Tuesday, December 30, 2008

W. Charlotte girls upset nation's top team

By LANGSTON WERTZ Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com
MARVIN - A year ago in the finals of the 2007 Bojangles’ Shootout, West Charlotte played the nation’s No. 1 girls’ high school team and was intimidated by the size of Notre Dame (Va.), the rankings and the moment.

“We were more focused on their girls being too big than trying to win,” Lions guard Trena Smith said.

In Tuesday’s Bojangles’ semifinals against another national No.1 St. Michael Academy from New York City, the Lions didn’t repeat their mistakes of a year ago.

West Charlotte (11-2) was dominant from the start, getting a game-high 23 points from Smith and winning 71-57. The Lions will play Butler or East Mecklenburg in today’s 3 p.m. championship game at Marvin Ridge High. It’ll be the first time in the 9-year history of the tournament that a Mecklenburg County team will win this event.

“That would be big for us,” Lions forward Nikki Burton said. “We want to make history. We’ve not won that first championship in anything (the Lions also lost the N.C. 4A final last season), so this would be really good.”

St. Michael, ranked No. 1 in ESPN’s national poll, played without three starters, had 21 turnovers and shot 36 percent. Senior guard Shenneika Smith, who has signed with St. John’s, has an ankle injury and will miss the remainder of the season. Sophomore guard Brianna Sidney was injured before the Bojangles’ tournament and coach Apache Paschall lost sophomore guard Bra’Shey Ali in Monday’s first round win against Norcross (Ga.). Ali injured her knee.

“Coming down here, we figured we’d be all right,” Paschall said. “But losing the kid yesterday hurt. Still, I can’t use that as an excuse. The team we played was the better team today. Naturally you’re concerned with (Burton, signed to Louisville) and (Christal Caldwell, signed to Florida), but what impressed me were the other kids.”

Like Smith, who made 4-of-8 3-point attempts; and like Jessica Freeman, who scored 16 points and had two assists. Burton (nine points, seven rebounds, five assists) and Caldwell (10 points, nine rebounds, four assists) were solid but on this night, they were not the stars.

“On any given night with this bunch, anybody can step up,” Lions coach Reggie Mobley said. “This was just a good team effort today and we’re a well-rounded team, probably the most well-rounded team we’ve ever had assembled.”

Monday, December 29, 2008

Game summaries from Bojangles' Shootout

Bojangles' Shootout Results

National Boys Results
Bishop McNamara (MD) 59, Norcross (GA) 56
Norcross 11 17 18 10 – 56
Bishop 17 15 11 16 – 59
NORCROSS 56 – Taariq Muhammad 10, Malcolm McDonald 13, Hubbard 4, Lamb 6, Jones 3, Sy-Savane 3, Kevin Davis 17BISHOP 59 – Pilgrim 2, Washington 5, Rashad Whack 28, Talib Zanna 10, Muhammed 2, Shipe 3, Bazillo 4, Ivey 5.White Station (TN) 69, Towson Catholic (MD) 53

White Station 69, Towson 53
Towson 15 5 17 16 – 53
White Station 16 19 15 19 – 69
Towson 53 – Sizer 3, Devin Spencer 11, Levi Noel 10, Raheem May-Thompson 10, Julian Harrell 11, Deshields 2, Noel 6White Station 69 – Ferrakohn Hall 10, Joe Jackson 22, Burton 9, Andre Hollins 17, Williams 8, Coleman 3

Christ The King (NY) 74, Pendleton IMG (Fl) 47
Pendleton 6 14 14 13 – 47
Christ The King 19 20 23 12 – 74
Pendleton 47 – Atwater 3, Rob Kleinman 12, Edwards 2, Varnadore 2, Alex Drecksel 17, Oumar 5, Nicolic 2, Farrah 4.Christ The King 74 – Marion Smith 14, Corey Edwards 10, Barrow 7, Johnson 4, Milka 6, Thomas 7, Jurin 3, Ndiaye 8, Nieves 2, Ihsaan Davis 13.

Local Boys Results
Myers Park 84, Country Day 44
Myers Park 20 20 21 23 – 84
Country Day 5 16 4 19 – 44
MYERS PARK 84 – Ben Cherry 23, JD Ey 10, Quan Alexander 13, Shaw 5, Turner 7, Seawell 5, Elliott 6, Wilson 7, Humphries 6, Jenkins 2.
COUNTRY DAY 44 – Wake Hamilton 16, Earl McLaurin 12, Cramer 1, Watanabe 3, B. Simmons 6, Z. Simmons 6

Burlington Cummings 103, Concord 88
Concord 23 8 25 32 – 88
Cummings 22 25 31 25 – 103
CONCORD 88 – Roger Smith 23, Griffin Templeton 12, Chance Rucker 12, Wishon 7, Jalen Cannady 18, Brenk 2, Knorr 3, Moore 7, Gridine 2, Horton 2
CUMMINGS 103 – Quinton Morrow 17, JT Terrell 52, Steven Crisp 15, Chrisp 5, Chris Richmond 12, McAllister 2

Hopewell 53, Charlotte Latin 42
Hopewell 14 11 14 14 – 53
Latin 12 6 14 10 – 42
Hopewell 53 – Alex Godette 13, Curry 7, Downing 8, Adrian Addie 10, Brooks 4, Bryce Hawkins 11
Latin 42 – Brown 8, Golder 6, Austin 2, Burton 4, David Chadwick 16, Caldwell 1, Foster 5.


National Girls Results
East Mecklenburg 42, Princess Anne (VA) 39East Meck 13 12 8 9 – 42
Princess Anne 10 9 12 8 – 39
EAST MECK 42 – Spencer 8, Kilpatrick 3, Fisher-Davis 2, Knox 2, Tellier 7, Watkins 2, Allen 5, Coleman 2
PRINCESS ANNE 39 – S. Powell 4, Braxton 1, B. Powell 4, Horton 4, Elizabeth Williams 23, Boone 3.

