Monday, November 26, 2012

Final in-season Sweet 16 poll: Catholic rises, Butler holds at the top

There’s one week left in the 2012 high school football, and Butler’s Bulldogs are exactly where they were in August: at the top of the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll.

The Bulldogs, ranked as high as No. 6 nationally, beat nationally ranked Mallard Creek 27-6 to start the season and beat the Mavericks 27-0 in the state semifinals Friday. Butler has also beaten seven-time N.C. state champion Independence twice and ended East Forsyth’s unbeaten season. Many high school pundits predicted East Forsyth would win the state title.

Now, Butler has one more mission to complete its third unbeaten season in four years: defeat Fayetteville Britt in Saturday’s N.C. 4AA championship game in Chapel Hill.

Charlotte Catholic moved up a spot to a season high No. 2 after soundly beating Statesville in the N.C. 3AA semifinal. The Cougars play two-time state champ Northern Guilford in Winston-Salem in the 3AA finals Saturday.

Rk.School (No. 1 votes)Cl Rec Pts Prv
1. Butler (3) 4A 14-0 48 1
2. Charlotte Catholic 3A 13-1 44 3
3. Rock Hill Northwestern 4A 12-2 41 T4
4. Mallard Creek 4A 12-2 40 2
5. Porter Ridge 4A 13-1 35 7
6. Rock Hill South Pointe 4A 12-2 34 T4
7. East Lincoln 2A 15-0 29 T9
8. Statesville 3A 13-2 28 6
9. South Point 3A 12-1 23 8
10. Independence 4A 10-3 20 T9
11. Crest 3A 10-3 17 11
12. Charlotte Christian IND 9-3 16 12
13. Concord 3A 13-2 12 13
14. South Iredell 2A 13-2 11 16
15. Albemarle 1A 13-2 5 14
16. York, S.C. 4A 10-3 4 15

Dropped Out: None. Also receiving votes: None. For rules on the poll and eligible teams, visit; a three-man panel of Observer sportswriters voted.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

NCHSAA state football championships schedule



CLASS 4-A CHAMPIONSHIP — Friday, 7:30 p.m.




CLASS 4-AA CHAMPIONSHIP — Saturday, 11 a.m.





CLASS 2-A CHAMPIONSHIP — Saturday, 11 a.m.




CLASS 3-A CHAMPIONSHIP — Saturday, 3 p.m.




CLASS 3-AA CHAMPIONSHIP — Saturday, 7 p.m.





CLASS 1-A CHAMPIONSHIP - Saturday, 11 a.m.




CLASS 1-AA CHAMPIONSHIP — Saturday, 3 p.m.




CLASS 2-AA CHAMPIONSHIP — Saturday, 7 p.m.




Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Butler's Peter Kalambayi is a finalist for Dick Butkus award

Butler High All-America linebacker Peter Kalambayi is a finalist for the 28th annual high school Butkus Award.

The award, given to high school, college and NFL players, honors the nation’s best linebackers. Finalists were selected by a panel of 51 coahes, scouts and journalists. Winners will be announced in early December.

Kalambayi is one of five high school finalists and the only one from the Carolinas.
Carolina Panthers rookie Luke Kuechly won the college version of the award last season when he was at Boston College.

Kalambayi, committed to Stanford, has 85 tackles, six sacks and nine tackles for a loss. He’s caused three fumbles and has one interception for the Bulldogs (13-0) who play Mallard Creek (12-1) in the N.C. 4AA Western Regional championship game Friday at Memorial Stadium.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

