Monday, April 29, 2013

Team Clt's James Demery, QCAA's Vaud Worthy win MVP at Bob Gibbons Tourney of Champions

Two Charlotte-area basketball stars, one in high school, one in middle school, won MVP at the prestigious Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions Sunday in Atlanta.

Gibbons, the national recruiting analyst, said the tournament attracted 256 total teams and 96 in the featured 17U age group that is for current high school juniors.

Northside Christian's James Demery won the 17U MVP after leading his Team Charlotte AAU team to a 62-46 win over the South Carolina Raptors. Team Charlotte, coached by Northside assistant coach and former North Carolina star point guard Jeff McInnis, reached the AAU national championship game last summer.

In the final, Demery had 20 points and nine rebounds.

"Demery was unstoppable inside and out," Gibbons said. "He's so athletic, a 6-5 (shooting) guard who can do it all."

Demery's high school teammate, 6-5 wing Keyshawn Woods had 11 points and eight rebounds in the final. North Forsyth High point guard Kedrick Flomo, a 6-1 junior, had 12 points and eight assists.

In the 7th grade division, Charlotte's Vaud Worthy led the QCAA Force to a championship. QCAA was 6-0 over 1 1/2 days to win the title. Worthy, a 6-foot guard, is the nephew of former Gastonia Ashbrook High star James Worthy, who went onto become an NCAA championship-winning All-American at North Carolina and an NBA All-Star and NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers. Worthy turned heads in middle school circles last winter when he scored 45 points and had 15 rebounds in his first game at Ranson Middle School.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Charlotte Catholic's Elijah Hood commits to Notre Dame for football

Charlotte Catholic All-American football star Elijah Hood has committed to Notre Dame. Hood chose Notre Dame over North Carolina. He committed Sunday after returning from a second trip to South Bend, Ind.

Hood, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound junior, said he came close to committing on a visit to Notre Dame in February. After this weekend's second visit, he knew he was ready.

"There are plenty of good schools close by," Hood said Sunday night, "but there's something about Notre Dame. It's a great place with so much history and tradition. They have stuff I couldn't have dreamed of. They wowed me. They took my breath away at times. I knew it was the place."

Hood led Charlotte Catholic to the N.C. 3AA championship game in 2012, when he was named the Charlotte Observer offensive player of the year. Hood rushed for a Mecklenburg County record 3,309 yards and a record 48 touchdowns. He's on pace to set career county rushing marks in both categories in the 2013 season.

In the past two years, Hood has rushed for 5,291 yards and 83 scores. He said he will play running back for the Irish. He had previously been getting recruited at running back and linebacker by a number of Division I schools.

"I thought about the 3,300-something yards and 48 touchdowns I had," he said, "and I said, 'Uh, maybe I should stick to what I'm doing.'"

For the class of 2014, national recruiting service ranks 14 players as "five-star," or elite recruits. Hood is listed No. 12.

ESPN ranks Hood No. 8 nationally among running backs in the class of 2014.

Hood said he will graduate from Catholic in June 2014 and enroll at Notre Dame shortly after that.

"The process is a crazy process," he said, "and the thing was to get it out of the way as fast I could. I'm ready to move onto other things like finishing high school. It's a great thing."

His father, Vee, a former Catholic star in his own right, said he was comfortable with his son's decision.

"It's the best," Vee Hood said of Notre Dame, "and he wants to be with the best. And you just don't turn down Notre Dame. We had to go up there and see for ourselves and we had to see the type people he'd be around and the coaches he'd be with. Everything is great. Now he can enjoy his senior year.".

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Charlotte Christian TE Jeb Blazevich commits to Georgia

Charlotte Christian tight end Jeb Blazevich, a junior All-America football player, has committed to Georgia, Knights coach Jason Estep told the Observer.

Estep said Blazevich picked Georgia over Ole Miss and Clemson. ESPN ranks Blazevich, a 6-foot-5, 228-pound junior, as the 90th overall prospect in the class of 2014. ESPN ranks him as the No. 3 tight end.

Last season, Blazevich caught 30 passes for 379 yards and five touchdowns for Christian, which won the N.C. Independent Schools state championship. He was an all-conference and all-state pick.

He is the third Knight from the class of 2014 to commit to a BCS school, following wide receiver Bo Hines (N.C. State) and tight end/defensive end Garrett Bradbury (N.C. State)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Former Concord coach Andy Poplin to coach Hickory basketball

Andy Poplin is the new head boys basketball coach at Hickory High, he told the Observer Monday night.

Poplin, who led Concord to a state title, received unanimous approval from the Board of Education of Hickory's public schools Monday night.

