by Aaron Garcia
Area baseball, softball teams keep postseasons going
Only two Union County baseball teams remain after the first two rounds of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs: Weddington and Cuthbertson.
In Class 3A action, Weddington (22-6) opened the postseason with a 12-2 drubbing of West Rowan on May 11 before eking out a 2-1 win over Charlotte Catholic on May 15. The Warriors will next face the winner of Northwestern Cabarrus/China Grove Carson on Friday, May 18.
Cuthbertson (25-3) advanced to the third round of the 2A playoffs after surviving a 1-0 scare from Central Davidson on May 10 to open the playoffs. However, they bounced back for a more convincing 6-3 victory over Maiden in the second round. The Cavs will next face Western Davidson on Friday.
Four softball teams remain in action: Porter Ridge, Weddington, Piedmont and Metrolina Christian.
Porter Ridge takes its 27-0 record into its third-round Class 4A game against Asheville Roberson on Friday, May 18. The Pirates took a first-round, 10-0 win over Charlotte Mallard Creek on May 11 before beating Lake Norman, 3-1, on May 15.
Weddington (14-10) will visit Central Cabarrus on Friday after beating East Rowan, 2-1, on May 11 and Mount Pleasant, 5-0, on May 15.
In 2A action, Piedmont (15-9) earned a 7-5 win over East Davidson to advance to the second round, where the Panthers were slated to face Trinity Wheatmore on May 16.
In private-school softball action, the Metrolina Christian Academy Warriors earned a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A playoffs, thanks to their 20-1 record. They were slated to face Winston-Salem Calvary Baptist on May 17.
Monroe boys track takes third
Though the Monroe boys track and field team didn’t match the Redhawk girls’ state title at last week’s Class 1A championships, it definitely had a solid showing of its own, placing third among 49 teams.
The Redhawk boys managed wins in four events. Senior Brandon Little claimed gold in the 100-meter dash (10.91 seconds) and registered a third-place effort in the 200 (22.30) while also anchoring a pair of relay teams. Little joined Jaylen Barbour, Tristan Thompson and Tre Shunn Wynn to win the 4×200 relay in 1 minute, 28.56 seconds. Little then teamed with Barbour, Wynn and Quayshawn Chambers to win the 4×400 (3:26.05).
Barbour, Thompson, Tyler Casey and Jermany Hammond also took gold in the 4×100 (43.76).
Monroe finished with 52 points behind winner North Rowan (79) and Durham’s N.C. School of Science & Math (75).
Cavs, Covington soar at state meet
The Cuthbertson track and field program claimed its first individual outdoor track and field state championship on May 11, when senior Raven Covington soared 17 feet, 4 inches to win the long jump at the Class 2A meet at Greensboro’s N.C. A&T State University. The win helped propel the Cuthbertson girls to a third-place finish at the meet.
Covington also teamed with Mikaela Seibert, Nikolete Hurrinus and Veronica Pfaff to take silver in the 4×400-meter relay in 4 minutes, 3.16 seconds. Fellow Cav Liz Wood edged teammate Haley Thoms for third place in the pole vault – each jumper cleared 9-6, but Wood needed fewer attempts. Seibert claimed fourth in the triple jump (34-8) and anchored the Cavs’ fourth-place 4×200 team (1:47.09) along with Deja Burks, Ariel Worley and Morgan Carlson. Hurrinus added a fourth-place finish in the 400 (58.64).
Carrboro won the team title with 67 points, followed by Burlington Cummings (52) and Cuthbertson (49).
In the boys meet, Forest Hills was propelled to a 10th-place finish, thanks in large part to a pair of winning relay teams. Jamael Lotharp, Juwan Crowder, Frederick Kiser and Ja’Keem Little finished the 4×100 relay with a blistering time of 42.37, good for first place. Gregory Belin then joined Lotharp, Kiser and Little to win the 4×200 (1:28.39).
