Thursday, December 30, 2010

A city championship in Charlotte? Here's how

In today's newspaper, I wrote a column about how to fix declining attendance at the Bojangles' Shootout at the Bojangles' Coliseum: with a city championship.

Here's how to do it, or actually two ways:

I've always thought a city championship would be best at the end of the year played in lieu of conference tournaments. There's always been a bit of push back from a handful of coaches and athletics directors in town. I still think that's the best way.

Coaches still like one thing about conference tournaments: how you can not qualify for the playoffs by seeding in the regular-season, then win the conference tournament and earn a No. 2 seed. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

The easy solution is if you're the highest placing team in a city championship from your conference and you have not already qualified for the postseason, you get that No. 2 seed.

Short of all of that, the city championship would come over Christmas.

And, like I said, I've got two plans.

Plan I

The field: includes all 19 CMS teams, plus Charlotte Catholic, Charlotte Latin, Country Day, Providence Day and Charlotte Christian. That's 25 teams. We add Grace, Northside, United Faith, Victory Christian, Southlake, Hickory Grove and Queens Grant. That gives us a 32-team field and a 5-game tournament played over two weeks.

The Charlotte Sports Commission, which runs the Bojangles' now, would seed the field into four eight-team regions, for boys and girls. Each region would play at four different sites around the county to a regional championship. The four regional champions advance to the Final Four at Bojangles' Coliseum.

Each region would also have a consolation bracket with third-place, fifth-place and seventh-place games. Those winners would also advance to meet similar finishers from the other regionals.

I would play the city semifinals, on, say, a Tuesday, then on Wednesday have all the consolation games played at various sites. On Thursday, championship day, play the city seventh place, fifth place, third place and finals for boys and girls at Bojangles' Coliseum. It would be a day of championship basketball and would conclude with the All-City team being announced after each championship game.

The all-city team would get a free pair of shoes and warm up from co-sponsor Brand Jordan (one can dream, right?) along with a $100 food coupon from Bojangles'. An overall MVP would also be named. City champs get letter jackets, rings, memories and bragging rights.

Plan II:

Some of the local public school teams are not much interested in games with privates who don't play by the eight semester rule (eight straight semesters to play once you start ninth grade). That would exclude, in general, all but Christian, Country Day, Latin, Providence Day and Catholic. That would give us a field of 24 teams.

In this scenario, the Sports Commission would seed two fields: 16 teams in the city championship and 8 in a "Gold" Division. Then you'd play down, over three days, to a championship. Everything else could remain the same.

In both plans, I'd get Time Warner Cable to broadcast the semis and finals on tape delayed basis as well as have a live selection show on local TV where teams could see where they are seeded with coaches' interviews etc.

I think it's something the city would get excited about and players would look forward to. Young kids watching would be waiting for their turn to play in the showcase, and it could be a great money maker for a CMS athletics department which could use a cash infusion.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Update from Cherryville Christmas Tournament

December 29, 2010

Girls Games

NCSSM                        50

Cherryville                   45

Chase                           32

South Point                  63

Castlewood, VA            41

Lake Norman                56

Boys Games

South Point                  43

West Bladen                 72

Lake Norman Charter   62

Australia HSE               15

First Assembly             71        

Hickory Ridge              59

Cherryville                   87

Chase                          72

In the Cherryville Ironmen’s game against Chase High School the score by quarters:

Cherryville       31         12         23         21         Total of 87

Chase               20         18         21         13           “     “   72

Cherryville Ironmen scoring:  Whisnant, 42 points, Stamey 16, Tuft 11, Bostic 8, Warren 2, Redd 1, Vinson 2, Caswell 5.

The Ironmen will face First Assembly High School of Concord, NC for the championship of the David Wright Holiday Classic at 8:30 pm, December 30, 2010 in the Nixon Gymnasium on the Bud Black Court.

The girls’ championship game will start at 7:00 pm with Lake Norman Charter High School competing against the South Point High School Lady Red Raiders. 

Consolation games will be played at 11:30 am, 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:00 pm, and 5:30 pm.

Update from Union County Christmas Tournament

2010 CMC-Union Holiday Classic
hosted by Wingate University (Cuddy Arena)
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
10 a.m. Championship bracket consolation game (Monday’s losers)
Anson GIRLS 52, Weddington 43
11:30 a.m. Championship bracket consolation game (Monday’s losers)
Marvin Ridge BOYS 92, Union Academy 51
1 p.m. Consolation bracket tournament consolation game (Tuesday’s losers)
Cuthbertson GIRLS 44, Union Academy 18
2:30 p.m. Consolation bracket tournament consolation game (Tuesday’s losers)
Porter Ridge BOYS 44, Central Academy (CATA) 36
4 p.m. #3 seed Porter Ridge GIRLS 57, #7 seed Sun Valley 32 (Semi-finals)
5:30 p.m. #6 seed Cuthbertson BOYS 81, #2 seed Parkwood 49 (Semi-finals)
7 p.m. #4 seed Marvin Ridge GIRLS 38, #1 seed Parkwood 35 (Semi-finals)
8:30 p.m. #1 seed Weddington BOYS 71, #5 seed Anson 60 (Semi-finals)

Thursday, December 30, 2010
10 a.m. Championship bracket consolation game (Tuesday’s losers)
Forest Hills vs. Piedmont – GIRLS
11:30 a.m. Championship bracket consolation game (Tuesday’s losers)
Forest Hills vs. Sun Valley – BOYS
1 p.m. Consolation bracket tournament championship (Tuesday’s winners)
Monroe vs. CATA – GIRLS
2:30 p.m. Consolation bracket tournament championship (Tuesday’s winners)
Monroe vs. Piedmont – BOYS
4 p.m. Third-place game – Parkwood vs. Sun Valley – GIRLS
5:30 p.m. Third-place game – Parkwood vs. Anson – BOYS
7 p.m. Championship game – Porter Ridge vs. Marvin Ridge – GIRLS
8:30 p.m. Championship game – Cuthbertson vs. Weddington – BOYS

Fort Mill, Butler advance to finals of Lindberg Moody

Fort Mill and Butler will play Thursday night in the finals of the Lindberg Moody Tournament in Rock Hill.

