Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuesday Football

An NFL football game, Minnesota vs. Philadelphia, was played last night - on a Tuesday for the first time since 1946.

The Rocky Mount Gryphons have also played a varsity game on a Tuesday - only once since integration in 1969.

Now, do you know any details of that historic game?

See if you can answer these any or all of these three questions:

1. What season did the Gryphons play that Tuesday game?

2 . What team did the Gryphons play?

3. What was the final score?

Reply to one or all three questions in the comments section. I will post the answers on Saturday!

TOURNAMENT UPDATES: The 35th Annual Eastern Carolina Classic (Wilson Hunt, Wilson Beddingfield, Wilson Fike, Greene Central) did get underway Tuesday evening at Wilson Hunt. Weather conditions did delay it one day.

And the Edgecombe County Christmas Tournament (North Edgecombe, SouthWest Edgecombe, Tarboro, Riverside-Martin) has been moved to Wednesday for its startup day at SouthWest Edgecombe. All games will now be played during the afternoon with the final game Wednesday and Thursday being played at 5:30.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday News and Notes

Call Mike Gainey a genius ... or perhaps the area's biggest fan of the Weather Channel. 

The Rocky Mount athletic director was instrumental in having the annual Nash County Holiday Basketball Tournament, for the first time in years, moved to before Christmas instead of immediately after it.

By dodging this recent snow storm, the county's teams got play in.

But so many down east hoop events face cancellation this week. In danger right now is the 35th Annual Eastern Carolina Classic, which was set to start Monday at Wilson Hunt.

The event, which has never been snowed out in its previous 34 years, is on thin ice, literally. The Classic, which was, ironically, first won by Rocky Mount in 1976 (62-56 over Saratoga Central), has been moved to a Tuesday start - weather permitting.

With all three Wilson County schools and Greene Central sending boys and girls teams to the affair, at least the opponents are all close by. But like Rocky Mount, Wilson got 12 inches of snow and the temperatures aren't expected to increase that much the next two days.

And Lamm Road, where Hunt is located, is a two-lane country road. 

Not so long ago, much less snow and ice on another two-lane country road, Golf Course Road in front of Northern Nash, forced the postponement of that year's Nash County tourney.

Good luck to you guys in Wilson County.

GRYPHON KILLER - Northern Nash junior guard Michael Brackett made the winning shot - a 12-footer with less than two seconds remaining - in the Knights' 56-54 win over the Gryphons for the Nash County Holiday Basketball Tournament title last Wednesday.

Would you believe Brackett has actually played for Rocky Mount head coach Mike Gainey? He played AAU summer ball for him back when he was 10 years old. I know he never dreamed of making a game-winner on Gainey's home court for a big victory. But he did.

STAR RISING IN LEGGETT - It looks likely that the annual Edgecombe County Holiday Tournament will be shelved by all this white stuff, too.

North Edgecombe's boys were scheduled to open with Tarboro Tuesday evening (7:30) in their opener at host SouthWest Edgecombe.

For those of you who haven't seen junior forward Montrezl Harrell play for the Warriors, you have missed a show. Sadly, count me among them. I had my Tuesday blocked out for this game.

Harrell, who stands 6-foot-7, weighs 215 pounds and sports a wingspan of 7-foot-3, is making a lot of noise in Leggett. He led the Warriors to a 19-6 record last season and a berth in the NCHSAA 1-A East sectional finals.

Two weeks ago, he got some more notoriety as he broke a backboard in the school's Warren Jones Gym during a team workout.

And the offers are coming in from everywhere. So far, UNC-Charlotte, North Carolina State, Wake Forest, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Xavier, Miami, Virginia, East Carolina and Clemson all want to see him sign on the dotted line come next November. 

“I’m just having fun with the whole process right now,” Harrell told 2K Sports recently. “I’m just looking to take as many visits as I can and get to see what all the schools have to offer. I’ll probably make my decision at the start of my senior year. No hurry. For now I’m just trying to get better. That’s my only goal, to get better and better!”