St. Michael (NY) 66, Norcross (GA) 61
Norcross 19 15 10 17 – 61
St. Michael 14 13 10 29 – 66
NORCROSS 61 – Briana Jordan 18, Bianca O’Neal 11, Wilcox 5, Tiffany Clarke 15, Nolan 4, DeMercy 8
ST MICHAEL 66 – Jennifer O’Neil 31, B. Sidney 2, Davis 8, J. Sidney 5, Jones 6, Fields 1, Faulk 8, Ford 5.

Butler 58, Bishop McNamara (MD) 46
Butler 16 14 16 12 – 58
Bishop 9 13 13 11 – 46
Butler 58 – Celeste Stewart 21, Burdick 6, Forney 7, Diggs 4, Clair Watkins 10, Blandon 5, Barrino 5
BISHOP 46 – Bryant 9, Surratt 1, Miles 8, Logan 9, Strickland 4, Brown 5, Joynes 6, Pope 4

W. Charlotte 80, Gastonia Forestview 59
Forestview 11 10 5 23 – 59
W. Charlotte 23 12 23 22 – 80
Forestview 59 – Shannon Smith 24, Kelsey Harris 17, Ashley Pratt 12, Currence 5, Pittman 1
W. Charlotte 80 – Nikki Burton 23, Trena Moore-Smith 13, Christal Caldwell 24, Freeman 6, Robinson 5, Stewart 5, Garris 4

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

N.C. All-State Prep Football Team named

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — West Rowan went from first-time state champion to headlining The Associated Press All-State prep football team for North Carolina.
Running back Kevin Parks, offensive lineman Tim Pangburn and defensive lineman Chris Smith made the 2008 team for the Falcons, who won the Class 3-A championship with the most successful season in school history. Greensboro Dudley and Fayetteville Britt each had two selections in voting results released Wednesday.
Parks earned 16 of a possible 20 votes from sports writers around the state after running for more than 2,800 yards and 43 touchdowns. Offensive linemen Whit Barnes of Rocky Mount, David Collins of East Forsyth and Xavier Nixon of Britt had 18 votes to lead the 30-man squad.
Nixon and punter Matt Milisor of Greensboro Page made the team for the second straight year.
Pangburn and Smith, who had 26 sacks, helped West Rowan (15-1) beat West Craven 35-7 in the state title game earlier this month. That capped a five-year run in which West Rowan won at least 10 games and clinched a share of the North Piedmont Conference title.
Dudley had quarterback Ricky Lewis and defensive lineman Chris Neal make the team after the Panthers (16-0) beat Kannapolis Brown for their second straight state championship. Britt had Nixon — the nation's sixth-ranked recruit according to Scout.com — and quarterback Everett Proctor, who made the team at athlete after helping the team reach the 4-AA title game.
Joining Parks and Lewis in the backfield was Thomasville running back Jonathan Hinson-Braddy, while West Craven's Erik Highsmith, Gastonia Ashbrook's Jheranie Boyd and Murphy's Georgie Kerber were picked at receiver. Charlotte Catholic's Tucker Windle made the team at tight end, and Bunn's Ty Howle rounded out the offensive line.
Lenoir Hibriten defensive back Quin Smith earned 15 votes to lead the defense after averaging 17 tackles with six interceptions along with 1,580 yards rushing and 27 touchdowns on offense. Joining Smith in the secondary was Kinston's Kewitt Koonce, East Mecklenburg's Tray Sanders and Kannapolis Brown's Xavier Watson.
Chapel Hill's Jared McAdoo and Jacksonville Northside's Donte Moss anchored the defensive line along with Dudley's Neal, West Rowan's Smith and Yanceyville Yancey's Michael Brooks.
Matthews Butler's Hawatha Bell, South Columbus' Jonathan Buffkin and Richmond County's Justin Jackson made the team at linebacker to round out the defense.
On special teams, Milisor tied with Wilmington Hoggard's Marcus Lee for punter, while Rocky Mount's Nick Hahula made the team at place-kicker and West Iredell's P.J. Clyburn — who returned four kickoffs for touchdowns before opponents stopped kicking to him — was voted as kick returner.
North Pitt's Maurice Williams tied Proctor for athlete after running for nearly 1,100 yards on offense while also tallying four interceptions and holding kickoff- and punt-return duties.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

ESPNU to show Shrine Bowl on Jan. 7

The Shrine Bowl and ESPNU reached an agreement to televise Saturday’s all-star game on a delayed basis, at 10 p.m. Jan. 7.

The benefit game, which matches North Carolina’s top 44 seniors against 44 from South Carolina, will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg. The Shrine Bowl, established in 1937, is the oldest high school all-star game in America.

Proceeds from the game go to the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

-- Cliff Mehrtens

Wachovia Cup leaders announced

CHAPEL HILL-- The North Carolina High School Athletic Associationannounced the standings for fall sports in the Wachovia Cup competitions for the 2008-2009 academic year.

The Wachovia Cup award, sponsored by Wachovia Bank, N.A., and the NCHSAA, recognizes the high schools that achieve the best overall interscholastic athletic performance within each of the state¹s four competitive classifications. The Wachovia Cup program is in its 30th year.

Myers Park sits atop the 4A standings with Morrisville Green Hope in second place, while Charlotte Catholic paces the 3A classification ahead of Lake Norman. Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons holds the top spot among 2A schools with Salisbury in second, and Hampstead Topsail and Hendersonville are one-two in the 1A classification standings.

Myers Park, with state championships in men¹s soccer and women¹s tennis, scored playoff points in five different sports to record 222.5 points. Green Hope is in second place, bolstered especially by a fourth-place finish in men¹s cross country and second-place slot in women's cross country. Northwest Guilford is third at 165 and East Chapel Hill, the women¹s 4-A cross country champion, is fourth at 130.

