Avery silences Hendersonville with 23-14 victory

The Avery County High School football team silenced critics and proved they are focused for a playoff run with a 23-14 victory over Hendersonville High on Friday evening.  Colton Blackburn (Senior, RB) rushed for 139 yards on 18 carries to push the Vikings past the Bearcats in the Western Highlands Conference showdown.  Dustin Clark (Junior, K/DB) added a late field goal to place the contest out of reach with less than a minute left in the contest.

Around the WHC:
Mitchell 24 – Polk 23:
The Mitchell Mountaineers converted a late 4th-and-18 to earn the victory over the previously undefeated Wolverines.

Mountain Heritage 21 – Owen 14:
Heritage continued their defensive prowess, holding on to the ball and utilizing the clock to earn a seven point victory over the Warhorses

Thomas Jefferson 35 – Madison 27:
The Gryphons earned their first victory in the Western Highlands conference with an eight point victory over the Patriots.

A full run-down of tonight’s contest in this week’s Avery Post.


Lady Bobcats blank Limestone 3-0 to open conference play

BANNER ELK, N.C. — Kaitlyn Kerrigan (Lakewood Ranch, Fla.) recorded a pair of assists and Mary Beth Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.) scored her first collegiate goal to lead the Lees-McRae College women’s soccer team to its third straight win, as the Lady Bobcats shut out Limestone College 3-0 at Tate Field to open Conference Carolinas play.

Lees-McRae (3-1, 1-0 CC) out-shot the Saints (1-3, 0-1 CC) by a 14-2 margin, including a 9-2 advantage in the first half. Vickie Rich (Arlington Heights, Ill.) recorded her third goal of the season, scoring in her third straight match to lead the Bobcats.

Jessica O’Leary (Milbury, Mass.) tallied her third goal of the season as well, scoring in her second straight match. Kerrigan recorded a season-high two assists, marking the fourth straight match in which she has tallied a helper. Sullivan also tallied an assist in addition to her first goal of the season.

Rich opened the scoring midway through the fifth minute, driving a wonderful strike into the top corner after Sullivan made a brilliant run down the flank and delivered a perfect cross to Rich for the finish.

The score remained 1-0 in favor of Lees-McRae until the closing moments of the 55th minute, when O’Leary delivered a highlight reel goal off a corner by Kerrigan. After Kerrigan laid off a short corner to O’Leary, the junior forward delivered a high-arcing shot into the far side netting from 20 yards distance to give the Lady Bobcats a 2-0 lead.

Sullivan stretched the lead to 3-0 midway through the 61st minute, delivering a driven strike past the keeper off a perfect through ball by Kerrigan for her first goal of the season.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Tuesday when the Lady Bobcats travel to Belmont, N.C. for a 2 p.m. matchup with Belmont Abbey College to continue league play.

– LMC –

Vikings Ready to Open Season

When August 1 comes around it signifies the open of fall athletics for the NCHSAA, and as the end of August approaches, along comes Football Friday Nights. The Avery Vikings are ready to open their 2010 campaign on the turf at MacDonald Stadium on Friday evening when they face off with the Robbinsville Black Knights to open the year.

On Thursday evening the Vikings hosted four other schools in an annual Jamboree to open the season.  Mitchell, West Lincoln, West Caldwell and Happy Valley made the trek to Avery to get some of their first tastes of gridiron action of the year.

Avery is coming off a great summer, winning two different 7-on-7 tournaments, and making statements with a number of people around the region and the State taking notes on the high powered passing game led by Alex Villanueva.  Viking receiver, Andy Gonzalez has also made a statement this off-season, being named Pre-Season All-State in the 1A ranks.

The Vikes hope to use this momentum to catapult them into the season, as they open with one of the top teams in the state over the past few years.

The Vikes took the field on Thursday to get their first full squad action of the year.  Following the opening session of the evening the Vikings took the field opening up against West Lincoln, allowing just one score from West in the opening 10 minute defensive set, while scoring twice when the offense took the field.

