Saturday, January 31, 2009

Southwestern 4A and ME-CA 7 4A wrestling results

Southwestern 4A Conference wrestling tournament

Team Scores
1. Butler 195.50
2. Myers Park 152.00
3. Providence 134.00
4. South Mecklenburg 98.00
5. Ardrey Kell 92.50
6. East Mecklenburg 73.00
7. Weddington 63.00
8. Independence 25.00

Most Outstanding Wrestler: Bobby Warren, Myers Park

Championship
103 Ben Asefa, East Mecklenburg Fall Kush Shah, Butler, 2:58
112 Garrett Woods, South Mecklenburg M-Dec Tyler Medlock, Myers Park, 13-4
119 Tom Puckett, Butler T-Fall Peter McArthur, Myers Park, 15-0
125 Sam McArthur, Myers Park Dec Will Burch, Weddington, 9-2
130 Mark Judy, Ardrey Kell Dec Samir Hafiz, Providence, 5-0
135 Dalton Cunningham, Butler Dec Brian Snyder, East Mecklenburg, 7-2.
140 Joe Alkurd, Providence Dec Dillon Parker, Myers Park, 11-4.
145 Ron Howard, East Mecklenburg M-Dec Austin Long, Butler, 16-8.
152 Alan Braun, Butler Fall Matt Austin, South Mecklenburg, 2:25.
160 Nate Charest, Butler Dec Cody Hall, Ardrey Kell, 6-3.
171 Jordan Nevseta, Ardrey Kell M-Dec Joshua Boone, Butler, 12-1.
189 Bobby Warren, Myers Park Dec Austin Bumgarner, Butler, 4-2 OT.
215 George Haddock, Myers Park Dec Matt Bennett, Providence, 7-1.
285 James Briggs, Butler Dec Nathan Bernstein, Providence, 9-3.

Consolation
103 Domonique Myers, Independence Fall Scott Morgan, Myers Park, 1:34
112 Jeffrey Stevenson, Ardrey Kell Fall Ronnie Rindone, Butler, 1:15.
119 Mark Stein, Providence M-Dec Michael Basse, Ardrey Kell, 13-3.
125 Will Getsinger, Providence M-Dec Patrick Schular, South Mecklenburg, 10-2.
130 Alex Vesano, South Mecklenburg Fall Tony Ross, Myers Park, 2:00.
135 Clark O'Bannon, Myers Park Fall Payton Hall, Ardrey Kell, 0:59.
140 Ranson Lee, Butler Fall Kyle Koenig, Weddington, 1:57.
145 Evan Sparks, Providence Dec Matthew Conneran, Ardrey Kell, 7-2.
152 Wes Kepley, Providence Dec Devin Guest, Weddington, 7-1.
160 Aaron Bozman, South Mecklenburg Fall Patrick Cauthen, Myers Park, 2:22.
171 Joe Centrella, Weddington Dec Ali Shirzad, Myers Park, 7-3.
189 Christian Lowder, Weddington Dec Charles Singleton, Providence, 9-3.
215 Islam Abdelrahman, Independence Dec Jake Perkins, Weddington, 3-1 OT.
285 Devon Moore, East Mecklenburg Dec George Barnes, South Mecklenburg, 9-2.


ME-CA 7 4A wrestling tournament

Team Scores
1. Jay M. Robinson 225.50
2. Mallard Creek 164.00
3. West Charlotte 112.50
4. Hopewell 95.00
5. North Mecklenburg 75.00
6. Central Cabarrus 64.00
7. Vance 7.00

Most Outstanding Wrestler: Dominic Parisi, Jay M. Robinson.

Championship
103 Garrison White, Jay M. Robinson M-Dec Reggie Hogans, Mallard Creek, 16-2.
112 Caleb Swinson, Jay M. Robinson M-Dec Javonti England, West Charlotte, 9-0.
119 Dominic Parisi, Jay M. Robinson Dec Michaiah Miller, Mallard Creek, 8-6.
125 Jay Similton, Jay M. Robinson Dec Jeff Carothers, West Charlotte, 6-0.
130 Davonte Andujar, Jay M. Robinson M-Dec Steven Miller, Mallard Creek, 11-2.
135 James White, Jay M. Robinson M-Dec Kyle Walker, Hopewell, 12-2.
140 Jake Eldridge, Jay M. Robinson T-Fall John Scott, West Charlotte, 16-1.
145 Nick Constantino, Hopewell Dec Kyle Rasmussen, Mallard Creek, 5-0.
152 Shuntez Moore, Hopewell Fall JaThomas Williamson, West Charlotte, 5:04.
160 Zach Simpson, Jay M. Robinson Dec Carlos Moreno, Mallard Creek, 12-7.
171 Tyrell Walker, Mallard Creek Dec Nick Watson, Hopewell, 6-0.
189 Sean Mears, Jay M. Robinson Fall Alex Glover, Mallard Creek, 3:39.
215 Joey Navarra, North Mecklenburg Fall Johnny Moore, Central Cabarrus, 1:57.
285 Jonathan Hart, North Mecklenburg Fall Jarret Howard, West Charlotte, 3:12.

Consolation
103 Wesley Petrick, Hopewell Fall Xasouala Thoa, West Charlotte, 3:38.
112 Nick Houghton, Mallard Creek Fall Cole Garde, Central Cabarrus, 2:51.
119 Byron McIlwain, West Charlotte Dec Joe Acquarulo, Hopewell, 8-4.
125 James Ball, Mallard Creek Dec Tyler Frazier, North Mecklenburg, 8-2.
130 Joey DiDonato, North Mecklenburg Fall Danny Tito, Hopewell, 0:59.
135 Drew Benge, Mallard Creek Advanced through BYE.
140 Alex Huynh, Mallard Creek Dec Dylan Moses, Hopewell, 5-3.
145 Patrick Oakley, Jay M. Robinson M-Dec Josh Johnson, Central Cabarrus, 13-0.
152 Jarod Garrick, Central Cabarrus M-Dec Austin Dickey, Jay M. Robinson, 12-2.
160 Michael Mabry, West Charlotte Fall David Ervins, Central Cabarrus, 3:29.
171 Latham York, North Mecklenburg Dec Nathan Tesh, Jay M. Robinson, 5-2.
189 Travis Fraychineaud, Central Cabarrus Fall John Jeter, West Charlotte, 4:43.
215 Jonathan Beachy, Mallard Creek Fall Shawn Forbis, Jay M. Robinson, 2:40.
285 Jordan Taylor, Jay M. Robinson Dec Pablo Alva, Vance, 6-5.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Saturday: 3 conference wrestling tournaments

Three high school wrestling conference tournaments will be Saturday. Weigh-ins for each will be at 8 a.m., and wrestling will begin at 9:

-- Southwestern 4A, at East Mecklenburg: Butler has five wrestlers in the state rankings - Tom Puckett (119 pounds), Dalton Cunningham (135), Austin Long (145), Nate Charest (160) and Austin Bumgarner (189). Myers Park’s George Haddock is the state’s top-ranked 215-pounder in 4A, and teammates Clark O’Bannon (135), Robert Warren (171) and Samuel McArthur (125) are ranked.
Other ranked wrestlers are East Mecklenburg’s Peter Baseda (112), South Mecklenburg’s Garrett Woods (112), Ardrey Kell’s Mark Judy (130) and Jordan Nevseta (171), and Independence’s Jayme Watson (285).

-- ME-CA 7 4A, at Mallard Creek: Concord Robinson should dominate the lower weight classes. Dominic Parisi, a reigning state champion, is top-ranked in the state at 119 pounds, and Garrison White is No. 2 at 103 pounds. Other ranked Bulldogs are Jay Similton (125), James White (135), Jake Eldridge (140), Patrick Oakley (145) and Zac Simpson (160).
Other ranked wrestlers are Mallard Creek’s Michiah Miller (119) and Tyrell Walker (171) and Hopewell’s Joseph Acquarulo (119).

-- Queen City 3A/4A, at Berry: Charlotte Catholic’s Eric Hogue is No. 3 in the state 3A rankings at 145 pounds. Other ranked wrestlers are Catholic’s Zach Priester (130) and Waddell’s Tyler Gardner (145).

The top 16 wrestlers in each weight class in the region - based on their regular season won-loss percentage - will qualify for the individual regionals Feb.13-14.

Dual-team playoffs begin Tuesday. The dual-team championships will be Feb. 9.

The Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association tournament will be next Saturday at Charlotte Country Day.

Rock Hill and Rock Hill South Pointe will host first-round matches in the S.C. 4A dual team playoffs Monday. Lancaster will open the 4A playoffs on the road.

- Cliff Mehrtens

NCHSAA president Harrison resigns

CHAPEL HILL -- Dr. Bill Harrison, superintendent of the Cumberland County Schools, will resign as president of the N.C. High School Athletic Association, effective April 26.

NCHSAA executive director Charlie Adams received an email from Dr. Harrison on Thursday confirming his plans to resign. Harrison has recently been named chief executive of North Carolina's K-12 school system and chairman of the state Board of Education by Governor Beverly Perdue, and he wanted to see how those new duties might impact his NCHSAA responsibilities before he made a decision about his term.

Harrison said he selected April 26 because the Association's spring meeting of its board of directors on May 5-6 conflicts with the meeting of the State Board of Education, but he will still be able to fulfill many of the other responsibilities of his office prior to that.

Harrison will be involved with a number of NCHSAA events before leaving his post as president, including a recognition of the Association¹s 95th anniversary at the University of North Carolina basketball game on February 7, the NCHSAA state basketball championships on March 14, the North Carolina Athletic Directors¹ Association state meeting in late March and the NCHSAA Hall of Fame on April 25.

"This is a huge loss for the Association because you don¹t get a Bill Harrison very often," Adams said. "He is a consummate professional and one of the best ever to serve on our Board and as president. Bill has great people skills and is a wonderful communicator.

"He is very knowledgeable and has used his excellent athletic and education background along with his decision-making abilities to help the NCHSAA move forward in a number of ways. We¹ll certainly miss him in his role as president. Besides being a trusted colleague, though, Bill is also a dear friend. No association in the country could have better leadership from its president than we¹ve gotten in two different terms from Bill."

-- Observer Staff Reports

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kings Mountain to honor Yow

The Kings Mountain girls' basketball team will be wearing light pink shoe laces for the remainder of the season.

Coach Candace Fleming said a statement will be read at each game, including:

"It is to honor the late Kay Yow, the N.C. State coach who recently lost her long battle with breast cancer, all others who have fought battles with breast cancer, and those who are currently fighting battles with breast cancer."