In the 3-A classification, Charlotte Catholic has 212.5 points, keyed by a state championship in men's soccer among its playoff points in six different sports. That puts Catholic 25 points ahead of Lake Norman, which was second and third in the state in men's and women's cross country, respectively. Asheville T.C. Roberson holds third with 175 points, as two state championships in women's cross country and women's tennis providing the bulk of its points. Asheville is in fourth place, 25 points behind T.C. Roberson.

Cardinal Gibbons paces the 2-A standings by virtue of state titles in men's soccer and women's cross country, second-place finishes in women¹s tennis and volleyball, and a fourth in men's cross country. Salisbury is in second at 187.5, with playoff points in four sports including a state title in women¹s tennis and a top spot among 2-A schools in women's golf.

West Henderson is in third place in the 2-A Cup chase with 145 points and Charles D. Owen is in fourth at 130.

Hampstead Topsail holds a 60-point advantage over Hendersonville, 202.5-142.5, at the top of the 1-A standings. Topsail won the 1-A men's soccer state title and had the top-ranked 1-A women's golf team among its playoff points in four sports. Hendersonville advanced to the state semifinals in football and placed fourth in both cross-country state events.

Raleigh Charter is in third with 137.5 points and the North Carolina School of Science and Math in Durham is 15 points back in fourth.

Wachovia Cup points are determined by a system based on performance in state-championship events. All schools that finish in the top eight positions (plus ties) earn points. In the playoff events involving teams from more than one classification, Wachovia Cup points are awarded based on the school's standing against other schools in its own classification. If fewer then eight schools from a classification compete in a sport, only those schools that are represented are eligible to receive the Wachovia Cup points.

Points are awarded for all sports as follows: 50 for first, 45 for second, 40 for third, 35 for fourth, 30 for fifth, 25 for sixth, 20 for seventh and 15 for eighth. In the event of a tie, the schools receive an equal number of points based on the number of teams that tie and the number of teams that finish higher in the standings. Five points are awarded for each sanctioned sport in which a school competes.

Wachovia Cup standings are announced three times each school year: once after the fall, again after the winter sports, and then concluding with the winner after the spring sports season ends in June. The engraved silver cups are presented during NCHSAA Day activities at UNC-Chapel Hill each fall.


NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION WACHOVIA CUP STANDINGS AFTER FALL SPORTS 2008

1-A CLASSIFICATION
SCHOOL POINTS
1. Hampstead Topsail 202.5
2. Hendersonville 142.5
3. Raleigh Charter 137.5
4. N.C. School of Science and Math 122.5
5. Hayesville 120
6. Kernersville Bishop McGuinness 117.5
7. Mount Airy 107.5
8. East Wilkes 105
9. Pender 102.5
10. Albemarle 97.5
Robbinsville 97.5
12. Manteo 90
13. Murphy 87.5
14. Dixon 80
15. East Bladen 75
Swain 75
Williamston 75


2-A CLASSIFICATION
1. Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons 255
2. Salisbury 187.5
3. West Henderson 145
4. Black Mountain Charles D. Owen 130
5. Pittsboro Northwood 120
Orange 120
7. Boonville Starmount 110
8. Carrboro 100
9. East Duplin 95
10. Kill Devil Hills First Flight 90
Forest Hills 90
12. Newton-Conover 85
13. East Lincoln 80
Reidsville 80
East Henderson 80

3-A CLASSIFICATION
1. Charlotte Catholic 212.5
2. Lake Norman 187.5
3. Asheville T.C. Roberson 175
4. Asheville 150
5. Jamestown Ragsdale 125
6. Waxhaw Marvin Ridge 105
7. Rocky Mount 95
8. Eastern Alamance 87.5
9. North Iredell 85
Cameron Union Pines 85
West Rowan 85
Mooresville 85
Greensboro Dudley 85
Pfafftown Ronald Reagan 85

4-A CLASSIFICATION
1. Charlotte Myers Park 222.5
2. Morrisville Green Hope 175
3. Northwest Guilford 165
4. East Chapel Hill 130
5. Winston-Salem Mount Tabor 125
6. Raleigh Broughton 107.5
7. Charlotte Independence 105
8. Chapel Hill 100
Greensboro Grimsley 100
10. Wake Forest-Rolesville 97.5
11. Apex 95
East Forsyth 95
Greensboro Page 95
South Mecklenburg 95
15. West Johnston 90

West Charlotte's Grier playing recruiting game


West Charlotte linebacker Brandon Grier (above), a Shrine Bowl player this week, has offers from Winston-Salem State, Catawba and Pembroke, his father, Bobby, told the Observer.

Grier recently took the SAT and some bigger schools are awaiting his test scores, Bobby Grier said.

Brandon Grier is planning to visit Coastal Carolina and Western Carolina but may also visit East Carolina and N.C. State, which have sent him handwritten recruiting letters.

"It's a waiting game right now," Bobby Grier said.

-- Langston Wertz Jr.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Brand out as Lions football coach

Saying the school wanted to go in a different direction, West Charlotte High principal John Modest said the Lions would seek a replacement for first-year football coach Aaron Brand.

Brand led the Lions, who started four seniors, to their first conference championship since 1999 and a second round playoff berth.

Brand was unavailable for comment.

“He had a good year in terms of wins, but we wanted to go in a different direction,” Modest said. “I can’t say anything bad about the job he did. I would give him a positive recommendation.”

Modest said it was important the school find a replacement as fast as possible.

“We want to try to make a smooth transition,” Modest said. “Last year we were late in getting (Brand in to replace Maurice Flowers).”
-- Langston Wertz Jr.

Area football players make commitments

Three Charlotte-area high school football players, all seniors, committed to colleges Wednesday:

■Myers Park defensive end Brian Johnson committed to Western Carolina.
Johnson, 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, was an All-Southwestern 4A pick this season. He had 51 tackles, four sacks, seven quarterback hurries and a deflected pass.