In the second tangle of the evening for the Vikings, they took the field against Happy Valley, allowing a score during the opening 10 minutes.  Avery buckled down and scored once on their drive, but a late turnover left the scoring even during the season rumble of the evening.

In the third, Avery took the field with West Caldwell and battled tough, stepping up strong on defense again, only allowing one score, while again putting the ball in the endzone for a score of their own and wrapping the contest even on scores as the weather moved in and cleared the field due to lightning.

As the evening wrapped, Avery and West Caldwell waited out the weather to face off following the storm and give each team more experience.  Mitchell also looked ready during the Thursday evening jamboree, putting together a number of scoring drives, and relying on their defense to keep teams at bay, but due to the weather conditions were unable to face off with Avery on the evening.

“I feel good about what I am seeing from out guys,” remarked Head Coach Darrell Brewer.  “We have never entered the season with so much off-season work put in by the players.  There were a few things we need to work on, but I feel that we are in great shape as the season gets underway.”

The Mountaineers opened the evening with a 30 yard run to pay-dirt, and continued their running attack throughout the evening behind the combination of Troy Self and Shawn Jackson.

On Friday, the Vikings traveled to Hampton to take on the Bulldogs in pre-season action.  Both teams battled tough and Avery used the time to work on a number of strategies as the season gets underway.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Mitchell Mountaineer football team who had four players seriously injured in an accident on Friday evening in the Ledger area.

The Vikings will open the season on Friday Night at MacDonald Stadium with game time slated for 7 PM.

Good luck to the Vikings this season!  We’re all behind you!  GO VIKES!

Crossfire: A Silly Little Thing Called Basketball

Randy Shepherd ministers to a group of campers at the Asheville Christian Academy (Phillip Greene Photo)

“God has allowed us to use the silly platform of basketball to share His gospel throughout the world.”

Those the words of Crossfire co-founder Randy Shepherd.  Shepherd founded Randy Shepherd Basketball Camp in 1990 as a ministry to young people; in 1993 Jamie Johnson joined Shepherd to develop the Crossfire Camps.  Johnson is the son of West Asheville Baptist Minister Dr. James Johnson and the two got their start together as part of the Spirit Express in Memphis and continue now the ministry that God has called them into.

Crossfire is now in the 20th year of doing camps, and through those camps, more than 10,000 young people have been awarded the chance to learn the game of basketball from Shepherd and Johnson, as well as a great group of coaches that work to not only teach the game of basketball to the youth who attend, but also strive to teach life lessons.

“We have had more than 10,000 kids come through the camps,” explained Shepherd, “and more than 8,000 decisions for Christ have occurred through the camp.  Sports have become a God for the world today and it shouldn’t be like that, but as the Apostle Paul stated, we should use any means necessary to preach the Gospel.

“Out of 10,000 kids that have come through the camp, only one I think, Rashaad McCants, is the only player to make it to the NBA.  Statistics tell us that a young person has a better chance of getting struck by lightning than making it to the NBA or the NFL.  It shows that many things will fail you in life, but Jesus will never fail you.”

Crossfire is more than just a basketball camp, however, with a number of ministry opportunities that arise on a daily basis.  From basketball camps to street evangelism, one thing remains the same Shepherd, Johnson and their coaches and players strive to take the gospel to a needy and hurting world.

Through the years, Shepherd and Johnson have been given the opportunity to share the Gospel with some of the most influential people in the world.  Shepherd has shared with President Barak Obama, Michael Jordan, Paris Hilton and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. just to name a few.  Their testimony is one of young men who have grown into leaders because of a willingness to accept the calling that God placed on their lives.

“I started the camp because when I was growing up and going to camp, the only time you heard the name of Jesus was when someone was cussing,” continued Shepherd.  “This camp is a tool to draw someone out that may not go to church or youth group, but will come out to play the game of basketball.”

