Thursday, July 31, 2008

Former Beddingfield head coach lands in Benson

Bennett Jones has been named the new head football coach at West Johnston High School.

Jones, who was Beddingfield's head coach in 2000 and 2001, will replace outgoing Wildcats head coach Kwame Dixon, Clay Best of the Smithfield Herald reported this week.

Jones had been an assistant on the staff of veteran Clayton football coach Gary Fowler since leaving Beddingfield. He also served as the Comets boys track head coach, where he coached N.C. High School Athletic Association state champion hurdler Johnny Dutch.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

North Texas struts its stuff at US Youth Soccer nationals

The powerful North Texas Soccer Association showed its stuff at the recently concluded US Youth Soccer National Championships in Little Rock, Ark.

Seven clubs from the NTSA, all of which played in Wilson during the Region III championships in June, won national titles. That's more than 50 percent of all the national championships from one state association. Four of those North Texas club were from the Dallas Texans club, including the girls U15, U16 and U17 champs. That must be one heckuva a club and one incredible association.

Here are the Region III teams that claimed national crowns:

Dallas Texans Red U16 Boys
Andromeda 91 U17 Boys
Andromeda 90 U18 Boys
Solar 89 U19 Boys
Dallas Texans Red U15 Girls
Dallas Texans Red U16 Girls
Dallas Texans Red U17 Girls

Wooten new Cougars head coach

Tom Wooten will be the new boys basketball head coach at SouthWest Edgecombe, as confirmed today by SWE athletic director Sandra Langley.

Wooten, a 1980 graduate of SouthWest served as the assistant coach for his predecessor Dudley Etheridge, who stepped down at the end of last season.

Look for more on Wooten's hiring later this week in the Wilson Daily Times.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Smoke 'em while you can

As of Friday, all North Carolina public school campuses will have a no-tobacco policy in effect, reported The Charlotte Observer on Monday.

That means no cigarettes, no cigars, no pipes, no chaw, no dip in school and at school functions, including athletic events.

That's going to be a tough one for some folks around here. After all, Wilson was the World's Greatest Tobacco Market and while tobacco use has declined, it's still prevalent.

I guess it's a good thing. I'm not for a government ban on smoking but if a business wants to do it, that's fine. Because schools are run by the government, I guess it's up to it to decide.

While I don't see what the problem is putting smokers in an area like everywhere else, I've been to softball games in which people lean on the fence, puffing away and clouds of smoke float across the infield. That's not cool and I guess it's now a thing of the past.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Brittany for the Boys IV pairings announced

It's hard to believe but The Brittany Willis Memorial Scholarship Soccer Showcase for boys teams, ie, The Brittany for the Boys IV, is less than a month away.

The action begins Friday, Aug. 22, at J. Burt Gillette Athletic Complex with 17 games. There will be another 18 on Saturday with, if my math is correct, 60 teams competing. That would be a record number for the Brittany, if I'm not mistaken.

Interestingly, the Wilson teams involved (Beddingfield, Fike, Hunt, Greenfield, Community Christian and Wilson Christian) are only playing one game.

The schedule for the area teams is as follows:

FRIDAY: Charles B. Aycock vs. St. Stephens, 4 p.m., Field No. 1; Community Christian vs. Wayne Christian, 4 p.m., No. 4; Wilson Christian vs. Wayne Country Day, 6 p.m., No. 4; Greenfield vs. Southwest Onslow, 8 p.m., No. 4

SATURDAY: North Johnston vs. Southern Nash, 9:30 a.m., No. 1; Beddingfield vs. Franklinton, 9:30 a.m., No. 4; Fike vs. Asheville T.C. Roberson, 11:45 a.m., No. 4; Hunt vs. Raleigh Wakefield, 2 p.m., No. 4

The complete schedule can be found at thebrittany.org.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ready for some football?

There's a high school football game in Greensboro tonight (although it started some 90 minutes late) so why not start talking about football?

The North Carolina Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game traditionally has signaled the end of summer, as we sports journalists know it, and the beginning of preparations for another season of high school football. Practice begins in two weeks on Friday, Aug. 1, and from there it's only three weeks to the start of the regular season.

The earliest poll that I've seen is NCPreps.com's 3-A Baker's Dozen with the 2-A and 1-A lists presumably to follow in the next day or two. If you haven't clicked on the link, I can tell that SouthWest Edgecombe is the only team in The Wilson Daily Times readership area to make the list of 13 notable 3-A squads.

