Monday, February 28, 2011

Battling Bishops are going dancing!

For only the fifth time in the school's hisory, North Carolina Wesleyan's men's basketball team is going to the NCAA Div. III Tournament.

With a big trip to the dance hanging in the balance Sunday afternoon, the Battling Bishops held true to their name and held off Ferrum 74-70 in overtime in the championship game of the USA South Conference Tournament at Everett Gymnasium.

This will be Wesleyan's first NCAA excusrsion since 2002 and head coach John Thompson's second trip in his 16-year tenure. They have had several good teams under his watch, but with only the tournament champion receiving a bid and at-large bids a rarity, this is a tough postseason ticket to get.

Wesleyan (21-6) was the USA South's regular season champ and was the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Thompson, who has 10 winning seasons at NCWC - half the school's total, has a career record of 239-186. The 21 victories recorded by his squad this season is a career-best for him and three off the school record of 24.

NOTE: The NCAA announced the pairings for the Div. III Tournament Monday afternoon. NCWC's first-round game will be held in Virginia Beach as Virginia Wesleyan will host rounds 1 and 2. The Bishops will face perennial power Franklin & Marshall College (22-5) at 5:30 p.m. Friday. The host Marlins (23-4) will then face Delaware Valley College (17-10) at 7:30 with the two winners playing on Saturday for a spot in the sectionals.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Coats joins NCWC, promoting The Wesleyan Cup

Former Rocky Mount QB Eddie Coats
Former Rocky Mount quarterback Eddie Coats (1981-82), despite the career run by Terrell Hudgins, still holds some passing marks in the RMHS record book.

But he now would like to set some fundraising records at North Carolina Wesleyan College.

Coats has left the world of banking and has returned to his alma mater  to assume duties as its Assistant Vice President for Development.

Part of his new job is to assist with the supervision and success of Wesleyan’s fundraising efforts. And one of them is coming up in about a month.

The college will host The Wesleyan Cup golf tournament on April 8 at the Golf Club of Rocky Mount - located off N. Wesleyan Blvd.

Sponsored by Roger G. Taylor & Associates, the event is a significant source of academic, athletic and scholarship funding for Wesleyan students.

The college has a special commitment to the Rocky Mount area and to Eastern North Carolina. The Wesleyan community includes students from diverse cultural and racial backgrounds — many of whom are first generation college students. Historically, more than 90 percent of the students at Wesleyan receive financial aid to attend classes, and the demand for financial assistance has soared during the recession. Support from events such as this makes higher education opportunities possible for these worthy students.

This year’s Wesleyan Cup will be a four-person Captain’s Choice highlighted by a $10,000 hole-in-one contest, a Buick Regal hole-in-one contest, and a $10,000 putting contest. Additional prizes will be awarded for closest-to-the-pin and longest drive competitions.

Cost is $125 per person or bring a foursome for $500. This price includes lunch and awards dinner, green and cart fees, and a golf shoe bag full of surprises.

The staff and fun course layout of the Golf Club of Rocky Mount makes it one of the premiere golf courses in the area, so of all of the tournaments in which you can play, this will be one that people will not forget, event organizers said.

Hole sponsors are also needed.

For more information contact Tammy Robinson, coordinator of Institutional Advancement Services, at 252-985-5266 or . You may also contact Coats at

I encourage all, area alumni especially, to grab those clubs out of the closet and start your year of golfing by coming out to support this event.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Red Oak Middle's Terry Pittman is a walking miracle

Last fall, fans attending a Rocky Mount High football game were asked to donate to a fund to help the family of Terry Pittman, a Red Oak Middle School student who had sufffered a spinal injury while playing football at the school.

At the time, he was a patient at East Carolina University's Medical Center. I hadn't heard much on Pittman's progress of late until I got this video on Facebook from Barbara Dickens, a former employee at Red Oak Middle.

While watching the video, I cried like a baby at the miracle of God's mercy. This young man is walking again!