"Kay Yow was a pioneer in leading women’s basketball to where we are today. Coach Yow was not only a role model in women’s basketball but for all women in athletics. "

- Cliff Mehrtens

Top-ranked wrestlers

Observer-area wrestlers in the top three of their weight class in N.C. Mat’s Super 32 rankings:

103 pounds
Garrison White, Concord Robinson (4A, second)
Ray Farnsworth, Hickory St. Stephens (3A, first)
John Benton, Monroe (1A/2A, first)

112 pounds
Robert Golde, Northwest Cabarrus (3A, third)

119 pounds
Dominic Parisi, Concord Robinson (4A, first)
Tom Puckett, Butler (4A, second)
Michiah Miller, Mallard Creek (4A, third)
Kurt Stephens, Hickory St. Stephens (3A, second)
Scottie Hardiman, Lenoir Hibriten (1A/2A, second)

125 pounds
Brett Boston, Morganton Freedom (4A, second)
Cody Stephens, Hickory St. Stephens (3A, second)
Cohl Fulk, Mount Pleasant (1A/2A, second)
Jordan Armstrong, Catawba Bandys (1A/2A, third)

130 pounds
Aaron Smith, Lake Norman (3A, second)
Aaron Plyler, East Rowan (3A, third)

135 pounds
Taylor Barber, West Lincoln (1A/2A, second)

140 pounds
Dylan Cala, Belmont South Point (3A, second)

145 pounds
Eric Hogue, Charlotte Catholic (3A, third)
Nick Albertson, Mount Pleasant (1A/2A, first)
Damond Kelly, Albemarle (1A/2A, third)

152 pounds
Josh Smith, Lake Norman (3A, third)

160 pounds
Dallas Winters, Morganton Freedom (4A, third)
Ethan Carter, Newton-Conover (1A/2A, second)

171 pounds
Chris Hill, Mooresville (3A, first)
Glen Self, West Lincoln (1A/2A, second)
Gilbert Rodriguez, Newton-Cononver (1A/2A, third)

189 pounds
Harrison Honeycutt, Lake Norman (3A, first)
Prath Bruton, Mooresville (3A, second)

215 pounds
George Haddock, Myers Park (4A, first)
Ben Schulz, East Burke (4A, second)
Nathan Lemings, Mooresville (3A, second)
Zoi Ouellette, Lenoir Hibriten (1A/2A, first)

285 pounds
Tyler Shatley, East Burke (4A, second)
Brock Durfee, Catawba Bandys (1A/2A, first)

-- Cliff Mehrtens

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

NCHSAA's Adams thinking retirement

Charlie Adams, 72, executive director of the N.C. High School Athletic Association, told the Observer Wednesday that he is strongly considering retirement.

Adams, who has has worked at the NCHSAA since he was 30, said he expects to make a decision next month about his future.

"My wife and I started talking over the Christmas holidays," said Adams, who is credited with creating one of the nation’s first high school endowment funds.

"We think we’re getting close. I started here in 1967 and I’ve got (more) longevity than any state association director in the country, and I need to be thinking about closing the chapter and turning the reigns over to someone."

The NCHSAA has a five-person committee of past presidents in place to begin a search for a successor, Adams said.

"I’ve always asked people, 'How do you know when it’s time to retire,’ " said Adams, who does not want toplay a role in naming a successor. "They say, 'You just know.’ I’ve never felt like I wanted to retire. But I’m starting to think that with the national travel, the state travel, all the things I’m doing over and over, that maybe it’s time to think about shutting down."

- Langston Wertz Jr.

Hickory Ridge has its' first signee

Hickory Ridge senior softball player Carson Andreotti signed with Limestone, and became the first athlete in school history to sign with a college.

Hickory Ridge is a second-year high school in Cabarrus County.

Andreotti, in addition to her athletic scholarship, was awarded the Limestone Founder's Academic Scholarship. She plans to study biology.

-- Cliff Mehrtens

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kannapolis Brown QB Lott commits to Appalachian State

Kannapolis Brown quarterback Jamill Lott committed to Appalachian State.

Lott, 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds, rushed for 1,065 yards and 14 touchdowns on 200 carries last season, and passed for 1,929 yards and 23 touchdowns. He helped the Wonders (13-3) reach the N.C. 3AA championship game.

Lott, who visited Appalachian State last weekend, also had an offer from Elon.


-- Cliff Mehrtens

Matt Beam is new football coach at Burns


Former North Lincoln head coach Matt Beam is the new coach at Lawndale Burns, Burns principal Gary Blake said Tuesday.

“We’re very excited about having Mr. Beam at Burns High School,” Blake said. “He’s proven to be a winner and that he can sustain a program.”

Beam led his teams to playoffs in each of his four years at North Lincoln , including the Knights' first playoff win and first double-digit winning season total in 2007.

Beam will teach physical education at Burns. He graduated from East Lincoln in 1995, where he was all-conference in football, basketball and track. He holds a degree in physical education from Appalachian State and has coached at East Lincoln and South Mecklenburg. He and his wife Ashley have two children: 3-year-old Jackson and 10-month-old Davis.

Beam said he hoped to start at his new school next month.

“I’m absolutely honored to go to such a great football school,” he said. “I look forward to getting up there and being a coach and teacher. I’m excited about having the opportunity to coach these young men.”

-- Langston Wertz Jr.

N.C. high school basketball polls

2009 NCPREPS.COM/HS MEDIA BOYS BASKETBALL POLLS

4A BOYS
1. Panther Creek (10) 17-1 - 153
2. Hopewell (6) 18-0 – 149
3. Enloe 18-1 – 120
4. Vance 16-1 – 108
5. Seventy-First 17-0 - 96
6. Mount Tabor 17-1 – 90
7. North Meck 14-4 – 54
8. Terry Sanford 17-2 – 50
9. Middle Creek 15-3 – 30
10. Freedom 16-2 – 17
HONORABLE MENTION: Athens Drive (15-2) – 5; Pinecrest (14-3) – 5; Clayton (14-3) – 3;


3A BOYS
1. Kinston (13) 15-2 – 157
2. Dudley (3) 16-1 – 147
3. Concord 15-1 – 123
4. Ragsdale 17-1 – 113
5. Northern Vance 14-1 – 93
6. Jacksonville 16-1 – 62
7. Lake Norman 15-1 – 57
8. West Rowan 14-2 - 51
9. Hickory 15-2 - 35
10. D.H. Conley 15-1 – 20
HONORABLE MENTION: South Central (14-1) – 15; Fike (11-2) – 4; Northern Guilford (14-3) - ; Northwest Cabarrus (14-3) – 2; Erwin (14-3) – 1;


2A BOYS
1. West Bladen (10) 16-1 – 153
2. Smoky Mountain (6) 16-0 - 145
3. Salisbury 16-1 – 124
4. Forest Hills 15-1 – 109
5. Reidsville 14-1 - 96
6. Shelby 14-2 – 86
7. West Caldwell 14-3 – 63
8. East Lincoln 14-4 - 33
9. Ashe County 13-3 – 269. Cummings 11-5 - 26
10. East Rutherford 13-4 – 17

HONORABLE MENTION: Bessemer City (14-3) – 8; East Duplin (10-4) – 2; Northwood (9-2) - 1; Providence Grove (12-5) – 1;


1A BOYS
1. Murphy (14) 16-0 – 157
2. Jordan-Matthews (1) 17-2 – 142
3. Bishop McGuinness 16-1 – 130
4. Winston-Salem Prep (1) 12-11 – 82
5. Pamlico – 12-2 - 78
6. Mount Airy 14-3 – 76
7. Topsail 14-3 – 58
8. Cherryville 14-6 - 45
9. Thomasville 6-3 – 43
10. Jones Senior 9-3 – 36
HONORABLE MENTION: Rocky Mount Prep (21-4) – 16; Nantahala (15-3) – 7; Weldon (13-1) - 6; South Stanly (11-2) - 6; Pender (16-3) - 2; Albemarle (10-4) – 2; Union (13-4) - 1;

2009 NCPREPS.COM/HS MEDIA GIRLS BASKETBALL POLLS

4A GIRLS
1. Wakefield (12) 17-1 – 153
2. Butler (3) 17-1 – 142
3. South View 18-1 – 124
3. Apex (1) 15-0 – 124
5. West Charlotte 15-3 – 78
5. East Meck 16-2 – 78
7. Mount Tabor 15-1 – 64
8. Freedom 15-2 – 47
9. Hoggard 15-1 – 40
10. Broughton 14-3 – 17
HONORABLE MENTION: E.E. Smith (15-3) – 9; McDowell (13-4) – 5;

3A GIRLS
1. South Central (12) 15-0 – 154
2. Hickory (2) 17-0 – 144
3. Western Harnett (2) 18-0 – 121
4. Statesville 15-2 – 103
5. Forestview 14-4 – 77
6. J.F. Webb 13-0 - 67
7. Concord 14-3 – 57
8. Beddingfield 14-3 – 51
9. Dudley 11-3 – 30
10. T.C. Roberson 13-4 – 24
HONORABLE MENTION: Porter Ridge (14-2) – 23; Eastern Alamance (12-1) – 15; Charlotte Catholic (15-2) – 7; Piedmont (14-4) – 4; Rocky Mount (12-4) – 4;

2A GIRLS
1. East Davidson (16) 18-0 – 160
2. Salisbury 15-1 – 139
3. Shelby 16-1 - 117
4. Mitchell 14-2 - 109
5. North Stanly 15-1 – 96
6. Graham 14-1 – 92
7. Ashe County 16-1 - 54
8. East Rutherford 15-3 - 43
9. SW Onslow 13-2 – 25
10. Northside-Jax 14-2 - 12
HONORABLE MENTION: Smoky Mountain (13-3) – 11; Bandys (15-3) - 6; Pisgah (11-5) - 5; Pasquotank (12-2) – 4; North Lenoir (12-2) – 3; Draughn (15-3) – 2; Starmount (14-4) – 1; Cummings (10-4) – 1; North Surry (13-3) – 1;

1A GIRLS
1. River Mill (9) 20-1 - 152
2. Bishop McGuinness (6) 13-4 – 142
3. Robbinsville (1) 16-1 – 126
4. East Surry 16-2 – 110
5. East Bladen 11-2 – 97
6. Chatham Central 13-3 – 73
7. Williamston 9-1 - 51
8. Hiwassee Dam 15-5 - 50
9. East Columbus 15-1 - 23
10. East Wilkes 14-4 – 17
HONORABLE MENTION: Weldon 11-2) – 10; Thomasville (7-4) – 9; Winston-Salem Prep (13-8) – 7; Union (11-2) - 5; Mount Airy (12-5) – 4; Rosman (12-4) – 3; Jones Senior (7-1) – 1;

Exemplary athletes from the neighborhood

I live on a fairly small block – 12 houses – but we’re blessed with three athletes I often use as a teaching example.

Our block is awash with kids, ages 1 to high school. On many days, there are more than 10 swirling around. The street serves as basketball court, hockey rink, race course and chalkboard.

Rachel Wirth, her younger brother Joe, and Mallory Parke are high-school athletes who have the eyes of the younger set on them. My son Jack (he’s 10) is a budding athlete, and whenever we can, my wife and I drop reminders of what’s important.

“I bet Joe eats vegetables. You need that for soccer on hot days.”

“Mallory keeps her grades up, and I bet there’s plenty of times she’s tired after swimming, but she still does her homework.”

“See Rachel running in the offseason.”

It has more impact when he can see and knows an example, rather than seeing some overhyped professional on SportsCenter.

None of our three neighbors is a superstar on their varsity teams, but most kids aren’t. They’re solid citizens, contribute to their teams, and more importantly, don’t have the 9-to-11-year-old set asking about the wrong things.

