11-21-22 roundup: Pro basketball and football, High school football and volleyball, College football, Middle school soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker

New Charlotte 49ers head football coach Francis “Biff” Poggi was officially introduced to fans and the media on Monday.

UNC Charlotte chancellor Sharon Gaber (left) and Charlotte 49ers athletic director Mike Hill (right) with new football coach Francis “Biff” Poggi (center) at Monday’s news conference at Jerry Richardson Stadium.

And Poggi talked about the 49ers and College Football Playoff.

“The American Athletic Conference is an unbelieveable league,” Poggi said. “It’s the best ‘Group of 5’ conference in the country. As the College Football Playoff expands, it’s champion will get a spot. So it’s an exciting opportunity to be at a school that’s in that conference.”

Later, Poggi was emphatic that winning the AAC will be his program’s pursuit.

“Our goal is very simple: We want to win the AAC,” Poggi said. “And we want to win it repeatedly and get in the CFP.”

For a program with a 39-74 all-time record an never a higher finish than fourth in eight years as a member of Conference USA with one postseason bowl berth, that’s some high expectations.

At 63, Poggi is a departure from Charlotte’s last hire of Will Healy in 2018; At 33, Healy was the second-youngest head coach in major college football at the time.

Poggi will fulfill his commitment at the University of Michigan where he is an associate head coach under Jim Harbaugh; The Wolverines are currently 11-0 overall and No. 3 in CFP rankings.

In fact, Poggi said that Harbaugh had high praise for the Charlotte job.

“Jim said he’d been here for a camp a few years ago and he said, ‘The facilities are going to blow you away,'” Poggi said.

Poggi was certain the 49ers’ roster would see a makeover by the time it officially opens the 2023 season on Sept. 2 at home against South Carolina State.

“I think you’re going to see a real upgrade to the roster,” said Poggi, who inherits a team where 45 of the 65 players listed on the two-deep depth chart before last Saturday’s finale are eligible to return. “We’re going to get it right and we’re going to get it right quickly.”

A former investment manager who coached high school football for more than 20 years at Baltimore’s Gilman School and Saint Frances Academy, Poggi also has college coaching experience at The Citadel.

He said he would employ a pro-style offense and defense modeled after what he’s currently using at Michigan and also employed by Baltimore Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh, the older brother of Jim Harbaugh, but with “old school football” sensibilities.

“We’re going to run the football,” Poggi said. “It’s that simple. We’re going to run the football.”

Poggi, who is already making contacts with recruits for the 2023 season, also noted “there are 285 to do what we need to do to be able to be competitive in the AAC.”

UNC Charlotte chancellor Sharon Gaber and 49ers athletic director Mike Hill introduced Poggi.

“We are happy to introduce a new leader to our Niner Nation – one who can take our football program to another level,” Gaber said.

Said Hill: “This has been a very, very challenging time and it always is when you make a change. Biff checked all of our boxes. He’s a high character person and coach who has executive skills on and off the field.”

Here’s the 2023 Charlotte 49ers schedule, noting only opponents and sites for conference games that will be released sometime next year:

Sept. 2 S.C. State
Sept. 9 at Maryland
Sept. 16 Georgia State
Sept. 23 at Florida
American Athletic Conference home games – Florida Atlantic, Memphis, Navy, Rice
American Athletic Conference road games – East Carolina, SMU, South Florida, Tulsa




High school basketball

(Monday’s games)
Cramer 80, Cherryville 55: Jacob Joyner (23 points, 3 steals, 3 assists), Justin Rocquemore (16 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists), John Hill (10 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks) and Quinton Rybczyk (9 points, 6 rebounds) led Cramer and Carson Kelly (21 points) led Cherryville.
Cramer also won the JV game 60-32 behind Zach Alexander and K.J. Smith, who scored 14 points each.

East Gaston 66, Ashbrook 65

Piedmont CC at Highland Tech

Cramer 69, Cherryville 36: Oshauna Holland (26 points, 9 rebounds, 8 assists), Hadley Womack (18 points) and Zion Duncan (11 points) led Cramer and Gabbie McCorkle (21 points) led Cherryville.

Ashbrook 59, East Gaston 24

Piedmont CC 58, Highland Tech 45: Grace East had 21 points, Hailey Moore 18 and Lyric Brown and Kennedy Williams eight apiece for Piedmont Community Charter.

(Tuesday’s games)
Cramer at North Henderson
East Lincoln at West Lincoln
Hough at North Gaston
Huss at Highland Tech
Lincoln Charter at Gaston Christian
Palisades at Forestview
R-S Central at Kings Mountain
South Point at Lincolnton
Thomas Jefferson at Piedmont CC




High school volleyball

After winning the Big South 3A Conference title and advancing to the fourth round of the state playoffs, Kings Mountain has racked up multiple local, regional and state honors.

Meile Songaila, Caroline Barber, Paige Bagwell and Myracle Davis were named All-Big South with Songaila being voted offensive player of the year and Barber defensive player of the year.

