Thursday, December 20, 2012

Butler's Peter Kalambayi, Porter Ridge's Matt Wogan make USA Today All-America team

Two Observer-area stars made the USA Today first team All-America squad.

Butler High linebacker Peter Kalambayi, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior who has committed to Stanford, made the first team defense.

Porter Ridge kicker Matt Wogan, a 6-2, 195-pound senior committed to Oregon, made first team offense.

Click here to see the entire team.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Northern Guilford's TJ Logan NC AP player of the year

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Northern Guilford running back T.J. Logan is The Associated Press prep football player of the year for North Carolina for the 2012 season. 
Logan ran for 3,146 yards and 47 touchdowns to lead the Nighthawks to a third straight state championship. That included a record-setting performance in the Class 3-AA final, where he ran for 510 yards and eight touchdowns against Charlotte Catholic. 
Logan earned 12 of a possible 17 votes from sports writers across the state in results released Wednesday. Charlotte Catholic running back Elijah Hood was second with two votes after rushing for 3,309 yards and 48 touchdowns. 
Logan has committed to play for North Carolina.

Winners of The Associated Press prep football player of the year award for North Carolina: 
2012–T.J. Logan, RB, Northern Guilford 
2011–Todd Gurley II, RB, Tarboro 
2010–Vad Lee, QB, Durham Hillside 
2009–K.P. Parks, RB, West Rowan 
2008–Xavier Nixon, OT, Fayetteville Britt 
2007–Darius Thomas, QB, West Charlotte 
2006–Quan Warley, RB, Thomasville 
2005–Quan Warley, RB, Thomasville 
2004–Joe Cox, QB, Charlotte Independence 
2003–Andre Brown, RB, Greenville Rose 
2002–Chris Leak, QB, Charlotte Independence 
2001–T.A. McLendon, RB, Albemarle 
2000–Chris Leak, QB, Charlotte Independence 
1999–Manny Deshauteurs, RB, Brevard 
1998–Nick Maddox, RB, Kannapolis Brown 
1997–Nick Maddox, RB, Kannapolis Brown 
1996–Montrell Coley, RB, Goldsboro 
1995–Marcus Reaves, RB, Fayetteville Byrd 
1994–Terence Stokes, RB, Bunn 
1993–Ernest Tinnin, QB, Burlington Cummings 
1992–(tie) Antoine Ikard, RB, Maiden; Maurice Mebane, WR, Burlington Cummings 
1991–Milton Shaw, RB, North Edgecombe 
1990–Donnie Davis, QB, Burlington Cummings 
1989–Mike Thomas, QB-P, Richmond County 
1988–Chuckie Burnette, QB, Burlington Cummings 
1987–Anthony Barbour, RB, Garner 
1986–Robert Siler, RB, Siler City Jordan-Matthews 
1985–Alvin Baker, RB, Claremont Bunker Hill 
1984–Todd Ellis, QB, Greensboro Page 
1983–Darryl McGill, RB, Southern Durham 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Butler-Richmond Senior sign two-year deal to play football

N.C. state powers Butler and Richmond Senior have reached an agreement on a two-year contract for the teams to meet in regular-season games.

The teams will play next season on the fifth playing date in Rockingham, Butler athletics director Courtney Paschal told the Observer.

The teams will play in Charlotte in 2014.

Butler and Richmond Senior have combined to win four of the past five N.C. 4AA championships. Richmond won in 2008. Butler won in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Davidson Day QB Will Grier to announce college decision Wednesday

Davidson Day junior quarterback Will Grier, who was named to the N.C. Associated Press all-state team Monday, will make his college decision on Wednesday, his father, Chad said.

Grier recently announced his five finalists, saying Florida was the leader followed by, in the order he listed  UNC, Tennessee, N.C. State and Oregon.