Rachel Wirth (now a sophomore at Virginia Tech) played soccer at Charlotte Catholic. Joe Wirth is a junior, and was on Catholic’s state championship soccer team last fall. Mallory Parke is a sophomore swimmer at Myers Park.

I realize some day Rachel, Joe and Mallory will be off to college, careers and the adventurous world of adulthood.

But for now, I’m glad they’re around.

They’re going through plenty of normal teen stuff, and we hear about the occasional bumps from their parents. I know that’s my future. My son and his buddies will be the high-schoolers on the street, and those 7’s and 8’s will be looking up to them.

So, Rachel, Joe and Mallory, keep up the good work. You’re aware of the adults who’re helping you stay in line, but the little eyes are watching too.

For what they see, I’m grateful.

Your neighbor,
Cliff

Monday, January 26, 2009

Catholic swimmers: A perfect 22-of-22

Charlotte Catholic was perfect in the Queen City 3A/4A swimming meet.

The Cougars won all 22 events – 11 in the girls’ meet and 11 in the boys’ meet.

The conference swimmers of the year? Catholic’s Erin Gaeckle (girls) and Kit Frederick and Chase Haislip (tied for boys’).

The all-conference teams? Seven Catholic girls and seven Catholic boys.

Catholic’s winners:

GIRLS
200-yard medley relay: Erin Gaeckle, Christen McDonough, Cara Gilligan and Becca Clark.
200 freestyle: Erin Gaeckle
200 individual medley: Becca Clark.
50 freestyle: Ashlyn Koletic.
100 butterfly: Cara Gilligan.
100 freestyle: Erin Gaeckle.
500 freestyle: Julia Neal.
200 freestyle relay: Ashlyn Koletic, Allie Miller, Julia Neal and Christen McDonough.
100 backstroke: Allie Miller.
100 breaststroke: Christen McDonough.
400 freestyle relay: Erin Gaeckle, Allie Miller, Ashlyn Koletic and Becca Clark.

BOYS
200-yard medley relay: Kit Frederick, Jonathan Peterson, J.C. Dellamea and Chase Haislip.
200 freestyle: J.C. Dellamea.
200 individual medley: Jonathan Peterson.
50 freestyle: Chase Haislip.
100 butterfly: J.C. Dellamea.
100 freestyle: Kit Frederick.
500 freestyle: Jonathan Peterson.
200 freestyle relay: Kevin Kirby, Ryan Begley, Tyler Drudick and J.C. Dellamea.
100 backstroke: Kit Frederick.
100 breaststroke: Chase Haislip.
400 freestyle relay: Chase Haislip, Jonathan Peterson, Ryan Begley and Kit Frederick.

The girls’ all-conference team:
Becca Clark, Erin Gaeckle, Cara Gilligan, Ashlyn Koletic, Christen McDonough, Allie Miller and Julia Neal.

The boys’ all-conference team:
Kit Frederick, J.C Dellamea, Chase Haislip, Jonathan Peterson, Kevin Kirby, Ryan Begley and Tyler Drudick.

-- Cliff Mehrtens

Free admission for Ardrey Kell students

Admission will be free for Ardrey Kell students at the home wrestling match Tuesday against East Mecklenburg.

It is part of Ardrey Kell's "Senior Night" celebration.

-- Cliff Mehrtens

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Concord's E.Z. Smith resigns after 29 seasons

E.Z. Smith, the fabric of Concord High football for 29 seasons, resigned as coach Saturday.

Smith, 55, began in 1980 at the school where he played football. He coached state championship teams in 2004 and 2006, and had a 254-100-1 record. More importantly, Smith said, he was able to leave on his terms.

“I began thinking about it after the 2006 season, but decided to take it one year at a time,” he said. “I want to teach next school year to get my 30 years, and be eligible for retirement. But I didn’t want a farewell tour. I wanted to do what’s best for the entire school and football program. It’s time for new leadership. We’re headed into a new conference, with realignment. The kids need someone to re-excite them.”

Smith made his announcement at a football banquet Saturday night. He said he plans to spend more time with his family – his wife Pat is a principal, his mother lives in Concord and his daughter is a teacher in Charlotte.

Smith, who said “I’ll always be a Spider,” coached several second-generation players, and grandchildren of men he played against. He coached his son E.Z. IV (called “Z”), an all-state lineman, and watched his daughter Audrey Lee star at basketball at Concord.

“I don’t know many men who get to live their dream, but I have,” Smith said. “It’s like I told the kids, on your tombstone they have the start date and the end date. But the key is that dash in between, the time you build relationships and have opportunities to help mold young people. The greatest job in the world is being a teacher. You get to help 13- and 14-year-old boys and girls develop into 17- and 18-year-old men and women, grow and give back to the community.”

“The greatest compliment is when a father or mother entrusts you to help raise their child as a football player, cheerleader or student.”

Concord rallied from a 0-3 start to win 13 straight games and the N.C. 3A championship in 2006. Last season, the Spiders were 3-7, just the second losing season in Smith’s tenure.

Smith said he won’t have a voice in determining his replacement, instead letting principal Carla Black and athletics director George Walker decide. He said he hasn’t ruled out a return to coaching, perhaps on the college level, but when he’s finished teaching he wants to work on his golf game, take a vacation and have quality time with his family.

“Change is good, because growth takes place,” Smith said. “I’m going to be the best cheerleader for Concord that I can be, and support them every way I can. I hope what I’ll leave behind – and the wins and losses come and go – will be the relationships developed at the school. I loved the kids, and outside of my family and church, gave every fleeting moment to that high school.”

-- Cliff Mehrtens

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lake Norman chases swim championship

The Lake Norman swimming team is used to winning almost everything it competes. This year, has been no different as both the girls’ and boys’ squads are a perfect 12-0 going into the North Piedmont Conference (NPC) tournament Tuesday.

The Wildcat boys’, state runner-up a year ago, will be swimming for their 2nd NPC crown this week and their fourth in the last seven years with their major competition coming from Northwest Cabarrus.

The boys are led by freshman Logan Heck, whose times in both the 200 Individual Medley (IM) and 100 fly are already on par with former all-state Wildcat Austin Johnson (who graduated last year).

“Logan (Heck) could end up being the best swimmer ever (at Lake Norman),” Lake Norman coach Karen Steger said. “His times are pretty much as good as Austin’s were his senior year (2007-08). It’s almost scary.”

The Wildcat boys’ team will also need strong performances from sophomores Tyler Hill and Michael Glenn as well as freshman Reed Wheeler if they want to win states.

“My boys want to win states and I think there only goal right now,” Steger said. “Anything less I think would be a disappointment to them.”

Meanwhile, Steger’s girls’ squad is nearly equally as talented.

The Wildcats girls’, who finished sixth in the state last season, have won six NPC crowns in a row. Like the boys, the girls’ have two standout freshman in Sierra Johnson, Austin’s sister, and Heather Isetts. Lake Norman will depend on sophomore Haley Powell to lead the way.

“Both have a shot to win state (championship,” Steger said, whose boys are 125-17 and girls’ 135-7 in seven years as a program. “I can’t believe it, because we have so much talent, and we’re so young.”

-- Observer News Services

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dad's new job costs Providence a swimmer

The Indianapolis Colts’ gain was the Providence High swimming team’s loss.

The Colts promoted Frank Reich (former Panthers quarterback) to quarterbacks coach last week. His family lives in Charlotte, where daughter Aviry was a standout member of Providence’s swim team.

Reich had worked in Indianapolis all season as an offensive assistant, but the family remained in Charlotte. At the Christmas break, they all moved to Indiana.

“I wish she could have stayed through the swimming season,” Providence coach Sandy Martin said. “But I understand. “If our girls want to do it, we’ll need others to step up in Aviry’s place.”


-- Cliff Mehrtens

Time change for ME-CA 7 4A swim meet

The ME-CA 7 4A swim meet has been changed to 2:15 p.m. Saturday, because several athletes will be taking the SAT that morning.

The meet, originally scheduled for 9 a.m., will be at the Huntersville Aquatic Center.


-- Cliff Mehrtens

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cox Mill High hires its first two coaches

Cox Mill, a high school scheduled to open in Cabarrus County in July, hired its football and boys’ basketball coaches.

Greg Neuendorf, 27, is the new football coach. He spent the past three years at Churchill High in Potomac, Md, and was 10-10 in two seasons as head coach.

“The biggest challenge will be starting from scratch,” Neuendorf said. “When you take a job, normally you know that program’s strengths and weaknesses. But the people in the community are excited about football. They’re used to success, and us being split out of Northwest Cabarrus (High), we’ll want to keep that going.”

Cox Mill will be part of the new 3A conference of all Cabarrus schools next school year, including Central Cabarrus, Hickory Ridge, Concord Robinson, Mount Pleasant, Northwest Cabarrus, Concord and Kannapolis Brown.

Brad Hinson was hired as boys’ basketball coach. He is an assistant at Concord Robinson, and the junior varsity boys’ coach.

“I know at first it’s going to be difficult,” said Hinson, 27. “We won’t have a senior class. And we’ll have kids coming from different schools, so they’ll all be learning a new system.”

Neuendorf said he’s working on finding a nearby school to set up a weighlifting site for players. Hinson said summer will be important for his players and himself to learn about each other and bond.

Cox Mill will have an informational meeting for interested athletes and parents, in all sports, at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 29. Neuendorf and Hinson will be in attendance. The meeting will be at Cox Road Elementary's cafeteria, 1450 Cox Mill Rd., in Concord.


-- Cliff Mehrtens

Langston Wertz Jr. answers reader questions

Observer reporter Langston Wertz Jr. answers your sports-related questions.
Have one? Post it at the end of this blog or e-mail lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

Some questions are edited for clarity and brevity.

Missed a Q&A? Click here. Or here.

Q. What do you think of these moves (Independence coach Tom Knotts going back to mainly coaching defense and former West Charlotte coach Aaron Brand coaching offense) at Independence?

It gives a man like Knotts a new challenge and maybe he needs that. He’s won so much and so often and I think he does want to win another ring, but maybe win it another way. I think he’s committed to shoring up Indy’s defense and thinks of Brand as a young Tom Knotts. That said, I think Knotts will still call his share of offensive plays. But with DC Bill Geiler and OC Jon Strong now retired, Knotts desperately needed a No. 2 he can trust. Brand is that guy, obviously.

Q. Langston, what's the deal at Vance and West Charlotte? Also what does this move mean for the rest of the state? Who are the best teams now? I thought TK was out. This changes stuff.

Vance and West Charlotte have important openings. I’m not sure who will get either job. It’s been really quiet on those fronts. What does the Independence thing mean for the rest of the state? It means Indy isn’t dead or going anywhere. The state title road will likely still have to run through the Patriots at some point (though maybe not directly anymore).

Q. Brand is a big loss for West Charlotte. Why would the school let this guy go? What happened?

I was disappointed to see that, but there are lots of internal things that happened at West Charlotte that turned that thing into a bad marriage. The Lions will now have their fourth coach in four years. That’s rough on a young team.

