Monday, August 30, 2010

Was Chris Leak a "medicore" college QB? He gets first pro start Friday

I was going to pick up my baby boy from school today, when I heard a sports talk radio host say, over and over, that former Independence High star Chris Leak was a "mediocre" college quarterback.


Leak is one of the best high school football players this state has ever produced, and we all know that he didn't make it in the NFL.

But in college? At Florida, Leak was 29-9 against SEC competition and won a national championship. He was MVP of Florida's 41-14 win over Ohio State. After that game, this "mediocre" quarterback sat on the couch with Jay Leno, participated in Super Bowl week activities and made a few commercials.

He was also a finalist for the Sullivan Award, given to the nation's top amateur athlete.

I know, I know. That's pretty mediocre, too.

Leak finished his career at Florida ranked among the top 15 in SEC history in total yards gained, total passing yards and career touchdown passes.

Just way below average stuff.

After going undrafted in 2007, the Bears picked Leak up, kept him through training camp and then cut him. Leak later tried out with the Chiefs and signed on to play in something called the All-American Football League that never got off the ground.

These days, he's a backup for Canadian Football League power Montreal. On Aug. 20, Montreal's future Hall of Fame quarterback, 37-year-old QB Anthony Cavillo, suffered a bruised sternum during a game with Winnepeg. Leak replaced him and completed 10-of-15 passes for 99 yards in Montreal's 39-14 win.

Leak and the Alouettes play the BC Lions Friday. Montreal (6-2) leads the East division in the CFL. BC (1-7) is last in the West. Leak, now, 25, will start for Montreal.

"You try to prepare for this moment the best you can," Leak told SportsNet Canada. "You never know when it's going to come but at one point your number's going to be called to help your team win. This is a special moment. I'll try to make all these moments into memories."

Ardrey Kell's Pickett explodes for 276 rush yards

Ardrey Kell senior running back Justus Pickett had a magical night last week at North Mecklenburg.

Pickett rushed for 276 yards and three touchdowns. He had more than 100 return yards and had three catches for 29 yards in the Knights’ 34-14 win. His first score came on a 59-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the first quarter.

“I knew I was bound to break one,” Pickett said. “I saw the hole open up and I knew I had to hit it and burst. As soon as I saw that opening, I knew it was going to be a touchdown.”

Pickett’s rushing total was the second best in school history and tied for the 22nd best rushing performance in Mecklenburg County history. Last season, Pickett rushed for 348 yards and two touchdowns against South Mecklenburg. That performance stands as the third-best in county history behind Charlotte Catholic’s Ben Herlocker (359 yards in 2006) and Myers Park’s Aaron Bradley (367 in 2004).

Ardrey Kell coach Adam Hastings, who got a win in his first game Friday, said Pickett is considering Wake Forest, Stanford, Southern California and Illinois for college.

Pickett was a second team selection on the Observer’s All-Mecklenburg team last season.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Live Scoreboard/Updates