Grier, the Gatorade N.C. player of the year, threw for 5,609 yards, a record for a N.C. quarterback. He also threw for a record 68 touchdown passes. Nationally, only three QBs have thrown for more yards in one year, and only three have thrown for more touchdowns. Grier’s records might not be entered into the national or N.C. High School Athletic Association state record books because he plays for a private school.

Olympic's bad luck could open door for CMS to let publics (finally) play privates

Thinking out loud after learning about Olympic High's tough spot.

Turns out the Trojans were supposed to play in a Christmas tournament in Florida that suddenly got postponed when a sponsor pulled out.

Trojans coach Ty Baumgardner had charged his players' tickets to his personal credit card, thinking he would be reimbursed by tournament organizers. No one is returning his calls from the event and US Airways, so far, is only willing to let Baumgardner change the itinerary for each ticket, for an additional $150 charge per ticket.

I'm hoping US Airways will be lenient in this matter and give him a full refund. It would be a terrible thing to get an $8,100 bill this close to Christmas. If there's ever been extenuating circumstances, folks, this is it.

Also Olympic is out three games.

It's going to be hard, even Baumgardner admits, to find three public schools who have openings on the schedule this late. Private schools around here could accommodate him, only CMS has standing rules to not play private schools.

In this case, I think CMS should grant Baumgardner a waiver to play privates to help fill out his schedule.

I'd love to see Northside Christian vs. Olympic and United Faith vs. Olympic and even Providence Day vs. Olympic. Each could be big money making Saturday game for all involved and provide some big marquee events -- and marquee tests -- for the players.

Beyond that, I really think it's time for CMS to punt on this rule about not playing privates except in tournaments.

If Providence wants to play Providence Day and the schools can make the schedules work, the schools should be allowed to do it. CMS should put policies in place so its schools don't abandon rivalries with CMS schools to play privates, but it should allow cross-scheduling. This hasn't happened since the early '80s.

Right now would be a great time to start.

Observer-area players featured on N.C. Associated Press All-State Football Team

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Matthews Butler followed its latest state championship with another four-player showing on The Associated Press all-state prep football team for North Carolina for 2012 announced Monday

Receiver Uriah LeMay, linebackers Peter Kalambayi and Sean Wiggins, and defensive back Channing Stribling represented the Class 4-AA champions on the 28-player squad. It marked the second time in four seasons that Butler had four players on the AP team.

The Butler quartet helped the Bulldogs go 15-0 and win a third North Carolina High School Athletic Association championship in four seasons. Butler closed the year with a 56-28 win against Fayetteville Britt in the 4-AA final.

Kalambayi was one of two players to make the AP team for the second straight season, joining Charlotte Vance linebacker Larenz Bryant.

Three other schools had a pair of all-state picks. Davidson Day had quarterback Will Grier and offensive lineman Schuyler Coleman. Charlotte Mallard Creek had receiver Marquez North and tight end Jaylen Samuels. Richmond County had offensive lineman Tyrone Crowder and defensive lineman Devant'e Covington.

Raleigh Wakefield receiver Jordan Fieulleteau, a North Carolina recruit, received 16 of a possible 17 votes from sports writers across the state to lead the team. Northern Guilford running back T.J. Logan, another UNC recruit who led his team to a third straight state title, and Tarboro defensive lineman and Ohio State recruit Tyquan Lewis each had 15 votes.

Charlotte Catholic running back Elijah Hood joined Grier and Logan in the backfield. Also on the offensive line with Crowder and Coleman were Albemarle's Roger Prince Jr., Davie County's Trip McNeil and East Forsyth's Brandon Smith.

On defense, Wilson Hunt's Lewis Neal and Hope Mills South View's Greg Gilmore joined Lewis and Covington on the line.

Belmont South Point's Daishon Davis was the fourth linebacker chosen for the team. Davis and Wiggins each tied with five votes for the last spot at the position.

In the secondary, Durham Hillside's Korrin Wiggins, Charlotte Independence's Jack Tocho and Monroe's Jermany Hammonds joined Butler's Stribling.

