Freshmen athletes Hames, Mays, Doyle make national stage
A tip of the hat to three Farragut-area college freshmen who have been on a national stage this fall.
• Nicklin Hames, Webb Class of 2018 All-American volleyball outside hitter, has helped her Nebraska Cornhuskers reach the Women’s Volleyball Final Four.
The freshman setter contributed 41 assists and 15 digs in the Huskers’ 3-0 sweep of Oregon in an Elite Eight match Saturday night, after her contributions resulted in a sweep versus Kentucky in the “Sweet 16” round last Friday.
Hames and her Huskers, the No. 7 national seed and defending national champions as a perennial national power program, will play Big Ten rival Illinois (No. 3) in one Final Four showdown in Minneapolis tonight, Thursday, Dec. 13.
Kayleigh Hames — matching big sister by leading Webb to four state championships as a superstar outside hitter — looks to make “Waves” on the West Coast at Pepperdine University, another perennial national power, next fall (see Sports).
• Cade Mays almost made college football’s “Final Four.” The 6-foot-6, 318-pound former Knoxville Catholic All-American football star, and one of the nation’s most sought-after high school offensive lineman last fall, started seven games for SEC powerhouse Georgia as a true freshman offensive tackle for the top-five nationally ranked Bulldogs.
A late-game rally by No. 1 nationally ranked Alabama in the SEC championship game Dec. 1 — less than one year after the Tide broke UGA’s collective hearts in overtime to win the national title last season — kept Mays and the Dawgs from a shot at the 2018 national crown.
• An ex-Admiral has reinvigorated the Farragut-to-UT Vols kicking connection with a special honor.
Joe Doyle, redshirt freshman punter and high school All-American at FHS, was a Ray Guy Award finalist, which recognizes the nation’s top punters. Doyle ended his first season punting for the Vols (5-7) with a 41.12-yard average (65 punts, with a long of 71 yards and 12 of more than 50 yards, and none blocked).