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nash County Christmas Basketball Tournament All-Tourney Teams

GIRLS ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - MVP Tia Hudgins, Rocky Mount; Timisha Walker, Rocky Mount; Jasmine Williams, Nash Central; Camille Bullock, Northern Nash; Khadijah Richardson, Northern Nash; Tyreka Nicholson, Southern Nash.
BOYS ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM - (l-r), Jalen Hendricks, Nash Central; Darius Freeman, Northern Nash; Exzavier Cooper, Rocky Mount; Bruce Applewhite, Rocky Mount, MVP Deshawn Freeman, Northern Nash. Absent was Josh Sessoms, Southern Nash. (Photos/David Hahula)

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nash County Christmas Basketball Tournament kicks off Monday

By Geoff Neville
Nashville Graphic

One of Nash County’s most awaited annual sporting events will begin this coming Monday at the Rocky Mount High School Gymnasium.

That’s when play will begin at the 2010 Nash County Christmas Basketball Tournament, which will feature Big East Conference rivals Nash Central, Northern Nash, Southern Nash and host Rocky Mount.

The Girls and Boys Championships will be played back-to-back on Wednesday to complete the three-day hoops showcase.

Tickets are $6 per person for Monday and Tuesday sessions, and $8 for Wednesday’s tourney finales.

“We didn’t want to interfere with the GlaxoSmithKline Tournament dates just in case someone from the conference was invited,” said Rocky Mount Athletic Director Mike Gainey, who will serve as tournament director. “We also went to a three-day set to keep from having to rush around to get all eight games in.”

Rocky Mount will not only host the Christmas Tournament this year, but it will also entertain the Big East with the season-ending conference tournament.

“I have lost my mind,” said Gainey jokingly. “On a serious note, it is no big deal. The atmosphere is great and people tend to like coming. Once you have hosted a few, and you have a staff that is willing to help, it makes the job very easy.”

Rocky Mount is the defending champion in the boys and girls brackets. The Gryphon boys bested Northern Nash 58-44 for the title, while the Gryphon girls slug it out with Northern Nash for a 40-21 championship triumph.

@ Rocky Mount High School
Monday-Wednesday, Dec. 20-22



First Round


Northern Nash 58, Nash Central 35
Rocky Mount 58, Southern Nash 23

Consolation Round


Nash Central 64, Southern Nash 48



Rocky Mount 60, Northern Nash 47


First Round


Rocky Mount 58, Southern Nash 41


Northern Nash 45, Nash Central 41

Consolation Round


Nash Central 45, Southern Nash 39



Northern Nash 56, Rocky Mount 54

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mabry suffers season-ending injury

Rocky Mount's all-time leading scorer Tashawn Mabry has seen his budding freshman season at Modesto Junior College (Calif.) come to a tragic end.

Mabry, who abruptly left Rhode Island back in August, fell to the court with two minutes left in Pirates' opening game of the 73rd Modesto JUCO Tournament against Lassen JUCO last Wednesday. He had to be carried off the court.

The Pirates recovered from a 21-point deficit to win the game 93-91, but Mabry, who was felt to be their most gifted player, suffered a snapped Achilles tendon.

The freshman forward, who was averaging 13 points, eight rebounds and five blocks a game, underwent successful surgery this past Monday to repair the injury. But according to Modesto head coach Paul Brogan, both Mabry and his mother insist he will be back next season. Rehab time will require a minimum of six months.

On another note, former Gryphon point guard Billy Young, who helped Mabry guide RMHS to a state title last season, was already at Modesto and turned Mabry on to the Pirates. It was upon Young's urgence that got him to California after only a disgruntled week's stay at Rhode Island.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2010 All-Big East Football Teams released

WILSON - To the winner goes the spoils. The old adage really held true when the Big East Conference All-Conference football team was released this week. Co-champions Northern Nash and Wilson Hunt got the lion's share of the honorees.

