East Carolina junior quarterback Holton Ahlers is one of 30 players named to the 2020 Manning Award Watch List according to an announcement by the Allstate Sugar Bowl Thursday.

Ahlers is the third Pirate since the award’s inception in 2004 to earn inclusion on the watch list, following Dominique Davis (2011) and Shane Carden (2014).

Ahlers, a two-year lettermen, has completed 391-of-705 passes for 5,172 yards and 33 touchdowns while only suffering 13 interceptions.

He owns one 500-yard, four 400-yard and eight 300-yard passing outings and has thrown at least one scoring pass in 15 of 22 games.

A 2020 Preseason All-American Athletic Conference selection by Athlon’s, Ahlers already ranks seventh on ECU’s career passing yards, completions and total offense (6,123) lists.

On the ground, Ahlers has racked up 951 yards on 227 carries (4.2 ypr) and tallied 12 touchdowns.

He stands sixth all-time in ECU quarterback rushing yards, just 535 shy of surpassing Leander Green’s current school-record of 1,485.

He has accounted for 45 career touchdowns (33 passing, 12 rushing), and of his 33 aerial scores, 29 have come in league play.

Ahlers threw for 3,387 yards (264-of-442) and 21 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions in 2019.

On the national (FBS) level, he ranked ninth in total offense (3,746 yards),12th in passing yards per game (282.2), 17th in completions per game (22.0) and 21st in passing yards. He also established three single-game school records during the course of the season – passing yards (535 vs. Cincinnati), passing touchdowns (six vs. SMU) and most total yards (556 vs. Cincinnati).

The winner will be selected by a voting panel, which includes national media and each of the Manning’s, after the bowls.

The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning.

It is the only quarterback award that includes the candidates’ bowl performances in its balloting.

In addition to the Manning Award’s yearly honor, each week during the regular season, eight quarterbacks are recognized as Manning Quarterbacks of the Week.

Seventy-one players from 65 different schools were honored during the 2019 season and 377 different quarterbacks from 127 schools have been recognized since 2011.


Old Dominion baseball’s Matt Burch signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Cubs organization on Tuesday.

“We’re all very happy for Matt. Especially since his senior season was cut short,” expressed head coach Chris Finwood. “Matt is a fine representative of ODU and goes into professional baseball with his degree in his pocket. Matt continues the nice tradition of Monarch baseball players being signed by the Cubs!”

Burch, a native of Gurnee, Ill., started all 72 games over the last two seasons for the Monarchs. In the shortened 2020 season, Burch hit .302 with 19 hits, three doubles and 11 RBI’s. He also recorded five multi-hit performances and stole two bases.

In 2019, Burch finished fifth on the team with a .298 batting average. He hit two homers while driving in 32 and led the team in stolen bases with 14 on 15 attempts.

Burch joins Bryce Windham, Jared Young and PJ Higgins as the most recent Monarch to sign with the Chicago club.

Burch’s team earned the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Team Academic Excellence Award list, the organization announced on Tuesday.

To be eligible for the honor, teams must record a GPA of at least 3.0 for the 2019-20 academic year. The Monarchs earned a spring semester GPA of 3.65, while posting a 3.45 cumulative GPA for 2019-20.

Overall, 64 Division I programs received the award, which featured UAB and FAU, the two other teams honored in Conference USA.


The Chowan men’s and women’s tennis teams earned Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Teams along with nine members of the program earning ITA Scholar Athlete distinction.

On the men’s side: Dragan Omcikus, Corbin Robertson, Francisco Salvatori and Santino Jose Sormani posted above the 3.5 grade point average requirement. Julieta Lecce, Arina Karbolina, Asuntha Fleming, Alexa Woolson, and Margarita Lopareva posted the requirement for the women.

To be named ITA All-Academic Team, programs must have a team grade point average of 3.2 or above. Chowan was one of six Conference Carolinas members to feature both men’s and women’s on the ITA All-Academic list.