■Myers Park quarterback Stuart Ahlum committed to Princeton.
Ahlum (6-5, 220) threw for 1,392 yards and 15 touchdowns this season.

■ Hopewell defensive end Wes Reber committed to Virginia Military Institute.
Reber (6-1, 200) was an All-MECA 7 4A pick this season, when he had 75 tackles, nine sakcs, five quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery.

-- Cliff Mehrtens

Monday, December 15, 2008

South Pointe named area's top team

Rock Hill South Pointe, which last week won the S.C. 4A Division II championship in its third season, was named High School Football Team of the Year by the Charlotte Regional Sports Authority.

The unbeaten Stallions (15-0), coached by Bobby Carroll, defeated rival Rock Hill Northwestern 35-14 in the title game at Clemson. The award is presented to the team that best exemplifies hard work, dedication, perseverance and sportsmanship.

South Pointe is No. 3 in the MaxPreps.com national poll, No. 4 in Massey national rankings and No. 6 in the Rivals.com national poll. The Stallions outscored opponents 617-84.

Mike Mistler of the Charlotte Regional Sports Commission will make the trophy presentation on WBTV’s “Football Friday Night” at 11:30 p.m. Friday.

South Pointe is the first S.C. school to win in the award’s 12-year history.

Previous winners:

2007: Mt. Pleasant
2006: Independence
2005: Independence
2004: Charlotte Catholic
2003: Charlotte Latin
2002: Independence
2001: Unionville Piedmont
2000: Independence
1999: Butler
1998: Vance
1997: Kannapolis Brown


-- Cliff Mehrtens

Friday, December 12, 2008

Newton-Conover wins state football title

Dorian Jones rushed for 157 yards in 22 carries and scored two touchdowns as Newton-Conover rolled past Tarboro 51-28 at Kenan Stadium on Friday night to win the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 2-A football championship.

Jones was named the Wendy's Most Valuable Player as Newton-Conover finished with a 15-1 record and its first NCHSAA state football crown.

Josh Thompson added 106 yards in 15 carries and also completed a 42-yard halfback pass. After Tarboro had tied the game at 7-7 on a Demarius Harper two-yard run with 10:25 left in the first half, Newton-Conover reeled off 37 unanswered points to take command.

Two of those touchdowns came on interception returns for touchdowns after the score reached 31-7, as Joseph Hill and Jordon Bryant both had picks that results in TDs.

The Red Devils rolled up 326 yards in total offense, including 273 on the ground and had 21 first downs to eight for the Vikings. Tarboro ended the season with a 14-2 record. Brandon Dozier led the Vikings with 137 yards in 10 carries

Porter Ridge golfer named player of year


Indian Trail Porter Ridge senior girls golfer Courtney Gunter (above and in inset) is the 2008 Tarheel Youth Golf Association N.C. player of the year.

Gunter, headed to North Carolina, won her third straight N.C. High School Athletic Association state championship this season. She was also named to multiple All-America teams.
Gunter played 15 junior events this fall and finished in the top ten eight times.

Also named to the first team were Gastonia's Courtney Taylor of Gastonia, the Dogwood State Junior champion; Sarah Almond of Albemarle, who qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open; Meghan Moore of Bahama, runner-up in the Rex Hospital Pro-Junior; Courtney McKim of Raleigh, winner of the AJGA Randy Wise Junior; Sarah Bae of Raleigh, winner of the Coastal Plains Junior; Jessica Hook of Wilmington, runner-up in the NC Junior and Twin State Championships; Katie Kirk of Davidson, winner of the Ken & Betty Isaac Junior; Katherine Perry of Cary, winner of the NC Trusted Choice Big "I" Junior; and Shannon Prunty of Oak Ridge, winner of the Precision Golf Girls' Championship.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nixon, Lattimore honored by Gatorade

Fayetteville Britt offensive tackle Xavier Nixon was named Gatorade N.C. Player of the Year.
Nixon, 6-foot-6 and 285 pounds, anchored a line that has rushed for more than 4,000 yards heading into this weekend’s championship game.

Nixon, picked for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl and Shrine Bowl, has 76 pancake blocks. He was all-state as a junior last year, and as a defensive lineman has 35 tackles, including nine for losses, along with one sack and two forced fumbles while starting eight games. Nixon has a B average, has volunteered as a mentor to elementary students and special-needs children, as a youth football camp coach and as part of service missions with New Mercy Ministries in Chesapeake , Va.

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Duncan Byrnes running back Marcus Lattimore is the Gatorade S.C. Player of the Year.

Lattimore, a junior, rushed for 2,419 yards and 30 touchdowns, helping the Rebels (14-1) win their sixth title in seven years. He had 305 yards and four touchdowns in the championship, a 31-21 victory against Sumter.

Lattimore has a 3.44 GPA. He is active at church, and has volunteered as a mentor for elementary students.


-- Cliff Mehrtens

Providence Day star a soccer All-American

Providence Day defender Eric Martinez was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association/adidas High School All-America Team.

He is one of three North Carolina players on the squad, with goalkeeper Scott Goodwin (Raleigh Broughton) and midfielder Ben Newnam (East Forsyth).

Martinez, who has committed to South Carolina, was named one of the top 10 recruits in the country by ESPN.

Martinez is the second Providence Day player to be an NSCA All-American. The other was Grant Porter in 1999. The All-America selections are invited to the annual All-America Luncheon, in St. Louis on Jan. 17, as part of the NSCA Convention.

-- Cliff Mehrtens

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Independence stars in the record book

Independence High junior quarterback Anthony Carrothers, the Southwestern 4A player of the year, threw for 3,831 yards and 35 TDs this season. He rushed for 805 yards and 22 TDs. That qualifies as one of the best single-season performances in Mecklenburg County history.

Carrothers' passing yardage ranks eighth all-time. His passing TDs are 12th. His rushing TDs rank among the top 20.