Eleven Knights received first place notices from the league as did 11 Wilson Hunt players. In Nash County, Southern Nash was voted eight spots on the team, while Nash Central also got eight. Rocky Mount, which won just one league game, was awarded six.

Wilson Fike, which did not win a conference contest for the second straight season and recently saw its second-year head coach Kim Brown relieved of his duties, got four positions.

For the first time in recent memory, three brothers on the same team were selected. The Marshall siblings from Northern Nash all received first-team nods - fullback T.J on offense, and defensive standouts Travonne and Tevin on defense. Travonne was also voted as one of three players who shared Defensive Player of the Year honors with Southern Nash's Brandon Jones and Wilson Hunt's Spencer Miller.

The league's Offensive Player of the Year award went to Wilson Hunt's do-everything player Tyrell Vinson.

Conference Coach of the Year was given to Northern Nash's Mickey Crouch and Hunt's Randy Raper.



Northern Nash - T.J. Marshall, Rashad Hedgepeth, Mitchell Wells, Rob Richwalski, Tavis Richardson
Wilson Hunt - Caleb Driver, Tyrell Vinson, Brandon Cambra, Jacob Page, Gilbert Niez, Qwenterrius Ballard
Southern Nash - Tracey Coppedge, Trendell Lynch, Terron Huffman, Tony Williams
Nash Central - Jalen Hendricks, Keiffer Griffin, Greg Arrington, Dequan Battle
Rocky Mount - Rodquez Greene, Damien Strickland, Connor Daughtridge
Wilson Fike - Chris Phillips, Danzell Liles


Northern Nash - Travonne Marshall, Tevin Marshall, Brandon Dawes, Quan Silver, Donovan Cooper, Tay Payton
Wilson Hunt - Josh Bullock, Tim Applewhite, Lewis Neal, Spencer Miller, Brice Parker
Southern Nash - Brandon Jones, Aaron McFarland, Alkeem Thomas, Josh Sessoms
Nash Central - Jeffrey Lucas, Mason Wallace, Letovis Davis, Chris Bullock
Rocky Mount - Nah'jerrelle Graves, Miguel Valdez, Darryn Lewis
Wilson Fike - Adonte Anderson, Tyler Newman


Northern Nash - Jamaal Boddie
Wilson Hunt - Phillip Collier
Southern Nash - Jacob Jones
Nash Central - Marquis Thomas
Rocky Mount - Mason Hines
Wilson Fike - Cameron Avery


Offense - Tyrell Vinson, Wilson Hunt
Defense - Spencer Miller, Wilson Hunt; Travonne Marshall, Northern Nash; Brandon Jones, Southern Nash


Mickey Crouch, Northern Nash; Randy Raper, Wilson Hunt

Rocky Mount leads Wachovia Conference Cup race after fall season

League titles in volleyball and men’s soccer as well as second-place finishes in men’s and women’s cross country have Rocky Mount atop the Big East  Conference in Wachovia Conference Cup points at the end of the 2010 fall sports season.

Wilson Fike is in second with a championship in women’s cross country and a runner-up finish in women’s tennis. Third place belongs to Nash Central, thanks to first-place finishes in men’s cross country and women’s tennis.

Here are the current standings:

Rocky Mount -------- 65 pts.
Wilson Fike ----------- 62 pts.
Nash Central -------- 60 pts.
Wilson Hunt ----------56.5 pts.
Southern Nash ----- 44.5 pts.
Northern Nash ------ 43 pts.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wilson Fike head football coach fired

Kim Brown
Kim Brown, the head football coach at Wilson Fike the last two seasons, has been let go according to a release from Fike principal Steve Ellis late Tuesday.

'Fike High School will make a head coaching change in varsity football for the 2011 season. As principal, I've evaluated the program and determined that Fike football must have a new direction. The search for the next head coach will begin in the near future. Because Fike has a long and storied football history, I expect the search to produce a top candidate to lead the Golden Demons back to championship-caliber play.