The camp runs for 7 weeks during the summer, giving hundreds of youth the opportunity to learn the game of basketball, as well as hear the Good News of how Christ can change someone’s life.  They use many stories from scripture to share the greatness of God to a group of youth from many walks of life, from the upper scale to the ghetto and everywhere in between, the Crossfire ministry has one mission: to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The camp also offers scholarships to low-income youth, giving them the opportunity to attend, so that they may be awarded the chance to hear how God can change their lives as well.

If you would like to attend, or send your child, there is still an opportunity to attend this year at Mars Hill College with the Overnight or Day Camp options.  The Day Camp is $225 for the week, and the Overnight camp is $350 and both take place at Mars Hill College the week of July 18-22.  If you would like to attend please fill out the registration form included below and fax it to (828) 255-4364.

For more information, call Crossfire at (828) 255-9111.

Avery 9 and 10 Baseball Opens Tournament Play

Lane Johnson (Submitted Photo)

It was a great night for baseball on Monday as Avery hosted the opening round of district play, hosting the top half of the District 7 Tournament.

Watauga and Ashe opened play in the first contest of the evening, with Watauga shutting down Ashe after the first two innings and posting 16 runs on their way to a 16-4 victory to move them into the winners’ bracket quarterfinals.

Avery took the field next, facing off with the Wilkes National team who had defeated East Catawba to move into the opening round.  The contest got underway shortly after 7 PM with Avery batting first, hoping to jump on top early.  Jordan Lecka opened the game with a walk, but Ethan Adams of Wilkes then retired the side, striking out two in the opening frame.

Lecka then took the mound and faced some stiff competition, with a couple of errors providing a setback.  The Wilkes team plated four runs with just one hit and four Avery errors to take a 4-0 lead after one inning of play.

In the second, Deacon Heath opened the inning with a leadoff single, but a great defensive play shortened the inning when Caleb Hicks belted a ball into left field, but the Wilkes left fielder made a diving catch to record the second out of the inning.  Following Lane Johnson reaching on a walk, Adams earned his third strikeout of the night to quell the Avery threat.

In the bottom half of the inning, Wilkes poured on the offense once again, rallying to plate 9 more runs, knocking Lecka out of the contest to take a 13-0 lead after two innings of play.  Josh McClellan came on in relief and closed out the inning for the Avery All-Stars.

In the third, Adams recorded his 4th strikeout of the contest, before McClellan helped himself, legging out an infield single, and coming around to score to make it 13-1, but Adams struck out the side to close the inning and move into the bottom half.

Wilkes plated another run in the bottom half of the inning on an infield fly, with two on, making it a 14-1 advantage, and Adams struck out the side in the top of the fourth inning to earn the victory.

Wilkes will move on to face the Watauga National team while Avery will await the winner of the Lenior National/Ashe County battle on Saturday, July 3.  Adams closed the night throwing four strong innings giving up one run on two hits, walking three and striking out nine in the win.  Lecka gave up 13 runs in 1 2/3 innings pitched, only one of which was earned, scattering six hits and walking four with two strikeouts.

Best wishes to all the Little League teams as they continue on in the Little League postseason tournament.

Accolades Continue for Lady Vikings

The Avery Lady Viking Soccer team continues to be named among the area’s best by the Asheville Citizen-Times with six girls being named among the All-WNC soccer team.  Lady Viking Head Coach Tom Evaul was named as the Western North Carolina Coach of the Year, and Mary Chesnut Smith earned first team honors.

Megan Robbins, Kaley Faulkner, Katelynn Eudy, Melinda Eggers and Elyse Perry all earned honorable mention honors to the All-WHC team.

The Lady Vikings enjoyed their best season in women’s soccer history, putting together a 20-2-2 record, falling in the State Title contest against Southwest Onslow, but earning respect along the way from many across the state of North Carolina.

Coach Evaul was honored as the NCSCA Coach of the Year in 1A soccer, as well as receiving the Region 10 Coach of the Year prior to earning the All-WHC nod from the Citizen-Times.

Avery did not allow a goal in the postseason prior to the two that were given up in the State Title Contest.

Smith garnered first team honors for her play this season.  She was named WHC Player of the Year for her production this season.  Chesnut scored 33 goals and dished 28 assists, and earned spots on the NCSCA All-Region and All-State teams.

