Monday, January 30, 2012

Olympic High LB Keith McAfee commits to Hampton

Olympic linebacker Keith McAfee has committed to Hampton, coach Barry Shuford said.

Hampton was the 2010 ME-GA 7 conference defensive player of the year. He is a two-time Charlotte Observer All-Mecklenburg pick.

Here is a story I wrote on him last October:


When Olympic High linebacker Keith McAfee was a freshman and coaches promoted him to varsity in the season's third game, McAfee admits he was afraid.

"Everyone was bigger, faster, stronger," he said.

That season, in a 27-14 Olympic loss to Ardrey Kell, a Knights running back ran toward the left side of the field against Olympic and cut back. When he made his move, there was only McAfee in his path.

"I got run over," McAfee remembers. "And as soon as I did, I got the mindset that's either me or him -- and it's not going to be me."

From that moment, McAfee has taken football seriously, listening intently to his coaches. He's worked out harder than he ever had before, and has grown into a 6-foot-1, 235-pound senior with 4.7-second speed in the 40-yard dash, a 300-pound bench press and an impressive 500-pound squat.

McAfee started as a sophomore. As a junior, he had nearly 130 tackles and was the ME-GA 7 conference's defensive player of the year.

Early this season, after Olympic lost 70-6 to Butler, McAfee - with offers from N.C. Central, Gardner-Webb and Hampton - helped lead the Trojans to seven straight wins.
Olympic (8-1, 4-0) is tied with Charlotte Catholic (8-0, 4-0) for first place in the conference with two games left. Those teams meet next week at Catholic. Tonight, the Trojans will play host to Berry (6-2, 3-1) at 7.

"He just knows where the football is going somehow," Olympic coach Barry Shuford said of McAfee, who was named to the Shrine Bowl. "There are times in the game where he just takes over."

Like last year's game against visiting East Gaston, when McAfee made 22 tackles, including all four Olympic tackles in overtime as the Trojans won 24-17. This season, McAfee has 47 solo tackles, 23 assists, six tackles for loss, two caused fumbles and a fumble recovery.

He also has two interceptions, both in a 20-19 win against West Mecklenburg two weeks ago.

"One of those was to give us the ball back and help us take the lead," Shuford said. "The other one was to seal the game. It's just what he does at times, and he's got to continue doing so for us to be successful."

But it hasn't been just McAfee. Quarterbacks Rod Tinsley and Chase Shuford, the coach's son, have combined to throw for more than 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. Running backs Andrew Ray and Jarrett Harris are on track for 1,000-yard seasons, and sophomore back Issac Garcia has rushed for 487 yards and four touchdowns, has 307 yards receiving and 400 yards in kick returns.

They've all helped the Trojans through their share of adversity this season:

Defensive coordinator Tom Tedder resigned the week before the season began.

McAfee missed the Trojans' first game, a 44-42 win over North Mecklenburg, after sustaining a concussion in a scrimmage.

Early in the season, as many as 17 junior varsity and varsity players missed time with injuries. There were six concussions and three broken bones.

And then there was the humiliating loss to Butler in August.

The Wednesday before the game, Trojans starting center Blake Austin was injured, and Olympic worked in a replacement. In the game against the nationally ranked Bulldogs, Olympic fumbled several snaps. Butler scored six touchdowns in the first quarter.

"I think they got every one on that Friday," Shuford said. "Things rolled downhill. Butler's a good football team. We played a good second half and then they put their starters back in and made it 70. Our kids knew they were good and we had to regroup."

Olympic held Myers Park to nine points the next week for a win Shuford figures might have saved the season.

"We had to bounce back," McAfee said. "There's nothing we can do about it and no one was gonna let up on us for losing like we did. To me, it was just the same feeling as when I got run over in that hole."

McAfee has raised his level of play since the Butler loss. Coaches say they see it on tape and especially in person.

"Whew, what a player," Myers Park coach Greg Taylor said. "He's all over the field. He's hard to block. He knows his way around. I was really impressed. We would get people on him and we couldn't keep him blocked."

McAfee's father, Bryon, played at South Brunswick High before he joined the Navy. He said his son, who has played since he was 7, has always been a hitter. He said he's also a B student. And when Keith received that big hit as a freshman and was knocked down, one of the first people he told about it was his father.

"I knew he had potential as long as he focused on what he's doing," Bryon McAfee said. "When he got hit, he got more aggressive than what he already was and became more aware of his surroundings. It was an eye-opener for him."

