season to tinker. We'd feel the same if we were 2-4 right now."
One of the reasons for the team's success this year is the play of Gary Boodnikoff. The junior guard leads the team with 17.3 ppg and is shooting 45 percent from three-point range. Last year, Boodnikoff was hampered by a bad back and shot 32 percent on threes and averaged 9.9 ppg.
AUGUSTA STATE WOMEN: Coach Greg Wilson said his Lady Jaguars still haven't played its "A" game this season despite a 4-2 record. Augusta State will need to bring a couple of "A" games if it hopes to upset Division I Georgia Southern (4-3) in Statesboro on Dec. 18.
UPCOMING: The Augusta State will play host to Savannah State on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. while the Lady Jaguars play at Newberry on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
USC Aiken plays host to Allen University on Saturday at 7 p.m. while the Lady Pacers play at Johnson C. Smith on Dec. 14.
Paine's women will play at Miles College on Friday at 5:30 p.m. while the men play at 7:30.