On special teams, North Davidson's Spencer Landfried made the team at kicker while Indian Trail Porter Ridge's Matt Wogan was voted in at punter.

Swansboro's DeAndre Thompkins was selected as kick returner, while Swain County's Matthew Maennle rounded out the team at athlete

The voting breakdown for the 2012 Associated Press all-state prep football team for North Carolina, as cast by a 17 statewide media members in voting results released Monday. Number of votes are in parentheses.
QB–Will Grier, Davidson Day (6)
RB–T.J. Logan, Northern Guilford (15)
RB–Elijah Hood, Charlotte Catholic (10)
WR–Jordan Fieulleteau, Raleigh Wakefield (16)
WR–Uriah LeMay, Matthews Butler (11)
WR–Marquez North, Charlotte Mallard Creek (9)
TE–Jaylen Samuels, Charlotte Mallard Creek (9)
OL–Tyrone Crowder, Richmond County (13)
OL–Roger Prince Jr., Albemarle (13)
OL–Schuyler Coleman, Davidson Day (9)
OL–Trip McNeil, Davie County (7)
OL–Brandon Smith, East Forsyth (6)
DL–Tyquan Lewis, Tarboro (15)
DL–Lewis Neal, Wilson Hunt (11)
DL–Greg Gilmore, Hope Mills South View (8)
DL–Devant'e Covington, Richmond County (6)
LB–Peter Kalambayi, Matthews Butler (13)
LB–Larenz Bryant, Charlotte Vance (9)
LB–Daishon Davis, Belmont South Point (5)
LB–Sean Wiggins, Matthews Butler (5)
DB–Channing Stribling, Matthews Butler (10)
DB–Korrin Wiggins, Durham Hillside (9)
DB–Jack Tocho, Charlotte Independence (8)
DB–Jermany Hammonds, Monroe (7)
PK–Spencer Landfried, North Davidson (8)
P–Matt Wogan, Indian Trail Porter Ridge (14)
KR–DeAndre Thompkins, Swansboro (6)
ATH–Matthew Maennle, Swain County (6)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Friday's top high school basketball performers

Friday’s Top Performers
Gabe Devoe, Shelby: 6-4 junior guard had 19 points, 14 rebounds in a win over Aquinas (GA). Shelby is 7-1. Aquinas is 3-3.
Riley Ferguson, Butler: Isn’t this guy a football All-America QB heading to Tennessee? Doesn’t look too bad in the basketball jersey, either. Ferguson had 22 points, 10 rebounds, five steals, five assists in 85-59 win over Robinson. RaeQuan Scott had 20 points, seven assists, three rebounds, three steals.
Giovanni Mack, Providence: 31 points, five assists in a 59-44 loss to South Meck. Malcom Matthews had 22 points for the Sabres.
Kennedy Meeks, West Charlotte: 18 points, 14 rebounds for the North Carolina-bound All-American in a 75-34 win over Hopewell. Gabon Williams had 15 for West Charlotte.
Shelton Mitchell, Cuthbertson: 31 points, eight assists, six rebounds in 87-64 win over Union County rival Weddington. Isiah Cureton added 21 points.
Mark Pollack, Charlotte Catholic: 28 points, six rebounds in an 86-76 win over Garinger. Robbie Anderson added 19 for the Cougars. Garinger’s Keith Davis had 29.
Jatarie White, Providence Day: 22 points, eight rebounds, two steals in a 44-38 win over Cary Academy in battle of N.C. private school powers.
By The Numbers
29-1: Score by which Charlotte Christian’s girls outscored Forsyth Country Day in the first quarter of a 64-22 win.
25: Combined rebounds for Mallard Creek girls’ Chantel Williams (14 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, three assists) and Briyanna Nichols (13 points, 14 rebounds, three steals) in 67-32 win over Mooresville.
5: East Meck’s Jerrin Morrison had his fifth double-double of the season (11 points, 11 rebounds) in a 72-65 win over Marvin Ridge. Taylor Neal had 25 for Marvin Ridge.
11: Steven Burrough of Harding had 11 blocks plus 14 points and 12 rebounds in a 74-58 win over West Mecklenburg.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Charlotte Latin's Eve Davis named Gatorade NC volleyball player of the year