The Cougars should have nearly two dozen lettermen back, including senior quarterback Greg Horne, probably the finest in the area. Most importantly, any team coached by Raymond Cobb is going to be tough to beat. Look for SWE to challenge Rocky Mount for NEW 6 Conference supremacy for the third straight year.

Fike will have some talented players back, notably FB-LB Titus Best and RB-DB Rashad Parker, but the Golden Demons aren't at Rocky Mount's level. Even with losing several talented players, the Gryphons sit atop the 3-A Baker's Dozen.

As usual, Southern Nash lost a lot of key seniors from last year's team. Experience will easily be the Firebirds' biggest weakness.

In the 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference, Hunt lost some key performers but has many more coming back, especially on the defensive side. If young QB Tyrell Vinson is the real deal, the Warriors should rule the ECC.

Of course, the Warriors' co-champ from a year ago, Beddingfield, is just as lethal in terms of talent like Jumal Rolle, Lance Price and Jermal Artis. But the Bruins have struggled in not beating themselves. Either way, I'm guessing Hunt and Beddingfield are easily the top two teams in the ECC.

Charles B. Aycock lost some key seniors and will have to find another quarterback this year and replace most of its defensive line.

Greene Central will have to adjust to a new coach in Kenneth Grantham and a new offense but the talent is still there in Snow Hill to contend for 2-A Eastern Plains Conference honors this fall.

Finally, in Kenly head coach Tom Nelson has a pair of big-time players in North Johnston's E.J. Knight and Jacob Lewis. At the 1-A level, a dynamic duo like that can make a difference for a team. Ayden-Grifton's always tough but the Panthers' final season in the 1-A Carolina Conference should be a successful one.

Granted, I'm just shooting from the hip here and anyone who thinks I'm all wet is invited to chime in and let me know!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wilson is a 'Special Place'

Here's a feel-good item from Eric Simmons, whose son, Derek, is a member of the Wilson Tobs summer collegiate baseball team. I'm glad to hear of his wonderful experience and it serves as yet more proof the Wilson Tobs are so much a part of summer life in Wilson.

Thank you, Mr. Simmons!

This week my youngest son (Kevin) and I had the great opportunity to visit
Wilson, North Carolina. The experience was so moving, I wept before I left.

My oldest son (Derek) is a member of the Wilson Tobs. When he boarded his
flight from Atlanta to join the team, I didn't quite know what to expect.
Heretofore, he had never been in a "Host Family" environment as relates to
baseball. I worried about how he would handle this "new" situation in his
life. He was headed off to live with a new family in a new town with new
teammates, a new coach and playing in a new facility. Everything was "new".

When I met Derek's "Host Family" (Marc and Lisa Geeting), I knew right away
my son was in good hands. Upon meeting Tobs General Manager Ben Jones, Tobs
Head Coach Jeff Steele and various friends of the Geeting family, my
feelings about my son's well being were further substantiated. I came to
the conclusion Derek is amongst Special People and in a very Special Place.

Ben (Jones) took Kevin and I on a tour of North Carolina's "Baseball Hall of
Fame". Previously, I had no idea of the contributions your state has had
and continues to have in terms of baseball lore.

Fleming Stadium is incredible. Following a game this week, while looking
for Derek, Kevin and I found ourselves in the Tobs' locker room. It's hard
to describe but right away I knew my son and I were standing in a "Special

My hat's off to Marc and Lisa Geeting for being such great hosts to my son.
I tip my hat to the Tobs organization for their outstanding work. I applaud
the Wilson community for their support of aspiring professional baseball

I like the "Chicken Dance". I like the "Dizzy Bat Spin". I like the
"Tricycle Race". I like the "Frozen Shirt" contest. I really like, "Throw
the high stinky cheese!"

Of all of the things I like the most however is the people of Wilson, North
Carolina. You are "Special People" and you reside in a very "Special
Place". Thank you for so graciously embracing Derek and the Simmons family.


Eric Simmons

American Legion update

The American Legion baseball Area One semifinals are set with Wayne County taking on New Bern in the Eastern Division championship and Durham playing Cary for the Western Division title. Both series begin Tuesday evening.

Wayne County, the defending Area One king, defeated Pitt County Post 39 3 games to 1 in the best-of-5 Eastern semifinals while New Bern outlasted Edenton. Cary swept Clayton in one Western semifinals series while Durham did the same to Apex in the other.

For what it's worth (and that's not much), Wilson beat both Durham and Cary but didn't play either New Bern or Wayne County this season.

