Sunday, August 24, 2008

It's poll time again!

Preseason rankings are already out for fall sports and several area teams have been recognized.

Starting with the N.C. High School Tennis Coaches Association poll, the Fike Lady Golden Demons are No. 3 in 3-A while Rocky Mount is fourth. Should be an interesting season in the NEW 6 Conference. Also, defending 2-A champion Greene Central is third in that poll while the Lady Rams' Eastern Plains Conference nemesis Tarboro is tied for seventh.

The N.C. Soccer Coaches Association rankings are based on last season's finish and have not been updated yet. Therefore, Fike's No. 2 ranking the 3-A poll will likely change dramatically as the Demons have lost two of their first three matches, including a 3-0 defeat to Asheville T.C. Roberson at The Brittany Willis Memorial Scholarship Soccer Showcase on Saturday.

Charles B. Aycock, 10th in the preseason poll, should move up after winning its first three matches, including 1-0 win at Fike last week. Rocky Mount, now coached by former Hunt coach Drew Nick, is 15th in the preseason rankings.

In the 1-A poll, North Johnston is 11th and is now 1-1-1 after a 2-2 draw with Southern Nash in The Brittany on Saturday. In the private school poll, Greenfield, the defending N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A champion, is No. 7 with a 3-2-2 mark.

Although the Lady Demons didn't earn a spot in the NCRunners.com preseason 3-A cross country poll, Fike was picked fourth in the 3-A East Region behind Jacksonville White Oak, Jacksonville and West Carteret.

"The 50-Yard Line" makes its debut

If you haven't seen it yet, the first installment of "The 50-Yard Line" is now available at on Wilson Times TV at www.wilsontimes.com.

The initial episode featured only me in the "studio" but beginning this week I hope to have a guest on hand as well as help from my cohorts in the sports department, Michael Lindsay and Ryan Bisesi. Now the season is underway, we'll be a little more organized. First up will be a look back at last week's games, followed by the announcement of our Offensive and Defensive Playmakers of the Week. Then we'll move into the upcoming matchups and offer our takes on who should win and why.

So make sure you get a seat on "The 50-Yard Line" by 5 p.m. Thursday!

Winslow poised for breakout season

Image courtesy Wake Forest University Sports Information
The college soccer season has begun and I think we might hear quite a bit about Sarah Winslow in her junior year at Wake Forest.

The 2006 Fike High School graduate didn't score in the 21st-ranked Lady Demon Deacons' 2-1 overtime win against Utah in Friday's season opener. But Winslow tallied a hat trick (three goals) in Wake's 6-1 exhibition defeat of Appalachian State a week ago.

Winslow spent her summer playing for the Carolina Women RailHawks of the United Soccer Leagues' W-League. She earned a spot on the All-Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman team in 2006 after leaving high school as the most prolific single-season goal scorer, netting 76 her senior season.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My brain is a football

I apologize for the lack of blogging lately but my brain has turned into a football after spending most of the last week putting together our annual high school football preview.

For the first time, it's available online at wilsontimes.com. You can access it via this link or by visiting wilsontimes.com and downloading the PDF version under the Special Sections banner on the lower left side of the page.

There will also be copies available at no charge at Friday night's season openers at Beddingfield and Fike.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bad news for Boyette

Duke running back Re'quan Boyette, a Fike High School product, suffered a knee injury during Saturday's practice and underwent orthoscopic surgery Sunday, Blue Devils head coach David Cutcliffe announced.

Boyette, a senior who led Duke in rushing the past two seasons, will be out indefinitely. He has 1,072 yards for a 4.3 per-carry average in 33 career games.

The 2005 Wilson Daily Times Athlete of the Year will be replaced in the Duke lineup by his roommate of three years, Clifford Harris.

""We're certainly disappointed for Re'quan, but we know that he'll do
everything in his power to return to the field," Cutcliffe said. "We'll
now turn to Clifford Harris for senior leadership at running back and
see who among the younger players will step forward and take advantage
of this opportunity."

Duke opens its 2008 season Aug. 30 against James Madison in Wallace Wade Stadium.

Warriors go online

Hunt High School has joined the group of football programs with a team Web site and that's good news for everyone.

Assistant coach and de facto sports information director Keith Byrum has put together a dynamic site containing such pertinent information as roster, schedule, statistics, photographs, polls and even a fan forum.

Charles B. Aycock put up a football site last year and hopefully more teams will join CBA and Hunt in doing the same.

Check out the Hunt Warriors online.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

CBA keeps churning out Div. I baseball players

The Pikeville pipeline to the NCAA Division I baseball ranks is still humming.

Charles B. Aycock head baseball coach Charles Davis confirmed to me Monday that two more of his players have given verbal commitments to Div. I programs.

Rising senior outfielder Will Edgerton has chosen UNC Wilmington and will make it official this fall while rising junior shortstop Connor Narron has verballed to North Carolina. Narron, of course, has another year of high school before he can make it official. He is the son of former MLB player and manager Jerry Narron, who was a high school star at Goldsboro High several decades ago.

This past season, CBA had catcher Zach Wright, who wil attend East Carolina University in the fall on a baseball scholarship. From his 2007 3-A state championship squad, Davis had Garrett Davis and Grant Sasser, who just finished their freshman seasons at UNC and N.C. State University, respectively.

Garrett Davis had to undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery this spring but CBA's Davis said the rehabilitation is going well.