From staff reports

CHICAGO (December 12, 2012) — In its 28th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with USA TODAY High School Sports, today announced Eve Davis of Charlotte Latin School as its 2012-13 Gatorade North Carolina Volleyball Player of the Year. Davis is the first Gatorade North Carolina Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Charlotte Latin School.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Davis as North Carolina’s best high school volleyball player. Davis joins an elite alumni association of past state award-winners in 12 sports, including USA Volleyball players Kim Glass (2001-02, Horseshoe HS, Penn.), Kim Willoughby (1998-99, 1999-00, Assumption HS, La.) and Ogonna Nnamani (1999-00, University HS, Ill).

The 6-foot-2 senior outside hitter led the Hawks to a 38-1 record and the Class 3A state title this past season. Davis recorded 654 kills, 379 digs, 76 service aces and 47 blocks while posting a kill percentage of .499. A two-time First Team All-State selection, she is a 2012-13 American Volleyball Coaches Association Under Armour First Team All-American.

Davis has maintained a 3.07 GPA in the classroom. An active member of her church community, she recently completed a service mission trip to Texas. Davis has also volunteered locally on behalf of the Special Olympics, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and as a youth volleyball coach.

“Eve Davis is a complete package,” said Carrie Christian, head coach at Nation Ford High head coach. “She is a strong and consistent passer and a dynamic hitter. She not only swings hard, she also places the ball well and uses various shots which makes her incredibly hard to defend.”
Davis has signed a National Letter of Intent to N.C. State.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Independence hires Joe Evans as new football coach

Independence High has entrusted its stellar program to former offensive coordinator Joe Evans, who will gain his first high school football head coaching experience in one of the state's most high profile locations.

Independence has won seven state championships since the 2000 season, made eight state finals and 10 N.C. Western Regional championship, or state semifinal appearances.

Evans, 32, replaces Bill Geiler, who is retiring. Geiler led the Patriots to a 15-0 season and a state title in 2004.

Either Geiler or Tom Knotts has coached the Patriots since the 2000 season began.

"We had to make sure we found the right person," Independence athletics director Kelly Lewis said, "and we feel like Joe will keep us going in the direction we're headed."

Get more on this breaking story throughout the day at

Monday, December 10, 2012

Former United Faith star VJ King off to hot start at LeBron James' alma mater

Vincent King Jr, better known as VJ, played on coach Muggsy Bogues' United Faith team as a eighth grader last season. He had several double figure games.

Over the summer, King, a 6-6 freshman, played on the USA Basketball U16 national team and later got a scholarship offer from Ohio State.

He's been ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation, though he's now playing at LeBron James' alma mater, St. Vincent/St. Mary's in Akron, Ohio. His family moved back to their native Ohio recently.

Here are highlights from his first game as a ninth grader in high school.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' All-Conference Football Teams

Here are all-conference football teams for CMS conferences, as voted by the coaches. The Observer's all-star teams will appear later this month.