Poplin, 42, replaces Lavell Hall, who coached Hickory for one season. Poplin coached at Mount Pleasant High from 1994-2003 and then coached four season at Concord. He currently teaches elementary school PE in Cabarrus County. He is a Lenoir-Rhyne graduate and is pursuing a master's degree at Charlotte.

"I am thrilled to get the opportunity to return to Hickory after graduating from Lenoir-Rhyne in 1993," said Poplin, a past Charlotte Observer "All-Observer" coach of the year. "Hickory High was always a dream destination for me."

Poplin's teams have won multiple conference and regional championships. His 2006 team at Concord lost 79-75 to Greensboro Dudley in the N.C. 3A state championship game. In 2007, Concord beat Kinston 85-79 for the title. It is Concord's only boys state title.

At Hickory, Poplin takes over a powerhouse program that has nine straight winning seasons. Hickory has won at least 22 games for six straight years.

Hickory princpal Dr. Ann Stalnaker thinks she has the right person to continue the tradition in Poplin, who also coaches Chris Paul's AAU travel team, Team CP3. Poplin coached Chris Paul for five years.

“My goal throughout the process was to find just the right fit for our players,” HHS principal Dr. Ann Stalnaker said the news release. “Coach Poplin has the energy and passion for basketball to motivate our young men’s efforts on the court and in the classroom. We are thrilled to have him join our team at Hickory High.”

Poplin officially begins at the end of the current school year.

Monroe Central football coach Tad Baucom wins statewide award

CHAPEL HILL—Tad Baucom, the head football coach at Central Academy of Technology and Arts in Monroe, is the third annual recipient of the North Carolina Spirit of Sport Award presented by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

                  The NCHSAA is participating in the  “Spirit of Sport Award” program sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations.  It was established to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive spirit of sport that represents the core mission of education-based athletics.

The award is given in recognition of a specific act or an activity of longer duration. Nominees can be a coach, athletic administrator, trainer, student-athlete or any others associated with the school’s athletic program.  Baucom’s efforts will be recognized at the NCHSAA Annual Meeting on May 2 at the Smith Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina.

Baucom has been involved in high school athletics since 1978 and has coached at Topsail and Monroe, among other stops. He is currently coaching both football and track and at Central Academy.

Central Academy was playing in its second NCHSAA playoff game in school history against Mount Airy during the 2012 season. According to the nomination information, Baucom and his players had heard about a special needs student who was a member of the Mount Airy team but rarely played.  Mount Airy players had even indicated to the Central players to “take it easy and don’t hurt him” if he got in the game.

Baucom had a different idea. Although his team was out of time outs and down 34-14 late in the contest, he asked the officials to stop the game when the player entered the game. Baucom told his team to let the player score without his knowing they were doing so, and then signaled to the Mount Airy bench to give the player the ball. The player in question got the ball and scored on the next play.

Davis Whitfield, NCHSAA commissioner, said, "Coach Baucom’s selfless act speaks volumes to the kind of person he is and the values that we believe are embodied by the spirit of sport. This is a great choice for the award.”

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Charlotte Latin lacrosse star Carter Sheridan wins Legacy Leadership Award

Charlotte Latin lacrosse player Carter Sheridan won the Legacy Lacrosse Leadership Award at the Legacy Lacrosse Cup Tournament in Atlanta, GA last week.

Sheridan is a junior who has started for two seasons.

The six-year-old tournament has drawn more than 65 teams and 3,000 players from 13 states. One of the highlights of the event is the selection of the Legacy Leadership Award winner from each team.

This award is bestowed upon the player that most personifies the three pillars of the Legacy Lacrosse Cup - Camaraderie, Competitiveness and Character as recognized by their coaches and teammates.

“Carter is an outstanding young man and a very worthy recipient of the Legacy Leadership Award,” Latin coach Dick Sipperly said. “Carter is a tough competitor while at time same time, a caring and friendly teammate. We are proud to have Carter honored with this prestigious leadership award.”

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hough's Luke Maye named sophomore basketball All-American

Hough High’s Luke Maye was named to the MaxPreps sophomore All-American team.

He was the only player from the Carolinas selected.

The 6-foot-7 forward was the fourth leading vote getter in the N.C. Associated Press all-state balloting. He averaged 18.9 points, 13.9 rebound and 2.2 assists while leading Hough to an upset over West Charlotte in the N.C. 4A sectional playoff championship game.

Hough advanced to its first N.C. Western Regional before losing to eventual state champion Olympic.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Panthers kicker John Kasay named Athletics Director at Charlotte Christian

Former Carolina Panthers kicker John Kasay is the new athletics director at Charlotte Christian. He replaces Tom Jamerson, who is resigning.