And bad news for everyone else.
Wertz: 704-612-9716

Read more here:

Mecklenburg County Standings

Myers Park
South Mecklenburg
East Mecklenburg
Rocky River
Ardrey Kell

North Mecklenburg
Mallard Creek
W. Charlotte
Lake Norman

Charlotte Catholic
East Gaston
West Mecklenburg

Charlotte Christian
Charlotte Latin
Charlotte Country Day
Providence Day

Myers Park
Ardrey Kell
Rocky River
East Mecklenburg
South Mecklenburg

Mallard Creek
West Charlotte
North Mecklenburg
Lake Norman

Charlotte Catholic
West Mecklenburg
East Gaston

Providence Day
Charlotte Christian
Charlotte Latin
Country Day
Cannon School

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday's Top Basketball Performers

Dorian Albritton, Davidson Day:
18 points, six rebounds in 66-62 win over North Hills Christian. Teammate Phillip Anglade had 16 points. Davidson Day (23-3) plays at Victory Christian Tuesday.
Mark Blackmon, West Charlotte:
27 points in come-from-behind win at Mooresville Friday. North Carolina coach Roy Williams was at the game.
Sharee’ Boyd, Hopewell girls:
19 points, eight rebounds, three steals, two assists in 53-43 win over Lake Norman Friday when she became the school’s all-time leading girls scorer. She had 15 points against Hough Tuesday.
Devonte Boykins, East Rutherford:
Sophomore had 20 points, eight rebounds, three steals, two assists in a win over AC Reynodls Friday. He had 30 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, four steals and two blocks against Patton Tuesday.
Amanda Dobner, Hickory Grove girls:
19 points, 19 rebounds against Metrolina Christian
Javonte Douglas, Kennedy Charter: 21 points, 10 rebounds in 99-59 win over Walnut Grove. Teammate Donte' Clark had 19 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals. Douglas had 16 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and two assists against Grace Academy Tuesday.
Shannon Hines, R-S Central girls: 25 points in 67-52 win over Morganton Freedom.
Peter Jurkin, United Faith: 27 points and 15 rebounds in a 107-74 win over Gaston Day. Teammate Braxton Ogbueze had 26 points and four rebounds. Gaston Day's Keyshawn Woods finished with 37 points and 10 rebounds. He's the leading scorer in the Observer's coverage area.
Alexandra Mayo, Providence girls: 17 points, eight rebounds and two steals iin 47-44 win over Independence. Teammate Morgan Uptegraff finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and two steals.
Shelton Mitchell, Cuthbertson: 20 points, eight assists, six steals and five rebounds against Monroe.
Tiffany Mitchell, Providence Day girls: South Carolina signee had 28 points, eight rebounds, seven steals and three assists in 59-32 win over Sweet 16 No. 5 Charlotte Christian Friday. Mitchell, whose team is ranked No. 6, had 25 points, 12 rebounds and four steals against Carolina Day Wednesday and 31 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists against Charlotte Catholic Tuesday.
Diondre Pratt, Anson Senior: 33 points in win over Weddington.
Symphonie Richardson, Butler girls: 24 points, 15 rebounds in 56-47 win over East Mecklenburg. Tuesday against No. 1 Myers Park, she had 17 points and eight rebounds.
Shivaughn Wiggins, North Mecklenburg: 29 points, four rebounds, four assists in 79-61 win over Hough. Teammates Josh Stepoli (22 points, 8 rebounds) and Tahjai Watt (8 points, 10 rebounds) also had big games for the Vikings.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Charlotte Christian to host charity baseball camp Feb. 12

Charlotte Christian’s “Sports That Serve” Baseball camp is Feb. 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Cost is $75 and proceeds benefit Sports That Serve, a non-profit that seeks to use athletics to develop the character of America’s youth while raising funds for people living in poverty around the world.
This year’s speaker will be for North Carolina and Major League pitcher Dave Lemonds. Info? Visit

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Myers Park boys, Hough girls hit first place in conference with big wins Tuesday

Myers Park stops East Meck in battle for first place in SW4A first place teams
Myers Park helped break a four-way tie for first place in the Southwestern 4A with a 60-52 win over East Mecklenburg.

The Mustangs (12-7, 7-2) won for the fourth straight time and kept up with South Meck (15-4, 7-2) and Butler (11-7, 7-2) in the league championship race. Patrick Wallace had 24 points for Myers Park and teammate Alex Garner finished with 15.

