Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hardwood Classic Basketball Tournament (formerly Bojangles' Shootout) won't be played in 2012

For the first time in 11 years, Mecklenburg County have a major high school basketball tournament over the Christmas holidays.

The Hardwood Classic, formerly the Bojangles’ Shootout, will not be played in 2012. The tournament had run for 11 straight years.

Charlotte Regional Sports Commission spokesperson Chris Clouden told the Observer that it wouldn’t be putting on the tournament in December. He did not rule out the event returning in the future.
The tournament once attracted sell-out crowds and top national teams and talent to Charlotte Latin and Marvin Ridge High Schools and was once called the nation’s top post-Christmas high school tournament by USA Today.

In 2009, it was moved back to 11,000-seat Bojangles’ Coliseum. The national teams and top players who had littered past fields weren’t in attendance. Atendance began to fall. Clouden, senior director of events and marketing for the Sports Commission, said the organization lost $13,000 at last year’s event.

“I don’t want to say it’s never going to come back,” he said, “but this year got the point where we got too far down the road and we don’t have a commitment finanically (from a sponsor) to make it work. Coming off last year, which was a fairly signifigant loss for us, the comfort level is just not there to assume that kind of risk now.”

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Miami offers Kennedy Charter basketball star Donte' Clark

Miami (Fla.) of the ACC has offered Kennedy Charter star Donte' Clark. Clark, a 6-foot-4 junior, also has offers from East Carolina, Jacksonville, Central Florida, Gardner-Webb and Mercer.

Clark averaged 15.6 points, 4.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds for Kennedy Charter and led a team that scored 91.2 points per game, tops in the nation.

This is his first ACC offer. Clark earned the offer after a strong performance at an elite AAU event in Minneapolis last weekend.

"Clemson called me this morning," Kennedy Charter coach Ed Addie said. "Because he's playing with the Georgia Stars in the Nike (Elite Youth Basketball League), I expect him to get a lot more."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Text of private schools' response to NCHSAA tuition inquiry

The N.C. High School Athletic Association has asked its three non-boarding parochial schools -- Charlotte Catholic, Cardinal Gibbons and Bishop McGuinness -- for more information on how those schools provide tuition assistance to students.

NCHSAA bylaws say no student should receive scholarships or financial aid of any kind.

The issue arose after six Rowan County schools started a motion to have the three private schools removed from the 390-member NCHSAA, saying the private schools had an inherent advantage because they did not have geographic boundaries.

Here is the official response, written by George Repass, principal at Bishop McGuinness. At the end is an addendum from Charlotte Catholic:

 ·         I can only speak specifically about how things are done at BMHS as a school within the diocese of Charlotte; therefore, there may or may not be parallels between the ways Bishop McGuinness or Charlotte Catholic do things as opposed to the way Cardinal Gibbons (diocese of Raleigh) might; each diocese has different forms of organization and governance for its schools.
·         Bishop McGuinness does not give scholarships of any kind – academic, athletic, performing arts, or other.  Tuition assistance is not the same thing as scholarship.
·         Tuition assistance takes many forms, for instance 
a)      all Catholic students do, in a sense, receive tuition assistance, because theirs is a discounted tuition rate; parishes pay subsidies to the high schools to cover the difference between the Catholic tuition rate and the rates set for all others;
b)      all families with more than one student enrolled receive reduced rates for the second, third, fourth child, etc.;
c)       all faculty children receive a discounted rate; etc.
·         Parishes do not set tuition or fees rates.  The high school sets its tuition rates subject to the approval of the diocesan administration.  Likewise, the parish subsidies to the schools are determined by the diocese, not by the parishes themselves.
·         All families in the Triad Catholic Schools system (k-12) are eligible for tuition assistance (reduced rates), based on demonstrated and proven need.  The amounts of such assistance for families  are  determined by an outside organization which conducts the family need assessment.  (That headquarters of that organization is not even located within this region of the US.)  That need assessment does not take into account any factors other than family income and expense obligations, and no information about other factors (e.g., academic performance or athletic involvement) is included in the records associated with that assessment or with the need assessment itself.   Any application for tuition assistance goes to that company.  This is just as true for Bishop McGuinness families as for families at an individual elementary school such as Our Lady of Grace.  That’s a diocese-specified approach for all schools in the diocese of Charlotte.
·         No tuition assistance applications are entertained until after a student has gone through the standard admissions process.
·         No tuition assistance comes from school funds.  But, as described above, a family’s actual assistance is a reduction in the total they pay the school for tuition and fees.   Any  reduced income for the school caused by the tuition assistance discount is offset  from monies raised for all schools in the  Triad Catholic Schools system  by a separate foundation, the Triad Catholic Schools Foundation and is allocated as described above (that is, on the basis of need determined by the outside company I referenced).  When any assistance is granted, no one involved in the decision-making  knows what any student’s particular background, talents, or ambitions are.  The process keeps records only of applications for assistance, and those applications have no factors other than family income and expenses on them.  That’s one reason I’ve had to go back to the roster of aid recipients and look into whether each student has had any athletic affiliation/participation.  I would not know that as a result of consulting records of any kind other than to compare the names on the aid roster with names on team rosters.
·         Whatever aid is awarded a family is only for a portion of the family’s total obligation; no one at BMHS ever receives 100% tuition assistance.
·         Our practices have been at all times consistent with the understanding established in dialogue between NCHSAA (Charlie Adams and Dick Knox) and BMHS authorizes at time the school entered NCHSAA -  which specified clearly that no athletic scholarships are permitted and that no assistance come directly from the schools.