Kasay will begin July 1.

Kasay spent 21 years in the NFL as a kicker with the Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and New Orleans Saints

Kasay previously served Charlotte Christian as a volunteer on the football staff and in the fine arts department.  He has also worked extensively with coaches as a member of the board of directors of Coaches Time Out, an organization that seeks to equip coaches to be positive role-models and mentors for young people, instill positive core values, and ultimately affect and inspire their lives for Jesus Christ.

Kasay received a BA in Journalism in 1993 from the University of Georgia where he was a four-year football letterman for the Georgia Bulldogs.  He and his wife, Laura, have four children, two of whom are Charlotte Christian students.  They are active members at Forest Hill Church.

Read more here:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Providence's Sandy Martin, Forest Hills Eddie Rivers win state coaches of year

Providence High swim coach Sandy Martin and Forest Hills’ Eddie Rivers will receive the 8th Toby Webb N.C. High School Athletic Association coach of the year awards May 2.

The Webb award, named for the NCHSAA Hall of Fame member and former Albemarle football coach, goes to a nominated male and female coach who have 10 years experience and has made major contributions to the success of high school athletics in the school and community.

Martin worked at West Charlotte for three years and Providence for 18. She has also coached cheerleading and tennis. Her swim teams have won 15 state titles. She’s also been active with the American Red Cross for nearly 15 years, teaching hunderds to become lifeguards.

Rivers has been at Forest Hills for 29 years. He’s coached volleyball, basketball, football and softball. He helped establish the N.C. Softball Coaches Associaton and served as its president from 2004-10. Rivers was inducted into the N.C. softball hall of fame in 2010.

Friday, April 12, 2013

George Walker named boys basketball coach at Concord

Concord High principal Carla Black told the Observer that she has hired George Walker as the Spiders' new boys basketball coach.
Walker, a first-time varsity head coach, replaces Scott Brewer. Brewer was 448-158 in 20 years as a head coach at Concord as well as Central Cabarrus and Mount Pleasant. His 2000 Central Cabarrus team won the N.C. 3A state championship. He led Concord to the 2010 3A state final.
Brewer led the Spiders to four straight Western Regional appearances at one time. Brewer was 160-21 in six seasons at Concord.
Read more here:

Walker was an assistant under Brewer during the 2007-08 season and was junior varsity head coach and varsity assistant in the 2011-12 season.
Walker was also an assistant at Concord under former coach Andy Poplin for five seasons, including a 2007 state championship season. Walker's Concord Middle School team once won four conference titles.
Walker was also a student assistant with the Charlotte 49ers from 1998-02 and was athletics director at Concord for five years.
Currently, Walker is an Algebra I teacher at Concord. Black said Walker has been recognized by the district for his students for achieving high growth in Algebra I.

Monday, April 8, 2013

CMS All-Conference Swimming and Wrestling

Southwestern 4A Swimming
200 Medley Relay
Girls – Providence HS: Bynum, Weinstein, Maxey, Sloan
Boys – Providence HS: Darmody, Brawley, Bradshaw, Ferretti
200 Freestyle
Girls – Kristie Darmody, Providence HS
Boys – Pierce Bradshaw, Providence HS
200 IM
Girls – South Meck HS: Alex Martell
Boys – South Meck HS: Mitchell Cooper
50 Freestyle
Girls – East Meck HS: Sirena Rowe
Boys – South Meck HS: Kenny Dimitrov
Girls – Providence HS: Katie Woodliff
Boys – Ardrey Kell HS: Jack Kramer
100 Butterfly
Girls – Providence HS: Catherine Maxey
Boys – South Meck HS: Jason Hsieh
100 Freestyle
Girls – Ardrey Kell HS: Lauren Wallace
Boys – Providence HS: Zach Cox
500 Freestyle
Girls – Providence HS: Jean Livingston
Boys – Providence HS: Pierce Bradshaw
200 Freestyle Relay
Girls – Providence HS: Livingston, Sloan, Wright, Darmody
Boys – Providence HS: Ferretti, Clem, Sheng Li, Cox
100 Backstroke
Girls – Providence HS: Rachel Castell
Boys – Providence HS: Kyle Darmody
100 Breaststroke
Girls – Myers Park HS: Annie Carr
Boys – Independence HS: Hunter Brokovec
400 Freestyle Relay
Girls – Providence HS: Maxey, Weinstein, Darmody, Livingston
Boys – Providence HS: Cox, Bradshaw, Brawley, Darmody
Coach of the Year
Girls – Providence HS: Sandy Martin
Boys – South Meck HS: Leslie Berens
Swimmer of the Year
Girls – Ardrey Kell HS: Samantha Teague
Boys – Providence HS: Kyle Darmody

