Friday, August 31, 2012

Marvin Ridge forfeits Week 1 high school football win over East Meck

Marvin Ridge has forfeited its first win of the season over East Mecklenburg. Marvin Ridge beat East Mecklenburg 38-7 Aug. 17.

The forfeit stems from an eligibility issue with a player that was discovered after the Mavericks' win over East Meck. Marvin Ridge reported the mistake to the N.C. High School Athletic Association.

"The school discovered a mistake in our eligibility and it was not the fault of any of the players, their families or our coaching staff," Marvin Ridge coach Scott Chadwick told the Observer.

Marvin Ridge lost to Ardrey Kell 31-21 Aug. 24. .

Marvin Ridge (0-2) was scheduled to play Union County rival Cuthbertson (1-1) at home Friday night.

East Meck's record will adjust to 1-2.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Friday's Country Day-Catholic game is sold out

Friday night's Charlotte Country Day at Charlotte Catholic football game is sold out. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Gates open at 5 p.m.

The teams are arch rivals and annually play for the John Cook Cup, named after a longtime Country Day football coach. This season, the unbeaten teams are also participating in the first Patriotism Bowl to honor U.S. veterans, active military and their families.

There will be several special pregame ceremonies, including a special celebrity coin toss and a Navy flyover. At halftime, Col. Quincy Collins (Carolinas Freedom Foundation), Jane Weaver-Sobel (Operation Homefront of North Carolina), Dale Beatty and John Gallina (Purple Heart Homes) will receive checks on behalf of their respective organizations totaling $30,000.
At the end of the half and after the band performance, a medley of the service fight songs (Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard) will be played.

Here is the official press release:

First Annual Patriotism Bowl
High School Football Competition
Benefits Carolinas Freedom Foundation, Purple Heart Homes and Operation Homefront

What:         High School football game between Charlotte Catholic and Charlotte Country Day Schools
                   Benefits three area organizations dedicated to patriotism, veterans, active military and their families

When:       Friday, August 31, 2012
                     Gates open at 5:00pm – Game at 7:30pm

Where:      Charlotte Catholic High School Football Stadium
                     7702 Pineville-Matthews Road

On Friday night, August 31, 2012, Charlotte will witness the start of a new legacy. The first Patriotism Bowl will be played in the stadium of Charlotte Catholic High to benefit three organizations with missions to encourage patriotism, support for our veterans, active military and their families.

This game will celebrate a number of highlights:
1.       It is the first NC high school football game with a pregame parachute jump team and Navy flyover.
a.       A five man team from Special Forces Parachute Team out of Raleigh, NC will bring in the game ball and game flag, along with trailing smoke.
b.      The flyover is supported by Training Wing One, out of Meridian, MS.
2.       The National Anthem Singer, NC native and Purple Heart recipient John Hyland, lost a leg as a soldier in Afghanistan. He sang the anthem at the 2010 Coca Cola 600.
3.       The Charlotte Catholic High School Stadium is being expanded for this event to accommodate the static military displays and the flights simulators around the stadium.
4.       The two teams will be wearing camouflaged jerseys.
5.       The Coin Toss Guest will be a special surprise guest.
6.       We will have over a dozen military static displays.
7.       The game will have between 4000 & 5000 spectators.

This will be an outstanding football game in its own right. These two teams boast outstanding players and coaches:

·         The game features Charlotte Catholics junior fullback, Elijah Hood, who rushed for almost 1900 yards as a sophomore last year and is being recruited by Alabama and Notre Dame and  Charlotte Catholic’s Head coach, Jim Oddo, who has coached for five decades (since 1978), has over 330 wins and is one of the winningest coaches in North Carolina.  Only five NC coaches have ever won 300 or more games.
·         Charlotte Catholic HS will play Charlotte Country Day HS for the 52nd meeting of the Cook Cup.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Butler up to No. 24 in USA Today national poll

Butler, the top team in the Charlotte Observer Sweet 16 poll, has jumped into USA Today's Top 25 national rankings.

The Bulldogs have been ranked in the top two national polls from USA Today and ESPN several times in the past four seasons.

Butler is 2-0 this season after beating Mallard Creek 27-6 and Olympic 69-7. Butler plays Vance Sept. 8 on the road.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Albemarle joins Observer Sweet 16, Northwestern climbing

Butler still reigns atop the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll after the second week of regular-season play. The Bulldogs beat No. 4 Mallard Creek 27-6 in Week 1 and beat Olympic 69-7 Friday.

The biggest mover in the poll is Rock Hill’s Northwestern High, which joined the poll last week after upsetting nationally ranked Gaffney 49-19. On Saturday, Northwestern backed up that win in Myrtle Beach, beating Conway 55-19. The Trojans’ high-powered offense, nicknamed "Air Raid," ran up nearly 600 yards total offense.

Northwestern jumped five spots to No. 11.