Q. Langston, are u coming back to Hopewell Friday? We've got something for your so-called No.1 team in waiting.“

As you probably know, I did attend the game and your North team played well in the third quarter and rallied from a double digit deficit but was outscored 22-4 in the fourth. Good news for North fans? You’ve got Hopewell and Vance at home next month. Win both, and not be upset anywhere else, and your chance at winning at least a share of back-to-back league titles is great.

Q. You didn't answer the part about your top 5 boys and girls coaches. C'mon Langston. Fess up.

The writer is referring to the last Q&A blog when he asked about, and I answered his query, about top hoop programs. I think down the line, I’ll answer this question, in the paper, in a more definite and historical way.

Q. what does your Sweet 16 for football look like next year, and what do you think of Reggie Price at Lake Norman?

A little surprised that Price isn’t a full-time starter, but he’s playing well for a deep unbeaten team that has a HUGE game tonight (Wednesday 1/21) at West Rowan, likely for a league title.

Sweet 16 football? Too early to tell, but thinking back, I’d say Boiling Springs Crest, Butler, Charlotte Christian, Independence, Mallard Creek, Rock Hill Northwestern, West Charlotte (assuming everyone returns and a good coach comes in) and West Rowan look like some of the power teams.

Q. Mr. Wertz, I respectfully disagree with your pick as the best team ever out of West Charlotte (1999). I am a Harding Alum (1988) so my opinion is not favorable to either. I think player for player (starting 5) the '85 or '86 team I can't remember was better.

The ’86 Lions team that went unbeaten was a bit of shock, even to legendary coach Charles McCullough. They were undersized, a little like this year’s Vance team, except in 6-4 center Kevin Reid, they had a dominant post presence. The ’99 Lions were dominant. They lost to Oak Hill and then national power Mount Zion team, two teams that recruited nationwide. The Lions nearly beat Mount Zion and blitzed nearly everyone else. The ’99 team is the best public school team I’ve ever seen.

Q. I have looked at some of the comments weekly from the beginning of the season and i would just like to add a comment about who you thought were the top 5 schools. You were right about vance and hopewell but east meck was blown out this season by west meck by 43 points and i did not see any comments about that tremendous victory or any comments about the best teams this year. Will you start reporting on what's going on know and give props to the schools that you leave out weekly and the player's in the charlotte area that are putting up the numbers and stats to prove they are the best and stop reporting on the school's that just have the name for past player's. Put the player's in the news that consistantly shine every game i haven't seen any in the news, especially the schools from the west side of Chatlotte. Thanks.

I thought we were. We do a GameDay section twice a week where we talk about a lot of westside kids and we’re covering 3-4 games per week, where we have done West Charlotte and West Meck and Harding. What am I missing?

Q. Langston, is Ruark being fired at Myers Park? This is rumor going round, and what's going on at Indy with boys basketball? I heard Spaz is ill.

That’s a big rumor on Ruark but not true. Former Independence basketball coach Kancho Spasoff is sick. You are correct there. I wish him a speedy, speedy recovery.

Swimmers, take your mark !

Conference swimming champions in Charlotte will begin being crowned Thursday, the first of three consecutive days of meets.
On Thursday, the Queen City 3A/4A meet will be at 6:30 p.m. at the uptown Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.
On Friday, the Southwesternm 4A meet will be at 6 p.m., also at MCAC.
On Saturday, the ME-CA 7 4A meet will be at 9 a.m. at the Huntersville Aquatic Center.

The regional meets will be Feb. 7, and the state championships will be Feb. 14.

-- Cliff Mehrtens

Langston Wertz answers reader questions

Observer reporter Langston Wertz Jr. answers your sports-related questions. Have one? Post it at the end of this blog or e-mail lwertz@charlotteobserver.com. Some questions are edited for clarity and brevity.

Missed a Q&A? Click here. Or here.

Q. What do you think of these moves (Independence coach Tom Knotts going back to mainly coaching defense and former West Charlotte coach Aaron Brand coaching offense) at Independence?

It gives a man like Knotts a new challenge and maybe he needs that. He’s won so much and so often and I think he does want to win another ring, but maybe win it another way. I think he’s committed to shoring up Indy’s defense and thinks of Brand as a young Tom Knotts. That said, I think Knotts will still call his share of offensive plays. But with DC Bill Geiler and OC Jon Strong now retired, Knotts desperately needed a No. 2 he can trust. Brand is that guy, obviously.

Q. Langston, what's the deal at Vance and West Charlotte? Also what does this move mean for the rest of the state? Who are the best teams now? I thought TK was out. This changes stuff.

Vance and West Charlotte have important openings. I’m not sure who will get either job. It’s been really quiet on those fronts. What does the Independence thing mean for the rest of the state? It means Indy isn’t dead or going anywhere. The state title road will likely still have to run through the Patriots at some point (though maybe not directly anymore).

Q. Brand is a big loss for West Charlotte. Why would the school let this guy go? What happened?

I was disappointed to see that, but there are lots of internal things that happened at West Charlotte that turned that thing into a bad marriage. The Lions will now have their fourth coach in four years. That’s rough on a young team.

Q. Langston, are u coming back to Hopewell Friday? We've got something for your so-called No.1 team in waiting.

“As you probably know, I did attend the game and your North team played well in the third quarter and rallied from a double digit deficit but was outscored 22-4 in the fourth. Good news for North fans? You’ve got Hopewell and Vance at home next month. Win both, and not be upset anywhere else, and your chance at winning at least a share of back-to-back league titles is great.

Q. You didn't answer the part about your top 5 boys and girls coaches. C'mon Langston. Fess up.

The writer is referring to the last Q&A blog when he asked about, and I answered his query, about top hoop programs. I think down the line, I’ll answer this question, in the paper, in a more definite and historical way.

Q. what does your Sweet 16 for football look like next year, and what do you think of Reggie Price at Lake Norman?

A little surprised that Price isn’t a full-time starter, but he’s playing well for a deep unbeaten team that has a HUGE game Wednesday at West Rowan, likely for a league title. Sweet 16 football? Too early to tell, but thinking back, I’d say Boiling Springs Crest, Butler, Charlotte Christian, Independence, Mallard Creek, Rock Hill Northwestern, West Charlotte (assuming everyone returns and a good coach comes in) and West Rowan look like some of the power teams.

Q. Mr. Wertz, I respectfully disagree with your pick as the best team ever out of West Charlotte (1999). I am a Harding Alum (1988) so my opinion is not favorable to either. I think player for player (starting 5) the '85 or '86 team I can't remember was better.

The ’86 Lions team that went unbeaten was a bit of shock, even to legendary coach Charles McCullough. They were undersized, a little like this year’s Vance team, except in 6-4 center Kevin Reid, they had a dominant post presence. The ’99 Lions were dominant. They lost to Oak Hill and then national power Mount Zion team, two teams that recruited nationwide. The Lions nearly beat Mount Zion and blitzed nearly everyone else. The ’99 team is the best public school team I’ve ever seen.”

Q. I have looked at some of the comments weekly from the beginning of the season and i would just like to add a comment about who you thought were the top 5 schools. You were right about vance and hopewell but east meck was blown out this season by west meck by 43 points and i did not see any comments about that tremendous victory or any comments about the best teams this year. Will you start reporting on what's going on know and give props to the schools that you leave out weekly and the player's in the charlotte area that are putting up the numbers and stats to prove they are the best and stop reporting on the school's that just have the name for past player's. Put the player's in the news that consistantly shine every game i haven't seen any in the news, especially the schools from the west side of Chatlotte. Thanks.

I thought we were. We do a GameDay section twice a week where we talk about a lot of westside kids and we’re covering 3-4 games per week, where we have done West Charlotte and West Meck and Harding. What am I missing?

Q. Langston, is Ruark being fired at Myers Park? This is rumor going round, and what's going on at Indy with boys basketball? I heard Spaz is ill.

That’s a big rumor on Ruark but not true. Former Independence basketball coach Kancho Spasoff is sick. You are correct there. I wish him a speedy, speedy recovery.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Central Cabarrus football coach resigns

Glenn Cook has resigned as football coach at Central Cabarrus High after a 1-10 season.
The Vikings’ lone victory came via a forfeit by Mallard Creek. Central Cabarrus was 0-11 on the field, and was outscored 457-34.
Cook was 20-50 in six seasons.
Central Cabarrus’ best season under Cook was 2005, when it was 7-6 and qualified for the N.C. 4A playoffs. The Vikings also reached the playoffs in 2007.

- Cliff Mehrtens

Independence to play South Pointe

Independence High will play nationally ranked Rock Hill South Pointe in a high school football game Sept. 4 in Rock Hill.

South Pointe, the 2008 Sweet 16 champion, won the S.C. 4A Division II state championship under coach Bobby Carroll last season.

Independence, which has won seven of the past nine state championships in North Carolina's highest classification, lost to Richmond Senior in the state semifinals.

Patriots athletics director Kelly Lewis said the teams signed a two-year agreement and will play in Charlotte in 2010. The Patriots will also play ME-CA 7 4A power Mallard Creek next season on Aug. 21. That is another two-year agreement.

Independence's other non-conference games are against Hopewell (Aug. 28), Vance (Sept. 11) and West Charlotte (Sept. 18).

- Langston Wertz Jr.

Snow postpones some prep games

Prep Reschedules

Tuesday’s snow event in North Carolina forced changes to the high school sports schedule. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools were off for exams.

BASKETBALL

Albemarle at W. Stanly, ppd, Wed, 6 p.m.
Belmont South Point at Boiling Springs Crest, Wed, 6 p.m.
Bessemer City at N. Lincoln, ppd, Feb. 9
Draughn at Cherryville, Wed, 6 p.m.
Concord First Assembly at Northside, ppd, Date TBA
E. Gaston at Gastonia Forestview, Wed, 6 p.m.
Gaffney at Fort Mill, Wed, 6
Greystone Day at N. Stanly, ppd, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.
Morganton Freedom at East Burke, ppd, Wed, 6 p.m.
Kings Mountain at R-S Central, ppd, Wed, 6 p.m.
Providence Day at Charlotte Christian, ppd, Feb. 21 (tentative)
West Lincoln at Highland Tech, ppd, Feb. 4

WRESTLING

East Burke at Morganton Freedom, ppd, Wednesday, 5 p.m.
R-S Central at Kings Mountain, ppd, Thursday, 6:30 p.m.

Note: Iredell-Statesville schools had no games scheduled for Tuesday, but had a full slate scheduled for Wednesday. The system has not made a decision about Wednesday’s games yet. Here are the games scheduled for today: West Iredell at Statesville; Lincolnton at South Iredell; East Rowan at North Iredell; Lake Norman at West Rowan.Rowan.