Meile Songaila and Myracle Davis were named to the All-Region team, Songalia was named All-State, Davis, Songaila, Bagwell, Barber and Camden Pasour were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Phenom Watch List and Bagwell was named AVCA Best and Brightest second team.








College football

Following Saturday’s historic 38-17 home win over North Carolina A&T to win the 2022 Big South Conference title, three of the four league award winners went to Gardner-Webb players.

Running back Narii Gaither rushed 15 times for 107 yards and two touchdowns to earn Big South Football Offensive Player of the Week, linebacker William McRainey had 10 tackles (six solo and 1 1/2 for a loss) and he forced and recovered a fumble to win Defensive Player of the Week and running back Jayden Brown rushed 12 times for 93 yards and two touchdowns to gain Freshman of the Week honors.

(This weekend’s NCAA Division I Carolinas schedule:)
N.C. State at North Carolina, 3:30 p.m.
South Carolina at Clemson, noon
Coastal Carolina at James Madison, noon
East Carolina at Temple, 1 p.m.
Wake Forest at Duke, 3:30 p.m.
Appaalchian State at Georgia Southern, 6 p.m.
-Saturday’s NCAA Division II playoffs
Wingate at Benedict

-FCS playoffs
(Nov. 25 first round games)
Elon at Furman, noon
Davidson at Richmond, 2 p.m.
Saint Francis at Delaware, 2 p.m.
Fordham at New Hampshire, 2 p.m.
North Dakota at Weber State, 4 p.m.
Gardner-Webb at Eastern Kentucky, 5 p.m.
Idaho at Southeastern Louisiana, 7 p.m.
Southeast Missouri at Montana, 10 p.m.

(Dec. 3 second round game)
Fordham/New Hampshire winner at Holy Cross, noon
Elon/Furman winner at Incarnate Word, 2 p.m.
Gardner-Webb/Eastern Kentucky winner at William & Mary, 2 p.m.
Idaho/Southeastern Louisiana winner at Samford, 3 p.m.
Sain Francis/Delaware winner at South Dakota State, 3 p.m.
North Dakota/Weber State winner at Montana State, 3 p.m.
Southeast Missouri/Montana winner at North Dakota State, 3:30 p.m.
Davidson/Richmond at Sacramento State, 5 p.m.












Pro football

Carolina Panthers interim head coach Steve Wilks said on Monday he won’t make a decision about his starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos until Wednesday.

The Panthers have started Baker Mayfield six times and P.J. Walker five times and Sam Darnold, who was injured his ankle in the preseason, is now healthy enough to play.

Here’s the full Carolina Panthers schedule for the 2022 season:

Week 1, Sept. 11, Cleveland (L 24-26)
Week 2, Sept. 18, at N.Y. Giants (L 16-19)
Week 3, Sept. 25, New Orleans (W 22-14)
Week 4, Oct. 2, Arizona (L 16-26)
Week 5, Oct. 9, San Francisco (L 15-37)
Week 6, Oct. 16, at L.A. Rams (L 10-24)
Week 7, Oct. 23, Tampa Bay (W 21-3)
Week 8, Oct. 30, at Atlanta (L 34-37, OT)
Week 9, Nov. 6, at Cincinnati (L 21-42)
Week 10, Nov. 10, Atlanta (W 25-15)
Week 11, Nov. 20, at Baltimore (L 3-13)
Week 12, Nov. 27, Denver, 1 p.m.
Week 13, Dec. 4, BYE
Week 14, Dec. 11, at Seattle, 4:25 p.m.
Week 15, Dec. 18, Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Week 16, Dec. 24, Detroit, 1 p.m.
Week 17, Jan. 1, at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Week 18, Jan. 7 or 8, at New Orleans, TBD












High school football

This week’s fourth round pairings:

Northampton County at Tarboro
Rosewood at North Moore
Mount Airy at Eastern Randolph
Draughn at Andrews

Wallace-Rose Hill at Princeton
Whiteville at East Duplin
Maiden at Reidsville
Monroe at Burns

Triton at Northern Nash
Terry Sanford at 71st
East Lincoln at Kings Mountain
Eastern Guilford at South Point

Millbrook at Hillside
Rolesville at New Bern
Hough at Grimsley
A.C. Reynolds at Weddington








Pro basketball

Here is the 2022-23 Charlotte Hornets schedule:

(4-14 record)
19 at San Antonio (W 129-102)
21 New Orleans (L 112-124)
23 at Atlanta (W 126-109)
26 at New York (L 131-134, OT)
28 at Orlando (L 93-113)
29 Golden State (W 120-113, OT)
31 Sacramento (L 108-115)
2 at Chicago (L 88-106)
4 at Memphis (L 99-130)
5 Brooklyn (L 94-98)
7 Washington (L 100-108)
9 Portland (L 95-105)
10 at Miami (L 112-117, OT)
12 at Miami (L 115-132)
14 at Orlando (W 112-105)
16 Indiana (L 113-125)
18 at Cleveland (L 122-132, 2 OT)
20 at Washington (L 102-106)
23 Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
25 Minnesota, 5 p.m.s
28 at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
2 Washington, 7 p.m.
3 Milwaukee, 6 p.m.
5 L.A. Clippers, 7 p.m.
7 at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m.
9 New York, 7 p.m.
11 at Philadelphia, 6 p.m.
14 Detroit, 7 p.m.
16 Atlanta, 7 p.m.
18 at Denver, 8 p.m.
19 at Sacramento, 10 p.m.
21 at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.
23 at L.A. Lakers, 10:30 p.m.
26 at Portland, 10 p.m.
27 at Golden State, 10 p.m.
29 Oklahoma City, 7 p.m.
31 Brooklyn, 7 p.m.
2 L.A. Lakers, 7 p.m.
4 Memphis, 7 p.m.
6 at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
8 at Indiana, 5 p.m.
10 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
12 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
14 Boston, 7 p.m.
16 Boston, 1 p.m.
18 at Houston, 8 p.m.
21 at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.
23 at Utah, 9 p.m.
24 at Phoenix, 9 p.m.
26 Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
29 Miami, 1 p.m.
31 at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.
2 at Chicago, 8 p.m.
3 at Detroit, 7 p.m.
5 Orlando, 1 p.m.
8 at Washington, 7 p.m.
10 at Boston, 7:30 p.m.
11 Denver, 7 p.m.
13 Atlanta, 7 p.m.
15 San Antonio, 7 p.m.
24 at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
25 Miami, 7 p.m.
27 Detroit, 7 p.m.
1 Phoenix, 7 p.m.
3 Orlando, 7 p.m.
5 at Brooklyn, 6 p.m.
7 at New York, 7:30 p.m.
9 at Detroit, 7 p.m.
11 Utah, 7 p.m.
12 Cleveland, 5 p.m.
14 Cleveland, 7 p.m.
17 Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
20 Indiana, 7 p.m.
23 at New Orleans, 8 p.m.
24 at Dallas, 7:30 p.m.
26 Dallas, 1 p.m.
28 at Oklahoma City, 8 p.m.
31 Chicago, 7 p.m.
2 Toronto, 1 p.m.
4 Toronto, 7 p.m.
7 Houston, 7 p.m.
9 at Cleveland, 1 p.m.









Middle school boys soccer

Standings through Nov. 17:

Cramerton 7-0
Belmont 6-1
Holbrook 6-1
Stanley 6-2
Mount Holly 5-2
Southwest 3-5
York Chester 2-4-1
Bessemer City 2-5
Chavis 2-5-1
Grier 0-7
W.C. Friday 0-7

(Monday’s games)
Grier at W.C. Friday

Cramerton def. Holbrook 5-0: Lane Crotts, Marcus Rhodes, Ben Kelly, David Herrera and Maxi Rodriguez scored one goal apiece, Kelly Rhodes, Herrera, Jarrett Bumpas and Zachary Janik had one assist each and Owen Kelly recorded 2 saves and the shutout in goal.

Mount Holly at Chavis (moved to Nov. 30)

Southwest at Bessemer City

Belmont def. Stanley 3-0: Tyler Cunningham, Tanner Layman and Charlie Rodenberger scored one goal each and Danny Larck, Hunter Gerould and Jacob Wallace combined for the shutout in goal for Belmont.






Middle School volleyball

Standings through Nov. 17:

Mount Holly 7-0
Stanley 7-1
Belmont 6-1
Cramerton 6-1
Chavis 5-2
Holbrook 3-4
Bessemer City 2-5
W.C. Friday 2-5
Southwest 1-7
York Chester 1-7
Grier 0-7

(Monday’s games)
Grier at W.C. Friday

Cramerton def. Holbrook 3-0: Rylee Jacobs, Emma Whittington, Ava Cabe and Josie Searby led Cramerton.

Mount Holly at Chavis (moved to Nov. 30)

Southwest at Bessemer City

Belmont def. Stanley 3-2: Stella Absher, Carsyn Redmond, Charlotte Weeks, Emmy Hameed, Adeleigh Hutcheson, Evy McKee, Saundra Fann and Kerry Gozur led Belmont.


Kings Mountain def. North Lincoln 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 25-13): Campbell Benton (10 service points, 2 aces, 1 block, 13 kills), Jillian Patton (12 assists, 2 kills, 7 digs, 13 service points, 5 aces), Avaclaire Moss (13 service points, 4 aces, 9 assists), Avery Cruise (10 digs, 16 service points, 6 aces), Ava Broome (9 service points, 5 aces, 2 kills, 16 digs) and Jaylee Woodward (1 block, 7 kills) led Kings Mountain.







Middle School wrestling

Standings through Nov. 18:

Stanley 6-0
Belmont 6-1
Cramerton 5-1
W.C. Friday 4-1
Grier 4-2
Chavis 3-3
Holbrook 2-4
Mount Holly 2-4
York Chester 2-5
Bessemer City 0-6
Southwest 0-7

(Monday’s match)
W.C. Friday at Stanley

(Tuesday’s matches)
Holbrook at Grier, Mount Holly at W.C. Friday, Southwest at Cramerton, Stanley at Chavis, York Chester at Bessemer City