2013 I-Meck 4A Swimming
200 medley relay
WA Hough Alexandria Kitchens, Ally Dupay, Katie O’Brien, Emily Allen
Lake Norman Elle Tucker, Kalyn Fetter, Erin Dickerman, Courtney Fulton
200 free
WA Hough Jessica Merritt
Mallard Creek Lauren McRae
200 IM
WA Hough Megan Dupay
WA Hough Ally Dupay
50 free
WA Hough Emily Allen
WA Hough Shannon Bauer
WA Hough Karly Adams
WA Hough Katelyn Abernathy
100 fly
WA Hough Katie O’Brien
WA Hough Heather Merritt
100 free
WA Hough Emily Allen
WA Hough Rachel Bright
500 free
WA Hough Ally Dupay
Lake Norman Morgan Holbrook
200 free relay
WA Hough Emily Allen, Heather Merritt, Shannon Bauer, Jessica Merritt
Lake Norman Maddy Gillman, Erin Dickerman, Christine Wirt, Morgan Holbrook
100 back
WA Hough Heather Merritt
WA Hough Alexandria Kitchens
100 breast
WA Hough Jessica Merritt
Lake Norman Kalyn Fetter
400 free relay
WA Hough Katie O’Brien, Heather Merritt, Ally Dupay, Jessica Merritt
Lake Norman Courtney Fulton, Maddy Gillman, Christine Wirt, Morgan Holbrook
200 medley relay
WA Hough Jack Manchester, Andrew Botelho, Trey Poff, Jeffery Manchester
Lake Norman Austin Tucker, Justin Lindly, Austin Hill, Eric Koehler
200 free
WA Hough Jack Manchester
Lake Norman Charles Blinn
200 IM
WA Hough Andrew Botelho
WA Hough Brian Davis
50 free
Lake Norman Brody Heck
WA Hough Patrick Cowley
WA Hough Charles Mitchell
Lake Norman Colby Hendrix
100 fly
WA Hough Trey Poff
Vance Josh Moore
100 free
Lake Norman Brody Heck
Hopewell Mark Brittain
500 free
WA Hough Trey Poff
WA Hough Evan Heldman
200 free relay
Lake Norman John Suther, Eric Koehler, Charles Blinn, Brody Heck
WA Hough Andrew Petry, Alex Kirven, Patrick Cowley, Jeffery Manchester
100 back
WA Hough Jack Manchester
Lake Norman Austin Hill
100 breast
Hopewell Mark Brittain
WA Hough Brian Davis
400 free relay
WA Hough Andrew Petry, Andrew Botelho, Patrick Cowley, Jack Manchester
Lake Norman John Suther, Austin Hill, Charles Blinn, Brody Heck

Southwestern 4A Wrestling
106 Ryan Keefe, Providence; Jason Merli, Independence
113 Jason Cadena, Myers Park; Coby Branhall. Butler
120 Austin Paytes, Butler; Blake Barber, South Mecklenburg
126 Adam Pelter, Butler; Winston Schuler, South Mecklenburg
132 Klevar Mason, South Mecklenburg; DJ Seegars, Rocky River
138 Brett Barber, South Mecklenburg; Devin Taylor, Independence
145 Joseph Coss, South Mecklenburg; Collus Watson, East Mecklenburg
152 Tyler Bizjack, Ardrey Kell; Jacob Norby, South Mecklenburg
160 Reid Foley, Myers Park; Micahel Maughan, Providence
170 Nick Colucciello, Providence; Anthony Roberson, Rocky River
182 Josh Matos, Independence; Justin Dominique, Ardrey Kell
195 Chris Mairson, Ardrey Kell; Drew Barrett, East Mecklenburg
220 Alexander Crockett, Myers Park; DJ Gonzalez, South Mecklenburg
285 Demetree Hardison, Independence; Delano Cunningham, East Mecklenburg
SW4A Coach of the Year:
Scott Kendrick – South Meck HS
SW4A Wrestler of the Year:
Brian Tiderman – Independence HS

