SSU Baseball Assistant Leaves
Forrest Arnold who spent the past two seasons at Savannah State University where he served as the team’s pitching coach has been hired at Middle Tennessee State where he will be a volunteer assistant coach with the baseball program. He will coach first base and will assist with coaching the pitchers during the remainder of the 2021 season. Arnold will also be the team’s camp director and oversee the stadium and managers.
Before Savannah State, Arnold served as the Assistant Coach/Pitching Coach at the University of South Carolina Union from 2018-2020 and was also head coach for the Litchfield Dolphins in the Beach Collegiate Baseball Summer League in 2019. The Dolphins won the 2019 BCBL Championship and Arnold was named 2019 BCBL Coach of The Year.
Arnold attended Coker University, where he was a pitcher for the Cobras. In his four-year career at Coker, Arnold made 42 starts in 64 appearances and tossed 245 innings for the Cobras from 2014-2017. Arnold had a career best 3.99 ERA and was named Astroturf South Atlantic Conference Pitcher of the Week twice during his senior season. The 6-foot- 8-inch right-hander also posted an impressive 50:19 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2017.
Gillis Leads Division II In 3-Point Percentage
The final numbers are in and Savannah State junior Le’Andrea Gillis finished
the 2021 season as the Division II leader in two categories in women’s basketball.
Gillis led Division II in three-point field goals per game with 3.71 and three-point field goal percentage with 57.8. In fact, Gillis’ three-point field goal percentage was better than anyone in Division I as well.
Bria Gibbs, a 6-0 junior, finished the season ranked 14th in offensive rebounds per game with 4.1 and 19th in rebounds per game with 10.6.
As a team, SSU finished in the top 30 in several categories.
The Lady Tigers were second in three-point field goal percentage (40.8), seventh in rebounds per game (45.6), 12th in offensive rebounds per game (16.4), 15th in turnovers forced (21.4), 18th in fewest fouls (128), 18th in fewest turnovers (141), 19th in defensive field goal percentage (35.2), 24th in steals per game (10.6), 27th in scoring margin (11.4) and 29th in scoring offense (75.6).
Former SSU Players Teammates Once Again
A trio of former Savannah State football players are all teammates once again in the new The Spring League. Marquis Smith, Stefen Banks and Conner Christian are playing the 2021 spring league season for the Linemen.
The Spring League, it’s a developmental league and showcase for players who have been part of NFL organizations in the past. Players are not paid to compete. But they are compensated with housing and food during the season. The biggest benefit to the league is another opportunity to put out some quality film for NFL teams to evaluate.
Smith, 27, is a linebacker while Banks, 25, and Christian, 24, are defensive linemen.
Smith, who is current on the SSU coaching staff as the linebacker coach, played for the Tigers from 2013-16. He finished his career with 320 tackles, 58 tackles for loss, 19.5 sacks and three interceptions. Banks suited up for SSU 2015-18 and had 226 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss, 24.5 sacks and two interceptions. Christian played for the Tigers from 2014-16 before transferring to Jacksonville State. While at SSU he had 68 tackles, 11.5 tackle for loss and four sacks.
The Linemen, who are coached by Hal Mumme, are in in the North Division and their games are played in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The six week schedule started on April 6 and ends on June 12.
Nesbitt Named Football All American
Avila University junior running back Malik Nesbitt has been named a NAIA Second Team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association for his performance on the field during the fall 2020 and spring 2021 football seasons.
Nesbitt was also named First Team All- Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference as well as the KCAC’s Offensive Player of the Year.
Nesbitt put together one of the best seasons by any Avila football player ever regardless of position in the best season in Avila football history, finishing the 2020-21 regular season with 1156 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns. The former Savannah High standout added in 261 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns, giving him an average of 157.4 all-purpose yards per game with 19 total scores – both of which are single-season program records.
The Savannah, Georgia native led the KCAC in both rushing yards and rushing yards per game (128.4); led the league in all-purpose yards and all-purpose yards per game (157.4) and he led the league in total touchdowns and points per game (12.7).