Monday, March 30, 2009

RM's Battle to sign with Queens University

Rocky Mount senior forward Dyonna Battle will be taking her game to the next level.

On April 15, she is expected to sign a letter-of-intent to play basketball for Queens University in Charlotte. Queens, a D-II school, is a member of the Conference Carolinas Conference, which calls Barton College and Mount Olive College home.

Battle had an outstanding career at RMHS - finishing as the school's No. 3 girls' basketball scorer with 1,290 points. Only all-staters Kim Taylor and Danielle Powell finished ahead of her.

She was a four-time NEW 6 Conference All-Conference selection and was the league's MVP in 2008. She was the league's tournament MVP last month. Battle, who led the league in scoring this past season with a 16.6 avearge and hauled down 6.6 rebounds a game, helped Rocky Mount to successive NEW 6 regular season and tournament titles.

Her last two games of her career were truly memorable. Both in the NCHSAA playoffs, she scored a combined 56 points - including a career-high 31 points against Havelock in the second round. In those two contests, she was 23-for-23 at the free throw line. She finished the season shooting 81 percent from the charity stripe.

The Royals went 15-13 this past season under head coach Trudi Lacey, the former All-American player from N.C. State.

Her family and friends will get to see her play at least twice each season when Queens comes east to Wilson and Mount Olive.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fish picks Campbell

Rocky Mount senior catcher Ben Fish has made his decision as to where he'll play his college ball. Ben has picked Campbell University.

He'll sign in the coming days with the Camels. He made his decision after a campus visit on Monday.

For the first time since 2001, at least three D-I recruits are playing on a Rocky Mount team at the same time. The 1980 team won the 4-A state title with five D-I players: David Downs, Kevin Bunn and Bill Merrifield all signed with Wake Forest, while catcher Jeff Newsome inked with UNC-W and then-junior pitcher Bill Wilkes later signed with Campbell, which may have been in the NAIA back then. Check back with me on that.
In 2001, Paul Jenkins, Carter Harrell and Adam Weaver all verbally committed to UNC, although Weaver signed one season later.

From the current team, senior Brian Goodwin has signed with UNC, while junior lefty hurler Hobbs Johnson has verbally committed to the Tar Heels.

Congrats to Ben and his family (shoutout to Ashley, Macauley and Don!). And he's only a few RBI away from becoming the top Gryphon on that list.

The record is currently held by Jeremy Ward and Chris Berry at 66. Fish entered his senior campaign with 54. He currently stands at 61.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

NCWC's Long wins 300th game; Bishops post victory No. 1,000

NCWC Sports Information

North Carolina Wesleyan College head baseball coach Charlie Long earned the 300th win of his career on Sunday as the Battling Bishops turned in a 5-2 victory over USA South rival Methodist University in Fayetteville.

Coupled with Saturday’s 5-4 defeat of the Monarchs, the Bishops were able to sweep the series and take over sole possession of first place in the league standings with 3-1 conference record. Wesleyan has now won 10 of its last 11 contests to move to 14-11 overall.

Long, a Northern Nash graduate, chalked up his 299th victory on Saturday in NCWC’s series-opening 5-4 victory.

Wesleyan took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when senior Luke Williford singled, stole second and third, and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

The Monarchs (16-7, 2-2) answered with a pair of runs in the third to take a 2-1 lead, but the Bishops countered with two of their own in their next at-bat. Sophomore Zach Alexander led off the inning with a solo blast to right-center, and Williford later drove in a run with an RBI-single to right.

Down 3-2, Methodist again plated a pair in the fourth and maintained its 4-3 advantage until the eighth inning. It was then that Williford struck again, this time with a two-out, two-run single that proved to be the game-winner.

NCWC starter Jonathan Lucas went six complete, allowing four runs on 11 hits and striking out four in the no-decision.

Freshman Ben Franceschi (2-0) earned the win in relief after tossing a scoreless 2.0 innings, which set the stage for junior John Child’s fourth save of the season.

Williford finished 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run scored, while Zollie Woodlief and Alexander each had two hits. Wesleyan ripped 10 hits as a team in the contest.

Saturday’s victory set the stage for Long’s milestone win on Sunday, and senior righty Ben Moore made sure his coach did not have to wait.

Moore (3-1) tossed a complete game, scattering six hits and allowing just two runs while striking out five and walking one.

Long’s 300th coaching victory is the second major milestone for the N.C. Wesleyan baseball program in the past two weeks.

The Battling Bishops also turned in the program’s 1,000th overall victory with a recent 12-10 win over Piedmont College at Bauer Field.

NCWC has three players from Nash County on its roster and all three are Northern Nash alums: Andrew Webb, Daniel Moore and Lucas.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Hahula, Lee headed to Greensboro this summer

Rocky Mount football players Torey Lee and Nick Hahula will play for the East at the Annual NCCA East-West All-Star Football Game on Wednesday, July 22 at Grimsley High School's Jamieson Stadium.

