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Local Students Earn All-American Recognition at TFC
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by Jason Mehl Director of TFC Sports Information

The National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) announced 2010 All-American teams for soccer and volleyball and five Toccoa Falls College student/athletes were selected–three of whom are from Toccoa.

The TFC women’s soccer team won its first-ever conference championship last fall and placed three players on All-American teams. Danae Martin was named 1st Team All-American. The former Stephens County standout is a junior at TFC and has played forward for the Lady Eagles the last three years. In the 2010 season she led the team in scoring with 12 goals and 12 assists. She finished the season ranked #2 in assists per game and #10 in points per game.

Anna Long, a junior midfielder from Raleigh, North Carolina, was a 2nd Team selection. For the season, Long scored three goals and recorded one assist. Head Coach Doug Howell was happy to see that opposing coaches recognized Long’s contribution to the team. “Anna has an incredible work rate,”Howell said. “She constantly caused problems on the flanks with her runs and crossing. She set up a lot of goals and chances that don’t show up in the stats.” Cory Buterbaugh, a sophomore midfielder from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania received All-American Honorable Mention.

From the TFC Men’s soccer team, Alex Kerr was named 2nd Team All-American. Kerr, a senior defender from Toccoa, who also played soccer at Stephens County, was the captain of the 2010 TFC team. It is a testament to Kerr’s impact on the field that a defender from a developing team that didn’t win a conference championship or play in the national tournament received national recognition. “Alex held our defense together all year” said Head Coach Rob Worsley. “I know he’s an All-American caliber player and I’m glad other coaches recognized it as well.”

The 2010 TFC volleyball team posted a record of 26-10 and lost in the finals of the conference tournament to eventual national champions Clearwater Christian College. Two sophomores from the team, who consistently led the Lady Eagles throughout the season, were recognized with All-American honors.

Bethany Slate, a sophomore, was named to the All-American 1st Team for the second straight year. Slate, born and raised in Toccoa, played soccer at Stephens County, but was forced to go to South Carolina club leagues to play competitive volleyball. For TFC in 2010, Slate was dominant as an outside hitter, but was also an exceptional defensive player. She led the nation in digging (6.64 per game) and finished in the top 10 in three offensive categories: attacking percentage (36%) – 6th, kill average (4.1) – 6th, ace average (.75) – 5th.

Mary Willis, also a sophomore, was a 2nd Team All-American selection. Willis came to TFC from Pickens (S. Carolina) High School, and played in the club leagues with Slate. A setter, Willis, led TFC in assists in every game in 2010. She finished the season ranked #6 nationally in assists per game (8.72).