Top Games/Top Teams of the 2010’s:This one will take you back a few!!!!!

Posted by Andy Durham on December 31, 2019 at 2:51 pm under Amateur, College, High School, Professional | Comments are off for this article

I was running/jogging up the road/street this morning, headed up Benjamin Parkway for what will be the last trip up that street on feet for the decade…Hundreds of steps and mainly no stops at all headed up that semi-steep hill, but with this morning’s run, the work for the decade is done, and it has been fun….

How much fun would it be to look back at some of our top teams/games of the last decade, and see what they did to get our attention, and end up in this post…

**********How about Page and Northern Guilford winning back-to-back Football State Titles back in 2011???**********
(Northern wins on Friday night December 2, 2011 and Page wins on Saturday December 3, 2011.)

Saturday Afternoon/Evening PAGE Pirate Post:Perfect Pirates(15-0) claim 2011 NCHSAA 4-AA Football Title
Page completed their dream season tonight with their 35-21 victory over the Garner Trojans at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem……

How about that James Summers? Most Outstanding Player in the game…..How about that Shaun Workinger?? Most Outstanding Offensive Player in the game….How about that Savon Wall??? Most Outstanding Defensive Player in the game???

More off of the Pirates ship that were getting it done today too with Lamore, Jennings, Towns, Cummings and company doing the job up front blocking for James Summers, Drew Rogers, Shaun Workinger and others coming out of the Pirates’ backfield…..Shaun Workinger and Debo Brooks were doing a lot of shifting today and that had them lining up as blocking backs and then shifting to become tight ends…..Page was on the move today and they moved right into a Championship formation at the end of the game…..

Good things came in twos for Page today with James Summers having two touchdown passes, Savon Wall had two interceptions for the Pirates, Shaun Workinger ran for two TD’s……Big day all the way for the PAGE Pirates…..Backup quarterback Jordan Putnam caught two pases from starting quarterback James Summers….Also, Will Henry had an interception and James Summers picked off a pass in the Pirates nickle prevent defense…..

BIG WIN for PAGE AND THE Red Death was out in full force today…..There must have been 5-6,000 Page fans on hand at the Championship Game today and Garner brought a large Trojan fan base….Maybe all toll there were 10,000 fans at the 4-AA Title game this afternoon/this evening….

Garner      0  0 14 7 21 
Page        0 14 14 7 35

Page Touchdown Tally…..
Brian Spain 6-yard pass from James Summers….(Ryan Jackson kick)
Shaun Workinger 6-yard run….(Ryan Jackson kick)
Orlando Hatfield 13-yard pass from James Summers….(Ryan Jackson kick)
Shaun Workinger 2-yard run…(Ryan Jackson kick)
Drew Rogers 18-yard run….(Ryan Jackson kick)

Page offense with 38 rushing carries for 203 yards….Page passing was 11-16 for 131 yards….James Summers went 11-16 for 131 yards and 2 TD’s and believe his was intercepted once….Page rushing showed James Summers with 14 carries for 116 yards….Shaun Workinger carried the ball 6 times for 51 yards and 2 TD’s…Drew Rogers had 11 carries for 32 yards and one TD….Jalen Gavin ran once for 10 yards…..Page receivers were led by Orlando Hatfield with 4 receptions for 26 yards and one TD….Drew Rogers had 2 catches for 36 yards….Jordan Putnam hauled in two passes for 30 yards….Shaun Workinger had one catch for 20 yards, Tevin Morrison one grab for 13 yards and Brian Spain came up with one reception for 6 yards and it went for a big touchdown, the very first one of the game…..

Still adding to this post and more to come…..Still under construction…..
PAGE Pirate 2011 Season(15-0)….

Page 41, Davie County 7….
Page 35, Northern Guilford 14….
Page 45, High Point Central 9….
Page 35, Ragsdale 14….
Page 28, Western Guilford 0….
Page 49, Grimsley 0….
Page 42, Ben L. Smith 12…
Page 70, Southern Alamance 0….
Page 21, Dudley 0….
Page 35, Southeast Guilford 13….
Page 21, Pinecrest 0….
Page 44, Northwest Guilford 25….
Page 40, Butler 26….
Page 41, Mallard Creek 27….
Page 35, Garner 21….

WRALSportsfan link to read about the Page Pirates Perfect Season:
CLICK HERE….

News and Record link on the PAGE Pirates victory over the Garner Trojans….CLICK HERE….

High School Football Saturday morning rewind:Dynamic Duo leads Northern Guilford Nighthawks to second state title

I think you had Batman and Robin, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, Starsky and Hutch, Freebie and the Bean,then there was Eric Dickerson and Craig James, Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon and many other duos over the years…..But the one we saw last night, well, that Dynamic Duo knew what to do-oh and they did it over and over again……

‘Double D’ Daniel Downing and T.J. Logan went down to Chapel Hill and when they came back, they brought home Northern Guilford’s second straight NCHSAA 3-AA Football Championship….

Those men up front Sam Parker, Austin Simmons, Max Klietsch, Tripp West and Andrew Keen were the ones that got the holes open and T.J. Logan and Daniel Downing ran right on through them to the tune of 326 total rushing yards and Logan scored all five of the Nighthawk TD’s…..Logan ran for 204 yards and caught passes for a total of 39 yards and don’t forget, he will be back next season, he’s only a junior….’Double D’ Daniel Downing ran for 126 yards and passed for 77, going 9-13…..

The Dynamic Duo was really up to the task last night and they had plenty of defensive help from Mark Mitchell with 11 tackles, Austin Coltrane with 8 tackles(Coltrane has some Durham blood in him coming out of the legendary Jack Coltrane and Bobby Coltrane camp with a huge Joseph Durham additive), Ryan Johnston was huge up front on ‘D’ for the Nighthawks, as #44 was in the backfield on top of the Crest RB’s all night long….Sam Parker was in that backfield too along with Tre Purcell and Chris Ripberger and don’t forget TJ Ruff and Shaquille Fields….Scooter Mooney had a great interception and almost made it a ‘pick six’, but he finally got stopped, but the Nighthawks still got the ball and went on to score…..

We could say more and let’s don’t leave out Nick Jones and Cameron Harris and then John McBeth was busting his tail on both sides of the ball….If we left anybody out send us their name and let’s give these kids time to process the past couple of years, with Two State Titles….

Fine job Coach Roscoe and a class act….We look forward to seeing if you guys can make it Three Straight as you head toward 2012….

Good job and as we look back on 2011:
Page 35, Northern Guilford 14…
Northern Guilford 31, Dudley 8…
Northern Guilford 21, Northwest Guilford 14…
Northern Guilford 56, Burlington Williams 0
Northern Guilford 38, Eastern Alamance 19…
Northern Guilford 48, Eastern Guilford 0
Northern Guilford 55, McMichael 23…
Northern Guilford 42, Rockingham County 7…
Northern Guilford 49, Morehead 8…
Northern Guilford 42, Western Alamance 7…
Northern Guilford 39, Eastern Guilford 0…
Northern Guilford 49, Western Alamance 13…
Northern Guilford 35, Fayetteville Byrd 6…
Northern Guilford 29, Wilson Hunt 13…

And we almost forgot…..
Last night:
NORTHERN GUILFORD 31
CREST 7

Then just one year later, Northern Guilford wins their third consecutive football title of the 2010’s, in one of the wildest games that we have ever seen…
Never seen anything like it:T.D. Logan with 8 Touchdowns and 510 yards rushing

I don’t think anybody has ever seen anything like this before….TD Logan, new name, just seems to fit the kid that just broke nearly record in the NCHSSAA books with the 8 TD’s for the Northern Guilford Nighthawks and 510 yards rushing for NG, in their 3-AA Championship Game….