All told, five Twin County area players will be participating (in bold). The head coach for the East will SouthWest Edgecombe's Raymond Cobb. Check out the list of his assistants and you will see some familiar names, too!

East Roster

• Taylor Hanson, Offensive Lineman, Wake Forest-Rolesville
• Dorian Edwards, Offensive Lineman, Kinston
• Roy Marsh, Offensive Lineman, East Wake
• Torey Lee, Offensive Lineman, Rocky Mount
• Marquis Hines, Offensive Lineman, SouthWest Edgecombe
• Charles Crank, Offensive Lineman, Richmond Senior
• A.J. Ferguson, Tight End, South Brunswick
• Danny Allen, Wide Receiver, Nash Central
• Rashad Parker, Running back, Wilson Fike
• Hakeem Strickland, Running Back, Louisburg
• Brad Simmons, Running Back, Northside
• Steven Moore, Running Back, Chapel Hill
• KaRonne Jones, Fullback, Cape Fear
Nick Hahula, Fullback/Kicker, Rocky Mount
• Ryan Hill, Quarterback, West Brunswick
• Antwan Thorpe, Quarterback, Oxford Webb
• Reggie Geddie, Defensive Lineman, Erwin Triton
• Dylan Buntyn, Defensive Lineman, Havelock
• Darian Tripp, Defensive Lineman, Greene Central
• Ralph Bonner, Defensive Lineman, Fayetteville Jack Britt
• Keegan Ray, Defensive Lineman, Chapel Hill
• T.J. Batchelor, Defensive Lineman, Southern Nash
• Daniel Collins, Linebacker, Holly Springs
• Joseph Blanks, Linebacker, Purnell-Swett
• Mark Walker, Linebacker, Leesville Road
• Carlos Fields, Linebacker, Northern Vance
• Marcus Allen, Linebacker, Pine Forest
• Justin Rodgers, Linebacker, Bunn
• Tyreese Prince, Safety, Harnett Central
• Jared White, Safety, Fayetteville Jack Britt
• Greg Gilbert, Cornerback, South Brunswick
• Jamal Rolle, Cornerback, Wilson Beddingfield

East Coaching Staff

Head Coach Raymond Cobb (SouthWest Edgecombe)
• Assistant Coach Brian Foster (Southern Nash)
• Assistant Coach Kenneth Grantham (Greene Central)
• Assistant Coach Grover Battle (Northern Nash)
• Assistant Coach Jimmy Williams (East Wake)
• Assistant Coach Ken Whitehurst (D.H. Conley)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Goodwin reaches century mark!

It was a given that senior Brian Goodwin was going to set several RMHS baseball records as he proceeds through his senior season.

Three games in, Goodwin hasn't broken any quite yet, but he did reach a milestone Tuesday in the Gryphons' 5-4 home loss to J.H. Rose.

His bunt single in the ninth inning was the 100th hit of his RMHS career. He trails only Adam Weaver (121) in total career hits in RMHS history.

Goodwin needs just two doubles to take that RMHS career record away from Jeremy Ward and Weaver. Both currently share it at 27, while Goodwin sits at 26.

Strangely enough, through three games, the Gryphons have recorded just two extra-base hits - a double by senior Dillon Cockrell in RMHS' 8-4 season-opening win over South Granville last week, and a double by sophomore Thomas Berry against Wesleyan Christian Saturday (5-2 RM win).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Baseball America article on IMPACT Saturday

Click here to check out the article on Baseball America's website on the day of baseball at the IMPACT Baseball Invitational this past Saturday at the USA Baseball Training Complex.

Rocky Mount won its game with a 5-2 victory over Wesleyan Christian.

On another note, Gryphon senior Brian Goodwin has also been named to Baseball America's 10-member Preseason High School All-America first team.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Gainey Files

Here are the up-to-date numbers on the coaching careers of Rocky Mount basketball coaches Pam Gainey and Mike Gainey.