Fort Mill beat Fairfield Central 76-50 in its semifinal and Butler beat Rock Hill Northwestern by six.

Freedom Invitational Scores


DATE: December 29, 2010 @ FHS

GAME: East Burke vs Concord SECOND ROUND

TEAMS    1st Quarter    2nd Quarter    3rd Quarter    4th Quarter    Final
East Burke    11    22    21    22    76
Concord    33    23    31    22    109


East Burke
Cox 3, C. Byrd 24, Young 10,
Church 3, Clark 6, Swansen 4,
A. Byrd 13, Hyatt 6, McClendon 4,
Santos 3

Beasley 5, Knorr 21, Moore 17,
Burchfield 8, Beecher 2, Jenkins 9,
Vanderburg 12, Stillwall 17, Black 18
West Adelaide will play Hibriten at Freedom at 11:30am
McDowell will play Enka at Freedom at 2:30pm
East Burke will play Charlotte Catholic at Freedom at 5:30pm
Concord will play FREEDOM at Freedom at 8:30 (Championship Game)

DATE: December 29, 2010 @ FHS

GAME: Freedom vs Charlotte Catholic  SECOND ROUND

TEAMS    1st Quarter    2nd Quarter    3rd Quarter    4th Quarter    Final
Freedom    16    12    16    15    59
C Catholic    15    10    17    8    50


Tate 8, Evans 10, Beam 6,
Noyes 13, Duckworth 18, Davis 4

C Catholic
Selland 2, Jenson 2, Champion 20,
Quigley 4, Kilmartin 8, Brodowicz 5,
Herlocker 7, Harrell 2

Freedom will play in the Championship Game of 37th Annual Freedom Christmas Invitational for the fourth year in a row. Opponent is Concord at 8:30pm at Freedom


Live scores from West Meck Invitational

Consolations: W. Charlotte 61, Garinger 48; South Meck 50, Waddell 42.

Semifinals: W. Meck 81, Independence 59; Providence 53, East Meck 45.

Thursday's games: Garinger vs. Waddell, 7th place @ 2; W. Charlotte vs. S. Meck, 5th place game @4; Independence vs. E. Meck, 3rd place game @ 6; W. Meck vs. Providence, championship @8.

Butler girls advance to Upward Classic final, rematch with Green Hope

  • Butler's girls, No. 1 in the Observer's Sweet 16, will get a rematch with Morrisville Green Hope in the finals of the Upward (SC) Classic Thursday. Butler beat Green Hope in the N.C. 4A state finals last season by a decisive margin and many prep experts predict a state championship rematch in March.

Pairings for today's West Meck Invitational

Here are pairings for today's West Meck girls invitational:

Consolations: Garinger vs West Charlotte @2, South Meck vs Waddell @4.

Semifinals: Independence vs West Meck @ 6 and East Meck vs Providence @ 8.

Thursday's games: 7th place game @ 2, 5th place game @4, 3rd place game @ 6 and championship @8.

Winter Jam at East Lincoln: Today's pairings

Here is the schedule for today.

Old Gym

1:00 Girls # 8/East Lincoln vs. # 5/Myers Park

2:30 Girls # 7/Northwest Cabarrus vs. # 3/East Gaston

New Gym

1:00 Boys # 8/Garinger vs. # 5/Northwest Cabarrus

2:30 Boys # 7/Independence vs. # 6/East Gaston

4:00 Girls # 2/Mooresville vs. # 6/Hickory Ridge

5:30 Boys # 1/Forestview vs. # 4/Myers Park

7:00 Girls # 1/Jay M. Robinson vs. # 4/North Meck

8:30 Boys # 2/East Lincoln vs. # 3/Rocky River

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sweet 16 No. 1 Olympic falls to Fayetteville Sanford

Sweet 16 No. 1 Olympic lost for the first time this season Tuesday in the first round of the Upward Classic at Dorman (SC) High.

Fayetteville Sanford's Chris Wilson hit a running one-handed shot from the free throw line with no time remaining to lift his team a 71-70 win. Wilson has signed with Division I St. Joseph's.

Olympic (11-1) beat Dreher (SC) 61-41 last week in the championship game of the YC Winborn Classic. Sophomore guard Allerik Freeman was named tournament MVP.

Monday, December 27, 2010

High School Basketball Tournament Pairings/Weather Changes

Here are pairings and weather changes for area high school basketball tournaments.

