By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
IT was a breakout game for Mike Strachan and a new programme for Rondre Knowles-Tener as the former high school teammates made their season debuts in NCAA football last weekend.
Strachan produced the best game of his career in his University of Charleston Cougars’ 35-31 win over West Virginia State University at UC Stadium in Charleston, West Virginia.
The 6’5”, 205-pound redshirt sophomore wide receiver finished with four receptions for 159 yards and one touchdown.
On their first possession Charleston quarterback Mason Olszewiski connected with Strachan on a 59-yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage.
Established as a deep threat early in the season for the Cougars, Strachan would also catch a 42-yard pass later in the quarter and a 51-yard catch in the second quarter.
He was a redshirt in his true freshman season and saw the first playing time of his collegiate career last year. He recorded stats in just one game when he caught the first reception of his career for them in a 19-16 loss to the Fairmont State Fighting Falcons.
The Cougars were slotted to finish fourth in the Mountain East Conference preseason poll with 63 points. They finished the 2017 season 4-6.
Strachan entered college as a three-sport athlete following a standout career at Liberty Christian Academy. Strachan was a member of the 2013 VISAA 1 State Championship team and received All-Conference and Honourable Mention All-Region as a senior. He was also ranked fourth nationally in the 500m, setting a new LCA record at the Hokie Invitational.
After struggling to earn playing time over the last two seasons with the James Madison Dukes, Rondre Knowles-Tener has decided to leave the programme and transfer to the Virginia-Wise Cavaliers.
With the move to Virginia-Wise, he also joined Strachan in the Mountain East conference.
He finished with one solo tackle in a 17-7 opening week loss to Glenville State.
Coming out of high school, Knowles-Tener originally committed to the East Carolina Pirates but eventually chose to join the programme at James Madison. He sat out his true freshman season last year as a redshirt but was expected to be an important factor in the Dukes’ plans for its defensive front line moving forward.
The 6’1”, 295-pound defensive lineman is a former standout performer at Tabernacle Baptist Academy and also anchored the defensive line at Liberty Christian Academy. Knowles-Tener drew interest from a number of elite Division I programmes, including Wake Forest and East Carolina.