Friday, September 30, 2011

NFL's Panthers to donate $50,000 worth of training equipment to Olympic High

Olympic High is getting a $50,000 weight room makeover courtesy of the Carolina Panthers.

Four high schools in the Carolinas were selected to win $250,000 worth of weight training equipment that the Panthers are donating through a special grant program. The equipment was previously used in the Panthers’ strength and conditioning program. The other winners were South Stanly, Durham Riverside and Summerton Scott’s Branch.

High schools in North and South Carolina had the opportunity to apply for the four weight room packages, which includes bench presses, squat racks and plate as well as specialized equipment. More than 70 schools applied and the selection process was based on a variety of factors, including the state of the school’s football program, community involvement, funding sources and demonstrated need.

Olympic football coach Barry Shuford and trainer Alicia Harvey handled Olympic’s application and Trojans athletics director Ken Konstanty said the school was excited to win. The Panthers will present the equipment to the school Tuesday at 2:45 p.m. Panther cheerleaders, some players will attend along with team mascot Sir Purr and Olympic’s players and cheerleaders.

“It’s a big deal for us,” Konstantly said. “The Panthers organization has helped out a lot of people and it’s our turn and we love it. It’s taken our weight room to the next level and given us an opportunity to make our kids better, and that’s what education is all about.”

Former Independence football star Chris Leak added to Arena Bowl team

Former Independence High QB Chris Leak, who led the Patriots to three straight state titles and set many N.C. passing records, has been added to the Jacksonville Sharks roster for the 2012 season.

Jacksonville is the ArenaBowl XXIV Champion. Leak spent the past four seasons in the Canadian Football League. He played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Montreal Alouettes, and Saskatchewan Roughriders. Leak was a part of the 2009 Grey Cup Championship team with the Alouettes.

After leaving Independence, Leak played four seasons for the Florida Gators, leading them to a national title his senior year. Leak was MVP of the championship game.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Concord basketball star Kendall Knorr commits to Navy

Concord High boys basketball star Kendall Knorr, who averaged 15 points and 4.5 assists last season, has committed to Navy, Spiders coach Scott Brewer said.

Knorr's teams have 82 games in three seasons. He'll be a senior on this year's team, which starts play in November.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sun Valley back in the Observer's Sweet 16 this week

Sun Valley is back in the Sweet 16 after nearly a month’s absence.

The Spartans, No. 13 this week, began the season with a 70-28 loss at Richmond Senior and a 52-21 home loss to Mallard Creek.

Mallard Creek is nationally ranked and Richmond Senior is one of the state’s top five programs. Both of those schools are 4AA. Sun Valley is 4A.

Since those losses, Sun Valley has beaten Garinger, Red Springs and Clover by a combined 170-38.

Sun Valley plays at Anson Senior Friday.

-- Some movement in the poll this week with losses by previously No. 5 Rock Hill South Pointe, No. 9 Independence and No. 12 Freedom.

Those teams all shifted down, allowing for a move up for several schools. Hunter Huss, No. 16 last week, dropped out of the poll.

The Sweet 16
Rk.     Team (Class)     Rec.    Prevs.

1     Mallard Creek (4A)     5-0    1
2     Butler (4A)     4-1    2
3     Charlotte Catholic (3A)     6-0    3
4     Belmont South Point (3A)     6-0    5
5     Porter Ridge (4A)     5-0    6
6     Rock Hill Northwestern (4A)    4-1    7
7     Burns (3A)    5-1    8
8     Rock Hill South Pointe (3A)    4-1    5
9     A.L. Brown (3A)    5-1    11
10     South Iredell (2A)     6-0    10
11    Independence (4A)     5-1    9
12    Berry (3A)     5-1    13
13    Sun Valley (4A)     3-2    NR
14    Lincolnton (2A)     5-1    14
15    West Rowan (3A)     4-2    16
16    Freedom (3A)     5-1    12
Dropped Out: Hunter Huss (3A, 5-1). On the bubble: Albemarle (1A, 4-1); Ardrey Kell (4A, 3-2); Charlotte Country Day (IND, 4-1); Chase (2A, 6-0); Hunter Huss (3A, 5-1); Marvin Ridge (3A, 5-0); Mooresville (4A, 4-2); Olympic (4A, 4-1); Salisbury (2A, 5-1)
Note: To be ranked in the Observer’s Sweet 16, a team must be in the Observer’s coverage area, field football and basketball teams and not allow a student-athlete to re-class after ninth grade. For a detailed look inside the poll, including the criteria used to compile it, visit

Saturday, September 24, 2011

West Charlotte basketball star Mike Brown commits to Western Carolina

West Charlotte shooting guard Mike Brown, a 6-foot-2 senior, has committed to Western Carolina, his AAU coach Kerry Sergeant told the Observer.

