Sports Shorts for December 17: Titans score wrestling victories

by Chris Hunt and C. Jemal Horton

The Hopewell wrestlers who placed at the Al Kessie Wrestling Tournament last week are (from left) Austin Randall, Nick Watson, Wesley Petrick and Matt Cancellieri.

Hopewell wrestlers Austin Randall and Nick ­Watson won their respective weight classes in the Al Kessie Wrestling Tournament at Olympic High
Dec. 12.

Randall pinned Ardrey Kell’s Alex Marbury to win the 103-pound class. Watson defeated North Mecklenburg’s Latham York, 17-1, to win the 215-pound division.

Hopewell’s Wesley Petrick finished second in the 112-pound weight class to Ardrey Kell’s Michael Bedard, 10-2, while Hough’s Brian Jones lost to Independence’s Brian Tiderman in the 171-pound final, 6-0.

As a team, Hough finished fifth, followed by Hopewell (ninth) and North Meck (tied for 13th).

Roberts earns I-MECK honors

Hopewell kicker Tyler Roberts has been named the I-MECK 4A conference’s Kicker of the Year.

Roberts was one of eight Titans who made the all-conference team. Hopewell quarterback Cole Blythe threw for more yards in a season than any other Titan under coach Chris Rust, completing 105 of 216 passes for 11 touchdowns and more than 1,600 yards. Blythe’s favorite target was senior receiver Leroy Jackson, who caught 30 passes for a team-high 521 yards and six touchdowns to earn an all-conference nod. Senior running back Dondre Lewis-Freeman finished his career with 2,750 rushing yards, 34 touchdowns and his second consecutive all-conference award. Kevin Auten (offensive line), Giovonne Evans (defensive line), Tevin Stevenson (defensive line) and Denzel Heath (linebacker) also earned all-conference honors.

The I-MECK 4A Co-Coaches of the Year are Phil Culicerto (Vance) and Mike Palmieri (Mallard Creek). Offensive Player of the Year went to Mallard Creek’s Marquise Williams, while teammate Alex Glover was Defensive Player of the Year. West Charlotte’s Ardy Holmes is Specialist of the Year. Hough’s Nathan Deering is the Kicker of the Year.

Eagles pin Bucs

In what was considered an upset, the SouthLake wrestling team upended Charlotte Country Day, 45-27, on Dec. 10.

The Eagles won the first eight matches against the Bucs and nine overall. SouthLake’s Kyle Summer (103 pounds), Dudan Zack (112), Payton Weekly (119), Cody Tucker (125), Hewitt Hamilton (130), Thomas Remick (135), Sam Bryant (140), DJ Wilson (145) and Sam Remick (160) won matches.

SouthLake goes barefoot

SouthLake Christian Academy will host its eighth-annual SLCA Basketball Classic on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 17-18. This year’s event includes boys and girls basketball teams from SouthLake, Lincoln Charter School, Statesville Christian and North Raleigh Christian.

The tournament is partnering with Samaritan’s Feet of Charlotte, an organization that works to provide shoes for children throughout the world. In the tradition of the Samaritan’s “Barefoot for Barefeet” program, the SouthLake girls and boys coaches will coach their games without shoes and socks to raise awareness for the cause.

The SouthLake girls open tournament play at 3 p.m. Friday against Statesville Christian, followed by the SouthLake boys, who square off against Statesville Christian at 4:30 p.m. Lincoln Charter’s girls face North Raleigh Christian at 6 p.m., and the boys teams from those schools  play at 7:30 p.m.

The girls consolation game is set for Saturday at 10 a.m., while the boys consolation starts at 11:30 a.m. The girls finals are at 1 p.m., followed by the boys finals at 2:30 p.m.

Fall Wachovia results are in

With all fall sports complete, Lake Norman High School is on top of the 2010-11 Wachovia Conference Cup standings for the I-MECK 4A after capturing championships in girls cross country, girls golf and volleyball.

Mallard Creek sits in second with league titles in boys cross country and football. North Mecklenburg and Mooresville share third place, thanks to North Meck’s championship in boys soccer and Mooresville’s title in girls tennis.

The I-MECK 4A standings after the first of three stages completed (fall, winter and spring) are as follows: Lake Norman 46.5, Mallard Creek 40, Mooresville 35, North Mecklenburg 35, Hough 33, Hopewell 30.5, Vance 18 and West Charlotte 9.

In the MEGA 7 3A/4A conference, Charlotte Catholic (49 points) dominated, finishing first in all fall sports. Olympic (36) is in second after runner-up finishes in boys and girls cross country, and girls golf. East Gaston (28) is third, followed by West Mecklenburg (18), Harding (15), Waddell (12) and Garinger (10).

Ardrey Kell leads the Southwestern 4A conference fall standings, thanks to league championships in boys and girls cross country, and girls golf. The Knights totaled 48 points. Myers Park (45.5) was second after winning titles in girls tennis and boys soccer. A championship in volleyball and second-places finishes in boys and girls cross country earned Providence (43.5) third place. South Mecklenburg (33.5) was fourth, Butler (30) fifth, Independence (18.5) sixth, East Mecklenburg (16) seventh and Rocky River (five) eighth.

The Wachovia Cup award, sponsored by Wachovia and the NCHSAA, recognizes the high schools that achieve the best overall interscholastic athletic performance within each of the state’s four competitive classifications. Wachovia has sponsored the conference awards program since 1980.

In most conferences, points are awarded based on participation and standings in conference play. Each conference determines its own method of awarding points. Conferences are listed alphabetically by classification.

Meineke game becomes Belk Bowl

Charlotte Collegiate Football announced an agreement with Charlotte-based Belk, Inc. designating the company as the new title sponsor of the college bowl game played at Bank of America Stadium, beginning in 2011.

Belk, the nation’s largest privately owned mainline department store company with 305 stores across the South, replaces Meineke Car Care Centers as the title sponsor for the game.

The three-year contract ensures the future of one of the most successful bowl games in NCAA history. The game is owned and operated by Charlotte Collegiate Football. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The ninth Meineke Car Care Bowl takes place Dec. 31 at Bank of America Stadium and features a matchup of the University of South Florida from the Big East Conference against Clemson University from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

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