East Mecklenburg (11-7, 6-3) had a six-game win streak snapped, but the Eagles – who got 14 points from Miles Leathers Tuesday and 12 from Jaye Hunt – can get right back into the league championship race with a win at Butler Friday in another huge conference game.

Hough girls stop Hopewell, take over first place in I-Meck 4A

Hough’s girls held Hopewell to only six points in the first half and won 39-31 Tuesday night. The win put Hough (12-6, 8-1) alone in first place in the I-Meck 4A. Hopewell (12-6, 7-2) fell into a second place tie with Mallard Creek (14-3, 7-2).

Hough got 12 points each from Kelsey Dean and Julia Brown. Hopewell’s Sharee Boyd had a game-high 15 points.

Grace Academy girls player sets Meck County single game scoring record

Tuesday night, against Kennedy Charter, Grace Academy's Greta Tamasauskaite had a girls high school game to remember.

She scored what's believed to be a Mecklenburg County record 57 points in an 83-57 win over Kennedy Charter. Her record-setting performance overshadowed a brilliant game from Kennedy Charter's Rajsha Blackmon.

Blackmon, the area's leading scorer (31.8 points per game) and No. 6 rebounder (11.8), had 37 points, eight rebounds, three rebounds and two assists.

Grace Academy took a 22-8 lead in the first quarter and never looked back, and Tamasauskaite set an unofficial record.

According to Charlotte Observer records, Providence Day's Konecka Drakeford held the record since 1991, when she scored 51 points in a win over rival Charlotte Christian. The N.C. record, according to N.C. High School Athletic Association records, is 61 by Shea Ralph of Fayetteville Sanford in 1995.

Tamasauskaite's performance ranks fourth in state history.

Below are reported girls state and county boys and girls records:

N.C. Girls Single Game Scoring Marks
61 Shea Ralph Terry Sanford vs. Person (regʼl) 1995 103-39
60 Tracie Taylor SW Onslow vs. Dixon 1987 83-76
60 Ann Ellis South Iredell 1977
57 Greta Tamasauskaite, Grace Academy vs. Kennedy Charter 2011
56 Nicori Sinclair South Robeson vs. St. Pauls 2009
55 Amy Simpson Morehead vs. Reidsville 1999 98-50
53 Wendy Palmer Person vs. Northern Durham 1991
52 Shea Ralph Terry Sanford vs. Person (regʼl) 1995
51 Konecka Drakeford Providencce Day vs. Charlotte Christian 1991
51 Vicki Inman Pisgah vs. Smoky Mountain 1991
51 Nakisha Stewart Bunn vs. Northern Vance 2002
50 Charlette Hargrove Pinecrest vs. Pine Forest 1992
50 Gloria Burks Beddingfield vs. Kinston 1982 79-50
50 Shayla Hodges Enloe vs. Southeast Raliegh 2008 73-81

57 Greta Tamasauskaite, Grace Academy (2011)
51 Konecka Drakeford, Providence Day (1991)
49 Andrea Stinson, North Mecklenburg (1987)

Taylor Mokris, Providence Day, 53 (2001)
Jamie Skeen, North Meck, 52 (2005)

Bray Pemberton, North Meck, 52 (2001)
Brandis Raley, Gaston Day (Charlotte native), 52 (2004)

Chuck Wittman, Charlotte Catholic 47 (1993)

Tonight's High School Basketball Games

North Mecklenburg at West Charlotte, tonight, 7:45 p.m.: West Charlotte (14-5, 6-2 I-Meck 4A) is the only N.C. team to beat North Meck (16-2, 7-1) this year. Another win and the Lions would be tied for first place and own a tiebreaker over the Vikings. It's a must-win for both teams.

Hopewell girls at Hough, tonight, 6:15 p.m.: Hopewell (11-6, 7-1 I-Meck 4A) and Hough (11-6, 7-1) are tied for first place in the conference, one game ahead of Mallard Creek (13-3, 6-2). Hough has won five straight games.

Myers Park at East Mecklenburg, tonight, 7:45 p.m.: Myers Park (11-7, 6-2) beat Butler (10-7, 6-2) Friday and created a four-way tie for first place in the Southwestern 4A conference. South Meck (14-4, 6-2) and East Meck (11-6, 6-2) are also in first place. East Meck is at Butler Friday.

Providence Day girls at Carolina Day, tonight, 6: Providence Day is the reigning 3A private school champ. Carolina Day is the reigning 2A champ.

