Champions of the Month: November

Throughout their respective seasons, Liberty University student-athletes strive to achieve excellence in their sport. While no particular athlete can win a game for their team by themselves, there are players who achieve excellence on the field or court while being leaders for their teams. Throughout the fall season, the Liberty Champion has chosen a male and female athlete who has impressed with their achievements in sport throughout the month. For the month of November, the Liberty Champion has selected Liberty football wide receiver CJ Daniels and Liberty women’s volleyball middle blocker Madison Blane as Champions of the Month.

CJ Daniels

CJ Daniels, a junior, has put together a phenomenal season for the Flames on the offensive side of the football in a run-dominated Liberty Flames offense. The Flames’ leading receiver has hauled in 47 passes for nearly 1,000 yards and also found the end zone 10 times. Daniel’s 988 receiving yards are more than double the next closest receiver in Liberty’s offense, and while the first few months of the fall football season were good for Daniels, his best games came in November. The wide receiver finished the month with 13 catches for 255 yards, adding on four touchdowns in four games.

Daniel’s best overall game came versus an in-state foe, Old Dominion, on Nov. 11. Daniels led the team in catches with 7 and in receiving yards with 137, leading the Flames to a dominant 38-10 victory. Following the game, Flames Head Coach Jamey Chadwell had high praise for Daniels.

“Every week this is what he does,” Chadwell said. “He makes tough catches. He makes catches over the middle. He runs great routes.”

To put an exclamation point on the month of November, Daniels would arguably have his best game of the season on Dec. 1 in the Conference USA title game. Daniels finished with 7 receptions for 157 yards and a touchdown catch. The junior receiver and the Flames offense have been in control of opposing defenses all year, allowing the Flames to maintain their perfect record. Daniels, Chadwell and the Conference USA Champion Flames will look to finish strong on New Year’s Day in the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl.

Madison Blane

The Liberty Champion’s female student athlete of the month is Madison Blane, a junior middle blocker for the Liberty Women’s Volleyball team. Blane was recognized by Conference USA as Conference Defensive Player of the Year and also made First-Team All-CUSA. She finished the volleyball season with 349.5 points and 260 kills, good enough for second and third on the team, respectively.

Prior to the Conference USA Volleyball tournament, Liberty Women’s Volleyball Head Coach Trevor Johnson had the chance to speak about Blane and her success this year.

“Yeah, (she has a) really consistent work ethic. Every single day she comes in, works really, really hard,” Johnson said. “She’s still very new to the game. She only started playing club her junior year of high school, which was great for us because we saw the athleticism on her film.”

While Blane excelled on the volleyball court, she also made a tremendous impact on the team’s identity.

“She’s actually pretty funny, especially on road trips,” Johnson added. “She’s sarcastic and witty. If you’re not quick with it, it can go over your head a little bit. She’s a great person. … Her and Delaney (Dilfer) have an awesome connection.”

Unfortunately for Johnson, Blane and the Lady Flames, their inaugural season in Conference USA would come to an end during the first round of the conference tournament during mid-November. However, Blane and the Flames will have an excellent opportunity to once again compete at a high level in Conference USA next fall.

Almy is a sports reporter for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on X


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