Catawba's Reese, Lennon will be ready

By Ronnie Gallagher, The Salisbury Post

Just about all of the local college football fans are cackling over Catawba College’s football game Saturday in Taylors, S.C.

You can’t really blame them. This week’s victim, er, opponent, is North Greenville, which lost to a school’s club team last week, for cryin’ out loud. The Crusaders are 0-6. Catawba is 6-0 and ranked fourth in the nation.But you can bet the Indians aren’t cackling. They are keeping a straight face. As junior receiver O.J. Lennon puts it, the players have been taught by the Catawba coaching staff that regardless of who you’re playing, you must carry your weight.

Lennon’s sidekick at Tuesday’s weekly press conference at the Western Steer was Corey Reese. A veteran safety, he certainly can carry his weight.

And yours. And mine.

The 168-pound senior from Dunwoody, Ga. is one of Catawba’s top weight-lifters, despite his lack of poundage. And with not much to say about North Greenville, Lennon and coach David Bennett focused on their very strong defensive leader.

“Corey’s a freak of nature,” Bennett chuckled. “He probably benches 350 pounds and squats about 500. And to be that size?”

This past summer, the players gathered in the weight room to see who were the strongest Indians. According to Bennett, everyone else was competing for second place.

“They were all intimidated by Reese,” Bennett said. “Chin-ups. Pull-ups. Whatever he wants to do, he can do it.”


He can do everything, that is, except cover O.J. Lennon.

At least, those are the playful Lennon’s words.

“Me and Reese have been in a little rivalry since our freshman year,” said the 170-pound receiver, who sat out last season. “We go against each other in practice and I tell him he can’t stick me or guard me.

“To hear his side of the story, he can get me.”

Reese, who isn’t nearly the talker Lennon is, simply says, “He has his days, I have mine. It’s all good competition.”

Lennon does admit there’s no competition in the weight room. Reese is king.

“I started in the tenth grade,” Reese recalls. “I’m just naturally strong, I guess. No matter how much I lift or how much I eat, I don’t gain weight. I just get stronger.”


It’s that strength that will probably have him bulldogging a few Crusaders to the ground with ease Saturday. You can bet his hitting will be as fierce as it was two weeks ago against Tusculum.

“This is my last year and there’s a lot riding on this season,” Reese said. “We had a real good practice Monday and I expect it to be like that the whole week.”

Lennon agreed. There will be no letdown or prima donna attitudes.

“I take every game like it’s the national championship game,” said the former Greensboro Dudley star. “Coach Bennett preaches that we shouldn’t take anything for granted, especially football teams.”

That seriousness will carry over to the field.

“We don’t try to play around,” Lennon added. “We play every team on the schedule our best. And if we are beating somebody bad, the young kids get some experience.”


Those kids got experience last Friday.

Lennon and Reese turned coaches when Hargrave Military Academy visited Shuford Stadium for a scrimmage against mainly redshirt freshmen and sophomores.

Lennon gave some advice to the young receivers, while Reese watched his successors closely.

And they had their favorites. Lennon mentioned two Davidson County boys Brian Flynn (Central Davidson)and Brad McCrary (North Davidson) as standouts. Reese pointed to Daine Hedrick and Brandon Johnson, among others.

“It felt good getting to watch people who don’t play a lot,” Reese said.

“Those receivers looked awesome,” Lennon said. “They made some great plays.”


Great plays for Catawba College have become commonplace since Lennon and Reese came on board. The two have suffered just three losses in their last 31 games.

And Catawba has done it by not taking anyone lightly.

“We’ll play hard Saturday,” said Lennon, who always looks for the big plays on offense.

And should it come down to a big play on defense, Reese will be ready to carry the weight of the team on his shoulders.

And he can do it, too.


Today's Events

Tennis (M) vs. BELMONT ABBEY, 2:00
Basketball (W) @ Newberry, 6:00
Basketball (M) @ Newberry, 8:00


«February 2018»
February 1

Baseball @ Nova Southeastern 5-8

February 2

Baseball @ Palm Beach Atlantic 0-11

February 3

Golf (W) @ Barton Invite at Kiawah - Day 1 (Cougar Point GC)

Track/Field @ Maillet UNC Open

Softball vs. AUGUSTA 0-6

Baseball @ Lynn 11-12

Basketball (W) @ Anderson 69-75

Softball vs. AUGUSTA 4-3

Basketball (M) @ Anderson 77-65

February 4

Golf (W) @ Barton Invite at Kiawah - Day 2 (Cougar Point GC) 12th of 16

Baseball @ Nova Southeastern 6-25

Softball @ Mount Olive, ppd.  1 p.m.

