Hitting in the heart of the Quincy University baseball team's lineup has been an honor-filled position the last couple of years.
J.C. DeMuri is keeping the tradition going.
Following in the footsteps of first-team All-American outfielder Ryan Snyder and first-team All-Midwest Region second baseman Jake Walters, DeMuri, a senior outfielder, has been named a preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball.
Last season, his first at QU after transferring from Southern Illinois University, DeMuri hit .350 with 10 doubles, four triples, 11 home runs and 61 RBIs. He was a first-team All-Great Lakes Valley Conference selection and a second-team all-region pick.
The Hawks, ranked 16th in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll after reaching the NCAA Division II championships last season for the first time in program history, begin their season Feb. 17 against No. 1-ranked Delta State in Cleveland, Miss.
Quincy returns five starters other than DeMuri in senior shortstop Brynn Martinez, senior designated hitter Troy Wehde, junior outfielder Nolan Snyder, junior third baseman TJ Tamaccio and junior first baseman/outfielder Chandler Purcell.
Wildcats sweep Heart weekly honors
The Culver-Stockton College men's and women's basketball teams swept the Heart of America Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors.
Mike Johnson, a 6-foot junior guard, earned the men's honor after averaging 36 points, nine rebounds and 2.5 assists against two top-10 NAIA Division II opponents at the Briar Cliff Holiday Classic.
He had 35 points against Briar Cliff and 37 points against Morningside. He shot 54.3 percent from the field and 46.1 percent from 3-point range.
Johnson also was named the NAIA Division I national player of the week.
On the women's side, Curley, a 5-foot-10 freshman guard, came off the bench and matched her career high with 19 points against Saint Ambrose. She went 3 of 6 from 3-point range and 6 of 6 from the free-throw line.
Gengenbacher to play beach volleyball
Her All-American career indoors is over, so Kristen Gengenbacher is taking her game outdoors.
The Quincy Notre Dame product who recently finished her University of San Diego volleyball career is going to use one remaining year of eligibility to play beach volleyball for the University of Washington next year.
Gengenbacher will graduate from San Diego in May with a double major in communication studies and theology and religious studies. She will pursue a master's degree in athletic administration at Washington.
A setter, Gengenbacher was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American third team after leading the Toreros to the West Coast Conference championship and an NCAA Tournament berth.
She finished her senior season ranked 11th in the nation and first in the WCC with 11.46 assists per set, while finishing her collegiate career with 3,729 assists, the third most in program history.
Markert, Braves?starting to rev up
The Bradley women's basketball team finished 2017 with a pair of impressive victories and hopes to be a factor in the Missouri Valley Conference race. Vanessa Markert should have a say in what the Braves do.
The 6-foot-2 junior forward from Brown County started in both the 87-80 victory at home against Western Illinois University last Thursday and the 62-42 victory over Illinois State University on the road Sunday in the MVC opener.
Markert, the 2015 Herald-Whig Player of the Year, played only six minutes against the Leathernecks and was limited to 11 minutes against the Redbirds because of foul trouble.
Overall, Markert has started seven of Bradley's 12 games and is averaging 7.9 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.
She scored a season-high 24 points against Cleveland State in the final game before the Christmas break.
Howard top shot?blocker in AMC
Former John Wood Community College forward Andrew Howard is helping the Missouri Baptist men's basketball team charge to forefront in the American Midwest Conference.
The 6-foot-7 senior is averaging 7.5 points and 6.3 rebounds as the Spartans have climbed to No. 19 in the NAIA national poll with a 13-2 record.
They are 5-2 in the AMC, trailing first place Columbia College by a game. Better yet, Howard is tied for the AMC lead in blocked shots with 26.
The Spartans play at Hannibal-LaGrange University next Thursday.