Northwestern at Rock Hill wrestling, tonight, 5:30 p.m.: The arch rivals meet for the region championship. Also at the meet will be five-time N.C. state champion Winston-Salem Parkland.

Tonight's Mecklenburg County Basketball Schedule
Girls tip approx 6:15 p.m. followed by the boys unless listed
Charlotte Catholic at West Mecklenburg; Hopewell at Hough; Independence at Ardrey Kell; Mallard Creek at Lake Norman; Myers Park at East Mecklenburg; North Mecklenburg at West Charlotte; Olympic at East Gaston; Berry at Garinger; Rocky River at Butler; South Mecklenburg at Providence; Vance at Mooresville Senior; Charlotte Christian at Country Day; Cannon at Charlotte Latin; Hickory Grove at Covenant Day; Gaston Day at Davidson Day; Kennedy Charter at Grace Academy, 4:15 p.m.; Lake Norman Charter at Cherryville; Northside at Metrolina Christian; Providence Day at Carolina Day; SouthLake at Asheville School; United Faith at Hickory Christian

Read more here:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mecklenburg County Standings 01/23/2012

Boys’ Standings

Southwestern 4A

    Conf    Overall

Butler    6-2    10-7
East Mecklenburg    6-2    11-6
Myers Park    6-2    11-7
South Mecklenburg    6-2    14-4
Rocky River    4-4    7-10
Ardrey Kell    2-6    6-12
Providence    2-6    3-12
Independence    0-8    1-17
I-Meck 4A

    Conf    Overall

North Mecklenburg    7-1    16-2
Mallard Creek    6-2    11-4
W. Charlotte    6-2    14-5
Mooresville    5-3    9-6
Vance    3-5    8-8
Hopewell    2-6    4-13
Lake Norman    2-6    9-6
Hough    1-7    6-12
ME-GA 7 3A/4A

    Conf    Overall

Olympic    6-0    18-0
Charlotte Catholic    6-1    15-3
Berry    5-3    14-4
Harding    4-3    15-3
East Gaston    3-4    8-9
West Mecklenburg    1-6    2-14
Garinger    0-7    2-16

    Conf    Overall

Charlotte Christian    2-0    14-6
Charlotte Country Day    1-0    9-10
Charlotte Latin    1-1    11-7
Cannon    0-1    5-15
Providence Day    0-2    9-11

Girls’ Standings
Southwestern 4A

    Conf    Overall

Myers Park    8-0    18-0
Ardrey Kell    7-1    15-3
Butler    5-3    8-9
Independence    4-4    5-11
East Mecklenburg    3-5    5-12
Rocky River    3-5    7-9
Providence    2-6    4-13
South Mecklenburg    0-8    2-16
I-Meck 4A

    Conf    Overall

Hopewell    7-1    11-6
Hough    7-1    11-6
Mallard Creek    6-2    13-3
West Charlotte    4-4    7-7
North Mecklenburg    4-4    11-7
Lake Norman    2-6    8-7
Mooresville    1-7    3-10
Vance    1-7    4-12
ME-GA 7 3A/4A

    Conf    Overall

Berry    7-0    16-1
Harding    6-1    13-2
West Mecklenburg    4-3    9-5
Charlotte Catholic    4-3    9-8
Olympic    2-4    6-7
East Gaston    1-6    7-10
Garinger    0-7    0-12

    Conf    Overall

Charlotte Christian    2-0    14-3
Providence Day    2-0    17-3
Charlotte Country Day    0-1    6-10
Cannon    0-1    5-15
Charlotte Latin    0-2    6-9

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mecklenburg County Standings

Boys’ Standings
Southwestern 4A

    Conf    Overall

Butler    6-1    10-6
South Mecklenburg    5-2    13-4
East Mecklenburg    5-2    10-6
Myers Park    5-2    10-7
Rocky River    4-3    7-9
Ardrey Kell    1-5    5-11
Providence    1-5    2-11
Independence    0-7    0-15
I-Meck 4A

    Conf    Overall

North Mecklenburg    6-1    14-2
Mallard Creek    5-2    10-4
Mooresville    5-2    9-5
W. Charlotte    5-2    13-5
Vance    3-4    8-6
Hopewell    2-5    4-11
Lake Norman    1-5    8-5
Hough    0-6    3-11
ME-GA 7 3A/4A

