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1-19-22 roundup: College basketball and football, High school basketball, Pro basketball, football and soccer

By Richard Walker A Gastonia native, an original Charlotte Hornets player and an original Carolina Panthers player highlight a group of 11 that will be honored during the 2022 induction ceremonies for the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. Gastonia’s Dave Robbins, a two-sport star at old Ashley High School, is being inducted for leading […]

1-15-22 roundup: High school basketball, Pro football and basketball, College basketball and football

By Richard Walker A former South Point High football state champion will finish his college career at another school. Matthew Robinson, a 2018 South Point High graduate who was a member of the Red Raiders’ 2016 state championship team, announced on Friday on twitter that he was leaving Gardner-Webb and entering the college transfer portal. […]

1-11-22 roundup: High school basketball, Pro football, basketball and soccer, College football and basketball

By Richard Walker Even with a losing overall bowl record, the Southeastern Conference continued its college football dominance since the Bowl Championship Series format was adopted in 1998. The league won its 14th title in the 24-year history of the format that was increased from two teams to four teams in 2014. Georgia’s 33-18 victory […]

1-8-22 roundup: High school basketball and wrestling, Pro football and basketball, College basketball and football

By Richard Walker Friday night was milestone night for local high school basketball as a pair of Bessemer City High juniors surpassed 1,000 career points and a Lincoln Charter coach reached a victory milestone. Bessemer City’s Janiya Adams and Randall Pettus surpassed 1,000 career points as Bessemer City swept rival Cherryville with a 75-29 girls […]

12-17-21 roundup: Pro football, basketball and soccer, College football, women’s soccer and softball, High school basketball, Middle school volleyball

By Richard Walker Wake Forest’s Isaiah Mucius hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for an 82-79 Deacons’ victory over the Charlotte 49ers on Friday to cap the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center. The Deacons (11-1) had led by as many as 19 points before Charlotte (5-5) rallied to tie the […]

12-15-21 roundup: College football and basketball, High school basketball, Pro football and basketball and soccer, Middle school volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Three major college recruits from Cleveland County highlighted Wednesday’s national signing day as Crest’s Eli Hall signed with Wake Forest and Shelby’s Malaki Hamrick signed with North Carolina and Santana Hopper with Appalachian State. Additionally, Charlotte and Gardner-Webb added several players to their respective programs. At Charlotte, coach Will Healy signed 12 […]

12-12-21 roundup: High school basketball, Pro football and basketball, College football, basketball and soccer, Middle school wrestling

By Richard Walker With Shelby’s N.C. 2A championship game on Saturday, local high schools can now focus on high school basketball which has been underway for a month for some teams. League play in the Big South 3A and Western Foothills 3A conferences began on Friday. With that in mind, here’s preseason projections for the […]

12-9-21 roundup: Middle school boys soccer and wrestling, Pro basketball, football and soccer, High school football, basketball and indoor track, College football and basketball

By Richard Walker Cramerton Middle School finished a 12-0 seasons as the Eagles’ boys soccer team won the Gaston County county title. Cramerton edged Belmont 1-0 for the second time in eight days – this time in the championship game – as Aiden VanderMeer scored the goal in the first half on a Brody Dyer […]

12-8-21 roundup: College football and baseball, High school football and basketball, Pro football and basketball, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Former Ashbrook High standout British Brooks will be returning for another season with the University of North Carolina, the school announced on Wednesday. A 2018 Ashbrook graduate, Brooks has gone from recruited walkon to special teams standout and offensive contributor for the Tar Heels. This season, Brooks rushed for 223 yards and […]

12-4-21 roundup: College football and basketball, High school football and basketball, Pro football and basketball

By Richard Walker After 42 points were scored in the game’s first 21 1-2 minutes, Pittsburgh used defense to sew up its first ACC football championship Saturday night at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers held Wake Forest scoreless for 13 possessions, even aiding its offense with a score of its own in a […]

12-2-21 roundup: High school football and basketball, Pro football and basketball, College football and basketball, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker State championship pairings will be finalized for N.C. High School Athletic Association football teams after Friday’s regional finals across the state. The state announced earlier this week the following state championship times, dates and sites: Class 1A: Dec. 11 at noon (Kenan Stadium, North Carolina) Class 2A: Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. […]