All of the above being said, following are my answers to your specific questions.

1.       See my bullet points above about how rates are set and tuition assistance awarded, i.e., reduction in a family’s obligation based on the need assessment.
2.       See my final summary statement in the bullet points above.
3-4.  At any given time, the percentage of students in general or student athletes receiving tuition assistance (reduction in tuition/fees obligation owed by the family) can fall between 15 and 20 per cent of the student body; percentage of  students who are athletes receiving aid (which would be a part of that general figure) would be anywhere from 5 to 8%  of the student body.  In 2011-2012
a)      88 of 542 students received tuition assistance (16% of student body);
b)      of these 88, 31  played one or more sport – that is, 6% of the student body.
      5. These students have participated in a wide range of sports – everything from cross-country to football.  I don’t have information filed by this criterion.

                The Triad Foundation does not provide funds to Charlotte Catholic High School; our tuition assistance funds come from our Catholic parishes in Mecklenburg County. 
                   At CCHS 9 non-Catholic students get tuition assistance, 155 Catholic students get assistance.  This is approximately11% of the student population.
                Without some investigation we would not know how many, if any, of these students are athletes. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Gaston Day's Keyshawn Woods, Cuthbertson's Shelton Mitchell make sophomore All America team

Shelton Mitchell of Waxhaw’s Cuthbertson High and Gaston Day’s Keyshawn Woods each made the MaxPreps sophomore All-America team.

Both players were named honorable mention.

Mitchell, a 6-3 point guard, averaged 24 points, six rebounds and five assists, leading his team to a 31-2 record and an appearance in the N.C. 2A state final against Kinston.

Woods, a 6-3 shooting guard, averaged 27 points and helped his team win 13 more games than it did in the 2010-11 season.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rocky White named new football coach at South Meck

Former West Mecklenburg coach Rocky White is the new football coach at South Meck.

White replaces James Martin, who resigned to take an assistant's job in South Carolina.

"We interviewed five candidates and 39 applicants," South Meck athletics director Kevin Hinson. "I think both the current staff, administration and parents and students -- who were involved in the process -- and everyone felt Rocky brought a sense of stability and a lot of coaching experience along with a commanding personality that will fit in good and will lead us onward and upward."

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Fmr N. Meck soccer coach Marc Calderone will coach Mooresville next season

Former North Mecklenburg soccer coach Marc Calderone will coach Mooresville’s soccer team beginning in the fall.

Calderone said he would start teaching social studies April 30 at Mooresville. He has also worked at South Stanly, North Rowan and Northwest Guilford. He is currently at Lexington High.

His career record, which includes boys’ and girls’ teams, is 416-132-39. He is a five-time Observer coach of the year and his teams have won 16 conference championships.

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Researcher: Officials should do more to protect prep football players

Football officials must throw more flags to protect high school football players from serious brain injuries , according to Dr. Fred Mueller, one of the authors of the annual survey of catastrophic football injuries.

Last year, 13 high school football players suffered catastrophic brain injuries, the most recorded since the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research began tracking brain injuries in 1984, according to data released Monday.

“In the 1960s and ’70s we had a spike in deaths and catastrophic injuries in high school football,” Mueller said. “There were rules changes in 1976 that made it illegal to lead with the head while tackling or blocking and the safety improved dramatically. It is too early to say for sure yet, we need a couple of more years’ data, but I fear we are headed back up.”

Mueller said the solution for the increase in brain injuries is for coaches do a better job of teaching the proper techniques and for officials to call more violations.

