SU roundup: Hornets’ field hockey trio earns all-state honors

Daily Staff Reports – sports@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER — Shenandoah University had three field hockey players earn Virginia State Sports Information Directors All-State honors in selections announced Thursday by the organization.

Junior Ashley Cross headlines the three honorees with her first-team selection at forward, while sophomores Presha Merritt and Kelani Bailey were named to the second team at midfield.

The three selections are the first in program history.

Cross led the Old Dominion Athletic Conference in both goals and scoring this season on her way to first team All-ODAC and ODAC Player of the Year accolades. She was also named first team All-South by the NFHCA.

Merritt was also a first team All-ODAC honoree with Bailey grabbing a second-team spot.

Bailey finished second on the team in scoring with nine goals and three assists for 21 points (to 16 goals and two assists for 34 points for Cross) and had three game-winning goals.

Bailey was named as the ODAC Player of the Week one time.

Merritt had a team-high six assists to go along with two goals for 10 points. She posted one game-winning goal, against Randolph-Macon in the regular season finale, on the year.


SALEM — Two Shenandoah seniors will cap their football playing careers Friday night with their participation in the D3Senior Classic all-star game.

Byron Mitchell, a safety/linebacker, and running back Josh Wells will represent the South squad in the fifth annual all-star game.

Last season, offensive lineman (and current student assistant coach) Jake Brent represented SU in the contest. Shenandoah now has eight players in program history participate in the game.

The contest is played at Victory Stadium in Salem, the site of next week’s NCAA Division III national championship contest.

Mitchell, a four-year starter for SU, earned first team All-ODAC honors this past season after leading the squad with 94 tackles.

Mitchell completed his career as the all-time tackles leader at Shenandoah and was named All-league on three occasions.

Wells in nine games as a first-year starter, and was second on the team with three rushing touchdowns and 131 yards on 38 carries.