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9-26-21 roundup: Pro baseball and football, College football, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Former South Point High standout Garrett Davila last week won his second minor league championship as a member of the Kansas City Royals’ organization. A 2015 South Point High graduate, Davila was the winning pitcher for Northwest Arkansas in the second game of the Naturals’ three games to none Class AA Central […]

9-25-21 roundup: College football, High school football and boys soccer, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker Gardner-Webb trailed at halftime against Western Carolina before its offense got untracked for a 52-34 victory at Spangler Stadium. The Runnin’ Bulldogs (2-2) won their second straight game by scoring the game’s final 28 points – or after trailing 34-24 with 8:09 left in the third quarter. Gardner-Webb quarter B Fisher completed […]

9-24-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer, baseball, volleyball and cross country, Pro football and baseball, College football, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker The first big Southern Piedmont 1A/2A matchup of the season turned into a rout for Shelby as the Golden Lions rolled to a 55-7 win at previously unbeaten Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy on Friday night. Shelby improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in league play by scoring the game’s last 49 points […]

9-23-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer, baseball, volleyball and cross country, Pro football and baseball, College football, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker As the high school football season hits the midway point of the 11-week, 10-game season on Friday, we look at individuals who have shined brighest so far this season. Already, two quarterbacks in Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties have surpassed 1,000 yards passing and many others are having strong seasons. No running […]

9-22-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, College football and baseball, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Can the Carolina Panthers’ defense keep it up? And can the offense continue it fast starts? If Carolina can keep doing both, the Panthers will become the first 3-0 team in the NFL this season if they can win Thursday’s 8:20 p.m. game at the Houston Texans. The Panthers also are seeking […]

9-21-21 roundup: College football and women’s soccer, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Middle school football and softball, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker Several former local products are nearing the end of their professional baseball seasons. Here’s a look at how they are doing with statistics through Monday’s games: Emilio Pagan (former Gardner-Webb and Belmont Abbey): The right-handed pitcher is 4-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 66 appearances for the San Diego Padres. Jeffrey Springs […]

9-20-21 roundup: College football and cross country, Amateur golf, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball, Pro football, basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker During Big South Conference football media day this summer, Gardner-Webb coach Tre Lamb said former Crest standout Jalin Graham would be a future standout in his program. Graham, a 2020 Crest graduate, proved his coach correct on in the Bulldogs’ 56-0 home win over Lincoln, Pa., with a brief but very effective […]

9-19-21 roundup: Pro football, golf and baseball, College football, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker A dominating defensive effort in Sunday’s 26-7 home win over the New Orleans Saints could have the Carolina Panthers thinking big already this season. Not only did it give the Panthers a 2-0 for only the eighth time in the franchise’s 27-year history but it also ended a four-game losing streak to […]

9-18-21 roundup: Pro football, golf and baseball, College football, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball

By Richard Walker The Carolina Panthers pursue a rare 2-0 start on Sunday when they host the New Orleans Saints at 1 p.m. Winning again would put the team in a good historical position since six of the previous 2-0 starts have resulted in postseason appearances. Carolina has started out 2-0 or better in 1996, […]

9-17-21 roundup: High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball, College football, cross country and rugby, Pro football, golf and baseball

By Richard Walker West Lincoln High School is off to its third 4-0 football start in the last four seasons after Mason Avery’s 10-yard touchdown run in overtime lifted the Rebels to a 20-17 win over Bandys in a Catawba Valley 2A Conference opener. West Lincoln hosts preseason league favorite Maiden next week. Here are […]

9-16-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Middle school football and softball, College football, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker How important is winning your conference football opener? In the Big South Conference, it’s imperative if you want to win the league championship. How so? With Friday featuring six teams opening their league slate – Crest beat North Gaston 42-16 last week – none of the previous league champions or co-champions have […]

2021-22 Carolinas ACC Basketball schedules

Clemson NOV 9 Presbyterian NOV 12 Wofford NOV 15 Bryant (SHRINERS CHILDREN’S CHARLESTON CLASSIC) NOV 18 Temple (at CHARLESTON, S.C.) NOV 19 St. Bonaventure/Boise State (at CHARLESTON, S.C.) NOV 21 TBA (at CHARLESTON, S.C.) NOV 26 Charleston Southern NOV 30 at Rutgers DEC 4 at Miami, Fla. (HOLIDAY HOOPSGIVING) DEC 11 Drake (at ATLANTA, GA.) […]