If seeing this eighth grader's story doesn't inspire you, nothing can! 

Bishops to host Greensboro in USA South Tournament game Friday

If college basketball is more your thing, check out some key hoop action Friday evening at N.C. Wesleyan.

After wrapping up the 2011 USA South Conference regular season championship and No. 1 seed in this week’s conference tournament last weekend, the Battling Bishops are set to make a run toward the NCAA tournament this weekend.

The Blue and Gold (19-6) earned a bye in Tuesday’s first round which saw Greensboro, Ferrum and Christopher Newport all advance to tonight's semifinal round.

The second- and third-seeded Panthers and Captains, respectively, easily dispatched their opening round opponents by a combined margin of 41 points. Ferrum defeated Averett 70-47, while CNU handled Shenandoah 84-66.

The Blue and Gold, which has 11 of its 12 roster players from the state of North Carolina (seven from eastern N.C.), will play host to fifth-seeded Greensboro, which traveled to Methodist Tuesday and came away with a 62-59 decision.

The Bishops and The Pride will play at 7 p.m. in Everett Gymnasium for the right to play in Sunday’s tournament championship game against either Christopher Newport or Ferrum.

The conference tournament championship will be played at the home of the highest remaining seed with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Gryphons open baseball season Tuesday (check here for score updates)

The pain of losing that hearbreaker to West Brunswick last spring has subsided and a new season is here!

Three starters (Benton Moss - left, Thomas Berry - center, Matthew Berry - right) return as the 2011 Rocky Mount varsity baseball squad will hit the field officially for the first time Tuesday afternoon at J.H. Rose.

Below is the 2011 schedule:


Mar. 1        @ J.H. Rose - L, 5-0 (0-1)
Mar. 3        LOUISBURG - W, 11-0, 5 inn. (1-1)
Mar. 4        SOUTHWEST EDGECOMBE - W, 10-8 (2-1)
Mar. 8        @ Southern Wayne - L, 8-7 (2-2)
Mar. 9        @ Louisburg - L, 3-2, 9 inn. (2-3)
Mar. 12      @ Impact Invite - Forsyth Country Day @ USA Baseball, Cary - W, 2-1 (3-3)
Mar. 15      @ SouthWest Edgecombe - W, 11-2 (4-3)
Mar. 16      @ Durham Riverside (E) - W, 11-6 (5-3)
Mar. 17     J.H. ROSE - W, 5-0 (6-3)
Mar. 23     SOUTHERN WAYNE - W, 2-1 (7-3)
Mar. 26     BUNN - W, 16-3 (8-3)
Mar. 29     NASH CENTRAL - W, 10-1 (9-3, 1-0)
April 2      WILSON HUNT - L, 14-7 (9-4, 1-1)
Apr. 6        @ Wilson Fike - W, 8-0 (10-4, 2-1)
Apr. 7        SOUTHERN NASH, 7 p.m.*
Apr. 12      @ Northern Nash, 7 p.m.*
Apr. 14      @ Nash Central, 7 p.m.*
Apr. 16      @ South Johnston Easter Tournament vs. West Johnston, 5:30 p.m.
Apr. 18      @ South Johnston Easter Tournament, Four Oaks, TBA
Apr. 19      @ South Johnston Easter Tournament, Four Oaks, TBA
Apr. 26      WILSON FIKE, 7 p.m.*

May 3        @ Southern Nash, 7 p.m.*
May 5        NORTHERN NASH, 7 p.m.*
May 7        @ Wilson Hunt, 7 p.m.*
May 13      NCHSAA 3-A playoff openers

Home games in bold
Big East Conference games*

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Another doubleheader Friday night at RMHS

Everyone knows that it's just a blessing to still be playing basketball a week after your conference tournament.

That means your team or teams have won two straight playoff games and is in the NCHSAA sectional finals. Just one game away from next week's East regionals - which have been moved this season from Greenville (Williams Arena, Rose High School) to Fayetteville and the Crown Coliseum Complex.