Cuthbertson also received a podium-worthy finish from its 4×800 relay team, as Matt Russel, Daniel DuChateau, Cole Bernard and Ethan Good claimed bronze in 8:17.49.
Forest Hills finished with 22 points. Cuthbertson took 29th place with eight points. Hillsborough Cedar Ridge took the team crown with 67 points.
Metrolina boys track shares MAC title
The Metrolina Christian Academy boys track and field team tied Matthews Covenant Day for first place at the Metrolina Athletic Conference meet on May 7 at Charlotte’s Victory Christian Center.
The Warriors were pushed by several first-place winners, including Alex Lewis, who won the 100-meter dash in 11.4 seconds; Landon Whitley, who claimed gold in the 400 (54.3); Caleb Breeden, who won both the 1,600 (4 minutes, 59 seconds) and the 3,200 (11:21.1); and Marcus Abraham, who took first in the shot put (43 feet, 1 inch) and the discus (130-8). The Warriors also earned a win in the 4×100-meter relay (46.3).
The Warriors tied Covenant Day with 111 points.
The Metrolina Christian girls (60 points) took second place behind Covenant Day (113) and were paced by a strong performance from Sarah Glenn, who won both the 300 hurdles (55.77) and the long jump (13-8). The Warriors also won the 4×400 in 4:50.
Next up for the Warriors is the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A meet, slated for Friday, May 18, at Charlotte Country Day.
Giving coaches a ‘timeout’
The annual Coaches Time Out conference will be held June 14-16 at the Marriott Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel.
Coaches Time Out is intended to give coaches and their spouses a “timeout” from the everyday challenges they face. During the conference, coaches and spouses are joined by others who go through similar experiences, all the while having the opportunity to hear guest speakers who cover topics such as enriching relationships, improving communication, managing finances, maximizing the coaching platform and developing personal faith.
This year’s CTO conference will be hosted by former Carolina Panthers kicker John Kasay, now a member of the New Orleans Saints. Charlotte Christian football coach Jason Estep and his wife, Leslie, are regional directors for the conference-based coaches ministry.
Guest speakers this year include former Panthers quarterback Frank Reich, ex-NFL tight end Ben Watson, comedic couple Jay and Laura Laffoon, and musician Zachary Kale, among others.
To learn more about this year’s conference and register, visit www.coachestimeout.org/conferences/carolinas/index.html.
Charlotte Latin awarded Nike softball camp site
The Nike softball camp, a tour for players ages 6-18, recently chose Charlotte Latin School as a site on its nationwide schedule. Charlotte Latin will host the Nike camp July 9-13.
Hawks coach Eric Smith, who is in his fifth season, will be the camp’s director. Under Smith, Latin has won the last four Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association championships and finished among the top three in the state tournament each of the past three years. Under Smith, the Hawks have produced 17 all-conference players and six all-state selections.
At the Nike camp, players are broken into groups of similar ages, skill and goals. According to the Nike camp website, the sessions are designed for “intensive training that is essential to improvement for all skill levels. Every facet of the game is covered with an emphasis on fundamentals to help players become valuable team members.”
For more information, visit www.ussportscamps.com/softball or call 1-800-NIKE-CAMP.
Calvary Church hosts sports camp
South Charlotte’s Calvary Church will be the site of the CHAMP All-Sports Camp June 11-15.
Youths ages 6 to 12 may participate in the camp, choosing to play either soccer, baseball or flag football. The camp includes sports instruction, team huddle time, field games, T-shirts, popsicles, prizes and a Friday lunch celebration for families.
The cost is $140 until May 16.
With 18 playing fields at Calvary Church, located at 5801 Pineville-Matthews Road, CHAMP Sports Outreach offers kids a top-notch experience with an emphasis on fun, sportsmanship, Christian character development and athletic skills.
To register, visit www.champsportsinfo.com. For more information, call 704-887-3689.