State sports briefs

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SOCCER

Hogs signer Courtney retires

University of Arkansas near end signing Dax Courtney announced on Monday that he has “medically retired” from playing football.

The 6-6, 220-pounder from Clarendon signed up in early January with prep teammate Quincey McAdoo, but he hasn’t played in spring football while continuing to recover from knee surgery that left him prevented from playing his senior year.

“It is with tears in my eyes that I announce…the sport that I have put my heart into for 19 years is now over for me as a player,” Courtney said on social media.

“Football has been my life for as long as I can remember and will always be my first story, but due to the countless injuries I’ve suffered, I have to start thinking about life after football.”

The Razorbacks have a big spot for position coach Dowell Loggains with returning starter Trey Knox backed by juniors Hudson Henry and Nathan Bax, second Collin Sutherland and freshmen Erin Outley and Ty Washington. The Razorbacks also have three four-star commitments — Shamar Easter, Jaden Hamm and Luke Hasz — at the inline position for the 2023 signing class.

Arkansas players are scheduled to report to training camp Thursday and begin practice Friday ahead of the Sept. 3 season opener against Cincinnati.

–Tom Murphy

ASU resumes safety commitment

Safety Jordan Sample announced his commitment to Arkansas State University on Sunday afternoon, giving the Red Wolves a 12th verbal commitment in the Class of 2023.

The 6-1, 190-pound Missouri City, Texas native — who plays at Fort Bend Marshall High School — held 10 Division I offers, opting for ASU over foes Sun Belt Marshall and Texas State as well as Missouri and Wyoming.

Sample is just the second player from Texas in the Red Wolves’ 2023 class, joining Chris Dawn Jr. of Mesquite.

–Mitchell Gladstone

GOLF

UA men announce High Point transfer

University of Arkansas men’s golf coach Brad McMakin announced on Monday the addition of junior transfer Christian Castillo for the upcoming season.

Castillo, a native of Allen, Texas, has played at High Point for the past two years, leading the team with an average of 72.97 in 2021-22.

The 6-3, 210-pounder made school history at High Point in July by becoming the first Panther to qualify for an event on the PGA or Korn Ferry tours by blasting his way onto the field for the Korn Ferry’s TPC Colorado championship with a 6-under 66 in Burgdorf, Colorado. He made the tournament cut and finished 81st.

Castillo posted team records with 6 eagles, 84 birdies and with 12 rounds of par or better as a sophomore. He was named Big South Golfer of the Week after shooting a final round 66 at the Irish Creek Intercollegiate.

–Tom Murphy

Parker qualifies for US Senior Amateur

El Dorado’s Denny Parker qualified for the US Senior Amateur on Monday after shooting a 2 of 74 at Mystic Creek Golf Club in El Dorado.

Hot Springs’ Scott Smith shot a 4 of 76 and secured the first alternate position at the US Senior Amateur which will be played August 27-September 27. 1 at the Kittansett Club in Marion, Mass.

— Democrat-Gazette Press Services

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