That's exactly where Rocky Mount is now with not one, but both varsity basketball teams.

And they will be playing familiar foes Friday evening.

The Rocky Mount girls, sporting a 25-3 worksheet - a school record for wins by a girls team, will meet South Central (24-4) for the third time this campaign. Tip-off is at 6 p.m.

South Central (24-4) features two Div. I signees in point guard
Ja'Nesha Ebron (East Carolina) and forward Danielle Butts (UNC).

For a head-to-head comparison of the two teams , click here!

The Gryphon boys (21-7) are trying their best to repeat as 3-A state champions. They will tangle with West Craven (23-5) in the nightcap at about 7:30. The two teams met last season in the sectional semifinals at RMHS and the Gryphons won handily 94-66.

To see a head-to-head comparison with the Eagles and Rocky Mount, click here!

Following a great evening last Friday before a packed house, perhaps RMHS can pull off another double win to send it packing down I-95!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fish, Macklin off to hot starts this college baseball season

Ben Fish and Xavier Macklin ... in their Little League days!

Campbell Univeristy sophomore Ben Fish and N.C. A&T University junior Xavier Macklin now!
The two all-time RBI-leaders from Rocky Mount and Nash Central met up, perhaps, for the last time last weekend.

Former Gryphon catcher Ben Fish is now behind the plate as a sophomore at Campbell University, while one of Nash Central's greatest athletes, Xavier Macklin, is a junior outfielder for the N.C. A&T University Aggies. Their two schools met in a four-game set last weekend and the Camels won the series 3-1.

Both have had solid starts to the season already. Macklin, after four starts, has three home runs, knocked in seven and is batting .428.

Fish, after three stints in the lineup, has two doubles, four RBI and is batting .429.

Two summers ago, the twosome provided plenty of power for the Coleman-Pitt Post 58 American Legion baseball team that made a run at the state championship after claiming their first Area 1 title in decades.

The two comblined to hit 22 home runs and knock in 73 batters in an awesome display of offense.

But Macklin will likely not be around for his senior season in Greensboro. The two-time All-MEAC performer, is expected to go pro after the MLB Draft in June.

Thanks to Ben's dad Don for providing the above pictures and turning the clock back on these two.

Help out Gryphon baseball by purchasing discount cards

It may be a little known fact, except to parents, that baseball is the least funded of the major sports on the high school athletics landscape. The financial support is so much greater with football and basketball. 

And like the other 360 or so high school programs in the state, Rocky Mount's storied baseball program needs that help, too.

The five state championship banners hanging from the wall at Gryphon Stadium don't buy Turface, fertilizer and all the various sundries needed to support a prep baseball program.

To raise money for their assorted needs, Rocky Mount's baseball players are now selling discount cards to area businesses, restaurants and eateries.

Cost of the cards are $20 each and you can buy them from any Rocky Mount baseball player and from head coach Kent Cox. I would imagine if you stop by before any practice session the rest of the coming season at the Stadium, he will accommodate you.

Businesses on the cards include: Chick-fil-A, Outback Steakhouse, Lamana's, Gardner's Barbecue, Sonic, IHOP, Subway, Andy's, El Tapatio, Dunkin' Donuts, Domino's Pizza, Jersey Mike's, Zaxby's, Arby's, Texas Steakhouse, Shell Rapid Lube and The Bowling Center.

The cards are good for one year. So get one for any member of the family. The purchase price can be made up in a hurry!