N.C. State basketball polls

2009 NCPREPS.COM/HS MEDIA BOYS BASKETBALL POLLS



4A BOYS



1. Panther Creek (11) 16-1 – 160

2. Hopewell (6) 17-0 – 159

3. Enloe 17-1 - 116

4. Vance 15-1 - 112

5. Mount Tabor 16-1 - 101

5. Seventy-First 16-0 - 101

7. North Meck 13-4 - 66

8. Terry Sanford 16-2 - 34

9. Middle Creek 14-3 - 23

10. Freedom 15-2 – 16



HONORABLE MENTION: West Meck (13-3) - 15; Athens Drive (14-2) - 15; West Forsyth (13-2) - 8; Pinecrest (13-3) - 8; North Forsyth (n/a) - 1;



3A BOYS



1. Kinston (14) 14-2 - 166

2. Dudley (3) 13-1 - 155

3. Lake Norman 15-0 - 130

4. Concord 14-1 - 113

5. Ragsdale 15-1 - 98

6. Northern Vance 13-1 - 81

7. D.H. Conley 13-0 - 78

8. Jacksonville 14-1 - 45

9. Hickory 13-2 - 35

10. West Rowan 12-2 – 18



HONORABLE MENTION: J.F. Webb (14-1) - 9; Erwin (13-3) - 4; South Central (13-1) - 2; NW Cabarrus (12-3) - 1; Williams (10-3) - 1;



2A BOYS



1. West Bladen (11) 15-1 - 160

2. Shelby (3) 14-1 - 149

3. Smoky Mountain (3) 14-0 - 144

4. Salisbury 15-1 - 113

5. Forest Hills 15-1 - 88

6. Reidsville 13-1 - 69

7. West Caldwell 12-3 - 66

8. Ashe County 12-2 - 62

9. Bessemer City 14-2 - 27

10. Cummings 9-4 – 24

10. East Lincoln 13-4 – 24



HONORABLE MENTION: Northwood (7-1) - 7; Clinton (10-4) - 3; East Rutherford (12-3) - 2; Providence Grove (11-5) - 1; West Stokes (13-4) - 1;



1A BOYS



1. Murphy (15) 13-0 - 166

2. Jordan-Matthews (2) 16-1 - 153

3. Bishop McGuinness 15-1 - 139

4. Mount Airy 13-2 - 108

5. Pamlico 11-2 - 87

6. Winston-Salem Prep 11-11 - 63

7. Topsail 13-3 - 57

8. Thomasville 4-3 - 44

9. Cherryville 12-6 - 41

10. Jones Senior 9-3 – 21



HONORABLE MENTION: Rocky Mount Prep (20-4) – 19; Camden County (12-3) - 12; Nantahala (14-3) - 10; Albemarle (7-3) - 9; East Surry (n/a) - 6; Union (11-4) - 2; Hendersonville (7-4) - 1;







2009 NCPREPS.COM/HS MEDIA GIRLS BASKETBALL POLLS



4A GIRLS



1. Wakefield (15) 16-1 - 166

2. Butler (2) 16-1 - 148

3. South View 17-1 - 133

4. Apex 14-0 - 121

5. West Charlotte 14-3 - 93

6. East Meck 13-2 - 87

7. Mount Tabor 14-1 - 72

8. Freedom 15-2 - 41

9. Hoggard 14-1 - 33

10. Broughton 13-3 - 12



HONORABLE MENTION: E.E. Smith (14-3) - 10; Athens Drive (14-3) - 6; Lumberton (14-2) - 5; Westover (12-2) - 3; McDowell (11-4) - 3; A.C. Reynolds (12-3) - 1;



3A GIRLS



1. South Central (14) 14-0 - 166

2. Hickory (2) 15-0 - 152

3. Western Harnett (1) 17-0 - 123

4. Concord 14-2 - 119

5. Statesville 13-2 - 83

6. Forestview 12-4 - 65

7. Beddingfield 13-3 - 46

8. J.F. Webb 12-0 - 43

9. Dudley n/a - 42

10. T.C. Roberson 12-4 - 32



HONORABLE MENTION: Eastern Alamance (11-1) - 26; Porter Ridge (13-2) - 12; Piedmont (13-4) - 11; Rockingham County (14-2) - 9; Charlotte Catholic (14-2) - 3; Rocky Mount (n/a) - 3; SW Edgecombe (n/a) - 2;



2A GIRLS



1. East Davidson (17) 16-0 - 170

2. Salisbury 14-1 - 151

3. Mitchell 14-1 - 131

4. Shelby 15-1 - 117

5. North Stanly 14-1 - 97

6. Graham 12-1 - 96

7. SW Onslow 13-1 - 67

8. East Rutherford 14-2 - 49

9. Smoky Mountain 12-1 - 34

10. Ashe County 14-1 - 11



HONORABLE MENTION: Edenton Holmes (12-2) - 3; Northside-Jax (13-2) - 3; Cummings (8-3) - 2: North Lenoir (12-2) - 1; Ledford (12-3) - 1; Orange (12-4) - 1; Pisgah (n/a) - 1;



1A GIRLS



1. River Mill (5) 20-1 - 157

2. Bishop McGuinness (12) 13-4 - 145

3. Robbinsville 14-1 - 121

4. East Surry 15-2 - 114

5. East Bladen 10-2 - 111

6. Chatham Central n/a - 76

7. Hiwassee Dam 14-5 - 65

8. Williamston 8-1 - 47

9. East Wilkes 13-3 - 28

10. Mount Airy 10-4 - 18



HONORABLE MENTION: Union (11-2) - 15; Pender (10-2) - 10; Thomasville (6-3) - 9; East Columbus (n/a) - 7; Rosman (11-4) - 4; Winston-Salem Prep (12-8) - 3; Weldon (n/a) - 3; Polk County (9-4) - 1; Jones Senior (7-1) - 1;

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Butler to play Mount Tabor in football

Butler High's football team continued to upgrade its 2009 schedule, agreeing to a two-year agreement to play N.C. 4A power Mount Tabor.

The teams will play Aug. 21 at Butler. In 2010, the game will be Aug. 20 at Mount Tabor, Butler athletics director Jim Boone said.

Butler earlier signed a two-year agreement with N.C. 4AA state champion Richmond Senior. The teams will meet Sept. 11 in Rockingham and will play at Butler in 2010.

The Bulldogs' other non-conference games are against Vance and ME-CA 7 4A champion West Charlotte.

- Langston Wertz Jr.

Knotts to return, with Brand as assistant

Tom Knotts told the Observer Thursday morning he plans to return next season as Independence High's football coach.

Knotts has also hired former West Charlotte coach Aaron Brand as his offensive coordinator. Brand, 34, was fired from his job as Lions head coach after the 2008 season despite winning the school's first conference championship since 1999. Brand, whose West Charlotte team finished 9-4 last season while starting four seniors, was named conference coach of the year by the ME-CA 7 coaches.

West Charlotte principal John Modest told the Observer he wanted to make a change in head coaches "to go in a different direction."

In the fall, West Charlotte will have a new coach for the fourth time in four years.

At Independence, Brand reunites with Knotts, who coached under Knotts for three seasons before taking the job at West Charlotte in the spring of 2008.

"I think he's a great coach," Knotts said. "I think he's a star."

Read more about this developing story in Friday's Observer.

-- Langston Wertz Jr.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Q&A with Langston Wertz Jr.

Observer reporter Langston Wertz Jr. answers your sports-related questions. Have one? Post it at the end of this blog or e-mail lwertz@charlotteobserver.com Some questions are edited for clarity and brevity.

Missed a Q&A? Click here: http://prepinsiders.blogspot.com/2008/12/wertz-q-richmond-senior-upset.html

Q. Langston, I have to agree with you about the start time of prep basketball games. It’s a lot worse for those of us who have more cross-county games than in CMS. My son gets home sometimes after midnight on weekdays and they’ll have two games a week. It’s terrible. How can we get this changed?

“I think this is one of the biggest issues we need to fix in high school sports – and one of the most obvious. We can’t say we want kids to learn on the one hand and then have them playing road games that start so late. I’ve covered one game this year that didn’t start until after 9 p.m. Why? The boys' junior varsity game went to triple overtime. So fans arrive at 6:45 to see the girls' game and see boys junior varsity for 30 minutes. No one wants that. I wouldn’t want my son out to midnight on a school night. He’d be – guess what – sleepy when I woke him at 5:30 or 6 for school. And don’t forget the coaches and ADs and custodial crews who have to stay longer than the kids.
How to fix it? Write to your school board. In Charlotte, I would contact the school board, the schools’ athletic director and the superintendent. You can find their contact information here (http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/contact/index.asp). This, to me, is a huge issue. A coach wrote me this morning to tell me that an eastern conference has boys and girls separated. With junior varsity boys and varsity boys playing at one site and girls at the other. Junior varsity starts at 5:30 and varsity at 7. I’d love to see that here or have the girls varsity at 5:30 and boys at 7, as I suggested in the newspaper (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/205/story/470860.html).”

Q. Langston, why do we have this crazy start time issue here? My son is in middle school and we just moved from Kentucky. Where I’m from girls and boys play on different nights and we don’t have these issues. I’m not sure I’d want my son to play and miss so much school time.

“It’s a legitimate and serious concern. Several coaches wrote me this morning to thank me for writing the column (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/205/story/470860.html). Like them, I’m tired of this going on year after year. Whether we split by varsity and junior varsity or split by girls and boys, we need to split. So if Independence and East Meck are playing at East, the jayvees play at Independence at 4 and 5:30 or 3:30 and 5. Varsity starts at 5:30 at East Meck.
“We’ve really got to make this change. Our kids get home too late. A coach from Cabarrus County told me a recent game of his in Union County began at 8:45 and was over at 10:30 on a Tuesday. Then after that, his kids get an hour bus ride home. A few weeks back, at Anson County, they got home at 11:50. Next year, I think Berry will have similar drive times and arrival times with things the way they are – and out of town teams that play at Berry. We need to fix this.”

Q. Langston, please stay on the game-start-time issue. As much as I’d like to see our girls play with the boys, I think your idea to split boys and girls and start earlier is better.

“Believe me, I am on this. This bugs me a great deal. It’s a simple fix, too.”

Q. Langston, I heard you ranked the whole state this week. I’m in Greensboro and didn’t see it. Did you rank Dudley? We’re giving it to Kinston this year.

“I’m not going there, bud. I think Kinston is the clear 3A favorite and I’d pick them to knock off Dudley in the Eastern Regionals. The West 3A could be interesting with Hickory and Lake Norman and West Rowan and Concord all figuring prominently in the mix. As for my rankings, I just named the 10 best regardless of class, but you had to play by the 8-semester rule, which eliminates folks such as ke Ardren’s Christ School and Word of God out of Raleigh.
Boys: 1. Hopewell (4A); 2. Kinston (3A); 3. Vance (4A); 4. Greensboro Dudley (3A); 5. Greensboro Day (Ind.); 6. Panther Creek (4A); 7. Lake Norman (4A); 8. N. Meck (4A); 9. Ch. Christian (Ind.); 10. Shelby (2A). Girls: 1. Butler (4A); 2. E. Meck (4A); 3. W. Charlotte (4A); 4. Raleigh Wakefield (4A); 5. Winterville S. Central (3A); 6. Hope Mills South View (4A); 7. E. Davidson (2A); 8. Bishop McGuinness (1A); 9. Providence Day (Ind.); 10. Hickory Grove (Ind.).