    Conf    Overall

Olympic    6-0    17-0
Charlotte Catholic    5-1    12-3
Berry    3-3    12-4
East Gaston    3-3    8-8
Harding    3-3    14-3
West Mecklenburg    1-5    2-13
Garinger    0-6    2-14

    Conf    Overall

Charlotte Christian    0-0    11-5
Charlotte Latin    0-0    9-6
Providence Day    0-0    9-8
Country Day    0-0    8-9
Cannon    0-0    5-13

Girls’ Standings
Southwestern 4A

    Conf    Overall

Myers Park    7-0    17-0
Ardrey Kell    6-1    14-3
Butler    5-2    8-8
Independence    3-4    4-11
East Mecklenburg    3-4    5-11
Rocky River    2-5    6-8
Providence    2-5    4-12
South Mecklenburg    0-7    2-15
I-Meck 4A

    Conf    Overall

Hopewell    6-1    10-6
Hough    6-1    10-6
Mallard Creek    5-2    12-3
West Charlotte    4-3    7-6
North Mecklenburg    3-4    9-7
Lake Norman    2-5    8-6
Mooresville    1-6    3-9
Vance    1-6    4-10
ME-GA 7 3A/4A

    Conf    Overall

Berry    6-0    13-1
Harding    5-1    12-2
West Mecklenburg    4-2    9-4
Charlotte Catholic    3-3    7-7
Olympic    2-4    6-7
East Gaston    1-5    7-9
Garinger    0-6    0-11

    Conf    Overall

Cannon    0-0    4-14
Charlotte Christian    0-0    12-3
Charlotte Country Day    0-0    6-8
Charlotte Latin    0-0    5-7
Providence Day    0-0    14-2

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Olympic's Allerik Freeman a special player delivering magical moments

Friday night at sold-out Charlotte Catholic, Olympic's Allerik Freeman gave a complete demonstration of why he's one of the nation's top 10 boys' basketball players in the junior class.

Forget about the numbers but they were good: 23 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals.

Friday night, during the Trojans' 83-66 win, it was all about the moments.

Whenever Catholic was making a push - and Catholic is a very good high school team that will challenge for a 3A state title - Freeman was there with a play. Sometimes it was a big rebound in traffic against taller players. Sometimes it was a steal, or moving a teammate to the right spot, or acting as though he would try for a block to force a Catholic player into an awkward shot attempt - and a miss.

But the biggest moment came with 5 minutes, 17 seconds left in the third quarter and Olympic ahead 37-36. Mark Pollack had just hit two free throws for the Cougars. The Trojans had blown a 36-21 lead and a chance to have an easy Friday night.

Catholic's crowd suddenly came back to life. You couldn't hear your neighbor if he was yelling at you.
Freeman? He gets the ball, about two arms' lengths from the front of the Catholic student section and pulls up on an emblem that's stuck on the Cougars' court about, say, 30 feet from the basket. We're talking well beyond NBA 3-point range.

The shot is pretty. The shot is perfect. And it sparks an 8-0 Olympic spurt that essentially puts the game away.

Freeman did a lot of magical things Friday, a 6-foot-3 guard dominating a game that had about 10 guys who will play a pretty high level of college basketball.

None was better than that.

Read more here:

Friday, January 13, 2012

Butler goes 3OT to beat rival Independence

It took three overtimes, but Butler finally beat arch rival Independence 104-93 Friday.

The Bulldogs outscored Independence 20-9 in the third OT to win.

Butler junior Riley Ferguson had 27 points and his brother, Zach, a senior, had 17. Independence got 26 points from Tayon Gleaves.

Monday, January 9, 2012

A few changes, one new team in Sweet 16 basketball poll this week

There’s some minor changes in the Charlotte Observer boys and girls Sweet 16 basketball polls this week, but not much at the top.

Olympic and Northside Christian are still unbeaten and 1-2 in the boys poll.

Unbeaten Myers Park and private school power Providence Day are still 1-2 in the girls poll.

Only one new team joined this week. Harding’s girls are No. 16. The Rams have won 11 straight since losing their opener 62-53 to No. 8 Ardrey Kell. Harding plays No. 5 Berry on the road Friday in one of the biggest girls games of the year.

Rk.    School    Rec.    Prvs.