PIC_0365
(see our full-set of pictures here)

Don’t know that there has ever been anything like this in our state before, let alone it being a kid from Guilford County….

The key going into the game tonight for Northern Guilford was Logan, Logan, and more Logan and that is what they got….

Northern Guilford makes it three straight Championships and we have ourselves an ‘Instant Classic’ in Guilford County, with the job that TD Logan did tonight and the game that TD/TJ had in Winston-Salem, at BB&T Field…..

TD/TJ Logan was the Most Valuable Player in the Game and Austin Coltrane was named the Outstanding Offensive Player from Northern and Austin Simmons was named the Outstanding Defensive Player for the Nighthawks….

Congratulations Northern Guilford Nighthawks on your 3rd NCHSAA State Football Title and a true legend was born tonight, in TD/TJ Logan…..Still hard to fathom, 8 TD’s, 510 yards rushing, a two-point conversion run and an interception on defense…..

PIC_0405
(see our full-set of pictures here)

Some kind of game tonight by the Nighthawks and there will be much more coming from Ed Hardin and Jeff Mills in Sunday’s News and Record….And again, to TD Logan, Austin Coltrane, Austin Simmons, Ryan Johnston, Bernard Sindab, Chris Ripberger, Malik Prileau, Andrew Keen, Max Klietsch, Alex Hassler, Nick Jones, Cam Harris, Jamon Reynolds, Rory Bergen, Tre Purcell, Malik Parker, TJ Ruff, Matt McGarry, Chris Forlano, Coach Roscoe and all of the Nighthawks, a job well done….

If we left anybody out we will get you in here tomorrow….

And as for TD Logan, we have never seen anything like this before and we hope you like the name change, at least for one special night…..

(And what was that final score again, 64-26 Northern)…….

**********The Dudley Panthers win a large Football State Championship on December 18, 2016**********
Dudley Destroys Cape Fear 54-0, Only Guilford County Team to Bring Home 2016 State Football Title – Wyatt Smith Reporting

Hendon Hooker accounted for six touchdowns and was the Player of the Game in the 4-A NCHSAA State Championship game as he led the Dudley Panthers to a 54-0 pounding of the Cape Fear Colts on Saturday night at Carter Finley Stadium in Raleigh.

The Dudley Panthers received the opening kickoff, after Cape Fear won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second-half, and it didn’t take long for the scoring to start for Hooker and the Panthers. Only a minute into the first quarter he found Nigel Fitzgerald for a 79-yard touchdown, and after a failed PAT kick, the Panthers led 6-0.

2:21 later, Hooker ended a three-play 36-yard drive with a 19-yard rush for a touchdown and found Thomas Young in the end zone for the two-point conversion. The Panthers lead was 14 in their first two possessions.

Things didn’t get any easier for Cape Fear from there. In fact, they got much, much harder.

DJ Crossen caused a fumble on the next drive for the Colts after only one play, which led to yet another Dudley score. Hooker hooked-up with Zareik Rush from 25 yards on the second play of the drive and Kenji Patterson’s PAT attempt was blocked. Dudley led 20-0.

The second quarter saw two more Dudley touchdowns, a 12-yard Hooker run, and a 7-yard Nigel Fitzgerald pass from Hooker. The Panthers were 1-2 on two-point conversion attempts in the quarter, when Hooker found Thomas Young to make their lead 34.

At halftime the Panthers needed a touchdown and a two-point conversion for a running clock due to a 42 point lead. There would be a running clock in this game.

The running clock didn’t come on the first Panthers’ score of the half, however, as Hooker’s pass was just out of the reach of his receiver. You can’t fault him for that, though. He was probably winded from the 38 yards he had just run into the end zone for the touchdown.

It was only 1:01 after Hooker’s touchdown when DJ Crossen intercepted a Justice Gallaway-Velazquez pass and returned it 28-yards for the score. The Panthers led 47-0, and the clock wouldn’t stop the rest of the night, with the exception of timeouts and touchdowns.

Zareik Rush capped off the scoring, taking off 52 yards and making the Dudley lead 54-0. The Panthers starters were removed from the game after Rush’s touchdown, and we even saw Hendon Hooker’s freshman brother, Alston Hooker, take snaps in the championship game in which his big brother would be the MVP.

The Panthers’ defense was dominant to say the least. Interceptions from Miles Berry, Miles White, and DJ Crossen’s pick six, along with Brion Seagraves’ fumble recovery, were the highlights in the defensive stats. However, the entire defense played a part in shutting out the Colts, something that hadn’t been done all season, as Cape Fear averaged 40.5 points per game before Saturday night’s loss.

“It’s a great feeling to win any game,” a humble Hooker said when asked how it felt to win the state championship. “I consider all my teammates my brothers,” he added “It’s nice to start him off with a ring,” he said of winning with his blood brother on the roster.

Dudley head coach Steven Davis was elated with the win.

“Not quite (how I intended my game-plan to workout), but, I’ll take it,” Davis said. “My coaching staff did a great job watching film and breaking it down, and the guys went out there and executed tonight and we came out with a big win.”

Zareik Rush was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player from the Western Region team, and was all smiles in the press conference.

“It feels good,” he said. “I’d like to thank Coach Davis for coaching us really well this week. When my name was called I was going to get in the game and make an impact, and that’s what I did,” Rush added.

Nigel Peele was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player from the Western Region team.

Dudley played completely dominating football, and Cape Fear head coach Jake Thomas spoke of how dominating the Panthers were on both sides of the ball.

“We ran into a great Dudley team; they were better than us, they were more physical than us, and they did a better job of executing tonight than us,” Thomas said. “Hats off to them.”

The Panthers are the only team to bring the championship hardware back to Greensboro/Guilford County out of the three teams who played for State Championships today.

When Dudley head coach Steven Davis was asked if he was the best team in the ‘Boro now that he had a state championship win, and the only team to beat his team—Page—didn’t, his answer put the exclamation point at the end of the title: “We’re the best team in the State.”


Scoring Plays:

(DUD) Nigel Fitzgerald 79 pass from Hendon Hooker (kick failed)

(DUD) Hooker 19 run (Thomas Young pass from Hooker)

(DUD) Zareik Rush 25 pass from Hooker (kick blocked)

(DUD) Hooker 12 run (pass failed)

(DUD) Fitzgerald 7 pass from Hooker (Young pass from Hooker)

(DUD) Hooker 38 run (pass failed)

(DUD) DJ Crossen 28 interception return (Kenji Patterson kick)

(DUD) Rush 52 run (Patterson kick)


Hendon Hooker: GAME MVP- (11-16) 221yds, 3TD, INT ; 12 car 89yds 3TD

Zareik Rush: (Media Voted Dudley Offensive Outstanding Player) 6car 120yds, TD ; 2rec 51yds, TD

Nigel Fitzgerald: 3 rec 105 yds, 2TD


INTERCEPTIONS:

Myles White

Myles Berry

DJ Crossen (Pick six)


Fumble Recovery:

Brion Seagraves


MEDIA VOTED BEST PERFORMANCES ON DUDLEY TEAM:

Offense- Zareik Rush

Defense- Nigel Peele

PLAYER OF GAME- Hendon Hooker

**********Northwest Guilford and Northern Guilford girls win back-to-back basketball State Championships**********
from Saturday March 11, 2018

Great Day/Night on Saturday for Guilford County Girls Basketball, as Northwest and Northern bring home State Titles again

Let’s go with Northwest, Northern and Northside today as the teams that got our attention and kept our attention Today/Tonight at the 2018 NCHSAA Tournament Championships….