Q. We’re about halfway into the season. Who do you think the best players are right now for the boys?

“Funny you ask that. I’ll be naming a midseason All-Observer team on Friday, so I’ll ask that you wait and read my thoughts then. I will name this team not based on what I think might happen. It’s all about performance. How you’ve done. Missed some games or been hurt? Sorry. It’s about ballers balling on the court. See ya Friday. I’m sure y’all will have questions and comments. I’ll be around to answer.”

Q. Any word on Independence football coach Tom Knotts?

“Haven’t talked to Tommy Tindall in about a month. If I was guessing now, I’d say he’s coming back to Independence next year to coach Carrothers’ senior season. I think Indy is again a state title contender if he does and I think he’d like to leave there with one more ring. But I’ve heard his name come up with the Vance job. Coaches here feel like Vance and Myers Park are talent gold mines. It’ll be interesting to see who gets that job.”

Q. Who are the top 5 boys and girls programs in the Charlotte area? What about coaches?

“Man, you guys are always trying to get me in trouble with these type of questions. But since you’ve now asked by email five times, I guess I should give you a response. For girls, Providence Day is still the top program. I’d go Providence Day, Butler, East Meck, West Charlotte and, surprise, Hickory Grove. Hickory Grove has a good young coach in Crystal Rhodes, who I covered at Charlotte Christian when she was Crystal Carpenter. She was one of her school’s best-ever players and played at Wake Forest briefly.
Boys: East Meck, North Meck, Vance, Hopewell and Charlotte Christian. You could rearrange the order, but East Meck and North Meck both have cut down the state championship nets in the past three years. Vance has been to a final and two semifinals in three seasons. Hopewell’s on the verge and Charlotte Christian is the top private school program around here.
“For coaches, we lost our three best when Providence Day girls' coach Barb Nelson took the job at Wingate and Jerry Faulkner of Charlotte Latin left for the beach and Gosnell White of West Charlotte left for Marvin Ridge. But we’ve got some good ones here still, some really good ones who are making names for themselves.”

Butler's girls No.25 in USA Today poll

Butler High's girls' basketball team moved into USA Today's national ranking, debuting at No. 25 this week.

The Bulldogs are the only Carolinas team ranked. USA Today ranks Butler No. 7 in the South region. Hopkins Lower Richland (S.C.) ranks No. 10 in the region.

In the boys' poll, Arden Christ School is No. 21. Former Harding star Lakeem Jackson is a fifth-year senior at Christ School, which will face No. 4 Oak Hill (Va.) Monday at 4:30 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum in a Martin Luther King Day tournament.

Christ School is ranked No. 6 in the South region, one spot ahead of Greensboro Dudley.

In ESPN's national girls' poll, Butler is No. 33, East Mecklenburg is No. 36 and West Charlotte is No. 41.

In ESPN's boys' poll, Christ School is No. 8 nationally and No. 2 in the Southeast region. Kinston is No. 14 in the region and Charlotte's United Faith Christian, featuring former South Mecklenburg star Ian Miller, is No. 20 in the region.

- Langston Wertz Jr.

Monday, January 12, 2009

State High School Basketball Polls

2009 NCPREPS.COM/HS MEDIA BOYS BASKETBALL POLLS

4A BOYS

1. Panther Creek (6) 14-1 – 113
2. Vance (4) 14-0 – 107
3. North Meck (1) 12-3 – 87
4. Hopewell (1) 15-0 – 78
5. Enloe 15-1 – 77
6. Mount Tabor 14-1 – 49
7. Seventy-First 13-0 – 48
8. Athens Drive 13-1 – 37
9. Pinecrest 13-2 – 29
10, Middle Creek 13-2 – 19

HONORABLE MENTION: Terry Sanford (14-2) – 8; West Meck (12-3) – 6; Freedom (13-2) – 1;

3A BOYS

1. Kinston (10) 13-2 – 117
2. Dudley (1) 11-1 – 108
3. Lake Norman (1) 14-0 – 95
4. Concord 13-1 – 80
5. Ragsdale 15-1 – 73
6. Northern Vance 12-1 – 58
7. D.H. Conley 13-0 – 38
8. Jacksonville 13-1 – 23
9. Hickory 12-2 – 18
10. West Rowan 9-2 - 17

HONORABLE MENTION: White Oak (13-3) – 14; T.C. Roberson (11-3) – 6; Northern Guilford (9-3) – 5; South Central (13-1) – 5; J.F. Webb (13-1) – 4; Erwin - 1;

2A BOYS

1. West Bladen (8) 13-1 – 113
2. Shelby (3) 14-1 - 108
3. Smoky Mountain (1) 12-0 – 98
4. Salisbury 14-1 – 75
5. Forest Hills 12-0 - 72
6. West Caldwell 10-3 – 50
7. Ashe County 9-2 – 41
8. Reidsville 10-1 – 34
9. Bessemer City 12-2 – 22
10. East Lincoln 11-4 – 9
10. Cummings 6-4 - 9

HONORABLE MENTION: West Stokes (13-3) – 8; East Rutherford (9-2) – 7; North Wilkes (9-3) – 5; Wilkes Central (11-4) – 5; Clinton (9-2) – 5; Orange – 3; Hibriten (8-3) – 2; Northwood (6-1) – 1;

1A BOYS

1. Murphy (8) 11-0 – 112
1. Jordan-Matthews (4) 15-1 – 112
3. Bishop McGuinness 14-1 – 95
4. Mount Airy 12-2 – 77
5. Pamlico 10-1 – 68
6. Winston-Salem Prep 10-10 – 48
7. Thomasville 3-3 – 36
8. Topsail 12-2 – 34
9. Cherryville 11-6– 24
10. Albemarle 7-2 – 23

HONORABLE MENTION: Jones Senior (9-3) – 15; Rocky Mount Prep (16-3) – 8; Nantahala (12-3) – 4; Camden County (10-3) – 3; Hendersonville – 1;

2009 NCPREPS.COM/HS MEDIA GIRLS BASKETBALL POLLS

4A GIRLS

1. Wakefield (11) 14-1 – 119
2. Butler (1) 14-1 – 107
3. South View 16-1 – 95
4. Apex 12-0 – 75
5. West Charlotte 12-3 – 71
6. East Meck 12-2 – 56
7. Freedom 14-1 – 41
8. Mount Tabor 12-1 – 40
9. Broughton 12-2 – 26
10. Lumberton 13-1 - 16

HONORABLE MENTION: E.E. Smith (13-2) – 8; A.C. Reynolds (11-2) – 4; Hoggard (11-1) – 2;

3A GIRLS

1. South Central (7) 14-0 – 115
2. Hickory (5) 14-0 – 113
3. Concord 13-2 – 93
4. Western Harnett 14-0 – 80
5. Beddingfield 12-2 – 62
6. Forestview 11-4 – 59
7. Statesville 12-2 – 44
8. Piedmont 13-2 – 43
9. Dudley – 25
10. T.C. Roberson (10-4) – 10

HONORABLE MENTION: Eastern Alamance (10-1) – 6; J.F. Webb (11-0) – 4; Erwin (10-3) - 2; Hickory Ridge (10-4) – 2; Rockingham County (12-2) – 1; Porter Ridge (11-2) – 1;

2A GIRLS

1. East Davidson (12) 15-0 – 120
2. Salisbury 13-1 – 101
3. Mitchell 12-1 – 98
4. Shelby 14-1 – 84
5. North Stanly 13-1 – 65
6. Graham 11-1 – 59
7. SW Onslow 12-1 – 45
8. East Rutherford 12-2 – 31
9. Northside-Jax 12-1 – 29
10. Smoky Mountain 10-1 – 18

HONORABLE MENTION: Orange (11-3) – 5; Ashe County (11-1) – 5; Edenton Holmes (10-1) – 2;

1A GIRLS

1. Bishop McGuinness (9) 11-3 – 116
2. River Mill (3) 19-1 – 109
3. East Surry 13-1 – 94
4. Hiwassee Dam 8-1 – 73
5. East Bladen 8-2 – 72
6. Robbinsville 11-1 – 58
7. Chatham Central – 37
8. East Wilkes 13-2 – 30
9. Thomasville 6-2 – 26
10. Williamston 7-1 – 20

HONORABLE MENTION: Winston-Salem Prep (12-6) – 8; East Columbus – 7; Rosman (11-3) – 5; Polk County (9-3) – 2; Pender (6-1) – 2; Union (11-2) – 1; Mount Airy (9-4) – 1; South Stanly (7-1) – 1;

Spasoff no longer coaching at Independence

Independence High boys basketball coach Kancho Spasoff is no longer coaching the Patriots, Independence athletics director Kelly Lewis said.

Spasoff coached his last game last week and has been replaced on an interim basis by junior varsity coach Michael Hines. Lewis said Hines would coach the Patriots for the remainder of the season.

Lewis would not elaborate on why the change was made.

Independence hosts East Mecklenburg tonight.

-- Langston Wertz Jr.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Diving competition set for Saturday

High school conference diving champions will be determined Saturday in the Southwestern 4A, ME-CA 7 4A and Queen City 3A/4A meets at the uptown Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.

Boys’ competition will begin at 9 a.m., followed by the girls.

Each diver must complete six dives – one from each of five designated groups (forward, back, inward, reverse and twist) and an optional.

In Southwestern 4A, Providence has dominated the girls’ competition. Devyn Ressler won two of the three regular-season meets, and teammate Madeline Keely won the other. Providence had the top five divers in each meet. Myers Park’s Sazzy Gourley coasted to victories in all three boys’ meets, winning each by more than 40 points. Top competitors will be Thomas and William Kinney (Myers Park), and Tucker Mardsen (Myers Park).


In ME-CA 7 4A, Mallard Creek’s Jessica Kerr won two regular-season meets, and teammate Muriel Giugnard won the other. They’ll battle with Morgan Evans (North Mecklenburg), Heather Frazier (Mallard Creek) and Leah Stillwell (Hopewell).

Hopewell’s Logan Whitlock won all three boys’ meets.

