Thursday, April 26, 2012

Northside Christian star Justin Gordon signs with Wofford

Northside Christian star Justin Gordon, a 6-foot-6 forward, signed with Wofford.

Gordon, MVP of December’s Hardwood Classic tournament at Bojangles’ Coliseum, averaged 12 points, 10 rebounds and two steals. He helped Northside win the N.C. Independent Schools 2A state championship game and was named co-private school 2A state player of the year.

He’s the third Division I signee from his team, joining guard L.C. Cooks and forward Dionte Adams, who both signed with Hampton.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Former W. Charlotte basketball star Jacoby Davis signs with Mississippi State

Former West Charlotte point guard Jacoby Davis, who led the Lions to the 2011 N.C. 4A state championship, has signed with Mississippi State. He is new Mississippi State coach Rick Ray’s first signee.

Ray, 40, was formerly associate head coach at Clemson.

“I’m really excited about Jacoby joining the Bulldog family,” Ray said. “He’s exactly the type of quality person we are looking for in this basketball program. I think he’ll be a great addition to our team because he’s a winner and he cares about the team. He is a true point guard who can set up teammates, but he’s also a good shooter and will take pressure off of his teammates with is ability to knock down shots.”

Davis will compete for the point guard spot vacated by senior Dee Bost, a former Concord High star. Bost averaged 15.8 points this season and is projected as a second round draft pick by
Davis, who turns 20 May 20, played the past season at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield, Wis. He averaged 21 points and five assists.

After playing two seasons in high school at Vance, he played his final two seasons at West Charlotte. In the 2010-11 season, he led the Lions to a 28-2 record and a state championship, averaging 17.5 points and 5.3 assists. After the 2010-11 season, he was named to the All-Charlotte Observer basketball team and played in the Jordan Brand Classic regional game.

“I really enjoyed my visit to Mississippi State,” Davis said. “I really felt comfortable with everyone (there). There have been a lot of great point guards at Mississippi State and hopefully I can come in and continue that tradition. This is a dream come true.”

When Davis was at Vance, he played with two other point guards -- Braxton Ogbueze and Marquise Rankin. Each has now signed with major colleges. Rankin is playing at Virginia Tech and Ogbueze, a top 50 national recruit, will play at Florida next season

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Announcement on NCHSAA vote that could exclude Catholic to come at May 3 annual meeting

The deadline was Tuesday for voting on a proposed N.C. High School Athletic Association change that would exclude Charlotte Catholic and two other Catholic schools, but the NCHSAA does not plan to announce the results of the vote until its annual meeting on May 3.

The association conducted the vote because the constitution requires a ballot be sent to each member school if six member schools request a vote. The constitution requires the result to be announced at the annual meeting.

The six schools requested the NCHSAA conduct the vote on changing the constitution to allow only public schools to be members. The constitution currently allows public schools and non-boarding parochial schools to be members.

Davis Whitfield, the commissioner of the NCHSAA, said the organization’s staff is following the constitution by waiting to make the announcement at the annual meeting.

 Tim Stevens

Northside Christian to re-start its football program in 2013, hires Greg Estep as coach

Northside Christian has hired Greg Estep as its new football coach. Estep, brother of Charlotte Christian football coach Jason Estep, will start working at Northside in the fall. The football team will kick off in the fall of 2013.

Northside Christian last had a team in 2009, when it was coached by former Carolina Panther Brentson Buckner. Quintin Hines was scheduled to coach the team in 2010, but Northside didn’t get enough boys out to play. The Knights did not field a team in 2011.

Duke offers Olympic basketball star Allerik Freeman

Olympic High basketball star Allerik Freeman got a scholarship offer from Duke Monday night, Trojans coach Ty Baumgardner said.

Freeman, a 6-foot-3 junior guard, averaged 17.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals for Olympic last season, helping the Trojans to a 28-2 record and a second straight N.C. 4A Western Regional appearance. Freeman was the District 9 player of the year, the ME-GA 7 conference player of the year, an Associated Press N.C. All-State pick and the N.C. Preps' N.C. 4A state player of the year.

Freeman is ranked No. 13 nationally by ESPN. He had previously narrowed his college choices to Kansas and Villanova, but his list may be changing now. He also has offers from UCLA and Ohio State.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baseball, Softball, Girls Soccer Sweet 16 polls (4/23)

Rk    School (Class)    Rec.