Friday's Scores

Albemarle 42, West Stanly 14

Alexander Central 28, West Iredell 10

Apex 35, Durham Riverside 32

Apex Middle Creek 14, Southern Durham 9

Asheville 25, Waynesville Tuscola 0

Asheville Erwin 42, Black Mountain Owen 39

Asheville Roberson 21, West Henderson 14

Avery County 48, West Wilkes 16

Ayden-Grifton 21, Greene Central 12

Boonville Starmount 42, East Surry 8

Burlington Cummings 42, Burlington Williams 0

Cape Fear 17, Fayetteville Westover 8

Carrboro 30, Orange County 0

Cary 34, Northern Nash 6

Catawba Bandys 26, Hickory St. Stephens 13

Central, S.C. 20, Anson County 7

Charlotte AFC 20, Southside, S.C. 6

Charlotte Ardrey Kell 34, North Mecklenburg 14

Charlotte Berry Tech 20, Charlotte Garinger 9

Charlotte Catholic 38, Charlotte Providence 13

Charlotte Myers Park 39, Charlotte Olympic 6

Charlotte Vance 46, East Mecklenburg 6

Chesnee, S.C. 19, Forest City Chase 13

Claremont Bunker Hill 14, North Lincoln 7

Clinton Union 34, Dixon 0

Clover, S.C. 26, Gastonia Ashbrook 12

Concord 15, Lexington 13

Concord Robinson 29, Cuthbertson 26

Croatan 27, Lejeune 7

Durham Hillside 49, GW-Danville, Va. 18

East Bladen 52, Red Springs 0

East Davidson 18, Trinity 12, 2OT

East Forsyth 10, Pfafftown Reagan 0

Eastern Alamance 20, Graham 9

Eastern Wayne 23, Goldsboro 20

Fayetteville Britt 27, Hoke County 6

Fayetteville Byrd 27, Fayetteville Sanford 7

Fayetteville Seventy-First 30, Wilmington Hoggard 0

Fayetteville Smith 54, Southern Lee 13

Franklin 14, Murphy 12

Franklinton 7, Northern Vance 6

Fuquay-Varina 28, Clayton 7

Gates County 41, Pasquotank County 36

Granville Central 20, Yanceyville Yancey 6

Grayson County, Va. 36, Alleghany County 14

Greensboro Dudley 12, Jamestown Ragsdale 0

Greensboro Page 28, Davie County 13

Greensboro Smith 54, North Cross, Va. 0

Greenville Rose 46, Greenville Conley 6

Harnett Central 51, Erwin Triton 14

Harrells Christian Academy 72, Village Christian 6

Hertford County 25, Bertie County 12

High Point Central 24, Greensboro Grimsley 7

Hillsborough Cedar Ridge 27, Chapel Hill 6

Hobbton 49, Seven Springs Spring Creek 6

Hope Mills South View 15, Hope Mills Gray's Creek 7

Hough High School 25, Rocky River 6

Jacksonville White Oak 38, Richlands 23

Kannapolis Brown 45, South Rowan 7

Kinston 27, South Lenoir 2

Lakewood (Salemburg) 33, North Duplin 6

Lenoir Hibriten 29, Wilkes Central 0

Lumberton 41, Spring Lake Overhills 7

Madison County 24, North Buncombe 14

Maiden 58, Newton Foard 14

Mallard Creek 61, Charlotte Harding 0

Manteo 48, Cape Hatteras 0

Marvin Ridge 48, Hickory Ridge 14

Mitchell County 49, McDowell County 15

Nash Central 35, Smithfield-Selma 20

New Bern 40, West Craven 0

Norcom, Va. 26, Elizabeth City Northeastern 6

North Brunswick 20, Fairmont 14

North Davidson 42, Thomasville Ledford 7

North Henderson 34, Rosman 13

North Stanly 25, South Stanly 7

North Stokes 26, Patrick County, Va. 21

North Surry 27, Elkin 21

Northern Guilford 40, Northeast Guilford 14

Panther Creek 30, Durham Jordan 14

Pembroke Swett 33, St. Pauls 0

Pender County 26, Topsail 10

Person County 21, Oxford Webb 0

Pikeville Aycock 39, Rosewood 10

Pittsboro Northwood 23, Western Harnett 13

Providence Grove 17, Wheatmore 7

Raleigh Athens Drive 19, Raleigh Enloe 6

Raleigh Broughton 21, Garner 20

Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons 40, East Chapel Hill 28

Raleigh Leesville Road 38, Morrisville Green Hope 8

Raleigh Millbrook 31, Knightdale 0

Raleigh Ravenscroft 36, Louisburg 18

Raleigh Wake Christian 26, Cherokee 20

Raleigh Wakefield 42, Holly Springs 28

Reidsville 29, Eden Morehead 0

Roanoke Rapids 42, Weldon 0

Scotland County 35, New Hanover County 6

Shelby 34, Watauga County 14

Shelby Crest 42, Lawndale Burns 19

Socastee, S.C. 29, West Brunswick 28

South Brunswick 26, Wilmington Ashley 14

South Caldwell 33, West Caldwell 7

South Central Pitt 34, Farmville Central 21

South Columbus 38, East Columbus 6

South Granville 27, Southern Vance 26

South Johnston 23, West Johnston 21

South Mecklenburg 55, Charlotte Waddell 7

Southeast Guilford 25, Asheboro 7

Southeast Raleigh 35, Raleigh Sanderson 0

Southern Guilford 44, Rockingham County 8

Southern Nash 44, Bunn 15

SouthWest Edgecombe 61, Currituck County 7

Southwest Onslow 29, Jacksonville 14

Swain County 49, Sylva Smoky Mountain 0

Tarboro 54, Washington 17

Thomasville 21, Mt. Airy 14

Wake Forest-Rolesville 38, East Wake 9

Wallace-Rose Hill 56, Clinton 20

Warsaw Kenan 26, Jones County 8

West Bladen 21, South Robeson 0

West Davidson 16, South Davidson 8

West Forsyth 24, Kernersville Glenn 21

Western Alamance 50, Southern Alamance 40

Whiteville 23, West Columbus 7

Wilmington Laney 44, Fayetteville Pine Forest 14

Wilson Beddingfield 17, Southern Wayne 13

Wilson Hunt 31, Wilson Fike 14

Winston-Salem Carver 29, North Forsyth 3

Hough 25, Rocky River 6 (FINAL)

Lincolnton 43, South Point 42 (OT), (FINAL)

Charlotte Catholic 38, Providence 13 (FINAL): Six Providence turnovers have led to a big Catholic lead. QB Chauncey Concepcion appears hurt, is limping. Providence scored 77 yard pass from Concepcion to Alex Blackwell. Three TDs scored in a 35-second span. Lights are back on after a short power outage. Charlotte Catholic blocked a 22-yard FG and Catholic's Matt Cincotta recovers and returns 85 yards for the 2nd score.