In Queen City 3A/4A, Charlotte Catholic’s Beth Rusterholz won all three girls’ meets, and Dylan Shay swept the boys’ meets.
Here are the top finishers in each of the regular-season meets:

Meet 3 (Dec. 20)

Southwestern 4A Girls
1. Devyn Ressler Providence H.S. 186.95
2. Madeline Keely Providence H.S. 177.60
3. Jessica Doolittle Providence H.S. 167.95
4. Madison Moore Providence H.S. 153.80
5. Lauren Danielson Providence H.S. 151.60
6. Lacey Moore Providence H.S. 151.35
7. Stephanie Flowe East Meck. H.S. 138.35
8. Logan Cerwin Myers Park H.S. 127.70
9. Anna Cook Providence H.S. 126.00
10. Katheryn Koster Myers Park H.S. 122.55
11. Devon Patton Providence H.S. 120.00
12. Carly Welles South Meck. H.S. 117.85
13. Maria Polizzi Weddington H.S. 103.60
14. Hallie Spears Myers Park H.S. 103.25
15. Desi Franc Myers Park H.S. 100.80
16. Christy Harrison Providence H.S. 97.50

17. Megan Harbin Ardrey Kell H.S. 97.25

Southwestern 4A Boys
1. Sazzy Gourley Myers Park H.S. 203.75
2. Tucker Marsden Providence H.S. 151.10
3. Thomas Kinney Myers Park H.S. 147.80
4. Tyler Conover Providence H.S. 131.80
5. William Kinney Myers Park H.S. 131.40
6. Trey Howie Myers Park H.S. 127.05
7. Shae O’Neill Myers Park H.S. 126.10
8. Josh Ogle Independence H.S. 125.45
9. Miller Morrow Myers Park H.S. 123.80
10. Connor Gilbride Ardrey Kell H.S. 122.80
11. Nicholas Thompson Myers Park H.S. 121.65
12. Colton Ash South Meck. H.S. 112.10
13. Chad Guthrie Providence H.S. 102.70
14. Sam Jackson Myers Park H.S. 99.40
15. Steven Kufert Myers Park H.S. 93.45
16. Seth Breunig Ardrey Kell H.S. 89.80
17. Shane Choi Providence H.S. 88.40
18. Simone Silvagno Ardrey Kell H.S. 61.75

ME-CA 7 4A Girls
1. Jessica Kerr Mallard Creek H.S. 118.85
2. Muriel Giugnard Mallard Creek H.S. 111.65
3. Morgan Evans North Meck. H.S. 99.60
4. Leah Stilwell Hopewell. H.S. 99.45
5. Heather Frazier Mallard Creek H.S. 93.40

ME-CA 7 4A Boys
1. Logan Whitlock Hopewell H.S. 175.85

Queen City 3A/4A Girls
1. Beth Rusterholz Char. Catholic H.S. 100.10

Queen City 3A/4A Boys
1. Dylan Shay Char. Catholic H.S. 90.75
-----

Meet 2 (Dec. 13)

Southwestern 4A Girls
1. Devyn Ressler Providence H.S. 178.40
2. Jessica Doolittle Providence H.S. 166.95
3. Lacey Moore Providence H.S. 166.70
4. Madeline Keely Providence H.S. 166.10
5. Lauren Danielson Providence H.S. 156.90
6. Madeline Maalizadeh South Meck. H.S. 152.95
7. Amanda Maalizadeh South Meck. H.S. 146.10
8. Madison Moore Providence H.S. 137.90
9. Anna Cook Providence H.S. 135.90
10. Carly Welles South Meck. H.S. 134.85
11. Desi Franc Myers Park H.S. 128.95
12. Stephanie Flowe East Meck. H.S. 128.05
13. Drew Pressly Myers Park H.S. 126.20
14. Devon Patton Providence H.S. 121.55
15. Katheryn Koster Myers Park H.S. 115.55
16. Maria Polizzi Weddington H.S. 111.85
17. Logan Cerwin Myers Park H.S. 102.05
18. Christy Harrison Providence H.S. 98.30

19. Megan Harbin Ardrey Kell H.S. 92.60

Southwestern 4A Boys
1. Sazzy Gourley Myers Park H.S. 210.25
2. William Kinney Myers Park H.S. 165.95
3. Thomas Kinney Myers Park H.S. 149.55
4. Tucker Marsden Providence H.S. 145.35
5. Shae O’Neill Myers Park H.S. 143.30
6. Colton Ash South Meck. H.S. 141.05
7. Steven Kufert Myers Park H.S. 117.70
8. Matt Kon Providence H.S. 113.35
9. Trey Howie Myers Park H.S. 111.65
10. Nicholas Thompson Myers Park H.S. 105.85
11. Miller Morrow Myers Park H.S. 99.75
12. Chad Guthrie Providence H.S. 90.15
13. Ronen Rappaport Providence H.S. 86.95
14. Shane Choi Providence H.S. 85.20
15. Sam Jackson Myers Park H.S. 68.70
16. George Mastoris Ardrey Kell H.S. 63.55
17. Seth Breunig Ardrey Kell H.S. 49.40
Sam Jackson Myers Park H.S. DQ
Simone Silvagno Ardrey Kell H.S. DQ
Tyler Conover Providence H.S. DNF

ME-CA 7 4A Girls
1. Muriel Giugnard Mallard Creek H.S. 109.35
2. Morgan Evans North Meck. H.S. 104.95
3. Heather Frazier Mallard Creek H.S. 101.35
4. Leah Stilwell Hopewell. H.S. 96.25

ME-CA 7 4A Boys
1. Logan Whitlock Hopewell H.S. 197.30

Queen City 3A/4A Girls
1. Beth Rusterholz Char. Catholic H.S. 103.65

Queen City 3A/4A Boys
1. Dylan Shay Char. Catholic H.S. 81.70

-----
Meet 1 (Dec. 9)

Southwestern 4A Girls
1. Madeline Keely Providence H.S. 198.20
2. Devyn Ressler Providence H.S. 178.30
3. Lauren Danielson Providence H.S. 160.25
4. Lacey Moore Providence H.S. 156.75
5. Jessica Doolittle Providence H.S. 150.50
6. Amanda Maalizadeh South Meck. H.S. 142.40
7. Drew Pressly Myers Park H.S. 134.15
8. Sara Madeline Maalizadeh South Meck. H.S. 133.95
9. Carly Welles South Meck. H.S. 130.55
10. Desi Franc Myers Park H.S. 124.40
11. Madison Moore Providence H.S. 122.45
12. Stephanie Flowe East Meck. H.S. 119.80
13. Maria Polizzi Weddington H.S. 118.15
14. Anna Cook Providence H.S. 111.85
15. Devon Patton Providence H.S. 106.15
16. Logan Cerwin Myers Park H.S. 102.95
17. Christy Harrison Providence H.S. 96.65
18. Hallie Spears Myers Park H.S. 79.65

Southwestern 4A Boys
1. Sazzy Gourley Myers Park H.S. 211.75
2. Thomas Kinney Myers Park H.S. 156.95
3. William Kinney Myers Park H.S. 140.45
4. Shae O’Neill Myers Park H.S. 138.70
5. Trey Howie Myers Park H.S. 131.85
6. Colton Ash South Meck. H.S. 122.40
7. Josh Ogle Independence H.S. 122.15
8. Connor Gilbride Ardrey Kell H.S. 118.25
9. Nicholas Thompson Myers Park H.S. 110.75
10. Steven Kufert Myers Park H.S. 107.25
11. Tucker Marsden Providence H.S. 104.95
12. Shane Choi Providence H.S. 93.65
13. Ronen Rappaport Providence H.S. 85.90
14. Matt Kon Providence H.S. 84.20
15. Chad Guthrie Providence H.S. 83.35
16. George Mastoris Ardrey Kell H.S. 80.95
17. Miller Morrow Myers Park H.S. 79.95
18. Sam Jackson Myers Park H.S. 79.55
19. Joshua Flemings South Meck. H.S. 59.15
20. Seth Breunig Ardrey Kell H.S. 44.45
Simone Silvagno Ardrey Kell H.S. DQ

ME-CA 7 4A Girls
1. Jessica Kerr Mallard Creek H.S. 92.85
2. Heather Frazier Mallard Creek H.S. 89.10
3. Morgan Evans North Meck. H.S. 88.85
4. Leah Stilwell Hopewell. H.S. 64.65

ME-CA 7 4A Boys
1. Logan Whitlock Hopewell H.S. 172.95

Queen City 3A/4A Girls
1. Beth Rusterholz Char. Catholic H.S. 113.80

Queen City 3A/4A Boys
1. Dylan Shay Char. Catholic H.S. 66.50


- Cliff Mehrtens

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Top big men face off tonight

At the beginning of the season, tonight's Hickory Grove at Charlotte Christian boys game didn't seem like it would mean too much.

It's turned into a meeting between two of the city's best post players.

Hickory Grove (6-6) is off to a decent start behind 6-6 junior center Evan Shelton (16 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks per game, 64 percent field goal shooting). Shelton took an unofficial visit to Winthrop last weekend.

Charlotte Christian (11-3) is led by 6-7 senior center Willis Hall (16 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 63 percent field goal shooting). Hall has signed with College of Charleston.

Tip off is tonight at 7:30.

Christian coach Shonn Brown will be honored before the game after getting his 200th career victory in a tournament in Hilton Head Dec. 20. Brown now has 202 wins.

-- Langston Wertz Jr.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fall sports standings announced

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced the standings for fall sports in the Wachovia Cup competitions for the 2008-2009 sports season.

The Wachovia Cup award, sponsored by Wachovia and the NCHSAA, recognizes high schools with the best athletic performance within each of the state¹s four classifications. Wachovia has sponsored the conference awards program since 1980.

The Wachovia Conference Cup is a companion to the Wachovia Cup, a statewide award given to schools with the best performance in all four classifications. In most conferences, points are awarded based on participation and standings in conference play. Each conference determines its’ method of awarding points.

Results from Observer-area conferences:


CLASS 1A/2A

Rocky River 1A/2A
: West Stanly secures the top spot in the conference, thanks to a championship in men's cross country and a second place finish in women's cross country. North Stanly is in second place on the strength of a women's tennis title. Gray Stone Day rounds out the top three after taking the crown in men's cross country.
Conference standings: West Stanly 42.5, North Stanly 39, Gray Stone Day 38, Mt. Pleasant 37.5, Albemarle 37.5, South Stanly 36, Forest Hills 30, Monroe 24.5, Central Academy 20, Union Academy 19.

Southern Piedmont 1A/2A: East Lincoln is the early conference leader at the end of the fall after winning championships in football, women¹s cross country, and women¹s Golf. North Lincoln is the runner-up in the league while Lincolnton is just behind North in third place after capturing the crown in men¹s cross country.
Conference standings: East Lincoln 88, North Lincoln 78, Lincolnton 73, West Lincoln 64, South Iredell 63, Draughn 58, Highland Tech 57, Cherryville 40, Bessemer City 37.


CLASS 2A

Central Carolina 2A: Conference crowns in volleyball and football propelled West Davidson to the top spot in the league. Salisbury is in second place after championships in men¹s soccer, women¹s tennis, and cross country.
Conference standings: West Davidson 50, Salisbury 47, Central Davidson 42, Ledford 41.5, East Davidson 38.5, Providence Grove 28.5, Lexington 28, North Rowan 21.5.


CLASS 2A/3A

Catawba Valley 2A/3A: An outstanding fall for Hickory has the Red Tornadoes in first place after winning conference crowns in women¹s cross country, women¹s tennis, men¹s soccer, as well as a second place finish in volleyball. Fred T. Foard is in second in the conference with top finishes in men¹s cross country and volleyball.
Conference standings: Hickory 83, Fred T. Foard 78.5, St. Stephens 74.5, Newton-Conover 71, Hibriten 59.5, Patton 59, Maiden 56.5, Bunker Hill 53.5, Bandys 52, West Caldwell 41.5.

Southwestern 2A/3A: Conference championships in men's soccer, women's cross country, and women's tennis have Shelby in first place at the end of the fall. R-S Central is in second place, having taken the men's cross country crown and finishing second in volleyball and men's soccer.
Conference Standings: Shelby 31, R-S Central 28, East Rutherford 21, Kings Mountain 20, Chase 13, Burns 12.