1.    Providence (4A)    17-1
2.     South Point (3A)    18-0
3.     Ardrey Kell (4A)    16-3
4.    Rock Hill Northwestern (4A)    18-2
5.     Charlotte Christian (IND)    20-4
6.    Fort Mill (3A)    20-4
7.     Marvin Ridge (3A)    17-4
8.     East Rutherford (2A)    13-4
9.    Weddington (3A)    15-5
10.    South Caldwell (4A)    14-2
11.    Olympic (4A)    14-4
12.    Northwest Cabarrus (3A)    14-3
13.     South Mecklenburg (4A)    14-6
14.    Cuthbertson (2A)    17-3
15.    Hough (4A)    14-7
16.    Burns (2A)    12-4

Rk    School (Class)    Rec.

1.    Porter Ridge (4A)    20-0
2.     Alexander Central (4A)    19-1
3.    Independence (4A)    10-1
4.    Lake Norman (4A)    15-1
5.    Central Cabarrus (3A)    17-2
6.    Nation Ford (3A)    18-5
7.    North Iredell (3A)    15-2
8.    Crest (3A)    8-3
9.     East Rutherford (2A)    11-2
10.    Chase (2A)    9-1
11.     Hough (4A)    13-5
12.     Hopewell (4A)    11-5
13.     South Point (3A)    15-3
14.     Fred T. Foard (3A)    8-2
15.     Forest Hills (2A)    12-2
16.     Myers Park (4A)    10-3

Girls’ Soccer
Rk    School (Class)    Rec.

1.    Hough (4A)    16-0-1
2.     Lake Norman (4A)    16-1
3.     Charlotte Latin (IND)    11-1
4.     Charlotte Catholic (3A)    15-1-1
5.     Ardrey Kell (4A)    12-2-1
6.    Marvin Ridge (3A)    13-1-2
7.    Providence (4A)    12-3-1
8.    Myers Park (4A)    8-1-2
9.    Robinson (3A)    12-0-1
10.     St. Stephens    14-1-1
11.    Weddington (3A)    11-2-1
12.     Newton-Conover (2A)    11-1-4
13.    South Iredell (2A)    13-2
14.    Ashbrook (3A)    10-2-3
15.    Shelby (2A)    11-4
16.    Lake Norman Charter (1A)    13-1

Friday, April 20, 2012

Berry High hires new boys and girls basketball coaches

Berry High athletics director Bryant Bailey said the school has hired new boys and girls basketball coaches.

Former West Mecklenburg junior varsity and varsity assistant coach Maurice Jones is the boys coach. He replaces Carlton Anthony, who will remain on staff at the school. Jones will be Berry's third coach in three seasons. Berry was 17-7 but missed the playoffs last season under Anthony.

The new girls coach is Ryan Copeland who works at Charlotte's Thomasboro Academy. He did not coach in the 2011-12 season but coached in Nevada in 2010-11. Copeland replaces Robert Hollis, who led Berry to the ME-GA 7 regular-season championship and a N.C. 4A regional semifinal berth.

Bryant said Hollis remains at the school as a teacher.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Longtime Charlotte Latin AD David Thompson passes

Charlotte Latin news release

David A. Thompson, a highly respected educator and leader in the field of independent school athletics, died on Sunday, April 15, 2012.  Mr. Thompson, fondly known as “Coach T,” was 73 years of age.  
A native of Durham, North Carolina, Mr. Thompson graduated from Durham High School in 1956, and was offered track scholarships to Duke University and East Carolina University.  He selected ECU, and attended from 1956 to 1959 -- at which time he decided to enter the U.S. Navy.  Following this service, he returned to ECU to complete his coursework and graduated in 1963.  Mr. Thompson then moved to Charlotte, where he began his career as a teacher, coach, and athletic director with the Albemarle Road Junior High School.  
In 1970, with the founding of Charlotte Latin School, Mr. Thompson accepted a position as the school’s first athletic director.  In that role and for fifteen years, he led the development of the school’s athletic and physical education programs.  Mr. Thompson also served as head coach of the school’s varsity boys’ basketball team for 10 seasons without a losing record, as well as coaching other activities including pole vaulting.  Additionally during that time, he served as the Co-Founder and first President of the Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association.
From 1978 to 1985, Mr. Thompson served as the second President of the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association.  During his tenure and direction, the NCISAA developed its statement of core values and set of regulations to govern an increasing membership of independent schools across the State.  In recognition for his leadership during this critical formative period, the association elected Mr. Thompson to its first annual Hall of Fame in 2010.              
In 1985, Mr. Thompson left school athletics to pursue a career in insurance with Jefferson Pilot Financial.  He later founded Thompson and Associates Insurance Agency, and he remained an insurance agent until his retirement in 2006.  Mr. Thompson also took an active interest in local civic matters, and he ran in 1988 for a seat on the Charlotte City Council.
Mr. Thompson is survived by his wife, Rhetta Blakeney Thompson, sons Michael Anthony Thompson and David Christian Thompson, daughter Rene’ Thompson Leaver, stepsons Robert Blakeney Meyer and Michael McCauley Meyer, and six grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted at Christ Episcopal Church, in Charlotte, NC Saturday, April 21.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Catholic's letter to NCHSAA in response to proposal to remove it from NCHSAA