Congratulations to the Lady Vikings for their season and continued accolades that come with their performances this season; the full All-WNC team is as follows:

Coach of the Year

Tom Evaul

Player of the Year

Ashley VanLandingham, TC Roberson, Senior, Midfielder


Nicole Cucchi, Roberson, Senior

Shenny Lenhart, Reynolds, Sophomore

Sydney Maddox, Reynolds, Sophomore

Mary Chesnut Smith, Avery County, Junior


Elizabeth Ross, Tuscola, Senior

Anna Trakas, Polk County, Senior


Rachel Nash, Asheville, Senior

Shannon Pearson, Reynolds, Junior

Hannah Sizemore, Roberson, Junior


Nicole Morgan, Roberson, Senior



Mackenzie LaSure, Asheville sophomore

Eliza Sease, Tuscola senior

Kendall Smith, Roberson sophomore


Katie Biggert, Asheville junior

Maddie Brock, Roberson freshman

Kelli Jo Havener, West Henderson senior

Sivan Levine, Reynolds senior


Rachel Kauffman, Tuscola senior

Michelle Lopez, Reynolds senior

Marissa McCord, Roberson junior


Katie Cavagnini, Reynolds sophomore

Honorable mention

Asheville: Eva McKinsey, Haley Smith, Abby Lenderman and Willow Hubbard.

Asheville Christian Academy: Anna Kendall, Bethany Logan and Patterson Young.

Asheville School: Katie Volatile.

Avery County: Kaley Faulkner, Meggan Robbins, Katelynn Eudy, Melinda Eggers and Elyse Perry.

Carolina Day: Michelle Fidelia and Melissa Garrett.

East Henderson: Nicole Louise, Taylor Fair and Alexis Green.

North Buncombe: Deandra Bodenhorst, Hannah Sorrells, Christina Jackson, Emilee Roberson, Lauren Pruitt and Jade Engstrom.

Polk County: Peyton Habenicht, Jessica Antonio and Katie Wilson.

Reynolds: Nikki White, Morgan Barr, Rachel Kennedy, Alice Langrall, Natalie Bradbury and Looie Doucette.

Roberson: Sarah Linhart, Emily McCord, Eliza Lobdell and Hannah Stanley.

Tuscola: Kathryn Ray, Jamie McCoy and Mackenize Tenan.

West Henderson: Carly Owenby, Aubrey Masters and Emil Harris.

Note: The Citizen-Times All-WNC teams are compiled by staff writer Andrew Pearson and based off nominations from area coaches. Athletes who are not nominated are not eligible for the All-WNC teams.

Knights Fall to Catawba

Samson Jennings carries the ball during Saturday evening's action (Phillip Greene Photo)

Saturday evening, the Golden Knights hosted the Catawba Hornets in search of their second victory of the season.  The Knights entered the contest off a 14-12 victory over the Burlington Bulldogs last weekend, and were hoping their defense would be the answer against the Hornets.

The contest started with promise, but the Knight offense could not move through the Hornet defense as easily as they had a week earlier against the Bulldogs.

The Hornets opened up a big lead in the first half, but the Knights battled back, pushing the ball, and moving down the field.  The Hornets stepped up their defensive play, and as the second half started, the mood on the Catawba sideline was one of pitching the shutout.

In the second half, the Knights began moving the ball, but as they approached paydirt, the Hornets increased pressure, and kept the Knights at bay.  The Hornets added three scores in the second half, and as the game closed, the Hornets held on to earn a 56-0 victory in a hard fought contest.

It was closer than the score indicated, with many great plays, and more evidence that the Knights are continuing to improve.  The Knights are now 1-2 on the season.  Keep up with the Knights at averypostsports.wordpress.com.

Smith to Play in State Games, Evaul Named Coach of Year

Mary Chesnut Smith has been named as one of twelve 1A State Players of the Year for her efforts as a junior midfielder for the Lady Viking Soccer team.  Those same efforts also earned her a spot on the Western team that will compete in Charlotte this weekend in the State Games.

