Friday, March 30, 2012

Davidson Day basketball coach Ron Johnson resigns

Davidson Day announced Friday that boys' basketball coach Ron Johnson is leaving his post to be an assistant coach at Marist College (N.Y.).

In his three years, Johnson's Davidson Day teams went 75-21 while also reaching the state semifinals this past season. He also had 13 players move on to play Division I basketball. Johnson's last day at the school is April 13.

"My three years at Davidson Day have been some of the most rewarding years I've had as an educator and coach," said Johnson, who also served as the school's dean of student life, in a release.

"The progress that we have been able to make as a total college preparatory independent school has been remarkable. The relationships that I have been able to form with students, parents and colleagues will be ones that I will cherish forever."

According to head of school Bonnie Cotter's release, Davidson Day will undertake a national search for Johnson's replacement.

-- Sergio Tovar

Harding High's Anthony Jones is N.C. girls coach of the year

Harding High’s Anthony Jones is the N.C. Associated Press girls basketball coach of the year.

He’s the first from his school to win the award after leading the Rams to a 26-3 record and the school’s first state basketball championship -- for boys or girls.

“Man, that’s great,” he said Friday afternoon. “That’s quite an honor. It’s like, wow, that’s something that I wasn’t expecting. I’m just glad we won the state thing. Last year, I got ME-GA 7 (conference) coach of the year and I said, ‘I’d trade that for anything to win the state title.’ And now we’ve won state, and to get this on top of it is quite a blessing.”

Kirk Angel of Wilmington New Hanover County is the boys coach of the year. Angel received eight of a possible 22 votes from a statewide panel of media members, while Kinston's Wells Guthridge received seven. Gulledge, the AP men's coach of the year in 2008, led his program to its third state title in five seasons.

Angel led New Hanover to a 30-1 record and the Class 4-A championship, when New Hanover beat 2011 state champion West Charlotte.

On the girls side, Harding’s Jones had eight of 22 votes, while Brian Robinson
of Kernersville Bishop McGuinness received seven. Robinson, the AP girls’ coach of the year in 2010, led McGuinness to a record seventh straight state championship.

Jones, 46, played basketball at Spartanburg High and at UNC-Greensboro, where he graduated in 1988. He’s taught at Harding since 1995. He’s coached AAU and rec teams but this is his first head coaching job in high school.

Jones' award and championship came in his second year at Harding, which won two regional games and the 3A final against Burlington Williams by a combined 73 points.

Harding also won its eighth straight conference tournament title and captured the regional championship for the first time

“Isn't that something,” Jones said. “It’s quite a privilege to be recognized for such an award. It blows me away.”

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' all-conference basketball teams

Here are all-conference basketball teams for schools in CMS conferences, as voted on by the conference coaches. The teams were voted on in February before the playoffs began.

The Observer announced its all-conference picks Feb. 11. Click here to see those

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools All-Conference Teams
ME-GA 7 4A

Essence Baucom, Milan Quinn, Alicia Quinn (Berry); Sophie Rossitch, Onya Edwards (Catholic); Shelby Winchester (East Gaston); Alexius Hampto, Abrea Harris (Harding); Jalene Sims (Olympic); Jasmine Gray, Quatashea Lewis, Kana Thompson (West Mecklenburg)
Girls Player of the year: Essence Baucom, Berry  Girls Coach of the year: Robert Hollis, Berry
Jarvis Haywood, Emmanuel Patton, Steven Burrough (Harding); Sean Anthony, Allerick Freeman, Josh Smith (Olympic); Jamarkins Eison (Garinger); Dajuan Graf, Osandai Vaughn, Cazmon Hayes (Berry); Robert Champion, Mark Pollack (Charlotte Catholic); DeSean Murray (East Gaston)
Boys Player of the year: Allerick Freeman, Olympic
Boys co-coaches of the year: Ty Baumgardner, Olympic; Mike King, Catholic

