Thursday, September 29, 2011

Media coverage of Big East 3-A Conference Football Openers

If you can't attend the opening night of Big East Conference high school football action Friday evening, you will have other options to keep up with what will be going on in Red Oak, Rocky Mount and Wilson.

Wilson Hunt @ Northern Nash 

Right now, this contest can be followed via the Internet at . Wilson County announcer Alton Britt will be simulcasting his WLLY 1350 AM radio signal (which Nash/Edgecombe residents generally can't pick up) on his website, so anyone in the world can listen in! 

F.T. Franks will handle the color duties on the broadcast.

Southern Nash @ Wilson Fike

You will have two options for this game - listen to your radio or listen on line.

Paul Andre and Bob Maloney will provide the coverage for this clash on WDLX 99.3 FM beginning at 7 p.m. For those who may live too far away to pick up this very strong FM signal, you can click on this link  WDLX 99.3 FM and you may listen to the game on your computer or cell phone.

Nash Central @ Rocky Mount

Currently, there will be no radio stations or TV broadcasts of this game. WHIG TV, which is scheduled to tape the Wilson Hunt- Northern Nash game (with Wes Bradshaw and Edward Greene) for broadcast Saturday morning and Sunday evening, may pick up this game due to its recent emotional implication into the Bulldogs' program.

The school saw one of its student-athletes, John Stanley, pass away last week. The football team and cheerleaders plan to honor Stanley in a pregame tribute. WHIG would like to be there to share those moments, along with an emotion-filled game with all area fans who cannot be there.
But prior commitments may forced the crew to go to Red Oak. We'll see what happens!

All WHIG covered games can be seen online at

Saturday, September 24, 2011

WFU's Barnes gets on the field in win over Gardner-Webb

Whit Barnes
His time finally came.

In the late stages of Wake Forest's football game at home against Gardner-Webb last Saturday, former Rocky Mount standout offensive lineman Whit Barnes saw his his first varsity playing time in a Demon Deacon uniform.

The redshirt sophomore who has bided his time on WFU's bench, played in one complete series Saturday during Wake's 48-5 blowout of the boys from Boiling Springs. The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder had been the second-string center this year for the Deacs, who have gotten out to a 2-1 start.

Barnes, an Associated Press All-Stater and Shrine Bowl participant for the Gryphons who went 38-6 on the field during his three years as a starter, has fought off shoulder and knee injuries to get to this point in his career. 

"I was in for one series, playing at center at the end of the game and I did well for the time I was in, " said Barnes, who has declared business and enterprise management as his major. 

He is enjoying a week off as his Deacs get ready for a trip to Chestnut Hill and the Boston College Eagles next Saturday. 

"I am looking forward to more playing time in the future," Barnes said. "But overall, this team has more motivation and excitement than either of the teams that I have been a part of the past two years. We had a close loss against Syracuse, and wins against N.C. State and Gardner-Webb. All of which have added up to a positive attitude going into these two weeks that we have to prepare for Boston College."

Even a bowl game is in the minds of WFU players. After a trip to the Orange Bowl during a dream 2007 season, the Deacs have had just one winning campaign since. You might say head coach Jim Grobe, one the ACC's highest paid football coaches ($2.4 million a year, second behind Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson), is on the hot seat.

"We are working hard to play in a bowl game," said Barnes. "We know that we can beat every team on our schedule, but we have to play our best every week. We have to cut down on the penalties and make more plays. But we know we have the athletes and the energy to do it. 

"This year has been exciting so far and we are all looking forward to going to BC and bringing home a win."

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Health concerns forces former RM assistant to step down as Central Davidson's head coach

Former Rocky Mount assistant Mark Hoover during his days as Chatham Central's head coach. A heart ailment has forced him to step down as head coach at Central Davidson. 
LEXINGTON - Mark Hoover has relinquished his post as Central Davidson head football coach effective immediately due to heart-related health concerns. He will remain at the school as a physical education teacher. 
“It was a decision I had to make,” Hoover said Wednesday evening. “It’s been progressively getting worse.” 

Assistant coach Brad Morton will step in as head coach. 

Hoover took over the Spartans in 2009 after head coaching jobs at Chatham Central and West Lincoln and a defensive coordinator position at West Forsyth. The Spartans were 4-7 in 2009 and 7-5 in 2010, and they have begun 2011 0-3 while playing a more difficult non-conference schedule. 