Smith earned All-Conference, Player of the Year honors in the Western Highlands Conference in women’s soccer, as well as earning the Female Athlete of the Year honor in the Western Highlands Conference.  She led the Lady Viking soccer team in goals and assists on their way to the State Title contest last week.

On Sunday, the accolades kept pouring in for the Avery Lady Vikings, with Head Coach Tom Evaul being named the NCHSAA 1A Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year.  Evaul led the Lady Vikings to their best record in school history, putting together a memorable season that will be discussed for years to come.

Evaul has always been a quiet, humble coach, who wants no attention placed on him; something that has contributed to the success of both the men’s and women’s teams at Avery High.  His faith, not only in his players, but God has contributed to many successes over the years, and has been seen throughout this storybook season.

“I wouldn’t have received anything this season had it not been for a total team effort by these 17 girls and the coaching staff,” exclaimed Evaul.  “They are the ones that made all this happen.  As I told them towards the end of the season, ‘…if you play the game, they will come, and they will acknowledge you and what you are capable of accomplishing.’  They just took off and did what they had to do to reach the level they reached.

“I am truly sorry we weren’t able to bring home the big one, but the night before the game as I was restlessly trying to get some sleep, I finally just prayed to God and said, ‘Your will be done.’  I soon fell asleep knowing that the next day would be in God’s hands, it just wasn’t our time yet, but it has been a great experience for all of us involved.”

Evaul’s humble remarks echoed through the Lady Viking soccer program this season.  The team remained focused through the season, not on earning victories, but on remaining true to their beliefs and focusing with Bible Studies during the year.  Elyse Perry and others headed up the effort, remaining focused on being examples on the field, and not on fighting for the win.

There were a number of contests this season where it was evident that other teams would do anything to win a game, including trying to injure players to take them out of the contest.  The focus of the Lady Vikes remained strong, however, as they battled through the adversities; with no better examples than the resiliency of the Avery players.  Smith had to overcome a number of injuries this season, many that were intentionally inflicted, and Hayden Blackburn played part of the first half and the entire second half in the State Title contest with a broken arm.

Congratulations to Smith, Evaul and again to all the Lady Vikings on a great 2010 season!

Avery Athletics Close Year with Athletic Awards

On Tuesday, June 1, the Viking Athletic Department honored their student athletes for their performances during the year.  A number of athletes were honored for their All-Conference Efforts, as well as many other awards being given during the evening which was capped with the Male and Female Athletes of the Year.

The evening opened with each sport handing out individual awards to players, naming coaches awards and presenting each athlete with plaques and certificates to commemorate their efforts.

Following the individual sport awards, the school then honored the All-Conference athletes, and named the NCHSAA Academic team members.  They then took the time to honor five athletes and coaches who were honored by the Western Highlands Conference as coach or player of the year.  Dustin Clarke was named player of the year in men’s basketball and Mary Chesnut Smith was named player of the year for Women’s soccer.  Morgan Bounds and Mercedes Bentley were each honored as Goalkeeper of the Year in the WHC for men’s and women’s soccer respectively, and Bo Manis was awarded the Coach of the Year award in Men’s Basketball.

Men’s and Women’s soccer coach Tom Evaul was named Avery High Head Coach of the Year, and Susan Hawkins was awarded the Assistant of the Year.

The final Conference award of the evening came next, when Mary Chesnut Smith was again honored, this time as the WHC Female Athlete of the Year.

Avery then honored Elyse Perry and Luke Pittman with the Sportsmanship of the Year award, recognizing them for their outstanding leadership both on and off the floor.  Kyle Griewisch and Caroline Crenshaw were then awarded the Edward Jones Scholar Athlete of the Year awards, holding the highest GPA among the senior athletes.

Griewisch and Lauren Avery were then honored as the Male and Female Athletes of the Year for their accomplishments during the 2009-10 seasons.  To earn Athlete of the Year, the student had to compete in two Varsity sports and contribute to their team’s successes on the field of play.  Griewisch played soccer and ran track for the Vikings, leading the men’s soccer team into the playoffs and helping to lead the Viking track team before injury kept him out of regional competition.  Avery earned All-Conference in Tennis and Basketball, helping to lead the Lady Vikings into the playoffs in both.

