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College notebook: Hamlette heads for JMU
BY STEVE DeSHAZO
Isaiah Hamlette didn’t get to play for Virginia Tech in its 2010 upset loss to James Madison, and he wasn’t even in Lane Stadium at the time.
But the Brooke Point High School graduate sensed something was amiss that day.
“I didn’t even watch the game, I was so mad [at being deactivated],” Hamlette said Monday. “I was driving around campus, and it was deserted. Nobody was around, and trash was blowing everywhere. I thought, ‘Uh oh, we must have lost.’”
Adopting the attitude that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, Hamlette will use his final season of eligibility at JMU. Because he’s transferring from a Football Bowl Subdivision school to a Football Championship Subdivision program, he’ll be eligible to play this fall.
If healthy, the 6-foot-5, 290-pound defensive lineman figures to see more action than he did in three seasons in Blacksburg. Last fall, he played as a reserve in all 13 of the Hokies’ games and had seven tackles, including his first career sack in a loss to Clemson in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
Tech coaches declined to renew his scholarship for 2012, but Hamlette said he had already decided to transfer.
“I was contemplating how to tell them, but the fact that they did that added insult to injury,” Hamlette said.
Hamlette was an All-Area performer and a second-team all-state pick at Brooke Point. He was ranked the state’s No. 19 prospect by the Roanoke Times when he signed with the Hokies. He began his career as a defensive end before moving to defensive tackle.
Hamlette said he also considered FCS schools North Carolina A&T and Howard, but JMU offered a scholarship and the possibility of playing time for a nationally ranked program.
“I knew at Tech I should have been playing,” he said. “I really wanted to show what I’ve got, if only for one year.”
Former Caroline boys coach Richard Fortune has been named an assistant for Old Dominion’s women’s program.
Fortune spent the past two seasons as a women’s assistant at Central Florida, helping the Knights win the Conference USA title in 2011. ODU is moving from the Colonial Athletic Association to Conference USA in 2013–14. Fortune previously worked with Boo Williams’ nationally ranked girls program and was an assistant men’s coach at his alma mater, Virginia State.
“Getting back home to Virginia was really attractive to me and my family, and there’s so much talent here,” Fortune said Monday. “The school really supports the program.”
TRACK AND FIELD
Clemson graduate student April Sinkler (Brooke Point) was named ACC women’s outdoor field athlete of the year last week after winning the high jump and finishing second in both the long and triple jumps at the conference championship meet. She won similar awards for the indoor seasons in 2009 and 2011.
University of Mary Washington sophomore singles player Lindsay Raulston and the men’s doubles team of Evan Charles and Donato Rizzolo were named NCAA Division III All-Americans by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. All three competed in the NCAA championships.
Steve DeShazo: 540/374-5443