Area Sports Briefs
From staff reports
While the football playoffs begin on Friday, there’s always one more major treat this time of year.
Area basketball teams officially opened basketball practice on Wednesday, although quite a few football players obviously weren’t present, plus at least one prominent volleyball player – Carson’s Allison Blackwell, who will be involved in the 3A state championship game on Saturday.
Once football season ends, North Rowan’s boys are expected to be very stout in 1A, with a core of returning regulars – Oshon West, Michael Connor, Malik Ford and Michael Bowman – being joined by healthy defensive stopper T.J. Bates (he missed last season with a torn ACL) and several talented newcomers.
Carson , very young last season, will have a talented group paced by high-scoring Tre Williams and Colton Laws.
West Rowan looks to be in for a rare rebuilding year as it moves forward without graduated star Keshun Sherrill.
New South Rowan coach Bryan Withers will count on Josh Medlin. Salisbury still has Tyler Petty. East Rowan will have a lot of new faces in prominent roles.
Just outside the county, A.L. Brown and Davie are expecting big things. The Wonders have an exceptionally talented senior class.
The War Eagles have two sets of twins now, with Cody and Caleb Martin, a pair of N.C. State commitments, being joined by former South Davidson stars Austin Hatfield and Taylor Hatfield.
All the Rowan girls teams are optimistic about 2012-13.
Doug Faison has returned to Salisbury, where the girls are always a contender for championships. Brielle Blaire will lead the Hornets, and her sister Ashley Blaire could have a breakout season.
Carson should be very good again, with five of its top seven – Kelly Dulkoski, Blackwell, Alex Allen, Tyesha Phillips and Katherine Barringer – still wearing orange.
New North coach Brian Lytton has a budding star in Demeria Robinson.
West Rowan still has Shay Steele. South Rowan welcomes back Avery Locklear. East Rowan can build around Karleigh Wike.
Striking out hunger
The East Rowan Mustangs and East Rowan Diamond Sports are partnering for a one-day baseball camp on Saturday, Nov. 3, that hopes to strike out hunger.
The camp will benefit not only young baseball players but Rowan Helping Ministries.
The camp for ages 5-14 will be held from 9 a.m. until noon at Staton Field. Lunch is provided from 12-1.
East coach Brian Hightower, assistants and players will run the camp.
Admission to the camp is two canned food items per child. Suggested items are canned fruit, canned meat, canned soup, peanut butter and cereal. Campers are encouraged to bring a friend outside of the ERDS League.
• East’s winter baseball hitting camp is on Jan. 12 from 1-4. Cost is $30.
• East’s winter fielding camp is on Jan. 19 from 1-3. Cost is $20.
• East’s winter pitching camp is on Jan. 26 from 1-3. Bring a catcher. Cost is $20.
Package cost for all three camps is $65. Camps are at Staton Field or in the East gym if weather is poor.
Register online at www.ermustangbaseball.com.
•East Rowan Diamond Sports spring registration starts on Jan. 27 at the East Rowan High cafeteria from 2-5 p.m. Go to www.eastrowandiamondsports.com for information.
Carson lost at Ledford 4-3 in a first-round game in the 3A playoffs.
• In matches involving NPC teams, West Iredell won 2-0 against Hickory Ridge, Statesville lost 6-4 to Marvin Ridge, and North Iredell lost 9-0 to Charlotte Catholic.
• Lexington lost to West Stokes 4-0 on Wednesday.
West Davidson beat Starmount 4-2 on Tuesday.
• Salisbury will play a second-round home match on Saturday against Forbush or Surry Central.
Prep cross country
The NCHSAA cross country championships will be held Saturday at Kernersville’s Beeson Park.
Action opens at 10 a.m., with the boys 2A race.
East’s boys team and Carson individual qualifiers Kyle Gillis and Zachary Marchinko will be in the 3A race at 3:30.
Both Gray Stone teams qualified.
The schedule is set for the state volleyball championships at Reynolds Coliseum on Saturday.
The 2A championship will be decided at noon.
The 3A title game, which will be Carson vs. Cardinal Gibbons, is set for 2:30 p.m.
The 4A title game is at 5 p.m.
The 1A championship game is at 7:30 p.m.
College men’s soccer
Catawba’s men’s soccer team ended its season with a 1-0 loss at Lincoln Memorial in the first round of the SAC tournament on Wednesday.
SAC Player of the Year Mario Pinto scored the lone goal.
Catawba, the No. 6 seed, finished 9-7-3. Frankie Cardelle (Salisbury) made six saves for the Indians.
• Catawba midfielder Carson Smith was named to the All-SAC first team,
Catawba forward Corey Faughnan and defender Domhnall Minogue made the second team.
College women’s soccer
Catawba’s Amy Iwanicki scored just a minute into the match, and the Indians held on for a 1-0 victory against Anderson in Wednesday’s first round of the SAC tournament.
Karen Presnell (Salisbury) had the assist for the Indians.
No. 4 seed Catawba (13-6) advanced to a semifinal matchup with top seed Lenoir-Rhyne on Friday in Rock Hill, S.C.
•The SAC Player of the Year for women is Wingate’s Jade Montgomery.
• Catawba forward Juliana Conte, midfielder Sophie Waller and defender Anna Toole were named to the All-SAC second team.
Parks and Rec
Salisbury Parks & Recreation has extended registration at Hall Gym for its youth basketball league for boys, ages 7-15, through Nov. 3.
Cost of the league is $35.
Practices will begin in November with games starting in December. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Steve Clark at email@example.com or 704-638-5289.