A lot of what happened today was due to duos doing the job and helping their teams execute and get the job done…
You had Liz Kitley and Cayla King team up to produce 33 points between them for Northwest Guilford and Kitley was a dominating presence in the paint for the Vikings, scoring 18 points and snatching 8 rebounds…

King played a major role in the Viking victory producing 15 points, while adding 3 assists, two blocks and a pair of steals. King was 11 of 12 from the foul line and that was key for King, Kitley and the Vikings finishing off Southeast Raleigh tonight, to get the big win at the Dean E. Smith Center…

Bria Gibbs only pumped in 4 points for Northwest, but she hit a late shot on a stick-back and that seemed to be the shot that really got the Vikings rolling to their second straight state title….Gibbs with the stick-back and ‘Little’ Lindsay Gauldin was like gold, like “money in the bank” for NWG, with her senior leadership paying dividends late in the contest, when everything could have been breaking down, but it wasn’t, things were looking up for the Vikes and it was their night and another big plus for NWG was their 23 trips to the free throw line, where they converted 18-23 FT’s and SE Raleigh only made 8 visits to the line, hitting 5 of their attempts…

Wow, we were there and we saw it, NWG wins the NCHSAA 4-A State Title, 44-36 over Southeast Raleigh…

Northwest was out-scored 14-4 and trailed by 10 points at the end of the first quarter, but get this number….

This one really drives us home….Last Saturday night Northwest Guilford out-scored Mallard Creek, 17-4 in the 4th quarter of the game, to win the West Regional Title at UNCG and get this here friends, tonight, in Chapel Hill, Northwest Guilford out-scored Southeast Raleigh 17-4 in the 4th quarter, to capture the 2018 title at the Dean Dome….That is almost metaphoric, NWG 17-4 was the score, as NWG wins games in the 4th quarter…..WOW!!!!!

Northern Guilford’s dynamic duo of Elissa Cunane and Kassie Robakiewicz combined for 47 points of the NG 60-point total and man those two, Cunane and Robakiewicz really went to work and it paid off for the Nighthawks…That is a load and when you add up what Cuname, Robakiewicz and fellow-senior Mercedes Wampler were averaging coming into the game, you are talking right at 45 points a game for NG and with those three, Cunane, Robakiewicz and Wampler getting ready to graduate this Spring, there goes right at 80% of Northern’s scoring…Those 3, Cunane, Robakiewicz and Wampler have really left their imprint on the Northern Guilford girls basketball program and walk away with 3 straight state championship game appearances and back-to-back NCHSAA 3-A State Titles….

WOW, give me some more of that Cunane, Robakiewicz and Wampler diet of basketball talent….

In today/tonight’s title game, Robakiewicz was able to bring home the cabbage and Kassie put some mustard on her last game in a Nighthawk uniform, as she was able to shoot five of six from beyond the three-point arc and Kassie was nine of 13 from the floor posting a team-leading 24 points, with a pair of assists and two rebounds.

It turned out to be a “Classic for Kassie”….And what about Cunane in the lane, with the chance to play on the same floor she will suit up and play on in college, when she goes to work for the N.C. State Wolfpack women…

Cunane was not going insane in the lane, but nothing about her game was plain, as Elissa scored 23 points and had 21 rebounds….The 23 points are big, but those 21 rebounds are huge, as that control of the boards, pretty much allows Northern Guilford to control the game….

Way to go Northern Guilford and congrats to the Nighthawks on the 2018 3-A State Championship and the three I was mentioning, Cunane, Robakiewicz and Wampler will be missed…If Northern Guilford ever established a Sports Hall of Fame, I can see at least part of this trio, making the Hall….

My full disclosure is that I was not at the NG-Jacksonville game, but I did study my post game notes and we worked hard and I think we did a decent job of detailing/covering the Nighthawk girls and how they got their title….

We were in Chapel Hill with NWG and our team with Kris Walser and Coach Darryl Steele were in Raleigh broadcasting the NG Nighthawks…I would be telling you a lie if I didn’t say I was worried about not being with Northern Guilford today…I had called/announced 7 previous Northern Guilford State Championship games and they had never lost, going 7 of 7…Four football titles, 2 basketball titles(one boys and one girls), with the boys title later being vacated and there was last year’s state title in the baseball….What happened today proves I was living in a smoke screen…..NG doesn’t need me they got it done and they have won again and this time, Kris Walser and Darryl Steele help NG steal one/win the big one, and that really means they earned it and got it done the right way and sometimes the right way, might be the hard, but our Guilford County teams got it done again….

Great job Nighthawks and Vikings as you made Guilford County very proud again today with your second consecutive state titles….NWG takes it 44-36 and NG goes home a 60-52 victor, both Guilford County teams winning by an identical eight points….WOW!!!!!

**********From the first year Northern and Northwest won their titles in March of 2017**********

Sometimes it is fun to go back in time and see what the Guilford County teams did the last time around, when both Northern Guilford and Northwest Guilford were playing for NCHSAA Girls State Titles, back in 2017, with Northern Guilford in Chapel Hill and Northwest Guilford in, Raleigh…
from www.nchsaa.org:

3A Women: Northern Guilford nips Hickory Ridge 66-64

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Northern Guilford returned to the
3A State Championship game for the second year in a
row and held on to beat Hickory Ridge 66-64, reversing
the heartbreak of one year ago and claiming the
school’s first Women’s Basketball State Championship.

Northern Guilford trailed by as many as 12 points in
the first half as Hickory Ridge came out on fire, shooting
better than 50% from the floor in the first half. The
Lady Bulls led by eight at the intermission.

Northern Guilford regrouped at the half and got an
incredible performance from Elissa Cunane who scored
24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to complete her
double-double. Cunane was named the Kay Yow Most
Valuable Player of the Game. She was one block shy of
a triple-double with nine when she fouled out of the
game with 1:30 to go and the Nighthawks up 63-54.

With Cunane out of the game, Deja Neal went to work
for the Lady Bulls, scoring six in a 7-0 Hickory Ridge
run to cut the Northern advantage to just two with 24
seconds remaining. Northern Guilford got a run-out lay
in from Kassie Robakewicz to extend the lead back to
four before Neal would trim the lead back to two with a
pair of free throws with nine seconds to play at 65-63.

Northern Guilford’s Kelly Lomax converted one of her
two free throws with eight seconds to play and when
Hickory Ridge’s Nia Daniel was fouled with two seconds
to play, she hit the first free throw to trim the
Nighthawk lead to two at 66-64. Daniel intentionally
missed the second free throw and the Lady Bulls
grabbed the rebound but Sydney Miller could not get
a shot off as she was stripped by Northern Guilford’s
Janelle Henderson to seal the victory and hand the
Lady Bulls their first loss of the season.

Robakewicz finished in double figures with 14 points
and four rebounds to go with a pair of assists. Mercedes
Wampler was also in double figures with 10
points, a pair of assists and two steals.

Hickory Ridge had three players in double figures with
Gabby Smith leading the way with her 15 points, three
rebounds and four steals. Daniel added 13 with nine
rebounds and Jiera Shears chipped in 12 points with
three steals and a pair of assists.

Northern Guilford finished the season 31-1, champions
of the Mid-State 3A Conference where they were 16-0.
The Nighthawks won the Eastern Regional for the second
straight year and claimed their first State Championship
in Women’s Basketball.

4A Women: NW Guilford fights past SE Raleigh 36-34 to win school’s first WBB State Championship

RALEIGH, N.C. – Northwest Guilford is used to close
scoring big games, and the experience paid off as the
Vikings held off Southeast Raleigh for a hard-fought
36-34 victory. The win was the first state championship
victory for the Vikings Women’s Basketball program.