Bryanna Curry (Hopewell); Brandi Arey, Anna Diggs, Julia Brown (Hough); Marissa Riley (Lake Norman); Amber Neely, Nicole Graham (Mallard Creek); Destiny Barrino, Jasmine Bullock (North Mecklenburg); Diamond Foggie (Vance); Gabrielle McClain, Rachel Porter, Jessica Gaston (West Charlotte); Zana Tatum (Mooresville)
Girls player of the year: Sharee’ Boyd, Hopewell
Girls coach of the year: Gary Richmond, Hopewell
Tyrone Curr (Hopewell); Luke Maye (Hough); Josh Stepoli, Tahjai Watt (North Meck); Bradley Robinson, Jamal White (Mallard Creek); Ryan Scott (Lake Norman); Shawn Lester, Dre Howell, Kendrick Johnson (Mooresville); Mike Brown, Kennedy Meeks (West Charlotte); Derick Brewer, Caleb Davis (Vance)
Boys player of the year: Shivaughn Wiggins, North Meck
Boys coach of the year: David Rutledge, Mallard Creek
Southwestern 4A

Raven Dean, Oceania Anderson (Ardrey Kell); Jaymee Fisher-Davis, Symphonie Richardson (Butler); Sandra Knox (East Meck); Laquisha Taylor (Independence); Aliyah Mazyck, Roddreka Rogers, Saadia Timpton (Myers Park); Brandi Segers (Rocky River)
Girls player of the year: Christelle Shembo, Ardrey Kell
Girls coach of the year: Dustin Terrel, Myers Park
Jeremy Page (Butler); Miles Leathers, Jerrin Morrison (East Meck); Clayton Massey, Patrick Wallace (Myers Park); Giavonni Mack (Providence); Rob Harvey, Matt Ward (Rocky River); Carrington Kirkpatrick, Malcom Mathews (South Meck)
Boys player of the year: Zach Ferguson, Butler
Boys coach of the year: John Fitch, South Mecklenburg

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Area Baseball, Soccer, Softball Stat Leaders

High School Spring Sports Leaders
Baseball Batting Average
Name    School    Average

D. Tillman    Forest Hills    .714
S. Grant    W. Iredell    .650
E. Scott    Myers Park    .619
J. Dey    Olympic    .615
J. Barbee    Hickory Ridge    .600
C. Clare    Charlotte Catholic    .571
M. Broome    Metrolina Christian    .565
N. High    Forest Hills    .556
H. Harvey    Bandys    .500
B. Prugh    Carson    .550
T. Watkins    Cox Mill    .548
K. Hamrick    Lake Norman Charter    .529
L. Gray    St. Stephens    .520
K. Stabasefski    Lake Norman Charter    .520
L. Barton    St. Stephens    .517
G. Tonnesen    Carson    .515
D. McGoldrick    Queens Grant    .500
J. Ketcham    Queens Grant    .500
B. Riggins    Lake Norman Charter    .500
C. Coey    Lake Norman Charter    .500
J. Daugherty    Union Academy    .500
Baseball Home Runs
Name    School    Total

M. Hooper    West Meck    3
B. Prugh    Carson    2
P. Henderson    Hickory Ridge    2
A. Kegarise    Queens Grant    2
D. McGoldrick    Queens Grant    2
Gabe Hutchings    Queens Grant    2
S. Wallace    South Stanly    2
G. Short    South Stanly    2
J. Campana    Providence    2
C. Duncan    SouthLake    2
Baseball RBIs
Name    School    Total

S. Wallace    South Stanly    20
D. McGoldrick    Queens Grant    17
J. Dey    Olympic    17
A. Kegarise    Queens Grant    16
J. Ketcham    Queens Grant    16
S. Booksh    Queens Grant    16
P. Henderson    Hickory Ridge    14
Baseball Strikeouts
Name    School    Total

R. Weiker    South Stanly    46
B. Robbins    E. Rowan    45
B. Sides    Hickory Ridge    37
H. Harvey    Bandys    35
S. Grant    W. Iredell    32
T. Watkins    Cox Mill    32
B. Stone    Ardrey Kell    31
J. Bonen-Clark    Catholic    31
C. Johnson    Bessemer City    31
J. Bonen-Clark    Catholic    31
L. Rawls    West Meck    30
E. Free    Carson    30
A. Bost    E. Rowan    30
J. Ford    Hickory Ridge    28
D. Kaiser    Albemarle    28
D. Shaw    West Meck    27
H. Deal    Bandys    27
T. Thornton    Ardrey Kell    27
K. Pittman    Forest Hills    27
D. Atwell    Carson    26
D. McGoldrick    Queens Grant    25
T. Byrnes    Olympic    25
A. Camplo    Queens Grant    23
T. Baker    Hopewell    23
J. Accetta    Catholic    22
D. Loepprich    Country Day    20
Softball Average
Name    School    Average