9-15-21 roundup: Middle school football and softball, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, College football and basketball, Pro football, basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker Holbrook and Southwest stayed unbeaten in Gaston County Conference middle school football action after wins on Wednesday. Holbrook defeated Mount Holly 36-6 to improve to 4-0 and Southwest edged Southwest 6-0 to improve to 5-0. Grier (3-0) also is unbeaten in the Gaston County Conference. Here are Wednesday’s Gaston County Conference results: […]

9-14-21 roundup: College football, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Middle school football and softball, Pro football, basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker Charlotte is off to its fourth 2-0 start in the school’s nine-year football history. Coach Will Healy said during his weekly news conference that 2-0 won’t mean anything if the team doesn’t finish strong – and that starts with this week’s 7 p.m. game at Georgia State. “Every week I say this […]

Remembering a N.C. basketball icon: Littles dies at 78

By Richard Walker Pioneering basketball player and longtime coach Gene Littles died at 78 on Thursday, Sept. 9. Littles was a pioneer as a one of the first African-American college players to play in the state when he went to High Point University from 1965 to 1969 before playing six years of professional basketball, including […]

9-13-21 roundup: College baseball and football, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Middle school football and softball, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker Former South Point High baseball standout Dawson Gause will be playing on one of the biggest stages in all of college baseball this spring when he pitches for six-time national champion LSU. A 2018 South Point High graduate, Gause will be a 6-foot-4, 215-pound redshirt sophomore for the Tigers after transferring from […]

9-12-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, High school football, College football and cycling, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker They may have started slow – and drew a few boos in the process – but the Carolina Panthers reversed a recent opening-game trend on Sunday with a 19-14 win over the New York Jets on Sunday. Sam Darnold completed 24 ot 34 passes for 279 yards and one touchdown in his […]

9-11-21 roundup: High school football, College football, Pro football and baseball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker There was no letdown for the Charlotte 49ers as they rolled to a 38-10 win over Gardner-Webb on Saturday night at Richardson Stadium. One week after Charlotte’s first-ever home game and victory over a power five major college football conference – the 49ers beat Duke 31-28 – Charlotte never trailed as it […]

9-10-21 roundup: High school football, basketball, girls tennis and volleyball, Pro football and baseball, College football and rugby, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker A shootout at Shelby’s Blanton Memorial Stadium between two of the Carolinas winningest programs ended with South Pointe of Rock Hill, S.C., holding off Shelby 51-37 on Friday night. South Pointe scored 34 straight points in the first half to take a 37-7 halftime lead before the host Golden Lions outscored the […]

9-9-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, College football, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker On Saturday, a former Crest High quarterback will make his head coaching debut against the ACC when Dawson “Tyrone” Odums leads his Norfolk State team into its first game at Wake Forest at noon. Odums, a 1992 Crest High graduate, played quarterback in high school and defensive line at North Carolina Central […]

9-8-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, College football and women’s soccer, High school football, boys soccer and cross country, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Former South Point High standout Tanner Muse has a new NFL home. Muse, a 2015 South Point High graduate, signed to play on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad on Wednesday. It comes two days after the Las Vegas Raiders released Muse from their roster. Muse had made eight tackles with half a […]

NFL pros from N.C. high schools

By Richard Walker As we prepare for the start of the 2021 NFL season, a large number of North Carolina high school products are again on team rosters. Seventy-four players who attended N.C. high schools are on league rosters as the season begins. That’ll included six players who will participate in Thursday’s Dallas Cowboys at […]

9-7-21 roundup: Pro basketball, football and baseball, College football, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Former Forestview and Gaston Day standout Nate Hinton has a new NBA team. Hinton signed a contract with the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. Indiana’s new head coach is Hinton’s former Dallas Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle. A 2018 Gaston Day graduate who was an undrafted free agent signee out of the University of […]

Familiarity, similarity of head coaching methods and strategies add to intrigue of Saturday’s Gardner-Webb at Charlotte 49ers matchup

By Richard Walker Charlotte 49ers head football coach Will Healy and Gardner-Webb head football coach Tre Lamb have known each other for years. That’s why Saturday’s 6 p.m. game at Charlotte’s Richardson Stadium will have a “family” feel to it, even as both coaches say they desperately seek a victory over a coaching rival that […]