1.    Olympic (4A)    15-0    1
2.    Northside Christian (IND)    14-0    2
3.    Concord (3A)    12-0    3
4.     Lancaster (4A)    14-1    7
5.    North Mecklenburg (4A)    12-2    8
6.     Freedom (3A)    14-1    9
7.     Berry (3A)    12-2    4
8.     Harding (3A)    11-3    5
9.    South Mecklenburg (4A)    12-3    12
10.     Charlotte Christian (IND)    10-3    14
11.    Mooresville (4A)    8-4    16
12.    West Charlotte (4A)    11-5    6
13,    South Point (3A)    10-1    13
14.    Cuthbertson (2A)    12-1    10
15.    North Rowan (1A)    10-2    15
16.    East Rutherford (2A)    11-2    11

Dropped out: None. On the bubble: Butler (4A, 9-5); Charlotte Catholic (3A, 12-2); Hickory (3A, 13-2); Mallard Creek (4A, 9-3); Robinson (3A, 9-1); Statesville (3A, 10-3); Sun Valley (4A, 11-4)
Rk.    School    Rec.    Prvs.
1.    Myers Park (4A)    15-0    3
2.    Providence Day (IND)    14-2    1
3.    Charlotte Christian (IND)    9-2    5
4.    Porter Ridge (4A)    13-0    4
5.    Berry (3A)    13-1    6
6.    Mallard Creek (4A)    11-2    3
7.    Hickory (3A)    14-1    7
8.    Ardrey Kell (4A)    12-3    8
9.    Salisbury (2A)    11-2    9
10.    Rock Hill Northwestern (4A)    12-1    10
11.    Bandys (2A)    12-0    11
12.    R-S Central (3A)    13-1    12
13.    Carson (3A)    14-1    13
14.    Newton-Conover (2A)    10-3    14
15.    Forestview (3A)    12-2    16
16.    Harding (3A)    11-1    NR

Dropped out:  Freedom (4A, 11-5). On the bubble: Forest Hills (2A, 7-3); North Iredell (3A, 9-3); North Stanly (2A, 13-0)
Note: To be ranked in the Observer’s Sweet 16, a team must be in the newspaper’s coverage area, must field football and basketball teams and not allow a student-athlete to re-class once they’ve started ninth grade. For a detailed look inside the poll, including the criteria used to compile it, visit this link:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mallard Creek's D.J. Humphries named national offensive linemen of the year

Mallard Creek football All-American D.J. Humphries has been named the top offensive lineman in the country.

Humphries is in San Antonio today to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He is a Florida recruit. You can watch Humphries and several other area stars in today's game at 1 p.m. on WCNC, Channel 36.

Below is the U.S. Army news release:


D.J. Humphries Named Top Prep Lineman in the Country

(SAN ANTONIO) Jan. 6, 2012 - The U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee today announced D.J. Humphries (Mallard Creek High School, Charlotte, N.C.) as the winner of the prestigious Anthony Muñoz Lineman of the Year award, given to the top prep lineman in the country. The 6'6", 280-pound offensive lineman led Mallard Creek to a 13-1 record and an appearance in the North Carolina 4AA Semifinals while helping the offense to nearly 48 points per game.

"D.J. showcases not only the kind of strengths found in every Army Strong Soldier, but he also demonstrates the traits that are the hallmark of Anthony Muñoz," said John Myers, Director of Strategic Communications, Marketing and Outreach, U.S. Army Accessions Command.  "Anthony Muñoz was a leader to his teammates on the field, possessing the mental, emotional and physical strengths that powered his collegiate and NFL careers."

"Humphries is one of the most athletic offensive tackles to come around in years. He has a great frame to fill out, uses his long arms and quick feet effectively in pass protection and is powerful and aggressive in the run game. He is just starting to scratch the surface of his ability. His potential is unlimited," said Mike Farrell, National Recruiting Analyst.

Muñoz is regarded by many as the top offensive lineman in professional football history and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame after playing 12 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. He was honored by being named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and to the NFL's 1980s All-Decade Team. In college, Muñoz starred at the University of Southern California where he was a two-time All-American in 1978-79.

The 2011 Anthony Muñoz Lineman of the Year award recipient was U.S. Army All-American Ray Drew of Thomasville, Ga., who currently plays for the Georgia Bulldogs. The 2010 recipient was Seantrel Henderson from St. Paul, Minn., who is currently the starting right tackle for the Miami Hurricanes.

Friday's top performers

Zach Ferguson, Butler: 23 points in Friday's 65-56 win over Providence. Butler (9-5, 5-0 Southwestern 4A) won its third straight game. Ferguson got a basketball college scholarship offer from Virginia Military Institute after the game.