Offensive line: Donte Haskins, Darryl Hollis, Olympic; Joshua McDougald, Berry; Jordan Abernathy, East Gaston; Sterlin Houston, Jalein Redfern, West Meck; Joe Hurney, Collin Porter, Chase Arnold, Catholic; Jamarii Shah, Harding
Running Back: Jarrett Harris, Olympic; Bryant Robbins, East Gaston; Shaun Wilson, West Meck; Elijah Hood, Catholic
Wide Receiver: Darius Means, Olympic; Michael Barbour, East Gaston; Kelvin Brim, Berry; Eddie Carraway, West Meck; Emmanuel Patton, Harding; Bobby Morrison, Garinger
Tight End: Chase Shuford, Olympic; Kemmi Pettway, Garinger
Quarterback: Rod Tinsley, Olympic; Jalan McClendon, West Mecklenburg
Kicker: Mitch Lochbihler, Catholic
Defensive line: Robert Dinkins, Brandon Barnes, Kendrick Maxwell, Olympic; Laron Glenn, West Meck; Lance Moore, East Gaston; Laron Lane, Berry; James Choulas, Catholic; Solomon Tisdale, Harding
Linebackers: Evan Patrick, Olympic; Daquan Pauling, West Meck; Jalen Nash, East Gaston; Kevin Kirchmer, Ryan Manion, Catholic; Damarcus Jordan, Harding; Renardo Jones, Garinger; Darius Dobson, Garinger
Defensive backs: Nate Quinn, Kalik Kiser, Olympic; Van Smith, West Meck; Domonique Williams, West Meck; Bailey Crane, East Gaston; Tafon Mainsah, Catholic; Brittain King, Harding, Nishim Summers, Garinger
Defensive Specialist: Aaron Linton, Harding
Punter: DeMarcus Winston, Harding
Offensive player of the year: Elijah Hood, Catholic
Defensive player of the year: Renardo Jones, Garinger
Coach of the year: Jeff Caldwell, West Mecklenburg
Quarterbacks: Josh Stilley, Hough; Jalen Later, Vance; Tijuan Sifford, Hopewell; Josh Ladowski, Lake Norman
Running backs: Jaylen Samuel, Mallard Creek; Drean Long, Hough; Manny Johnson, Mooresville
Wide Receivers: Jorian Jordan, Mallard Creek; Sanders Poff, Hough; Nick Burrow, Hough; Rashaan Brown, Vance; Jermaine Sanders, Hopewell; Tahjai Watt, North Meck; Dre Howell, Mooresville; Trevor White, Mooresville
Offensive line: Tevin Lawshe, Mallard Creek; Keon Brewer, Vance; Zach Howder, Hopewell; Jason Sparrow, Hopewell; Will Davis, Lake Norman; Brendon Latham, Lake Norman; Sheldon Kinard, North Meck; Blake Porter, West Charlotte; Stephen Richards, West Charlotte
Defensive line: Brandon Fowler, Stephen Askhew, Lee Phelps, Mallard Creek; Blake Dueitt, Hough; Brandon Cassarino, Hough; Kirk Donaldson, Vance; Josh Williams, Vance; Josh Williams, Vance; Malcolm Surphlis, Lake Norman
Linebackers: Ilim Olive, Mallard Creek; Zach Boyd, Mallard Creek; Ryan Lemke, Hough; Tristen Spruill, Vance; Nick Dykema, Lake Norman; Ralph Montgomery, Mooresville; Brandon Dixon, West Charlotte
Defensive backs: Brian Walker, Anthony Covington, Mallard Creek; Akeem Barringer, Hough; Corey Bell, Hough; Nolan Corpening, Vance; Michael Zanders, Kailan Chavis, Hopewell; Jesse Seaford, Lake Norman; Karl Roberts, Adrian Byrd, North Meck; Demar Eaves, West Charlotte
Offensive player of the year: Marquez North, Mallard Creek
Defensive player of the year: Larenz Bryant, Vance
Special Teams player of the year: Dominique Heath, Hopewell
Punter of the year: Destry Barnwell, Hough
Kicker of the year: Tim Gawert, Hough
Coach of the year: Bobby Collins, Hough
Offensive line: Ray Brown, Ardrey Kell; Joseph Moody, Butler; Michael McCaughtry, Butler; Chasz Cosby, East Meck; Chris Wade, Independence; Tony Adams, Independence; Jack Knight, Myers Park; Logan McCloy, Providence; Michael Dunlevy, Rocky River; Brandon Floyd, South Meck
Running backs: Lawrence Pittman, East Meck; Isaiah Robinson, Independence; Jaquandon Alexander, Myers Park; Deron Davis, Rocky River
Quarterbacks: Jason Connella, Independence; Ross Jeffries, Myers Park
Wide Receivers: Reggie Woods, Ardrey Kell; Uriah LeMay, Butler; Dequan Barnes, Independence; Austin Proehl, Providence; Brandon Harris, Rocky River; Craig Thompson, South Meck
Tight Ends: Justin Streeter, Butler; Tyler Mayes East Meck
Kicker: David Meyer, Butler
Offensive Specialist: Andre Rice, Rocky River
Defensive Line: TJ Stubbs, Ardrey Kell; Grant Polofsky, Butler; Jalen Cousar, Butler; Drew Barrett, East Meck; Alex Crockett, Myers Park; Daniel Garces, Providence; Jaleel Roberts, Providence; Sam Bramlett, South Meck
Linebackers: Kalen Elkins, Ardrey Kell; Peter Kalambayi, Butler; Ahmek Henry, East Meck; Josh Walker, Independence; Tony Worthy, Independence; Jordan Bradley, Providence; Seth Johnson, Rocky River; Terrence Pearson, South Meck
Defensive backs: Channing Stribling, Butler; David Moore, Butler; Deion Washington, Independence; Adonis Alexander, Independence; Jaquaris Eaves, Myers Park; Josh Barringer, Providence; Sidney Lawson, Rocky River; Lamar Hood, Rocky River
Punter: David Marvin, East Meck
Defensive Specialist: Todjrei Graham, Butler
Co-defensive players of the year: Sean Wiggins, Butler; Jack Tocho, Independence
Offensive player of the year: Josh Glisson, Butler