Brown played AAU for the Charlotte Nets and helped lead the West Charlotte Lions to their first state title since 1999 last March.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Mallard Creek moves tonight's game up an hour

Mallard Creek's game at Lake Norman will start at 6:30 p.m. tonight, one hour normal than schedule, Mavericks athletics director Karen McKaig said.

Wet fields only affected one reported Mecklenburg County game.

East Gaston will play at Olympic Monday at 7.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Featured games for this week's "Friday Night Frenzy"

Here are scheduled games to be covered on "Friday Night Frenzy" Friday night at 11:13 p.m. on WCNC, TV, Channel 36:

South Point (5-0, 1-0 Big South 3A) at Hunter Huss (5-0, 1-0) GAME OF THE WEEK

Ardrey Kell at Independence

Burns at Freedom

North Mecklenburg at West Charlotte

West Mecklenburg at Charlotte Catholic 

Providence at South Meck

JM Robinson at Concord

Central Cabarrus at A.L. Brown

Mt. Pleasant at NW Cabarrus

Former Providence Day girls basketball coach Barbara Nelson among HOF inductees

Barbara Nelson, who seven girls basketball state championships at Providence Day and is one of the winningest coaches N.C. history, will be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame Sept. 24 with five others.

Here is the media release from Providence Day.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – The Providence Day School Athletic Department
and the Providence Day School Alumni Association will induct one former coach
and five alumni athletes into the Charger Hall of Fame at the Breakfast of
Champions on Saturday, September 24.

The Breakfast of Champions will take place at 10:30 am in the Mosack Athletic Center on the Providence Day School campus. This year’s inductees include Jeff West '83, Charlie Porter '84, Mark Schuler '96, Erika (Proko) Hamilton '99, Ryan Carson  '00 and Coach
Barbara Nelson.

Jeff West ’83 participated in football, baseball and wrestling at Providence Day School, receiving post season honors in football and baseball. He was a third baseman on the 1983 State Championship Baseball team and was the recipient of the Rob Eck Memorial scholarship. Jeff rowed for the Crew team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill while earning his bachelor’s degree. He earned his MBA from Clemson University and works for Westco Filters helping the company to grow in new areas of industrial filtration. Jeff has completed several marathons and Multiple Sclerosis 150 bike rides over the last several years including the Chicago Marathon in 2003

Charlie Porter ’84 participated in football, baseball, and track and field while at Providence Day School. He was middle linebacker and fullback/tight and also served as team captain, earning post-season awards. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also played football for the Tar Heels in the fall of 1984, and went on to graduate from the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry. Charlie is a Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry with a practice located in the Cotswold area of Charlotte. He is an avid runner and cyclist, completing seven marathons and five trips to Myrtle Beach with the Multiple Sclerosis 150.

Mark Schuler  '96 participated in basketball while at Providence Day School, earning All-Conference and All-State honors. He was awarded the Coaches Award in 1995 and scored his 1,000th point at the beginning of the 1996 season. Mark was also invited to the Reebok Invitational and Five-Star Invitational where he was MVP at the All-Star game and voted Best Defensive Player. At Goucher
College, he finished 6th in the country in 3-point shooting and was awarded a couple of All-Tournament selections and accompanied his team to the NCAA Tournament. After earning his master’s degree in Education, Mark continued his passion for athletics and training by starting two gym facilities in Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. For the last 12 years, he has had the privilege of performing seminars, mentoring, coaching, demonstrating, and training both personal clients
as well as high school, college, and professional athletes all around the Mid-
Atlantic coast.

Erika (Proko) Hamilton ’99 participated in tennis at Providence Day School, earning All-Conference and All-State honors in each of her four seasons. Erika was a four-year letter winner at Washington and Lee University and a six-time NCAA Division III All-America honoree. She was named as the University’s Senior Female Athlete of the Year, received the Old Dominion Athletic
Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award and was awarded the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship Award for Division III. Erika graduated from Washington and Lee University with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience and received the NCAA Postgraduate
Scholarship Award to attend medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed her residency at UNC, attended Duke University for an oncology fellowship and is specializing in both clinical breast cancer care and breast cancer research.