Bojangles’ Shootout
Site: Bojangles’ Arena
Today’s first round: Concord girls vs. Vance, 9 a.m.; Mooresville vs. Northside, 10:40 a.m.; Gastonia Forestview girls vs. Mallard Creek, 12:10 p.m.; AC Flora vs. Berry, 1:50 p.m.; Hopewell girls vs. South Pointe, 3:30 p.m.; Berry girls vs. Victory Christian, 5:10 p.m.; South Meck vs. Victory Christian, 6:50 p.m.; Mallard Creek vs. Lancaster, 8:30 p.m.
Burke County Invitational
Site: Morganton Freedom
Today’s first round at Freedom: McDowell girls vs. Catholic, 4; McDowell vs. Charlotte Christian, 5:30; Freedom girls vs. West Adelaide (Australia), 7; Freedom vs. Australia, 8:30
Today’s first round at E. Burke: Charlotte Christian girls vs. George Washington, 4; Enka vs. Concord, 5:30; E. Burke girls vs. Herndon (Va), 7; E. Burke vs. Hibriten, 8:30
Catawba Valley Classic
Site: Catawba Valley Community College/Hickory High
Today at Hickory High: Alexander Central girls vs. Foard, 4; Bunker Hill girls vs Hickory, 5:30; St. Stephens girls vs. S. Caldwell, 7; Maiden girls vs. Newton-Conover, 8:30
Today at CVCC: S. Caldwell vs. St. Stephens, 4:30; Maiden vs. Alexander Central, 6; Newton-Conover vs. Bunker Hill, 7:30; Foard vs. Hickory, 9
Cleveland County Classic
Site: Lawndale Burns High
Today’s first round: Crest vs. Boiling Springs (SC), 3; Kings Mountain vs. Rock hill, 4:30; Shelby vs. York, 6; Burns vs. Ashbrook, 7:30
East Lincoln Winter Jam
E. Lincoln
Today’s first round: E. Gaston girls vs. Hickory Ridge (old gym), 1 p.m.; Mooresville girls vs. NW Cabarrus, 2:30 (old gym); Myers Park vs. NW Cabarrus, 1; Garinger vs. Gastonia Foresview, 2:30; North Meck girls vs. Myers Park, 4; Rocky River vs. E. Gaston, 5:30; Robinson girls vs. E Lincoln, 7; E. Lincoln vs. Independence, 8:30
Lady Hilltopper Classic
Site: R-S Central High
Today’s first round: Gaffney girls vs. Kings Mountain, 2; Hibriten girls vs. Asheville Christian, 3:30; Shelby girls vs. Socastee (SC), 5; R-S Central vs. Crest, 6:30
People’s Bank
Site: N. Lincoln High
Wednesday: Lincolnton girls vs. W. Lincoln, 3:30; W. Lincoln vs. Lincolnton, 5; Bandys girls vs. N. Lincoln, 6:30; Bandys vs. N. Lincoln, 8
Pioneer Holiday Invitational
Site: Watauga High
Wednesday: W. Caldwell girls vs Mtn Heritage, 3; W. Caldwell vs. Mtn Heritage, 4:30; Watauga vs. Nation Ford, 6; Watauga vs. Nation Ford, 7:30
Statesville Record and Landmark Holiday Classic
Lake Norman High
Today’s first round: S. Iredell girls vs. Statesville, 2; Lake Norman vs. S. Iredell, 3:30; Forbush girls vs. W. Iredell, 6; W. Iredell vs N. Iredell, 7:30
Union Holiday Classic
Wingate University
Monday’s first round: Marvin Ridge girls vs Anson, late; Marvin Ridge vs. Anson, late; Monroe Parkwood girls vs. Weddington, late; Weddington vs. Union Academy, late
Today’s consolation bracket: CATA girls vs. Union, 10 a.m.; Unionville Piedmont vs. Indian Trail Porter Ridge, 11:30 a.m.; Monroe girls vs. Waxhaw Cuthbertson, 1 p.m.; Monroe vs. CATA, 2:30
Today’s first round: Indian Trail Porter Ridge girls vs. Marshville Forest Hills, 4 p.m.; Indian Trail Sun Valley vs. Cuthbertson, 5:30 p.m.; Piedmont girls vs. Sun Valley, 7 p.m.; Parkwood vs. Forest Hills, 8:30 p.m.
Upward Classic
Site: Dorman High School, SC
Monday: Wellington (FL) vs. Fay. Sanford, late; Irmo vs. Waddell, late; Gaffney vs. Carter, late; Dorman vs. Spartanburg, late
Today: Consolations, 12:30, 2 p.m.; Olympic vs. Wellington/Sanford, 3:30 p.m.; Logan (WV) vs. Irmo/Waddell winner, 5; South Gwinnett (GA) vs. Gaffney/Carter winner, 6:30; East Hall (GA) vs. Dorman/Spartanburg, 8
Wildcat Invitational
Site: Valdese Draughn High School
Today: 1:00 Avery Girls vs. Highland Tech; 2:30 Patton Boys vs. Highland Tech; 4:00 Draughn Girls vs. Burns; 5:30 Draughn Boys vs. East Henderson
 --Providence Day, Metrolina Christian, Covenant Day and Concord Cannon at Carolina Day Invitational in Asheville. The tournament will begin Tuesday instead of Monday

Saturday, December 25, 2010

2010 All-Observer Football Team

Rock Hill South Pointe's Jadeveon Clowney was the nation's No.1-ranked college recruit in preseason by nearly all of the national scouting services. It could be a heavy burden, but Clowney produced a wonderful senior season and repeats as the All-Observer defensive player of the year.

Mallard Creek quarterback Marquise Williams ran up nearly 4,500 yards and 45 touchdowns playing in about 12 games. In a year of dominant quarterback play, he is the All-Observer offensive player of the year.

Garinger coach Lin Fisher led the Wildcats to their most wins in 20 years. Garinger, a notoriously tough place to win, finished 7-5 and hosted a playoff game. The Wildcats had a five-game win streak in September, their best in 16 years. Fisher, who was an interim coach, took over for Terry Liggin just before the start of the season.

At South Pointe, Clowney led the team to a 13-2 record and a S.C. 3A state championship appearance. He was named S.C. Mr. Football and won several national player of the week awards. Clowney, 6-foot-6 and 252 pounds, will play in the Under Armour All-American Game and will choose a college among Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Louisiana State and South Carolina. This season, he had 167 tackles, including 47 for a loss. He had 32.5 sacks, two interceptions and one safety. He caused 11 fumbles, got six fumble recoveries and scored five defensive touchdowns.

At Mallard Creek, Williams, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior, completed 170 of 254 passes (67 percent) for 3,034 yards and 45 touchdowns. He only threw eight interceptions. Williams also rushed for 1,147 yards and 19 touchdowns. The passing yards rank 19th in Mecklenburg County history. The passing touchdowns is sixth best in county history.

Williams, named state player of the year by N.C. Preps, led the Mavericks to a school-record wins and to the N.C. 4AA quarterfinals, as deep in the playoffs as any Mallard Creek team had gone.

The All-Observer team recognizes the top players in the newspaper's 127-school coverage area in North and South Carolina. Coaches are asked to nominate players, and the Observer considers those nominations and talks with coaches, scouts and other writers about performance before picking a team. An All-Mecklenburg team, for the top players in Mecklenburg County, is also picked annually. It was announced Friday.

