Alumna Beth Haynes promoted to become Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach
BANNER ELK – Lees-McRae College Vice President for Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail announced the promotion of Beth Haynes to the role of Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach on June 15. Haynes, who graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in English from Lees-McRae College in 2020, has been serving as an assistant coach under interim head coach Josh Shingleton since 2022.
“As a student-athlete, Beth was committed to being the best in and out of the classroom,” said McPhail. “Her name is amongst our leaders in both categories. In taking on this role, she will use those experiences to best serve our young women. I am excited to see her embrace this role as we look to see this program continue its growth.”
Throughout her first season as an assistant coach, Haynes’ main responsibilities included pre-game preparations, assisting with in-game tactical decision-making, handling travel logistics, and assisting with recruiting. Her success in these responsibilities helped the Bobcats close the season with three wins in their final four games, as well as helping multiple student-athletes earn both the Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll and Academic All-Conference honors for their success in the classroom.
“I would like to thank Lees-McRae College for this opportunity, while also giving a special thank you to Coach Josh Shingleton, Coach Brad Dunn, Director of Sports Information Patrick Smith, and Craig McPhail for all of their help throughout last season. I can’t wait to have the team back on campus and I am looking forward to the upcoming season. I also would like to thank the student-athletes returning from last year for putting their trust in us. We wouldn’t be able to take this program to the next level without their cooperation and hard work ethic to help us succeed on and off the field.
Haynes, who joined the Bobcats during the 2018 season, tallied 55 goals, 17 assists, 76 ground balls, and 44 caused turnovers in 30 career games played and was named to the All-Conference Carolinas First Team during her senior season. In addition to her success on the field, Haynes also garnered the Fred I. Dickerson Award for having the highest academic standing in her senior class and was named to the Academic All-Conference Carolinas team during her junior year.
In addition to her success in Banner Elk, Haynes also served as a Middle School/High School Showcase Coach at Fast & Furious Lacrosse, which is a college summer showcase league. While in this role, Haynes mentored numerous student-athletes who were looking to advance their athletic and academic careers to the next level.
Alum Josh Shingleton promoted to become Head Lees-McRae Men’s Lacrosse Coach
BANNER ELK – Lees-McRae College Vice President for Athletics and Club Sports Craig McPhail announced the promotion of Josh Shingleton to the role of Head Men’s Lacrosse Coach on June 13. Shingleton, who graduated with his Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from Lees-McRae College in 2015, has been serving as the Interim Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach and an assistant coach under former head coach Brad Dunn since 2020.
“I am so thankful for Coach Dunn’s return to Lees-McRae and his work in getting our program back on a strong foundation,” said McPhail. “With Josh, we have another alum taking over this program with a strong eye towards identifying, developing, and building character amongst our men’s lacrosse program. His work this past Spring semester leading our women’s program gave me reassurance he is the right person for this opportunity and I look forward to working with him.”
Throughout his previous two seasons as an assistant coach with the men’s lacrosse program, Shingleton’s main responsibilities were serving as the offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator, and practice planner, and handled team travel throughout the season. His success in these responsibilities helped the Bobcats earn their fourth Conference Carolinas postseason appearance since 2017, as well as helping to mentor countless student-athletes to academic accolades off the field.
“I am thrilled to continue to work with and build relationships with our players,” said Shingleton. “I would like to thank Craig McPhail and Lees-McRae President Dr. Lee King for this opportunity to lead the men’s lacrosse program. I would also like to thank Brad Dunn, Richard Carrington, and Forrest MacConnell for their mentorship and support in preparing me for this role.”
Shingleton, who was named the interim head women’s lacrosse coach last December, help guide a young team (2/3 of the student-athletes being freshman and sophomores) to a trio of wins over Chowan, Converse, and Erskine in the final four games to finish the season on a high note. He also help mentor Beth Haynes who on June 13 became the Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Lees-McRae.
In addition to his coaching experience at Lees-McRae, Shingleton obtained NCAA Division II coaching experience as an assistant coach at both Tusculum University and Young Harris College, where he mentored two National League Lacrosse draft picks in the 2020 draft and helped guide the team to the 2018 regular season Great Lakes Valley Conference title and a spot in the conference championship game. He also served as a head varsity lacrosse coach at Gulf Breeze High School in Gulf Breeze, Fla. where he led his team to the FHSAA District I title game in 2017 in his only season as head coach.
Shingleton was a member of the Lees-McRae Bobcats’ lacrosse team from 2008-12 and for his final season in 2015, earned the Conference Carolinas Presidential Honor Roll, Dean’s List, and Lacrosse Magazine Player of the Week honors.
LMC claims Battle for the Blue Ridge Cup over King
BANNER ELK – For the second time in its existence, Lees-McRae College has won the “Battle for the Blue Ridge Cup” against Conference Carolinas rival King after achieving success in the athletic competitions between the two schools during the 2021-22 athletic seasons, as well as in the classroom.
The Battle for the Blue Ridge Cup, which was established prior to the start of the 2012-13 season when King became official members of NCAA Division II and Conference Carolinas, pits the Bobcats and the Tornado against one another in 17 varsity sports, which makes up 22 total points, and three academic categories for a total of 25 points. The Blue Ridge Mountains are one of as many as 13 portions of the larger Appalachian Mountain range.
Inside the numbers for the Fall 2021 semester: The Bobcats opened the Fall 2021 semester with a point earned by the Lees-McRae men’s cross country team, under head coach Ley Fletcher, with a higher finish in both the conference championship meet and in the Southeast Region. The Lees-McRae men’s soccer team, under former head coach Shane Calvert, and women’s soccer team, under head coach Cally Morrill, outscoring the Tornado a combined 6-1 in their games to earn two more points for the Bobcats. The Lees-McRae men’s basketball team, under head coach Steve Hardin, clinched an 81-80 win on Nov. 30 over their rivals to give the Bobcats one final point in the first semester of action.
Inside the numbers for the Spring 2022 semester: The Lees-McRae men’s and women’s swimming teams, under former head coach Sean Weddell, and the men’s indoor track & field team, under head coach Ley Fletcher and associate head coach John Boisette, garnered three points for the Bobcats after finishing higher in their respective championship meets. The Lees-McRae softball team, under head coach Kendall Fuller, split their doubleheader on April 6 to earn another point, while the Lees-McRae men’s and women’s tennis teams, under head coach Gene Highfield, swept their rivals on April 13 to clinch two more points. The Lees-McRae men’s and women’s outdoor track & field teams, under head coach Ley Fletcher and associate head coach John Boisette, closed out the season with two more point due to a higher finish at the conference championship meet.
Inside the academic component: The Bobcats earned all three academic points by having a higher departmental GPA, a higher graduation rate, and a higher percentage of student-athletes earning Academic All-Conference Carolinas team honors.