Wilsy Awards voting in final week

Just a reminder that Wilsy Award voting will end at noon on Friday and the winners will be announced online and in the print edition of Saturday's Wilson Daily Times. So keep those votes coming!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Explosion U15 girls to play for Directors Cup title

The Wilson Youth Soccer Association Explosion U15 girls will play for the US Youth Soccer Directors Cup championship after defeating the Virginia Rush 2-0 on Saturday morning in Kirkwood, Del.

The Explosion will meet HBC Intense of New York at 8 a.m. Sunday in the final. The two teams square off Saturday at 3 p.m. in the final game of round-robin competition which amounts to nothing more than a scouting opportunity for each team.

Kelly Sigmon and Taylor Parrish each netted goals for the Explosion on Saturday morning. They have outscored their foes 6-1 in two matches but the Intense has run up a 14-0 aggregate score in their matches. So Sunday's final should be interesting for Explosion head coach Toni Varacchi and her girls.

I can't figure out why what amounts to a national championship is being played at 8 on a Sunday morning. That's the most bizarre starting time I've ever heard.

In case you didn't know, the Directors Cup isn't the highest level of championship bestowed by US Youth Soccer. Those will be decided in Little Rock, Ark., next week. The teams that competed in Wilson in the Region III championships in June will be in Little Rock.

The Directors Cup is an alternate tournament for lower-ranked Premier-level teams or, in the Explosion's case, a team on the cusp of the Premier level. US Youth Soccer doesn't officially call it a "B" Cup but it's sort of like that. However, it's still a national championship and if our girls win it, it's a very, very, very big deal for the WYSA and Wilson. So let's hope they pull it out.

In related US Youth Soccer news, Austen King and his Capital Area Soccer League '89 Elite teammates completed their run at the national Development Academy tournament on Friday afternoon. After losing all three round-robin games, CASL ended its run with a shootout loss to FC Westchester in the seventh-place game.

I didn't see the game on ESPNU (probably because I erred in reporting here the game was supposed to be Saturday at 12:30 p.m., when in fact it was on Friday at 12:30 PACIFIC TIME, meaning 3:30 p.m. here). But I was told that King didn't play because of an ankle injury but was interviewed on ESPNU, so that's cool.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

ESPN alert: local soccer talent on TV

Wilson native William Hesmer and the Columbus Crew will take on the Kansas City Wizards in Major League Soccer action tonight at 8 on ESPN. Hesmer, a former Hunt High School and Wake Forest University star as well as the 2000 Wilson Daily Times Athlete of the Year, is in his second season with Columbus after being traded by Kansas City in late 2006.

After a 7-1 start, Hesmer and the Crew have struggled going 4-5-3 and falling six points behind Eastern Conference leader New England Revolution. Hesmer was No. 4 in goals-against average during the quick start but has dropped to 10th among MLS goalkeepers.

Another Wilson soccer player, recent Fike High graduate Austen King, may be on ESPNU on Friday. King's Capital Area Soccer League '89 Elite are in the US Soccer Development Academy championships in Carson, Calif. King, unfortunately, has suffered an ankle injury and will likely be sidelined for Friday 3:30 p.m. match pitting CASL against FC Westchester in The Home Depot Center.

In the Academy Boys U17-18 championship at 8 p.m. Saturday in ESPN2, the Baltimore Bays take on Los Angeles Futbol Club.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Parham aces it

Having spent a few relaxing days in Morehead City on the kindness of friends with an empty cottage, I return enriched from an unexpected source. The cottage, you see, was bereft of links to the external world. No house phone (although that meant nothing given the cell phones my wife and I both have), no Internet (which was fine because I would have ended up doing some work when I really needed to just play) and no television (well, there was one but no cable and no antenna).

I guess my friends don't want their three kids, all under 10, to spend summer days in front of the idiot box. There was a VCR on the premises but aside from the few children's videos (the ones we brought and the ones there), it went unused. (Try to find a video store that actually rents videos these days! Mission impossible!)

Searching for reading material the first evening we were there, I saw a bright green-colored cover of a paperback sitting on the night stand. I had intended to pick up the hardbound copy of "Maravich," after realizing "In Utero" was a just a collection of sheet music of songs from the Nirvana album of the same name. But the lime green caught my eye, as I'm sure it was intended to do, and I picked up the book and was delighted to see it was Tom Parham's memoirs, of sorts, "Play Is Where Life Is."

If you don't know, Parham was formerly the head tennis coach at Atlantic Christian (now Barton) College and his Bulldogs won the 1979 NAIA championship. They tied for the 1984 NAIA championship and were the only national titles won by the school until Anthony Atkinson and the men's basketball team won the 2007 NCAA Division II crown.