QB: Marquise Williams
Mallard Creek, 6-3, 220, Sr.
Threw for more than 3,000 yards, 45 touchdowns and rushed for more than 1,100 yards and 19 touchdowns. N.C. Preps state player of the year and I-MECK 4A conference offensive player of the year.
RB: Justus Pickett
Ardrey Kell, 5-10, 190, Sr.
Third-best single-season rushing performance in county history (2,429 yards); 31 rushing touchdowns ninth best in county history. Southwestern 4A offensive player of the year had 3,068 total yards from scrimmage and 38 touchdowns.
RB: Shawn Warren
China Grove Carson, 5-7, 175, Sr.
Rushed 330 times for 2,967 yards and 30 touchdowns. Set school records for rushing, rush TD, points. More than 6,000 career rush yards; 3.6 GPA; helped team to school-record 10 wins. Has committed to Western Carolina.
RB: Jahwan Edwards
Butler, 5-11, 230, Sr.
256 carries for 1,651 yards and 33 TDs, second-most scores in school history and fourth-most in county history. Edwards rushed for nearly 400 yards in the state semifinals and championship and was MVP of the state final.
WR: K.J. Brent
Marvin Ridge, 6-4, 180, Sr.
56 catches for 1,046 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has committed to South Carolina and was chosen for All World Bowl Dec. 31 on Fox Sports.
WR: Preston Earle
Harding, 6-2, 190, Sr.
85 catches for school-record 1,280 yards and seven touchdowns. The yardage ranks 13th in Mecklenburg County history. MEGA 7 offensive player of the year.
TE: Drew Owens
Ardrey Kell, 6-5, 230, Sr.
South Carolina commit had 25 catches for 524 yards and 5 TDs. Had offers from UNC, N.C. State, Va. Tech, Clemson, Arkansas, Michigan and Maryland.
OL: Devin Flowers
Mallard Creek, 6-2, 285, Sr.
I-MECK 4A all-conference pick was a four-year starter and Shrine Bowl pick. Anchored running game that had nearly 3,000 yards. Three-time all-conference.
OL: D.J. Humphries
Mallard Creek, 6-6, 265, Jr.
The Observer's No. 1 N.C. recruit in the junior class; hasn't given up a sack in two years. All-conference pick in I-MECK 4A.
OL: Mark Harrell
Charlotte Catholic, 6-5, 260, Jr.
Catalyst for Catholic team that averaged 326 yards rushing per game and 4,904 rush yards for the season. Invited to U.S. Army All-American combine next month and has scholarship offer from Duke.
OL: Stewart Hinson
Unionville Piedmont, 6-6, 285, Sr.
Has committed to East Carolina. He graded at 96 percent and didn't allow a sack or a QB hurry. Had 48 pancake blocks and led team to unbeaten conference season; carries 4.16 GPA
OL: Charles Holloway
West Rowan, 6-2, 170, Sr.
Led 16-0 state champ that rushed for more than 3,800 yards and passed for more than 2,400. With starting QB hurt in state final, team ran behind Holloway and junior RB Dinkin Miller rushed for career-best 211 yards.
SPEC: Justin Worley
Rock Hill Northwestern, 6-5, 210, Sr.
Gatorade national player of the year completed 485 of 589 passes (72.8 percent) and threw for 5,313 yards and 64 TDs.
K: Trever Austin
Boiling Springs Crest, 5-11, 175, Sr.
Big South 3A special teams player of the year and Shrine Bowl pick hit 10 of 13 field goals, including from 53 and 52 yards. Missed from 38, 54 and had one blocked. Had 39-yard punt average.

QB: B.J. Sherrill, W. Rowan, 6-0, 215, Sr.
RB: Germone Hopper, Berry, 6-0, 175, Jr.
RB: Jalen Simmons, W. Charlotte, 5-10, 200, Sr.
TE: Patrick Hampton, W. Rowan, 6-2, 185, Sr.
WR: Jonah Brooks, Lawndale Burns, 5-11, 185, Sr.
WR: Kevin Asante, Mallard Creek, 5-11, 175, Sr.
WR: Jordan Oakley, Indian Trail Porter Ridge, 5-11, 180, Jr.
OL: Jacob Brewer, Unionville Piedmont, 6-1, 275, Sr.
OL: Nick Sansotta, Butler, 6-1, 250, Sr.
OL: Harrison Monk, Providence, 6-4, 236, Jr.
OL: Nick Davidson, Ardrey Kell, 6-6, 270, Jr.
OL: Stephan Nance, Rock Hill Northwestern, 6-5, 290, Sr.
SPEC: Brandon Littlejohn, Lawndale Burns, 5-11, 161, Jr.
K: Miller Synder, Myers Park, 6-1, 180, Sr.