New to the poll this week is 1A state power Albemarle. The Bulldogs beat reigning state champ West Stokes 41-7 on Aug. 17. Friday, Albemarle whipped county rival West Stanly 70-0. Albemarle is ranked No. 16 in this week’s poll.

Note: A group of three Observer sportswriters voted on the Sweet 16, which ranks the team’s in the Observer’s 131-school coverage area in North and South Carolina. While not a true power poll, the Sweet 16 considers a team’s overall strength of roster, the strength of its schedule and its classification. It does not consider how ranked teams would do against each other unless they actually play. To be eligible teams must be a member of a recognized state association and only use athletes who have not repeated a grade after starting 9th. A list of eligible teams can be found at


Butler (3)






Rock Hill South Pointe






Porter Ridge






Mallard Creek






Charlotte Catholic












A.L. Brown












West Rowan






South Point






Rock Hill Northwestern



































Dropped out: South Iredell (2A, 1-1). Also receiving votes: Providence Day (IND, 1-1); East Lincoln (2A, 2-0)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

NFL should stop scheduling preseason games on Fridays

The NFL does so much good to develop the game at the grassroots level. Having preseason games on Fridays isn’t one. It hurts high school crowds and high schools’ main sources of sports revenue are football and basketball ticket sales. There has to be a way to schedule around Fridays.

Read more here:

Country Day, Bandys coaches get or get near milestone wins

Charlotte Country Day coach Bob Witman got his 200th win Friday and Bandys coach Randy Lowman got his 199th.

Witman, coach at Country Day since 1990, is 200-50 in his career after Friday’s 49-23 win over Carolina Pride. Witman has seven state titles, 13 championship appearances and has coached two NFL players. Currently, 14 Bucs play in college.

Lowman’s team beat Fred T. Foard 32-0.

Bandys won despite playing without six defensive starters who were caught drinking at a junior varsity game Thursday. Without more than half the starting defense, Bandys held Foard to 134 yards of offense. Lowman is 199-113-1 in his career.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fmr Gardner Webb 2 sport standout Daniel Cooke returns to coach Independence baseball

Independence High graduate Daniel Cooke is the Patriots' new baseball coach. He replaces Matt Dykema, who coached the Patriots for five seasons.

Dykema resigned and has moved to Alabama.

Cooke was a two-sport athlete at Division I Gardner-Webb. He finished his baseball career in the school's top 10 in several offensive categories, including batting average, RBIs and stolen bases. In football, he was a four-year starter at free safety. In 44 games, he had 282 tackles and was named All-Big South all four seasons.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Catholic-Country Day to play for John Cook Cup and U.S. Veterans in first Patriotism Bowl

Each year, high school football rivals Charlotte Country Day and Charlotte Catholic play for the John Cook Cup. The Cup is in honor of the former Charlotte Country Day coach, and winning it is a huge honor for both schools.

This year, in addition to the Cook Cup, the two rivals will play for their country.

The teams, meeting for the 52nd time, will play in the first Patriotism Bowl Aug. 31. The game, which will played at Charlotte Catholic, will benefit three organizations that support U.S. veterans, active military members and their families.

Charlotte Catholic athletics director Kevin Christmas said the plan is for the Patriotism Bowl to feature different high school teams each year. He said organizers hoped to raise $30,000 this season from the Country Day-Catholic game, which organizers believe will attract between 4,000 and 5,000 fans.

“It’s going to be a good experience for the kids,” Christmas said, “and it’ll bring awareness for our veterans, so we can pay tribute.”

The game will have a pregame parchute jump and Navy flyover. A five-man special forces team from Special Forces Parachute Team of out Raleigh will bring in the game ball and flag. The national anthem will be sung by N.C. native and Purple Heart recepient John Hyland, who lost a leg as a soilder in Afghanistan. He sang the anthem at the 2010 Coca Cola 600.

In addition, the teams will wear camouflaged jerseys.

The game will support the Carolinas Freedom Foundation, Operation Homefront of North Carolina and Purple Heart Homes.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fmr Charlotte Latin star Anthony Morrow's NBA Summer League starts playoffs

 Former Charlotte Latin star Anthony Morrow went onto a great career at Georgia Tech and into the NBA. Now with Atlanta, Morrow is hosting the Charlotte Summer Hoops league at Grady Cole Center

The playoffs begin tonight (Tuesday) from 6-10 p.m. and admission is free. On Thursday at 6 p.m., a group of girls college stars will play before the semifinals and championship games.

This season, players have included Morrow and Bobcats Reggie Williams and Kemba Walker and Dante Green of the Sacramento King. The league features more than 30 current and former overseas pros like Charlotte native Titus Ivory (Penn State), former Big South scoring champ Mike Jenkins of Winthrop as well as Virginia Tech's Dorenzo Hudson and Charlotte native K.C. Rivers, now playing pro ball in Russia.