The discounts include:

Chick-fil-A - Free sandwich w/meal purchase
Outback Steakhouse -  Free Bloomin' Onion w/adult entree
Lamana's - Free 8-pc. wings w/purchase
Gardner's - Free barbecue sandwich w/combo purchase
IHOP - 20% off entire check
Subway - Free 6" sub w/purchase of 6" sub
Andy's - Free orange/lemonade - no purchase necessary
El Tapatio - Buy a combo, 2nd purchase 1/2 off
Dunkin' Donuts - Buy 6 donuts/get 6 free
Domino's Pizza - Free med. pizza w/purchase of large pizza
Jersey Mike's - Free mini-Mike w/purchase of reg combo
Zaxsby's - Free meal deal w/purchase of meal
Arby's - Buy one roast beef sandwich, get one free
Texas Steakhouse - Free appetizer or dessert w/purchase of 2 steak entrees
Shell Rapid Lube - $5 off oil change
Bowling Center - Buy one game, get one free

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Gainey Files - the postseason begins!

Since this begins the postseason, I thought I'd remind Gryphon Nation how successful Rocky Mount's husband and wife duo of Mike and Pam Gainey have been.

So here are their records as Rocky Mount's hoop teams begin the state playoffs - in a season that saw Pam top the 300-victory plateau and, in fine style, Mike reaching the 250-win mark in his team's Big East Conference Tournament triumph last Friday night.


Pam Gainey - girls basketball

2010-11 - 25-3, Big East 3A co-champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2009-10 - 17-6, Big East 3A champ, playoffs
2008-09 - 22-5, NEW 6 3A champ, tourney champ, playoffs
2007-08 - 23-2, NEW 6 3A champ, tourney champ, playoffs
2006-07 - 16-11, playoffs
2005-06 - 8-18, playoffs
2004-05 - 17-8, Big East 4A champs, playoffs
2003-04 - 23-5, Big East 4A champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2002-03 - 22-3, Big East 4A champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2001-02 - 20-3, Big East 4A champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2000-01 - 24-3, Big East 4A champs, tourney champs, playoffs
1999-00 - 20-5, Big East 4A 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 - 320-137, .700 winning percentage (18th season)

(Ten conference titles, eight conference tournament crowns, nine 20-win seasons, one sectional title, 17 straight playoff appearances)

Mike Gainey - boys basketball

2010-11 - 22-8, Big East 3A tourney champ, playoffs, sectional champs
2009-10 - 24-3, Big East 3A champ, playoffs, sectional champs, regional champs, 3-A state championship
2008-09 - 17-11, NEW 6 3A tourney champ, playoffs
2007-08 - 19-7, NEW 6 3A champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2006-07 - 14-14, playoffs
2005-06 - 16-12, NEW 6 3A champs, tourney champs, sectional champs
2004-05 - 17-9, playoffs
2003-04 - 22-7, playoffs
2002-03 - 25-2, Big East 4A champs, tourney champs, sectional champs
2001-02 - 19-2, Big East 4A champs, tourney champs, playoffs
2000-01 - 13-11, playoffs
1999-00 - 12-12, playoffs
1998-99 - 16-10, Big East 4A tourney champs, playoffs
1997-98 - 17-6, playoffs

Career - 253-114, .690 winning percentage - 14 seasons

(Five conference titles, seven conference tournament crowns, four 20-win seasons, four sectional titles, a regional title, an NCHSAA state title (2010), all 14 seasons in the playoffs)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Twin Counties teams in the NCHSAA basketball playoffs, schedules

Eight Twin Counties basketball teams will hit the hardwoods Monday with dreams of bringing home a state title - just like the Rocky Mount Gryphons did a year ago.

The NCHSAA state basketball playoffs will get underway with several area teams participating. Five teams will be hosting, including two doubleheaders, and three squads will be hitting the road.

On the boys' side, Rocky Mount Prep, in its first-ever NCHSAA playoff game, North Edgecombe, Rocky Mount, Nash Central and Northern Nash will be in action to start the postseason, while North Edgecombe, Rocky Mount and Northern Nash will represent the girls.

Here is all the action Monday evening. Get out and go to a game!



1-A - Rocky Mount Prep (19-11) @ Goldsboro (17-7), 8 p.m.
1-A - Perquimans (17-7) @ North Edgecombe (21-2), 8 p.m.
3-A - Currituck (2-21) @ Rocky Mount (19-7), 7:30 p.m.
3-A - Nash Central (15-9) @ West Craven (21-5), 7 p.m
3-A - Northern Nash (15-7) @ Southern Lee (18-4), 7 p.m.


1-A - Mattamuskeet (6-12) @ North Edgecombe (15-9), 6:30 p.m.
3-A - Jacksonville (10-14) @ Rocky Mount (23-3), 6 p.m.
3-A - Currituck (2-21) @ Northern Nash (19-3), 7 p.m.

RMHS players sweep MVP honors at Big East Tourney

To the winners go the spoils.

Rocky Mount's basketball teams swept the 2011 Big East Conference Tournament. And in accordance with the tournament rules, the MVP of the girls' and boys' events is from the winning team.

For the girls, sophomore forward J'Kyra Brown was selected by media representatives, while the boys' honor went senior forward Exzavier Cooper.

Here is a complete listing of the All-Tournament teams.

2011 Big East Conference All-Tournament Basketball Teams


Jalen Hendricks, Nash Central
Nate Pittman, Nash Central
Tyrell Vinson, Wilson Hunt
Parker Lamm, Wilson Hunt
Darius Freeman, Northern Nash
Deshawn Freeman, Northern Nash
Terrill Hilliard, Rocky Mount
Exzavier Cooper, Rocky Mount - MVP


Quanesha Brown, Wilson Hunt
Denesha White, Wilson Hunt
Alicia Baines, Wilson Fike
Meredith Pruden, Wilson Fike
Alexus Hill, Northern Nash
Khadijah Richardson, Northern Nash
Tia Hudgins, Rocky Mount
J'Kyra Brown, Rocky Mount - MVP

Monday, February 14, 2011

2011 Big East 3-A Conference Tournament Results

Rocky Mount pulls off a sweep!

@ Rocky Mount High School


Monday, Feb. 14

#3 Nash Central 68, #6 Wilson Fike 47
#4 Northern Nash 71, #5 Southern Nash 60

Wednesday, Feb. 16

#4 Northern Nash 68, #1 Wilson Hunt 65.
# 2 Rocky Mount 76, #3 Nash Central 62

Friday, Feb. 18

Championship game

#2 Rocky Mount  71, #4 Northern Nash 68


Tuesday, Feb. 15

#3 Wilson Fike 75, #6 Nash Central 48
#4 Wilson Hunt 57, #5 Southern Nash 53, OT

Thursday, Feb. 17

#1 Rocky Mount 49, #4 Wilson Hunt 39
# 2 Northern Nash 59, #3 Wilson Fike 49

Friday, Feb. 18

Championship game

Rocky Mount 55, Northern Nash 40

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gainey nearing 250 career wins

The Rocky Mount boys basketball team can get their head coach Mike Gainey his 250th career victory with three more wins this season.

Rocky Mount hosts Northern Nash Friday. With a victory, it would get the No. 2 seed from the Big East Conference and will get a bye in next week's tournament - ironically, at RMHS.

Should the Gryphons then make the tourney finals and win, Gainey would get his 250th triumph - and head into the playoffs on a double high note.

But these games aren't played on paper. So come out Friday and next week to see if the Gryphons can get him this nice milestone.


2010-11 - 17-7
2009-10 - 24-3, NCHSAA 3-A state champions, Big East champs, regional champs, sectional champs, playoffs
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, playoffs
2004-05 - 17-9, playoffs
2003-04 - 22-7, playoffs
2002-03 - 25-2, Big East champs, tourney champs, sectional champs, playoffs
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 - 248-113, .675 winning percentage (14th season)

(Five conference titles, six conference tournament crowns, three 20-win seasons, three sectional titles, one regional title, state championshp, made playoffs all 14 seasons)

2011 Nash Central Football Schedule announced


Aug. 19 - TARBORO
Sept. 9 - @ Hertford County
Sept. 16 - @ New Bern
Sept. 30 - @ Rocky Mount
Oct. 21 - @ Wilson Hunt
Oct. 28 - @ Southern Nash

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gryphons headed back to the Glaxo

The GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational Basketball Tournament, one of the nation's top prep basketball Christmas tournaments, will celebrate its 40th birthday when it gets underway this Christmas (Dec. 26-29) at Broughton High School's Holliday Gym in Raleigh.

I gather, the event's organizers are waxing nostalgic as they invited Rocky Mount's boys basketball team back to play in the event. The Gryphons played in the very first tournament - back in 1972 at the Raleigh Civic Center.

There will be more on this as it comes out. RMHS head coach Mike Gainey asks just one request of the event's schedule makers - "Can I be in a bracket with the Millbrooks and Broughtons and not the Word of Gods?"

Rocky Mount, in its last appearance in 2008, lost to Word of God (67-41), beat North Mecklenburg  in overtime (66-62) and fell to Middle Creek (64-51) in the fifth place game.

I got to thinking about all the great prep players that have played in the event. And someone had already done the work for me.

The News and Observer's Tim Stevens came up with his best players of each decade of the event .. and I have no problem with his list. See what you think! I will boldface those who played in North Carolina - prep and/or college

The 1970s

Phil Ford, Rocky Mount (1972-73), Buck Williams, Rocky Mount (1977), Danny Young, Enloe (1978-79), Harold Thompson, Raeford Hoke (1978-79), Joe Perry, Broughton (1975-76).

The 1980s

Anfernee Hardaway, Memphis Treadwell (1989); Rodney Rogers (Hillside, 1989), Shawn Bradley, Emery County, Utah (1989); Allan Houston, Louisville Ballard (1988), Jason Kidd, Alameda, Calif., St. Joseph (1988); Billy Owens, Carlisle, Pa. (1987); Rodney Monroe, Hagerstown (Md.) St. Maria-Goretti (1986), Nate McMillan, Enloe (1981), Bernard Terrell, Broughton (1986-87); Jamie Holland (Wake Forest-Rolesville.)

The 1990s

Donald Williams, Garner (1990), Travis Best, Springfield Central, Mass. (1990); Chris Duhon, Slidell (La.) Salmon (1999); Ron Curry, Hampton, Va. (1997); Mike Miller, Mitchell, S.D. (1997); David West, Garner (1997); Tim Thomas, Paterson, N.J. (1995), Adonal Foyle, Hamilton (N.Y.) Central, (1993); Randy Livingston, New Orleans Newman (1992); Jerry Stackhouse, Kinston (1991); Rodrick Rhodes, Jersey City St. Anthony (1991).

The 2000s

John Wall, Raleigh Word of God (2007-08), C.J. Leslie, Word of God (2007-09); Mason Plumlee, Arden Christ (2008); Lorenzo Brown, Centennial, Ga. (2008); Ryan Kelly, Ravenscroft (2008); Tasmin Mitchell, Denham Springs, La. (2004); Josh Smith, Mouth of Wilson, Va., Oak Hill (2003); Rajon Rondo, Mouth of Wilson, Va., Oak Hill (2003); P.J. Tucker, Enloe (2002); Luol Deng, Blair Academy (2002); Charlie Villanueva, Blair Academy (2002)

Tuesday's Big East Basketball Scores


Northern Nash 64, Wilson Fike 60 - OT (NN's Darius Freeman got eight of his 18 pts. in OT)
Wilson Hunt 57, Nash Central 53 (Hunt clinches regular season title)
Rocky Mount 73, Southern Nash 43 (RM's Terrill Hilliard 20 pts.)


Northern Nash 47, Wilson Fike 38 (NN's Alexus Hill 15 pts.)
Wilson Hunt 60, Nash Central 48 (Hunt's Lizzie Madden, Danisha White each had 16 pts.)
Rocky Mount 58, Southern Nash 52 (RM's J'Kyra Brown 19 pts.)

Wed. games
Northern Nash @ Nash Central (snow makeup)

2011 Northern Nash football schedule released


Aug 19 - WILSON BEDDINGFIELD, 7:30 p.m.
Aug 26 - @ Southern Wayne, 7:30 p.m.
Sep 2 - @ Tarboro, 7:30 p.m.
Sep 9 - SOUTH CENTRAL, 7:30 p.m.
Sep 16 - @ Wilmington Laney, 7:30 p.m.
Sep 30 - WILSON HUNT, 7:30 p.m.
Oct 7 - @ Southern Nash, 7:30 p.m.
Oct 14 - @ Nash Central, 7:30 p.m.
Oct 21 - WILSON FIKE, 7:30 p.m
Oct. 28 - ROCKY MOUNT, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tarboro's Craddock tabbed to coach in Shrine Bowl

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Tarboro head football coach Jeff Craddock has been selected to be an assistant coach for the North Carolina squad at the 75th Annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

The two-time state championship coach, who just completed his seventh season leading the Vikings, was announced along with the staffs for North Carolina and South Carolina Monday. The game will be played on Saturday, Dec. 17 at Gibbs Stadium on the campus of Wofford University.

The Tar Heel  team will be led by Shelby Crest's Mark Barnes. Along with Craddock, he will be joined by Barry Shuford (Charlotte Olympic), Gregg Thomas (Apex), Pete Gilchrist (North Forsyth), Richard Bailey (Jack Britt) and Randy Ledford (South View). Barnes, who spent many years at Scotland County, was an assistant on the 2001 team.

The Sandlappers will be guided by Chuck Jordan (Conway). His assistants will be Ken Cribb (Bluffton), David Bundrick (Lexington), Ken Schofield (Great Falls), Mike Lancaster (Dorman), Johnny White (Cheraw) and Walter Wilson (Calhoun County). Jordan was an assistant on the 1999 team.

Craddock has recorded a 69-26 record as Tarboro's head coach, including an eye-popping 45-3 mark over the last three campaigns. 


2004 - 8-4 (playoffs)
2005 - 3-8
2006 - 6-6 (playoffs)
2007 - 7-5 (playoffs)
2008 - 14-2 (lost in 2-A state title game)
2009 - 15-1 (won 2-A state title)
2010 - 16-0 (won 2-A state title)

Total - 69-26 (.726 winning percentage)

Monday, February 7, 2011

2011 Rocky Mount football schedule is out!

Rocky Mount's 2011 varsity football schedule has been released!

And the Gryphons will start another season on the road, but at a new venue - Bunn High School.

The first of three straight road games to open the season will begin in Franklin County with the Gryphons' first-ever meeting with the Wildcats. 

That will be followed by a second straight visit to Windsor to face Bertie, and then they will head up to Hertford County the following week.

Rocky Mount will open its 24th and last season at the Rocky Mount Athletic Complex with SouthWest Edgecombe on Friday, Sept. 9. It will be the first of four consecutive home contests for the Gryphons.


Aug 19 - @ Bunn, 7:30 p.m.
Aug 26 - @ Bertie, 7:30 p.m.
Sep 2 - @ Hertford County, 7:30 p.m.
Sep 9 - SOUTHWEST EDGECOMBE, 7:30 p.m.
Sep 16 - J.H. ROSE, 7:30 p.m.
Sep 30 - NASH CENTRAL, 7:30 p.m.
Oct 7 - WILSON HUNT, 7:30 p.m. (HOMECOMING)
Oct 14 - @ Wilson Fike, 7:30 p.m.
Oct 21 - SOUTHERN NASH, 7:30 p.m.
Oct 28 - @ Northern Nash, 7:30 p.m.

The Sweet Potato Bowl is back on!

Southern Nash has released its 2011 varsity football schedule and it will begin it with the renewal of the Sweet Potato Bowl - the Firebirds vs. SouthWest Edgecombe.

The two old rivals, who haven't played the last two seasons, will get together in their respective season openers on Friday, Aug. 19 at Southern Nash.