2008-09 - 22-5, NEW 6 champ, tourney champ, playoffs
2007-08 - 23-2, NEW 6 champ, tourney champ, playoffs
2006-07 - 16-11, playoffs
2005-06 - 8-18, playoffs
2004-05 - 17-8, Big East champs, playoffs
2003-04 - 23-5, Big East champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2002-03 - 22-3, Big East champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2001-02 - 20-3, Big East champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2000-01 - 24-3, Big East champs, tourney champs, playoffs
1999-00 - 20-5, Big East champs, tourney champs, playoffs
1998-99 - 20-6, playoffs
1997-98 - 12-12, playoffs
1996-97 - 12-13, playoffs
1995-96 - 14-10, playoffs
1994-95 - 15-10, playoffs
1993-94 - 10-14

Career - 278-128, .685 winning percentage (16 seasons)

(Eight conference titles, seven conference tournament crowns, eight 20-win seasons, one sectional title, 15 straight playoff appearances)


2008-09 - 17-11, NEW 6 tourney champ, playoffs
2007-08 - 19-7, NEW 6 champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2006-07 - 14-14, playoffs
2005-06 - 16-12, NEW 6 champs, tourney champs, sectional champs
2004-05 - 17-9, playoffs
2003-04 - 22-7, playoffs
2002-03 - 25-2, Big East champs, tourney champs, sectional champs
2001-02 - 19-2, Big East champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2000-01 - 13-11, playoffs
1999-00 - 12-12, playoffs
1998-99 - 16-10, Big East tourney champs, playoffs
1997-98 - 17-6, playoffs

Career - 207-103, .655 winning percentage (12 seasons)

(Four conference titles, six conference tournament crowns, two 20-win seasons, two sectional titles, made playoffs all 12 seasons)

Friday, March 6, 2009

NEW 6 hoop seniors made a real mark!

Several senior basketball players in the NEW 6 Conference have made some indelible impressions in their four years as varsity players.

But I am going to start the list with an impressive junior!

Rocky Mount's Tashawn Mabry finished the season averaging 26.5 points a contest - third in the state. He also averaged eight rebounds a game and two assists a game. He recorded 78 blocks (3.4 a game). He has scored 1,823 points. The school record is 2,093 points held by Phil Ford (1974). Mabry has been All-Conference first team three times.

Now with seniors!

RMHS forward Dyonna Battle scored 16.6 pts. a game this past season. She finished her career with 1,290 points. - third on RM's all-time girls basketball scoring list. She also had 594 rebounds. Battle was an All-Conference first-team selection four times.

RM's point guard Alonzo Sharpe finished his career with 1,134 pts. and 507 assists.

Nash Central guard Trey Sumler concluded his fine career with 1,921 points. He's been a first-team All-Conference selection four times. He averaged 23.6 this past season including a career-high 40 points. vs. Bunn. He's the school's all-time assist leader with 405 and steals leader with 260. Sumler also led the Bulldogs to a sterling 74-31 record the last four seasons.

NC's forward Michael Speight also reached the 1,000-point plateau with 1,034 career points and is NC's career leading rebounder with 612.

Wilson Fike's forward Jeremy Atkinson closed his career with 2,001 points. He's a four-time NEW 6 first-teamer. He's been Player and Co-Player of the Year in the league.

Fike guard Tramicka James ended her career with 1,074 points. She'll play soccer at Tusculum (Tn.) next fall.

Southern Nash's scoring tandem of Alyse Hall and Shante Neal also eclipsed 1,000-career points. Hall, a four-time first-team NEW 6 selection, closed her career with 1,515 points. Neal finished with 1,099.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mabry gets two more offers

Rocky Mount junior All-Stater Tashawn Mabry received two more scholarship offers Monday.

Mabry, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound guard/forward, had already gotten offers from N.C. State, Wake Forest and Clemson.

Monday, he got offers from Marquette and LSU. Xavier and Virginia Tech are on the verge of making him an offer, says his dad Mike Mabry.

Although the NEW 6 All-Conference basketball team has not been released, Mabry, the co-MVP of the league last season, is a lock to be picked to the first team squad for the third straight season. He averaged 26.4 points this past season and is moving ever so close to becoming Rocky Mount's all-time scorer.

I will have to get up with Charlotte Bobcats assistant Phil Ford to see what he's up to next Christmas, when his 2,093 points - the RM scoring record he's held for 35 years, will come down. Mabry needs just over 280 points to get there.

Ford was very gracious in saluting Tyler Hansbrough when his 31-year stranglehold on UNC's top scoring mark went down this season.

Perhaps he'll do the same for Mabry.

Monday, March 2, 2009

RM's Goodwin named to All-America team

CHARLOTTE - Rocky Mount center fielder Brian Goodwin started gaining national attention for his talents last season and this past summer.

More attention was recently thrown his way when The Sporting News' 2009 Baseball Yearbook hit newstands with him as a member of its 2009 High School All-America Team.

He joins Charlotte Providence infielder Richie Shaffer as the only North Carolina players on the squad.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior was named to the 10-player All-America squad. Weather permitting, fans of the Gryphons can catch him in their season opener at home Wednesday against South Granville.

Goodwin helped Rocky Mount win the NCHSAA 3-A state championship last season while hitting .473, socking a state-leading 15 doubles and 21 RBI while stealing 21of 21 bases.

Goodwin has signed to play next season with the University of North Carolina, which The Sporting News ranked as the team to beat for an NCAA title this season.