“You don’t see a lot of flags thrown for leading with the head,” Mueller said. “But if the officials will call it, the coaches will make sure they teach it.”

The National Federation of State High School Associations, which writes the rules for high school football, has made rule changes in an effort to reduce head injuries, including concussions. The run up distance on kickoffs has been shortened and players who lose their helmets will be sent to the sidelines.

“There is no doubt that the high school players are being influenced by what they are seeing in the NFL,” Mueller said. “The emphasis on the big hit with the excitement of the announcers and the playing of the hit over and over in replays is having an impact. And the thoughts of a bounty system for injuring players is disturbing.”

-- Tim Stevens, Raleigh News & Observer

NCHSAA to vote on whether to keep Charlotte Catholic in membership

N.C. High School Athletic Association member schools will vote this week on whether Cardinal Gibbons and other parochial non-boarding schools can remain in the organization.

A ballot has been sent to the association’s 390 schools and school principals, who are the voting members of the association, have until next Tuesday to return ballots.

A three-fourths majority is needed for the measure to pass and to change the NCHSAA constitution. The NCHSAA constitution says that public schools and non-boarding parochial schools such as Gibbons, Charlotte Catholic and Kernersville McGuinness may be members. Charlotte Christ the King, a new Catholic school, was expected to enter the NCHSAA in 2013.

The vote is at the request of Salisbury, West Rowan, East Rowan, South Rowan, North Rowan and China Grove Carson. The NCHSAA constitution requires a membership vote if six or more schools request an item be placed on a ballot.

“To me it is a question of boundaries,” said Joe Pinyan, the Salisbury High athletic director. “Our students come from a specific area. Theirs do not. Their players can come from anywhere.

“It is not a level playing field.”

Davis Whitfield, the NCHSAA commissioner, said Gibbons, McGuinness and Catholic had been exemplary members of the association.

“I think the eligibility rules that we have in place have been effective,” he said.

The non-boarding parochial members of the NCHSAA have additional eligibility requirements.

Students who transfer to the schools are ineligible for athletics for one year. Gibbons, McGuinness and Catholic have been very successful in winning state championships and Gibbons currently leads the Chase’s Wells Fargo Cup all-sports competition.

Gibbons has won 34 NCHSAA state championships since 2005.

State associations throughout the country are confronted with the fairness of private schools playing in associations made up primarily of public schools.

Since 2009, eight state associations have adopted a multiplier for its private school members. The private schools multiply their enrollments by a designated number to determine their classifications. The effect is to put private schools in the larger classification, usually playing larger schools.

Bobby Cox, the executive director of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, told High School Today magazine that private schools make up 14 percent of the membership and won 40 percent of state titles. In Ohio, private schools make up 16 percent of the membership, but won 70 percent of the titles. Georgia recently expanded from five divisions to six after non-public schools won 26 of 28 state titles, excluding football, wrestling and boys track) since 2008.

Also on the ballot is creating a separate NCHSAA playoff bracket for charter schools, which are public schools but are not governed by local boards of education. Under the proposed change, charter schools would compete in NCHSAA conferences as they do now, but if a charter school qualified for the playoffs in any sport it would be placed in a charter-school bracket to compete against other charter school members.

-- Tim Stevens, Raleigh News and Observer

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hough High sponsoring "Cookies Vs Cancer" Invitational Saturday

Skyland Roberson girls soccer at No. 1 Hough, Saturday, 6 p.m.: The game is part of the second annual “Cookies Vs. Cancer” Invitational at Hough. A similar event, featuring boys teams, raised more than $3,000 in September. Hough is No. 1 in the Sweet 16 and No. 2 in the N.C. 4A coaches poll. Roberson (10-1-2) is No. 6 in the coaches poll.

At 2 p.m. at Hough, Mount Tabor faces Sweet 16 No. 6 Ardrey Kell. At 4 p.m. Cox Mill faces No. 8 Myers Park. In addition to the soccer, Hough will sponsor a bake sale outside the stadium with all proceeds from it and from concessions going to cancer research as well as a percentage of each $7 ticket sold. One ticket is good for all three games.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Charlotte Christian's Desmond Lawrence commits to UNC football

Desmond Lawrence of Charlotte Christian, one of the top junior defensive back prospects in the country, committed to North Carolina last weekend. Lawrence, a 6-foot, 175-pound junior, is the Tar Heels’ eighth known commitment in the Class of 2013 and the sixth from North Carolina.

“One of the things about him is his versatility,” said Charlotte Christian coach Jason Estep. “He can cover, he could play safety, or in the spread offense that Carolina is moving to he could play on that side of the ball. He is athletic, physical and fast.