11-28-21 roundup: Pro football and basketball, College football and basketball, High school football and basketball, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker The Carolina Panthers’ 2021 season is spiraling downward after Sunday’s 33-10 loss at the Miami Dolphins. Not only are the Panthers 5-7 overall, but they now have a week off to hear rumors of imminent change that could include Carolina’s second-year head coach Matt Rhule. After a Miami blocked punt gave the […]

11-20-21 roundup: High school football and soccer, College football and basketball, Pro football and basketball

By Richard Walker Shelby won its third N.C. High School Athletic Association soccer championship in dramatic fashion on Saturday. After Shelby and Greene Central went 120 minutes of regulation and overtime play with a scoreless tie, Shelby won the championship 5-3 on penalty kicks at Cary’s WakeMed Soccer Park. Golden Lions keeper Eli Wilbanks, who […]

11-19-21 roundup: High school football, soccer and basketball, College football and basketball, Pro football and basketball, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Crest, Shelby and South Point will be practicing on Thanksgiving Day. All three perennial local high school football powers took convincing playoff wins on Friday night to advance into next Friday’s regional semifinal round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs. Crest scored the first 21 points of the game before […]

11-16-21 roundup: High school soccer, basketball and football, College football and basketball, Pro football and basketball, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Shelby’s Jack Berkowitz scored the only goal of the Western N.C. 2A soccer championship less than three minutes in on an assist from Carter Bridges and the Golden Lions’ defense made the goal stand up for a 1-0 victory. The win sends Shelby (22-1-2) to its fourth state title game and first […]

Hometown heroes: College basketball preview 2021-22

By Richard Walker Several former local products will be playing and coaching college basketball as the 2021-22 season gets into full swing. That includes Gastonia’s Leonard Hamilton, a 1966 Highland High graduate and 1968 Gaston College graduate who entered the season as the 75th-winningest men’s basketball coach in NCAA major college history. Hamilton, who has […]

11-14-21 roundup: Pro football and basketball, College football and basketball, High school football and boys soccer

By Richard Walker Could Cam Newton’s return to the Carolina Panthers have gone any better? Signed officially on Thursday, Newton was productive in a limited role as the Panthers routed the Arizona Cardinals 34-10 on Sunday to even their record at 5-5 on the season. Arizona, whose 8-2 record remains the best in the NFC […]

11-13-21 roundup: College football and basketball, High school football and boys soccer, Pro football and basketball

By Richard Walker Wake Forest took a huge step toward the Dec. 4 ACC football championship game in Charlotte with a 45-42 home win over N.C. State Saturday night. The Deacons (9-1, 6-0) has a two-game lead over every other team in the Atlantic Division entering its final two games of the season – at […]

11-10-21 roundup: College basketball and football, Pro football and basketball, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker After five straight losses, the Charlotte emphatically snapped their slump with a 118-108 win at the Memphis Grizzlies behind a record-setting performance from Kelly Oubre, Jr. Oubre scored 37 points to set a franchise record for points off the bench. It came in a game Charlotte trailed by eight with 5:31 left […]

11-6-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer, tennis and cross country, College football and basketball, Pro football and basketball, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Stuart Cramer’s Zachary Willer set Gaston County history on a day in which local runners dominated the competition in the Class 3A N.C. High School Athletic Association cross country championships in Kernersville. Zachary Willer became Gaston County’s first boys state champion in 43 years on a day in which North Lincoln’s boys […]

11-5-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer and tennis, College football and basketball, Pro football and basketball, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Nine of the 15 teams from Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties won their opening round N.C. High School Athletic Association football state playoff games on Friday night, including four of the five Big South 3A Conference teams and all four Cleveland County teams. And they’ll move on to a second round that […]

11-2-21 roundup: College basketball, football, cross country and field hockey, Pro football and basketball, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Gaston College’s first men’s basketball team in 50 years will compete in a 29-game schedule that features 14 games in the always-competitive Region 10 in Division I of the National Junior College Athletic Association that begins on Friday. The Rhinos, led by head coach David “Dickey” Nutt and associate head coach Jamie […]