N.C. Soccer Coaches Assoc. all-state team

Here are area players who made the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association all-state team. The entire team is at
Private Schools: Reed Dowdy, Charlotte Latin, Sr, D; Nick Gardner, Charlotte Latin, Jr., K
1A: Taylor Easley, Lake Norman Charter, Sr., D; Lawson Owen, Lake Norman Charter, Sr., M; Christian Primm, Central Academy, Sr., D; David Synder, Thomas Jefferson, Sr., F; DJ Williams, Central Academy, Sr., D
2A: Bobby Cardelle, Salisbury, Jr., M; Ethan Good, Cuthbertson, Jr., D; Chandler Johnson, Newton-Conover, Sr., F; Dennis Rodriguez, Lincolnton, Sr., F; Omar Solis, South Iredell, Jr., F
3A: Jason Andrejchak, Robinson, Sr, F; Nick Brandt, Weddington, Sr., D; Andrew Burton, St. Stephens, So., D; Nick Fuller, Ashbrook, Sr., M; Will Green, Marvin Ridge, Jr., D; Ronnie Hernandez, Ashbrook, Sr., M; Brendan McDonough, Charlotte Catholic, So., M; Jake Miller, Charlotte Catholic, So., M; Uriel Rebollar, Robinson, Sr, M; Carlos Sevilla, Hickory, Sr., M; Marcos Vargas, Hickory, Jr., D; Ze Yang, West Iredell, Sr., D
4A: Hussein Ali, Myers Park, Sr., M; Michael Basnett, Hough, Jr., F; Jake Chasteen, Watauga, Jr., K; Emmett Horton, Myers Park, Sr., D; James Jackson, Hough, Sr., M; Josh Laney, South Meck, Sr., D; Connor Kirby, Providence, Jr., D; Pablo Orozco, Garinger, Sr., D; Axel Rojas, South Meck, Jr, F; Cole Tesar, Hopewell, Jr., F

Monday, November 19, 2012

Friday's Butler-Mallard Creek game to be shown live on TW Cable

Time Warner Cable will broadcast Friday's Butler-Mallard Creek game at Memorial Stadium live. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. in the N.C. 4AA Western Regional championship game.

Time Warner Cable will also show the Eastern regional final between Garner and Fayetteville Britt Friday.

The games will be available on Time Warner Cable's Special Events Channels (520 and 521). They will also be streamed at

The regional championship winners will meet Dec. 1 at 11 a.m. in Chapel Hill for the N.C. 4AA championship. That game will be televised live on Time Warner Cable's News 14.

The other seven state championship games, to be held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, will be streamed live on and some will be shown on the special events channels (520, 521).

South Iredell back into Observer's Sweet 16 football poll

South Iredell is back in the Observer’s Sweet 16 football poll.

South Iredell was No. 16 in preseason but the 2A school lost its second game of the season 30-20 to then unranked Statesville.

Statesville, a 3A school, is No. 6 in the Sweet 16 now and will play host to No. 3 Charlotte Catholic Friday in the N.C. 3AA Western Regional championship game.

After losing to Statesville, South Iredell won seven straight games before losing 31-21 to Newton-Conover. After that, however, South has been on a roll, winning four straight games and scoring at least 45 points in three of them.

Friday, South Iredell plays at Salisbury (11-2) in the N.C. 2AA Western Regional championship game.

The top of the poll didn’t change much. South Point dipped from No. 3 to No. 8 after losing its unbeaten season at home last week to Statesville. Butler and Mallard Creek are No. 1 and No. 2, the way they began the season, and the two national powers meet Friday in the state semifinals at Memorial Stadium.

Rk. School (No. 1 votes) Cl    Rec    Pts    Prv
1. Butler (3)    4A    13-0    48    1
2. Mallard Creek    4A    12-1    45    2
3. Charlotte Catholic    3A    12-1    40    3
T4. Rock Hill Northwestern    4A    11-2    37    5
T4. Rock Hill South Pointe    4A    12-1    37    6
6. Statesville    3A    13-1    35    7
7. Porter Ridge    4A    12-1    31    8
8. South Point    3A    12-1    27    3
T9. East Lincoln    2A    14-0    20    9
T9. Independence    4A    10-3    20    9
11. Crest    3A    10-3    19    11
12. Charlotte Christian    IND     9-3    15    12
13. Concord    3A    12-2    11    16
14. Albemarle    1A    13-1    8    14
15. York, SC.    4A    10-3    6    13
16. South Iredell    2A    12-2    5    NR

Dropped Out: Sun Valley (4A, 9-4). Also receiving votes: Sun Valley (4A, 9-4). For rules on the poll and eligible teams, visit; a three-man panel of Observer sportswriters voted.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Green Hope shuts out Myers Park, wins NC 4A soccer title

RALEIGH -- Green Hope scored the only goals of the game in the final 14 minutes as the Falcons won their second consecutive North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 4-A men's soccer championship, beating Charlotte Myers Park 2-0 at Dail Soccer Field at North Carolina State University on Saturday afternoon.

The contest was a rematch of last year's 4-A state championship, in which Green Hope prevailed 2-1 in overtime.