“He is the type of kid who might play corner, but if he goes safety he can move up in the box or hang back. He understands the game and that helps a lot. Every college football team in the country is looking for this type of kid.”

-- Tim Stevens, Raleigh News & Observer

Read more here:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Area baseball, softball, girls soccer stat leaders

Baseball Batting Average       
Name    School    Average

C. Grey    Carmel Christian    .857
C. Gehringer    Butler    .667
J. Cornatzer    Carmel Christian    .647
T. Neal    Butler    .625
C. Smith    Carmel Christian    .611
J. Corley    Hickory Grove    .607
L. Murdock    North Hills Christian    .606
S. Grant    W. Iredell    .571
B. Pugh    Carson    .550
T. Watkins    Cox Mill    .545
J. Barbee    Hickory Ridge    .541
G. Tonnesen    Carson    .515
H. Harvey    Bandys    .513
S. Wallace    S. Stanly    .511
J. Dey    Olympic    .500
S. Booksh    Queens Grant    .500
D. Nash    Forest Hills    .500
Baseball Home Runs
Name    School    No.
C. Duncan    SouthLake    4
W. Grier    Davidson Day    4
A. Kegarise    Queens Grant    3
C. Walls    Country Day    3
J. Piedmonte    Hough    3
D. McGoldrick    Queens Grant    3
T. Watkins    Cox Mill    3
S. Wallace    South Stanly    3
Baseball RBIs
Name    School    No.

S. Wallace    South Stanly    26
S. Booksh    Queens Grant    22
D. McGoldrick    Queens Grant    22
J. Ketcham    Queens Grant    19
A. Kegarise    Queens Grant    19
C. Duncan    SouthLake    17
J. Dey    Olympic    17
J. Smith    North Rowan    16
P. Henderson    Hickory Ridge    16
B. Sides    Hickory Ridge    16
S. Hubbard    Bandys    15
K. Stabasefski    Lake Norman Charter    15
J. Hiatt    SouthLake    14
H. Harvey    Bandys    14
G. Short    South Stanly    14
T. Watkins    Cox Mill    14
C. Walls    Country Day    13
K. Bynum    Mallard Creek    13
D. Scoggins    Lincoln Charter    13
S. White    N. Iredell    13
L. Barton    St. Stephens    13
Baseball Strikeouts
T. Thornton    Ardrey Kell    51
B. Stone    Ardrey Kell    43
J. Bonen-Clark    Charlotte Catholic    42
Dee Kaiser    Albemarle    39
C. Veal    N. Rowan    38
A. Bost    E. Rowan    37
J. Accetta    Charlotte Catholic    37
D. Shaw    West Meck    35
L. Rawls    West Meck    35
M. Ward    N. Hills Christian    34
J. Hickes    Independence    34
J. Ford    Hickory Ridge    33
A. Campolo    Queens Grant    32
G. Hutchings    Queens Grant    31
T. Byrnes    Olympic    31
H. Deal    Bandys    31
M. Hanes    Butler    30
J. Mathis    E. Rowan    30
D. McGoldrick    Queens Grant    30
K. Krause    Mallard Creek    30
E. Free    Carson    30
Softball Batting Average
Name    School    Average