With 6,455 career passing yards and 63 touchdowns, Carrothers ranks seventh in county career pass TDs and yards with one year remaining.

Note: Independence receiver Lawrence Martin, Carrothers' top target, finished with 68 catches for 1,215 yards and 9 scores. The yardage is 15th best in county history. The reception total ranks 12th.

-- Langston Wertz Jr.



A look at the record books, now updated.

Excepts from Mecklenburg County Record Book

Passing TDs, season: 1. Joe Cox, Independence (2004) 66; 2. Chris Leak, Independence, 64 (2002); 3. Chris Leak, Independence, 57 (2001); 4. Darius Thomas, W. Charlotte, 56 (2007); 5. Chris Leak, Independence, 51 (2000); 6. Joe Cox, Independence, 43 (2003); 7. Keith Matkins, W. Charlotte, 41 (1996), Braden Hanson, Charlotte Latin, 41 (2007); 9. Braden Hanson, Charlotte Latin, 39; 10. Jacob Charest, Butler, 38 (2007); 11. David Green, W. Charlotte, 37 (1992); 12. Anthony Carrothers, Independence, 35 (2008); 13. Marshall Glenn, East Mecklenburg, 34 (2001); 14. Darryl McFadden, Independence, 31 (2005); 15. Anthony Metzelaars, Charlotte Christian, 29 (2001); 16. C.J. Leak, Independence, 28 (1998), Ben Williams, Olympic, 28 (2005); 18. Antonio Miller, Olympic, 27 (2003); 19. Paul Troth, Vance, 26 (1998); 20 (tie). Keith Matkins, W. Charlotte, 25 (1997), Duwuan Burton, Olympic, 25 (2000), Paul Troth, Vance, 25 (2000), Anthony Houston, Harding, 25 (1986).

Passing yards, season: 1. Chris Leak, Independence, 5,193 (2002); 2. Chris Leak, Independence, 4,544 (2000); 3. Chris Leak, Independence, 4,522 (2001); 4. Joe Cox, Independence, 4,509 (2004); 5. Darius Thomas, W. Charlotte, 4,460 (2007); 6. Joe Cox, Independence, 3,983 (2003); 7. Darryl McFadden, Independence, 3,877 (2005); 8. Anthony Carrothers, Independence, 3,831 (2008); 9. Keith Matkins, W. Charlotte, 3,456 yards (1996); 10. David Green, W. Charlotte, 3,353 (1992); 11. Marshall Glenn, East Mecklenburg, 3,161 (2001); 12. Jacob Charest, Butler, 3,110 (2007); 13. Antonio Miller, Olympic, 3,088 (2003); 14. Ben Williams, Olympic, 3,041 (2005); 15. Scott McCrimmon, W. Charlotte, 3,018 (1995); 16. Braden Hanson, Charlotte Latin, 2,942 (2007); 17. Duwuan Burton, Olympic, 2,756 (2000); 18. Benny Council, W. Charlotte, 2,751 (1993); 10. Anthony Metzelaars, Charlotte Christian, 2,731 (2001); 20. Colin Harris, S. Mecklenburg, 2,726 (1993); 21. Jacob Charest, Butler, 2,696 (2006); 22. Braden Hanson, Charlotte Latin, 2,685 (2006); 23. Anthony ``Lizard'' Houston, Harding, 2,621 (1986).

Receptions, single season: 1. Mario Raley, Independence, 107; 2. Lamar Pope, Olympic, 103 (2003); 3. Mohamed Masaquoi, Independence, 97 (2002); 4. Hakeem Nicks, Independence (2005), 93; 5. Mohamed Masaquoi, Independence, 88 (2004); 6. Mohamed Massaquoi, Independence, 87 (2003); 7. Maurice Staley, W. Charlotte, 77 (1993); 8. Steve Shipp, W. Charlotte, 76 (1996), Maurice Staley, W. Charlotte, 76 (1992) ; 11. Brad Hinton, Independence, 69 (2000); 12. Lawrence Martin, Independence, 68 (2008); 13. Steve Shipp, W. Charlotte, 65 (1995); 14. Randolph Slade, S. Mecklenburg, 64 (1993).

Receiving yards, single season: 1. Mohamed Massaquoi, Independence, 1,834 (2004); 2. Hakeem Nicks, Independence, 1,819 (2005); 3. Mario Raley, Independence, 1,644 (2000); 4. Brad Hinton, Independence, 1,543 (2000); 5. Mohamed Massaquoi, Independence, 1,518 (2003); 6. Mario Raley, Independence, 1,505 (2001); 7. Mohamed Massaquoi, Independence (2002), 1,492; 8. Jason Barnes, Independence, 1,413 (2007); 9. Maurice Staley, W. Charlotte, 1,384 (1992); 10. Maurice Staley, W. Charlotte, 1,357 (1993); 11. Steve Shipp, W. Charlotte, 1,340 yards (1996); 12. Steve Shipp, W. Charlotte, 1,318 (1995); 13. Jarrett Boykin, Butler, 1,256 (2007); 14. Erik Nowell, W. Mecklenburg, 1,220 (2004); 15. Lawrence Martin, Independence, 1,215 (2008); 16. Mickey Brewer, Butler, 1,200 (2006)

S'western 4A announces award winners

Independence quarterback Anthony Carrothers is the Southwestern 4A offensive football player of the year, and East Mecklenburg cornerback Tray Sanders is the defensive player of the year.

Independence’s Tom Knotts is coach of the year.

Carrothers, a junior, led North Carolina in passing yards (3,831) and touchdown passes (35). He was 262-of-384 passing (68 percent), and ran 136 times for 805 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Sanders, a senior, had 62 solo tackles, 33 assists, five forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries, two interceptions, five blocked punts and two blocked kicks.

Knotts guided the Patriots (13-1) to the conference title and the third round of the N.C. 4AA playoffs.