Ryan Carson ’00 participated in basketball at Providence Day School, winning two state championships. He led the county in scoring and received CISAA All-Conference and NCISAA All-State honors. Ryan also served as President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes during his senior year. He coached basketball at Yes I can Basketball and ran his own basketball camps. Ryan played Division I basketball at East Tennessee State University and Furman University. He is a
Student Pastor at Forest Hill Church and will graduate from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary with a master’s degree in Christian Thought in December.

Barbara (Frady) Nelson served as the Head Varsity Girls Basketball Coach at Providence Day School for 21 seasons, compiling a 437-176 record with seven NCISAA State Championships. Providence Day School was named the Charlotte Observer Sweet 16 champions five times and won the CISAA Basketball Conference crown nine times under Coach Nelson’s watch. She was also named
the Charlotte Observer girls basketball Coach of the Year four times. Coach Nelson is currently in her fifth season as Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Wingate University and has compiled an overall record of 77-43, 2 NCAA tournament appearances, 1 SAC Championship and 1 SAR Championship.

She led the USA to a gold medal in the 2009 FIBA Americas U16 Championship, and helped the USA take the crown at the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship in Toulouse and Rodez, France. Coach Nelson was appointed by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association to the USA TODAY ESPN Board of Coaches to vote on the weekly top 25 coaches’ poll. She earned her bachelor’s degree in
Psychology from Presbyterian College.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Hunter Huss joins Observer Sweet 16 football poll

Last year, Hunter Huss won three football games and ended the season with a five game losing streak.

There may be no bigger surprise this season, then, than coach Steve Gardner’s Huskies, who have started the season 5-0 after last week’s 36-28 win over North Gaston.

Today, the Huskies join the Observer’s Sweet 16 at No. 16.

Huss has a big game Friday at home against No. 4 South Point. Both teams are 5-0, including 1-0 in the Big South 3A.

-- Huss was the only new team in the poll and the only movement was at No. 4 where South Point moved up one (and Rock Hill South Pointe moved up one to No. 5) after Porter Ridge fell two spots after a 10-7 win over private Providence Day Friday. South Point beat Kings Mountain 45-9 and Rock Hill South Point beat Rock Hill 28-21.

The Sweet 16
Rk.     Team (Class)     Rec.    Prevs.

1     Mallard Creek (4A)     4-0    1
2     Butler (4A)     3-1    2
3     Charlotte Catholic (3A)     5-0    3
4     Belmont South Point (3A)     5-0    5
5     Rock Hill South Pointe (3A)     4-0    6
6     Porter Ridge (4A)     5-0    4
7     Rock Hill Northwestern (4A)     3-1    7
8     Burns (3A)     4-1    8
9     Independence (4A)     5-0    9
10     South Iredell (2A)     5-0    10
11    A.L. Brown (3A)     4-1    11
12    Freedom (3A)     5-0    12
13    Berry (3A)     3-1    13
14    Lincolnton (2A)     4-1    14
15     West Rowan (3A)     3-2    16
16    Hunter Huss (3A)     5-0    NR
Dropped Out: Mooresville (4A, 3-2). On the bubble: Albemarle (1A, 4-1); Charlotte Country Day (IND, 3-1); Mooresville (4A, 3-2); Salisbury (2A, 4-1)
Note: To be ranked in the Observer’s Sweet 16, a team must be in the Observer’s coverage area, field football and basketball teams and not allow a student-athlete to re-class after ninth grade. For a detailed look inside the poll, including the criteria used to compile it, visit

Mecklenburg County football standings

Mecklenburg County Football Standings
Southwestern 4A    Conf.    All

Ardrey Kell     1-0    2-2
Butler     1-0    3-1
Independence     1-0    5-0
Providence    1-0    1-3
Myers Park    0-1    3-2
E. Mecklenburg    0-1    0-5
Rocky River     0-1    2-3
S. Mecklenburg    0-1    1-4

ME-GA 7 3A/4A    Conf.    All
Berry     1-0    4-1
Charlotte Catholic     1-0    5-0
West Meck     1-0    3-2
Olympic     0-0    4-1
East Gaston     0-1    2-3
Harding     0-1    2-3
Garinger     0-1    0-5

CISAA    Conf.    All
Providence Day     0-0    2-1
Charlotte Latin     0-0    3-1
Country Day     0-0    3-1
Charlotte Christian     0-0    3-2

I-Meck 4A    Conf.    All
Hough     1-0    2-3
Lake Norman     1-0    2-3
Mallard Creek     1-0    4-0
W. Charlotte     1-0    2-3
Hopewell     0-1    1-3
Mooresville     0-1    3-2
N. Mecklenburg    0-1    1-4
Vance    0-1    1-4

Sunday, September 18, 2011

On bad defense, Sun Valley and Porter Ridge

There probably are plenty of defensive coordinators with headaches this weekend. Friday night, 53 winning teams scored 40 or more points. East Chapel Hill beat Durham Jordan 63-49. Mount Tabor beat Winston-Salem Carver 87-52. Aren't those basketball scores?