Vance 39, East Meck 6 (FINAL):
Vance's Marc Harris with an 11-yard 3rd-quarter TD run. QB Jalen Latter is 9-for-11 for 167 yards, TD (at end of 3). Earlier, Calvin Hunter caught a 27-yard pass from Latter. Halftime stats: Vance's Larenz Bryant with 3 TDs. Latter has 102 yards passing. East Meck scored on a 70-yard TD pass.

Mallard Creek 61, Harding 0 (FINAL): Brenton Samuels with a 91-yard INT return. UNC-bound QB Marquise Williams 18-for-28 with 341 yards passing and 7 TDs. That's not a misprint. (Both are school records.) Aaron McNeely has a 15-yard run TD.

South Meck 55, Waddell 7 (FINAL): Michael Campbell finished with 88 yards rushing, 3 TD and a 62-yard TD pass. Waddell's Ryan Herbin (8 carries, 101 yards) with a 61-yard TD run.

Myers Park 39, Olympic 6 (FINAL): Olympic QB Cason Beatty taken off the field on a stretcher at end of the 3rd. Halftime stats: Myers Park's Blaine Anderson 7-for-8, 81 yards, 2 TDs. Kennedy Barkley 2 catches, 75 yards, 2 TDs. Chase Kallam 2 catches, 21 yards, 2 TDs. Olympic: Carson Beatty 3-for-8, 18 yards, TD, INT, fumble. Jordan Chambers-Blair 1 catch, 28 yards, TD.

Ardrey Kell 31, North Meck 14 (FINAL): Knights' Justus Pickett with a big night.

A.L. Brown (Kanappolis) 45, South Rowan 7 (FINAL): Demetrius Jackson finished with 8 carries, 106 yards, TD at the end of 3. Halftime stats: Demetrius Jackson 6-for-69, TD; Martel Campbell 5-for-8, 74 yards, TD; Teven Jones TD reception, TD punt return.

Charlotte Christian 24, First Assembly 0 (4th): About to end Assembly's 14-game win streak.

West Rowan 19, Northwest Cabarrus 0 (half): West Rowan going for 32 wins in a row.

Carson 21, North Rowan 0 (half)

South Iredell 7, Lake Norman 7

East Gaston 29, North Gaston 0 (3rd)

Gastonia-Ashbrook 6, Clover 6 (half)

Berry 14, Garinger 3 (2nd)

Salisbury 36, East Rowan 0 (3rd)

Concord 8, Lexington 7 (half)

Hickory 17, Statesville 14 (half)

Kings Mountain 22, Q Foundation 0 (half)

Crest 21, Burns 13 (half)


Chester 52, Lewisville 6 (FINAL)

Clover 26, Ashebrook 12 (FINAL)

Nation Ford 47, Great Falls 15 (FINAL)

Broome 21, York 13 (FINAL)
Greer 14, Rock Hill 4 (4th)

Fort Mill 21, Lugoff-Elgin 7 (half)

Indian Land 42, Buford 13 (4th)

Andrew Jackson 14, Lancaster 0 (half)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

AL Brown's Travis Riley, UNC recruit, to miss Friday's game

Kannapolis Brown tailback Travis Riley will miss Friday's game against South Rowan, Wonders coach Ron Massey said.

Riley was injured in the fourth quarter of last week's season opening win over Statesville. Massey said the school is awaiting results of some medical tests to determine Riley's future status.

Last season, Riley rushed for 1,923 yards and 34 touchdowns on 217 carries.

Read more:

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

HIllside's Vad Lee named NC Preps player of the week

Durham Hillside quarterback Vad Lee has been selected as the Player of the Week for week #1 of the 2010 North Carolina High School season.

Lee, who has verbally committed to Georgia Tech, completed 14 of 23 passes for 308 yards with 4 touchdowns and ran 6 times for 63 yards with a touchdown in over 42-8 victory of Grimsley.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Indy's Geiler: Bye week comes at a good time

Independence coach Bill Geiler is happy that his team is off this week before playing S.C. power Rock Hill South Pointe Sept.3 at home.

The Patriots lost 26-6 to Mallard Creek last week and looked sluggish on offense. Geiler said his team has to get the ball to its playmakers and keep its offense on the field longer. Mallard Creek outgained Independence 404 to 196.

"The bye comes at a good time," Geiler said. "We'll correct mistakes. We're going to get better.

"These guys are committed and they showed up on time (Saturday morning) ready to work, and all we did was look at film. I think we'll come together and hopefully make the playoffs and maybe see Mallard Creek again."

Read more:

Two girls football players hit the field -- and play each other

There are two girls playing kicker in Union County. They played against each other last week.

At Unionville Piedmont, senior Jade Montgomery, a soccer and basketball star, kicked off and kicked extra points. She made 4-of-5 extra-point attempts in a 40-0 win against Monroe Parkwood. Her miss was blocked.

Parkwood soccer star Anna Villanella was assigned to kick for the Rebels, but didn't get a shot at a field goal or an extra point.

Read more:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Butler's Marcus Burton commits to Wagner

Butler senior guard Marcus Burton has committed to Wagner, coach Kurt Wessler said.

