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Area sports briefs: App coach wins national award

From staff reports
Appalachian State’s Mark Speir (A.L. Brown) was named the FCS Assistant Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association on Wednesday.
The award is based on both coaching skill and community service.
The defensive ends coach and recruiting coordinator for the Mountaineers, Speir is in his 24th year of coaching. He’s coached in Boone the last seven years and has been recruiting coordinator since 2004. Speir has coached four All-Americans, including NFL players Jason Hunter (Lions) and Marques Murrell (Jets).
Speir was part of three straight national titles from 2005-07.
Off the field, Speir ran the Music City Marathon in 2008 and the Boston Marathon in 2009 and helped raise over $27,000 for World Medical Mission, a a branch of Samaritan’s Purse Organization. Speir also helped raise over $45,000 for a local youth recreation league and raised money for a local homeless shelter.
Speir will receive a plaque to commemorate the award and will be honored at the AFCA Kickoff Luncheon on Monday, Jan. 11, in Orlando, Fla.
n Intimidators offer deals
The Kannapolis Intimidators have a special offer for fans on merchandise and tickets.
The Intimidators souvenir station is offering a free hat (excluding New Era Mesh BP) with any $30 purchase ó through Dec. 22 or while supplies last. The souvenir store is open Monday-Friday, from 8-5. The Intimidators ticket office has also unveiled discount plans for the 2010 season. Call 704-932- 3267 for information.
n Beckham honored
Former Kannapolis Intimidator Gordon Beckham recently was named AL Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News.
Beckham, who arrived in the majors with the Chicago White Sox in early June, batted .270 with 28 doubles, 14 homers and 63 RBIs.
n Prep basketball
There will be high school basketball games in the area tonight.
East Rowan’s girls teams will play at Salisbury, with the jayvees kicking off a doubleheader at 6 p.m. and the varsity teams following.
There will be no boys games at SHS. Both schools are still involved in the football playoffs.
South Rowan plays host to A.L. Brown today in a jayvee-varsity quadruple-header. The varsity girls game should start around 6:30 p.m.
The A.L. Brown boys will be missing athletes still involved with the football playoffs.
n Concord girls standout Nyshia Hammonds has signed with the Charlotte 49ers. The guard averaged 17 points per game as a junior. She was MVP of the 3A championship game as a sophomore.
n Catawba basketball
Catawba’s men are at home Friday at 7 p.m. against USC Aiken, the school that ended their 2008-09 season in the regional tournament. Catawba fell to the Pacers last March 85-72 despite 24 points by Rob Fields.
Fields recently led the Indians to a pair of wins in the Highway 52 Shootout tourney to open the season.
Casey McMasters, a 6-foot-7 swingman, paces USC Aiken (1-0).
On Saturday at 4 p.m., Pfeiffer (1-1) takes on USC Aiken at Goodman Gym.On Sunday at 3 p.m., Catawba and Pfeiffer will square off at Goodman Gym. They did not meet in the Highway 52 Shootout played at Pfeiffer’s Merner Gym.
n Women’s basketball
UNC Asheville topped South Carolina State 67-60 on Tuesday.
Senior guard Sophilia Hipps (North Rowan) didn’t have a good shooting night (5-for-20), but she recorded a double-double for South Carolina State with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The 12 rebounds were a career-best for the 5-foot-5 Hipps.
Hipps also had team highs of four assists and four steals.
Redshirt freshman Katie Wise (South Rowan) played five minutes for UNC Asheville.
n Prep school basketball
Brandon Abel (Salisbury) had 18 points and six rebounds for Massanutten Military Academy in a recent 87-83 win against Rise Academy.
n College men’s basketball
Rio Grande’s Doug Campbell (Salisbury) had 11 points and seven rebounds in Tuesday’s 87-77 loss to Shawnee State.
n Pfeiffer JV basketball
John Humphrey grabbed a loose ball with three seconds left and hit a 3-pointer to give Pfeiffer’s jayvees a 96-93 win against Caldwell Community College on Wednesday.
n North Hills hoops
The North Hills varsity boys basketball team lost to Countryside Montessori 53-49.
Taylor Kriminger had a career-high 25 points, eight rebounds and three assists for the Eagles.
Carson Mann and Zach Byerly chipped in with seven points each.
n Prep swimming
South Rowan’s boys opened with a victory in a swim meet with North Iredell, Carson and West Rowan.
North Iredell won the girls meet, with South taking second place.

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