- Cliff Mehrtens

The all-conference team:

OFFENSIVE LINE: Michael Howard (Ardrey Kell); Tyler Kell and Kendal Lamm (Butler); Devin Moore (East Mecklenburg); Ryan Thompson, Xavier Montague and Patrick Stewart (Independence ); Nathan Bernstein (Providence); Corey Burstein (South Mecklenburg ); Alex Cuthbertson (Weddington).

RUNNING BACKS: Justus Pickett (Ardrey Kell); Ronald Howard (East Meck); Tim Palmer and Spencer Shuey (South Meck).

QUARTERBACKS: Olen Little (East Meck); Chauncey Concepcion (Providence).

TIGHT ENDS: DeShaun McCutchen (Butler); Theo Jones (East Meck).

WIDE RECEIVERS: Sean Gary (Ardrey Kell); Nick Bratton (East Meck); Lawrence Martin and Kierre Brown (Independence); Banks Jenkins (Myers Park); Matt Hickson (Providence).

KICKER: Tracy Murden (Ardrey Kell).

OFFENSIVE SPECIALIST: Kyle Gregg (Independence).

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Anthony Carrothers (Independence).
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DEFENSIVE LINE: Prince Shembo (Ardrey Kell); Allonte Tuppins and Eric Conner (Butler); Jay Mozee and Kyell Collins (East Meck); Brian Johnson (Myers Park); Jake Hall (Providence); Darius Kilgo (Weddington).

LINEBACKERS: Alex Royster (Ardrey Kell); Jacob Davis and Hawatha Bell (Butler); Rockford Stone (East Meck); Jayme Watson and DeShawn Lindsay (Independence); Gene Robinson (Myers Park); Michael Rudisill (Providence).

SECONDARY: Zach Stader (Ardrey Kell); Marcel Sargent and Nate Charest (Butler); Breon Thornton and Victor Hampton (Independence); Tyree Simpson, Jaterious Gill and Alex Lang (Myers Park); Damon Magazu and Brandon Braxton (Providence).

PUNTER: Matt Cornelius (Butler).

DEFENSIVE SPECIALIST: Tim Sanders (East Meck).

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tray Sanders (East Meck).

COACH OF THE YEAR: Tom Knotts (Independence).

Monday, December 8, 2008

Butler, Richmond Senior to meet next fall

Butler High is likely to play a nonconference football game next fall at Richmond Senior, the Observer learned Monday.

The schools haven't signed the two-year contract yet, but Bulldogs coach Mike Newsome expects it to get done this week.

The 2009 date will be Sept.11 in Rockingham.

Richmond Senior will play at Butler in 2010.

“It's pretty much a done deal,” Newsome said. “We both agreed to it. I guess we've reached the level where it's hard to find anyone to play us.”

Newsome said Butler was not able to renew nonconference games with North Mecklenburg and Berry, so he started searching for potential opponents.

He saw on Scotland County's Web site that the school was looking for a game. Scotland's coaches told Newsome that Richmond Senior had an open date on the same day as the Bulldogs.

Newsome spoke to Richmond officials and had a verbal agreement in place before the Raiders beat Independence in the N.C. 4AA semifinals Friday.

Newsome also is talking to Mount Tabor about a nonconference game next season, and those schools also have matching open dates.

With or without that Mount Tabor game, which would be another marquee matchup, the Bulldogs' 2009 schedule will be tough with games against Richmond Senior, Independence, West Charlotte and East Mecklenburg.

-- Langston Wertz Jr.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Wertz Q&A: A Richmond Senior upset?

Observer reporter Langston Wertz Jr. answers your questions about high school sports. Have a question email (lwertz@charlotteobserver.com) it to Langston or reply at the bottom of this blog. Missed some Q&As? Click here or here.

Q. What do you see in tonight's Richmond game with Indy? Upset city?

I said on our Prep Insiders videoblog that I think Richmond Senior is a hot team on a roll right now. They'll present Independence with a test. I know some people, for some reason, are down on Butler right now, but all season the Bulldogs were considered the state's No. 2 team and Independence beat them the way old Independence used to. If Independence wins tonight big, it may mean the Patriots are really truly back to their old ways.

I think Richmond can win, but the Raiders need a perfect game and for Independence to be off. It'll be interesting to me to see what kind of crowd shows up. Mostly Richmond? Split? I wonder if the 28 degree weather will keep some fans at home tonight. Either way, we'll blog it up on charlotteobserver.com so you all can get updates and we'll have a big report tonight. Good luck to both teams.

Q. Loved your Q&A with Coach Knotts. I was interested in the Myers Park comment. Was that the only school he specifically talked about going to?

First off thanks for the kudos. Knotts is always a good interview. It was funny. We had a conference call among all our reporters and our executive sports editor Mike Persinger was talking about story ideas. He mentioned Knotts giving a good interview and he gave me the idea. I called up Tommy on Sunday night and he was in a talkative mood and very open and honest. But to answer your question, he talked about South Meck, Catholic, Country Day and Myers Park -- all places he could ride his bike to. I get the feeling he'd really like to stay in town.

Q. What do you hear about rumors putting AL Brown coach Ron Massey into retirement and Indy coach Tom Knotts at Brown?

I'd say it's just rumors right now. Knotts applied for that job once before in Kannapolis and didn't get it, but that doesn't mean he'd not try again. That's a pretty hefty drive from his house and he's said he likes to stay close. I interviewed coach Massey Wednesday afternoon and he said he planned to coach for a long time and had no plans to leave Brown. Why would he? He's got them one step from a state title game. Brown has the right guy there now.

Q. I was surprised the NCHSAA added lax, but no field hockey. You?

Surprised? No. There's been a steady movement in place to have lacrosse added. I'd suspect we'll have girls in the fall and boys in spring. It's going to be tough for ADs who now have to find practice times for another football field sport, and football field time is already in short supply. Also a lot of cash-strapped schools are going to have to find budgeting to add another sport, which means equipment costs and coaching costs among other things. I think the NCHSAA board could've waited until the economy got better to add this, and hopefully by next fall it will be.