CLASS 3A

Northern Piedmont 3A: Conference championships in men's soccer, women's tennis, and a tie for first place in women's golf have Lake Norman in the top spot in the league at the end of the fall. Mooresville is a close second with titles in men¹s cross country and football. Statesville won a championship of its own in football and tied for first in women¹s golf, securing third place overall.
Conference Standings: Lake Norman 310, Mooresville 292.5, Statesville 192.5, Northwest Cabarrus 177.5, South Rowan 175, West Iredell 160, West Rowan 152.5, East Rowan 137.5, Carson 120, North Iredell 117.5.

South Piedmont 3A: Marvin Ridge is in the top spot in the league on the strength of first place finishes in men's soccer and men's cross country, as well as a second place finish in women's golf. Sun Valley is in second place, thanks to a championship in women¹s cross country and a fourth place finish in men¹s soccer. Hickory Ridge is not far behind in third place, after taking the conference crown in volleyball and placing second in men¹s cross country.
Conference standings: Marvin Ridge 310, Sun Valley 225, Hickory Ridge 222.5, A.L. Brown 205, Concord 202.5, Porter Ridge 197.5, Parkwood 190, Piedmont 177.5, Anson 115.


CLASS 3A/4A

Big South 3A/4A: Forestview is the leader after fall sports, winning championships in men¹s cross country and men's soccer. Ashbrook is a close second with league titles in women's golf and women's tennis. South Point captured conference crowns in football and women¹s cross country, securing third place overall.
Conference standings: Forestview 75, Ashbrook 72.5, South Point 68, East Gaston 63.5, Crest 53.5, North Gaston 44.5, Hunter Huss 43.

Queen City 3A/4A: Charlotte Catholic is out in front after sweeping league crowns in football, men's soccer, volleyball, women's tennis, men's and women's cross country, and women's golf. Olympic is in second place thanks to runner-up finishes in women¹s cross country, football, and men's soccer.
Conference standings: Charlotte Catholic 49, Olympic 37, West Mecklenburg 30, Harding 16, Berry Academy 12, Garinger 12, Waddell 9.


CLASS 4A

MECA 7 4A: Top finishes in women¹s cross country, women's tennis, and a tie for first in volleyball propelled North Mecklenburg to the top spot in the conference. Hopewell is in second place after a first-place finish in volleyball. A men¹s soccer title helped put Jay M. Robinson third in the league. Conference Standings: North Mecklenburg 34.5, Hopewell 33, Jay M. Robinson 32.5, Mallard Creek 23.5, Vance 15.5, Central Cabarrus 14.5, West Charlotte 14.5.

Northwestern 4A: A strong fall season for A.C. Reynolds has the Rockets in first place in the conference after winning league championships in football, women¹s golf, men's soccer, and women¹s tennis. Watauga is not far behind in second place, after capturing men¹s and women¹s cross country titles, as well as sharing the top spot in volleyball. Alexander Central is in third place, with a share of first in volleyball and a fourth place finish in men¹s soccer.
Conference standings: A.C. Reynolds 43, Watauga 41.5, Alexander Central 28, South Caldwell 25.5, Freedom 22, East Burke 21, McDowell 15.

Southwestern 4A: Myers Park holds the top spot in the league thanks to conference championships in women's tennis, men's soccer, and men's and women's cross country. Providence is in second in the conference after runner-up finishes in women's tennis and women's cross country. Conference standings: Myers Park 48, Providence 40, Ardrey Kell 36, Butler 33.5, Weddington 33, South Mecklenburg 26, East Mecklenburg 15, Independence 13.5

- Cliff Mehrtens

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

CMS events to move from Jan. 13 to Jan. 12

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is moving all athletic events, including basketball games, scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 13 to Monday, Jan. 12 because of a revised exam schedule.

CMS changed the exam schedule because of the Jan. 20 presidential inauguration.

The changes mean that the basketball game between Sweet 16 No. 1 Vance and No. 2 Hopewell will now be played Monday, Jan. 12, at Hopewell.

Note: The Concord Robinson at North Mecklenburg game, scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 13, has been moved to Monday, Jan. 26.

Here are the changes:

BASKETBALL: Moved from Tuesday, Jan. 13 to Monday, Jan. 12
- Providence @ Myers Park
- East Mecklenburg @ Independence
- Ardrey Kell @ South Mecklenburg
- Butler @ Weddington
- Garinger @ Olympic
- Harding @ Berry
- Catholic @ West Mecklenburg
- Vance @ Hopewell
- Mallard Creek @ West Charlotte
- Robinson @ North Mecklenburg (Monday, Jan. 26)

WRESTLING: Moved from Tuesday, Jan. 13 to Monday, Jan. 12
- Weddington @ Butler
- Independence @ East Mecklenburg
- Myers Park @ Providence
- South Mecklenburg @ Ardrey Kell
- North Mecklenburg @ Mallard Creek
- Berry @ Waddell
- Garinger @ Catholic
- Olympic @ West Mecklenburg
- Central Cabarrus @ Vance

SWIMMING: Moved from Tuesday, Jan. 13 to Monday, Jan. 12
- Independence, Ardrey Kell, East Mecklenburg @ Providence High School Pool – 5:30pm warm-up
- Mallard Creek, Vance @ West Charlotte High School Pool – 5:30pm warm-up

Harding's Aikens commits to Illinois

Harding High's Walter Aikens, who led the football team in passing and rushing, has committed to Illinois, his father, Walter Sr. told the Observer.

Aikens Jr. is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound quarterback who accounted for more than 1,500 yards in total offense for the Rams.

Aikens Sr., who is Harding's boys' basketball coach, said his son will "most likely" play cornerback and wide receiver at Illinois.

N.C. boys, girls state basketball polls

2008-09 NCPREPS.COM/HS MEDIA GIRLS BASKETBALL POLLS
4A GIRLS
1. Wakefield (11) 12-1 – 118
2. Butler (1) 10-1 – 85
3. South View - 79
4. West Charlotte 11-3 - 67
5. East Mecklenburg – 10-1 - 61
6. Freedom 13-0 – 59
7. Apex 10-0 – 56
8. Mount Tabor – 51
9, Broughton 11-2 – 25
10. Lumberton 11-1 – 24
Honorable Mention: E.E. Smith (12-2) – 11; Hoggard (10-1) – 9; East Chapel Hill (8-1) – 7; Westover (9-2) - 5; A.C. Reynolds (10-1) – 4; Hillside (9-4) – 2;

3A GIRLS
1. South Central (12) 12-0 - 120
2. Hickory 11-0 - 108
3. Concord 11-2 - 88
4. Western Harnett 11-0 – 83
5. Forestview - 57
6. Beddingfield 11-2 - 53
7. Piedmont 11-2 - 49
8. Statesville 10-2 – 42
9. Dudley - 16
10. JH Webb – 14
Honorable Mention: Eastern Alamance (8-1) – 8; T.C. Roberson (7-2) – 7; RS Central (10-3) – 4; Porter Ridge (9-2) – 4; Jacksonville (6-3) – 3; Hickory Ridge (9-3) – 2; SE Guilford (9-3) – 1; Rocky Mount (7-3) – 1;

2A GIRLS
1. East Davidson (11) 12-0 – 119
2. Mitchell (1) 10-0 - 98
3. Salisbury 11-1 - 89
4. Shelby 12-1 - 84
5. North Stanly – 60
6. Northside-Jax 8-0 - 52
7. Graham – 50
8. SW Onslow – 31
9. East Rutherford 10-2 – 19
9. Smoky Mountain 8-2 0 19
10. Orange 9-2 - 12
Honorable Mention: Edenton Holmes (10-1) – 11; Ashe County (10-1) – 8; North Lenoir (10-1) – 8; Bandys (10-2) – 3; Starmount (9-3) – 2; Newton-Conover (6-2) – 1; Ledford (9-3) – 1;

1A GIRLS
1. Bishop McGuinness (9) 8-3 - 107
2. River Mill (2) 17-1 - 105
3. East Surry (1) 10-1 - 98
4. Hiwassee Dam – 62
5. East Bladen 5-2 – 57
6. Robbinsville 8-0 – 47
7. Chatham Central – 36
8. Thomasville – 32
9. East Wilkes 11-2 – 31
10. Williamston – 25
Honorable Mention: East Columbus – 14; Polk County (8-1) - 13; Mount Airy (8-2) – 11; Pender (6-1) – 8; Winston-Salem Prep (10-5) – 6; Union (8-2) – 6; Weldon – 3; Albemarle – 2;

4A BOYS
1. Panther Creek (4) 12-1 - 98
2. North Mecklenburg – 70
3. Vance (3) - 69
4. Enloe (1) 13-1 – 65
5. Athens Drive (1) 11-0 - 62
6. Pinecrest 12-1 – 61
7. Hopewell (2) 13-0 – 57
8. Mount Tabor 12-1 – 52
9. Seventy-First (1) 12-0 – 42
10. Middle Creek 10-2 – 31
Honorable Mention: Terry Sanford (13-2) – 15; New Hanover (9-2) – 11; West Mecklenburg – 10; Freedom (11-2) – 8; West Forsyth (10-1) – 4; East Mecklenburg - 3; Millbrook (11-3) – 1;

3A BOYS
1. Kinston (11) 11-2 - 119
2. Dudley (1) 10-2 - 102
3. Lake Norman 11-0 - 71
4. Concord 11-1 - 69
5. Ragsdale 12-1 - 61
6. Northern Vance – 54
7. White Oak 11-1 - 42
8. Hickory 10-1 - 38
9. West Rowan 8-1 - 279. D.H. Conley 11-0 – 27
10. Jacksonville 10-1 – 19
Honorable Mention: Northern Guilford (8-2) – 14; T.C. Roberson (9-3) – 8; Northern Nash – 8; South Central (11-1) – 3; Marvin Ridge (10-1) – 2;

2A Boys
1. West Bladen (5) 13-1 - 111
2. Shelby (6) 12-1 - 108
3. Smoky Mountain (1) 10-0 - 97
4. West Caldwell 9-2 - 71
5. Salisbury 12-1 - 69
6. Forest Hills 9-0 - 49
7. Cummings 6-3 - 43
8. West Stokes 13-1 - 36
9. Ashe County 8-2 - 25
10. Reidsville 8-1 - 20
Honorable Mention: Bessemer City (10-2) - 11; Northwood (5-0) - 10; East Rutherford (9-2) - 7; East Lincoln (9-4) - 6; Clinton (6-2) - 2; Monroe (8-3) - 1;

1A BOYS
1. Murphy (6) 9-0 - 107
2. Jordan-Matthews (4) 10-1 – 100
3. Mount Airy (1) 9-1 - 91
4. Bishop McGuinness 11-1 - 87
5. Thomasville (1) - 74
6. Pamlico 9-1 - 58
7. Winston-Salem Prep 8-9 - 39
8. Topsail 11-1 - 28
9. Rocky Mount Prep 15-2 - 27
10. Cherryville 9-5 - 25
Honorable Mention: Albemarle – 12; Jones Senior (6-2) – 4; Camden County (8-3) – 4; Nantahala (12-1) – 4; North Stokes (9-4) – 1;