The Firebirds will also play Wilson Beddingfield, Bunn, Roanoke Rapids and South Granville in the non-conference part of their schedule. Gone are Franklinton and a non-conference tilt with Big East member Nash Central.

If you were looking for a Nov. playing date on their slate, there won't be one.

The NCHSAA has shorten the regular season from 12 weeks to 11. So you will likely see many more teams playing just 10 games instead of 11(giving up endowment games) and not sacrificing their open dates. Southern will be open on Sept. 23.


• Sept. 2 -- BUNN
• Sept. 9 -- at Roanoke Rapids
• Sept. 16 -- at South Granville
• Sept. 30 -- at Wilson Fike
• Oct. 14 -- at Wilson Hunt
• Oct. 21 -- at Rocky Mount

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Friday's Big East Basketball Scores


Rocky Mount 100, Wilson Fike 74 (RM's Kenyatta Bullock career-high 21 pts.)
Northern Nash 75, Nash Central 47 (NN's Deshawn Freeman career-high 37 pts.)
Wilson Hunt 69, Southern Nash 32 (Warriors shoot 53 percent from the floor)


Rocky Mount 63, Wilson Fike 54 (RM's Pam Gainey records her ninth 20-win season)
Northern Nash 41, Nash Central 28 (NN won despite not scoring a FG in the 3rd qtr.)
Southern Nash 49, Wilson Hunt 48 (Ladybirds' first conference win of the season)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Twin Counties football signees


Alkeem Thomas
LB, 5-11, 200

A two-time Wilson Times All-Area and All-Big East 3-A Conference, including first team honors as a senior ... Recorded 98 stops and an interception with seven TFL and two sacks ... As a junior, tallied 132 tackles with 10 TFL and three sacks ... Placed fifth in the 2010 state 110 hurdles while winning the both the regional and conference 110 and 300-meter hurdles titles ... Also played basketball ... Coached by Brian Foster.

Aaron McFarland
DE, 6-1, 215

Selected to play in the annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas ... A two-time, first team All-Big East 3-A Conference pick, once at tight end and once at defensive end ... As a senior, recorded 63 tackles, including 25 for losses and seven sacks, with three forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries ... As a junior, named all-area as his blocking helped the Firebirds rush for 4,200 yards ... As a wrestler, earned all-conference and all-area, placing second in his conference in the 285-pound weight class, weighing just 205 pounds.


Trendell Lynch
RB, 5-9, 180

Amassed 698 yards and 12 touchdowns on 125 carries his senior season ... He earned all-area and all-conference acclaim, was regarded the Firebirds' top blocker and tabbed a team captain.



Rashad Hedgepeth
RB, 5-9, 180

Helped lead the Knights to a 10-4 record, a share of the Big East Conference title and Northern's first playoff berth in five seasons .. led Northern Nash in rushing with Hedgepeth rushed for a team-high 1,493 yards on 183 carries and scored 17 touchdowns... All-Conference selection.


Mitchell Wells
TE, 6-4, 230

Caught eight receptions for 134 yards (16.8 yards per catch) for the Knights this past season ... helped an offensive line that picked up over 3,000 yards rushing



Ronzell Telfair
Offensive Line, 6-4, 295

Helped lead Vikings to a perfect 16-0 record and their second-straight 2A state championship as a prep senior … Earned all-conference laurels after anchoring an offensive line that paved the way for a team that averaged 40 points per game … Led team in both pancake blocks and grade … Part of a Tarboro squad that compiled a 31-1 record during his final two prep seasons

Kendall Jacobs
Defensive Back, 5-10, 175

Helped lead Vikings to a perfect 16-0 record and the 2A state championship as a prep senior … Earned first team all-conference laurels after registering 61 tackles (42 solo) and eight interceptions … Averaged better than 20 yards per punt return on special teams … Integral part of defense that surrendered just eight points a game during his senior season.