ME-GA 7 Wrestling
First Team
106 Billy Ferris CC
113 Blake Jackson CC
120 Michael Bedard EG
126 Jacob Grigg EG
132 Ben Litton CC
138 Mark Keough CC
145 Alex Ledford EG
152 Peter Lapiana CC
160 Chase Hayes CC
170 Spencer Hayes CC
182 Ryan Manion CC
195 Zack McElveen OHS
220 Evan Patrick OHS
285 Jordan Wilson EG
Conference Wrestler of the Year - Jacob Grigg EG (State Champ)
Second Team
Nathan Wheeler OHS
Deshawn Patterson GAR
Asher Goodwin OHS
Clark Edwards POB
Jared Basset EG
Terrence Thompson-Bell GAR
Alex Lapiana CC
Melvin Gonzales POB
Tyler Spurling EG
Mark Bedard EG
TJ Quinn OHS
Nick Elchert CC
Quintin Hutchins CC
Matt Kowalewski CC

I-Meck 4A Wrestling
106-Austin Powell, Hough; Samuel Crisp, Mooresville
113-Conner Kominek, Lake Norman; Tucker Key, Mooresville
120-Jamie Wright, Mooresville; Cody Karns, Lake Norman
126-Kevin O’Brien, Hough; Antonio Patterson, W. Charlotte
132- Jalen Hill, North Meck; Hunter Owens, Hough
138- Josh Motsinger, Vance; Tanner Russ, Hough
145-Adam Nivens, Hough; Eddie McGrail, Lake Norman
152-Jarred Brooks, Mooresville; Jacob Efird, Hough
160-Sebastian Barreto, Hough; Marquel Thompson, North Meck
170-Ryan Devlin, Lake Norman; Palmer Maples, Hough
182-Dontrez Patterson, Mooresville; Gore Vaughn, Hopewell
195-Deshjion Whitlock, Hopewell; Austin Newell, Hough
220-Jackson Dowless, Lake Norman; Kenan Ralph, Mallard Creek; Kenan Ralph, Mallard Creek
285-Connor Brooks, Hough; Brendan Latham, Lake Norman
Coach of the year: Tripp Rogers, Hough
Wrestler of the year: Cody Karns, Lake Norman

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Olympic's Ty Baumgardner wins N.C. Associated Press coach of the year award

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Two men who led their teams to undefeated seasons and Class 4-A championships are The Associated Press prep basketball coaches of the year in North Carolina.

Ty Baumgardner of Charlotte Olympic won the 2012-13 men's award Thursday and Chris East of Raleigh Millbrook earned the women's award.

Baumgardner received 15 of a possible 22 votes from sports writers across the state. Newton Foard's Rob Bliss was second with four votes after turning around a program that was 5-41 before his arrival two seasons ago, while first-year coach Perry Tyndall of 2-A champ Kinston was the only other coach listed on multiple ballots.

On the women's side, East had 10 votes to five for Kinston's Hubert Quinerly, a second-year coach whose team won a 2-A title in its first finals appearance.

Winners of The Associated Press prep basketball coach of the year award for North Carolina:
2013–Ty Baumgardner, Charlotte Olympic
2012–Kirk Angel, New Hanover County
2011–Ron Bray, Gastonia Huss
2010–Brandon Jolly, Lake Norman
2009–Aubrey Hollifield, Shelby
2008–Wells Gulledge, Kinston
2007–George Robinson, Burlington Cummings
2006–David Price, Greensboro Dudley
2005–Jimmy Cleaveland, Canton Pisgah
2004–Tim Kelly, Trinity
2003–Mike Gurley, West Rowan
2002–Mike Gurley, West Rowan
2001–Don Corry, Lexington
2000–Howard West, Winston-Salem Reynolds
1999–Mike Pennington, Winston-Salem Parkland
1998–Terry Rogers, Morganton Freedom
1997–Ray Hartsfield, East Chapel Hill
1996–Greg Grantham, Jacksonville White Oak
1995–Bill Boyette, Cary
2013–Chris East, Raleigh Millbrook
2012–Anthony Jones, Charlotte Harding
2011–Jessica Bryan, Southwest Guilford
2010–Brian Robinson, Kernersville McGuinness
2009–Terry Allmon, East Davidson
2008–Angela Morton, Concord
2007–Brent Barker, Hope Mills South View
2006–Debra Pegram, Wilson Beddingfield
2005–Sandra Langley, SouthWest Edgecombe
2004–Jennifer Shoaf, Salisbury
2003–Tracie Taylor, Fayetteville 71st
2002–Jamie Smith, Morganton Freedom
2001–Gerald Carter, Winston-Salem Carver; Kenny Carter, High Point Central (tie)
2000–Gerald Carter, Winston-Salem Carver
1999–David Elder, Hickory
1998–Julie Hunter, Clinton Union
1997–Kenny Carter, High Point Central
1996–Sandra Langley, SouthWest Edgecombe
1995–Marsha Crump, Morganton Freedom