And Maiden beat Newton-Conover 62-39.

That was the most points Maiden and Newton-Conover had combined to score in the 42-year series.

-- I kept thinking Porter Ridge coach Blair Hardin was calling a conservative game Friday at Providence Day, playing against his father, Chargers coach Bruce Hardin. Eventually it was apparent Providence Day is pretty good and that Bruce Hardin, one of the best coaches in N.C. history, was proving again why there's no better coach in the state at game preparation. The Chargers slowed a team averaging more than 500 yards and 50 points and had several chances late in the game to take the lead.

Porter Ridge has a bye this week before it hosts Union County rival Marvin Ridge. The Pirates are new to this budding power thing but must get used to getting opponents' best shot, the way teams like Butler and Mallard Creek and Independence have. The Pirates must also shore up their pass game. The timing seemed way off Friday.

-- In preseason, I said on "Friday Night Frenzy" and in the Observer that Sun Valley was a real 4A state title contender. The Spartans started the season with blowout losses at 4AA power Richmond Senior and home against nationally ranked Mallard Creek. People wrote off Sun Valley. Why? There are probably four teams in the state that could beat Richmond or Mallard Creek, and that list includes Richmond and Mallard Creek.

Since the slow start, Sun Valley has won two straight by a combined score of 105-3. And Sun Valley won't have to beat Richmond or Mallard Creek to get to a state championship game.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Next week's top high school football games

Ardrey Kell (2-2, 1-0 Southwestern 4A) at No. 9 Independence (5-0, 1-0)
Knights’ two losses are by eight combined points, and Ardrey Kell could provide a real test to the Patriots, who are the only conference unbeaten.
West Mecklenburg (3-2, 1-0 MEGA 7) at No. 3 Charlotte Catholic (5-0, 1-0)
Rare chance for the Hawks to play in one of the games of the week in town. West Meck has won three straight. A big key in that streak is a defense that is giving up just 10 points per game.
North Mecklenburg (1-4, 0-1 I-Meck 4A) at West Charlotte (2-3, 1-0)
Lions snapped two-game losing streak with Friday’s 16-7 win at Hopewell and play only their second home game of the year against a traditional rival.
Hopewell (1-3, 0-1 I-Meck 4A) at Hough (2-3, 1-0)
Hough got its first ever conference win Friday, beating Vance 21-7. Now the Huskies will try for their third win in four weeks against a Huntersville-area rival. Get there early for this one.
No. 8 Burns (4-1, 0-0 South Mountain 2A/3A) at No. 12 Freedom (5-0, 1-0)
Both teams like to pass and both are serious league title contenders along with Chase (5-0, 1-0) and East Rutherford (4-1, 1-0).
Central Cabarrus (2-2, 0-1 South Piedmont 3A) at A.L. Brown (4-1, 1-0)
North Carolina recruit Damien Washington missed Brown’s 48-0 win over J.M. Robinson with a knee injury. Junior Kalif Phillips ran 13 times for 181 yards and four touchdowns in his place.
No. 5 South Point (5-0, 1-0 Big South 3A) at Hunter Huss (5-0, 1-0)
Is Huss for real? The Huskies won three games last season. We find out Friday, when Huss faces a team averaging more than 50 points comes in.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Lake Norman shuts down Mallard Creek in Sweet 16 battle

Lake Norman High made a convincing case as the class of I-Meck 4A soccer Wednesday.

Six Wildcats scored a goal each in a 6-0 win against No. 12 Mallard Creek on the Mavericks' home field. Lake Norman (6-1-3, 2-0), ranked seventh in the Sweet 16, scored four goals in the first half and were never seriously threatened in a battle of conference unbeatens.

"It was by far our best effort of the year," Wildcats coach Jon Mertens said. "That's the best we've played as a unit, as a team. I'm really pleased with how we performed tonight."

