Thursday, January 31, 2008

Holloman hits No. 500

Congratulations are in order for Mike Holloman, the women's basketball coach and athletic director at Louisburg College. Holloman recently earned career victory No. 500 as his Lady Hurricanes stopped Walters State Community College 75-56.

Holloman, a Wilson County native and Saratoga Central and Atlantic Christian (now Barton) College graduate, has been the women's head coach at the junior college since 1988. He has compiled an amazing 502-89 mark.

Louisburg won the 1991-92 National Junior College Athletic Association Division I national championship under Holloman, who was named NJCAA Coach of the Year.

The 500th win was retribution for the Louisburg ladies whose only loss through 17 games was to Walters State earlier this year. The Lady Hurricanes have been denied a trip to the NJCAA National Women's Basketball Tournament the past three years by Georgia Perimeter in the Region X tournament championship game. Louisburg has won or shared the past 12 Region X regular-season titles.

Currently, the Lady Hurricanes are listed No. 13 in the NJCAA Div. I poll.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bulldogs barely make first East Regional rankings

The defending NCAA Division II men's basketball champion Barton College Bulldogs have their work cut out for a return to the Elite Eight for a third consecutive year.

The first Div. II regional rankings came out today and Barton came in No. 10 in the East Region. While the rankings are merely a barometer of the current situation in the region, keep in mind that only eight teams can make it to the regional. The champions of Conference Carolinas, Pennsylvania State Athletic Association and the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Association plus five at-large teams from the region.

Right now, Mount Olive, Barton's Conference Carolinas archrival holds the top spot in the East poll as well as the conference standings by a half-game over Pfeiffer, No. 8. Another CC member, Queens, is ranked No. 2.

The Bulldogs could possibly host the regional if they were to run the table through the conference regular season and tournament. Of course, they can return to Springfield, Mass., and the Elite Eight if they win the East Regional tournament in March. But they'd probably have to do it away from "The Dog House," which has been a house of horrors for the other regional teams the past two years.

In the spirit of the times, to paraphrase a famous political slogan from years gone by, at least now the Bulldogs know where they stand.

NCAA Division II men's basketball regional rankings

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lady Bruins holding steady at No. 1

Tuesday brings the latest high school basketball polls from NCPreps.com and the Beddingfield girls are still unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the 3-A poll.

The Lady Bruins are 18-0 and have held at least a portion of the top spot since the polls began earlier this month.

In a related note, the Rocky Mount girls (14-1) have climbed into the No. 9 spot in the 3-A poll.

No other teams in The Wilson Daily Times readership area or in conferences that have area members are in the polls, boys or girls.

NCPreps.com high girls basketball poll for Jan. 29

NCPreps.com high boys basketball poll for Jan. 29

Also to be found on NCPreps.com are statistics for girls and boys basketball. In the girls scoring leaders, SouthWest Edgecombe's Monique Williams leads the area at 20.1 points per game, good for No. 12 among reported girls averages in all classifications.

Brittani Billups, Eastern Wayne's excellent post player, is No. 2 statewide with a 25.3 average, trailing only Williamston's Katie Paschal (25.7). Billups is third in rebounds with a 14.5 average.

Beddingfield junior Monique Spry is tied for ninth in the state at 6.7 assists per game.

In the boys stats, Fike junior Jeremy Atkinson is tied with two other players at No. 18 in scoring with a 21.6 points per-game average. Rocky Mount sensational sophomore Tayshawn Mabry is 13th with a 23.7 average.

On the boards, SouthWest Edgecombe sophomore Detrail Jenkins is tied for 12th in rebounding with a 10.5 average while Atkinson is 18th at 9.8.

NCPreps.com girls basketball stats through Jan. 28

NCPreps.com boys basketball stats through Jan. 28

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hesmer called up to U.S. Men's National soccer team

Wilson native William Hesmer is one of the 21 players recalled by U.S. Men's National soccer team head coach Bob Bradley for the Feb. 6 match against Mexico.

Hesmer, a Hunt High graduate and former Wilson Daily Times Athlete of the Year, just completed his first season with the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.

Stay tuned for a story on Will later this week.

U.S. Men's National squad prepares for Mexico

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Flowers out of the hospital

Alton Britt sent some good news came today concerning Fike High School baseball head coach Will Flowers, who was hospitalized last Tuesday.

Will has finally been released from Pitt Memorial Hospital, Alton said, and is at home and "progressing nicely."

Let's hope for a full recovery because I know Will will be itching to get on the diamond in a few weeks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

From the Hot Stove to the cold field

Did you know the Barton College baseball season is nearly upon us?

Less than two weeks after the annual Wilson Hot Stove League banquet, baseball is back on the field.

The Bulldogs open their 2008 campaign Friday, Feb. 1, in sunny Boca Raton, Fla., as the guest of Lynn University for a three-game set. The home opener will be Tuesday, Feb. 4, against Wingate. The first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.

As usual, Todd Wilkinson has enlisted a sturdy list of non-conference opponents for his Bulldogs, including Kutztown (Pa.), Francis Marion, Catawba, USC-Aiken and UNC-Pembroke.

2008 Barton baseball schedule

Look for a season preview on the Bulldogs in the Wilson Daily Times early next week.

Sticking with the summer game in the dead winter, Fike will be one of high school baseball teams playing the IMPACT Baseball Invitational on March 1 in Cary.

The IMPACT field has doubled since four teams, including eventual N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A champion Charles B. Aycock, played in Fleming Stadium last March.

Joining the Golden Demons at the USA Baseball National Training Complex will be their 3-A NEW 6 Conference rivals Northern Nash and Rocky Mount.

IMPACTBaseball.com has the schedule for the 2008 Invitational.

Despite close calls, Lady Bruins still No. 1

Beddingfield had a couple of close calls this week but remained atop the NCPreps.com 3-A girls basketball rankings. The Lady Bruins (16-0) procured 167 votes to 140 each for Hickory and Gastonia Forestview, tied for second. Beddingfield garnered 15 of the 17 first-place votes with Hickory continuing to get the other two.

The Lady Bruins trailed Eastern Wayne by nine points with less than six minutes to play Tuesday night but pulled out a 70-58 victory. That came after Friday's miraculous 70-69 escape at Southern Wayne in which sophomore Casey Elliott hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the score while being fouled. Elliott drained the free throw with 1.7 seconds left then intercepted the Lady Saints' desperation pass.

This stretch brings to mind the recent one by the formerly top-ranked men's basketball team at the University of North Carolina. The Tar Heels survived narrow misses at Clemson and Georgia Tech before getting their first loss at home Saturday at the hands of Maryland.

With Hunt next on the Lady Bruins' schedule, Beddingfield should hope to avoid the fate that befell the Heels.

NCPreps.com girls basketball poll

NCPreps.com boys basketball poll

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Yet another former Wilsonian makes national soccer news

Jenn Partenheimer, a Wilson native, was honored by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America at its annual luncheon this past weekend by being named to the NSCAA/adidas Girls High School All-American team.

Partenheimer earned the accolade as a member of the Apex High School squad. She is recently concluded her freshman season at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

Partenheimer and her younger sister, Stephanie, helped Apex win the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4-A state championship last spring. Jenn scored the winning goal in overtime of the championship game.

If the name sounds familiar, it's because she's the oldest daughter of Steve Partenheimer, who started the soccer program at Fike in the 1970s and moved to Hunt after merger. He taught a lot of young men in Wilson how to play the game of soccer and many of them have kids playing soccer today.

Looks like Coach Partenheimer did a pretty good job teaching his own kids, too!

Former Wilsonian earns national honor

Collin Taylor, who grew up in Wilson before starring for the Morganton Freedom High School boys soccer team, has landed a pretty cool honor.

Taylor, an all-state goalkeeper, received Saturday the National Soccer Coaches Association/ADIDAS Boys High School Scholar All-America Team award.

Taylor spent his youth playing soccer on several Wilson Youth Soccer Association squads. His dad, Larry, served as WYSA president for several years before his work took him and the family to Burke County just before Collin was to begin high school at Fike. (Would have been nice to see Collin in a Golden Demons the past four years!)

Matt Collins of the Morganton News-Herald did a pretty neat story on Collin.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bulldogs, Trojans going national

On March 1, the men's basketball teams from Barton College and Mount Olive College are going national.
The game between the defending NCAA Division II national champion Bulldogs and their archrivals will be broadcast live on national television on CSTV (College Sports Television) and FSN (Fox Sports Network). Tip off is scheduled for noon in Wilson Gymnasium.
It will be the first Conference Carolinas regular-season game to be telecast live nationally.
The teams are currently tied atop the league standings. Barton has won the last seven games in the rivalry.
Even with the game being shown on TV, I suspect Wilson Gym will be crowded that day. After all, it's a great chance to get one's face on camera!

Here is the Conference Carolinas' release on the event:

Friday, January 18, 2008

Warriors, Firebirds to spend another Easter in Rocky Mount

From our good friend in Rocky Mount, Charles Alston, comes the schedule for the 2008 Rocky Mount Invitational Baseball Tournament and once again, Hunt and Southern Nash return as participants.

However, the eight-team format will not return as just six teams make up this year's event, including host Rocky Mount, Northern Nash and Nash Central. They are joined by South Carolina 4-A school Fort Mill.

Because a single-elimination format won't work with six teams playing 3 games in 3 days, the tourney has become a round-robin deal and the championship will be awarded to the team that goes undefeated. In case of a tie, the tiebreakers are, in order, fewest runs allowed, head-to-head competition and runs scored.

It could make for an interesting — and possibly anti-climactic — finish.

Rocky Mount Invitational Baseball Tournament

2008 Schedule

Saturday, April 5

Game 1: Southern Nash vs. Nash Central, 1 p.m.
Game 2: Northern Nash vs. Fort Mill, S.C., 4 p.m.
Game 3: Rocky Mount vs. Wilson Hunt, 7 p.m.

Monday, April 7

Game 1: Rocky Mount vs. Fort Mill, S.C., 1 p.m.
Game 2: Southern Nash vs. Wilson Hunt, 4 p.m.
Game 3: Nash Central vs. Northern Nash, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 8

Game 1: Nash Central vs. Wilson Hunt, 1 p.m.
Game 2: Southern Nash vs. Fort Mill, S.C., 4 p.m.
Game 3: Rocky Mount vs. Northern Nash, 7 p.m.

Past champions
2007 - Rocky Mount def. Southern Nash, 13-1
2006 - Rocky Mount def. Northern Nash, 6-2
2005 - Rocky Mount def. Northern Nash, 5-2
2004 - Wilson Hunt def. Washington, 5-3 (5 inn., rain-shortened)
2003 - Morrisville Green Hope def. Rocky Mount 6-1
2002 - Kernersville Glenn def. Durham Riverside, 7-3
2001 - Kernersville Glenn def. Wilson Fike, 4-1
2000 - Durham Jordan def. Rocky Mount, 8-6
1999 - round-robin w/6 teams - no champion
1998 - final day of tournament rained out (RMHS, Beddingfield made the finals)
1997 - Rocky Mount def. Durhan Jordan, 6-2
1996 - Rocky Mount def. Northern Nash, 8-5
1995 - Rocky Mount def. Wilson Beddingfield, 6-0
1994 - Rocky Mount def. Wilson Beddingfield, 7-2
1993 - Northern Nash def. Southern Nash, 6-5
1992 - Greene Central
1991 - Greene Central
1990 - Greene Central def. Roanoke Rapids, 8-2
1989 - Southern Nash
1988 - Rocky Mount
1987 - Roanoke Rapids
1986 - Southern Nash
1985 - Roanoke Rapids
1984 - Roanoke Rapids
1983 - Roanoke Rapids
1982 - Northern Nash
1981 - Rocky Mount
1980 - Rocky Mount
1979 - Rocky Mount
1978 - Sanderson
1977 - Garner

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Flowers condition improves

The latest word I've received on the condition of Fike baseball coach Will Flowers is that his condition has improved and that's great news.

Will was admitted to Wilson Medical Center on Tuesday morning with a possible stroke. He has since been transferred to Pitt Memorial Hospital.

Fike Athletic Director John Gay said Flowers has regained mobility in his limbs and could be released as early as this weekend.

A group of Fike coaches and baseball players visited Will on Wednesday evening which I'm sure made his day.

Let's keep him in our thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jones, Braswell, Lewis earn NCPreps.com all-state acclaim

The postseason football awards continue to pour in for Hunt senior Torez Jones.
The slender do-it-all speedster was selected to the defensive unit of the 3-A all-state squad selected by the Web site NCPreps.com.
Jones was named as a defensive back but he also starred at wide receiver and on special teams for the Warriors.
Jones, who was named Wilson Daily Times Ironman of the Year in December, also received a nomination for one of the Old Spice Red Zone Players of the Year awards.
But Jones isn’t the only WDT area athlete to be honored by NCPreps.com as Greene Central senior wide receiver Curtis Braswell earned a spot on the 2-A offensive squad.
Braswell was the WDT area’s top receiver and also excelled on both sides of the line and on special teams.
North Johnston junior linebacker Jacob Lewis merited a selection to the 1-A defensive unit.

NCPreps.com 3-A all-state team

NCPreps.com 2-A all-state team

NCPreps.com 1-A all-state team

Lady Bruins still on top

The Beddingfield Lady Bruins have strengthened their grip on the top spot in the high school girls basketball 3-A rankings posted by the Web site NCPreps.com.
Beddingfield received 16 first-place votes and 176 votes among N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A schools. Gastonia Forestview, at No. 2, had no first-place votes and 157 overall votes and No. 3 Hickory had the other two first-place votes.
The Lady Bruins, now 15-0, have the first part of the week off due to exams and will return to the court Friday at Southern Wayne.
There are no other teams in The Wilson Daily Times readership area in the rankings although the Kinston boys team is listed at No. 4 in the 3-A poll, the same spot the North Edgecombe boys hold in the 1-A rankings.
In Rivals.com’s Fab 50 boys teams, Raleigh Word of God Academy, an N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A member, is listed No. 15 in the nation.
Yes, Word of God competes in the same classification as Greenfield.

NCPreps.com girls basketball rankings

NCPreps.com boys basketball rankings

Rivals.com Fab 50 boys teams

Fike in third place in Wachovia Cup competition

The N.C. High School Athletic Association released the fall sports standings for the Wachovia Cup competition today and Fike is tied for third in the 3-A classification.
The Golden Demons are knotted with Asheville T.C. Roberson with 147.5 points, trailing first-place Charlotte Catholic (227.5) and Asheville (180).
Fike finished second in the state in boys soccer and girls golf while the girls cross country program also competed as a team at the state meet.
Eastern Wayne of the 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference is No. 7 in the 3-A standings while Fike’s NEW 6 Conference foes Rocky Mount and Nash Central are eighth and 13th, respectively.
In the 2-A standings, Greene Central is tied for 11th with Brevard, Reidsville and Boonville Starmount — each with 80 points. The 2-A leader is Cardinal Gibbons with 222.5 points.
Kernersville Bishop McGuiness leads the 1-A standings and Charlotte Myers Park — the largest school in the state — heads the 4-A list.
The Wachovia Cup, in its 29th year, is sponsored by the NCHSAA and Wachovia Bank and is given to the schools that have the best overall athletic showing each year.
The NCHSAA Web site does a pretty good job of explaining the points system used in Wachovia Cup competition so I’ll them handle it.

“Wachovia Cup points are determined by a system based on performance in state-championship events. All schools that finish in the top eight positions (plus ties) earn points. In the playoff events involving teams from more than one classification, Wachovia Cup points are awarded based on the school’s standing against other schools in its own classification. If fewer then eight schools from a classification compete in a sport, only those schools that are represented are eligible to receive the Wachovia Cup points.

Points are awarded for all sports as follows: 50 for first, 45 for second, 40 for third, 35 for fourth, 30 for fifth, 25 for sixth, 20 for seventh and 15 for eighth. In the event of a tie, the schools receive an equal number of points based on the number of teams that tie and the number of teams that finish higher in the standings. Five points are awarded for each sanctioned sport in which a school competes.

Wachovia Cup standings are announced three times each school year: once after the fall and winter sports, and concluding with the winner after the spring sports season ends in June. The engraved silver cups are presented during NCHSAA Day activities at UNC-Chapel Hill each fall.”

Wachovia Cup standings

Fike's Flowers hospitalized with possible stroke

Will Flowers, the long-time Fike baseball coach, reportedly suffered a stroke early this morning and was taken to Wilson Medical Center but has been transferred to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville.
Fike Athletic Director John Gay told me the early test results were positive.
Will has been at Fike as head coach since the early 1980s after serving as Alton Britt’s assistant coach for a few years. He’s a Wilson native who played collegiately at Atlantic Christian (now Barton) College.
I’ve often kidded him that he was a relic from the wood-bat era in college baseball but in all seriousness, Will’s much too young for this.
Hopefully, it will be a minor setback for him and the Fike baseball team. Let’s keep him in our thoughts and prayers today.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Knights slip in NCISAA 1-A poll

Greenfield slipped ever so slightly in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 1-A boys basketball rankings this week.
The Knights dipped to No. 4 after splitting a pair of games, including a 62-59 loss to highly regarded School Sport Australia’s traveling 18-under team.
Greenfield remains the highest ranked 1-A Coastal Plains Independents Conference squad as Wayne Country Day at No. 8 is the only other CPIC team in the top 10.
The top-ranked Raleigh Word of God Holy Rams are unbeaten after 16 games, including the GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational Basketball Tournament title last month. Word of God’s next game is against Ravenscroft, ranked No. 4 in the NCISAA 3-A poll.
Greenfield is at home against Oakwood on Tuesday.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Be careful, Roy!

This just in from University of North Carolina sports information:

CHAPEL HILL --University of North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams
received five stitches on the top of his head after falling in his office
Friday afternoon.

Williams was finishing up a meeting with some of his players when he stood
up to open the door. He tripped over a cord and fell headfirst into the
door. He suffered a laceration on his scalp.

He walked out of the office under his own power and was driven to UNC
Student Health where he received the five stitches.

At the time of the incident, Williams was ready to appear on ESPN Radio at
1:45 p.m. with Mike Tirico and Scot VanPelt, but he was unable to make that
appearance. He also cancelled his weekly press conference with the North
Carolina local media that was scheduled for 2 p.m.

He returned to the Smith Center at 3:15 p.m. in time for Friday's practice.

The No. 1 ranked and unbeaten Tar Heels (16-0) play host to NC State (11-3)
at the Smith Center on Saturday at noon (ESPN).

"Oh yeah, must have been like 36 stitches and the doctors say Wanda (his
wife) has to make me a home-cooked meal," Williams joked to reporters upon
his return to the arena.

I can empathize with Roy. I'm still nursing a sore knee after tripping over a baby toy. But it's not a bad day for Coach Williams and North Carolina basketball. Kinston High sophomore sensation Reggie Bullock verbally committed to the Tar Heels after being tendered a scholarship offer by Roy Williams last Friday.

Bryan Hanks, the tireless sports editor of The Kinston Free Press, had the story of Bullock's commitment.

Bullock, a 6-foot-5 wing, is the second commitment in the class of 2010 for the Tar Heels (point guard Kendall Marshall is the other) and fourth UNC commitment in the last week, joining 6-foot-9 Texan John Henson and California twins David and Travis Wear, all in the class of 2009.

Bullock and the Kinston Vikings are in town tonight to play Hunt in the 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference opener for both teams.

New blog! Yippee!

We're making a few changes at The Wilson Daily Times and the first one to go public is a revamped Web site. Part of that is putting our blogs on www.blogger.com and creating a frame, so to speak, on the WDT Web site so that readers won't have to leave wilsontimes.com.

Plus, blogger.com offers more options for the blogger, such as images and easy links, than our previous incarnation did.

The new Web site goes live Wednesday, Jan. 16, but I'm already creating a mirror of Paul's Blog at blogger.com.

If you'd like to post a comment on a blog, all you need to do is establish a free Gmail.com account if you haven't already. It's easy and painless so please come by!