10-6-21 roundup: Pro football, basketball, baseball and auto racing, College football and basketball, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Cramerton Middle School beat visiting Chavis 10-3 on Wednesday to win the 2021 Gaston County Conference championship. It’s the Eagles’ fourth county title all-time and first since 2013. Cramerton also won in 2001 and 2002. In Wednesday’s victory that completed Cramerton’s season with a 12-0 record, Kayla Johnson threw a complete game […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

6-17-21 roundup: Prep baseball, College athletics, Pro football, College baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker East Lincoln, Lincoln Charter and Mountain Island Charter stayed alive on Thursday in the N.C. High School Athletic Association baseball playoffs. East Lincoln routed Thomasville Ledford 11-1 in five innings in Class 2A. And in Class 1A, Mountain Island Charter won 12-9 at top-seeded Hayesville and Lincoln Charter knocked off North Moore […]

Saturday’s roundup: College football and baseball, High school football playoff results/pairings and high school golf

By Richard Walker Gardner-Webb’s abbreviated 2021 winter/spring football season came to a close on Saturday in a 20-7 Big South Conference loss at Charleston Southern. The Bulldogs ended the season with a 2-2 overall record and 0-2 Big South Conference mark with two games cancelled due to COVID protocols. In Saturday’s finale, Gardner-Webb drove inside […]

SAVING GRACE: Florida State, Syracuese come to ACC’s rescue in year of NCAA tournament struggles

By Richard Walker An annual rite of passage for many Carolinas sports reporters is to see and hear about the unparalleled tradition ACC basketball tradition every October when the league hosts its annual Operation Basketball kickoff event in Charlotte. Certainly the ACC has much to brag about as five current members and one former member […]

NCAA TOURNAMENT: Who made it, some local connections and pre-tournament picks

By Richard Walker Local products area helping two local teams into this week’s NCAA tournament along with three coaches who either grew up locally or coached local teams. Also, five Carolinas colleges and universities, seven ACC teams, a team coached by a former Charlotte Hornets assistant coach and a team with the future Gaston College […]

North Carolina’s Junior College basketball history: Part 4 – The all-time great coaches and players of Region X and the two recent national championship teams

North Carolina and the National Junior College Athletic Association Region X area that also includes schools from South Carolina and Virginia has a rich basketball history that dates to the 1920s. We’re doing a four-part series on that history. Part 1: The early years from 1929 to the 1950s when Belmont Abbey was one of […]

North Carolina’s Junior College basketball history: Part 3 – Gaston College builds program quickly, successfully before dropping sport in 1972

North Carolina and the National Junior College Athletic Association Region X area that also includes schools from South Carolina and Virginia has a rich basketball history that dates to the 1920s. We’re doing a four-part series on that history. Part 1: The early years from 1929 to the 1950s when Belmont Abbey was one of […]

Gaston College announces its first athletic hires, including a former Duke All-American as athletic director

By Richard Walker Gene Banks, a former Duke All-American and NBA player will lead Gaston College’s athletic program as it prepare to restart for the first time since 1975, the school announced on Thursday. Banks was hired along with associate athletic director-head basketball coach Dickey Nutt, head baseball coach Shohn Doty and director of athletic […]

North Carolina’s Junior College basketball past: The first of a 4-part series starts with Belmont Abbey’s early dominance

North Carolina and the National Junior College Athletic Association Region X area that also includes schools from South Carolina and Virginia has a rich basketball history that dates to the 1920s. We’re doing a four-part series on that history: Part 1: The early years from 1929 to the 1950s when Belmont Abbey was one of […]

As 2021 begins, we look at Gaston College’s athletic restart – and its athletic past

By Richard Walker As 2021 begins, Gaston College is preparing to go back “Back to the Future.” The Gaston College Board of Trustees voted on Nov. 24, 2020 to launch a college athletics program that will offer men’s baseball and basketball, women’s beach volleyball and softball and Esports. The school estimates 96 athletes – 52 […]