QB: Riley Ferguson, Butler, 6-2, 180, So.
RB: Romar Morris, Salisbury, 5-11, 185, Sr.
RB: Brian Baltimore, Concord Hickory Ridge, 5-8, 190, Sr.
TE: Darren Alberton, Myers Park, 6-3, 215, Sr.
WR: Robert Joseph, Rock Hill Northwestern, 5-9, 170, Sr.
WR: Cody Clanton, China Grove Carson, 6-3, 175, Sr.
WR: Jacques Moore, Concord, 6-2, 175, Sr.
OL: Danny Brook, Concord Hickory Ridge, 6-6, 240, Sr.
OL: Sheldon Saddler, Kannapolis Brown, 6-1, 285, Sr.
OL: Christian Little, Concord First Assembly, 6-5, 325, Sr.
OL: Michael Scott, Albemarle, 6-4, 205, Sr.
OL: Carson Ginn, Belmont South Point, Ht/Wt NA, Sr.
SPEC: John Knox, Salisbury, 6-0, 180, Sr.
K: Paul Griggs, Charlotte Latin, 6-0, 180, Jr.
DL: Jadeveon Clowney
Rock Hill South Pointe, 6-6, 252, Sr.
Repeats as defensive player of the year after getting 167 tackles, 32.5 sacks and scoring five defensive touchdowns.
DL: Alex Glover
Mallard Creek, 6-1, 215, Sr.
I-MECK 4A defensive player of the year had 83 tackles, 13 sacks, one forced fumble, three recoveries. Two-time all-league pick.
DL: Colin Parsons
Butler, 6-3, 240, Sr.
90 tackles, 27 tackles for loss and 16 sacks for unbeaten N.C. 4AA champions who won with dominant defense.
DL: Gerald Dixon
Rock Hill Northwestern, 6-4, 280 Sr.
Four-year letterman offered a scholarship by South Carolina, had 78 tackles, 10 sacks, 5 tackles for loss. S.C. Shrine Bowl pick.
LB: Kris Frost
Butler, 6-3, 220, Sr.
Top defensive player for state champions. All-Meck defensive player of the year and U.S. Army All-American had 105 tackles, five sacks, though teams consistently ran away from him.
LB: Stephone Anthony
Anson Senior., 6-3, 220, Sr.
Gatorade N.C. player of the year had 123 tackles and four sacks plus two interceptions and four forced fumbles. Under Armour All-American rushed for 302 yards and seven touchdowns on 50 carries.
LB: Stephan Amoah
Butler, 6-1, 215, Sr.
Leading tackler for N.C. 4AA champs. Had 179 tackles, 11 for loss and six sacks. Had 15 tackles, team-high, in 44-0 state championship win over Wake Forest-Rolesville.
DB: Eric Cowan
West Rowan, 5-10, 170, Sr.
Rowan County defensive player of the year had 160 tackles, 5 interceptions. Scored five times: two on punts, one on a kickoff, one on Interception and one on a fake punt. Three-time state champion.
DB: Jamison Crowder
Monroe, 5-9, 160, Sr.
Committed to Duke, Crowder had more than 1,400 total yards and 20 TDs on offense at mainly WR. Scored on punts, fumbles and interceptions. Had 59 tackles, one sack, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and 10 pass breakups. Rocky River conference player of the year.
DB: Rhaheim Ledbetter
Boiling Springs Crest, 5-11, 190, Jr.
Had 56 tackles, five for loss, four sacks and two forced fumbles for N.C. 3AA state finalist. Ledbetter intercepted two passes, returning one for a score.
DB: Domonique Noble
West Rowan, 6-2, 190, Sr.
Georgia Tech commit and Shrine Bowl pick had six interceptions this season while moving from CB to SS to FS. Had three interceptions in three state final appearances.
SPEC: Darien Rankin
Salisbury, 6-0, 190, Sr.
Three-sport athlete (basketball, track) had 163 tackles this season at DB plus two interceptions and eight passes broken up. Was also dangerous punt returner for N.C. 2AA champions.
P: Tommy Hibbard
Butler, 5-10, 180, Sr.
Averaged 49.9 yards per punt for the two-time N.C. 4AA state champions.
Second Team
DL: Gerald Dixon, Rock Hill South Pointe, 6-3, 265, Sr.
DL: Emmanuel Gbunblee, West Rowan, 6-1, 225, Sr.
DL: Jonathan Bullard, Boiling Springs Crest, 6-4, 255, Sr.
DL: Adam Farley, Charlotte Catholic, 6-1, 325, Sr.
LB: Aaron Frye, Lenoir Hibriten, 5-9, 206, Sr.
LB: Michael Cunningham, Lincolnton, Ht, Wt NA, Jr.
LB: Colton Walls, Charlotte Latin, 6-2, 230, Sr.
DB: Damarrell Alexander, Indian Trail Porter Ridge, 5-10, 165, Sr.
DB: Calvin Hunter, Vance, 5-10, 170, Sr.
DB: Austin Stewart, Butler, 6-1, 190, Sr.
DB: Matthias Farley, Charlotte Christian, 6-1, 195, Sr.
SPEC: Kaylen Pearson, Lenoir Hibriten, 5-11, 165, Sr.
P: Landon Ard, Rock Hill South Pointe, 5-11, 170, Sr.
Third Team
DL: Lucas Fisher, Unionville Piedmont, 6-5, 255, Sr.
DL: D.J. Bostick, NW Cabarrus, 5-11, 270, Sr.
DL: Stephen Burns, Alexander Central, 6-2, 255, Sr.
DL: Larell Jones, Albemarle, 6-3, 275, Sr.
LB: Kavari Hillie, Salisbury, 5-11, 215, Jr.
LB: Shontigo Parker, Albemarle, 5-8, 190, Sr.
LB: Aaron Sigmon, Marshville Forest Hills, 6-0, 220, Sr.
DB: Jarrell Robinson, Indian Land, 6-3, 175, Sr.
DB: Montrece Kennedy, Rock Hill Northwestern, 5-11, 165, Jr.
DB: David Crouch, South Caldwell, 6-2, 178, Jr.
DB: Jalen Sowell, Monroe, 6-0, 170, Sr.
SPEC: Tyler Rhyne, Concord First Assembly, 5-11, 190, Sr.
P: Matt Wogan, Indian Trail Porter Ridge, 6-2, 185, So.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Associated Press N.C. All-State Football Team announced

West Rowan keeps racking up wins, state championships and spots on The Associated Press All-State prep football team for North Carolina.

For the third straight year, the Falcons followed a state title by placing at least three players on the AP squad. Offensive lineman Charles Holloway, and defensive backs Domonique Noble and Eric Cowan were voted on the 2010 team by 15 sports writers from across the state in results released Wednesday.

The Falcons (16-0) won a third straight state title and extended their winning streak to a nation-best 46 games.

Last season, West Rowan and Butler each had four players make the AP team. Butler, which won a second straight 4-AA title and as a 31-game winning streak, had two players this season: linebackers Stephan Amoah and Kris Frost.

Mallard Creek, Monroe Piedmont and Winston-Salem Carver each had two players on the team as the only other schools with multiple All-State picks.

Holloway earned 11 votes to share leading vote-getter honors with Durham Hillside's Vad Lee at quarterback, Anson County's Stephone Anthony – who was among the AP Top 100 and AP South Region Top 25 list of recruits – at linebacker and Newton-Conover's Octavius Harden at kick returner.

Mallard Creek offensive lineman Devin Flowers and Myers Park punter Miller Snyder were the only other players to earn at least 10 votes.

Mallard Creek also had offensive lineman DeMarcus Humphries make the team, while Piedmont also had a pair of All-State offensive linemen with Jacob Brewer and Stewart Hinson. Carver placed two on the team with defensive lineman SamQuan Evans and defensive back Denzel Rice.

The team grew this year due to several ties for the final spot at each position. Waxhaw Marvin Ridge's K.J. Brent and Asheville Erwin's Shaquan Curenton tied for the last receiver spot with seven votes each.

Brewer and Hinson tied with Wake Forest-Rolesville's Dylan Intemann and Western Guilford's Brock Stadnik with five votes on the offensive line. Cowan, Salisbury's Darien Rankin and Burlington Cummings' Trey Smith tied for a spot in the secondary with five votes.