"Kim Brown, who recently completed his second season as head coach, has fulfilled his coaching contract. Coach Brown remains a Wilson County Schools employee and a member of the Fike faculty."

Brown, who has suffered a number of health problems this past season including having a toe amputated, was 2-9 each of his seasons and never won a Big East Conference game during his tenure.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Listen to and watch the Tarboro Vikings on the Internet Saturday

Many folks have been known to listen to a sports contest on the radio while watching it on TV.

I've done so for years - listening to Woody Durham with the UNC Tar Heels while watching them on ESPN, ABC, CBS or wherever they could be found on my remote.

How about listening to a contest on one website and watching it on another?

You will be able to do that Saturday afternoon when Tarboro takes on Winston-Salem Carver for the NCHSAA 2-A state championship at BB&T Field at Groves Stadium at Wake Forest University.

Starting at 2:30 p.m. (pregame show, game time is 3 p.m.), listen to Paul Andre and Bob Maloney from WZAX 99.3 FM either on the radio or online at and watch the broadcast at Mute the sound on the video and turn it up on Andre, who will bring you the play-by-play and Maloney, who will handle the color duties.

There is another slight connection to the Rocky Mount area with the matchup. Brent David, who served several seasons as an assistant to B.W. Holt at Rocky Mount, spent the 2008 and 2008 seasons as Carver's head coach. He unexpectedly resigned from the post last spring after posting a sparkling 19-5 record with the Yellowjackets.

Ironically, should Tarboro lose and Carver win the matchup, both Holt and David would have resigned from a school one season before that same team won a state title the next. Starmount won the 1998 1-A title, ironically over North Edgecombe, the year after Holt left for Tennessee High in Bristol, Tenn.

That was two stops before Holt landed for his six-year stay as the Gryphons' head coach.

Monday, December 6, 2010

First Annual Coleman-Pitt Post 58 American Legion Baseball Camp set for Dec. 28, 29

First Annual Coleman-Pitt Post 58 American Legion Baseball Camp is set for Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 28 and 29 at Nash Central High School.

It will be open to students in grades 6-12.

The purpose of this camp is to provide quality instruction from a highly experienced staff in the areas of hitting, pitching, catching, infield play and outfield play. This camp is also a fundraiser to support the Coleman-Pitt Post 58 American Legion baseball program.

The cost of the two-day camp is $75 if registered and paid by Dec. 20. Walk-ins will be allowed for $100.

The cost of the camp includes instruction, beverages, and a t-shirt. Participants need to bring glove, bat, and protective equipment. Catchers need to bring full catcher's gear. Participants should also bring sneakers in case of inclement weather. The camp will take place rain or shine.

Here is the schedule:

Tuesday, Dec. 28

11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. - Walk-in registration
12:00 p.m.-12:45 p.m. - Check-in for pre-registered participants
12:45 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. - Warm up
1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. - Hitting camp
4:00 p.m. - Pick up and departure

Wednesday, Dec. 29

12:30 p.m.-1:00 p.m. - Warm Up
1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. - Defensive instruction
4:00 p.m. - Pick up and departure

Camp instructors will be:

Pat Smith – Pitching - Head Coach, Rocky Mount High School – retired

Tony Guzzo – Catching - Head Coach, Nash Central Middle School. Previous experience at NCWC, VCU, Old Dominion, N.C State University and Louisburg.

Neil Avent – Infield play - scout for the Oakland Athletics. Played collegiately at Wake Forest.

Billy Best – Outfield play - scout for the Atlanta Braves

Billy Godwin – Hitting - Head Coach, East Carolina University

Hank Jones  - Head Coach, Coleman-Pitt Post 58 American Legion Baseball Team.

