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Coffey a model of consistency at Campbellsville

An outside chance remains that the Campbellsville University (Ky.) football team will play in the season-ending Victory Bowl, a National Christian College Athletic Association showcase.

If that doesn't happen, today's game with West Virginia Tech will be the last college football game for David Coffey. It will be the last time the Collins Hill grad puts on the maroon and white jersey and will be his 45th straight start -- he's started every game of his college football career.

The 6-foot-3, 315-pounder, 60 pounds heavier than his high school playing weight, has started mostly at center, with some tackle and guard mixed in at times. He's avoided major injuries, making him a mainstay in the Tigers' offensive front.

"I've been pretty blessed with staying healthy," Coffey said. "There have been games -- if you play four years you're not always going to be pain-free -- where you do have to play a little hurt. But I've been blessed to have no serious injuries at all, just the usual wear and tear, bumps and bruises."

The only setback for Coffey, a torn MCL in his knee, ended his college wrestling career at Campbellsville.

He was one match away from NAIA All-American honors as a college freshman, as well as a preseason All-American choice prior to his sophomore season. But Coffey, a two-time state wrestling placer at Collins Hill, tore knee ligaments during that sophomore season and gave up wrestling to focus on football.

Football also is the long-term focus for Coffey, who will be a student assistant at Campbellsville for the 2012 season while he is a student-teacher. He hopes to teach and coach at the high school level in football and wrestling.

But first, he has one more football game to play at Campbellsville, a small school in the country that he's grown to love.

"It's been really nice here," Coffey said. "It's definitely a lot different from Gwinnett County. There are only 10 or 15,000 people in the whole county here. It's a pretty small community, but I love it up here."

Coffey's former Collins Hill teammate, Deontae Brown, also plays for Campbellsville. He's a regular contributor on the defense.

FOOTBALL

Wimberly having

big season

South Gwinnett's Aaron Wimberly has become the offensive spark for his Iowa Western Community College team.

The freshman has rushed for 743 yards and nine touchdowns this season, both team-highs, and also has 18 receptions for 309 yards and three more scores.

Iowa Western, 8-2 and ranked 11th nationally, plays in the Graphic Edge Bowl on Nov. 20 to conclude its season.

Quick hits

Three Gwinnett grads are senior starters for the Virginia Military Institute football team -- inside linebacker Josh Sneed of Collins Hill, right tackle Aaron Blue of Peachtree Ridge and left guard James Boatright of Grayson. Sneed is fourth on the team with 42 tackles. Offensive lineman Andrew Patrick (Wesleyan) and tight end Phillip Pickens (Meadowcreek) also are on the roster. ... TaylorHeinicke added another big game to his freshman season at Old Dominion last weekend. The Collins Hill grad threw for 373 yards and three scores in a 42-28 victory over Richmond.

GOLF

Herbert starring right away in college

Tusculum College golfer Emee Herbert, a Greater Atlanta Christian grad, is off to a strong start to her first college season.

The freshman has finished in the top three in three of her six fall tournaments and was sixth and 13th in the other two events. She's currently ranked 40th-best among NCAA Division II golfers and Tusculum is ranked 18th nationally.

Herbert has a 76.30 stroke average, the team's low average by three strokes. She had runner-up finishes at the Anderson Invitational (rounds of 73 and 80) and at the Myrtle Beach Intercollegiate (73-77).

CROSS COUNTRY

Mattix earns all-region, sets school mark

Georgia College and State University senior Tyler Mattix placed 17th overall at last weekend's NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Championships with a school-record time of 32 minutes, 41 seconds on the 10K course.

The Shiloh grad's effort brought him the Bobcats' first-ever all-region honor. Teammates Rob Manning (Collins Hill) and Colin Conroy (Mill Creek) were 78th and 87th, respectively.

Connolly named all-region

Mill Creek grad Alicia Connolly, a sophomore at Augusta State, earned all-region honors at last weekend's NCAA Southeast Regional with a team-best, 23rd-place finish.

Connolly ran the 6K in 23:10, helping ASU to sixth place in the team standings.

Buford's Matthew Johnson was 64th in the men's race as the ASU men also were sixth in the team standings.

SOCCER

Barikos named

all-conference

Brookwood grad Krista Barikos, a sophomore at Reinhardt, was named first-team All-Appalachian Athletic Conference on Thursday. Barikos has nine goals and a team-high six assists this season.

TENNIS

Mather runner-up in

national indoors

Florida senior Joanna Mather, a Duluth resident who went to Keystone National High School, placed second in the women's singles at last weekend's USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships.

Mather reached the finals before falling 7-5, 6-1 to SMU's Marta Lesniak. Mather was the 26th seed in the tourney.

Gwinnett Grads is a column that runs on Saturdays spotlighting achievements of past Gwinnett standouts. Coaches and parents are urged to send suggestions via email to will.hammock@gwinnettdailypost.com.