Boiling Springs Crest's Trever Austin and Southwest Onslow's Zach Matics each earned six votes to share All-State honors at place-kicker
-- Associated Press

Thursday, December 16, 2010

W. Charlotte wins showdown with Mooresville 76-58

West Charlotte's boys took the drama out of its showdown at Mooresville early Thursday night, outscoring the Blue Devils by 16 in the first quarter of a 76-58 win.

The Lions (8-1, 3-0 I-MECK 4A) got 30 points from guard Jacoby Davis and 19 from 6-foot-8, 250-pound sophomore center Kennedy Meeks. West Charlotte's defense, which allows just 50 points per game, limited Mooresville's leading scorer, Shawn Lester, to only two points.

Mooresville (6-1, 2-1) lost for the first time.

West Charlotte plays rival Harding Friday night (Dec. 17) at home.

W. Charlotte-Mooresville/Lake Norman-Hopewell games moved up for weather

There's been time changes for at least two area games scheduled for tonight.

Lake Norman at Hopewell and West Charlotte at Mooresville will be varsity only. Both girls game will tip at 5 p.m., followed by the boys at approximately 6:45 p.m. There will be no junior varsity games played tonight.

The Lake Norman-Hopewell junior varsity game will start at 4 p.m. Friday at Hopewell.

Monday, December 13, 2010

North Meck boys zoom into Sweet 16, face rival W. Charlotte

Olympic’s boys have moved into the No. 1 spot in the Sweet 16.

The Trojans (7-0) moved up when preseason No. 1 Charlotte Christian (8-1) lost Saturday to Gonzaga (D.C.) College Prep 54-49 at the Gonzaga Classic.

Christian dropped to No. 2. The Knights are ranked No. 18 in the southeast region by ESPN Rise (Gonzaga is No. 11).

-- Berry’s girls (5-0) are up four spots to No. 7 after Friday’s 56-32 win over Unionville Piedmont. North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell attended the game.

-- North Meck’s boys, off to a 7-0 start, zoom to No. 8 in the poll. The Vikings were unranked last week. The Vikings play at No. 3 West Charlotte Tuesday night.

--  Three new teams join the girls poll: 5-1 Olympic, 3-0 Newton Foard and 5-0 Belmont South Point.

-- Providence Day’s girls (4-2) hold onto the No. 4 spot despite losing 63-57 to Abbotsleigh (Australia) last week. The Chargers also lost 68-61 to Virginia power Oak Hill last month.

-- NOTE: This is the last Sweet 16 poll of the year. The poll will pick up when schools return from Christmas Break in January.


Rk.     Team (Class)     Rec.    Pv
1     Olympic (4A)     7-0    2
2     Charlotte Christian (IND)     8-1    1
3     W. Charlotte (4A)     6-1    3
4     Concord (3A)     3-1    3
5     W. Meck (4A)     3-2    5
6     Monroe (1A)     1-1    6
7     Vance (4A)     5-1    13
8     North Mecklenburg (4A)     7-0    --
9     Hickory (3A)     4-1    8
10     Fort Mill (3A)     6-1    10
11     Hunter Huss (3A)     5-1    11
12     Lancaster, SC (4A)     7-1    12
13     Salisbury (2A)     2-1    7
14     Cherryville (1A)     2-1    9
15    Berry (2A)     5-1    15
16    Mooresville (4A)     5-1    --

Girls Poll
Rk     Team (Class)     Rec.    Prv
1     Butler (4A)     6-0    1
2     Salisbury (2A)     3-1    2
3     Hopewell (4A)     6-0    3
4     Prov. idence Day (Ind)     4-2    4
5     N. Iredell (3A)     5-1    5
6     Hickory (3A) 4-1 8
7     Berry (2A)     5-0    11
8     Newton-Conover 3-1 6
9     Mallard Creek (4A)     6-1    7
10     Indian Trail Porter Ridge (4A)     4-0    10
11     W. Rowan (3A)     4-0    13
12     S. Caldwell (4A)     6-0    15
13     Olympic (4A)     5-1    --
14     Newton Foard (3A)     3-0    --
15     Belmont South Point (3A)    5-0    --
16     Lake Norman (4A)     4-2    14

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Notes, observations, heroes from Saturday's state championships

Saturday's stars in finals:
Jahwan Edwards, Butler: 170 yards, 3 TDs in 44-0 win over Wake Forest-Rolesville. In two state title games, Edwards has rushed for 324 yards and four scores.
Butler defense: First shutout in the eight-year history of the 4AA championship game. Bulldogs allowed 150 yards, helped force six turnovers. Butler senior linebacker Stephan Amoah had 15 tackles and sophomore linebacker Peter Kalambayi had 12. Dominique Brewer and Austin Stewart (2) had interceptions. Brewer, Ozzie Sombo and Corwin White had fumble recoveries.
Dinkin Miller, West Rowan: 22 rushes, 211 yards and a score in the Falcons' 34-7 win over Eastern Alamance.
West Rowan defense: Eastern Alamance got 135 total yards in 50 plays and just 36 yards rushing in 24 attempts.
Dominique Dismuke, Salisbury: Two TDs in Hornets 30-0 win over Elizabeth City Northeastern, his school's first state title since 1957.
Crest heart: Down most of the game, the Chargers kept coming back even after being denied on two trips inside the 5 and with Northern Guilford seeming to have own the game after a late interception. The Chargers never gave up -- and nearly, improbably, sent the game to overtime.


-- Friday afternoon, a youth team from Mint Hill won the American Youth Football national championship 38-0 over Chicago (Ill) Park Ridge. Seventh grader Benjamin LeMay, younger brother of Butler receiver Uriah LeMay and former QB Christian, ran for 189 yards and scored three touchdowns. And after his performance he challenged Uriah to win a championship Saturday.
     "He said I got mine, so you better get yours," Uriah LeMay said after rushing for 36 yards and catching a 5-yard pass. "I guess we had to come through. And losing all the players we lost and having everybody doubting us all season, that made this sweet."