D. Tillman    Forest Hills    .714
E. Scott    Myers Park    .619
M. Broome    Metrolina Christian    .565
M. Runkle    Catholic    .560
E. Rodriguez    Olympic    .556
N. High    Forest Hills    .557
Softball Home Runs
Name    School    Total

M. Hooper    West Meck    3
D. Harris    Forest Hills    2
E. Rodriguez    Olympic    2
M. Broome    Metrolina    2
M. Runkle    Catholic    2
T. Freeman    Ardrey Kell    2
Softball RBIs
Name    School    Total

S. Casper    Forest Hills    20
E. Scott    Myers Park    15
V. Gonzalez    Olympic    15
D. Harris    Forest Hills    14
M. Broome    Metrolina Christian    14
E. Rodriguez    Olympic    12
T. Tidwell    Myers Park    12
A. High    Forest Hills    11
H. Shaul    Catholic    11
Softball Strikeouts
Name    School    Total

M. Broome    Metrolina Christian    106
D. Harris    Forest Hills    58
E. Standley    Independence    32
C. Wiese    Catholic    26
L. McCoy    Olympic    25
M. Hooper    West Meck    25
S. Latham    West Meck    21
M. Wilson    Christian    20
R. Oxendine    Myers Park    19
Girls Soccer Scoring
Name    School    Goals

A. Estep    Cannon    10
M. Foster    Davidson Day    8
M. Byrne    Hough    8
J. Sherwood    Olympic    8
C. Rodriguez    Davidson Day    8
T. Straughn    Myers Park    7
E. Shuler    Myers Park    7
A. Stearns    Hough    7
Girls Soccer Assists
Name    School    Totals

L. Byrne    Hough    7
H. Robinson    Hough    7
C. Rodriguez    Davidson Day    7
E. Shuler    Myers Park    6
A. Stearns    Hough    6
N. Duncan    Hough    4
B. Arey    Hough    4
B. Cuevas    Hough    4
E. Feldman    Olympic    4
D. Patel    Olympic    4
J. Sherwood    Olympic    4
L. Kelly    Latin    4
T. Rodgers     Olympic     4
M Clark    Davidson Day    4
M. Kane    Latin     4

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday night's top performers

Austin Brown, Providence Day girls lacrosse: six goals in a 15-6 win over Lake Norman Charter.
Nicole Duncan, Hough girls soccer: A goal and two assists in a 7-1 win over rival North Meck. Brandi Arey had two goals and an assist for Hough (8-0-1, 3-0 I-Meck 4A), ranked No. 2 in the Sweet 16.
Venus Gonzalez, Olympic softball: 3-for-3 with a double, a triple, a home run and four RBIs in a 15-0 win over Harding.
Sarah McIntosh, Lake Norman Charter softball: 3-for-4 with two home runs in a 6-5 loss to North Lincoln.
Andrew Pope, Providence Day baseball: Eight strikouts plus 2-for-5 hitting and the pitching win in a 7-5 win over Covenant Day. Providence Day scored five runs in the seventh to get the win. Daniel Stack (2-for-4, RBI) and Tim Mansfield (2-for-3, 2 RBIs) also had strong games for the Chargers.
Parker Von Egidy, Piedmont wrestling: 170-pound 2A state champ beat the 1A, 3A and 4A state champions in his weight class -- all in the same day Saturday. Von Egidy, who was 58-1 this season, is now 119-2 the past two years. He’ll wrestle in the FloNationals March 31-April 1 in Philadelphia.
Morgan Whitesdies, Gaston Day girls soccer: five goals and one assists in a 9-0 win over United Faith. Sydney Stephens got the shutout for Gaston Day (1-2, 1-0 SPAA).
Callie Wiese, Catholic softball: 3-for-4 with a triple in an 18-0 win over Berry. Teammates Melanie Runkle (2-for-2, HR) and Hannah Shaul (2-for-2, double, 5 RBIs) also had big games.