Burton averaged 13.7 points and 4.5 assists for the Bulldogs last season.

He chose Wagner over Winthrop, North Florida and Charleston Southern. Burton was Southwestern 4A all-conference team.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Davidson Day hoop star Bernard Sullivan commits to Clemson

Davidson Day senior basketball player Bernard Sullivan committed to Clemson Friday, his AAU coach, Kevin Ligon said.

Sullivan is a 6-foot-8 forward who was a three-time all-conference pick at North Mecklenburg. Last season, Sullivan averaged 18 points and 10 rebounds at North Mecklenburg last season when he was selected to the Charlotte Observer's All-Observer team for the second straight season.

Sullivan announced he was transferring from North Mecklenburg to Davidson Day in the spring.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Friday night scores and updates

Butler 27, Mt. Tabor 14 (FINAL): Jahwan Edwards' 28-yard run with 8:30 to play gives the Bulldogs some breathing room. Ferguson hit Deion Walker with a 64-yard TD pass in the 3rd. Walker had an earlier 6-yard TD run for Butler. Mt. Tabor scores on 75-yard run from Blyre. Butler with a key stop on Tabor on 4th-and-goal. Bulldogs, ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation, have school-record 15-game win streak.

Richmond 31, Providence 21 (FINAL): And just like that, Richmond's Walter Ellerbe scored on a 15-yard run with 5:29 left. Minutes before, Chris Williams scored on a 12-yard TD run with 8:43 in the fourth to give Providence the lead. Chandler Conner kicked a 23-yard FG for Richmond in the third. J.J. Strohman catches a 15-yard pass from Laron Ellerbe before half tied it up for Richmond. Earlier, the Panthers scored on a 41-yard halfback pass from Xander Maddox to Alex Blackwell.

Mallard Creek 26, Independence 6 (FINAL):
Marquise Williams has 104 yards rushing a 202 yards passing midway through the fourth quarter. Williams scored his 3rd TD (2nd passing) on a 36-yard pass to Kevin Asante. Jamel Harbison caught a 22-yard TD pass and Williams added a 6-yard TD run; Evan Guest with a 1-yard TD plunge for Indy. Indy with 119 total yards at half (Fyjee Fleming 44 yards on 14 carries). Mallard Creek with 179 total yards. Last year's score, 42-41 Indy.

Catholic 40, South Meck 25 (FINAL):
Catholic has 297 yards rushing on 29 carries at the end of 3, including Steve Bevilacqua with 153 yards on 9 carries (and TD runs of 4, 66 and 56 yards). Catholic's Alex Sabates with an 11-yard TD run. South Meck's Demario Johnson scored 3 TDs for South Meck (2 catching, 1 running) and finished with 6 receptions for 149 yards.

Myers Park 10, Garinger 8 (FINAL):
Miller Snyder hit a 29-yard FG for the Mustangs. Garinger scored on 23-yard TD pass from Ronnie Stinson to John Brockington. Extra point missed. Garinger missed 2 field goals (32, 20) in last two minutes of the first half after a pair of Myers Park turnovers. Myers Park's Blaine Anderson connected on a 36-yard TD pass to WR Napoleon Belk.

West Charlotte 43, East Meck 7 (FINAL): Scoot Simmons scored a hat trick (runs of 43, 15 and 13 yards) to lead West Charlotte. Arti Holmes returned an interception for 85 yards to cap off the scoring. East Meck scored on a Desmond Covington fumble recovery.

Waddell 14, North Gaston 7 (FINAL): Xavier Stowe with a 2-yard TD run for N. Gaston in the 3rd. Ryan Herbin with TDs of 43 and 63 yards).

Sun Valley 42, Gastonia-Ashbrook 6 (4th): J. Williams with a 55-yard interception return for a TD.

West Rowan 56, Central Cabarrus 0 (FINAL): Desmond Jackson had 98 yards on 6 carries for 2 TDs. Dinkin Miller 78 yards, 8 carries, 2 TDs. West Rowan's B.J. Sherrill is 6-for-15, for 129 yards, TD pass, plus a TD run.

Olympic 28, North Meck 14 (FINAL): Jordan Chambers-Blair catches a 44-yard pass from Cason Beatty with 1:39 left to seal it for Olympic. N. Meck pulled within 21-14 with 2:39 left on a Mike Irvin 11-yard TD pass to Rashaan Brown. Sterling West scored on a 20-yard TD run with 6:16 in the fourth. Raheim Jennings has 2 TD runs. North Meck returned a kickoff for a TD.

Porter Ridge 28, Monroe 0 (FINAL): Javote Truesdale scored twice (14 and 63 runs) and Lee McNeill added a pair of TD passes for Porter Ridge, who jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first.

Charlotte Christian 14, Carolina Pride 13 (3rd): Christian QB Simms McElfresh scored an early TD.

Hopewell 13, West Meck 2 (2nd):
Hopewell returned an early fumble for a score.