-- Butler QB Riley Ferguson thinks his team has a good shot to win at least two more consecutive titles and coach Mike Newsome said Ferguson is the kind of quarterback who can back up that talk. Newsome also said his team is in the middle of a special talent run. He'll eventually inherit many of those Mint Hill youth national champions, including Benjamin LeMay who was invited to the Under Armor Junior All-American game next month in Orlando.
      "Riley and that group of sophomores we have now won (the youth national title) when they were that age ," Newsome said. "I hope we get another group like that."
      Asked if he would be there to coach those future Butler teams, Newsome shouted "Absolutely, man! Absolutely!"

-- After the game, Butler junior receiver Zach Ferguson picked up 5-8, 150-pound senior running back Jarrett Camp and the team gathered around him. Camp hadn't played much, but had two carries Saturday.
     "He's moved from position to position," Newsome said. "If you could measure that kid's heart, he'd be the biggest kid on the field, and unfortunately, the Good Lord didn't see fit to give him a body as big as his heart. He's gone through a lot with us and it made me happy, him happy and the team happy to see him get in there."

--  Butler defensive back Austin Stewart, who had two interceptions, said Butler wanted to get off to a fast start on defense. Mission accomplished: Rolesville gained 11 yards on its first three possessions.
"We came in here hungry," he said. "We had everybody against us for some reason, and we said, 'We're going to take it. We're going to take their pride at the beginning of the half' and we did."

-- I'm not sure which defense is better, but Butler and West Rowan are both among the best I've seen in a while. They are fast and fly to the ball, and when Falcons quarterback B.J. Sherrill left the game with a concussion late in the first half, West Rowan's defense seemed more determined to shut down Eastern Alamance.

-- N.C. State's field conditions were poor. Only the symbols in the center of the field were painted; it was rainy and cold, and players kept slipping when trying to make cuts

Hard to not think about how good Butler could’ve been if the Bulldogs had played the season with 1,500-yard rusher Ron Howard and All-American QB Christian LeMay. And if the Bulldogs had played with linebacker Ozzie Sombo and tailback Deion Walker all season. All four are all-state caliber players.
"We’d be No. 1 in the nation," Stewart said. "No lie. But I’m just thankful we did what we did with the guys that we have."

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Observer All-Cabarrus football team

Cabarrus County has long been one of the top areas for high school football, as A.L. Brown and

Concord have been perennial state contenders for decades.

This year, the Wonders and Spiders were again among the best, advancing to their respective state quarterfinals.

But they weren't the only teams to succeed, as First Assembly won its second straight NCISAA Division II state championship under Mike Minter. Cannon also made big strides, winning five games in its first year as a varsity program.

Cabarrus News Coach of the Year: Ron Massey, A.L. Brown

In 11 seasons as the head coach of A.L. Brown's football team, Ron Massey has guided the Wonders to 120 victories.

Despite losing his top player in tailback Travis Riley for most of this season, Massey led the Wonders to a 12-2 mark, including a fourth straight SPC title and a perfect 7-0 record in conference play.

Cabarrus News Player of the Year: Brian Baltimore, Hickory Ridge

The Hickory Ridge offense has had a simple game plan for most of the last two seasons: Brian Baltimore left, Brian Baltimore right, Brian Baltimore up the middle.

But despite knowing this, Baltimore's opponents haven't had much success stopping him. This year, the senior tailback rushed for a career-best 1,932 yards and 19 touchdowns to lead the Bulls to their second playoff berth in as many years.

Baltimore finished his Ragin' Bulls career with more than 4,500 yards and 40 touchdowns.

To see the team, click the link below:

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Northwestern QB Justin Worley named Gatorade National player of the year

Rock Hill Northwestern QB Justin Worley was named the 2010-11 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year Thursday.  Worley, the first-ever Gatorade National Player of the Year from the state of South Carolina in any sport, was surprised with the news during his physical education class at Northwestern High School by 2010 Canadian Football League champion Montreal Alouettes quarterback Chris Leak, who earned Gatorade North Carolina Football Player of the Year honors in 2002-03 & 2001-02.

“When I received the award on the state level, it was a really significant moment for me, so it felt great to surprise Justin with the news and invite him into one of the most prestigious legacy programs in high school sports,” said Leak, who led the University of Florida to the BCS National Championship in 2007.  “Gatorade has been on the sidelines fueling athletic performance for years, so to be recognized by a brand that understands the game and truly helps athletes perform is a huge honor for these kids.”

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Worley as the nation’s best high school football player.  A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Worley from more than 1.1 million high football players nationwide. Worley is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special afternoon ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in July.

The 6-foot-5, 195-pound senior quarterback led the Trojans to a 15-0 record and the Class 4A-II state title. Worley passed for 5,315 yards and 64 touchdowns, completing 429-of-590 attempts (72.7 percent) while throwing just 11 interceptions. A 2010 Shrine Bowl selection and a 2010 South Carolina Mr. Football finalist, he became the state’s single-season leader in touchdown passes this season, breaking the mark set by two-time Gatorade South Carolina Football Player of the Year Willy Korn (53, 2005-07) in 2005. Worley threw for more than 50 touchdowns in a season in two of the last three years and passed for 13,385 yards and 157 touchdowns in his career, leading Northwestern to consecutive state championship games. Earlier this month, he joined Northwestern alumni Dee Feaster (1994-95) and Jeff Burris (1989-90) as the only Trojans football players to win Gatorade State Player of the Year honors.

Worley has maintained a 4.07 weighted GPA in the classroom. A devoted member of his church community, he has volunteered locally as a guest speaker on behalf of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and has donated his time to the St. John’s Church holiday program and the congregation’s annual drive for the needy, Operation Christmas Child.  A member of the Northwestern High Beta Club, Worley has volunteered on behalf of the Feed the Hungry and Cheer For Children charities, as well as the Adopt-A-Highway Program.

“Justin Worley has been one of the nation’s most prolific quarterbacks since his sophomore season,” said ESPN RISE Director of Recruiting Greg Biggins. “He has a lot of tools that should help his succeed at the next level. He’s a big kid with a nice frame and better-than-average athleticism for the position. He’s a very accurate quarterback, shows good poise in the pocket and has a high football IQ as well. Worley is definitely a guy with a nice upside, and should do very well at Tennessee.”

