After falling to Kentucky in the Conference USA Championship and making it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, No. 14 Charlotte finished with a 14-5-2 record overall, 6-2 in the conference and were nearly undefeated on their own turf at Transamerica Field with an 11-1-1 record at home.
The men saw five All-State honors with Callum Montgomery, Elliot Panicco, Tommy Madden and Teddy Chaouche earning spots on the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association First Team and Daniel Bruce garnering a spot on the second team.
Seven players earned All-Conference USA honors including Preston Popp and Delasi Batse who both garnered spots on the All-Freshman Team. Montgomery, Panic and Madden were each tabbed to the First Team while Bruce and Chaouche earned places on the Second Team.
Instrumental players like Panicco collected multiple Defensive Player of the Week accolades and Montgomery also earned C-USA All-Academic Team honors. Seniors Montgomery, Bruce and Dean Rutherford each played their last season donning a Charlotte 49ers jersey.
Redshirt senior Tom Nobles crossed the finish line yet again to claim the individual 2018 Air Force Reserve Conference USA Cross Country Championship, while the men’s team finished as runner-up. Bridget Abbatiello led the women to a fifth place overall finish, setting a new personal-best and finishing 14th individually.
Alex Cornwell and Matt Bomkamp both had top-20 finishes while Todd Gunzenhauser and Joseph Wilson finished in the top-30. On the women’s side, Katie Tomasi finished 16th and Chandler Horton finished 21st. Taylor Brown and Erin Nelson were next up, finishing 32nd and 42nd, respectively.
A whopping eight Niners were named to All-Conference USA Teams. Nobles and Paul Arredondo were placed on the First Team while Zach Marchinko and Abbatiello were named to the Second Team. On the C-USA Third Team were Tomasi, Horton, Bomkamp and Cornwell.
With the men finishing seventh in the NCAA Southeast Regional, Nobles finished 17th and Marchinko finished 22nd. Cornwell placed 37th, Arredondo placed 66th and Bomkamp placed 80th. The women finished 20th with Tomasi finishing 66th, Abbatiello finishing 76th and Horton finishing 88th.
This year was quite an interesting season for the Niners who finished with their best record since the team was established at 5-7 and 4-4 in C-USA and since parting ways with head coach Brad Lambert who took on the task of starting a football program in 2011.
It was a big year for the additions to the Charlotte 49ers record book as players like Benny LeMay, Juwan Foggie, Alex Highsmith, Jonathan Cruz and countless others saw plenty of impressive accomplishments on and off the field.
Senior linebacker Juwan Foggie finished Charlotte’s season as the nation’s leader in interceptions with six interceptions and 186 interception yards and returned two of them for touchdowns.
Senior offensive lineman Nate Davis accepted an invitation to the Reese’s Senior Bowl in January and is a nominee for 2018 All-Conference USA First Team honors.
LeMay had quite the breakout junior year and finished the season ranked second in C-USA rushing yards with 1,228, becoming the first 49er with 1,000 rushing yards at the FBS level and the second all-time for the Niners with 1,055 rushing yards in the 2018 season.
Highsmith, who earned Defensive Player of the Week after helping the Niners hold Tennessee to a 192 yards of total offense, was named to to the Pro Football Focus National Defensive Team of the Week in the final week of the season. The defensive end was also named the College Sports Madness Conference USA Defensive Player of the Week, following the Niners’ final game of the season against FAU.
True freshman Cruz earned his third and the final Conference USA Special Teams Play of the Week after kicking a career-best 56-yard field goal to seal the deal for Charlotte in their 27-24 win over FAU.
Redshirt junior defensive end Tyriq Harris named to 2018 InTouch Credit Union Conference USA All-Academic Team and to the Google Cloud Academic all-District 3 first team selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
After many accolades and a record-breaking season for not only the team but many individual players as well, the Charlotte 49ers await a new head coach and bid farewell to as many as 18 seniors.
Charlotte finished the season without an appearance in the postseason and 8-9 overall record as well as a record of 4-6 in the conference.
It seemed that what the girls were missing this season was a concrete goal-scorer. Megan Greene, who was tabbed the All-Conference USA’s First Team, led the team with eight.
Riley Orr was added to the Second Team and Julia Grainda to the Third Team. Freshman Sandra Geiselshart was named to Conference USA’s All-Freshman Team.
Greene and Grainda were both recognized as members of the InTouch Credit Union All-Conference USA Academic First Teams, and Jamie Fankhauser was placed on the Second Team.
Greene and Orr were named to the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association First Team while Grainda was named to the Second Team.
Juniors Greene and Orr were also tabbed to the United Soccer Coaches All-South Region Teams; Green to the third and Orr to the second.
Aside from the accolades, the Niners pressed on but simply could not capitalize. The girls will begin preparation for the 2019 season and return to the field in the spring. Abby Coffey and Amelia Clower played their final season as Charlotte 49ers.
The Charlotte 49ers fell in their final match against Rice in the first round of the conference tournament, finishing with a 16-15 overall record and were 6-8 in Conference USA.
Yumi Garcia was tabbed to the All-Conference USA First Team while her teammates Jocelyn Stoner, Reeana Richardson and Tyra Galloway were named to the second team. Galloway and Nya Steele were placed on the All-Conference USA Freshman Team.
Garcia was also named as the conference’s Libero of the Year and Galloway as Defensive Player of the Year. Stoner was placed on C-USA’s All-Academic Team while Steele was chosen as the final Setter of the Week.
The Niners graduate Richardson and Jannelle Curtiss.