Saturday, August 31, 2013

West Meck's Van Smith commits to Clemson

West Mecklenburg defensive back Van Smith, a 6-foot, 187-pound junior, has committed to Clemson, Hawks coach Jeff Caldwell said.

Smith has helped West Meck to a 2-0 start and a ranking in the Observer's Sweet 16 football poll.

Smith was all-conference and All-Mecklenburg County as a sophomore when he ran 160 times for 1,114 yards and 12 touchdowns. On defense, he had 39 tackles and five interceptions.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Did Butler run up the score in last week's 80-20 win over West Charlotte

One of the more shocking scores in the first week of the high school football season was Butler 80, West Charlotte 20.

In the fourth quarter, ahead 73-20, Butler put some offensive starters in the game and scored a final touchdown, which set a school-record for points.

Twitter was on fire after the game and all week, as were some sports talk radio shows. But Bulldogs coach Brian Hales told the Observer this week that he didn't look at it as running up the score.

"Did we put the starters back in? We put two kids in for two plays (QB Anthony Ratliff and RB Benny LeMay)," Hales said. "I felt we needed a little bit of work throwing. We had a short throw called and protection broke down and Anthony ran out. Then we called a base dive for Benny and he ran a 40-yard touchdown."

Hales said his team, which graduated 16 starters from the 2012 state champion, hasn't settled on a true starting lineup just yet. He said the score got out of hand because of how easily Butler scored. He said the Bulldogs -- ranked No. 3 in the Observer's Sweet 16 poll -- returned a kick for a touchdown, an interception for touchdown and had two special teams return inside the West Charlotte 10.

And he said Butler had the ball for less than 13 of the game's 48 minutes on offense and only ran 40 offensive plays. With a tough game with Mallard Creek coming Friday, he was concerned his offense hadn't gotten enough work and was upset at the play of some of his reserves.

"I don't want to get into too great detail because I don't want to sell out kids who had issues Friday," Hales said. "Do I regret the scenario getting to what it did? Of course I did because of the perception of it....I had no intention of running up the score and making anybody look bad. The last time we had the ball, we ran some plays with the backups and we had a kid a step away from scoring and I was thinking about running out there and tackling him myself. I said, 'This is bad enough.' We needed to take a knee and get out of there."

West Charlotte coach Marcus Surratt said a lot of his parents were concerned about the score, but he said he didn't pay a lot of attention to it.

"They (Butler) put a team out there and my job is to stop their team," Surratt said. "I don't expect them to not play their starters. You start with the starters and you have to assume you'll end with them. The whole sportsmanship thing is for other people to decide. My young guys didn't play at the level I expected them to and I have to correct that."

Surratt said he told his parents that playing time, and playing or not playing key players, is up to the coaches' discretion.

"That's their team and that's their coaches' choice," Surratt said. "If that guy plays those kids and one of those starters gets hurt, you have to ask yourself, 'What did I waste my guy for?' Fortunately, that didn't happen, but if it did, he would have to answer to his parents. But I told my kids, 'You have to understand you have to play better.'"

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Night's Prep scores and heroes

Tuesday's results

Cannon 109 (Providence Day 144, Country Day 144)

Cannon 6, Lake Norman Charter 3
Central Academy 8, Sun Valley 1
Central Cabarrus 7, AL Brown 2
Country Day 9, Marvin Ridge 0
Covenant Day 9, First Assembly 0
Cuthbertson 8, West Stanly 1
Independence 5, North Meck 4
Maiden 8, Alexander Central 1
Porter Ridge 8, Piedmont 1
Providence 6, East Meck 2
SouthLake Christian 8, Gaston Christian 1
West Meck 9, W. Charlotte 0

Charlotte Latin 5, Christ Church 0
Providence Day 2, Myers Park 0

Carson 9, North Rowan 0
Central Academy 4, Lake Norman 1
Concord Cannon 5, Hickory Grove 0
Gaston Day 1, Davidson Day 0
North Meck 1, Lake Norman Charter 0
Providence 9, Rocky River 0
Providence Day 1, Cuthbertson 0

Carson 3, North Rowan 0
Community School Davidson 3, Cherryville 0
Country Day 3, Weddington 0
Covenant Day 3, Concord First Assembly 0
Cox Mill 3, NW Cabarrus 0
Hough 3, Hopewell 0
Independence 3, East Meck 1
Lake Norman 3, Statesville 1
Mallard Creek 3, West Charlotte 0
Myers Park 3, Rocky River 0
North Meck 3, AL Brown 0
Providence Day 3, Cuthbertson 0
Providence 3, Olympic 0
SouthLake Christian 3, Gaston Christian 1

Cannon Clough, Mary Katherine Lupo, Charlotte Latin field hockey:
Clough had two goals and two assists in a 5-0 win over Christ Church Tuesday. Lupo had two goals. Emily Barry and Corbett Foster shared the shutout for Latin (3-1).

