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Ronnie’s Notes ‘n’ quotes

Notes ‘n’ quotes …
East Rowan’s boys basketball coach Greg McKenzie has not been very happy since the season ended. According to him, Division I coaches are snubbing his star senior Justin Vanderford, not giving the 5-foot-9 guard a fair chance because of his size.
Well, his star can now prove them all wrong. Vanderford has been named to this summer’s East-West All-Star Game.
We can see first-hand how he reacts in a big-game setting (Greensboro Coliseum) playing with big-name players (West teammates Victor Davila of Starmount, who is headed to Virginia Tech, and Miami-bound Reggie Johnson of Winston-Salem Prep, along the East’s 7-footer Ty Walker, headed for Wake Forest, just to name three).
Vanderford averaged 20.9 points and was the Rowan County Player of the Year.

Vanderford’s appearance in the game continues an amazing local trend and solidifies this county as a basketball hotbed. This will be the 12th straight year Rowan has produced a girl or boy in the East-West All-Star Game.
And don’t expect the streak to end, either. West’s 6-foot-7 stud K.J. Sherrill should be one of the state’s best players in 2009. Salisbury’s Bubbles Phifer should be one of state’s best guards next year as a junior and as a senior in 2010.
Stay tuned.

More Mustangs: East Rowan had two basketball coaches winning awards this season. McKenzie was district coach of the year and girls coach Karen Garmon was county coach of the year.
East can actually claim a third.
Crest High coach ó and East graduate ó John Wall was named Coach of the Year in the Big South 3A/4A Conference, which includes schools from Mecklenburg, Gaston and Cleveland counties.
Wall’s team started 0-11 but won eight of its next 11 and eventually made the 4A playoffs.
Glenn and Sue’s boy is a 1993 honor graduate of East where he was all-conference in tennis and soccer.

Believe it or not dept.: Grand Canyon College in Arizona has a solid No. 5 player on its tennis team named Sheila Johnson.
She has won 11 of her first 17 singles matches this season, which is pretty good, considering Johnson is 60 years old.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen dept.: Former Missouri basketball coach and Duke point guard Quin Snyder’s fall from grace seemed complete earlier this month when the team he coaches in the NBA Development League had to share a practice facility with a group of homeless people waiting to shower in the gymnasium’s bathroom.

After seeing the stats from the spring game at South Carolina, I think Concord native Tommy Beecher has won the starting quarterback job for the ol’ ball coach.
By default.
Steve Spurrier watched Beecher throw only three interceptions to Chris Smelley’s five.

I always thought Mark Williams would have made a good sportswriter.
He makes a better preacher.
Williams used to write up reports for the East Rowan Little League but he has been extremely busy lately with his sports ministry. He has spoken to many middle and high schools.
Williams has created a new website just for the county’s Christian athletes. The site address is www.greatfanz.bravehost.com. It includes a scripture and a section for his comments.
“But best of all,” Williams says, “it has an open forum for anyone to make a comment about their teams or just anything that comes to the mind of Christian athletes.”
Williams is retired and living in Granite Quarry but is still trying to make an impact on young people. Recently he conducted the invocation for the Kannapolis Intimidators’ home opener.

And finally …
When my kids aren’t playing sports, they’re bettering their hand-eye coordination by playing video games.
They’ll love this.
The L.A. Times writes that Gamestop.com has some inside scoop on a new feature for Madden NFL ’09: User-controlled celebrations.
A simple press of the celebrate button will result in players breaking out in dance or dunking over the goal post. Specific stadiums will feature local celebrations, such as the “Lambeau Leap” and players who are known for end-zone antics will perform as they do in real life.
“For example, a player like Terrell Owens has more than 10 of his familiar celebrations available,” the website reported.

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or rgallagher@salisburypost.com.

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