Parham, who played basketball at AC back in the 1960s, moved onto Elon College and won a national championship there, too. But he spent many years in Wilson (26, I think) and he left an impression here that will never fade. Parham, who also served as AC athletic director, was part of the social scene here when tennis was the most popular game in town in the 1970s.

Given my brief first-hand experience with him and being aware of his reputation for mirth, I knew it would be a good read. Parham divided his book into two parts — the first was a rambling autobiography of sorts, divided by the different towns in which he spent significant time; the second, which I didn't get to, is a treatise on tennis.

I was, at first, just interested in the Wilson part so I flipped ahead to that chapter, which I believe is the longest in the book. He didn't miss mentioning many of his cohorts and I found most of his stories to be either very amusing, laugh-out-loud funny or still-get-a-chuckle-3-days-later funny.

His style is, as I said, rambling and chock-full of typos which almost seemed to be intentional. The impact is like sitting at a bar, listening to story after story because, as he points out, people in one's life are stories. I would agree with that because everyone has a story or 3 and as you go through life you learn about them when you come across someone.

I was so taken by the Wilson chapter, I read the ones on his youth in, at first, Madison then Robbins. After re-reading the Wilson chapter, I continued on with the one on Elon, which is now Div. I Elon University.

I know that some folks were bound to have cringed when they read their names in the book but something tells me nobody will be sore with Parham for putting their exploits in there. Good lord, he told enough on himself to balance it out.

I don't think this book is for everyone and the language and content veer wildly to the crude end (although being a big fan of Hunter S. Thompson, I'm hardly complaining, just pointing out) at times. It's also like a long-running inside joke but I think Parham succeeds by making the reader feel a part of it. Still, there's some stuff that only a Wilsonian with open ears and eyes will get.

So I missed the All-Star Game, the Home-Run Derby and 116 hours of SportsCenter as well as 4 days of e-mail, but there's nothing like being on vacation with a good book!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Late updates from Legion playoffs

These scores came in too late for the print edition of Saturday's Wilson Daily Times so I'm posting them here.

Area One Eastern Division first-round playoffs
Wayne County 15, Tarboro 1 (Wayne Co. wins series 2-0)
New Bern 5, Rocky Mount 1 (New Bern wins series 2-0)
Edenton 5, Kinston 2 (Series tied 1-1)
Wilson at Pitt Post 39, ppd., rain

So New Bern will play the winner of Saturday's Edenton-Kinston finale while Wayne Co. must wait to see if Wilson can tie its series with Pitt Post 39 on Saturday evening.

One note, Wilson and Wayne did not meet in the regular-season for the first time in anyone's memory.

Friday, July 11, 2008

All you ever wanted to know about American Legion baseball state champions

Thanks to the hardy efforts of Don Hines at NCPreps.com, here is a lengthy list of North Carolina American Legion baseball state champions.

No, Wilson Post 13 has never won an American Legion state final but it did lose to Shelby in the 1942 state championship. Wilson won East championships in 1941 and 1942 and lost in the East finals in 1944 and 1980.

The late, great Snow Hill Post 94 was East champion and state finalist in 1981 and 1988 under legendary head coach James "Rabbit" Fulghum.

N.C. American Legion championship series results (1928-99)