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Touch of class by Porter Ridge High football team

After losing Friday’s N.C. 4A state championship in the final seconds, on a two-yard run from New Bern’s Jac Watkins, Porter Ridge’s players were understandably upset.

But after losing in the state finals for the second straight, by a score of 39-38, the Pirates applauded as a team when New Bern got its championship awards.

Afterwards, three different University of North Carolina workers reported to the N.C. High School Athletic Association that the Porter Ridge locker room was left in immaculate condition after the game.

The Pirates, while hurt and upset about the loss, picked up all their trash, thrown things away and even remembered to put the locker room stools back in their place.

It left quite an impression on the UNC facility staff.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Charlotte Catholic's Elijah Hood offered by Notre Dame

Two days after a disappointing N.C. 3AA championship loss to Northern Guilford, Charlotte Catholic -- and its star junior running back Elijah Hood -- got a bit of good news.

National No. 1 ranked Notre Dame offered a scholarship to Hood, a 6-foot-1 junior. Hood became the first Mecklenburg County running back to rush for more than 3,000 yards in one season. He set another county record with 48 touchdowns rushing.

Hood has also has scholarship offers from Clemson, East Carolina, Georgia Tech, Michigan, North Carolina, N.C. State, Stanford and Wake Forest.

He is being recruited both as a running back and a linebacker. 

“He’s got a motor that’s hard to believe,” Catholic coach Jim Oddo said last month. “I’d love to see him play running back in college. He’s a good linebacker now, but he’s gotten so much experience as a running back. He’s big and strong and fast. He’ll hit you, but he’s got a better feel as a back.”

Read more here:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Final results from Observer high school football predictions

Pick 7: The final results
All season, Observer staff writers and two guests have picked high school football games on Friday mornings. Here are the final results
Russ Owens, WCNC-36: 74-40
No Limit Larry, WPEG-FM: 72-42
Corey Inscoe, Observer/S. Charlotte News: 79-35
Sergio Tovar, Observer/Lake Norman News: 79-35
Langston Wertz Jr., Observer: 83-31