Tamia Davis had a stick-back two with 13 seconds remaining
to draw Southeast Raleigh within two late, but
the Bulldogs couldn’t get the bucket to tie or take the
lead on the final possession as a shot from Tamia Hicks
fell short at the final horn.

The two teams battled hard defensively, as Southeast
Raleigh outscored Northwest 14-9 in the second quarter
to take a five-point lead. Northwest flipped the
script in the third, as the Vikings knotted the score up
headed to the final frame by outscoring the Bulldogs
9-4 in the third.

Sophomore Elizabeth Kitley had a double-double with
15 points and ten rebounds helping her to be named
the Kay Yow Most Valuable Player of the game. Her ten
rebounds helped give Northwest a 35-30 advantage on
the glass.

Cayla King was named Northwest Guilford’s Most
Outstanding Player and was the only other Viking in
double figures with 16 points. She was 11 of 12 from
the free throw line and had seven rebounds to go with
three assists and two steals.

Southeast Raleigh was led by Tamia Hicks who scored
13 points to lead the Bulldogs while grabbing four rebounds
and blocking three shots. Hicks was named the
Bulldogs Most Outstanding Player. Jada McMillian was
the only other Southeast Raleigh player in double digits
with 12 points on the day.

The Bulldogs finished the year at 32-1 and were 14-0
in the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference where they
were the champions for the ninth year in a row. They
won the school’s fourth Eastern Regional Championship
this year.

Northwest Guilford finished the season 30-2 on the
year, winners of the Piedmont Triad 4A Conference
where they were a perfect 10-0. The Vikings won the
Western Regional final for the second straight year and
grabbed their first state championship in Women’s
Basketball with the victory.

**********I had a hunch late last February that the Southeast Guilford girls basketball could be about ready to go on a run to a State Title and let me tell you, the hunch made my lunch, as it was fulfilled…We knew the 2919 Southwest Guilford Cowboys were ready to ride, and that is what they did..Both SEG and SWG taking titles on a Saturday night in Chapel Hill, on March 16, 2019….**********

Busy Day in Chapel Hill, as two Guilford County teams(SEG women/SWG men) claim State Titles and for GC/Guilford County, that’s SEVEN State Championships over the last three years, not too shabby brother/sister!!!

*****SEG and SWG games available to listen to now at GreensboroSports Radio…Both of these games may become collector’s items, you never know, but check them out now, at GreensboroSports Radio…*****Lots of energy in these broadcasts…..*****

Guilford Teams Claimed Two State Basketball Titles Today in Chapel Hill:::::
Southeast Guilford Falcons 55, Cuthbertson Cavaliers 49….SEG Falcons 2019 NCHSAA 3-A Women’s State Champions
Southwest Guilford Cowboys 67, Burlington Williams Bulldogs 60…SWG Cowboys 2019 NCHSAA 3-A Men’s State Champions

Now for Guilford County/GC/336, that’s SEVEN State Titles over the past three seasons/years…
2017 Southwest Guilford boys 4-A State Champions
2017 Northwest Guilford girls 4-A State Champions
2017 Northern Guilford girls 3-A State Champions
2018 Northwest Guilford girls 4-A State Champions
2018 Northern Guilford girls 3-A State Champions
2019 Southeast Guilford girls 3-A State Champions
2019 Southwest Guilford boys 3-A State Champions

Other games in Chapel Hill today, we congratulate the Bishop McGuinness boys/men on their 1-A State Championship, with the Villains 55-54 last second win, over Henderson Collegiate…In the other game in the Smith Center, it was Pamlico County topping East Surry, 62-55….(Jainiya Jones with 39 points for Pamlico County in their victory.) Big day in Chapel Hill…

Big day for Kennedi Simmons, from Southeast Guilford High School, scoring 27 points and hitting 11-14 free throws, in SEG’s 55-49 victory over Cuthbertson…SEG converted 24-33 free throws and that was the difference in the game….The Cuthbertson Cavaliers were 11-22 at the charity stripe….SEG 24, Cuthbertson 11 at the foul line…..Huge difference in this game…

In my humble opinion, Kennedi Simmons is the girl’s Player of the Year in Guilford County…If you have one better, let me know, but I think I have nailed it again…Mark it down, Kennedi Simmons, Southeast Guilford High School, your 2018-2019 girls high school Player of the Year in Guilford County…That name again, was Kennedi Simmons, and she is from Southeast Guilford High School…

Great game by the way too, from SEG senior Kristen Roberts, she hit some big shots for the Falcons when it mattered most, and Kristen Roberts finished with 13 points for the game…Sydney Roberts, Kristen’s younger sister, was 2-4 at the FT line and the two free tosses she hit came during a late crucial stage of the contest…Sydney is just a freshman and fellow-freshman Raven Preston, was 4-6 at the line and those freebies from the impressive Preston, loomed large…And then here comes Shunte Bethea stepping up to the stripe and Bethea came ready to play, as she was a perfect 4-4 at the foul line…

Remember last year when I was pumping up the SEG Middle School girls team, while I was already on to what these kids could do, even back then, when Preston was shooting the lights out, at the middle school gym…

I got this hunch, as we hit the post season playoffs this season, and the hunch was that Southeast Guilford might be able to make a strong playoff run and I was right on that point too…

The hunches seem to come in bunches…That was about my 15th trip to the Dean E. Smith Center to call these NCHSAA Championship games for our Guilford County teams, so the feeling is when we walk into the building there is very good chance to leave with a title…

Was there but didn’t get it for Grimsley, then Page and then the first trip with the NWG girls….But like I told a guy, the other day, “all I can do is get them there”, they have to take care of the rest and tonight, Southeast Guilford ran their own form of ‘Organized Chaos’, on defense and the Falcons were flashing a 2-2-1 full court zone press, then it was their 2-1-2 zone press, then it became a 3-2, or a 2-3 full court zone press and it was just what I told you, ‘Organized Chaos’, and it caused 17 turnovers on the part of the Cuthbertson Cavaliers, and that led to 19 SEG points off of those Cavalier turnovers….

Maddie Dillinger paced Cuthbertson with 17 points, but she was 4-11 from the field, due in part to SEG’s tough defense, around the low blocks….On the other hand, SEG’s Kennedi Simmons was 7-10 from the field and as we mentioned earlier, Simmons went 11-14 at the foul line…That gives Simmons 18-24 overall shooting for the evening and to use a line from our local Boy Scout troop Post 316, “Are You Kiddin’ Me”????? Simmons 18-24 shooting overall, when you look at the field and the foul line, and that is one for the books….Lillian Anderson grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Cuthbertson in that department…The Cavaliers actually out-rebounded the Falcons, 35-23, but let give you a stat that you won’t find in other post…I have the note, that you can quote, until you are sore in throat…

Take it to Roy Williams, take it to Coach K, take it to the NBA, YOU CAN’T REBOUND MADE FREE THROWS, brothers and sisters…Made free throws know no grabs, SEG goes 24-33 at the Free Throw Line and comes out to 72.7% made free throws….

Remember what I told you, YOU CAN’T REBOUND MADE FREE THROWS and Southeast Guilford wins the basketball game, 55-49…SEG didn’t have to worry about rebounding any missed free throws, they taking them and making them, and that was one of the big differences in this game…

The made Free Throws, the “Organized Chaos” that SEG created on defense, the play of the Guilford County’s Girl’s Basketball Player of the Year for 2018-2019, Kennedi Simmons, there you have it, brothers and sisters, and fellow Falcons Fans, there you have the reasons why your Southeast Guilford Falcons are the 2019 NCHSAA Women’s 3-A State Champions…

I have broke it down pretty well and what do I know, I know the SEG Falcons are your Champions and let’s go ahead and celebrate “The Moment” with them….