S. Carpenter    Chase    .731
C. Monroe    Carson    .702
B. Buckstad    Lake Norman Charter    .647
M. Hooper    West Meck    .636
E. Scott    Myers Park    .600
A. Wallace    Ashbrook    .579
S. Tucker    Piedmont    .579
M. Broome    Metrolina Christian    .556
J. Wilson    South Point    .548
N. High    Forest Hills    .522
S. Kenley    Lincoln Charter    .519
H. Chandler    N. Stanly    .517
V. Morgan    Lincoln Charter    .516
S. Hitchcock    S. Mecklenburg    .511
T. Hasson    Freedom    .500
B. White    Chase    .500
K. Romine    Robinson    .500
S. Davila    South Point    .500
J. Weber    Cuthbertson    .500
A. L ong    Central Academy    .500
Softball Home Runs
Name    School    No.
A. Wallace    Ashbrook    8
H. Stewart    South Point    5
M. Broome    Metrolina Christian    3
M. Hooper    West Meck    3
K. Shifflett    Hough    3
S. McIntosh    Lake Norman Charter    3
D. Harris    Forest Hills    2
E. Rodriguez    Olympic    2
J. Haasl    Ardrey Kell    2
M. Runkle    Charlotte Catholic    2
T. Freeman    Ardrey Kell    2
H. Hasker    Lake Norman Charter    2
M. McGee    Lincoln Charter    2
S. Carpenter    Chase    2
M. Gathings    Anson Sr.    2
L. Leary    S. Stanly    2
G. Bennett    Hough    2
L. Hasson    Freedom    2
J. Wilson    South Point    2
M. Kinley    South Point    2
Softball RBIs
A. Wallace    Ashbrook    22
S. Casper    Forest Hills    22
V. Gonzalez    Olympic    20
K. Shifflett    Hough    19
N. Shepherd    Cox Mill    19
M. Gathings    Anson Sr.    18
K. Salvo    Cuthbertson    17
J. Wilson    South Point    17
D. Harris    Forest Hills    16
M. Broome    Metrolina Christian    16
M. Reece    Charlotte Catholic    16
M. McGee    Lincoln Charter    16
E. Poplin    South Stanly    16
J. Weber    Cuthbertson    16
Softball Strikeouts
M. Broome    Metrolina Christian    129
C. Wilkinson    Alexander Central    114
S Russell    S. Stanly    107
S. Mas    Butler    98
K. Williford    NW Cabarrus    86
D. Harris    Forest Hills    77
T. Bates    Anson Sr.    77
P. Davis    Freedom    65
K. Cheek    Ashbrook    60
D. King    Robinson    48
L. Poston    Shelby    47
M. Crain    R-S Central    46
E. Standley    Independence    44
M. Hooper    West Mecklenburg    42
Girls Soccer Goals
Name    School    No.

A. Estep    Cannon    17
M. Foster    Davidson Day    11
C. Rodriguez    Davidson Day    11
T. Straughn    Myers Park    10
E. Shuler    Myers Park    10
L. Kelly    Charlotte Latin    10
A. Okwara    Charlotte Latin    10
M. Byrne    Hough    9
A. Stearns    Hough    9
M. Whitesides    Gaston Day    8
J. Sherwood    Olympic    8
C. David    Olympic    7
B. Arey    Hough    6
H. Robinson    Hough    6
A. Finke    Charlotte Latin    6
R. Stanford    West Mecklenburg    6
Girls Soccer Assists
Name    School    No.

H. Robinson    Hough    9
C. Rodriguez    Davidson Day    8
E. Shuler    Myers Park    7
L. Byrne    Hough    7
B. Cuevas    Hough    7
A. Stearns    Hough    7
M. Kane    Charlotte Latin    6

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Former Providence star Antawn Jamison will host two summer camps

Former Providence High star Antawn Jamison, who plays for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers, will host his 7th annual All-Star basketball camp at Carolina Courts July 9-11.

Each year, Jamison provides scholarships for student-athletes who might not otherwise be able to attend. Jamison, a former national player of the year at North Carolina, also sponsors an annual basketball-based event each year for Right Moves For Youth, which seeks to keep at-risk youth involved in education.

Jamison grew up in Charlotte and attended Providence High School before heading off to UNC-Chapel Hill where he was awarded both the Naismith and Wooden awards as the most outstanding men's college basketball player for the 1997–98 season.

“I started my camp to help young players improve their skills and take their game to the next level,” says Jamison. “We will not only help improve your game, we’ll also teach you how to take care of your body by introducing you to yoga, proper nutrition and physical fitness training.”

The camp will be for boys aged 7-18 and focus on providing them with basketball drills to help them on the court and lessons from guest speakers to help them off the court. Of the 100 spots offered for the camp, at least 50 will be given away to underprivileged local youths. The other 50 spots will be for paying campers.

Jamison will also host a “Premier Skills” basketball camp with Accelerate Basketball Training June 18-20 at Marvin Ridge Middle School.

Campers can register for Antawn’s All-Star Camp online by visiting Antawn’s website: and going to the All-Star Camp section. Information: Livis Freeman (919-389-3486;

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

North Meck basketball star Shivaughn Wiggins signs with Mount St Mary's

North Mecklenburg point guard Shivaughn Wiggins, the Observer's pick for I-Meck 4A conference regular-season player of the year, has committed to Division I Mount St. Marys, Vikings coach Duane Lewis said.

Wiggins, a 5-9 point guard, averaged 25.4 points, 5.2 assists 2.6 rebounds and 3.2 steals. He had a stretch of five 30-point outings in si games in a conference that has produced three straight N.C. 4A championship finalists.

Former Providence Day star Jeremy Goode, a past All-Observer player of the year, played at Mount Saint Marys, located in Maryland, and was on the team when Mount Saint Marys played North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.