For more information, contact Hank Jones at 252-904-4995 or by email at

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gainey goes for No. 300 Friday night

RMHS girls coach Pam Gainey
Two area basketball coaches have won 300 games or more - SouthWest Edgecombe girls coach Sandra Langley and Northern Nash girls coach Grover Battle.

Rocky Mount girls coach Pam Gainey may join that club Friday eveving. Her squad will face Langley's team at SouthWest at approximately 6 p.m.

How much pressure is that? To get No. 300, her squad has to beat a team coached by a woman who has won over 600 games and four state titles. And they will be playing in a gym that was recently named after her (Sandra Shelton Langley Gym). 

Now that's pressure!

The Rocky Mount girls will be concluding a week that will have seen them play three contests on the road (and five straight games away from home). RMHS lost at South Central 58-48 Tuesday and it took a buzzer-beating 15-footer by junior Tia Hudgins Wednesday to beat Wilson Beddingfield 45-44 to go to 4-1 on the season.

Monday, November 29, 2010

2010 RMHS Gryphons Baseball Team Video Tribute

This video, sent to me by Joe Bell, is a tribute to the 2010 Rocky Mount High School Gryphons baseball team which won the Big East Conference championship with a 10-0 league record, advanced to the second round of the NCHSAA 3-A playoffs and ended the season with a record of 22-3.

Hudgins signs with AFL's Chicago Rush

Darius Hudgins, father of former Rocky Mount and Elon University great Terrell Hudgins, told me last week that Terrell has signed to play wide receiver with the Chicago Rush of the Arena Football League.

The Rush, which plays its home game in the 17,000-seat Allstate Arena (formerly called the Rosemont Horizon), will open play on Monday, March 14 at Milwaukee in the Bradley Center.

The Rush have qualified for the playoffs every season of their existence, and won ArenaBowl XX in 2006 - its only losing season, but it went to the playoffs that season as a wildcard and ended up winning the championship.

Below is the Rush's 18-game schedule.

Though the NFL Network will broadcast the Rush twice this coming season (vs. Philadelphia, March 18; vs. Kansas City, April 22), you can listen to every Rush game. Just click here !

2011 Chicago Rush Schedule

Day, Date, Opponent, Time, Site

Monday, March 14 - @ Milwaukee, 7:30 p.m. - Bradley Center
Friday, March 18 - Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. - Allstate Arena
Friday, March 25 - San Jose, 7:30 p.m. - Allstate Arena
Saturday, April 2 - @ Cleveland, 3 p.m. - Quicken Loans Arena
Saturday, April 9 - BYE
Saturday, April 16 - @ Iowa,  7 p.m. - Wells Fargo Arena
Friday, April 22 - Kansas City, 7 p.m. - Allstate Arena
Saturday, April 30 - New Orleans, 7 p.m. - Allstate Arena
Saturday, May 7 - @ Tulsa, 7 p.m. - BOK Center
Saturday, May 14 @ Arizona, 7:30 p.m. - US Airways Center
Sunday, May 22 - Dallas, 3 p.m. - Allstate Arena
Sunday, May 29 - Tulsa, 3 p.m. - Allstate Arena
Saturday, June 4 - @ Kansas City, 1 p.m. - Sprint Center
Saturday, June 11 - BYE
Saturday, June 18 - @ Spokane, 9 p.m. - Spokane Center
Sunday, June 26 - Iowa, 3 p.m. - Allstate Arena
Friday, July 1 - Utah, 7:30 p.m. - Allstate Arena
Saturday, July 9 - @ Georgia, 6:35 p.m. - Gwinnett Center
Saturday, July 16 - @ Dallas, 7:30 p.m. - American Airlines Center
Saturday, July 23 - Milwaukee, 7 p.m. - Allstate Arena

* All times are Central Standard Time, home games in bold

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gryphon fans may remember Wolfpack killer!

All N.C. State had to do was to beat Maryland Saturday to make it to the ACC Championship Game and a rematch with Virginia Tech.