*****Both SEG and SWG games available to listen to now at GreensboroSports Radio…Both of these games may become collector’s items, you never know, but check them out now, at GreensboroSports Radio…*****Lots of energy in these broadcasts…..*****

SEG-Cuthbertson Box Score:
Official Basketball Box Score — Game Totals — Final Statistics
Cuthbertson vs Southeast Guilford
3/16/19 5 PM at Dean E. Smith Center – Chapel Hill, NC

Cuthbertson 49 • 29-4

                     Total    3-Ptr          Rebounds
                     
## Player            FG-FGA   FG-FGA  FT-FTA Off Def Tot PF TP A TO Blk Stl Min
05 Kaylin McKinney   0-0      0-0     0-0    0   0    0  5   0 1  2 0    0  11
20 Kayla Young *     4-7      2-5     0-0    0   4    4  4  10 0  3 0    0  28
21 Lauryn Hardiman * 4-11     1-4     2-4    2   6    8  4  11 1  3 0    1  31
22 Maddie Dillinger *5-15     0-2     7-14   4   3    7  1  17 0  4 0    1  32
32 Lillian Anderson *3-6      1-2     1-2    4   7   11  5   8 6  2 2    1  30
10 Kendall Gallagher 0-0      0-0     0-0    0   0    0  0   0 0  0 0    0   1
11 Ariana Thompson   0-0      0-0     0-0    0   0    0  0   0 0  0 0    0   0+
13 Kamaria Sheriff   1-2      0-1     0-0    0   0    0  0   2 0  1 0    0   5
33 Ruby Williams     0-0      0-0     1-2    0   1    1  5   1 0  2 0    0   22
Team                                         1   3    4
Totals               17-41 4-14      11-22  11     24 35 24  49 8 17 2   3   160

1st – FG %: 5-7 71.4%
3FG %: 0-0 0.0%
FT %: 2-4 50.0%
2nd: 3-9 33.3%
1-4 25.0%
3-4 75.0%
3rd: 6-13 46.2%
2-4 50.0%
3-8 37.5%
4th: 3-12 25.0%
1-6 16.7%
3-6 50.0%
Game: 17-41 41.5%
4-14 28.6%
11-22 50.0%
Deadball
Rebounds
5

Southeast Guilford 55 • 28-3

                     Total    3-Ptr            Rebounds
## Player            FG-FGA   FG-FGA   FT-FTA  Off Def Tot    PF TP A TO Blk Stl Min
05 Kennedi Simmons * 7-10     2-4      11-14   1   1   2       2 27 1 0   0   0 31
10 Kristen Roberts * 4-16     2-11      3-5    0   2   2       3 13 0 3   0   2 30
13 Sydney Roberts *  0-1      0-0       2-4    0   0   0       1  2 0 1   0   1 28
24 Raven Preston *   2-6      1-1       4-6    1   5   6       4  9 1 1   0   4 25
35 Shunte Bethea *   0-1      0-0       4-4    1   4   5       3  4 0 2   0   1 22
03 Jessica Jopkins   0-2      0-0       0-0    0   2   2       2  0 0 0   0   0 15
23 Gabby McGough     0-0      0-0       0-0    0   0   0       0  0 0 0   0   0  0+
30 Emilee Liggins    0-0      0-0       0-0    1   0   1       1  0 0 1   0   0  7
44 Shekinah Cooke    0-0      0-0       0-0    0   0   0       1  0 0 1   0   0  1
Team                                           1   4   5
Totals              13-36     5-16     24-33   5  18   23      17 55 2 9  0   8 159

1st – FG %: 7-12 58.3%
3FG %: 2-5 40.0%
FT %: 2-2 100.0%
2nd: 2-10 20.0%
1-3 33.3%
4-6 66.7%
3rd: 2-10 20.0%
1-6 16.7%
3-4 75.0%
4th: 2-4 50.0%
1-2 50.0%
15-21 71.4%
Game: 13-36 36.1%
5-16 31.3%
24-33 72.7%
Deadball
Rebounds
3,1
Officials:
Technical fouls: Cuthbertson-None. Southeast Guilford-None.
Attendance:
NCHSAA 3A Women’s Championship

Score by periods      1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
Cuthbertson           12  10  17  10   49
Southeast Guilford    18   9   8  20   55
       In    Off  2nd   Fast
Points Paint T/O Chance Break  Bench
CUTHBE 20    7   10     2      3
SEGUIL 14   19    3     2      0

Last FG – CUTHBERT 4th-00:06, SEGUIL 4th-04:30.
Largest lead – CUTHBERT by 6 3rd-01:09, SEGUIL by 8 3rd-07:24.
CUTHBERT led for 09:00. SEGUIL led for 21:15. Game was tied for 01:45.
Score tied – 2 times.
Lead changed – 6 times.

**********The Northern Guilford baseball team won the NCHSAA 3-A State Title on June 4, 2017**********

Congratulations Northern Guilford Nighthawks on their NCHSAA 3-A Baseball Championship
*****You can listen back to all Three Games from the 3-A Championship Series by going to
GreensboroSports Radio…*****
CLICK HERE for the News and Record link with Joe Sirera, on Northern Guilford winning the 3–A NCHSAA Baseball Title…
from the Shelby Star newspaper:
“Baseball is a game of breaks and we just didn’t get enough of them this weekend,” said Crest coach Steven Hodge, whose team lost 4-2 on Friday, won 4-2 on Saturday and lost 2-1 later on Saturday in a series dominated by pitching and defense. “To get this far with a team with three seniors is unbelievable. Now we know what it takes to get here and build off this season.”
CLICK HERE to read all on Game Three of the Series, from the Shelby Star, with Richard Walker….

2017-06-03 NG on GreensboroSports Radio

Best-of-Three Series, Northern Guilford wins it Two-Games-to-One and here is how it went for
Northern Guilford 2017 NCHSAA Baseball 3-A State Champions
Game One at Five County Stadium in Zebulon:Northern Guilford 4, Crest 2
Game Two:Crest 4, Northern Guilford 2
Game Three:Northern Guilford 2, Crest 1

Game Two:Crest 4, NG 2
WP:CJ Mayhue/LP:JC Ouzts
NG(30-5)/Crest(22-8)
Crest Line-4-6-1
Northern Line-2-10-1

Game Three:NG 2, Crest 1
WP:Joe Millwee(5-0)/SV:Josh Pike(2)/LP:Logan McNeeley
Millwee went 5 1/3 Innings, giving up 1 Run on 5 Hits, with 2 BB’s and 4 K’s….
NG(31-5)/Crest(22-9)
NG Line-2-6-0
Crest Line-1-6-1

        1	2	3	4	5	6	7	R	H	E
CRST	1	0	0	0	0	0	0	1	6	1
NGHS	0	2	0	0	0	0	X	2	6	0

NG Batting:
JT Jarrett 1-3…
JC Ouzts 1-3…
Joe Millwee 0-3…
Josh Pike 1-3…
Troy Minor 0-2/BB/Run
Logan King 2-3/Triple/PR Andrew Arledge King runner with a Run…
Brandon Bledsoe 1-2…
Evan Mericka 0-2…
Bryant Carrey 0-2…

Troy Minor had two outstanding throws from the outfield on Saturday…His throw from right field nailed a runner at the plate and his throw from left field cut down a Crest runner at third base….Logan King was a small bull behind the plate for Northern, as he kept everything in order back there at the dish and he took more than his fair share of a beating, but in the end he may have gotten beat and banged up, but his team, Northern Guilford, beat Crest for the 3-A Title….

JT Jarrett, with 4 RBI over the weekend, was named MVP of the 3-A Championship Series at Zebulon….