Green Hope senior goalkeeper Sam Bissette, a 6-4 junior who made six saves and a couple of the spectacular variety, was named the championship Most Valuable Player. He helped keep Myers Park at bay, especially in the first half when the Mustangs seemed to have the edge in play, and then secured two saves on point-blank shots in the second half.

Green Hope captain Joshua Kennedy finally broke the scoreless tie in the 66th minute off an assist from Cole Dixon to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead. Then in the game's final two minutes with Myers Park pressing forward, Zack Compton got loose on a breakaway and put it in near post to secure the victory. Compton had come on as a sub in the second half.

The Falcons had eight shots on goal to seven for Myers Park, and the Falcons had two corner kick opportunities to one for the Mustangs.

The Falcons finished with a record of 24-2 and won their second NCHSAA crown in four trips to the championship match. Myers Park ended the year 20-4, with the Mustangs making their third consecutive appearance in the finals and sixth overall. Myers Park won its only soccer title in 2008.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

West Charlotte's Kennedy Meeks to choose UNC or Georgetown Friday

West Charlotte High All-America center Kennedy Meeks will pick a college Friday night.

Meeks, ranked No. 20 nationally among seniors by ESPN, will choose UNC or Georgetown. He will announce his decision live on ESPNU, his aunt, Brenda Richmond told the Observer.

The Observer profiled Meeks -- and his decision -- on Sunday. Click here to read that article.

Read more here:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Charlotte-area college signees

Here are area college signees reported to the Observer:

Ardrey Kell: Brandon Donahue (Wingate, baseball); Allyson Markiewicz (Wofford, women’s golf); Emily Stinson (App. State, women’s golf); Aleisha Murrell (St. Andrews, women’s cross-country)
Berry: Milan Quinn (Wake Forest, women’s basketball); Jessica Marcus (Georgia Southern, women’s basketball); Cazmon Hayes (Delaware, basketball)
Carson: Sidney Grkman (UNC-G, softball); Kelly Dulkoski (Kennesaw St., women's basketball); Allison Blackwell (Catawba, women's basketball); Courtney Bisbe (NC State, women's gymnastics)
Charlotte Christian: Sydel Curry (Elon, volleyball); Rebecca Harris (Va. Tech, women’s tennis); Matt Simmons (Gardner-Webb, baseball); Patrick Haynes (Wingate, baseball); Bailey Ober (College of Charleston, baseball); Giselle Bailey (Harvard, women’s basketball); Patrick Rooks (Clemson, basketball)
Charlotte Latin: Michael Chadwick (Missouri, men’s swimming); Eve Davis (NC State, women’s volleyball); Ashley Dyke (Texas Christian, swimming); Emma Price (Belmont University, women’s volleyball); Louis Tonon (Mount St. Mary’s, men’s tennis)
Concord: Sarah Bertram (Gardner-Webb, Women's Golf), Brianna Clark (Pfeiffer, Women's Swimming)
Country Day: Mattie Newson (Samford University, Volleyball); Paul Barnhill (Furman University, Baseball); Patrick Brady (United States Naval Academy, Baseball)
Cox Mill: Meredith Furr (Catawba College, Volleyball)
Cuthbertson: Drake Zupcic (App. State, baseball); Andrew Hendel (Western Carolina, baseball); Nick Contafio (Charleston Southern, baseball); Austin Pierce (Limestone, baseball); Kara Salvo (West Carolina, softball); Jessica Weber (Eastern Illinois, softball); Kalli Karas (Wofford, women’s tennis); Margaret Brown (UNC, women’s gymnastics)
Forestview: Will Long (Auburn, golf)
Fred T. Foard: Addison Bolick (Belmont Abbey, softball); Mackenzie Dziendziel (Belmont Abbey, softball); Jake Pierce (East Carolina, men's swimming); Ashlyn Setzer (Lenoir-Rhyne, women's golf); Lexi Shubert (USC-Upstate, softball)
Hickory: Zach Jarrett (Charlotte, baseball)
Hough: Jack Manchester (Harvard, swimming); Peyton White (Ohio, golf); Clay Brown (ECU, golf); Kayla Hall (College of Charleston, softball)
Lake Norman:  Kayla McGuffey (Morehead, softball); Shelby Bailey (Transylvania, softball); Dominique Wilson (NC Central, softball)
Lincoln Charter: Sarah Kenley (Lenoir-Rhyne, softball); David Scoggins (Liberty, baseball)
Mallard Creek: Kirk Morgan (ECU, baseball)
Marvin Ridge: Madison Arroyo (Mississippi St., softball); Peyton Jordan (UNC-Wilmington, softball)
Metrolina Christian: Tyrell Nelson (Gardner-Webb, basketball)
Mount Pleasant: Nick Coble (Liberty, baseball)
Northwest Cabarrus: Tanner Bigham (North Carolina, Baseball); Jordan Goodman (Catawba College, Baseball); Grayson Miller (Belmont Abbey,  Baseball)
Olympic: Emily Lopez (UNC-Greeensboro, softball); B.J. Gladden (Akron, basketball);
Piedmont: Parker VonEgidy (Missouri, wrestling); Colby Barnette (UNC, baseball); John Elwood (Pfeiffer, baseball); Micaela Hayes (Queen’s, softball)
Providence Day: Davis Bateman (UNC, golf); Ja’da Brayboy (UNC-Asheville, women’s basketball); Andrew Burnick (Penn, baseball); Christian Cichan (Purdue, golf); Samantha Light (ECU, women’s tennis); Steve Onak (Sienna, lacrosse)
South Rowan:  Eric Tyler (East Carolina University, baseball)
United Faith: Alec Wintering (Portland, basketball); Courtney Leighton (N.C. State, women’s gymnastics)
Weddington: Alex Bostic (Clemson, Baseball); Jeremy Schellhorn (UNC Charlotte, Baseball)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sun Valley, Concord join Observer's Sweet 16 football poll