Lake Norman opened the floodgates early, sprinting to a 4-0 advantage at the break by attacking gaps in the Mavericks' defense. The Wildcats jumped in front on Justin Bruno's blast off Ian Orr's feed, followed by Gabe Franco's left-footed tally off Austin Stevens' pass in the 12th to put Mallard Creek in a deep hole. The Wildcats added to the gap on Tyler Buckingham's goal on Joey Carman's assist in the 36th minute and Franco notched an assist when his pass to Ben Steen on a long run was converted into a goal.

"We were doing everything right," Mertens said. "We didn't have any gaps that were in the middle of the field that would create transitional plays for us. I thought we moved (well) as a unit up and down the field, and then when you get into the attacking third, it makes it a whole lot easier."

Lake Norman maintained its attack in the second half, swarming to the Mallard Creek goal to build scoring opportunities. The Wildcats added Jordan Chillson's penalty kick goal in the 43rd minute for a 5-0 lead. Orr closed the scoring with a masterful dribble to the goal off passes by Justin Woodard and Joey Carman.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Report: QB died after taking grandma's methadone

The Burlington Times News has a story about the death of Burlington Williams quarterback Harry Cohen in August.

Cohen's stepfather, Richard Kaffenberger, said Cohen, aching from a football game he had played the previous Friday, found his grandmother's methadone, a narcotic they say had been prescribed to treat her fibromyalgia. Kaffenberger isn't sure if Cohen took one or two of the pills that Saturday, the story says, but Cohen's stepfather told the Times News doctors had said a half a pill could have killed him. 

Toxicology screens done at the hospital confirmed the methadone in Cohen's system.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Associated Press N.C. football poll

¶   RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ The Associated Press state high school football poll for the week of September 13, first-place votes in parentheses, records and total points as voted upon by a statewide panel of prep sports writers:

^Class 4-A=

† 1. Charlotte Mallard Creek (12)       (3-0) 138 1

† 2. Richmond County (2)                (4-0) 119 2

† 3. Greensboro Page                    (4-0) 106 4

† 4. Matthews Butler                    (2-1) 104 3

† 5. Scotland County                    (4-0) 86 5

† 6. Garner                             (4-0) 66 6

† 7. Winston-Salem Mt. Tabor            (3-0) 49 7

† 8. Raleigh Leesville Road             (3-0) 39 8

† 9. Wilmington Hoggard                 (4-0) 22 9

†10. Indian Trail Porter Ridge          (4-0) 12 NR


¶   Others receiving votes: Durham Hillside 10, Cary 6, Asheville Reynolds 3, Wilmington Laney 3, Mooresville 2, New Bern 2, New Hanover County 2, Lumberton 1. <

^Class 3-A=

† 1. Charlotte Catholic (9)              (4-0) 125 1

† 2. Belmont South Point (2)             (4-0) 115 2

† 3. Havelock (2)                        (4-0) 96 5

† 4. Asheville                           (4-0) 88 4

† 5. Lawndale Burns                      (3-1) 70 3

† 6. Fayetteville Byrd                   (4-0) 65 T6

† 7. Hope Mills Gray's Creek             (4-0) 30 9

† 8. Morganton Freedom                   (4-0) 27 10

† 9. West Rowan                          (2-2) 24 8

†10. Kannapolis Brown                    (3-1) 20 T6


¶   Others receiving votes: Wilson Hunt 13, Northern Guilford 8, Southern Wayne 6, Southern Nash 5, Marvin Ridge 5, Shelby Crest 4, Nash Central 4, Weddington 4, Lenoir Hibriten 3, Asheville Erwin 1, Gastonia Huss 1, Charlotte Berry Tech 1.<

^Class 2-A=

† 1. Lincolnton (5)                     (3-1) 125 3

† 2. South Iredell (5)                  (4-0) 118 4

† 3. High Point Andrews (1)             (3-0) 97 6

† 4. Winston-Salem Carver (2)           (2-1) 89 1

† 5. Tarboro                            (2-1) 76 5

† 6. East Duplin (1)                    (3-1) 73 2

† 7. Salisbury                          (3-1) 58 9

† 8. Burlington Cummings                (3-1) 44 10

† 9. Polk County                        (3-1) 23 7

†10. Lexington                          (2-1) 13 8


¶   Others receiving votes: Wilkes Central 10, Jacksonville Northside 10, Catawba Bandys 9, Kinston 9, Reidsville 6, Fairmont 6, West Stokes 2, Shelby 1, Boonville Starmount 1. <