The last out of the game, in the Top of the 7th Inning, with the bases loaded for Crest and Josh Pike on the mound for Northern Guilford, came on a Fly Ball to right field, caught by JC/John Clark Ouzts, to end the game, the season and the careers of 12 Northern Guilford Nighthawk seniors, and it all came to an end with Northern Guilford, crowned 2017 NCHSAA 3-A Baseball Champions…

Those 12 Northern Guilford seniors that walk away with a record of (31-5) and a State Championship are:
JT Jarrett
Reece Brondolo
Troy Minor
Connor Carlin
Drew Duvall
John Clark/JC Ouzts
Logan King
Josh Pike
Camron Cotter
Evan Mericka
Joe Millwee
Frank Salimbene

Coach Landon Kimrey
Assistant Coaches David Brame, Brad Poe and Kareem Alston

The rest of the RoadHawks are:
Matthew Cotter, Riley Redmon, Andrew Arledge, Brandon Bledsoe, Bryant Carrey, Troy Boudreau, Davis Streuli and Sam Kaplan……

**********To me/AD, this was one of the top baseball games of the past decade in Guilford County:**********

Southeast Wins 5th Annual Farm Bureau Invitational in Dramatic Fashion
from Wyatt Smith, with GreensboroSports.com
Early April 2017

The hosts of the 5th annual Farm Bureau Invitational, Southeast Guilford, met Northern Guilford in the Championship game on Friday night at Newbridge Bank Park in downtown Greensboro. This is the Falcons third appearance in the Championship of the tournament that their program puts on, with a record of (1-1) in the title game, winning in 2012. Northern played their first ever Farm Bureau Invitational Championship game on Friday.

The Falcons and Nighthawks met on March 2nd of this year, and Southeast won by a score of 7-1. Friday night’s game was much closer and ended in dramatic fashion.

Northern Guilford scored a run in each of the first two innings against Southeast starter Austin Coble although only one was earned.

After the second, Coble settled down and got into a groove that he carried through the fourth inning. Coach Beasley pulled Coble for his only freshman, Ryan Douglas after getting four solid innings from Coble.

Southeast also had two huge defensive plays from second baseman Jarrett Benson. One, a diving stab and throw to get the runner, and the other a glove flip to the first baseman on a slow dribbler.

The Nighthawks started junior right hander John Clark Ouzts on the mound. Ouzts pitched a gem, scattering four hits, two walks –one intentional, hit three batters, and struck out nine Falcons. His defense played hard and well behind him and the Nighthawks didn’t allow a run until the seventh inning when Ouzts hit the first two batters. The Falcons second basemen Jarrett Benson laid down a sacrifice bunt moving the runners into scoring position, bringing Southeast senior Caleb Smith to the plate with one out and two on.

Smith hit a sharp groundball that was booted by Nighthawks second baseman Cole Chapman, allowing the tying runs to score.

The next batter for the Falcons was Justin Guy who was called safe at first on a controversial call by the umpire in the field. Nighthawks head coach Landon Kimrey came out to argue, to no avail, and the Falcons had the go-ahead run on first base. That play was a turning point in the game. The level of intensity rose drastically and would soon boil over.

The Nighthawks intentionally walked Devin Bartley, who has been swinging a hot bat for the Falcons all year, to load the bases and bring up senior Noah Marley. Marley grounded the ball back to Ouzts, who threw the ball home for the second out of the inning, and Northern catcher Logan King threw the ball wide of first base in attempt to complete the 1-2-3 double-play. The throw from King pulled Nighthawk first baseman Josh Pike off the bag, who pulled a muscle, as Justin Guy crossed the plate for the go-ahead run. Pike then threw the ball back to King, who came up the line, and a collision ensued with the Falcons’ Devin Bartley. King was knocked on his back, and Bartley was called out, which led to Bartley’s ejection from the game and caused an uproar in the crowd and on the field.

The collision made several Northern players unhappy, noticeably Cameron Cotter, who was loud and passionate about his displeasure with the Bartley slide, in Bartley’s face as he got up to head back to the dugout. Both benches cleared. There was pushing and shoving from both sides that resulted in ejections.

Northern catcher Logan King showed incredible heart and determination as he remained in the game for his final at-bat after the jarring collision on the Bartley slide.

Southeast freshman Ryan Douglas picked up the win in the game going two innings in relief of both Austin Coble and Tyler Alley. Douglas gave up no runs, walked one, struck out two, and hit a batter.

The Falcons won by a score of 3-2.

Douglas was happy with his performance.

“It was a great feeling to come in and give everything I had for my team,” the freshman said. “It was tough to get focused after all that chaos, but I kept the mindset that we needed three more outs to win the championship.”

There was tension in the air, on the field, and in the stands after the game as the teams refrained from the post-game hand-shaking ritual. The coaches from both teams, however, met at home plate to discuss their differences with one another and the events that transpired in the top of the seventh inning.

Ouzts said he felt great until the last inning, when things fell apart for his team, and Northern gave up the lead they had maintained since the first inning.

“I felt good until the last inning,” Ouzts said. “I was commanding everything, spotting curveballs, and then I got into my own head. We kind of screwed up. It happens. We’ll bounce back and get the dub.”

Northern Coach Landon Kimrey tried to take away a positive note from the game, and relay that to his team.

“Pitching and defense has been our team identity all season,” Kimrey said. “If we can keep swinging the bat well like we have been, we’re going to be a tough out, come playoff time.”

Southeast coach Dave Beasley reaped the benefits of hard work all week, as he was the go-to man and ran the tournament. Leaving with a championship is a reward for all the hard work that Coach Beasley and the Southeast Baseball Community put into making the tournament possible.

“These three games were like playoff games and that’s what we’re preparing for anyway,” Beasley said. “I hate what happened at the end. I’m the kind of person who is sensitive to things like that and wish that it hadn’t happened, but it did.”

“Even if we lost, the team morale in our dugout means as much to me as anything. You don’t see that much nowadays.”

The $1,000 Farm Bureau Scholarships went to Southeast’s Austin McDade, son of the voice of Falcon Baseball, John McDade, and the Nighthawks’ Cole Chapman received the scholarship money for the second place team.


(Nice interview with Austin McDade, from the News and Record on-line, conducted by the N&R’s J.P. Mundy and you can check it out when you
CLICK HERE.)

There’s no doubt that this will go down as one of the most dramatic and exciting games in the Farm Bureau Invitational history.

Southeast improves to (11-1),(2-0) on the season, and Northern’s record is now (10-4),(6-2).


NORTHERN GUILFORD LEADERS:

John Clark Ouzts- (LP) 7IP, 4H, 9K, 3HBP,2BB, 3R, 1ER; (2-2) 2B, RBI

Troy Minor (2-4) 2-1B, RBI

SOUTHEAST GUILFORD LEADERS

Austin Coble- 4IP, 5H, K, BB, 2R, 1ER

Ryan Douglas- (WP) 2IP, 2K, BB

Devin Bartley- (2-3)

Christian Rodriguez (0-1) R

Forrest Brothers (0-1) R

(Looking back up that way, we have a lot of Northern Guilford in here, but it is, what it is…They got there, and got the job done, on most occasions.)

**********BASEBALL TONIGHT/May 9, 2018**********
Holland Auto Care High School Baseball and Softball Scoreboard:Grimsley baseball over Page, 1-0 in 13 Innings(One of those Games for the Ages)
(Many were saying after the game, that this might have been the best high school baseball game, in the history of Guilford County, and it was a good one.)