Sun Valley and Concord are back in the Observer’s Sweet high school football poll this week.

The N.C. public schools are down to the quarterfinal round and Sun Valley’s Spartans and Concord’s Spiders both qualified with resounding playoff wins Friday.

Sun Valley went to Hudson and got five rushing touchdowns from sophomore running back Albert Funderburk to beat previously unbeaten South Caldwell 56-35 in the 4A playoffs. Concord QB B.J. Beecher went over 10,000 career yards passing in a 55-30 win over West Rowan in the 3A playoffs.
West Rowan had knocked Concord out of the playoffs the previous two years.

The top of the poll remained unchanged. Butler and Mallard Creek are No. 1 and No. 2, and if both teams can win Friday -- Butler at Memorial Stadium against unbeaten East Forsyth and Mallard Creek at home against fast-rising Olympic -- the two N.C. powers would play in the state semifinals in two weeks.

Butler is up one spot to No. 7 in MaxPreps national poll. The Bulldogs are No. 6 in ESPN’s poll and they are up to No. 5 in USA Today's national poll.

The Sweet 16
Rk. School (No. 1 votes) Cl    Rec    Pts    Prv

1. Butler (3)    4A    12-0    48    1
2. Mallard Creek    4A    11-1    45    2
3. South Point    3A    12-0    40    3
4. Charlotte Catholic    3A    11-1    38    3
5. Rock Hill Northwestern    4A    10-2    35    5
6. Rock Hill South Pointe    4A    11-1    34    6
7. Statesville    3A    12-1    31    7
8. Porter Ridge    4A    11-1    29    8
9. East Lincoln    2A    13-0    20    12
10. Independence    4A    10-3    18    10
11. Crest    3A    10-3    17    9
12. Charlotte Christian    IND     9-3    16    15
13. York S.C.    4A    10-2    15    14
14. Albemarle    1A    12-1    10    16
15. Sun Valley    4A    9-3    6    NR
16. Concord    3A    11-2    5    NR

Dropped Out: Hickory Ridge (3A, 11-2), South Caldwell (4A, 12-1). Also receiving votes: South Caldwell (4A, 12-1); A.L. Brown (3A, 10-3). For rules on the poll and eligible teams, visit; a three-man panel of Observer sportswriters voted.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Concussions not limited to football, experts warn

Concussions are commonly associated with big bodies, big hits and football.

But that sort of thinking puts children in jeopardy, said Dr. Robert Cantu, one of the world’s leading experts on traumatic brain injuries, because concussions also occur in soccer, baseball, softball and even cheerleading. And it doesn’t take a big hit to the head to cause a concussion, he said.

“No head trauma is a good head trauma,” Cantu said in a recent interview from Boston. “If I could pick one thing that I wish everyone understood, it would be that no head trauma is a good head trauma.”