Here are other players regularly participating:

Curt Withers-Charlotte 49ers/Europe
Antwan Robinson-Temple/Europe
DeAngelo Alexander-Charlotte 49ers
Doneal Mack-Memphis/Europe
Greg Lewis-Winthrop/Spain
Dijuan Harris-Charlotte 49ers/Europe
Ken Gabriel-Alabama/NBA summer league
Keith Gabriel-VMI/Europe
Sam Hinnant-ECU
Brandis Raley-Ross-USC/Europe
Matt Morgan-Winthrop/Europe
Andre Jones-Winthrop
Corey Farmer-ECU/Europe
Antonio Houston-Catawba's all time leading scorer/Europe

CMS to move 9 high school football games due to damage to bleachers

Three Charlotte-Mecklenburg high schools will be forced to move nine home football games this season because of repairs being made to bleachers.

West Charlotte will move three games to Waddell’s stadium. West Mecklenburg will move two to Waddell. Myers Park will move four games to Memorial Stadium.

CMS spokesperson Tahira Stalberte said the system’s auxiliary services department annually performs inspections on wooden bleachers in CMS stadiums. Via email, Stalberte said a professional engineer was hired “to do a more intensive inspection this year, because most of the wooden bleachers are more than 50 years old.”

Earlier this year, engineers found structural damage in stadiums at Belmont’s South Point, East Gaston high schools as well as and and Cherryville high schools. Several other Gaston County schools had damage but to a lesser extent. Gaston County Schools spent more than $4 million on repairs.

Stalberte said CMS will pay $300,000 for renovations locally.

West Mecklenburg athletics director John Yewcic said the visitor’s side bleachers at his school have been removed and he expected to get temporary bleachers soon. Because the temporary bleachers would reduce seating capacity, he said the school might be forced to move more games if attendance and season success warrants it.

“CMS was proactive after what happened in Gaston County,” Yewcic said. “So many stadiums are getting old in this county. Something needed to be done.”

At West Charlotte, AD athletics director Gerald Herbert said a portion of the school’s visitor’s side bleachers were removed. The outside portions of the visitor’s side are wooden, Herbert said, and the center portion is aluminum. Workers recently removed the wooden portions a few weeks ago.
West Charlotte, like West Mecklenburg, will get temporary bleachers on the visitor’s side, but Herbert was disappointed that the home-side bleachers, which are wooden, were not replaced as well.

“They didn’t tear them down,” he said. “They put more wood in there to reinforce them. I’d rather them do aluminum than replace wood with wood.”

Herbert said the home-side repairs should be finished in two weeks, and that the school would was going to use the repairs to jump-start a total stadium makeover. He said the school would ask its national alumni base to donate $25 each to pay for repairs throughout the stadium, with a hope to add artificial turf on the field.

At Myers Park, workers removed the visitor’s bleachers and replaced them with temporary bleachers. Athletics director Rick Lewis said the temporary bleachers at his school will seat 387. The old bleachers seated 1,500. That forced the school to move four of its six home games to nearby Memorial Stadium.

“I’m sure we’ll take a financial hit,” Lewis said. “How much I don’t know, but we would’ve had more than 387 on the visitor’s side and once that’s full CMS will make us shut all the gates. We couldn’t play at home like that.”

Lewis said Myers Park officials asked about roping off part of the home side to allow overflow visiting fans to sit on the home side, but CMS security officials did not think that was a good opposed that idea.

Lewis said Memorial Stadium officials and CMS have worked with Myers Park to make the transition as easy as possible, including waiving the rental fee to use Memorial Stadium.

“The city has worked really well with us,” Lewis said. “We didn’t take on any additional costs. The only issue we’ve been at an impasse with is parking. You’ve got to pay $3 to park (at Memorial). We had a football meeting and we sold it to (parents, alumni and fans) as it’s a one-year thing to support the kids.

“But we’ve known for a long time that these bleachers have gotten into bad shape. Our alumni joke that these are the same ones from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. And they’re probably right. So replacing them is going to be a good thing.”

Repairs to football stadiums to force three CMS teams to move football games

Story is developing. Check back later for details:

Three CMS high schools -- Myers Park, West Charlotte and West Mecklenburg -- are having renovations done to bleachers in the schools’ football stadiums after an independent inspection determined they were necessary. The repairs, which began last month, will force those schools to move some home football games. Four were moved to Waddell Stadium and four to Memorial Stadium.

Here are the new sites and dates:

Friday, Aug. 24: West Mecklenburg vs. West Charlotte at Waddell
Saturday, Sept. 8: Independence vs. West Charlotte at Waddell; North Mecklenburg vs. Myers Park at Memorial Stadium
Friday, Sept. 14: Harding vs. West Mecklenburg at Waddell; Butler vs. Myers Park at Memorial Stadium
Friday, Sept. 28: Mooresville vs. West Charlotte at Waddell; Ardrey Kell vs. Myers Park at Memorial Stadium
Friday, Oct. 5: Olympic vs. West Mecklenburg at Waddell
Friday, Oct. 12: South Meck vs. Myers Park at Memorial Stadium