9-6-21 roundup: College football, High school football and boys soccer, Pro football and baseball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Quarterbacks at Charlotte and Gardner-Webb, a Gardner-Webb receiver and Gaston County’s all-time leading high school football rusher were among those honored with top conference awards for their play in the opening week of the 2021 college football season. Charlotte’s Chris Reynolds was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week after he […]

9-5-21 roundup: High school football and athletics, Pro football and baseball, College football, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Former North Gaston High standout Blake Brown was promoted by the Philadelphia Phillies to its Class AA affiliate on Sunday. A 2016 North Gaston High graduate, Brown went 2-1 with eight saves with a 3.15 ERA in 33 appearances for the Class A Jersey Shore Blue Claws before being promoted to the […]

9-4-21 roundup: High school football, Pro football and baseball, College football and men’s soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Gardner-Webb put a scare into traditional power Georgia Southern in the 2021 college football opener for both teams. The visiting Bulldogs scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns and drove to the Georgia Southern 29 in the closing seconds before losing 30-25 at Paulson Stadium. Gardner-Webb quarterback Bailey Fisher completed 27 of 45 passes for […]

9-3-21 roundup: High school football, girls tennis, boys soccer and volleyball, Pro football and baseball, College football, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker The Charlotte 49ers set history Friday night. The 49ers scored late and survived a Duke rally for a 31-28 victory in front of 14,125 fans at Richardson Stadium. It marks Charlotte’s first win over an ACC school in the 49ers first home game against an ACC opponent. In a game with six […]

Who has the best barbecue? Campbell, Gardner-Webb football series will now help decide on annual basis

By Richard Walker Who has the best barbecue in North Carolina? It’s a debate that’s been discussed for years by folks who like eating Western-style or Eastern-style or both versions of the barbecue that is so popular in the state. On Friday, longtime rivals Gardner-Webb and Campbell added a twist to the discussion by announcing […]

9-2-21 roundup: High school football, soccer and volleyball, Pro football and baseball, College football and soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker High school football’s third week continued Thursday with non-conference games that include rivalry matchups like Burns-Kings Mountain, Cramer-East Gaston and East Lincoln-Lincolnton. There’s also been four game cancellations – Blacksburg, S.C., at Cherryville, Central Cabarrus at Huss, Foard at West Lincoln and South Point at R-S Central – with South Point picking […]

9-1-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, College football, High school football, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker After the COVID-19 pandemic completely disrupted high school football in the 2020-21 school year, it continues having an impact on the 2021 fall schedule. On Wednesday, the Crest at Shelby game that was scheduled for Friday will be postponed with school officials saying they are “working to reschedule.” It is the fourth […]

Back in action: Former Huss standout Prince Bemah eager to play for Charlotte 49ers against Duke, former prep teammate

By Richard Walker When Gastonia’s Prince Bemah graduated early from Hunter Huss High School in order to attend UNC Charlotte in January 2019, then first-year Charlotte 49ers coach Will Healy considered Bemah one of his top recruits. Healy still has high hopes for Bemah, even as two knee surgeries have kept the linebacker off the […]

Week 1 college preview: Charlotte the center of college football universe

By Richard Walker After a handful of games last week, the college football universe descends on Charlotte for three days in the first full week of the 2021 college football season. On Thurday, Appalachian State and East Carolina meet at the NFL Carolina Panthers’ Bank of America Stadium. On Friday, the Charlotte 49ers host their […]

8-30-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, College football, High school football and volleyball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Four local high school products are currently on NFL rosters following the 2021 preseason – former Crest standout Jonathan Bullard, former South Point standout Tanner Muse, former East Lincoln standout Chazz Surratt and former East Lincoln and Lincolnton standout Sage Surratt. Here is a look at how each player is doing: Bullard: […]

QUEEN CITY PASSION: Charlotte has longtime major college football roots, but this could be biggest weekend ever

By Richard Walker The center of the college football universe will descend upon Charlotte, N.C., during this Labor Day weekend. Not only will three historic games be played in Charlotte from Thursday to Saturday but ESPN’s College Game Day will be broadcasting live from Charlotte all day on Saturday. Since North Carolina defeated Virginia Tech […]

8-27-21 roundup: High school football, volleyball and girls tennis, Middle school football and softball, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker South Point was challenged for a half at rival East Gaston. Then the Red Raiders scored 28 straight points in the second half for a 35-7 non-conference victory. It gives South Point its 25th win over the Warriors in their last 25 meetings. Tyson Riley scored two second half touchdowns and Cam […]