But the player who gunned down the Wolfpack to a 38-31 loss Saturday played before the home folks at the Rocky Mount Athletic Facility three short seasons ago.

With perhaps Rocky Mount's best-ever offense and defense taking the field to start the 2008 season, now Terrapin quarterback Danny O'Brien brought his East Forsyth team to Rocky Mount for that season's opening endowment game.

Ask the then 6-foot-3, 198-pound O'Brien how that Friday night went.

He was bothered and bewildered in a 43-14 loss to the Gryphons. O'Brien, who had verbally committed to Maryland the summer before, had a rough time dealing with a Rocky Mount defense that ended the season allowing just nine points a contest. RMHS had a 43-0 lead before O'Brien, who finished with just 76 yards passing, scored twice on scoring tosses against some second-string Gryphons.

But the redshirt freshman from Kernersville, whose dad played football at Notre Dame (who would think that with a name like O'Brien), went wild on the Pack Saturday. It's hard to believe he only got scholarship offers from the Terrapins, East Carolina and Duke.

Against one of the worst secondaries in the ACC, O'Brien, who has bulked up to 215 pounds, went 37-for-47 for 417 yards and four touchdowns. He's the first Terp signal caller to throw for 400 yards or more since 1993.

State came into the contest tied for last in the league in interceptions (eight) and ninth in touchdown passes allowed (16). The Pack was also in the bottom of the league in completion percentage allowed and total passing yards allowed. So getting toasted by anybody shouldn't come as a surprise.

But the only time area fans got to see O'Brien, he spent more time flat on his back.

NOTE: O'Brien has been named the ACC’s offensive and overall rookie of the year by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association. He wound up starting nine games for the 8-4 Terrapins and has passed for 2,257 yards and 21 touchdowns while throwing six interceptions.

Rocky Mount girls win Triangle Tip-off Tournament Saturday

Triangle Tip-off Tournament, Knightdale HS, Knightdale


Championship (Saturday)

Rocky Mount 62, Knightdale 55  (overtime)

RMH 8 - 11 - 15 - 13 - 15 -- 62
KHS 14 - 7 - 17 - 9 - 8 -- 55

RMH - Marquita Hines 19, J'Kyra Brown 15, Tia Hudgins 11, Timisha Walker 10 (10 reb), Seabreeze 7,

Records: RMH 3-0.

Semifinals (Friday)

Rocky Mount 68, Wake Forest-Rolesville 45

RMH - 21 - 23 - 16 - 8 -- 68
WF-R - 5 - 17 - 7 - 16 -- 45

RMH - Timisha Walker 11, Tia Hudgins 11, Marquita Hines 11, Kushunn Seabreeze 10, Brown 8, Richardson 7, Cooper 6.



Rocky Mount 44, Athens Drive 43

RMH - 12 - 8 - 17 - 7 -- 44
AD - 5 - 12 - 7 - 19 -- 43

RMH - Dante Battle 10, Brutus 9, Hines 8, Taylor 5, Cooper 3, Gainey 3, Applewhite 3, Bullock 2, Bailey 1.

Records: RMH 2-1


Millbrook 65, Rocky Mount 64

RMH - 16- 26 - 6 - 16 -- 64
MHS - 15 - 22 - 2 - 26 - 65

RMH - Tevin Taylor 22, Tecoby Hines 12, Cooper 7, Battle 6, Applewhite 5, Peoples 4, Bullock 3, Te. Hilliard 2, Ta. Hilliard 2, Jenkins 1.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 1 schedule - Triangle Tip-off Tournament

@ Knightdale High School,  Knightdale

Friday's schedule

Knightdale girls vs. Wilson Fike, 11 a.m.
Wake Forest-Rolesville boys vs. Wilson Fike, 12:30 p.m.
Rocky Mount girls vs. Wake Forest-Rolesville, 2 p.m
Millbrook boys vs. Rocky Mount, 3:30 p.m.
East Chapel Hill boys vs. Athens Drive, 5 p.m.
Knightdale boys vs. Sanderson, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A record six Gryphons make All-Big East boys soccer team

A record six Gryphons have been named to the 2010 Big East All-Conference boys soccer team. As you might guess, seniors (four) dominate this lineup for Rocky Mount.

The Gryphons, conference regular season champions, finished the season with a school record 22 wins (22-2-2) but fell in the third round of the NCHSAA 3-A playoffs.

A Rocky Mount player was selected Defensive Player of the Year - goalie Drew Gorham. Three Gryphons were named to the Region 3 All-region team, including Gorham.

All-Big East Boys Soccer Team

First Team

• Andrew Morales, Rocky Mount
• Matt Williams, Rocky Mount
• Drew Gorham, Rocky Mount
• Paul Lilley, Rocky Mount
• Mark Gray, Rocky Mount
• Robert Chambless, Rocky Mount
• Eric O’Brien, Wilson Hunt
• Will Jacobs, Wilson Hunt
• Linwood White, Wilson Hunt
• Raul Hernandez, Wilson Hunt
• Matthew Westbrook, Wilson Hunt
• Philip Packard, Wilson Fike
• Rob Brown, Wilson Fike
• Kyle Lewis, Wilson Fike
• Nick James, Wilson Fike
• Josh Barnes, Southern Nash
• Moises Gonzalez, Southern Nash
• Adam Hatchel, Southern Nash
• Isai Gonzales, Northern Nash
• Dylan Hendricks, Northern Nash
• Zach Connor, Nash Central
• Turner Votipka, Nash Central

Honorable Mention

• Lee McAvoy, Rocky Mount
• Jose Rojas, Wilson Hunt
• Keith Higgs, Wilson Fike
• Cody Joyner, Southern Nash
• Jeff Powell, Northern Nash
• Alex Whitehead, Nash Central

• Big East Conference Champion Coach: Drew Nick, Rocky Mount
• Big East Offensive Player of the Year: Eric O’Brien, Wilson Hunt
• Big East Defensive Player of the Year: Drew Gorham, Rocky Mount

All-Region Team

First Team

• Josh Barnes, Southern Nash
• Rob Brown, Wilson Fike
• Daniel Goff, Erwin Triton
• Isai Gonzales, Northern Nash
• Drew Gorham, Rocky Mount
• Will Jacobs, Wilson Hunt
• Kyle Lewis, Wilson Fike
• Andrew Morales, Rocky Mount
• Eric O’Brien, Wilson Hunt
• Philip Packard, Wilson Fike
• Logan Rash, Currituck
• Linwood White, Wilson Hunt
• Matt Williams, Rocky Mount

• Regional Coach of the Year: John Matthews, Southern Nash

Friday, November 19, 2010

Moss signs with North Carolina

Senior Benton Moss signs last week with UNC. (Photo/Ashley Moss)
 Rocky Mount senior pitcher Benton Moss has signed a national letter-of-intent to play baseball at the University of North Carolina. Moss signed on the dotted line last Thursday.

I am hoping he will not need the scholarship should he win the coveted Morehead-Cain Scholarship, for which he has been nominated. Former East Bladen standout and one-time Washington National Tyrell Godwin (UNC '01) was the last UNC baseball player to win the prestigious honor.

Moss, who is just six wins away from becoming Rocky Mount High School's all-time winningest pitcher, as a freshman (7-0 record) helped the Gryphons win a state title in 2008. He verbally committed to the Tar Heels the summer before his junior season after turning down offers from East Carolina, N.C. State and South Carolina.

He needs just five strikeouts to become the Gryphons' all-time leader (record held by Jeremy Ward of 216) and has compiled an eye-catching 23-2 career mark on the hill for the Gryphons.

Moss was also named last week to Baseball America's list of the top 100 high school baseball seniors in the country. He made the list at No. 85. To see the complete list, click here!