Davidson Day Basketball: Star Bernard Sullivan, a 6-foot-8 senior who played three years of basketball at North Meck before transferring, has reportedly committed to Clemson.

Indy-Mallard gets off with bang: coaches going at it

About 45 minutes before Independence and Mallard Creek were going to kick off the season with one of the state's top matchups, coaches from both teams got into a pretty heated verbal altercation near midfield.

It started with new Indy head coach Bill Geiler and an apparent Mallard Creek assistant getting into a shouting match about something near midfield. Both men pointed at each other and coaches from both teams came up, including Independence athletics director Kelly Lewis.

The man from Mallard Creek didn't have on the same attire as the other Mallard Creek coaches -- blue shirt, khaki shorts -- so I'm not sure if he was working with the team.

Just as things seemed to cool down, the coaches came back towards each other, with Mallard Creek coach Mike Palmieri and Geiler having words.

The players from both teams just kept warming up. The real battle begins soon.

Mallard Creek looking forward to tonight's big game at Indy

Mallard Creek coach Mike Palmieri's team lost to Independence twice last season, including in the second round of the playoffs. Both are those games were at Mallard Creek.

Tonight, Palmieiri and the Mavericks go to Independence, and the Mallard Creek coach said it's not about revenge, just about playing hard.

Click here to see the video from Mallard Creek practice.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Local coaching legend Donald Littlejohn dies

Longtime Cochrane Middle School teacher and coach Donald Littlejohn died Monday after a long battle with cancer. His funeral is Saturday at Friendship Baptist Church.

Littlejohn, a Gaffney native, taught at Cochrane for 38 years and was revered in local golf circles. The school’s gym is named after him. Littlejohn was the first black player to win the Mecklenburg County Amateur, which he won in 1989 and ’91.

The third hole at Revolution Golf Course, near uptown, was once dedicated to him. A 2001 Observer profile of Littlejohn, then 53, said he was named middle school football coach of the year 13 times and, as an athletics director, won the Dave Harris Award for overall excellence and sportsmanship six times. Littlejohn was named the Charlotte Hornets/Duke Power “Teacher Most Admired” in CMS for the 1999-2000 school year, and he coached 21 division football champions in his first 32 seasons.

“Donald Littlejohn was definitely a good athlete,” said longtime friend John Love. “All golfers in Charlotte and surrounding towns knew he was a dedicated golfer and an outstanding family man. He was a guider of youth, he taught at Cochrane Middle School 38 years. There is no doubt he saw a need to guide young people in a positive manner. He always showed respect for himself and respect for others. He fought his illness with intelligence, a respect for God and love and kindness for his family. He will be missed by many. He will be loved by many.”

2 from Butler, 4 in area named national top 100 sophs

Butler QB Riley Ferguson and linebacker Peter Kalambayi were named to MaxPreps’ national top 100 list for the class of 2013. MaxPreps is a national recruiting website.

Other area athletes on the list were Concord QB B.J. Beecher, West Rowan athlete Desmond Jackson, Shelby linebacker Wesley Norris and Boiling Springs Crest defensive end Dane Rogers.

Also listed are Duncan Byrnes (S.C.) wide receiver Akia Booker, Lake City (S.C.) linebacker Devaris Brunson, Gaffney (S.C.) defensive end Jaylen Miller, Conway (S.C.) athlete Mykal Moody.

Two Albemarle High football stars to miss season

The Stanly News & Press is reporting that Albemarle’s Rusty Parks and Malcolm Hammond violated school guidelines and will miss the season.

Parks, a 5-9 senior, rushed for 1,528 yards and 23 TDs last season. Hammond, a 6-foot senior, ran 37 times for 346 yards and caught 21 passes for 386 yards and eight scores.

Parks was his team's offensive MVP in its N.C. 1AA state championship win last season.

Albemarle is ranked No. 11 in the Observer's preseason Sweet 16 and opens the season Friday at home against Mount Pleasant.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Garinger football coach Terry Liggin suspended

Mecklenburg County athletics director Vicki Hamilton confirmed that Garinger football coach Terry Liggin (above) has been indefinitely suspended.

Hamilton said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is conducting an investigation and would not comment further because this is a personnel matter.

Garinger officials have named an interim coach, Lin Fisher, who will coach the team until the investigation is completed.

Garinger starts the season Friday at Myers Park.

Liggin coached the Wildcats to a 2-9 record last season. The Wildcats lost two games by a total of nine points and were close in two more. Those were significant upgrades for a program that has had four losing streaks of at least 18 games since 1989. Garinger has only had four winning seasons since 1975.

-- Langston Wertz Jr.

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VIDEO: Forsyth Country Day's Tyler Lewis shows off guard skills

A quick look at Forsyth Country Day junior Tyler Lewis from summer basketball.

Lewis, who lives in Statesville, is one of the state's top underclassmen.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Salisbury's Romar Morris commits to UNC

Salisbury High running back Romar Morris has committed to North Carolina, his former AAU coach told the Observer.