Last ride: Former East Lincoln star Dollar ready for his final season with Charlotte 49ers

By Richard Walker Now a redshirt senior wide receiver for the Charlotte 49ers, former East Lincoln High standout Cam Dollar said he had a revelation one day before the first practice to get ready for the 2021 season. “It was the night before camp and I was out here and I was walking around and […]

College football 2021 preview: Local products in three Charlotte games that open the season

By Richard Walker Area products fill college football rosters all across the nation. And during Labor Day weekend, when the focus of college football will be on Charlotte, local products will be involved for five of the six teams who will be playing in the Queen City. On Thursday, Sept. 2, seven area products will […]

8-20-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, College basketball, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker After two straight losses to its oldest rival, Shelby High opened the 2021 high school football season with a vengeance – and a 37-14 victory – at Kings Mountain. In the earliest meeting of the 98-year-old series, Kings Mountain scored first before Shelby took charge of the game with 23 straight points. […]

8-19-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, college athletics, Pro basketball and football

By Richard Walker Gaston College has a nickname, a logo and school colors for its startup athletic program. The school unveiled its blue and yellow colors, its “Rhinos” nickname and its logo during a Thursday outdoor party at the campus. Gaston College’s Rhinos will return to athletic competition this fall for the first time since […]

8-18-21 roundup: Youth softball, Legion baseball, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Pro football and baseball, College cycling

By Richard Walker Cherryville’s Dixie Angels All-Star softball recently won both the North Carolina state and the Dixie World Series tournament titles. In the N.C. state tournament held in Cherryville from July 9-13, Cherryville routed three opponents by a 33-0 cumulative score and yielded only one hit. In the Dixie World Series (Angels Division) held […]

8-15-21 roundup: Pro football, basketball and baseball, High school football, Legion baseball, College athletics

By Richard Walker The Indianapolis Colts scored 11 points in the final 7:43 on Sunday afternoon to ruin the Carolina Panthers preseason opener. The Colts, who got six of those points on a 1-yard touchdown run by former Charlotte 49ers running back Benny LeMay, won the contest on Eddy Pinero’s 30-yard field with seven seconds […]

8-13-21 roundup: Pro basketball, football and baseball, Legion baseball, College athletics

By Richard Walker The Charlotte Hornets announced a four-game preseason schedule that features two home games at Spectrum Center. Charlotte opens its 2021-22 preseason at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. before returning home to play the Mamphis Grizzlies on Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. After visiting the Miami Heat on […]

8-11-21 roundup: Middle school football, Legion baseball, Pro basketball, football and baseball, College athletics

By Richard Walker After the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the Gaston County Conference football schedule and altered the Tri-County Conference football schedule, both leagues will run full slates for the 2021 season. In Gaston County, it’ll mark the first action since the 2019 season. And in Cleveland and Lincoln counties, the teams will play a full […]

8-10-21 roundup: Pro basketball and baseball, Legion baseball, High school football, College athletics

By Richard Walker During Tuesday’s offseason media session, Charlotte Hornets president and general manager Mitch Kupchak said his team had finished its offseason roster decisions, had high hopes for the upcoming season and felt the contract extension the team gave head coach James Borrego indicated he would be able to meet those expectations. Charlotte added […]

8-9-21 roundup: Legion baseball, Pro basketball and baseball, College athletics

By Richard Walker The schedule has been set for the 2021 American Legion World Series that returns for the 10th straight time and 11th time overall to Shelby’s Keeter Stadium at Veterans Field. Defending champion Idaho Falls, Id., and runner-up Fargo, N.D., are two of the six teams who will comprise the eight-team field. Midland […]

Remembering when the late Bobby Bowden spoke in Gaston County

By Richard Walker The Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame banquet has featured many legendary speakers since the event began in 1961. And the late Bobby Bowden was among that group when he spoke at the Aug. 15, 2011 banquet at Cramer Mountain Country Club. He became the seventh national championship-winning coach to speak the […]

8-8-21 roundup: Pro basketball and baseball, college football and athletics

By Richard Walker The Charlotte Hornets lost their 2021 Las Vegas Summer League basketball opener on Sunday night. The Portland Trail Blazers led most of the way in a 93-86 victory. Antonio Blakeney’s 27 points off the bench led Portland. For Charlotte, rookie James Bouknight had a team-high 19 points and LiAngelo Ball had 16 […]