1928 Raleigh 1 d. ...........................unknown
1929 Asheville 70 d. ........................unknown
1930 Gastonia 23 d. Rosemary 2-0
1931 Roanoke Rapids d. Greensboro Burtner 2-1
1932 Gastonia 23 d. Durham 1-0
1933 Gastonia 23 d. Elizabeth City 2-0
1934 Charlotte 9 d. Gastonia 3-1
1935 Gastonia 23 d. Asheboro 3-1
1936 Charlotte 9 d. High Point 3-0
1937 Charlotte 9 d. Forest City 3-1
1938 Gastonia 23 d. Charlotte 9 3-1
1939 Charlotte 9 d. Hamlet 3-1
1940 Albemarle 76 d. Harnett County 3-2
1941 Gastonia 23 d. Albemarle 4-3
1942 Shelby 82 d. Wilson 3-2
1943 Whiteville 137 d. Albemarle 3-0
1944 Albemarle 76 d. Shelby 4-1
1945 Shelby 82 d. Laurinburg 4-0
1946 Kannapolis 115 d. Red Springs 4-0
1947 Kannapolis 115 d. Durham 3-1
1948 Hickory 48 d. Chapel Hill 4-1
1949 Gastonia 23 d. Selma 3-0
1950 Gastonia 23 d. Laurinburg 4-3
1951 Shelby 82 d. Graham 4-3
1952 Kannapolis 115 d. Graham 4-1
1953 Cherryville 100 d. Wilmington 4-3
1954 Gastonia 23 d. Wilmington 4-1
1955 Rowan County 14 d. Wilmington 4-3
1956 Wilmington 10 d. Gastonia 4-3
1957 Shelby 82 d. Massey Hill 4-0
1958 Shelby 82 d. Massey Hill 4-1
1959 Wilmington 10 d. Kannapolis 4-2
1960 Wilmington 10 d. Cherryville 4-1
1961 Kannapolis 115 d. Hamlet 4-1
1962 Wilmington 10 d. Asheboro 4-0
1963 Greensboro Cone 386 d. Goldsboro 4-2
1964 Charlotte 9 d. Goldsboro 4-2
1965 Charlotte 9 d. Raleigh 4-0
1966 Asheboro 45 d. Greensboro Cone 4-3
1967 Greensboro Cone 386 d. Asheboro 4-3
1968 Greensboro Burtner 53 d. Rowan County 4-1
1969 Rowan County 342 d. Wilmington 4-1
1970 Wilmington 10 d. Rowan County 4-2
1971 Rowan County 342 d. Wilmington 4-1
1972 Hamlet 49 d. Gastonia 4-1
1973 Rocky Mount 58 d. Shelby 4-0
1974 Hamlet 49 d. Shelby 3-1
1975 Sanford 382 d. Asheboro.............................
1976 Newell 287 d. Johnston County 4-1
1977 Newell 287 d. Whiteville 4-0
1978 Asheboro 45 d. Hamlet 4-2
1979 Hamlet 49 d. Rowan County 4-3
1980 Wilmington 10 d. Rowan County 4-3
1981 Cherryville 100 d. Snow Hill 4-0
1982 Hamlet 94 d. Cherryville 4-3
1983 Hamlet 49 d. Charlotte-262 4-0
1984 Rowan County 342 d. Hope Mills 4-0
1985 Whiteville 137 d. Caldwell County 4-1
1986 Caldwell County 29 d. Whiteville 4-1
1987 Hamlet 49 d. Haw River 4-0
1988 Kernersville 36 d. Snow Hill 4-3
1989 Whiteville 137 d. Mocksville 4-1
1990 Caldwell County 29 d. Whiteville 3-0
1991 Caldwell County 29 d. Whiteville 4-3
1992 Kernersville 36 d. Wilmington 4-2
1993 Rowan County 342 d. Laurinburg 4-0
1994 Wilmington 10 d. Kernersville 4-1
1995 Wilmington 10 d. Kernersville 4-2
1996 Whiteville 137 d. Rutherford County 4-1
1997 Cherryville 100 d. Wayne County 4-2
1998 Cherryville 100 d. Pitt County 4-3
1999 Garner 232 d. Cherryville 4-1
N.C. American Legion state tournament finals (2000-07)
2000 Caldwell County 7, Rowan County 3
2001 Shelby 4, Garner 3, 12 innings
2002 Rowan County 7, Wayne County 5
2003 Cherryville 7, Pineville 3
2004 Garner 4, Caldwell County 0 (vacated Feb. 2005)
2005 Pitt County-39 4, Lexington 2
2006 Morehead City 7, Caldwell County 6
2007 Cherryville 6, Wayne County 1

State championship winners:

Gastonia (9) -- 1930, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1938, 1941, 1949, 1950, 1954
Newell/Charlotte-9 (8) -- 1934, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1964, 1965, 1976, 1977
Wilmington (8) -- 1956, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1970, 1980, 1994, 1995
Cherryville (6) -- 1953, 1981, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2007
Hamlet/Richmond County (6) -- 1972, 1974, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1987
Rowan County (6) -- 1955, 1969, 1971, 1984, 1993, 2002
Shelby (6) -- 1942, 1945, 1951, 1957, 1958, 2001
Caldwell County (4) -- 1986, 1990, 1991, 2000
Kannapolis (4) -- 1946, 1947, 1952, 1961
Whiteville (4) -- 1943, 1985, 1989, 1996
Albemarle (2) -- 1940, 1944
Greensboro Cone (2) -- 1963, 1967
Asheboro (2) -- 1966, 1978
Garner (2) -- 1999, 2004 (vacated Feb. 2005)
Kernersville (2) -- 1988, 1992
Asheville (1) -- 1929
Hickory (1) -- 1948
Greensboro Burtner (1) -- 1968
Morehead City (1) -- 2006
Pitt County-39 (1) -- 2005
Raleigh (1) -- 1928
Roanoke Rapids (1) -- 1931
Rocky Mount (1) -- 1973
Sanford (1) -- 1975