Morris, a 5-10, 170-pound senior, ran 175 times for 1,330 yards and 17 touchdowns last season at Salisbury. The Hornets reached the N.C. 3AA Western Regional championship game last season.

Salisbury plays at home against South Rowan to start the 2010 season Friday night.

Morris is the third member of Rick Lewis' Carolina Flight AAU basketball team to commit to the Tar Heels for football. Durham Jordan receiver T.J. Thorpe (6-0, 180) committed this year and former Lenoir Hibriten star Darius Lipford is a freshman linebacker at North Carolina this season.

Today's Prep Sports Schedules

Golf (4 p.m.)

North Mecklenburg @Myers Park

Providence @Butler

Soccer (6:30 p.m.)

Myers Park @Robinson

Vance @Waddell

Olympic @Sun Valley

Tennis (4 p.m.)

Vance at E. Mecklenburg

Friday, August 13, 2010

Harding, Myers Park part of big S.C. scrimmages this weekend

Chester High School stadium is the site for three scrimmages featuring six teams starting at 5:30 p.m. today.

York Comprehensive will show off its new stadium at 6:30 p.m. this evening with four teams in action.

Bob Jones Stadium at Fort Mill High will play host to six teams at 5 p.m. on Saturday and at 6 p.m., District Three Stadium has a half-dozen teams set to take the field.

The Chester County Football Jamboree will see Westminster Catawba, under first-year coach Dan Devine, take on Lewisville. The second contest has Fairfield Central pitted against Lancaster. Chester fans will have an interest in that game since the Griffins play in the same region with the Cyclones.

The final game will have Great Falls and Chester doing battle. Chester is led by Clemson-bound quarterback Tony McNeal. Running back Julius Pendergrass has the eye of college recruiters as well.

The Bank of York Preseason Scrimmage is drawing a lot of interest, maybe as much for its new stadium as the football that will be played on its turf field.

The first game will be a dandy between Clover and South Pointe. Clover runs the wing-t offense. South Pointe has the nation's top recruit Jadeveon Clowney and another prized defensive lineman, Gerald Dixon.

The night cap will give Cougars' fans a good look at their team against Gaffney. The Indians quarterback DeEdward Burris is a fun one to watch.

The Battle at the Border features four South Carolina schools and three North Carolina schools. Indian Land and Forest Hills (N.C.) kick off the night.

Myers Park (N.C.) plays the middle two segments taking on Lancaster and then Nation Ford. Fort Mill will play Harding (N.C.) in the finale.

The Groucho's District Three Challenge will welcome former Lancaster football coach Johnny Roscoe back to the area. Roscoe will lead his Northern Guilford (N.C.) team against South Pointe to begin the night.

Rock Hill plays reigning Class AAAA Division I state champ Dorman in the second scrimmage. Northwestern's "Air Raid" offense goes up against Boiling Springs to wrap up the evening.

Next Friday, the final preseason event will take place at Lancaster's Memorial Stadium. The Founders Kick-Off Scrimmage will have four scrimmages: McBee vs. Andrew Jackson; Fort Mill vs. Buford; Central vs. Great Falls and Indian Land vs. Lancaster.

Want to Go?
Chester County Football Jamboree
When: Today, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Chester High School stadium
Who: Westminster Catawba vs. Lewisville; Fairfield Central vs. Lancaster; Great Falls vs Chester
Tickets: $6
The Bank of York Pre-Season Scrimmage
When: Today, 6:30 p.m.
Where: New York Comprehensive High School stadium, 275 East Alexander Love Highway
Who: South Pointe vs. Clover; York vs. Gaffney
Tickets: $6
Battle at the Border
When: Saturday, 5 p.m.
Where: Bob Jones Stadium at Fort Mill High School
Who: Indian Land vs. Forest Hills (N.C.); Lancaster vs. Myers Park (N.C.); Nation Ford vs. Myers Park; Fort Mill vs. Harding (N.C.)
Tickets: $6
Groucho's District Three Challenge
When: Saturday, 6 p.m.
Where: District Three Stadium
Who: South Pointe vs. Northern Guilford (N.C.); Rock Hill vs. Dorman; Northwestern vs. Boiling Springs
Tickets: $6
Founders Kick-Off Scrimmage
When: Friday, August 20; 6 p.m.
Where: Lancaster Memorial Stadium
Who: McBee vs. Andrew Jackson; Fort Mill vs. Buford; Central vs. Great Falls; Indian Land vs. Lancaster
Tickets: $6 at the gate, $5 in advance at any participating school.

-- Karl Lyles, Rock Hill Herald

Read more:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thoughts from Berry, Butler, Concord, Olympic scrimmage today

Click here for a video from the event

Four high schools met on Olympic's gorgeous field this morning for a scrimmage under gray skies and relatively cool temperatures.

What did I see?

-- A whole lot of fans playing hooky from work on a Thursday morning.