More than 4 million sports- and recreation-related concussions are identified each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but Cantu said many times that number go undiagnosed.

Football and ice hockey have the highest risk of concussion among young players. A recent study indicated that there are approximately 67,000 diagnosed concussions among high school football players each year, but Cantu, whose new book “Concussions and Our Kids” stresses that common sense solutions can make sports safer for young athletes, wants parents and coaches to understand that concussions occur regularly in many sports.

According to Cantu:

• The person at the top of a cheerleader pyramid is 10 times more likely to suffer a concussion or a catastrophic injury than a football player. “I can’t imagine many things as risky as throwing someone 20 feet in the air with only a few sets of arms between her and a hardwood floor,” Cantu writes.

The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at the University of North Carolina noted that there were two high school cheerleading catastrophic injuries during the 2009-2010 school year and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons estimated there were 10,000 concussions in 2011 among cheerleaders, gymnasts and dancers.

• Head-first slides and helmets without straps should be banned in baseball.

• More high school soccer players had concussions in 2010 than basketball, baseball, wrestling and softball players combined, according to the Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) in Columbus, Ohio. Female high school soccer players suffered 25,953 concussions in 2010 and males had 20,247. For comparison, male basketball players had 11,013 concussions.

Chin straps for batting helmets?

A concussion is a disruption of the normal chemical activity in the brain and is caused by the brain being jarred. Concussions can cause sensitivity to light or sound, headaches, loss of memory, dizziness, balance problems, confusion, drowsiness, nausea, difficulty in concentration and other problems. Concussion symptoms disappear within seven to 10 days in approximately 80 percent of cases, but symptoms may remain for weeks, months and, occasionally, for years.

Cantu said 90 percent of the soccer-related concussions that he treats are related to heading accidents and he believes eliminating heading in soccer until players are 14 years old would move soccer from among the most dangerous sports for concussions to among the safest.
Cantu said he is not so concerned about the ball hitting the players’ heads (only 7 percent of female soccer injuries come from head-to-ball contact, according to the CIRP), but he is very concerned with elbows, shoulders, knees, heads and other body parts smashing into players’ heads as they attempt to head the ball.
In baseball and softball, sliding head-first is inherently dangerous and should be eliminated on the youth level, said Cantu, who is chief of neurosurgery and chairman of the Department of Surgery at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass. The chance of the ball and the head arriving at the same moment or the head crashing into another player are too great to allow the use of head-first slides, he said.

The danger is heightened by the use of helmets that can easily fall off during play. Why don’t baseball batting helmets have a chin strap?

“Probably because helmets have always been made without a strap,” he said. “If helmets were made by someone who had operated on a hematoma in a child’s brain, the helmets would have straps.”
Cantu also said all field hockey and lacrosse players should wear helmets.

“Does anyone really believe the girls are safer because they don’t have a helmet on?” Cantu said.
Despite arguments by some in the sports that there would be more blows to the head if field hockey players and female lacrosse players wore helmets, Cantu believes that if you hand athletes sticks and encourage them to swing them, there has to be protection for the head. “But helmets eventually will be mandatory in these two sports,” he said. “There are too many facial injuries, fractured skulls and concussions that could have been prevented. The change will be made soon, so why not make it now?”

Long-term impact

Cantu doesn’t want children to stop playing sports but he wants them to play as safely as possible.
Children are much more susceptible to concussions than adults. Their heads are proportionately larger and their brains still are developing. Cantu is emphatic that children younger than 14 should not play collision sports. He believes ice hockey should ban contact in leagues for children until age 14 and that children shouldn’t play tackle football until they are 14.

“By age fourteen, our necks are strong and our overall strength is sufficient to keep the head steady when slammed at the line of scrimmage,” he writes. “Brains have matured too.”

Other experts, including the University of North Carolina’s Kevin Guskiewicz, believe it may be safer to begin athletes in football at an earlier age when they are playing against players their own size and age. Proper techniques can be developed more safely under these circumstances, he said.

Guskiewicz notes the huge difference in size and strength among high school players can pose increased risks of head injury if athletes do not learn proper techniques earlier in their athletic careers.
In his book, Cantu tells stories of parents who protested his prescribed period of limited physical activity to give the brain time to heal, because the recovery period would take the child out of the lineup.