Q. LW, did you know Richmond has won state titles in all years that end in "8". We won in 78 88 and 98. This is 2008. Your boys lose Friday night?

Interesting stat. Richmond certainly is on a roll.

Q. CMS splitting from the NCHSAA is an excellent idea. Hopefully north and south residents are reading this. We need 2 separate school systems. CMS needs to be broken up. The city of Charlotte can have its own new system and split from the NCHSAA while north and south Mecklenburg can remain with the NCHSAA and have its own new school system.

The writer is refering to a column that appeared a few weeks back after two CMS officials told me they favored leaving the state association. I'm not so sure that's good, but I would like to see city championships. An NCHSAA board ruling this week allowing basketball teams to play four games in a week so long as one is not on a school day really opens up the door to do it. In football, just have all the teams start on the first week and you could have a BCS style bowl event on the last regular season week or structure the schedule so you could have a two or three week playoff -- provided all CMS teams are in all-CMS leagues. As for breaking CMS up into county and city school systems, I'd be against that.

Q. That’s crazy talk you can’t have a city champ without competing in the state play offs. That wouldn’t be best for the players and isn’t that what it’s all about? It would be nice to do both, that is a great idea!

I'm with you on both.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

NCHSAA adds lacrosse as official sport for 2009-10

At its winter board meeting Wednesday, the N.C. High School Athletic Association board of directors officials sactioned boys and girls lacrosse for 2009-10. Details about number of games, sports seasons and playoff qualification will be worked out and approved prior to the start of school in 2009.

The board also:
* Moved the start of the 2009 basketball practice to Nov. 9 and allowed schools to play four games in a week if the fourth is on a non-school day. NCHSAA member schools now will be able to play in 16-team holiday tournaments

* Required students, coaches or administrators who are ejected from a contest to complete the STAR Sportsmanship program before returning to participation.

* Lowered the threshold for making teams ineligible for the playoffs for sportsmanship violations. A team is ineligible for the playoffs if it has three players or coaches ejected for fighting during a season or if it has four players or coaches ejected.

* Denied an appeal from Greenville Rose to change its conference placement beginning in 2009-10.

* Authorized NCHSAA staff to look at the option of using a 24-team bracket in 1-A dual team tennis, if needed

* Approved a change that high school tennis teams may play four matches in a single week if the fourth is on a non-school day, starting with the spring season of 2009.

* Reviewed current policy on fighting; change policy to "a team whose players or coaches accumulate three individual ejections for fighting (note: if a situation occurs where four players on one team are ejected during one fighting incident, then those four individual ejections will cause the team to lose its playoff privileges)"

* Raised the ticket prices for regional basketball tournament from eight to nine dollars, effective with the 2010 tournament.

-- Observer News Services

Require athletic trainers at all schools?

CHAPEL HILL - The N.C. High School Athletic Association Board of Directors voted Wednesday to build a coalition to figure out how to implement a recommendation that would require all state high schools to have certified athletic trainers.

The NCHSAA had appointed a task force to make recommendations to the board after two high school football players died from traumatic head injuries this season.

Instead of approving the recommendations, though, the board instructed Charlie Adams, the NCHSAA executive director, to arrange a meeting with representatives from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, the State Board of Education, the N.C. School Boards Association and the N.C. Association of School Administrators to discuss how to get certified trainers in each school. Finding a way to pay for the trainers was a key issue.

"Every person in the room supports the idea [of having certified athletic trainers]," Adams said. "But we eventually realized that this is something that affects several agencies. We'll be the lead dog and organize the effort, but we need to pull together."

Finding money will be one of the major tasks.

"What was the use of mandating something when you don't know where the money to pay for it is going to come from," said Bobby Guthrie, the Wake County athletic director and a board member.

Adams said he was uncomfortable with the NCHSAA mandating that member schools have a certified athletic trainer.

"Do we have that authority? I don't think so," Adams said.

The task force on head injuries made nine recommendations to the board on Tuesday.

The NCHSAA already has implemented six of them, including requiring that no athlete suspected of having a concussion be allowed to return to practice that day and that no athlete with a concussion can participate until a physician has given clearance.

The recommendations that have not been implemented are:

* Having a certified athletic trainer in each school.

* Requiring every athlete who plays lacrosse, soccer or football have preseason baseline testing. The test would include balance testing, a computerized neuropsychological test, a standard assessment for concussion and a graded symptom checklist.

* A mandatory education program for school athletic personnel. A presentation is expected to be prepared by the NCHSAA similar to a presentation the NCHSAA made on eligibility issues earlier this year.

"I'm sure some people in the medical field will be disappointed we didn't take more action today," Guthrie said. "But I think everyone of the board feels good about going in this direction."

-- Tim Stevens, Raleigh News & Observer

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

All-Queen City 3A/4A football announced

Garinger's Chris Carter, who led his team to four wins this season and ended a 61-game on the field losing streak, is the Queen City 3A/4A coach of the year.

The league coaches voted on the all-conference team, which was released Wednesday morning.

Harding quarterback Walter Aikens was the offensive player of the year. West Meck's Trevor Black was the defensive player of the year.


Offensive Linemen: Keith Crowder, West Meck; Antonio Worthy, West Meck; Adam Guess, Catholic; Andrew Mueller, Catholic; Patrick Hudson, Catholic; Derrick Key, Berry; Marcus Lawrence, Harding; Keenan Thomas, Harding; Quetien Holloway, Garinger; Chris Moore, Garinger; Taylor Wade, Olympic; Brett Patrick, Olympic.

Quarterbacks: Walter Aikens, Harding; Lucas Beatty, Olympic

Wide Receivers: Preston Earle, Harding; Blair Boler, Olympic; Carl Funny, West Meck; Derryck Turner, Waddell; Germone Hopper, Berry; Thomas Gooding, Garinger.