A group of Rowan County Schools has started a proposal that might lead to Charlotte Catholic, Bishop McGuinness and Cardinal Gibbons being removed as members of the N.C. High School Athletic Association. Read more here

Here is the official response from Charlotte Catholic, Bishop McGuinness and Cardinal Gibbons to a proposal from Rowan County Schools to have them removed from the N.C. High School Athletic Association.

The letter is signed by Janice Ritter, interim superintendent of the Diocese of Charlotte, Dr. Michael Fedewa, Superintendent of the Diocese of Raleigh as well as the principals of Charlotte Catholic (Jerry Healy), Bishop McGuinness (George Repass) and Cardinal Gibbons (Jason Curtis).

Now that we have had an opportunity to review the Proposal for Amendment and By Law Changes, we would like to take the opportunity to respond to each point raised.

While our schools do not have established geographic boundaries, we do deal with other factors that create boundaries for our system. Experience has shown that distance and transportation are two major factors for parents in school selection. When our system was admitted in the NCHSAA, we agreed to a transfer rule policy in order to address this issue. For the past 50 years, this policy, unique to our schools, has served to level the playing field.

As all member schools, our enrollment numbers reflect our total population, which includes students with mild to severe handicaps.

All our schools have a clearly articulated admission process. Our first obligation in this process is to fulfill our mission of providing a quality Catholic education. As such, priority is given to participating Catholics in our feeder systems. Other levels of admission are in place, and nowhere is athletics taken into consideration.

Any student transferring in from a member school is excluded from participating in athletics for two semesters. They are told this during the admissions process. Only students transferring in from non- member schools can use the appeal process, which is controlled by the NCHSAA.

We hope this clarifies the issues presented by the proponents of the amendment change. We appreciate your consideration of our position.  This is the second time we have been put through this very difficult process.  In 1986, a similar amendment was submitted to the general members for their consideration, and thankfully it was rejected. We have been a faithful member of the NCHSAA for 50 years, and we hope to be able to continue our relationship.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Former L.A. Dodgers and Boston Red Sox Manager to coach baseball at Hickory Grove

Former Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox manager Grady Little is the new director of baseball operations at Hickory Grove Christian. Little is a Garinger High grad.

Little also managed various minor leagues, over more than 15 years, including the Charlotte Orioles, Durham Bulls and Richmond Braves. Little was a 1968 Major League Baseball draft pick and played in the Braves and New York Yankees organizations.

Little will start working at Hickory Grove in the 2012-13 school year and will coach the baseball team, taking over for Alan Baker who coached in 2011 and 2012. Little, his wife Debi live in Charlotte along with his son, his daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Two Country Day athletes honored by National Strength and Conditioning Association

From media release:

Colorado Springs, CO – (March 31, 2012) – The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) recently awarded Esty Byrd and James Howe, from Charlotte Country Day School, with its annual All-American Strength and Conditioning Athlete of the Year award—recognizing the student athletes dedication to strength training and conditioning.

This year, the NSCA awarded 225 collegiate and high school athletes from 90 schools with this esteemed award. Howe was selected by strength coach Darnell Clark, CSCS, who had this to say about his athletes:

“James is one of the most dedicated athletes I have worked with as a strength coach. His work ethic is legendary at Charlotte Country Day but more importantly is his ability to lead in our school community. James has been class president in three different grades, is in the jazz band, honor council, bow-tie service club, and is an Eagle Scout. James is an excellent student and has a 3.9 cumulative GPA. Next fall he will continue his academic and athletic career at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. James is one of those students whom I believe is destined for greatness in life, and I will be proud to say I knew him back when.”

“Esty is a driven young lady and has had the goal of playing college field hockey since she was in middle school. With this goal in mind, she has worked extremely hard in the weight room and on the track to help make her be the best field hockey player she can be. Her goal of playing college field hockey was met as she will be continuing her academic and athletic career at William and Mary College in Williamsburg, VA. I am extremely proud of what Esty has accomplished and it has been a pleasure to coach her.”