Cantu stressed that proper care is needed and that all concussions should be taken seriously. A parent who urges a young athlete to ignore headaches and other concussion symptoms is putting their child at risk.

“It is important for children to be involved in sports,” Cantu said. “I enjoy sports very much. But we need to keep the proper perspective. The child’s status on the team isn’t as important as their health. Sports are great. They can teach great values. But parents have to think about the health of their child.”

-- Tim Stevens, Raleigh News & Observer
-- Tim Stevens, Raleigh News and Observer
Read more here:

Read more here:

Updated high school football pairings

Saturday’s Fourth Round Pairings

Fourth round results

4A West: South Meck at Myers Park; Skyland Roberson at Watauga

Tuesday’s regional final: South Meck/Myers Park vs. Roberson/Watauga

3A West: Catholic at Weddington, 7; Enka at Hickory

Tuesday’s regional final: Catholic/Weddington vs. Enka/Hickory

2A West: Newton-Conover at S. Iredell; Trinity at Cuthbertson

Tuesday’s regional final: Newton/S. Iredell vs. Trinity/Cuthbertson

1A West: Lake Norman Charter at East Montgomery; Hendersonville at Elkin

Tuesday’s regional final: LN Charter/East vs. Hendersonville/Elkin

Quarterfinal pairings

4AA West: E. Forsyth vs Butler, Memorial Stadium; Olympic at Mallard Creek

4A West: Mt Tabor at N. Davidson; Sun Valley at Porter Ridge

3AA West: A.L. Brown at Charlotte Catholic; Statesville at South Point

3A West: E. Rowan at Concord; Freedom at Burns

2AA West: Salisbury at High Point Andrews; Bandys at S. Iredell

2A West: Thomasville at E. Lincoln; Shelby at Madison

1AA West: Monroe at Mt Airy; Hendersonville at Swain

1A West: E. Columbus at Albemarle; Rosman at Murphy

NCISAA Division II final: Davidson Day at Arden Christ School

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Victory Christian to play for its first state championship Friday

Victory Christian has long been a high school basketball power, winning multiple girls and boys basketball state championships.

Friday, the Kings will try to win their first state football title.

The Kings (8-3) will play SouthLake Christian at the Victory Christian stadium in west Charlotte Friday at 7:30 p.m. Victory, in its eighth season, was the top seed in the Division III state playoffs.

Victory beat Trinity Christian 21-12 in the semifinals.

 “The children have grown in all facets of the game, both physically during the offseason in strength training and mentally, in terms of their understanding of how to execute game strategies," said Kings coach Dee Brown. "The team’s camaraderie and accountability for each other is light years from where they were last year.”

Brown's team only has 25 players, but said the team's strong fan base helps the Kings feel like they have more players than that.

 “We only have 25 players," he said, "but it’s 25 of the right childrens. “The fan presence feeds the children’s adrenalin. When fans sacrifice a night to support the children, they play even harder.”

Monday, November 5, 2012

W. Charlotte basketball star Kennedy Meeks will play at UNC or Georgetown

West Charlotte All-American center Kennedy Meeks told the Observer Monday night that he will play college basketball at Georgetown or North Carolina.

ESPN national recruiting analyst Dave Telep ranks Meeks the nation's No. 19 overall recruit and the No. 1 center. Meeks is 6-foot-9 and 285 pounds.

Meeks has led West Charlotte to three straight N.C. 4A Western Regional championship games and two straight N.C. 4A state finals. West Charlotte won the 2011 state title with Meeks as MVP.

Meeks said he was thinking about making a final decision this month but said he may not be ready by then.

He did say, however, that his college basketball future will be with the Tar Heels or Hoyas.

"I just felt like I had the best opportunity with those two," Meeks said of UNC and Georgetown. "If I was to stay two years and leave (for the NBA), I know I could come back and still get my education. Basketball-wise, both schools have good coaches and great teams."

West Meck QB Jalan McClendon cleared to play at Olympic

West Mecklenburg High quarterback Jalan McClendon has been cleared by the N.C. High School Athletic Association to play in Friday’s N.C. 4AA second round playoff game at Olympic.

Officials removed McClendon from Friday’s 45-10 upset at Hough after he scored a touchdown and imitated Carolina Panther QB Cam Newton’s “Superman” touchdown celebration.