Ciara Dorante, Mallard Creek volleyball:
junior had six aces in 3-0 win over West Charlotte.

Anuyla Kryeziu, Hopewell volleyball:
12 kills in 3-0 loss to rival Hopewell.

Matthew Nozedar, Clark Currier, Providence soccer: two goals each in Tuesday’s 9-0 win over Rocky River. Gordan White and Michael Zendan shared the shutout.

Nik Stylianou, Kamil Manzoor, Concord Cannon soccer: Stylianou had three goals and Manzoor four assists in Tuesday’s 5-0 win over Hickory Grove. Cannon outshot Hickory Grove 11-2. James Sirois and Chris Batchelor combined for their second straight shutout.

Mallory Swarts, Lake Norman volleyball: 19 assists,seven digs, three aces and a block in Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Statesville. Teammates Nikki Smith (13 digs, three aces), Taylor Offnick (nine kills, nine digs) and Dani Shanley (8 kills, five digs, four aces) all had strong games.

Chelsea Thompson, Anna Frazier, West Meck girls tennis:
Both players posted easy singles wins -- Thompson won 10-5 at No. 1 singles and Frazier won 10-1 at No. 2 -- in the Hawks’ 9-0 win over West Charlotte. The pair combined to win doubles 8-3.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

On Elijah Hood's record-setting performance vs. Gonzaga College (DC) High Saturday

Charlotte Catholic All-American running back Elijah Hood scored with less than a minute left to lift Charlotte Catholic to a 35-28 win over Gonzaga College High out of Washington, D.C. Saturday before a huge crowd at Catholic's Jim Oddo Field.

Hood rushed for 323 yards and five touchdowns Saturday. That was the eighth most yards any Mecklenburg County running back has ever rushed for. Of the top 38 performances in county history, Hood now owns six.

Saturday was the fifth time Hood has rushed for 300 or more yards in a game.

For his career, Hood now has 91 career rushing touchdowns, just two off the Mecklenburg County record of Ryan Houston (Butler). He has 5,814 career rushing yards which is third on the all-time county list behind Rod Chisholm (West Charlotte/Independence, 5,842) and Houston (5,948).

It's possible that Hood could become the county's all-time rusher and rushing touchdown scorer in next Friday's huge intrastate showdown with nationally ranked Rock Hill Northwestern.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Charlotte Catholic's Elijah Hood makes MaxPreps preseason All-America team

Charlotte Catholic senior running back Elijah Hood is the only Carolinas player on the 2013 MaxPreps preseason All-America team.

On Sunday, Hood was named the Observer and Raleigh News & Observer's top recruit in North and South Carolina.

On Tuesday, he caused national recruiting shockwaves by decommitting from Notre Dame and reopening his recruiting. Many recruiting experts are now predicting he'll commit to North Carolina, which had been his second choice.

Hood told the Observer Tuesday afternoon that he planned to choose a school close to home and that he would likely pick a school sooner than later.

"There’s only a couple places around here," he said. "It will be soon I think....It will be a school within driving distance definitely.”

Read more here:

MaxPreps 2013 Preseason All-American Football Team

WR - Drake Harris, Christian (Grand Rapids, Mich.), Michigan
WR - Ermon Lane, Homestead (Fla.), Florida
WR - Malachi Dupre, Curtis (River Ridge, La.), Uncommitted
TE - Nic Weishar, Marist (Chicago), Notre Dame
OL - Kc McDermott, Palm Beach Central (Wellington, Fla.), Miami
OL - Cameron Robinson, West Monroe (La.), Uncommitted
OL - Braden Smith, South (Olathe, Kan.), Uncommitted
OL - Damian Prince, Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.), Uncommitted
OL - Demetrius Knox, All Saints (Fort Worth, Texas), Ohio State
QB - Deshaun Watson, Gainesville (Ga.), Clemson
RB - Jalen Hurd, Beech (Hendersonville, Tenn.), Tennessee
RB - Elijah Hood, Charlotte Catholic (N.C.), Uncommitted
RB - Leonard Fournette, St. Augustine (New Orleans), Uncommitted
K - Aaron Medley, Marshall County (Lewisburg, Tenn.), Tennessee