Who are we letting teach and coach our kids? Radio discussion coming Wednesday

 WPEG-FM (97.9) morning radio personality "No Limit" Larry Mims will host a panel discussion at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday morning (3/21) entitled "Who are you letting teach your kids?"

Mims is concerned with the kinds of advice young people are getting from some coaches and teachers. Joining Mims will be a Barbara Hudson, a local teacher, and Ed Addie, who is president of the AAU Queen City Athletic Association and head coach at Kennedy Charter School.

"It's about how we are dealing with people's kids," Mims said. "We want to help show people the right way to do things. Some of the coaches out there are teaching kids to cheat to get ahead. We thought coach Addie and Mrs. Hudson were good examples of people who do things the right way."

Monday, March 19, 2012

NCHSAA releases final conference realignment proposals

The N.C. High School Athletic Association has released final realignment conference proposals for its nearly 400 high school membership, made up of mostly public and charter schools. The NCHSAA board will vote on the proposal at its May meeting. If approved with no changes, which are not likely, schools will begin play in the new leagues starting in the fall of 2013.

Queens Grant, a Charlotte charter school, will join a 1A conference with Albemarle, North Stanly and Gray Stone Day.

Lake Norman Charter, located in Mecklenburg County, moves up to a 2A/3A conference from a 1A league. the school will join Gaston County Schools like Ashbrook, Hunter Huss and South Point.

Proposals for Mecklenburg’s 4A schools were unchanged.

Here are area teams’ conferences (for a complete list, click here)

Conference 6C (1A): Albemarle; Chatham Central; East Montgomery; Gray Stone Day; North Moore; North Stanly; Queens Grant; South Davidson; South Stanly; Union Academy; West Montgomery
Conference 3C (2A/3A): Stuart Cramer (2A); Hunter Huss (2A); Lake Norman Charter (2A); Ashbrook; East Gaston; Forestview; North Gaston; South Point
Conference 4C (4A): Ardrey Kell; Berry; Catholic; Harding; Olympic; Providence; South Meck; West Meck
Conference 5C (4A): A.L. Brown; Hopewell; Hough; Mallard Creek; North Mecklenburg; Robinson; West Charlotte; Vance
Conference 6C (4A): Butler; East Meck; Garinger; Independence; Myers Park; Porter Ridge; Rocky River

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Time Warner Cable to broadcast Saturday's state basketball finals

Time Warner Cable will broadcast all of Saturday's N.C. High School Athletic Association state championship games. The games will also be streamed live at

The N.C. 4A boys and girls games will be shown on basic cable channel 14. The other games will be shown on digital channels 520 and 521, which require a subscription to the digital tier and the digital cable box.

The schedule:

Channel 521 – 1A girls: Southside vs. Bishop McGuinness
Channel 520 – 2A girls: Jordan-Matthews vs. Wilkes Central

2:30 pm
Channel 521 – 1A boys: Plymouth vs. Winston-Salem Preparatory
Channel 520 – 2A boys: Kinston vs. Cuthbertson

5:00 pm
News 14 Carolina – 4A girls: Millbrook vs. West Forsyth
Channel 521 – 3A girls: Walter Williams vs. Harding University

7:30 pm
News 14 Carolina – 4A boys: New Hanover vs. West Charlotte
Channel 521 – Rocky Mount vs. Hickory

Friday, March 2, 2012

Olympic star Allerik Freeman narrows college choices to Kansas, Villanova

Olympic High boys basketball star Allerik Freeman will play college at Kansas or Villanova.

Trojans basketball coach Ty Baumgardner said his 6-foot-3 junior guard had narrowed his choices to those two schools. Freeman has more than 30 college offers and is ranked among the nation's top 20 recruits by ESPN.

Freeman had previously indicated he would narrow to five schools from a list of 13 after the season ended. Olympic (28-2), No. 1 in the Observer's Sweet 16 poll, lost 78-57 to West Charlotte in the N.C. 4A regional semifinals Tuesday.