Tight Ends: Chris Bridges, Harding; Tucker Windle, Charlotte Catholic.

Running Backs: Joseph Felts, Catholic; Jadarius Bruce, Catholic; L J McCray, Harding; Maurice Betha, Garinger; Brandon Ricket, Olympic.

Place Kicker: Tyler McMahan, Olympic

Offensive Specialist: Jason Cook, Olympic

Offensive Player Of the year: Walter Aikens, Harding

Defensive Linemen: Deangelo Johnson, West Meck; Tim Ellerbe, West Meck; Mark Moll, Catholic; Nick Gatto, Catholic; Ryan Herbin, Waddell; Donavan Price, Berry; Jamall Allen, Harding; Larry Williams, Garinger; Demetri Gaston, Garinger; Spencer Solomon, Olympic; Keith Witherspoon, Olympic.

Defensive Backs: Darrell Johnson, West Meck; Santuraus Neely, West Meck; Johnny O’Boyle, Catholic; Matthew Sawyer, Catholic; Sidney Crooms, Waddell; James Hicks, Berry; John Brockington, Garinger; Travis Walker, Garinger; Anthony Hooks, Olympic; Jamon Huff, Olympic.

Linebackers: Trevor Black, West Meck; Ben Hebert, Catholic; Montrez Walker, Waddell; Tyler Flemming, Waddell; Brian Mayes, Berry; Nick Dawson, Berry; Matthew Moore, Harding; Jordan Patterson, Harding; Joe Taylor, Garinger.

Punter: Michael McClendon, Catholic

Defensive Specialist: Deangelo Carter, Waddell

Defensive Player Of The Year: Trevor Black, West Meck

Coach of the year: Chris Carter, Garinger

All-ME-CA 7 football team announced

West Charlotte football players and coach Aaron Brand swept the ME-CA 7 all-conference awards. The team, voted on by conference coaches, was released Wednesday morning.

Lions running back Scoot Simmons, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards, was named league offensive player of the year. Shrine Bowl linebacker Brandon Grier was named defensive player of the year.

Brand, the school's third coach in three years, led West Charlotte to its first league title since Tom Knotts left the school in 1999. Brand was named coach of the year.

Here is the team:

Offense

OL - Emilio Cantu,(Mallard Creek) Kevin Hart (Hopewell) Travis Lawshe (Mallard Creek) Langston McKee (Mallard Creek) Travis Furr (Central Cabarrus) Robert Brannon (Concord Robinson) CJ Montgomery (W. Charlotte) Josiah Davis (W. Charlotte) Tyler Kratz (N. Meck) Al Mc Creary (N. Meck), Daniel Freeman (NM)

QB - Marquise William (Mallard Creek), Ahmad Brown (W. Charlotte)

WR - Mike Hefner (Hopewell), Dechance Durant (Vance), Chris Moon (N. Meck), Stanley Wright (W. Charlotte) Taylor Simms (Mallard Creek), Sean Bullock (Mallard Creek)

TE - Javarvis Massey (W. Charlotte)

RB - Scoot Simmons (W. Charlotte) Jason Hampton (Concord Robinson) Xavier Joplin (N. Meck) Edward Cherry (Mallard Creek)

PK - Clarke Seachrest (N. Meck)

Off. Special - Grant Nowell and Bradley Clay (N. Meck)

Defense

DL - Tomba Kanku (Mallard Creek) Wes Reber (Hopewell) Deuce Johnson (Hopewell) Herbert Monroe (Vance) Nate Butler (W. Charlotte) Ben Ramirez (Concord Robinson) Brent Spisak (Mallard Creek) Ethan Elyasian (Mallard Creek) Tyler Hamilton (Vance)

LB - D'vante Grant (Mallard Creek) Brandon Grier (W. Charlotte) Barrett Blue (W. Charlotte) Will Watson (Vance) Harrison Christian (Hopewell) Will Privette (Hopewell) Wesley Locast (Mallard Creek) Sean Barnes (N. Meck)

DB - Tavis Crosby (W. Charlotte) Donshae Joyce (N. Meck) Cameron Hughes (Hopewell) Josh Hunter(Mallard Creek); Brandon Sandsberry (W. Charlotte) Calvin Hunter (Vance) James Shipman (Hopewell) Darius Johnson (Concord Robinson) Chris Rocker (Hopewell)

P - John Tart (Mallard Creek)

Def. Special - Casey Ifeddi (Vance)

Off. PoY - Scoot Simmons (W. Charlotte)

Def. PoY - Brandon Grier (W. Charlotte)

Coach of year - Aaron Brand (W. Charlotte)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hopewell's Godette commits to Army

Hopewell boys' basketball player Alex Godette committed to Army last week.

Godette, a senior, has started for three years for the Titans (3-0) who play Myers Park Wednesday. He has averaged 13 points over the past three seasons.

-- Langston Wertz Jr.

Weddington football coach resigns

Weddington High football coach Phil Williams, 4-18 in two seasons, has resigned.

“He resigned before Thanksgiving,” Weddington athletics director Carole Alley said Monday. “In some ways it surprised me, and in some ways it didn’t.”

Weddington struggled as a member of Southwestern 4A, where it was 1-13 during Williams’ tenure. The Warriors were 0-11 this season, were outscored 443-162 and lost all seven conference games.

In 2007, Weddington was 4-7 and got outscored 405-224.

Williams was 74-47 in 11 seasons as coach of two S.C. schools in the 1980s and 90s, taking Buford High to the Class 1A semifinals in 1995 and 1996. He also was an assistant at four S.C. schools, and worked on staffs at Waddell (2001-05) and Ardrey Kell (2006).

Next school year, Weddington will drop to the 3A classification (based on student enrollment) and compete in a 4A/3A conference with Indian Trail Sun Valley, Porter Ridge, Anson Senior, Marvin Ridge and Parkwood.

-- Cliff Mehrtens