NCHSAA supervisor of officials Mark Dreibelbis told the Observer Monday that officials did not eject McClendon for taunting, which would’ve triggered a two-game suspension. Drebelbis said McClendon was disqualified for an unsportsmanlike act, which just meant he had to sit out the remainder of the game.

Butler All-American receiver Uriah LeMay was ejected from the Bulldogs’ 33-14 win over Independence Oct. 26 for taunting. LeMay sat out the Bulldogs 49-0 win over West Forsyth Friday, and he’ll serve the second of his two-game suspension when Butler plays Independence at Memorial Stadium in a second round playoff this week.
West Meck coach Jeff Caldwell said he was elated to be able to use his quarterback this week.

“It’s a good learning experience for him,” Caldwell said. “With him being in the position he’s in, he should know better. He’s a young kid. My kids have never been in a situation like this before. I’m just happy for Jalan and that it came it out alright. I’m glad he wasn’t severely punished for something where he was just having fun. He’s not the taunting type. At Tennessee (team camp) this summer, they were always asking ‘Why don’t you get excited?’”

McClendon, a 6-foot-4, 194-pound junior has scholarship offers from North Carolina, Duke and Wake Forest, Caldwell said. South Carolina has invited McClendon and Hawks’ tailback Shaun Wilson to campus for unofficial visits. Tennessee is also recruiting McClendon, who has thrown for 1,235 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He’s led West Meck to a 9-3 record, its best since 1988. Friday was West Meck’s first playoff win since 1989.

South Iredell's Kaitlyn Kent named Wendy's N.C. Heisman Winner

From staff reports:

CHARLOTTE, NC (November 5, 2012) – Two of North Carolina’s most outstanding high school seniors were honored with distinguished recognition as State Winners of the 2012 Wendy’s High School Heisman Award. Kaitlyn Kent of South Iredell High School in Statesville and John Tworney-Kozak of Orange High School in Hillsborough will now go on to compete for the national award that celebrates their hard work, dedication and exceptional records in athletics, academics and community leadership.

“Colleges want well-rounded students and with admissions growing more selective, a national award like the Wendy’s High School Heisman can really help students stand out,” said Archie Griffin, two-time collegiate Heisman Trophy winner. “Kaitlyn and John are inspirations to others in their school and community, and we’re honored to welcome them into the Heisman family.”

Awarded in conjunction with the collegiate Heisman, the Wendy’s High School Heisman, now in its 19th year, has set the standard for high school student-athletes and gained tremendous prestige among universities and colleges nationwide.

Kent and Tworney-Kozak were chosen from 45,000 applicants, surviving rounds that narrowed contenders to one male and one female winner from each school, and then to North Carolina’s respected group of 20 State Finalists.

Student Name
Student High School
Kaitlyn Kent
South Iredell High School
Statesville, NC
Gisele Bailey
Charlotte Christian School
Charlotte, NC
Rachel Moore
Andrews High School
Andrews, NC
Jordan Brown
Randleman High School
Randleman, NC
Chandler Borton
R.J. Reynolds High School
Winston Salem, NC
Cassidy Brown
Providence Grove High School
Climax, NC
Keri Fulp
East Surry High School
Pilot Mountain, NC
Brenna Grass
Swansboro High School
Swansboro, NC
Kalen Perry
Croatan High School
Newport, NC
Rachael Johnson
Clyde A Erwin High School
Asheville, NC
Joseph Nelli
Ashbrook High School
Gastonia, NC
Logan Jackson
Marvin Ridge High School
Waxhaw, NC
Keegan Pardon
Hickory Christian High School
Hickory, NC
Jason Ozment
Wheatmore High School
Trinity, NC
Matthew Madigan
Mount Tabor High School
Winston Salem, NC
Blake Covington
Reidsville High School
Reidsville, NC
Grant Rivers
Hendersonville High School
Hendersonville, NC
John Cook
North Raleigh Christian Academy
Raleigh, NC
John Tworney-Kozak
Orange High School
Hillsborough, NC
Chase Arrington
Lee County Senior High School
Sanford, NC