W. Charlotte Class of '62 sponsors bus trip to Saturday's regional finals

The West Charlotte Class of 1962 will sponsor a bus trip to Greensboro for Saturday's N.C. 4A Western Regional championship game between West Charlotte and Davie County. The game begins at 2 p.m.

The bus trip costs $20, not including $9 admission.

The bus will leave from West Charlotte High School at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and officials will collect money at the Burger King I-85 at Beatties Ford Road from 6pm to 8pm on Friday March 2, 2012.

VIDEO: Former United Faith star Ian Miller hits game winner for Florida State

Here's a video of former two-time Observer player of the year Ian Miller hitting the game winning shot for Florida State last night. Miller played his high school ball at South Mecklenburg and United Faith.

Northwest Cabarrus baseball has two All-American caliber stars

t's not often that two All-American-caliber players hit the field for the same high school baseball team. But for Northwest Cabarrus, thanks to senior shortstop Corey Seager and junior second baseman Tanner Bigham, that's a reality.

"It's a luxury," said Northwest Cabarrus baseball coach Joe Hubbard. "Most places don't have an SEC and ACC signee playing up the middle for you."

Seager, who has signed to play at South Carolina, and Bigham, who has committed to play at North Carolina, headline a Trojan team that is ranked No. 4 in Impact Baseball's 3A preseason poll.
Having played together all of last year, the duo has developed chemistry that should allow them to lead the team with skill and experience.

"They have a good idea of what they'll need to do for this team to succeed," said Hubbard.

But Northwest Cabarrus is hardly a two-man team

Pitcher Weston Smith, third baseman Jarrin Hogue as well as catchers Grayson Miller and Landon

Hubbard also return from last season's team.

Coach Hubbard said Evan Holub and Ryan Keziah as well as Jordan Goodman, who hasn't played his first two years of high school because of ACL injuries, have also looked good early on.

But the 6-foot-4 Seager knows his team has a long way to go.

"We can get better everywhere," he said . "We have to get smart and not make stupid mistakes."
Bigham, 6-feet tall, agreed, adding that the team needs to continue to come together to reach its peak later in the year.
"It's all about playing your best baseball at the end of the season," said Bigham.

Click here to read the rest of the story

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A radical (Bradford) Plan to improve the NCHSAA basketball playoffs

GREENSBORO -- So I'm sitting on the sidelines at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center, watching Shelby and East Rutherford warm up for their N.C. 2A regional semifinal, and Demp Bradford, vice president of operations for the Greensboro Sports Commission sidles up next to me and delivers a wonderful idea.

I told him I was going to steal it, but end of the day, my wife makes sure I'm an honest man, so I have to give credit where it's due.

But I really like his idea.

Bradford would blow up the current three-week playoff format for the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs and replace it with another three-week playoff format, which I think could be better.

Right now, teams play three games in week one and then go to regional play, which consists of two more games in week two. The regional winner from the east and west then move on to the state finals in the third week.

Bradford would change that.

He would have teams play two games in week one, and then have a regional round where eight teams would play over two days in the East and West at four neutral sites, say, Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro and Fayetteville.

Bradford believes that would reduce schools' travel times and lead to larger crowds. And I've got to believe that if East Rutherford and Shelby had played their fourth meeting of the year in Charlotte instead of Greensboro that there would be more than the 1,000 or so fans I'm seeing watch the first quarter right now.

So under The Bradford Plan, which is kind of a catchy name, each class -- for boys and girls -- would be left with four teams after the new regional round.

Tell me if this is sounding familiar?

Now we go to whatever the two state final sites are on a Friday/Saturday with the East top seed facing the West No. 2 and vice versa in the Friday semifinals. That creates some new matchups fans don't normally see.

Usually you don't get major East-West matchups until the finals -- or the rare holiday tournament matchup. I think it's something that could be really good, especially if we get away from the new Pod system which has led to too many teams from the same conference meeting each other early in the playoffs -- when they should get a shot at new competition.

Other than that, I think The Bradford Plan could be a big winner.