Goodwin suspended from UNC baseball squad

Former Rocky Mount High School standout and 2009 N.C. Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year Brian Goodwin has been suspended from the University of North Carolina baseball team (Photo/David Hahula)
 CHAPEL HILL - University of North Carolina sophomore outfielder Brian Goodwin has been suspended for the 2011 spring semester for violating University policy. He plans to return to North Carolina for the 2011-12 academic year.

Goodwin, a native of Rocky Mount, started all 60 games last year, batted .291 and was a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America. He led the Tar Heels last season in games started (60), RBI (63), triples (8) and walks (45).

This case is not related to the University and NCAA’s investigation into the North Carolina football program.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Rocky Mount 2010-11 Basketball Schedules

I have gotten several requests to run the Rocky Mount varsity boys/girls basketball schedules for the 2010-11 season, so here it is below.

A plus to the schedule - the Gryphons will not only host the annual Nash County Christmas Basketball Tournament (before Christmas for the first time in years and will be played over three days instead of two), but they will also entertain the Big East Conference for its cage tournament in mid-February.

Yes, it will be nice to stay home for once during the winter cage season!

(Start times: Girls, 6 p.m.; Boys, 7:30 p.m.)

Nov. 26 - Triangle Tip-off Tournament, Knightdale HS; Girls 2 p.m./Boys 5 p.m.
Nov. 27 - Triangle Tip-off Tournament, Knightdale HS ; TBA
Nov. 30 - @ South Central
Dec. 1 - @ Wilson Beddingfield
Dec. 2 - @ SouthWest Edgecombe
Dec. 15 - @ Hertford County
Dec. 17 - @ Greenville Rose
Jan. 14 - WILSON HUNT*
Jan. 18 - @ Wilson Fike*
Jan. 25 - @ Northern Nash*
Jan. 28 - @ Nash Central*
Feb. 1 - @ Wilson Hunt*
Feb. 8 - @ Southern Nash*

* Big East Conference games

Gryphon cagers to play in Triangle Tip-off Tournament Thanksgiving weekend

KNIGHTDALE - Like last season, both of Rocky Mount's varsity basketball teams will play in the Triangle Tip-off Tournament at Knightdale High School next Friday and Saturday. is the title sponsor of the event.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Jamborees open Rocky Mount's cage season

Basketball will take centerstage in Rocky Mount athletics starting Thursday with the girls' team hitting the courts for a Jamboree beginning at 2 p.m.

Squads from Bertie, North Edgecombe, Northern Nash, Rocky Mount Prep and Southen Nash will be attending.

Saturday, it will be the boys' turn as several teams will join the Gryphons on the hardwood in a Jamboree in their two gyms beginning at 9 a.m.

The Gryphons will face such schools as Wilson Beddingfield, Bertie, Eastern Wayne, Goldsboro, Greenville Rose, Wilson Hunt, North Lenior and Rocky Mount Prep. 

Also of note, after scrimmages with South Central (girls, Sat., Nov. 13, away) and Westover (boys, Tues., Nov. 16, home), both RM varisty teams will open the regular season on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at home against Greenville Rose.

Girls' head coach Pam Gainey, who will start her 18th season at the helm, needs just five wins to reach the 300-career win plateau.

Can the Gryphon boys repeat as 3-A state champions? They are going to give it a run!

PAM GAINEY - girls basketball

2009-10 - 17-6, Big East champ, playoffs
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 - 295-134, .688 winning percentage (start of 18th season)

(Nine conference titles, seven conference tournament crowns, eight 20-win seasons, one sectional title, 16 straight playoff appearances)

MIKE GAINEY - boys basketball

2009-10 - 24-3, Big East champ, playoffs, sectional champs, 3-A state championship
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 - 231-106, .685 winning percentage (start of 14th season)

(Five conference titles, six conference tournament crowns, three 20-win seasons, three sectional titles, one NCHSAA state title, made playoffs all 13 seasons)