Jessica Gaston, West Charlotte girls: 17 rebounds in 42-37 win over Lake Norman. Teammates Gabrielle McClain (14 points, seven rebounds, four steals) and Rachel Porter (15 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals) also had strong games.

Keousha Griffin, Harding girls: 12 points, 15 rebounds in 65-22 win over Olympic.

Nicole Graham, Mallard Creek girls: 24 points in 61-52 win over Hopewell.

Jarvis Haywood, Harding: 26 points in 63-62 loss to Olympic.

Miles Leathers, East Mecklenburg: 12 points in a 54-36 win over Ardrey Kell. Leathers and East Meck's defense limited Ardrey Kell to 13 points in the second half and just four in the fourth quarter.

Shelton Mitchell, Cuthbertson: 35 points in 84-53 win over Monroe Central.

Braxton Ogbueze, United Faith: Florida recruit had 27 points, two rebounds and two assists in 70-50 win over North Hills Christian. Indiana recruit Peter Jurkin had 11 points and eight rebounds.

Symphonie Richardson, Butler girls: 25 points in 60-49 win over Providence. Providence's Morgan Uptegraff had 17 points, two rebounds and two assists.

Ciera Rucker, Queens Grant Charter girls: 15 points, five steals, three rebounds, three assists in 46-24 win over Covenant Classical.

Goddess Steele, First Assembly girls: 20 points, six steals, four assists in 66-29 win over Gaston Christian.

Andrew Wheet, First Assembly: 36 points in 80-65 win over Gaston Christian.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Mike Bradley resigns as North Mecklenburg football coach

After three years as head football coach at North Mecklenburg High, Mike Bradley has resigned. He plans to retire from teaching and coaching.

Bradley's teams were 10-24 in his three seasons. He has more than 30 years teaching and coaching experience.

North Mecklenburg athletics director Kevin Wilson said the coaching vacancy will be posted immediately at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' website and will be tied to a teaching position.

Tuesday's Night's Standout Performers

Up: Rajsha Blackmon, Kennedy Charter girls: The area’s leading scorer (28 points per game) also averages nearly 10 rebounds a game. Blackmon, a junior, had 46 points, 15 rebounds, five steals and an assist in 60-48 loss to Caldwell Academy during the SouthLake Christmas Classic.
Up: First Assembly girls defense: Held Northside Christian scoreless in first quarter of a 59-19 win Tuesday.
Up: North Mecklenburg girls: Huge upset of Sweet 16 No. 3 Mallard Creek Tuesday. Vikings led 19-9 after first quarter of 57-51 win.
Up: Charlotte Catholic: Upset of No. 5 Harding ended Rams’ three-game win streak and dropped Harding (11-2, 1-2) to under .500 in the ME-GA 7 with huge game with No. 1 Olympic coming at home Friday. Catholic’s Robert Champion had 27 points. Jarvis Haywood had 27 for Harding.

Tuesday’s Basketball Stars
Kelly Beasley, North Mecklenburg girls: Career-high 18 points, four rebounds in big 57-51 win over No. 3 Mallard Creek (10-2, 3-1 I-Meck 4A). Teammate Jasmine Cash had her first career double-double -- 10 points and 11 rebounds. North Meck (7-6, 1-3) got its second win in a row and its first conference win.
Keith Davis, Garinger: 24 points in 55-54 loss to East Gaston
Zach Ferguson, Butler: 24 points, 14 rebounds, three steals, three assists in 62-47 win over Ardrey Kell.
Diamond Foggie, Vance girls: 28 points, six rebounds, three assists in 65-60 overtime win over Lake Norman. Vance (3-8, 1-2 I-Meck 4A) ended a five-game losing streak.
Matthew Godley, Cannon: 32 points in 82-78 win over Victory Christian.
Kendall Knorr, Concord: 23 points in 69-45 win over Cox Mill for Spiders (11-0), No. 3 in the Observer’s Sweet 16. Teammate Darren Black had 17.
Brody Koerner, Robinson: 22 points, 10 rebounds in 89-55 win over Central Cabarrus. Teammate Elijah Hampton went for 19 points, 10 rebounds, four steals and four assists.
Bri Mack, SouthLake Christian girls: 27 points, 18 rebounds, four blocks in 73-64 win over Metrolina Christian. Teammate Kourtney Hailey had 25 points, six assists and four steals for SouthLake (9-5).
Raphael Montgomery, Mooresville: sophomore had 20 points, 10 rebounds in 70-55 win over Hopewell.
Christelle Shembo, Ardrey Kell girls: 18 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, three assists in 60-37 win over Butler. The Knights (10-3), No. 8 in the Sweet 16, held Butler to just 14 points in the first half. Jaymee Fisher-Davis had 20 for the Bulldogs.
Brittany Smith, Myers Park girls: 19 points on 6-of-7 shooting in 84-36 win over Providence. Smith made 3-of-4 3-point shots. She also had five assists. Teammate Roddreka Rogers had 14 points for the Mustangs (14-0), No. 1 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll.
Shivaughn Wiggins, North Mecklenburg: 26 points, four rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks in 66-44 win over Mallard Creek.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Olympic's boys, Myers Park's girls sit atop Observer Sweet 16 basketball polls