Worley has verbally committed to play football on scholarship at the University of Tennessee beginning in the fall of 2011. He will graduate early to begin attending classes on the Knoxville campus during the upcoming spring semester.

“Without question, Justin is deserving of recognition as the nation’s best high school football player based on his statistics on the field and the impact his accomplishments have had on Northwestern’s success,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Jennifer Storms.  “But he is also a shining example to peers and aspiring young athletes of what a leader and a student-athlete should be.  He represents everything we hope for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient.”

Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year include:

·         Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning

·         WNBA all-time leading scorer and rebounder Lisa Leslie

·         NFL all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith

·         Kansas City Royals Cy Young award-winner Zach Grienke

-- Gatorade Media Release

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New Jersey hopes to protect student-athletes from brain injuries

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. New Jersey took action Tuesday aimed at protecting student athletes from brain injuries, as the problem gains attention among both professionals and amateurs.

Gov. Chris Christie signed into law a bill that requires coaches to remove any player who shows signs of a concussion. Those students will need to be cleared by a doctor before they can compete again.
All public and private school districts in the state also will have to develop policies to handle head injuries.

In legislating the measure, New Jersey joins Washington state, which led the way last year in passing what's considered the nation's strongest return-to-play statute.

At least a half-dozen other states are now considering measures to toughen restrictions on young athletes returning to play after head injuries.

"This is not about someone not willing to play hard in whatever sport they're in," the governor said. "This is about protecting someone's long-term health from being overwhelmed by the sense of competition we sometimes feel in our country."

Christie signed the bill at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford. He was joined by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, New York Jets Chairman and CEO Woody Johnson, and several former New York Giants defensive players.

Goodell has written to governors across the country asking them to take action similar to Lystedt's Law in Washington state. Zackery Lystedt, a Washington middle school football player, suffered brain damage in 2006 after he had a concussion and returned to the game.

Christie said the legislation lets children know that the first and most important job is to take care of themselves.

Christie said he hopes the message to student athletes is clear: "Above anything you do on the sports field, your first and most important job is to take care of yourself."

Douglass Todd, who coaches the Randolph Bulldogs recreational football team, made up of seventh-graders, said he thinks the new law will prove helpful for both players and coaches. He said coaches can feel pressure from parents who want to see their kids play.

"It gives us a rule book to follow," said Todd, who kept his team's quarterback out for two weeks after a concussion this season. "At the youth level, we're volunteers. We're not professional coaches. So we don't have a lot of medical training."

-- Associated Press

Monday's prep basketball results and tonight's pairings

Click here to see stats, standings and leaders

Today's Games
Albemarle at South Stanly
Asheville School at East Rutherford
Australia at Providence Day
Charlotte Catholic at Ardrey Kell
Concord Cannon at Wesleyan Christian
East Mecklenburg at Anson Senior
Forest Hills at Union Academy
Fort Mill at Indian Land
Gaston Christian at Hickory Grove
Gastonia Ashbrook at East Gaston
Grace Academy at Monroe Parkwood
Harding at Hopewell
Hickory Ridge at China Grove Carson
Hickory at West Caldwell
Hickory St. Stephens at Catawba Bandys
Independence at Vance
Kannapolis Brown at South Rowan
Kings Mountain at Shelby
Lake Norman Charter at Concord Cox Mill
Lincolnton at Maiden
Mallard Creek at Gastonia Huss
Monroe Central Academy at Cuthbertson
Mooresville at Statesville
Morganton Freedom at East Burke
Morganton Patton at Lenoir Hibriten
Myers Park at Hough
North Iredell at Lake Norman
North Mecklenburg at Garinger
North Rowan at West Rowan
North Stanly at Berry
Northside Christian at Metrolina Christian
Porter Ridge at Monroe
Providence at Gastonia Forestview
Queens Grant at Charlotte Christian
Rocky River at Olympic
South Caldwell at Valdese Draughn
South Mecklenburg at West Mecklenburg
Southlake Christian at Concord First Assembly
Spartanburg Day at Gaston Day
Watauga at Burnsville Mountain Heritage
West Charlotte at Butler
West Iredell at South Iredell
West Stanly at Unionville Piedmont
CONCORD ROBINSON 72 : K. Anzenberger 11, Bostick 4, Boswell 5, Boyce 5, R. Gadd 20, B. Koerner 14, Smith 3, Woody 6.
BUTLER 85: M. Burton 21, Fisher-Davis 9, Johnson 3, A. Stitt 31, J. White 19.
Cent. Cabarrus
CHINA GROVE CARSON 63 : Clanton 9, Eagle 6, D. Heggins 19, Heggins 2, N. Houston 20, Parker 7, Wanger 2.
CENTRAL CABARRUS 66: L. Cooks 21, Daniel 4, Deer 4, Green 2, Heath 9, A. Johnson 11, Spease 4, Thomas 8, Watson 3.
Sun Valley
Myers Park
WADDELL 50: Cloud 3, Haywood 8, J. Haywood 12, McFadden 7, T. Menton 15.
MYERS PARK 48: Brafford 6, C. Massey 16, Powell 4, Rechner 3, Thomas 4, Walker 7, Wallace 8.
East Lincoln
Lincoln Charter
EAST LINCOLN 47: Tyler Brock 11, Earnhardt 2, Young 6, Moreno 7, Patrick Rendleman 11, Hills 8, Parrish 2.
LINCOLN CHARTER 37: Harbor 9, Dodson 3, Taylor 7, Charlie Splain 14, Allison 4, Ekland 2.
Bunker Hill
N. Lincoln
Myers Park
WADDELL 44 : Alexander 23, B.Childs 8, Gamble 4, Landry 6, Mobley 3.
MYERS PARK 55: C. Hammack 15, Injaychock 2, M. Jeffries 15, Politis 5, Sistrunk 2, Smith 6, Timpton 8, Timpton 2.
CONCORD ROBINSON 35 : Bernal 9, K. Cheek 11, Gray 2, Peay 4, Toppings 2, Zeiler 8.
BUTLER 82: J. Atkinson 11, C. Burdick 30, Dunovant 3, J. Fisher-Davis 15, A. Kilpatrick 12, Morgan 4, Reid 3, Worthy 4.
Union Academy
Sun Valley

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