Kent and Tworney-Kozak will compete against winners from other regions across the country for a chance to be named one of 12 National Finalists in Wendy’s annual quest to find the nation’s top scholar-athletes. These 12 outstanding students will go on to compete for the National Winner title in New York City on December 7. National Finalists will be featured during a televised ceremony on ESPN networks and will receive gold medals and $2,000 awards for their high schools. One male and one female National Winner will each receive a crystal Wendy’s High School Heisman trophy, a $500 Wendy’s gift card, and a donation from Wendy’s in the amount of $10,000 to their respective high school. Additionally, the winners will be recognized during the collegiate Heisman Trophy broadcast December 8 on ESPN

Saturday, November 3, 2012

State volleyball roundup: Carson falls in 3A finals

            RALEIGH-- Middle blocker Haleigh Nelson was a force as Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons won its fourth consecutive North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-A volleyball championship on Saturday afternoon at Reynolds Coliseum on the N.C. State campus.
            Gibbons swept China Grove Jesse Carson in three straight by 26-24, 25-18 and 25-20.
            Nelson, who will continue her career at the University of Wisconsin, was named the championship match Most Valuable Player. The 6-3 senior recorded 12 kills and the Crusaders also got excellent play from freshman Briley Brind'Amour, who had 15 kills. Junior libero Biance Gartner had 13 digs for the winners.
            Senior middle hitter Amiee Cloninger had 12 kills for Jesse Carson and setter Michaela White was credited with 16 digs.
            Gibbons finished the season 21-3 and improved its mark in NCHSAA volleyball finals to 7-1. Carson, making its first trip ever to the championship and seeking its first state team title in any sport, ended its best year ever at 35-4.

             RALEIGH-- Junior middle hitter Malaya Johnson was named the Most Valuable Player as she helped lead North Surry to a dramatic five-set victory over South Granville for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 2-A volleyball championship at Reynolds Coliseum on the N.C. State campus.
            North Surry seemed to be in command, taking the first two sets 25-19 and  26-24, before South Granville stormed back to even the match with 25-19 and 25-16 victories. But the Greyhounds prevailed in the decisive set, finally winning 19-17.
            Johnson had 12 kills and 12 blocks for the winners while Kristina Rumplasch added 11 kilds. The Greyhound Abby Golding was credited with 21 digs.
            Senior outside hitter Mary Catherine Preddy led South Granville with 18 kills and Logan Bradshaw added 10.
            North Surry finished the year at 33-2 and was in the championship match for the third time. The Greyhounds had beaten Hillsborough Cedar Ridge for the 2009 2-A title and were the state runners-up back in 1988. South Granville, in its first volleyball championship, wound up 22-6.

Reynolds Coliseum, North Carolina State University


North Surry def. South Granville 25-19, 26-24, 19-25, 16-25, 19-17

Cardinal Gibbons def. Jesse Carson 26-24, 25-18,

Friday, November 2, 2012

Providence Day's girls basketball Super Showcase is Saturday

Providence Day will hold its fifth Girls Basketball Super Scrimmage Saturday. There are 24 teams invited, many of which are expected to be state title contenders. Last year’s event drew more than 40 college coaches. Admission is $5.

The schedule:
Site: MAC #1 MAC #2 Ridenhour
8:30 SW Guilford VS Greensboro Day SCAIL VS RJ Reynolds New Hope Christian VS Bishop
9:20 S. Alamance VS Durham Hillside Providence Day VS Forestview Dudley VS East Burke
10:10 Wilkes Central VS Wheatmore Davie County VS Charlotte Latin Southlake Christian VS Freedom
11:00 Jordan VS Scotland Co. Country Day VS Porter Ridge Watauga VS Mt. Tabor
11:50 RJ Reynolds VS Greensboro Day East Burke VS Forestview SW Guilford VS SCAIL
12:40 Providence Day VS Dudley New Hope Christian VS S. Alamance Durham Hillside VS Bishop
1:30 Wilkes Central VS Davie County Charlotte Latin VS Wheatmore Southlake Christian VS Jordan
2:20 Scotland Co. VS Freedom Country Day VS Watauga Mt. Tabor VS Porter Ridge
3:10 Providence Day VS East Burke Forestview VS Dudley SW Guilford VS RJ Reynolds
4:00 Greensboro Day VS SCAIL New Hope Christian VS Durham Hillside Porter Ridge VS Watauga
4:50 Wilkes Central VS Charlotte Latin Bishop VS S. Alamance Wheatmore VS Davie County
5:40 Freedom VS Jordan Country Day VS Mt. Tabor Southlake Christian VS Scotland Co.