State runnerups:

Wilmington (6) -- 1953, 1954, 1955, 1969, 1971, 1992
Rowan County (5) -- 1968, 1970, 1979, 1980, 2000
Wayne County/Goldsboro (5) -- 1963, 1964, 1997, 2002, 2007
Asheboro (4) -- 1935, 1962, 1967, 1975
Whiteville (4) -- 1977, 1986, 1990, 1991
Gastonia (3) -- 1934, 1956, 1972
Shelby (3) -- 1944, 1973, 1974
Laurinburg/Scotland County (3) -- 1945, 1950, 1993
Cherryville (3) -- 1960, 1982, 1999
Caldwell County (3) -- 1985, 2004, 2006
Albemarle (2) -- 1941, 1943
Durham (2) -- 1932, 1947
Graham (2) -- 1951, 1952
Fayetteville/Massey Hill (2) -- 1957, 1958
Johnston County/Selma (2) -- 1949, 1976
Hamlet/Richmond County (2) -- 1961, 1978
Snow Hill (2) -- 1981, 1988
Kernersville (2) -- 1994, 1995
Forest City/Rutherford County (2) -- 1937, 1996
Roanoke Rapids/Harmony (1) -- 1930
Greensboro Burtner (1) -- 1931
Elizabeth City (1) -- 1933
High Point (1) -- 1936
Newell/Charlotte-9 (1) -- 1939
Harnett County (1) -- 1940
Wilson (1) -- 1942
Red Springs (1) -- 1946
Chapel Hill (1) -- 1948
Kannapolis (1) -- 1959
Raleigh (1) -- 1965
Greensboro Cone (1) -- 1966
Charlotte-262 (1) -- 1983
Hope Mills (1) -- 1984
Haw River (1) -- 1987
Mocksville/Davie County (1) -- 1989
Greenville/Pitt County (1) -- 1998
Garner (1) -- 2001
Pineville (1) -- 2003
Lexington (1) -- 2005
unknown (2) -- 1928, 1929

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fike finishes in top 10 for 3-A Wachovia Cup

Despite not winning the Wachovia Cup for the 3-A NEW 6 Conference, Fike High School ended up tied for sixth in the statewide 3-A Wachovia Cup competition. It was the highest finish for a NEW 6 school.

Fike and Jacksonville each had 290 points to tie for the sixth spot. Charlotte Catholic won the 3-A Wachovia Cup with 470 points, well ahead of Asheville High School and Asheville T.C. Roberson, which tied for second with 402.5 points each.

Lake Norman, which defeated Fike in the boys soccer championship, was fourth with 310 points while Mooresville came in fifth with 300.

The entire standings for all four classifications can be seen here.

Fike won the 3-A crown in boys golf and had state runner-up finishes in girls golf and boys soccer. The school also sent teams to the girls cross country and swimming championships. Fike was second to Rocky Mount in NEW 6 Wachovia Cup competition but that is based strictly on conference finishes. The statewide competition is based on points earned in the state playoffs.

Congratulations to Fike for another solid athletic year!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wilsy voting off to a hot start

The Wilsy Awards are off and running!

In less than four days, voting has been better than I thought it would be. Some categories are getting more attention than others but as long as the votes are coming in, I'm not complaining. I will say that David Gibbons has a lot of fans. The Fike soccer/baseball player is running away with the Wilsy for Best Male Athlete as his 89 votes (as of 12:29 p.m. Tuesday) are 69 better than his closest competitor Paxton Barnes.

I'm happy to see the interest in this contest, the idea for which came to me last summer when Barton College and Anthony Atkinson were nominated for an ESPY Award for the Bulldogs' incredible victory in the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship game.

Using ESPN's famous contest as inspiration, we cobbled together some categories, tried to add to our list of candidates since last July and hoped it would be a fun exercise for anyone interested in the sports scene in The Wilson Daily Times readership area. Because few of the events we cover have been preserved on videotape (although we hope that will change in the coming months), we had to rely on our memories this time. Maybe for next year's Wilsy Awards, we can get help from our readers in making nominations as the year goes by.

After all, this is for the readers and by the readers.

So keep voting!