Two former Richmond Senior High School student-athletes earned conference recognitions this week.
Georgia Grace Anderson (volleyball) and C.J. Tillman (football), both of whom graduated from Richmond in 2021, started their sophomore seasons with a bang on the defensive side of the ball.
Anderson named USA South’s “Defensive Player of the Week”
A sophomore middle hitter at William Peace University, Anderson’s efforts at the net helped the Pacers start the season 4-0 and resulted in her first collegiate accolade.
The team defeated Bob Jones University, Roanoke College and Piedmont University in 3-0 fashion, before adding a 3-1 win over Averett University.
Helping her be named the DPOW, Anderson registered a total of 17 blocks in the four matches. Averaging 1.42 blocks per set, Anderson led the team in blocks in all four contests.
Against Bob Jones, Anderson had four blocks and seven kills, followed by two blocks and four kills in a win over Roanoke.
Four more blocks and five kills came against Piedmont, and Anderson highlighted her performance with seven blocks and eight kills in four sets against Averett.
“Being the defensive player of the week is a huge honor, especially in week one,” Anderson said. “Blocking has always been the weakest part of my game, and I have worked really hard during the off season and preseason to be a better blocker. It’s awesome to see that the work has paid off, and I’m super excited to keep working throughout the season.
“Our team is solid this year. Each practice is very intense and competitive, everyone works super hard. We have high goals for ourselves this season, and I’m super excited to continue to watch us grow.”
Tillman muscles his way to Big South’s “Defensive Player of the Week”
No stranger to big hits and forcing plays on defense, Tillman started his sophomore season with a strong showing for the Campbell University football team. The Camels defeated The Citadel 29-10 last Thursday.
Entering his sophomore season as a 2021 Freshman All-American linebacker, Tillman brought the hit stick against the Bulldogs with a game-high 11 tackles. Tillman collected nine solo stops and had two assists.
The Camels’ defense forced three turnovers in the win, with Tillman in the mix on two of them. He created a fumble and also recovered one fumble.
Tillman’s performance was his fourth double-digit tackle game, according to Campbell, and it also tied his career-high with 11 total tackles.
As a result of his Week 1 outing, Tillman was noted as an honorable mention for the FedEx Ground FCS Defensive Player of the Week.
“Earning defensive player of the week for the Big South Conference means a lot to me,” Tillman commented. “I think of it as a stepping stone to where I want to be in the future and is a stepping stone going into my sophomore season.
“I feel as if there is no doubt about me and my team for what’s next for Campbell. I’m glad to be able to represent not only myself, but represent what’s up and coming for the Camels this season.”