Local players making an impact at the Division I level

Jeff Birchfield • Dec 3, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Three local standouts have stood out on the national stage recently playing at Power 5 football and Power 6 basketball schools. In addition, several others are currently making their mark in Division I basketball.

Virginia Tech tight end James Mitchell was awarded the honorary No. 25 jersey before the Pittsburgh game and he made the most of the opportunity.

It’s the number worn by legendary Tech coach Frank Beamer during his playing days and since 2016, it’s an honor when a player is called on to wear the jersey.

Mitchell, a sophomore who normally wears No. 82, scored on a one-yard touchdown run. It is one of four rushing touchdowns for the former Union High School standout.

Besides being a powerhouse in the short yardage situations, Mitchell has caught 18 passes for 325 yards and two touchdowns. His best game came in the Hokies’ 45-0 win at Georgia Tech. He had four catches for 90 yards, including a seven-yard TD reception, at Bobby Dodd Stadium.


John Fulkerson, Tennessee

Fulkerson, a redshirt junior from Kingsport, led the Vols with 17 points in a 72-69 win over VCU on Saturday. He had 12 points and six rebounds in another win over a ranked opponent, Washington, back on Nov. 16.

Playing a much bigger role this season at 27.1 minutes per game, Fulkerson is averaging 10.9 points and 5.9 rebounds. He ranks second on the team in rebounds and blocked shots.

Mac McClung, Georgetown

The 6-foot-2 sophomore guard is averaging 11.9 points per game for the Hoyas with back-to-back games of 25 and 19 points in wins over Georgia State and Texas.

He has struggled in Georgtown’s last two games, losses against then No. 1 Duke and UNC Greensboro. The Gate City standout averaged 13.1 points last season, named to the All-Big East Conference freshman team.

Patrick Good, ETSU

After going through offseason hip surgery, the 6-foot redshirt junior is averaging 8.8 points per game. Good’s best game was ETSU’s 92-75 win over UT-Martin where he went 7-for-8 from 3-point range to score a game-high 24 points.

The former David Crockett standout is tied with Tray Boyd III with 20 made 3-point goals. Last season, he set an ETSU single-game record for 11 three-point goals in a win at Western Carolina last season. He scored a career-high 35 points in that 91-69 victory.

Makale Foreman, Stony Brook

Foreman, a redshirt junior for the Seawolves, is making up for lost time after transferring from Chattanooga.

The 6-foot guard from Dobyns-Bennett is averaging 14.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He has scored in double figures in seven of eight games this season with a season-high 23 points in Stony Brook’s 87-84 win over Wagner.

Matt Halvorsen, Western Carolina

The 6-foot-1 junior guard from Kingsport has started all seven games for the Catamounts. He is averaging 10.4 points per game and hitting 38.5 percent from 3-point range.

This comes on the heels of a standout sophomore campaign where he started 31 games and averaged 11.6 points per game.

Zac Ervin, Elon

The 6-foot-5 freshman from Gate City has seen action in all eight games for the Phoenix, averaging 17.3 minutes per game. He has posted a 6.5-point per game scoring average with a high of 14 points in a 95-54 win over Milligan College. He has also playing in games at North Carolina and Georgia Tech.

Luke Lawson, UNC Asheville

The former Eastside star played in all 31 games for the Bulldogs his freshman season, scoring 14 points on two different occasions. Now a 6-foot-7 sophomore, Lawson is averaging three points per game and has appeared in five games, including losses at Tennessee and Wake Forest.


Courtney Whitson, MTSU

The 6-foot freshman from Dobyns-Bennett is off to a strong start for the Lady Raiders, scoring 15 points against East Carolina and 14 against Furman.

She is averaging 6.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. She had double-digit rebounds of 14 versus Tennessee Tech and 10 against Arizona State.

Emily Schubert, Duke

Schubert, a 6-foot-4 center, is one of three senior captains for the Lady Blue Devils. The former Elizabethton standout has played in three games, grabbing two rebounds in limited action against High Point.

Maci Culbertson, Belmont

Culbertson, a 5-foot-11 sophomore, grabbed five rebounds in the Lady Bruins’ 62-45 win over Northern Kentucky. It comes after a freshman year when the former Daniel Boone star helped the Lady Bruins advance to the NCAA tournament. She appeared in 17 games, including a six-point, seven-rebound game against Tennessee.

Shy Tuelle, Campbell

The 5-10 sophomore guard is averaging 9.2 points and 6.2 rebounds through the Lady Camels’ first five games. It includes 15 points in a season-opening win over St. Andrews.

It comes on the heels of Tuelle being named to the All-Big South Conference freshman team. She tied for the team lead, averaging 9.1 points per game. Concidentally, the former Hampton High School star’s career-high 21 points came against Hampton University.

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