^Class 1-A=

† 1. Wallace-Rose Hill (12)             (3-1) 136 1

† 2. Mitchell County (2)                (4-0) 106 3

† 3. Albemarle                          (3-1) 99 4

† 4. Plymouth                           (3-0) 92 5

† 5. Swain County                       (3-1) 77 2

† 6. Southwest Onslow                   (3-1) 65 T6

† 7. Manteo                             (2-0) 57 T6

† 8. Mt. Airy                           (3-1) 53 8

† 9. Hendersonville                     (3-1) 42 10

†10. Avery County                       (3-1) 11 NR


¶   Others receiving votes: Goldsboro 9, Ayden-Grifton 7, South Stanly 7, Red Springs 4, West Montgomery 2, Hobbton 2, Williamston 1. <

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mecklenburg County football standings

Mecklenburg County Football Standings
Southwestern 4A
Team Overall, Conference
Independence 4-0, 0-0
Myers Park 3-1, 0-0
Butler 2-1, 0-0
Rocky River 2-2, 0-0
Ardrey Kell 1-2, 0-0
South Meck 1-3, 0-0
Providence 0-3, 0-0
East Meck 0-4, 0-0
I-Meck 4A
Team Overall, Conference
Mallard Creek 3-0, 0-0
Mooresville 3-1, 0-0
Hopewell 1-2, 0-0
Hough 1-3, 0-0
Lake Norman 1-3, 0-0
North Meck 1-3, 0-0
Vance 1-3, 0-0
W. Charlotte 1-3, 0-0
MEGA 7 3A/4A
Team Overall, Conference
Charlotte Catholic 4-0, 0-0
Berry 3-1, 0-0
Olympic 3-1, 0-0
East Gaston 2-2, 0-0
Harding 2-2, 0-0
West Meck 2-2, 0-0
Garinger 0-4, 0-0
Team Overall, Conference
Providence Day 2-0, 0-0
Charlotte Latin 2-1, 0-0
Country Day 2-1, 0-0
Charlotte Christian 2-2, 0-0

Prep baseball players can demo new bats at local company Thursday

Grand Slam USA ( will hold a free demo night Thursday from 7-9 p.m. to allow area high school baseball players a chance to sample the BBCOR certified bats that must be used next season. There will be free pizza and energy drink samples.

Friday, September 9, 2011

High School Football Gameday


UP | Lake Norman football: It’s military, police and fireman appreciation night.
UP | Mount Pleasant’s Dezmond Leach: 26 tackles, a sack and two fumble recoveries in two weeks.
DOWN | Southwestern 4A: N.C.’s dominant conference has had a representative in the state semifinals for 11 straight years. This year? Only Independence and Myers Park have winning records. Three members are winless.
UP | Angelo Crawford, Ashbrook: Rushed 28 times for 142 yards at Clover on Monday.

Mecklenburg matchups

Vance at No. 2 Butler
All summer, this looked like a phenomenal matchup: a rematch of last year’s Western 4AA regional championship game with both teams loaded with talent. Vance had plenty of turmoil when coach Pete Culicerto resigned days before the first game and the Cougars have started slowly (1-2). Now they play their second game in four days against a Butler team that had a week off since beating Olympic 70-6.
No. 3 Charlotte Catholic at Charlotte Latin
A pair of unbeaten teams and state championship contenders meet in front of what is always a standing-room-only crowd. Catholic is bigger, Latin is probably a little quicker and will try to use its up-tempo offense to outscore the Cougars.
Myers Park at North Mecklenburg
North Meck played Olympic to a close game in a wild 44-42 loss to open the season, and then only scored 20 in its next two games. Which offense shows up tonight? Myers Park lost a 10-9 game to Olympic on Tuesday, spoiling hopes of a potential unbeaten showdown with Butler next week.
Garinger at Sun Valley
Despite losing its coach to suspension, winless Garinger has hung tough in two of three games this season. Sun Valley was off last week after losing to 4AA powers Richmond Senior and Mallard Creek in back-to-back games to start the season.
No. 14 Berry at Hough
Berry comes off a 42-18 loss to No.1 Mallard Creek on Tuesday, and playing the Mavericks, who average about 275 pounds on both sides of the ball, can wear most high school teams out. Berry won’t get much time to rest, playing at Hough, where the Huskies nearly upset Independence in Week 1 before losing by six.

Regional games

No. 4 A.L. Brown at No. 11 Porter Ridge
This might be the best game in the state this week and it might be high scoring. Porter Ridge averages nearly 500 yards and nearly 60 points per game. Brown averages nearly 50 per game. Get there early and, as Terrell Owens would say, “Get your popcorn ready.”
No. 8 Burns at No. 5 South Point
Two legitimate state title contenders in the 3A class meet. Burns has played two Sweet 16 teams in the first three weeks and relies on a defense that gives up about 8 points per game. It’ll be tested tonight. The Red Raiders average 53.6 points.
No. 6 Rock Hill South Pointe at No. 9 West Rowan, Saturday
South Pointe reached the S.C. 3A championship last year, when West Rowan won its third straight N.C. 3A championship. Here’s a wonderful matchup of Carolinas powers that we wish we saw more of (can someone say “Battle of the Borders?”) annually.
Of particular interest 
1 Porter Ridge: First real test tonight after games against 1A and 2A teams.
2 Harding: Four days after huge win against West Charlotte, Rams don’t want to come out flat at home against South Mecklenburg tonight.
3 Draughn at Freedom: A couple of foothills teams (both 3-0) meet tonight while having special seasons. Burke County rivalry should draw a huge crowd.
4 Live updates: Get live updates from tonight’s games at;

Observations from Langston Wertz

-- Right here last week, I warned Mallard Creek to not kick off to Berry’s Germone Hopper. He ran one back 99 yards for a score against the Mavs. Hopper is the most dangerous return man in the area (also see Harbison, Jamel at Mallard Creek; Washington, Damien at A.L. Brown; and Fuller, Jody at Sun Valley).

-- Kick away, guys. Just kick away.

-- Some folks asked me why Porter Ridge wasn’t ranked in AP 4A poll this week. I said this last week, too: Porter Ridge, which seems to be a special team this year, needs to upgrade the schedule. The Pirates have a big game tonight with A.L. Brown, but Brown is 3A. Porter Ridge has one 4A team on the schedule: Sun Valley on Oct. 28.

-- Independence doesn’t have a lot of numbers but I sense a hunger from the Patriots we haven’t seen in a while. Coaches complained in recent years that all the success left the players feeling entitled. Now that they seem to be back to business, watch out. We could be looking at an unbeaten Indy heading into the Butler game on Oct. 28 for a league title.

High School Notes: Lake Norman Navy Seal tribute

Lake Norman Navy Seal tribute
The Lake Norman football team offers a special tribute to the Navy Seal community by wearing stickers to honor some of America’s bravest. A Lake Norman player's father is affiliated with the Seals. The stickers were made to honor the fallen, help their families and raise awareness. In return, people are asked to donate what they can to the Navy Seals Widows Foundation fund, which solely benefits the widows and children of fallen soldiers.
Marvin Ridge QB questionable tonight
Marvin Ridge quarterback Tyler Chadwick missed last week’s 30-19 win against Cuthbertson after he separated his shoulder in the third quarter against Ardrey Kell two weeks ago. He’s questionable for tonight’s Union County rivalry game with Monroe. Chadwick is 25 for 40 for 366 yards. He has one touchdown pass and three rushing.
Cannon’s big run game
Cannon School averaged more than 570 yards rushing in its first two games: 617 in a win against North Raleigh Christian and 532 against Westminster Catawba. Seniors Justin Redfern, Mason McClanahan and Jason Willix, plus junior Myles Martino have each run for more than 200 yards in one of the two wins.

Game Schedule

Games at 7:30, unless noted (*denotes highlights on WCNC, Channel 36 tonight at 11:13).
North Carolina
AFC Rangers at Providence Day
A.L. Brown at Porter Ridge*
Albemarle at Mount Pleasant
Ardrey Kell at Weddington
Berry at Hough, 7*
Bessemer City at Forestview
Burns at South Point*
Central Cabarrus at West Stanly
Catholic at Latin*
Concord at Hunter Huss
Crest at T.C. Roberson
Cuthbertson at Rocky River
East Lincoln at East Gaston
East Meck at West Meck, 7
East Rowan at Hickory Ridge
East Rutherford at West Lincoln
Fred T. Foard at Bunker Hill
Freedom at Draughn
Garinger at Sun Valley
Hibriten at Patton
Hickory at North Gaston
Hickory Grove Bapt at Union Acad
J.M. Robinson at Carson
Kings Mtn at Alexander Central
Lake Norm Char at Wake Chr
Lincolnton at Shelby*
Monroe at Marvin Ridge*
Mooresville at NW Cabarrus
Myers Park at North Meck, 7
Newton-Conover at East Surry
North Lincoln at Bandys
North Stanly at South Stanly
Olympic at Ashbrook
Parkwood at Forest Hills
Piedmont at Cox Mill
Richmond Senior at South View
R-S Central at Erwin
South Caldwell at East Burke
South Iredell at North Iredell (E)
South Meck at Harding, 7
South Rowan at Salisbury
St. Stephens at Maiden
Vance at Butler, 7
Village Chr vs David Day @JCSU
Watauga at West Caldwell
W. Char. at Independence, 7
West Iredell at Lake Norman
South Carolina
Central Pageland at Chester
Clover at Fort Mill*
Carolina Pride at Great Falls
Indian Land at Whitmire
Buford at Lancaster
Lewisville at Nation Ford
Northwestern at Ridge View
Rock Hill at York
South Pointe at West Rowan, Sat.
Westminster Catawba at Christ School

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cookies For Cancer Soccer Tournament at Hough Saturday

Hough High will sponsors a "Cookies For Cancer" one-day soccer tournament support pediatric cancer research Saturday.

Besides the soccer, there will be a large bake sale with proceeds going to the cause.

Tickets are $7.

Here is the schedule:
3 p.m.: Ardrey Kell vs. Skyland Roberson
4:45 p.m.: Mallard Creek vs. Mt Tabor
6:30 p.m.: Myers Park vs. Marvin Ridge
8:15 p.m.: Hough vs. Charlotte Catholic

Friday, September 2, 2011

All CMS football games postponed to Tuesday

Friday night's sudden thunderstorm that ran through the Charlotte-area forced postponement of nine Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools football games. The games will be played Tuesday at 7 p.m. If the game has started, it will be resumed where it was postponed Friday.

Due to issues with getting game personnel for multiple Saturday games, CMS usually plays games called on Fridays by the next Monday, but this Monday is Labor Day.

"We have a high volume of people needed to run a game, including Show Pros (who handle metal detectors and admissions) and police (on Saturdays)," Mecklenburg County athletics director Sue Doran said, "and that's the biggest reason historically we've not played on Saturday."

One Mecklenburg game not involving CMS teams -- Charlotte Catholic at Charlotte Country Day -- will be played Saturday at 11 a.m.

The revised schedule:
Harding @West Charlotte
Hopewell @Ardrey Kell
Hough @Providence
Hunter Huss @Garinger
Mallard Creek @Berry
Myers Park @Olympic
North Mecklenburg @East Mecklenburg
Vance @Independence
West Mecklenburg @South Mecklenburg

Ashbrook at Clover, ppd, Monday, 7
Blacksburg (SC) at Indian Land, ppd, Saturday, 1
East Gaston at South Point, ppd, Saturday, 7:30
Hickory at Maiden, ppd, Saturday, 7:30
Marvin Ridge at Cuthbertson, ppd, Saturday, 1 p.m.
Richmond Senior at Anson Senior, ppd, Saturday, 7
Rock Hill Northwestern at York, pdd, Saturday, 7
Rock Hill at Nation Ford, ppd, Saturday, 7:30
Shelby at Crest, ppd, Saturday, 7

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Davidson Day QB heavily recruited and off to great start

Davidson Day sophomore Will Grier (6-3, 185) is being recruited by Georgia, Florida, Duke and Virginia. In two games he’s completed 43-of-64 passes for 792 yards and 11 scores. In a 62-34 win over Trinity Christian this week, he hit 26-of-35 for 478 yards and six touchdowns. That’s the fifth-most single game yards in Mecklenburg County history.


Passing yards, Game:
1. Chris Leak, Independence, 585 (2002);
2. Darius Thomas, W. Charlotte, 512 (2007);
3. Darius Thomas, W. Charlotte, 502 (2007);
4. Mark Maye, Independence, 481 (1982);
5. Will Grier, Davidson Day, 478 (2011)

6. Chris Leak, Independence, 474 (2002);
7. Anthony Metzelaars, Charlotte Christian, 465 (2001);
8. Chris Leak, Independence, 460 (2000);
9. Mark Maye, Independence, 459 (1982);
10. Chris Leak, Independence, 457 (2002);
11. Chris Leak, Independence 437 (2000);
12. Chris Leak, Independence, 421 (2002);
13. Anthony Metzelaars, Charlotte Christian, 419 (2001).