Hoppers in a Funk, John Thompson on 16th Street, New Sports Academy for the Triad

Posted by Andy Durham on July 20, 2006 at 10:23 am under Amateur, High School, Professional | Read the First Comment

The Greensboro Grasshoppers have now lost 3 games in a row after Wednesday night’s 6-5 late inning breakdown with the Delmarva Shorebirds. The Hoppers jumped out to 4-0 lead early in the game on the strength of Greg Burns’ first homerun of the season, a three-run shot to right-center field in the bottom of the second inning.

After Burns connected it looked like the Greensboro team was in good shape against the Birds starting pitcher Chorey Spoone but the GBGH club again found a way to let this one get away when the Birds scored off an error by the Hoppers Gary Roche in the top of the ninth to set the stage for the Birds 6-5 victory. Lorenzo Scott hit a two-run homer and scored three times for Delmarva.

The Hoppers are defintely in a funk with the losses mounting and each one getting tougher to stomach especially since the Hoppers have been grabbing early leads in the recent games with good solid starting pitching and then the bullpen or defense has been breaking down late in the game and the funk keeps on getting thicker and thicker.

The Hoppers did move over the 300,000 fan mark on Wednesday night and the losses have not been hurting the gate although the weather nearly put the Hoppers out of busniess with a severe thunder storm before the game that dropped buckets of water all over First Horizon Park.

The Greensboro Grasshoppers take on the Delmarva Shorebirds again this evening with a Big Thirsty Thursday crowd expected to attend. Big right-handed pitcher David Humen(2-2) is scheduled to be on the mound for the Grasshoppers.

Former Georgetown coach and current TNT basketball commentator John Thompson was in town to speak at Fred Whitfield’s basketball camp on Wednesday. The Big Man filled up the room at the Sportsplex on 16th Street and he got the attention of the campers that were there to hear the coach speak. Big John told the kids the most important thing about learing how to play basketball or to be successful at anything is you must be able to listen. He told a couple of kids in the back of the room to shut up and listen or he was going to kick them out the building. Thompson took control of the situation quickly and his visit was appreciated by all in attendance, even those kids who were running their mouth when Big John told them to be quiet and listen to his talk.

Thompson coached some pretty big names while he was at Gerogetown including Allen Iverson, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning, and Dikembe Mutombo. Big John Thompson is even bigger than Big Jim Modlin and JT knows how to take over when he enters the room. Everone gave him a standing ovation when he was finished speaking and then Juwan Howard took the microphone began his talk.

There’s a new All-Sports Academy planned for the Kernersville area and it will be for grades 9-12 and boys only will be able to attend. According to the story in the Triad Business Journal the facility is to be named Veritas Academy and it will be started by former East Carolina football player Gary Newell. Newell was a wide receiver for the ECU Pirates back in the 70’s and he wants his Christian-based Sports Academy to have around 130 young men on campus to get the ball rolling in the fall of 2007. Of the 130 students the largest number will be focusing on Football and the other guys will be involved in Basketball, Baseball, Wrestling, and Golf in the early stages. Terry Moffit formerly of Wesleyan Academy of High Point will be the Educational Superintendant. The Academy will have a very strong emphasis on Athletics and Christian education.

With the Academy being for boys only Dee Todd the Athletic Director at NC A&T told the Business Journal she thinks leaving out the girls will be a mistake. Todd has a daughter that has attended High Point Wesleyan and DT says the coeducational atmosphere is very important. Gary Newell the former ECU football player plans to open up several of these Sports Academies across the Southeast portion of the United States. Newell says it will cost around 50 million to get the first Academy in Kernersville off the ground and open in 2007 and that he has secured 15 million already and he has people on his board of leaders that are rounding up the money. Former Carolina Panther receiver Ricky Prohel is on Newell’s steering committee.

Look for the Veritas All Sports Academy in Kernersville in 2007. How long it will last, and if it even gets off the ground at all, is anyone’s guess.


  • Greg Johnson said,

    Veritas All SA sounds like a diploma mill that the NCAA is cracking down on to me.