Under Hoover, the Spartans have developed into a prolific running team with a disciplined commitment to offseason strength and conditioning programs.
“He’s been a lot to our kids, to our community,” athletic director Gene Poindexter said. “He came in and did everything that we asked him to do, and he did it with passion and with enthusiasm.”

Hoover said his doctors had suggested he step down before the season began, but he wanted to see the campaign through. When his health situation became worse, he, Poindexter and Central Davidson principal Tabitha Broadway agreed that the time had come to put down the whistle.

“It absolutely kills me to step away in the middle of the season,” Hoover said. “But my wife is the most important person in my life, and if I go out and have a heart attack over high school football, it’s just not fair to her.

“Central Davidson football is my life and a huge part of my world. It’s not life and death.”

Morton has coached the game for four decades — most of it over 29 years in Covington, Va. — including 10 seasons as a head coach.

“You don’t like to step into these situations. Mark, over the last two years, has done a real good job of building the program,” Morton said. “To not be able to finish what you started is I’m sure weighing heavily on him. But he has to think about his health before anything else.

“The kids are I’m sure a little apprehensive about what the future holds right now. … We have to be positive for them, let them understand that this is one of those changes in life that happens. You’ve got to learn to overcome those bumps in life.”

Hoover will not coach for the foreseeable future. He did not rule out becoming an assistant coach after at least one or two years away from the game.

“I’m going to get myself back in physical shape the best I can,” Hoover said. “I will not be a head coach in the near future. I promised that to my wife.

“I’ll still see the kids during the day. I’ll still have my PE class.

“My message to them and their parents is: Thank you. They’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do.”

- Lexington Dispatch

Welcome aboard Golden East Crossing Chick-Fil-A!

David Langston was once a high school football player during his days at Northern Durham. 

And as a reserve, he and his teammates hosted Rocky Mount at the Durham County Stadium his junior season and posted a 24-0 shutout over the Gryphons during the 1999 season - the infamous Hurricane Floyd campaign.

He played RMHS at the RMAC during his senior year and also shutout the Gryphons.

Now for an about face, he's now supporting the Gryphons.

As owner and operator of the Golden East Crossing Chick-Fil-A, his business is this year's scoreboard sponsor and he is providing food for the press box this season.

We'd like to thank Langston and his staff for all their support.

And he had one more thing in common with the Gryphons. His alma mater's colors were also navy blue and gold.

Take time to become a Facebook friend of the Golden East Crossing Chick-Fil-A. Click here!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Suiter at UNC Saturday

Tom Suiter receives his NCHSAA Hall of Fame plaque Saturday at halftime of the UNC-Rutgers football game. (Photo/

Rocky Mount native and WRAL-TV sports personality Tom Suiter was honored Saturday during NCHSAA Day at UNC's home football game with Rutgers. He and several others received their NCHSAA Hall of Fame plaques at halftime of the game. 

All members of the 2011 class of honorees, including former Southern Nash principal and coach Rosalie Bardin, will be formally inducted into the Hall of Fame during ceremonies next spring.

He joins the late Dr. Wiley (Army) Armstrong ('87) and former NCHSAA president and Rocky Mount boys basketball coach Richard Hicks ('07) as the only Rocky Mount natives in the Hall.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Hines leads the county

Gryphon junior Mason Hines
What a coming out party it has been for Rocky Mount junior running back Mason Hines.

After three games, he is the leading rusher among Nash County's high school teams. 

Hines has piled up 515 yards rushing on just 57 carries and has scored five touchdowns. He also returned a kickoff for 76 yards and a score in the Gryphons' season-opening win at Bunn.

Although he didn't get into the end zone, he helped set up two touchdowns as he ran for a career-high 188 yards Saturday in Rocky Mount's 28-22 victory at Hertford County.

Now the home folks will finally get to see him play when SouthWest Edgecombe comes to the RMAC Friday night.

Here are Nash County's top rushers thus far this season: 

Mason Hines (jr.), Rocky Mount - 57 car., 514 yds., five TDs
Terron Huffman (sr.), Southern Nash - 47 car., 466 yds., six TDs
Tracey Coppedge (sr.), Southern Nash - 44 car., 319 yds., four TDs