Alan Kinniburgh, NSCA’s Executive Director adds, “The advantages of strength training and conditioning cannot be denied in collegiate and high school athletics. These student-athletes attest to this understanding, and are to be applauded for their hard work and dedication.”

The NSCA All-American Athlete of the Year Award program is in its 33rd year, and is made possible by a grant from Power Systems, Inc., a Knoxville, Tennessee fitness product leader.
For a complete list of All-American Strength and Conditioning Athletes, contact the NSCA at 800-815-6826, or

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Providence Day AD David Ahern to resign

After just one year as the athletic director at Providence Day School, David Ahern will step down at the end of the school year.

Ahern will be leaving at the end of his contract in June to become the national marketing director at Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Company. Ahern said he wasn’t looking for a new opportunity but couldn’t pass this one up when it was presented to him.

“I love it here at Providence Day, but at this time in my life you look at things,” he said. “I’ll probably never get this opportunity again so I’ve got to give this a shot.”

Ahern, 50, whose youngest son, Patrick, is a sophomore on the junior varsity lacrosse team at Providence Day, said he would be staying in Charlotte and wants to stay involved with the school as a part of the booster club or the chain crew at football games.

Ahern took over the position last July when Barbara Fricke retired after 19 years as athletic director.
Ahern came to Providence Day from St. Andrews School in Boca Raton, Fla., with 26 years of athletic director experience. He had also coached basketball, football, lacrosse and golf.

Under Ahern, Providence Day won its first football state championship in 25 years. The Chargers also won state championships in cross country, girls’ tennis and girls’ basketball this year.

“I’m proud of being part of (Providence Day) for one year,” said Ahern. “It has been great.”

-- Corey Inscoe (South Charlotte News,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Charlotte Observer Spring Sports Sweet 16 polls

Rank    School (Class)    Rec.

1.    Providence (4A)    15-1
2.     South Point (3A)    11-0
3.     Ardrey Kell (4A)    12-3
4.    Rock Hill Northwestern (4A)    13-1
5.     South Caldwell (4A)    12-1
6.    Charlotte Christian (IND)    15-4
7.     Fort Mill, SC (3A)    15-4
8.     Olympic (4A)    11-2
9.    East Rutherford (2A)    7-1
10.    Northwest Cabarrus (3A)    10-2
11.    Mallard Creek (4A)    9-3
12.    South Mecklenburg (4A)    11-4
13.     Hough (4A)    11-6
14.    Marvin Ridge (3A)    9-3
15.    Mooresville (4A)    10-4
16.    Robinson (3A) 8-4-1

Name    School (Class)    Rec.

1.    Porter Ridge (4A)    18-0
2.     Alexander Central (4A)    14-1
3.    North Iredell (3A)    14-1
4.    Independence (4A)    8-1
5.    Lake Norman (4A)    13-1
6.    Central Cabarrus (3A)    12-2
7.    Hopewell (4A)    9-3
8.     Fred T. Foard (3A)    8-2
9.    Forest Hills (2A)    11-1
10.     Myers Park (4A)    8-2
11.     East Rutherford (2A)    10-1
12.     Crest (3A)    4-2
13.     Butler (4A)    9-4
14.     Chase (2A)    7-1
15.     Hough (4A)    9-4
16.    South Point (3A)    9-3

Girls Soccer
Name    School (Class)    Rec.

1.    Hough (4A)    11-0-1
2.     Lake Norman (4A)    14-1
3.     Charlotte Latin (IND)    9-0
4.     Charlotte Catholic (3A)    12-1-1
5.     Marvin Ridge (3A)    12-1-1
6.    Ardrey Kell (4A)    7-2-1
7.    Providence (4A)    8-3
8.    Myers Park (4A)    8-1-2
9.    Weddington (3A)    11-2-1
10.    Robinson (3A)    10-0-1
11.    St. Stephens (3A)    10-1-1
12.     Ashbrook (3A)    9-1-3
13.    Cuthbertson (2A)    10-3
14.    Lake Norman Charter (1A)    10-1
15.    Shelby (2A)    9-3
16.    South Iredell (2A)    10-2

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Accelerate Basketball, Jordan Brand offering free clinic to high school basketball players

 Accelerate Basketball, a local training facility near Ballantyne (click here for an article) is offering two free basketball clinics along with the Jordan Brand Classic for the first 40 players who sign up. The clinics are April 12 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. and April 13 from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. at the Charlotte Convention Center.

All players will receive free Jordan Brand T-shirt and a buy-one-get-one-free voucher to purchase tickets to the Jordan Brand Classic All-Star Game April 14 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Interested players can sign up at

Jordan Brand Classic officials are offering the camp as a way to give back to the Charlotte community.