Round One NCHSAA Baseball Final from Grimsley HS:
Grimsley 1, Page 0…(13 Innings)
Grimsley wins with a Bases-loaded Walk-off Walk in the Bottom of the 13th Inning…Nile Harris scored the Game-Winning run for Grimsley and Rob Dalton credited with the Game-Winning RBI….
*****Can’t say enough about the defensive effort coming from both of these schools/teams on this Wednesday night…*****
WP:Gus Hughes/LP:McKinnon Martinelli
Starters Jake Knapp and C.J. Neese both reached their 105 pitch count….Outstanding starts from Neese and Knapp…
More on this game and other games on the way….
The Grimsley-Page game tonight, for sure, “One for the Ages”….
End of 1st Inning:Grimsley 0, Page 0…End of 2nd:Page 0, Grimsley 0…End of 3rd:0-0…End of 4th:0-0….End of 5th:0-0…..End of 6th:0-0……End of 7th:0-0…….End of 8th:0-0……..End of 9th:0-0………End of 10th:0-0……….End of 11th:0-0………..End of 12:0-0…………End of the 13th Inning and the Final:Grimsley 1, Page 0………….Grimsley hitting:Rob Dalton 1-5/BB/RBI(Game-Winning RBI)…Gus Hughes 0-5…C.J. Neese 1-4/BB/Double/SB…Jake Bloss 0-5…Eli Willen 0-4/IBB…Nile Harris 1-5/Run(Scored the Game-Winning Run)…Luke Jenkins 0-3/BB/IBB…Griffin Albright 0-4/SAC Bunt…Will Caveness 0-4/BB…
Page hitting::Brody Meachum 0-5/HBP…Garrett Willett 1-5…Jake Knapp 0-5…Luke Pegram 0-4/BB…Cade Darnell 0-4/HBP…Coby Phillips 2-4/BB/Double…C.J. Arnold 0-3/BB/SAC…McKinnon Martinelli 0-4/BB…
Pitchers Jake Knapp from Page with 9 Innings/0 Runs/2 Hits/2 BB’s/11 K’s…C.J. Neese from Grimsley 8 2/3’s Innings/0 Runs/4 Hits/2 BB’S/8 K’s/HBP….Gus Hughes from Grimsley 4 1/3 Innings/0 Runs/1 Hit/5 K’s/1 BB….
McKinnon Martinelli from Page 4 Innings/1 Run/1 Hit/3 BB’s/4 K’s…
*****Next Up:#12 Grimsley at #5 South Caldwell and they are hoping for a Friday night game and the Grimsley starter is slated to be Jake Bloss.*****

+++++What they are saying:Game-winning run scored by Nile Harris:“This playoff win means everything”….”I had to play it safe all on the way on advancing to third and then scoring the game-winning run”…A couple of walks and a Sacrifice had helped Nile Harris reach third base….He had been thrown out earlier in the game trying to advance from second to third….Harris also said, “This is a great group of guys here at Grimsley to go to bat with, we just have to stay focused.”….“For us to being to Round Two of the Playoffs, it just means The World”….As the game kept going on for more innings, all the way to the 13th, Nile Harris said he kept thinking, “We have to end this somehow”…..
Grimsley winning pitcher Gus Hughes said, “Our starting pitcher C.J. Neese did an outstanding job, I just had to come in and keep it like it was and not let Page score”….On if he got stronger as the game went on, Hughes said, “I got more under control and was able to do my job and was to be able to help Grimsley get the win on the mound, I wasn’t providing much help at the plate”….On if he could go again on Saturday, Hughes said, “No, I threw 64 pitches tonight and with two days rest, I don’t think I can pitch again on Friday or Saturday”… On beating Page, Hughes said, “This is huge/very big, this is the first time we have defeated Page twice in the same season in a long time, and it feels great.”
Grimsley coach Gary Flynn said he was very proud of his team…Coach Flynn said, “We will go with Jake Bloss in the starting role at South Caldwell”, Jake is like our #2 starter and we use Gus Hughes more like a reliever.”….Coach Flynn said, “After a win like we had tonight, the adrenaline is flowing and we need to use this win to push us hard into Round Two at South Caldwell.”….Coach also agreed that, “This was one of the biggest wins in recent Grimsley baseball history”…..

*****Quite a game with Page at Grimsley tonight with a very large crowd on hand, and I’m sure the local Grimsley and Page fans will be talking about this game and remembering this one, for a LONG time to come….*****

**********The Greensboro Grasshoppers won the 2011 South Atlantic League Baseball Championship and Bill Hass was there in Savannah, Georgia, to take it all for our city and community…**********

from Bill Hass, with the Bill on Baseball Blog, at www.gsohoppers.com:

A perfect ending for the Hoppers

SAVANNAH — As Savannah hitter Wilfredo Tovar swung and missed at the last pitch of the 2011 South Atlantic League championship series Saturday night and the ball settled in the mitt of Hoppers catcher J.T. Realmuto, it took a moment to register on pitcher Grant Dayton.

A moment later, he was engulfed in a swarm of orange jerseys as the Hoppers poured out of the dugout and from all points on the field and converged into a happy pile on the mound at Grayson Stadium. Dayton and the Hoppers had just finished off a 7-3 victory to beat the Sand Gnats in the deciding game of the best-of-5 series, bringing Greensboro its first baseball championship since 1982.

“I heard everyone on the bench going crazy and I saw J.T. jumping up and down and I knew it was over,” Dayton said. “And then I was pretty close to the bottom of the dogpile. Words can’t describe how exciting this is. It’s my first championship in anything, ever.”

This game capped an improbable run to the title. The Hoppers had to win 11 of their final 12 games in the regular season just to make the playoffs. They polished off Hickory in two straight games to win the Northern Division and took the first game against Savannah. But they lost the second and the third games and were down to their last strike in Game 4 before pulling that one out in 11 innings.

“I told you we would not watch them (Savannah) celebrate,” said Christian Yelich, who indeed made that statement, in more graphic terms, after the Hoppers lost Game 3 in 11 innings. “It’s incredible. This is what we set out to do from Day One in spring training.”

Many of the players said it was hard to put their feelings into words.

“I felt relieved, excited and happy, all at the same time,” said Noah Perio, who had four hits, an RBI and a run scored in the championship game and delivered the two-out, two-strike single that drove in the tying run run in Game 4. “I’m just proud of the way we never gave up during the season, never gave up on each other.”

Even manager Andy Haines struggled to find the right words.

“It’s pretty hard to describe,” he said. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. This is so hard to accomplish. The fact that it has been 29 years (since Greensboro’s last title) tells you how hard and makes you cherish it. The players persevered and I’m just so happy for them.”

One who cherished it in particular was starting pitcher Kyle Winters, who pitched for the Hoppers in 2007 and moved up the Florida Marlins’ ladder, only to see his career sidetracked by shoulder surgery. He missed part of 2009 and all of 2010 and was disappointed to be sent back to low Class A baseball this year. He missed two months of this season with a strained shoulder, but all that was forgotten when he took the mound Saturday.

Winters pitched 6 2/3 innings, holding Savannah to two runs and winding up as the winning pitcher. Mike Ojala was outstanding in 1 1/3 innings of relief, retiring four straight batters after the first one he faced reached base on an error. Dayton closed it out with three strikeouts.

“This feels outstanding,” Winters said as he puffed on a victory cigar. “It was so much fun. I can’t imagine anything any better. It was a total team effort tonight, just like it has been the entire season.”

The final score was deceiving. The Hoppers, being who they were all season, got through some dramatic moments.

As Greensboro was stranding five runners in the first three innings, Savannah broke through with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third.

“Down 2-0, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Yelich said. “It’s unbelievable. We never gave up. That wasn’t in our vocabulary.”

The top of the fourth inning started innocently enough with two quick outs. Then Danny Black singled off Sand Gnats starter Angel Cuan.

“On this team, anybody can produce at any time,” Black said. “I just wanted to get on base and let the rest of the team do the work.”