After a few weeks off, the Observer’s Sweet 16 basketball poll returns with a lot of changes -- and a lot of potential teams.

Olympic, still unbeaten, remains at No. 1, just ahead of two more unbeatens -- Northside Christian and Concord. Three new teams are in this: South Mecklenburg, which won a Christmas tournament in Rock Hill, South Point, which won a Christmas tournament in Cherryville, and North Rowan, which won a Christmas tournament in its home county.

There are eight teams “on the bubble,” just waiting to get into a tightly packed poll.

-- On the girls side, Myers Park moves into the top spot.

Former No. 1 Providence Day dropped to No. 2 and unbeaten Porter Ridge, unranked in the last poll, zoomed all the way to No. 4. Another team making a big move was 2010 N.C. 4A Western regional finalist Mallard Creek. The Mavericks moved from No. 13 to No. 3.

Boys Sweet 16
Rk.    School    Rec.    Prvs.

1.    Olympic (4A)    13-0    1
2.    Northside Christian (IND)    12-0    2
3.    Concord (3A)    10-0    4
4.     Berry (3A)    12-1    8
5.    Harding (3A)    11-1    11
6.     West Charlotte (4A)    10-4    3
7.     Lancaster, SC (4A)    9-1    5
8.     North Mecklenburg (4A)    10-2    10
9.    Freedom (3A)    13-1    7
10.     Cuthbertson (2A)    11-0    13
11.    East Rutherford (2A)    10-1    16
12.    South Mecklenburg (4A)    10-3    NR
13,    South Point (3A)    8-1    NR
14.    Charlotte Christian (IND)    9-3    9
15.    North Rowan (1A)    9-2    NR
16.    Mooresville (4A)    5-4    6
Dropped out: Sun Valley (4A, 9-4); Salisbury (2A, record NA); Weddington (3A, 8-5) On The Bubble: Anson Sr. (3A, 7-2); Ashbrook (3A, 10-2); Butler (4A, 7-5); Charlotte Catholic (3A, 9-2); East Burke (3A, 7-3); Hickory (3A, 11-2); Mallard Creek (4A, 8-2); Robinson (3A, 6-1); 
Girls Sweet 16
Rk.    School    Rec.    Prvs.

1.    Myers Park (4A)    13-0    3
2.    Providence Day (IND)    11-2    1
3.    Mallard Creek (4A)    10-1    13
4.    Porter Ridge (4A)    11-0    NR
5.    Charlotte Christian (IND)    8-2    2
6.    Berry (3A)    11-1    15
7.    Hickory (3A)    12-1    5
8.    Ardrey Kell (4A)    10-3    4
9.    Salisbury (2A)    11-2    7
10.    Rock Hill Northwestern (4A)    10-1    NR
11.    Bandys (2A)    10-0    12
12.    R-S Central (3A)    11-1    NR
13.    Carson (3A)    11-1    NR
14.    Newton-Conover (2A)    9-3    8
15.    Freedom (3A)    10-4    11
16.    Forestview (3A)    10-2    10
Dropped out: Concord (3A, 3-5); Hopewell (4A, 7-5); North Iredell (3A, 8-3); South Point (3A, 5-4). On The Bubble: Forest Hills (2A, 7-3); North Stanly (2A, 10-0); Weddington (3A, 8-4)
Note: To be ranked in the Observer’s Sweet 16, a team must be in the newspaper’s coverage area, must field football and basketball teams and not allow a student-athlete to re-class once they’ve started ninth grade. For a detailed look inside the poll, including the criteria used to compile it, visit this link: