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7-28-23 roundup: Pro football, baseball, basketball and soccer, Legion baseball, College football, NASCAR

By Richard Walker

The 3-day ACC Kickoff came to a close on Thursday and there was still some chatter about the “old” divisions even as the league had discontinued the Atlantic and Coastal divisions.

Since Clemson and Florida State dominated the Atlantic Division – with 14 title game appearances in 17 years and 13 of the last 14 divisional titles – other division rivals like Boston College, N.C. State, Syracuse and Wake Forest have frequently complained the divisional alignment put them at a disadvantage.

After all, Clemson has had 4 unbeaten 8-0 conference seasons and Florida State 2 in the past 8 years.

N.C. State head coach Dave Doeren has most notably been a critic – and was again this past week.

“I’d seen enough of teams playing each other in the championship game and they weren’t the 2 best records,” Doeren told saturdayroad.com. “I really believe in settling things on the field, even if it’s a rematch. So I’m glad that’s where it is now. I think it’s great for the league.”

North Carolina’s Mack Brown sees it differently.

“I liked divisions because you had a champion,” Brown told saturdayroad.com. “You had a divisional champion and then you had an ACC champion. When we were in the Big 12 (coaching at Texas), the same thing happened and you’re more likely to have the same 2 teams playing each other again. I didn’t like that.
“Plus when you have divisions, you’ve got natural rivalries. Now we’re going to play everybody in the league, which will be fun. But we’re not going to play Virginia Tech this year. That’s a rival game. We don’t play Wake Forest this year. So we’re going to lose some of that.”

The facts are mixed.

Since the ACC adopted divisional play in 2005 – it was only abandoned during the covid-altered 2020 season – 4 times an ACC team had a better league record that the other divisional winner and 6 other times 1 or more teams didn’t play in the title game despite the same league record.

Clemson actually has been kept out the title game the most as the Tigers were 7-1 in the 2012 and 2013 seasons in which losses to Florida State kept the Tigers out of title game matchups against teams that finished 5-3 (Georgia Tech) and 6-2 (Duke), respectively.

The 2023 lack of divisions means the 2 top ACC records will be pitting against one another on Dec. 2 at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium for the championship.

Clemson is the favorite and has won 7 of the last 8 championships to give the Tigers’ an ACC-record 20 titles overall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legion baseball

Full pairings for the N.C. state Legion tournament at Jim Perry Stadium, Campbell University:

(Tuesday, July 25)
Game 1 – Area 1 No. 1 (Pitt County Post 39 – 16-9) vs. Area 4 No. 2 (Cleveland County Post 82-155 – 24-9) – Pitt County 2-1
Game 2 – Area 3 No. 2 (High Point Post 87 – 17-4) vs. Area 2 No. 1 (Wilmington Post 10 – 16-2) – High Point 5-1
Game 3 – Area 1 No. 3 (Wayne County Post 11 – 30-6) vs. Area 3 No. 1 (Rowan County Post 342 – 37-5) – Wayne County 4-1
Game 4 – Host/Area No. 2 (Fuquay-Varina Post 116 – 23-3) vs. Area 4 No. 1 (Cherryville Post 100 – 22-12) – Fuquay-Varina 3-1

(Wednesday, July 26)
Game 5 – Cleveland County vs. Wilmington – Wilmington 13-5 (Cleveland County eliminated)
Game 6 – Rowan County vs. Cherryville – Rowan County 11-4 (Cherryville eliminated)
Game 7 – Pitt County vs. High Point – High Point 12-1
Game 8 – Wayne County vs. Fuquay-Varina – Fuquay-Varina 10-4

(Thursday, July 27)
Game 9 – Rowan County vs. Pitt County – Rowan County 6-2 (Pitt County eliminated)
Game 10 – Wilmington vs. Wayne County – Wayne County 9-7 (Wilmington eliminated)
Game 11 – High Point vs. Fuquay-Varina – Fuquay-Varina 6-1

(Friday, July 28)
Game 12 – Wayne County vs. High Point – Wayne County 7-6 (High Point eliminated)
Game 13 – Rowan County vs. Fuquay-Varina – Rowan County 7-3

(Saturday, July 29)
Game 14 – Wayne County vs. Rowan County, Noon
Game 15 – Championship: Fuquay-Varina vs. Game 14 winner, 3 p.m.

The full Area IV playoff schedule:

-First round (July 1-5, best of 5)
West No. 1 Cleveland County, West No. 2 Cherryville, East No. 1 Queen City – byes
East No. 4 Matthews vs. West No. 5 Burke (M wins series 3-0)
West No. 3 Asheville vs. East No. 6 Gastonia (A wins series 3-0)
East No. 2 Mint Hill vs. West No. 7 Hickory (H wins series 3-2)
West No. 4 Rutherford vs. East No. 5 Lincoln (R wins series 3-0)
East No. 3 Gaston Braves vs. West No. 6 Caldwell (C wins series 3-1)

-Quarterfinals (July 6-11, best of 5)
West No. 1 Cleveland vs. East No. 4 Matthews (C wins series 3-0)
West No. 3 Asheville vs. West No. 7 Hickory (A wins series 3-0)
East No. 1 Queen City vs. West No. 4 Rutherford (R wins series 3-0)
West No. 6 Caldwell vs. West No. 2 Cherryville (Cherryville wins series 3-0)

-Semifinals (July 12-19, best of 7)
West No. 1 Cleveland vs. West No. 3 Asheville (C wins series 4-0)
West No. 4 Rutherford vs. West No. 2 Cherryville (C wins series 4-1)

-Final (July 20-22, 1 game or best of 3)
West No. 1 Cleveland vs. West No. 2 Cherryville (Cherryville wins series 2-0)

Here are the pairings for the Aug. 2-6 Southeast Regionals that will be played at McCrary Park in Asheboro:

Southeast (Region 3 at Asheboro NC)
(Wednesday, Aug. 2)
Game 1 – Georgia (Evans) vs. Kentucky, 9:30 a.m.
Game 2 – Florida (Bellevue) vs. Virginia, 12:30 p.m.
Game 3 – South Carolina (Florence) vs. North Carolina, 4:30 p.m.
Game 4 – Tennessee (Columbia) vs. Host (Randolph County NC), 7:30 p.m.
(Thursday, Aug. 3)
Game 5 – Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 3, 9:30 a.m.
Game 6 – Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 4, 12:30 p.m.
Game 7 – Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 3, 4:30 p.m.
Game 8 – Winner Game 2 vs. Winner Game 4, 7:30 p.m.
(Friday, Aug. 4)
Game 9 – Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 7, 12:30 p.m.
Game 10 – Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 8, 4:30 p.m.
Game 11 – Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 7:30 p.m.
(Saturday, Aug. 5)
Game 12 – Winner Game 9 vs. Loser Game 11, 4:30 p.m.
Game 13 – Winner Game 10 vs. Winner Game 11, 7:30 p.m.
(Sunday, Aug. 6)
Game 14 – Winner Game 12 vs. Winner Game 13, 1:30 p.m.
Game 15 – If necessary, 4:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro basketball

The Charlotte Hornets announced a 4-game preseason schedule for the upcoming 2023-24 season with 2 road games and 2 games to be played at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center. Here are the games:

Oct. 10 at Miami Heat, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 12 at Washington Wizards, 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 Oklahoma City, 5 p.m.
Oct. 19 Boston Celtics, 7 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High school football

South Point’s Brian Andrews has been named a West assistant for the 2023-24 N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star football game.

The 2023-23 NCCA East-West game will be played in December for the first time after being in played in July since the event began in 1949.

Andrews is a longtime South Point assistant coach who also previously had served as a North Gaston High assistant caoch and Ashbrook High head coach.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro soccer

Here is Charlotte FC’s full 2023 schedule with results:

(7-8-8 record)
Feb. 25 New England Revolution (L 0-1)
March 4 at St. Louis City SC (L 1-3)
March 11 Atlanta United FC (L 0-3)
March 18 at Orlando City SC (W 2-1)
March 25 New York Red Bulls (T 1-1)
April 1 at Toronto FC (T 2-2)
April 8 at Real Salt Lake (L 1-3)
April 15 Colorado Rapids (T 2-2)
April 22 Columbus Crew (W 1-0)
April 29 at D.C. United (L 0-3)
May 6 New York City FC (W 3-2)
May 13 at Atlanta United FC (W 3-1)
May 17 Chicago Fire FC (W 2-1)
May 20 Nashville SC (L 1-2)
May 27 at L.A. Galaxy (W 1-0)
May 31 at Philadelphia Union (L 0-1)
June 3 at Columbus Crew (W 4-2)
June 10 Seattle Sounders FC (T 3-3)
June 21 at New York Red Bulls (T 2-2)
June 24 CF Montreal (T 0-0)
July 5 at New York City FC (T 1-1)
July 8 FC Cincinnati (T 2-2)
July 15 at CF Montreal (L 0-2)
Aug. 20 at Inter Miami CF, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 26 L.A. FC, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 30 Orlando City SC, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 at Nashville SC, 8:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 D.C. United, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 20 Philadelphia Union, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 at FC Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 at New England Revolution, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 at Chicago Fire FC, 8:30 p.m.
Oct. 21 Inter Miami CF, TBD

(Leagues Cup schedule – Group stage)
July 21 at FC Dallas (T 2-2, wins 4-1 on penalty kicks)
July 29 Necaxa, 7:30 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro baseball

Durham 9, Charlotte 2: Knights second baseman Kean Wong had 3 hits but Charlotte lost in the 4th game of the 6-game road series. The 5th game is 6:35 p.m. Saturday in Durham. Earlier Friday, the Chicago White Sox promoted Knights pitcher Declan Cronin to the major league roster for the first time. It’s the 18th Knights’ player to be promoted to the White Sox this season.

Here is the full Charlotte Knights’ 2023 schedule:

Overall record: 38-61
First half record: 35-40
Second half record: 3-21

-First half
March 31-April 2 Louisville (2-1)
April 4-9 at Columbus (3-3)
April 11-16 Jacksonville (3-3)
April 18-23 at Louisville (2-4)
April 25-30 Norfolk (2-4)
May 2-7 at Gwinnett (4-2)
May 9-14 Durham (3-3)
May 16-21 Scranton-Wilkes Barre (2-4)
May 23-28 at Jacksonville (4-2)
May 30-June 4 Nashville (3-3)
June 6-11 at Gwinnett (1-5)
June 13-18 at Durham (3-3)
June 20-25 Louisville (3-3)

-Second half
June 28-July 3 at Norfolk (1-4)
July 4-9 Jacksonville (1-5)
July 14-16 at Lehigh Valley (0-3)
July 18-23 Memphis (1-5)
July 25-30 at Durham (0-4)
Aug. 1-6 at Norfolk
Aug. 8-13 Gwinnett
Aug. 15-20 at Nashville
Aug. 22-24, 26-27 Memphis
Aug. 28-Sept. 3 at Jacksonville
Sept. 5-10 Durham
Sept. 12-17 Nashville
Sept. 18-24 at Memphis

Long Island 18, Gastonia 1: The host Ducks had 4 multi-run innings in a 17-run victory over the Honey Hunters.

Here is the full Gastonia Honey Hunters’ 2023 schedule:

Overall record: 51-29
First half record: 41-22
Second half record: 10-7

-First half
April (3-0)
28 Spire City (W 10-4)
29 Spire City (W 8-6)
30 Spire City (W 7-4)

May (17-9)
2 at So. Maryland (W 8-6)
3 at So. Maryland (W 11-6)
4 at So. Maryland (L 2-4)
5 at Long Island (W 3-2)
6 at Long Island (L 1-3)
7 at Long Island (L 4-6)
9 Spire City (W 2-1 in 10)
10 Spire City (W 10-0)
11 Spire City (W 9-7)
12 at High Point (L 5-8)
13 at High Point (W 12-5)
14 at High Point (L 3-4)
16 Charleston, W.Va. (W 13-4)
17 Charleston, W.Va. (W 4-2)
18 Charleston, W.Va. (L 4-6)
19 at Lexington (W 15-2)
20 at Lexington (W 8-0)
21 at Lexington (W 5-3)
23 at Spire City (W 6-0)
24 at Spire City (W 8-5)
25 at Spire City (W 8-3)
26 Lancaster (L 3-4 in 11)
27 Lancaster (ppd., rain)
28 Lancaster (ppd., rain)
29 Lancaster (W 9-1)
29 Lancaster (L 3-4)
30 High Point (L 8-10)
31 High Point (W 14-10)

June (19-8)
1 High Point (W 7-4)
2 Lexington (W 3-2)
3 Lexington (W 10-1)
4 Lexington (W 4-1)
6 at Charleston, W.Va. (W 4-1)
7 at Charleston, W.Va. (L 1-13)
8 at Charleston, W.Va. (L 2-4)
9 at Spire City (W 5-4)
10 at Spire City (W 12-7)
11 at Spire City (L 6-9)
13 So. Maryland (W 5-0)
14 So. Maryland (L 9-10)
15 So. Maryland (W 11-6)
16 Staten Island (W 5-4)
17 Staten Island (W 7-5)
18 Staten Island (W 5-1)
20 at Lancaster (L 0-6)
21 at Lancaster (W 9-7)
22 at Lancaster (W 4-1)
22 at Lancaster (L 2-6)
24 at Staten Island (W 12-3)
25 at Staten Island (L 2-7)
27 High Point (W 8-3)
28 High Point (W 7-3)
29 High Point (L 1-11)
30 So. Maryland (W 15-0)

July (9-10)
1 So. Maryland (L 6-7)
1 So. Maryland (W 8-7)
2 So. Maryland (W 3-2 in 10)
4 at Spire City (L 3-4)
5 at Spire City (L 8-18)
6 at Spire City (L 4-6)
7 at High Point (L 1-8)
-Second half
8 at High Point (W 7-2)
9 at High Point (L 13-14)
11 at Charleston, W.Va. (W 5-3)
12 at Charleston, W.Va. (W 2-1)
13 at Charleston, W.Va. (ppd.)
14 Staten Island (W 7-3)
15 Staten Island (L 10-12 in 10)
16 Staten Island (W 13-8)
18 High Point (W 6-5)
19 High Point (L 5-9)
20 High Point (W 10-5)
21 at So. Maryland (L 9-11)
22 at So. Maryland (W 8-6)
23 at So. Maryland (L 8-12)
25 at Staten Island (W 10-2)
26 at Staten Island (L 3-8)
27 at Staten Island (W 17-5)
28 at Long Island (L 1-18)
29 at Long Island
30 at Long Island

August
1 High Point
2 High Point
3 High Point
4 Lexington
5 Lexington
6 Lexington
8 Spire City
9 Spire City
10 Spire City
11 at Long Island
12 at Long Island
13 at Long Island
15 York
16 York
17 York
18 Lexington
19 Lexington
20 Lexington
22 at Long Island
23 at Long Island
24 at Long Island
25 at Lancaster
26 at Lancaster
27 at Lancaster
29 Spire City
30 Spire City
31 Spire City

September
1 So. Maryland
2 So. Maryland
3 So. Maryland
4 So. Maryland
5 at High Point
6 at High Point
7 at High Point
8 Charleston, W.Va.
9 Charleston, W.Va.
10 Charleston, W.Va.
12 So. Maryland
13 So. Maryland
14 So. Maryland
15 at Lexington
16 at Lexington
17 at Lexington

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro football

The Carolina Panthers’ training camp schedule:

Practices (at Wofford unless noted):
July 26-27 10:15 a.m.
July 29 11 a.m.
July 31 10:25 a.m.
Aug. 1 10:15 p.m.
Aug. 2 Fan Fest at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, 7 p.m.
Aug. 4 10:25 a.m.
Aug. 5-6 10:15 a.m.
Aug. 8 10:15 a.m.
Aug. 9 Joint practice with N.Y. Jets, 10:15 a.m.
Aug. 10 Joint practice with N.Y. Jets, 9 a.m.

Here is the 2023 preseason and regular season schedule for the Carolina Panthers:

(Preseason)
Aug. 12 N.Y. Jets, 4 p.m.
Aug. 18 at N.Y. Giants, 7 p.m.
Aug. 25 Detroit, 8 p.m.

(Regular season)
Sept. 10 at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Sept. 18 New Orleans, 7:15 p.m.
Sept. 24 at Seattle, 4:05 p.m.
Oct. 1 Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Oct. 8 at Detroit, 1 p.m.
Oct. 15 at Miami, 1 p.m.
Oct. 22 OFF WEEK
Oct. 29 Houston, 1 p.m.
Nov. 5 Indianapolis, 4:05 p.m.
Nov. 9 at Chicago, 8:15 p.m.
Nov. 19 Dallas, 1 p.m.
Nov. 26 at Tennessee, 1 p.m.
Dec. 3 at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Dec. 10 at New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Dec. 17-18 Atlanta, TBD
Dec. 24 Green Bay, 1 p.m.
Dec. 31 at Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Jan. 6-7 Tampa Bay, TBD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Auto racing

The 2023 NASCAR schedule (with winners in parentheses):

Feb 5 Clash at The Coliseum, Los Angeles CA (Martin Truex, Jr.)
Feb 16 Duel No. 1, Daytona Beach FL (Joey Logano)
Feb 16 Duel No. 2, Daytona Beach FL (Aric Almirola)
Feb 19 Daytona 500, Daytona Beach FL (Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.)
Feb 26 NASCAR Cup Series at California, Fontana CA (Kyle Busch)
Mar 5 NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas, Las Vegas NV (William Byron)
Mar 12 NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix, Avondale AZ (William Byron-2)
Mar 19 NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta, Hampton GA (Joey Logano-2)
Mar 26 NASCAR Cup Series at Circuit of the Americas, Austin TX (Tyler Reddick)
Apr 2 NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond, Richmond VA (Kyle Larson)
Apr 9 NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol, Bristol TN (Christopher Bell)
Apr 16 NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville, Martinsville VA (Kyle Larson-2)
Apr 23 NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega, Lincoln AL (Kyle Busch-2)
May 1 NASCAR Cup Series at Dover, Dover DE (Martin Truex, Jr.-2)
May 7 NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas, Kansas City KS (Denny Hamlin)
May 14 NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington, Darlington SC (William Byron-3)
May 21 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Open Race, North Wilkesboro NC (Josh Berry)
May 21 NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race, North Wilkesboro NC (Kyle Larson-3)
May 29 NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte, Concord NC (Ryan Blaney)
Jun 4 NASCAR Cup Series at World Wide Technology Raceway, Madison IL (Kyle Busch-3)
Jun 11 NASCAR Cup Series at Sonoma, Sonoma CA (Martin Truex, Jr.-3)
Jun 25 NASCAR Cup Series at Nashville, Lebanon TN (Ross Chastain)
Jul 2 NASCAR Cup Series at Chicago, Chicago IL (Shane van Gisbergen)
Jul 9 NASCAR Cup Series at Atlanta, Hampton GA (William Byron-4)
Jul 17 NASCAR Cup Series at New Hampshire, Loudon NH, noon on USA (Martin Truex, Jr.-4)
Jul 23 NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono, Long Pond PA, 2:30 p.m. on USA (Denny Hamlin-2)
Jul 30 NASCAR Cup Series at Richmond, Richmond VA, 3 p.m. on USA
Aug 6 NASCAR Cup Series at Michigan, Brooklyn MI, 2:30 p.m. on USA
Aug 13 NASCAR Cup Series at Indianapolis Road Course, Speedway IN, 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Aug 20 NASCAR Cup Series at Watkins Glen, Watkins Glen NY, 3 p.m. on USA
Aug 26 NASCAR Cup Series at Daytona, Daytona Beach FL, 7 p.m. on NBC

(Cup Playoffs)
Sep 3 NASCAR Cup Series at Darlington, Darlington SC, 6 p.m. on USA
Sep 10 NASCAR Cup Series at Kansas, Kansas City KS, 3 p.m. on USA
Sep 16 NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol, Bristol TN, 7:30 p.m. on USA
Sep 24 NASCAR Cup Series at Texas, Fort Worth TX, 3:30 p.m. on USA
Oct 1 NASCAR Cup Series at Talladega, Lincoln AL, 2 p.m. on NBC
Oct 8 NASCAR Cup Series at Charlotte, Concord NC, 2 p.m. on NBC
Oct 15 NASCAR Cup Series at Las Vegas, Las Vegas NV, 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Oct 22 NASCAR Cup Series at Miami, Homestead FL, 2:30 p.m. on NBC
Oct 29 NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville, Martinsville, 2 p.m. on NBC
Nov 5 NASCAR Cup Series at Phoenix, Avondale AZ, 3 p.m. on NBC