-- Berry's 6-8 QB Kenny Patterson (yes I said 6-8) towering over his line (and everybody else's too). Patterson ran well and threw well, too. He reminded me of a taller and thinner Marquise Williams from Mallard Creek and Patterson's top target, Germone Hopper, is out recovering from knee surgery. Berry coach Andrew Howard said he expects Hopper back for the start of the season and that's great news for Berry as I think Hopper is one of the best juniors in North Carolina.

-- Olympic's Raheim Jennings looking quite dangerous as a receiver or a running back. He constantly got behind the defense and made spectacular catches and moves. Olympic's offensive line was big and gave two guys battling for the starting job time to throw.

-- Concord's 6-5 sophomore QB B.J. Beecher looked pretty polished for an opening scrimmage and Concord hit hard and made some good plays on defense.

-- Butler looked scary on defense, guys flying all over the field. Butler's offense started slow but then got rolling. New QB Riley Ferguson threw several pretty slants and threw over the top well. He looked fairly comfortable, and he's got oh so many weapons.

Read more about the scrimmage in tomorrow's Observer.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Newton-Conover football back with some questions

A team to watch in Catawba County is Newton-Conover. But there are some questions.

Newton-Conover returns 16 lettermen and eight starters from a 14-2 team that reached the N.C. 2AA state finals last season.

Coach Nick Bazzle’s team returns three of its top four rushers, but loses 23 seniors.

All-conference running back Octavious Harden (5-foot-8, 160) returns after rushing for 1,622 yards and 24 touchdowns last season. Fullback Jamal Coates (5-10, 200) returns after rushing for 1,077 yards and seven touchdowns. Senior Michael Comer (6-3, 285) anchors the offensive line.

The guess here, is even with losing seven starters on both sides of the ball, the Red Devils reload and play well into November. Again.

Time changed for 8-team scrimmage at South Meck

The eight-team scrimmage at South Mecklenburg Thursday will start at 7 p.m. It was originally scheduled for 6 p.m. but was moved due to hot weather. The scrimmage will be officiated and medical personnel will be on site. Concession stands will be open. Admission is $2.

Teams are: South Mecklenburg, Independence, Indian Trail Sun Valley, Clover (S.C.), Gastonia Ashbrook, Hopewell, North Mecklenburg and Davie County.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Butler players: "It's us against the world"

Click here for the video

MATTHEWS Last week at practice, Butler High coach Mike Newsome called his players into a tight huddle and said no one was pulling for them, that everyone was expecting the defending N.C. 4AA champions to fall flat on their faces this season.

"It's us against the world," Newsome said. And his team roared.

The Bulldogs will begin the season without principal Theresa Hopkins, who is suspended and under a "personnel" investigation by the school system, and without All-America quarterback Christian LeMay, who violated a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' code of conduct rule and could be out until October. That leaves sophomore Riley Ferguson as the starter, and that leaves Butler with a few questions.

"Being state champions puts a bigger target on your back," Newsome said. "Now, you get everybody's best game."

Said senior defensive end Colin Parsons: "It appears to me right now that we do have a lot of things going against us that we've got to rise above. There's really not a lot of people pulling for us, it feels like. I think it's motivation. It's how we've always felt."

Linebacker Kris Frost said the offseason turmoil has been hard.

"It's been devastating, really," he said. "I love my principal. We all do. I've been here three years and for her to not give me my diploma next year, it's going to be heartbreaking."

Senior running back Jahwan Edwards said it's time to move on.

"This is a team and it's between us," Edwards. "I'm not expecting (LeMay) to come back. If Christian does, that's good. We love him and we miss him, but we have to work with what's here."

Edwards said he believes what Butler has is enough to repeat as champion.

"This team can be way better than last year," he said. "We have more hard-working people and we know what it takes to win a state championship, and we're looking forward to doing it again."

Editor's note: Comments have been disabled due to the nature of this story. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mint Hill softball team wins national title

The Carolina Curve softball team out of Mint Hill won the ASA Southern National “A” Division Championship in Raleigh Sunday. Jeff Fain was the head coach.

From Top Left To Right :

Nathan Stokes ( Asst. Coach ) , #2 Mellena Helms (CENTRAL CABARRUS HIGH SCHOOL , Concord ,NC) , #15 Jordan Critcher (TC ROBERSON HIGH SCHOOL, Asheville ,NC), #4 Casey Shue (CONCORD HIGH SCHOOL , Concord ,NC), #22 Kaitlin Thompson ( ASHEBORO HIGH SCHOOL , Asheboro ,NC), #27 Lindsey Russell (HOPEWELL HIGH SCHOOL, Huntersville, NC), #8 Megan Hillard (MOORESVILLE HIGH SCHOOL, Mooresville, NC), #17 Katie Carnes (CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL, Pageland, SC), Jeff Fain ( Head Coach )

From Bottom Left To Right:

#24 Lexi Shubert (FRED T. FOARD HIGH SCHOOL, Hickory, NC), #3 Lex Bruce (CENTRAL CABARRUS HIGH SCHOOL , Concord ,NC), #1 Kendall Settlemyre (FRED T. FOARD HIGH SCHOOL, Hickory, NC), #9 Lindsey Brown (CENTRAL CABARRUS HIGH SCHOOL , Concord ,NC), #6 Rebekah Reaves (PIEDMONT HIGH SCHOOL, UNIONVILLE,NC)

Players / Coaches Not Shown:

#12 Taylor Fain (CENTRAL CABARRUS HIGH SCHOOL , Concord ,NC), #14 Kayla Kindley (CENTRAL CABARRUS HIGH SCHOOL , Concord ,NC), #10 Makenzie Barbor (NATION FORD HIGH SCHOOL, Fort Mill ,SC ) & Bart Tolson ( Asst. Coach ), Ken Barbor ( Asst. Coach )

Maiden football coach going to Hall of Fame

Former Maiden football coach Tom Brown will be inducted into the N.C. High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame next spring in Chapel Hill. Brown will be inducted with former multi-sport coach Harvey Brooks, who graduated from old Boyden High in Salisbury.

Also being inducted are former Wake Forest star and prep coach Alton “Tunney” Brooks, who coached basketball and baseball at Edenton Holmes and Lumberton; former Raleigh Sanderson soccer coach Bob Catapano; former Sylva-Webster football coach Joe Hunt; former Perquimans track and basketball coach Carolyn Rogers; and longtime NCHSAA official Que Tucker.

Brown won 330 games in 35 seasons at Maiden High, the state record for most wins by a football coach at a single school. His overall record is 352-132-7.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Football Preview: Southlake Christian

Three seasons ago, Rich Landis and the SouthLake Christian football team seemed to be on the verge of something big. After going 9-3 overall, winning the Carolina Piedmont conference, SouthLake got to the NCISAA 2A state semifinals in only their third year as an 11-man football program.

But after two subpar seasons in which the Eagles went 6-14, including 1-11 in conference play, SouthLake is looking to return to championship form this season.

"A lot of our players remember that 2007 team, and they are hungry to get back to that level of success," said SouthLake Christian football coach Rich Landis, who has coached the Eagles for all eight years of the program's existence.

"The last two years, we have spent a lot of time building the team back up. Now, we are ready to be a contender.

Read the rest of this story here:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Top 30 national recruit Braxton Ogbueze transfers to U. Faith

Braxton Ogbueze has transferred from Vance and enrolled at private United Faith, Falcons coach Shaun Wiseman said.

Ogbueze, a 6-foot junior guard, was Vance’s leading scorer last season. Vance will also be without top 100 national recruit Marquis Rankin, who transferred to Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy. Rankin, a 6-foot senior, has committed to Virginia Tech.

ESPN ranks Ogbueze as the No. 29 recruit in the nation in his class.

United Faith also added Croatian exchange students Ivan Benkovic, a 6-5 junior forward, and Bruno Becca, a 6-9 sophomore center, as well as England’s Bradley Fisher, a 7-1 freshman center. Wiseman said Becca and Bradley will play junior varsity.

United Faith lost two players as well: guard Patrick Rooks transferred to Charlotte Christian and guard Alleric Freeman to Olympic.

United Faith’s Paris Roberts-Campbell, a 6-3 senior, has offers from Wofford, College of Charleston, East Carolina, Furman and American, Wiseman said. Senior 6-foot point guard Lawrence Miller has offers from Navy and the Citadel.

Soccer preview: Lake Norman, Hough, North Meck, Hopewell

For most of the last decade, the Lake Norman area has produced some of the best teams in the state.

In fact, Lake Norman and North Mecklenburg's boys' soccer teams have each appeared in two of the last five state championships. The Wildcats won 3A titles in both 2006 and 2007 while North Meck lost in the championship game those same years.

Last season, for the first time Lake Norman and North Meck played in the same conference, the I-Meck, easily making it one of the best leagues in the state.

Several teams area were a factor in the playoffs in 2009 and should be again this season.

For Jay Edwards' previews of Lake Norman, North Meck, Hopewell and Hough, click HERE.


Davidson Day AD hires friends, former boss to coach

It's not often that someone gets to hire their former boss.

But that's exactly what new Davidson Day athletic director Tim Weir did when he tagged former UNC Charlotte track coach David Hall as the Patriots' cross country coach.

The two met in 1992 when Hall, who coached the 49ers for 20 years, interviewed Weir for an assistant position. Weir got the job and worked as Hall's only assistant for four years.

Weir said he was excited to get Hall to join his blooming athletic program, which is getting ready for its first football season and boasts a promising basketball team that could compete for a state championship.

-- Sergio Tovar

To read the full story, click HERE.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Sporting News ranks three area players in national top 10

The Sporting News ranks three Charlotte-area players among the top 10 national recruits: Butler QB Christian LeMay (3), Rock Hill South Pointe defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (5) and Anson Senior linebacker Stephone Anthony (8). LeMay has committed to Georgia. Clowney and Anthony are undecided. Greensboro Smith tight end Eric Ebron, who has committed to North Carolina, is No. 23.