And they did. Isaac Galloway ripped a triple to score Black and came in to score on Perio’s single. Marcell Ozuna cracked a double to score Perio and make it 3-0. Yelich grounded to shortstop Tovar, who booted the ball for one error and then, as Ozuna rounded third and steamed home, threw the ball away for a second error. Mark Canha delivered a single to score Yelich from second to finish the five-run inning, all with two outs.

“I had struck out my first at-bat on a fastball,” Galloway said. “I thought he might give it to me again and he did on the first pitch and I got a good swing on it.”

No one felt the lead was safe because Savannah had wiped out a 7-2 deficit Friday with a seven-run inning. So the Hoppers added two more runs in the top of the fifth. A single by Wilfredo Gimenez, a fielder’s choice and singles by Galloway and Perio loaded the bases, again with two outs. Ozuna smacked a single to right to score two more runs and make it 7-2.

In the bottom of the fifth, Winters found himself in a mess with the bases loaded and one out. Savannah seemed poised to get back in the game. But Winters got the red-hot Darrell Ceciliani to fly out to Yelich in left field, short enough that a run couldn’t score. Tovar then popped out to Canha to end the inning.

“I think that gave us a huge morale boost and carried us the rest of the way,” Winters said. “I just had to settle myself down and correct some mechanics.”

Realmuto said that on those last two hitters, Winters “got his fastball down, worked ahead in the count and put his pitches where he wanted to.”

After getting the first two outs in the seventh, Winters gave up a triple and a walk. Ojala came on and got Tovar to hit a grounder to third, but Ryan Fisher didn’t feel the ball cleanly and a run scored to cut it to 4-3. Ojala shook that off and prevented further damage by striking out Rafael Fernandez.

The Hoppers got a hit in the eighth and ninth innings but no further runs. Ojala retired the side in order in the eighth and Dayton took over in the bottom of the ninth with the title on the line.

Right away more drama came into play, showing just how hard it is to nail down a championship. Blake Forsythe reached safely on a throwing error by Black at shortstop and Juan Gamboa singled, sending Forsythe to third. Runners at the corners with no out out.

“I knew we had a good lead and all it would take was three outs,” Dayton said. “I also realized how hard those three outs can be and I still had to pitch and get my mind right.”

Dayton struck out Alonzo Harris and then fired a third strike past Ceciliani, who amazingly took the pitch without swinging. Dayton got two strikes on the pesky Tovar, then threw him an unexpected pitch.

“It was a back-foot slider,” Dayton said. “It’s a pitch that comes inside and looks like a fastball but drops out of the strike zone. J.T. called for it and I knew if I was going to get beat it would be with that pitch.”

Tovar swung over it for strike three and the Hoppers’ celebration ensued.

“It was a perfect ending,” Yelich said.

Greensboro Grasshoppers 7
Savannah Sand Gnats 3

Grasshoppers SAL Champs
Photo By Allision Moore

Final 
           1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9  R  H E 
Greensboro 0 0 0 5 2 0 0 0 0  7-16-2 
Savannah   0 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0  3- 6-2 

WP: Kyle Winters (1-0, 4.09)
LP: Angel Cuan (0-1, 6.75)

**********Thought we would close with the loss of “Big Jim” Modlin back on September 20, 2019 and “Big Jim” was a big part of what we have been able to do here at the site, over the years….**********

We have lost another good one:’Big Jim’ Modlin gone, but he left here as a true WINNER!

Got the news this morning as I was headed out the door, and I am glad I already had my morning run in, cause when you get the final word, the ‘Race of Life’ is over…

‘Big Jim’ Modlin passed away very early this morning, at around 12:30am…Jim was in the Moses Cone Hospital after suffering a massive heart attack at his home on Monday evening, at 7:43pm….

Jim was a good person and good friend and he was always willing to go the extra mile to make the situation a better one in the end….The end was near and Jim has crossed the finish line and he will be in a much better place….

“Big Jim’ in many ways became an Urban Legend with his 6’8 stature and he was a big man, with a big heart and when you take that heart away, as is the case in a massive heart attack, it is very tough for the ‘Big Man’ to go on and as we mentioned earlier, Jim is now a better place….

Jim was one of the top/best basketball players to ever come out of Ragsdale High School and as he completed his high school work back in the late 1960’s, he took his game to East Carolina University…Jim had offers from Wake Forest and other larger schools, but he took his game to ECU and when he was a senior, he and the other two ECU Pirate Jims, Jim Gregory and Jim Fairly pulled of an NCAA basketball coup…All three Jims, Jim Modlin, Jim Gregory and Jim Fairly all averaged a double-double, with double-digit scoring and double-digit rebounding….

The coach that used to be at High Point University/College(Tom Quinn) had landed at ECU and he took that Pirate team to places that they had never been before…(One of the best records in school history.)

ECU hosted the University of South Carolina in the Minges Coliseum and took the Gamecocks to the limit and the legend has it ‘Big Jim’ Modlin squared off with John Roche, Tom Owens, Tom Riker and John Ribock on more than one occasion in that game….It got kind of ugly, but ‘Big Jim’ and his men prevailed against South Carolina…..With the tough-minded Tom Owens; Ribock, Roche and Riker were three of the biggest names to ever suit up for Frank McGuire and the South Carolina Gamecocks, but on this night, ‘Big Jim’ Modlin and his East Carolina Pirates were up to the task and they took what Ribock, Roche and Riker had to offer up and told them to bring some more, they were ready for the ACC in the Minges Coliseum….

Jim went on to play for one year in the American Basketball Association(ABA) for the Pittsburgh Pipers/Condors and then moved into the business world….Jim worked with ‘Big Ben’ Derrick and Rick Carter at the Fitness Today in the Quaker Village Shopping Center and later managed the Fitness Today on Randleman Road…Jim ran the Golds Gym on Battleground Avenue and then Golds was bought out and it became The Sportscenter Athletic Club and Jim remained with the Sammy Johnson-owned facility, until his passing….

Jim had been doing radio with us for the past 10 years, having started this part of his journey back in 2002…We hit up and down the highways and made many a stop along the way, doing high school football, basketball and even some high school baseball….Jim was also a great help with the Greensboro Grasshoppers games and in fact he did their very last game of the 2012 season, along side Ogi Overman, this past Friday night from NewBridge Bank Park….Many a game and Jim kept the road hot with his Green Ford Taurus and the end results were always good ones….Dennis White joined us in recent years on the high school broadcasts and I’m sure he would share our sentiments, in regards to ‘Big Jim’…….

I think the thing that I will remember most about Jim will be that ECU-South Carolina game, back in the early-70’s, at the Minges Coliseum in Greenville, N.C., when he and his fellow Pirates battled Roche, Ribock and Riker and ‘Big Jim’ and his men would not back down from the ‘Mighty Gamecocks’, who at that time were ranked in the Top Five in the Nation…..

A ‘Big Man’ with a ‘Big Heart’, that was ‘Big Jim’ Modlin and when you take that heart away from a ‘Big Man’, it is hard to carry on….Will say a closing prayer for Jim, his family, and his friends, but the thoughts of ‘Big Jim’ Modlin will be with us for many years to come….

‘Big Jim’ gave it his all and he was a ‘Big Man’ with a lot to give and I still like the thought of him making Roche, Ribock and Riker squirm that night down in Greenville…..

Here we are on Thursday September 20, 2012 and all we have left to say in closing is:
RIP ‘Big Jim’ Modlin, with this big man, it was one of the few times, when what we saw and heard of in the Legend, well friends this time, in the case of the Legend of ‘Big Jim’ Modlin, the Legend was REAL……

********************There it is, through the years, of the 2010’s…..*******************
Who did we leave out, what memories are still left to be printed here?????


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