Softball @ Mount Olive, ppd.  3 p.m.

February 6

Baseball @ Belmont Abbey 5-6

February 7

Basketball (W) vs. LENOIR-RHYNE 56-61

Basketball (M) vs.LENOIR-RHYNE 84-77

February 9

Softball @ UNC Pembroke 6-4

Softball @ UNC Pembroke 0-8

Baseball vs,. PALM BEACH ATLANTIC 7-9

Lacrosse (M) @ Belmont Abbey 10-18

Baseball vs. PALM BEACH ATLANTIC 3-12

February 10

Baseball vs. PALM BEACH ATLANTIC 6-5

Lacrosse (W) vs. FLORIDA SOUTHERN 6-24

Basketball (M) @ Bluefield St. 76-55

February 12

Golf (M) @ Spring Invite Intercollegiate - Day 1 (Fleming Isl. GC)

February 13

Golf (M) @ Spring Invite Intercollegiate - Day 2 (Fleming Isl. GC) 14th of 17

February 14

Swimming @ Bluegrass Mountain Championships (Day 1)

Baseball vs. BELMONT ABBEY 5-7

Basketball (W) @ Coker 63-60

Basketball (M) @ Coker 79-77

February 15

Swimming @ Bluegrass Mountain Championships (Day 2)

Softball @ Belmont Abbey 3-4

Softball @ Belmont Abbey 3-2

Lacrosse (W) vs. CONVERSE 16-6

February 16

Swimming @ Bluegrass Mountain Championships (Day 3)

Baseball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 11-2

February 17

Swimming @ Bluegrass Mountain Championships (Day 4) W-5th;M-7th

Softball vs SHIPPENSBURG 3-4

Baseball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 11-3

Softball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 8-4

Lacrosse (M) @ Mount Olive 3-15

Basketball (W) vs. CARSON-NEWMAN 49-80

Basketball (M) vs. CARSON-NEWMAN 89-104

February 18

Softball vs BARTON 11-3

Baseball vs. SHIPPENSBURG 4-6

Lacrosse (W) @ UVA-Wise 12-13

Softball vs BARTON 11-0

Tennis (W) @ Elon 0-7

February 19

Track/Field @ SAC Indoor Championships W-10th,M-10th

Golf (W) @ Converse Invite - Day 1 (Carolina CC) 

February 20

Golf (W) @ Converse Invite - Day 2 (Carolina CC) 3rd of 9

Baseball @ Mount Olive 9-4

Lacrosse (W) vs. MOUNT OLIVE 11-10

February 21

Tennis (M) vs. BELMONT ABBEY 2 p.m.

Basketball (W) @ Newberry 6 p.m.

Basketball (M) @ Newberry 8 p.m.

February 23

Swimming @ Royal Open (Day 1)

Tennis (W) @ Mount Olive 2 p.m.

Tennis (M) @ Mount Olive 2 p.m.

Lacrosse (M) vs. CHOWAN 3 p.m.

Baseball vs. COKER 6 p.m.

Lacrosse (W) vs. ROLLINS 7 p.m.

February 24

Swimming @ Royal Open (Day 2)

Baseball vs. COKER 1 p.m.

Softball vs USC AIKEN 1 p.m.

Basketball (W) @ Mars Hill 2 p.m.

Softball vs USC AIKEN 3 p.m.

Baseball vs. COKER 4 p.m.

Basketball (M) @ Mars Hill 4 p.m.

February 25

Softball vs YOUNG HARRIS 1 p.m.

Lacrosse (M) vs. FLORIDA SOUTHERN 1 p.m.

Softball vs. YOUNG HARRIS 3 p.m.

February 28

Basketball (M) in SAC Tournament (1st Round)

Basketball (W) in SAC Tournament (1st Round)

Lacrosse (W) @ Belmont Abbey 3 p.m.

Baseball @ UNC Pembroke 3 p.m.

Mouse over the red calendar dates to display events on those days. Click to open the full-size calendar.


Baseball Team Photo