8-7-21 roundup: Pro basketball and baseball, college athletics

By Richard Walker The Charlotte Hornets’ busy summer continued Saturday with three more transactions and an ESPN report that the team and head coach James Borrego are finalizing a multi-year contract extension. Borrego has one year left on the three-year, $6 million contract he signed with the Hornets in May 2018. He’s guided Charlotte to […]

8-6-21 roundup: Pro football, basketball and baseball, college football and athletics

  By Richard Walker After a year off, Carolina Panthers Fan Fest returned on Friday night at 7 p.m. as the team got to show off its new players and the new field turf at Bank of America Stadium. More than 20,000 fans attended to make it the largest crowd at the stadium since the […]

CRAMERTON LEGEND DIES: Reece played on title teams at old Cramerton High and at Belmont Abbey

By Richard Walker Cramerton lost one of its all-time sports legends when Arnold “Ted” Reece died at 93 on Monday at Robin Johnson Hospice in Dallas, N.C. A lifelong Cramerton resident, Reece played on back-to-back state championship basketball teams at old Cramerton High School in 1944 and 1945 and also played at Belmont Abbey College […]

8-5-21 roundup: College athletics, Pro basketball and baseball, College men’s soccer

By Richard Walker Gaston College will return to athletic competition this fall for the first time since 1975. The school is holding a Block Party from 3-8 p.m. on Aug. 19 to unveil the school’s new nickname, logo and colors. Gaston College was nicknamed the Rebels from 1965 to 1969 and the Warriors from 1969 […]

8-3-21 roundup: High school athletics, Legion softball, Pro basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker East Lincoln and Crest are among the Wells Fargo Conference Cup award winners for conferences with Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln and Mecklenburg counties. The Wells Fargo Conference Cup award, sponsored by Wells Fargo and the N.C. High School Athletic Association, is a companion to the statewide Wells Fargo Cup. The Conference Cup is […]

NBA’s top talent producer? Gastonia’s Leonard Hamilton and Florida State have a strong case

By Richard Walker When you think of Florida State athletics, most think of the school’s football and baseball programs. Gastonia native Leonard Hamilton certainly supports the Seminoles’ football and baseball teams, but his basketball program is becoming one of the biggest pro basketball talent producers in all of college basketball. Since arriving at Florida State […]

8-2-21 roundup: Legion baseball and softball, College athletics, Pro basketball

By Richard Walker After a year off due to the coronavirus, American Legion baseball begins national playoff competition on Wednesday with start of regional play among 64 teams in eight regions across the country. Those 64 teams came out of 3,045 teams that registered to play this season. All state champions will participate along with […]

7-29-21 roundup: Legion baseball and softball, College football, Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Cherryville and Fuquay-Varina clinched their spots in Saturday’s semifinals with wins on Thursday in the N.C. American Legion baseball state tournament at Cherryville’s Fraley Field. Cherryville routed Rowan County 17-1 in six innings by the 10-run mercy rule in the final game of pool play. It came a few hours after Fuquay-Varina […]

Could Gardner-Webb get national attention from ESPN’s “The Undefeated” for its pioneering role in 1960s?

By Richard Walker Could Gardner-Webb University soon be getting some national attention for how was it one of the leaders in integrating its basketball program in the 1960s? It’s a possibility as the first African-American player in Gardner-Webb history, Sonny Johnson, says the ESPN’s “The Undefeated” is working on a story on the Laurinburg Institute […]

7-27-21 roundup: Legion baseball, College football and baseball, Olympics, Pro basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker Perennial North Carolina American Legion baseball powers will descend on Cherryville’s Fraley Field this week for the 21st state championship tournament. All-time N.C. state championship winner, state tournament participant and area champion Wilmington (12-0) is one of two unbeaten teams in the eight-team field. Wilmington 10 has won 12 state titles, 13 […]

7-26-21 roundup: Legion baseball, College football, Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Cherryville American Legion Post 100’s baseball program has long been successful. On Monday around 5 p.m., Post 100’s Junior American Legion team added to that history by wrapping up its first N.C. state title. Cherryville rallied from deficits of 2-1 and 3-2 with an eight-run top of the sixth inning as it […]

7-22-21 roundup: Legion baseball, High school football and baseball, Pro basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker Off for six days after sweeping its first six North Carolina Area IV playoff games, some wondered if the time away would make Cherryville American Legion Post 100 rusty. Not a chance. Cherryville rolled to a 15-0 victory over Rutherford County by the five-inning, 10-run mercy rule to move within one victory […]