DL - Lorenzo Carter, Norcross (Ga.), Uncommitted
DL - Gerald Willis, Karr (New Orleans), Uncommitted
DL - Da'shawn Hand, Woodbridge (Va.), Uncommitted
DL - Josh Frazier, Har-Ber (Springdale, Ark.), Uncommitted
LB - Raekwon McMillan, Liberty County (Hinesville, Ga.), Uncommitted
LB - Dante Booker, St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio), Ohio State
LB - Tre' Williams, St. Paul's Episcopal (Mobile, Ala.), Auburn
LB - Dwight Williams, Serra (Gardena, Calif.), Uncommitted
DB - Jabrill Peppers, Paramus Catholic (N.J.), Michigan
DB - Marlon Humphrey, Hoover (Ala.), Uncommitted
DB - Tony Brown, Ozen (Beaumont, Texas), Uncommitted
DB - Adoree' Jackson, Serra (Gardena, Calif.), Uncommitted
P - Gary Wunderlich, Memphis University (Tenn.), Ole Miss

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Charlotte Catholic's Elijah Hood decommits from Notre Dame

Charlotte Catholic running back Elijah Hood has de-committed from Notre Dame, his father, Vee Hood, told the Observer.

Hood, a 5-foot-11, 220-pound senior, ran for 3,309 yards and 48 touchdowns as a junior. He was the Observer's 2012 offensive player of the year.

He is ranked by the Observer and Raleigh News & Observer as the top senior recruit (class of 2014) in North Carolina.

After taking several visits to Notre Dame earlier in the year, a July visit didn't go so well, Vee Hood said.

"Something happened the last time he went up there that he didn't like," Vee Hood said. "Something changed his mind immediately. He was scared to tell us. I said there's no need to be scared. It's his decision. I told him, 'You've got to be happy wherever you choose to go.' I know he's not going to be going to Notre Dame, and I guess that means he's open to (all colleges) again."

Below is the text of a statement Hood posted to Facebook Tuesday afternoon:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

National high school concussion education gaining hold

The National Federation of High Schools reports that more than one million “coaches and other individuals” have taken an online concussion course called “Concussion in Sports -- What You Need To Know. It is available for free through the NFHS Coach Education Program at

This free online course provides an overview of how a person can recognize signs and symptoms of a concussion and the appropriate action to take. The course includes each state’s return-to-play guidelines required for high schools.

“We place great emphasis on concussion recognition and treatment, and the extraordinary success of our online course has been gratifying,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “The course is 20 minutes long and it’s free. We commend everyone who has taken it.”

The NFHS and its Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) have worked with the CDC on recent updates to the concussion course. Recommendations have been added regarding the prevention of concussions, and the course test has been updated.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Shelby basketball coach Aubrey Hollifield will coach East-West all-star game

Shelby High boys coach Aubrey Hollifield has been named as West coach for the 2014 East-West boys’ all-star game.

Hollifield, 44, has been coach at Shelby for eight years. He’ll coach against Fairmont’s Michael Baker, who will coach the East team. The game, which matches some of North Carolina’s top seniors, will be played next July.

Read more here:

Friday, August 9, 2013

Charlotte Royals AAU organization to hold reunion Saturday

The Charlotte Royals AAU basketball organization is holding a reunion Saturday at Myers Park High School to honor the more than 3,000 players who played in the organization from 1982 to 2012.

All former players. their families are invited as well as friends of the club. The 1993 national championship team will be honored on its 20th anniversary.

What: Charlotte Royals AAU Basketball Reunion
Where: Myers Park High School
When: Saturday, Aug. 10, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Information:; there will be a BBQ dinner available for $4 per plate as well as an alumni game.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Northside Christian's Keyshawn Woods commits to Charlotte 49ers

Northside Christian rising senior Keyshawn Woods had 36 Division I college basketball scholarship offers, according to Knights assistant coach Joe Badgett.

In the end, Woods chose to stay home. He'll play for the Charlotte 49ers after he graduates next May.

Woods, 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds, is ranked as the state's No. 9 rising senior by ESPN. He is qualified to play NCAA Basketball. Last season, he averaged 16 points, six rebounds and five assists, helping Northside Christian win back-to-back N.C. Independent Schools 2A state championships.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Former U.S. Olympian Charlene Johnson to host volleyball camps in Charlotte this week

Former U.S. Olympic volleyball player Charlene Johnson will host three volleyball camps this week in Mecklenburg County, including two at high school sites.

The first is Friday at United Faith Christian. From 9:30-noon, there will be a setter’s clinic. From 2-6:30, there will be an all-skills camp. On Saturday, the setter’s clinic from 9:30-noon will be held at 648 Griffith Road, Suite E in Charlotte. The all-skills camp runs 2-6:30 at Hopewell High.

Information? 704-617-9686.

Johnson played on the 2000 U.S. Olympic team and six U.S. national teams.