During the evening, the coaching staff and athletes presented a plaque to Athletic Director Matthew Bentley in commemoration of his efforts as the AD at Avery High, with a number of his former wrestlers on hand to help present the award.  The award was presented by Hank Hardin, who coached Bentley during his time as an Avery wrestler, and spoke of the passing of the torch from coach to athlete, that is continued through the later coaching of others.

The evening was touching, with several great athletes being honored.  Congratulations to each of the night’s honorees, and thanks for the wonderful memories of this past year in Avery High Athletics.

HCSA Announces 3 on 3 Soccer Tournament

High Country Soccer Association is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the 5th round of the North Carolina Champions Cup 3v3 Tournament series on July 17, 2010.  The Mountain Madness 3v3 Tournament is open to players age 6 through adult with the top 3 teams in each division earning points towards the North Carolina Champions Cup and qualifying for the 3v3 Finals in Myrtle Beach, SC in August.
3v3 soccer is a unique competitive format focusing on speed, footwork, and solid teamwork.  The small field lends itself to short, quick passing and a high speed format.  Teams consist of no more than 6 players with three on the field at a time.
Team registration and more information is available through the High Country Soccer Association website – www.hcavalanche.org.  Click on the Tournaments menu option.  The tournament is open to anyone wanting to participate – no special membership required.

Our Apologies! Blog now back up!

My sincerest apologies for the past week or so of nothing being posted.  Due to technical difficulties I have been unable to post on the blog, but hopefully those are now fixed and will be in the past.  Just wanted to let everyone know and hopefully we will be able to bring you the most up-to-date sports news around the county as the summer months approach.  Again, I apologize for the inconsistency and inconvenience.

Live at MacDonald Stadium: Lady Vikings vs. Lake Norman NCHSAA Semifinal

Avery 3 Lake Norman 0 – FINAL!!


#12 2:00 – Lady Vikings looking great right now, and Lake Norman looking as if they are giving in.  Lady Vikes with a 3-0 lead and a trip to the NCHSAA Championships next week!!!!!!!

#11 6:14 – GOAL AVERY!!!!! Emily Banner leads Chesnut with a beautiful pass leaving a one-on-one with the Keeper giving Avery the 3-0 advantage and a great contest!!!   Short time remaining!

#10 21:01 – Avery Ladies still clinging to a 2-0 margin behind some great play and spectacular defense.  Lake Norman seems to have woken up a little, but still have 20 minutes to play with Lady Vikes still holding most of the control in the contest.

#9 30:32 – Free Kick attempt for the Lady Knights just outside of the box, headed out by the Lake Norman ladies.   Great defense, and some great offensive pushes by the Lady Vikes to hold to a 2-0 lead.

#8 39:01 2nd Half – GOAL AVERY!!!!!!!! Cassie Bumgarner finds Elyse Perry in the box for Avery’s second goal of the contest giving Avery the 2-0 lead.  Lake Norman seems to be on their heels a little here to start the second half.

#7 Halftime – Lady Vikings with a 1-0 lead at the half with a great first half of action and an amazing goal off the foot of Mary Chesnut Smith on a great maneuver into the box and nets a goal from 30 yards out over the keeper’s head.   Great first half for the Lady Vikings!  40 minutes to go here in Newland.  The winner of today’s contest moves on to the NCHSAA 1A State Championship contest against SW Onslow who defeated Raleigh Charter yesterday evening.

#6 4:58 – GOAL AVERY!!!!!!!!  Chesnut scores the first goal of the post season on the Lady Knights with a beautiful play and placing one just out of the Keeper’s reach.  Avery takes the 1-0 lead.

#5 9:45 – Lady Vikings battling, and from all appearances, LNCS seems to be head hunting Avery’s best players.  Large amount of contact with a number of no calls, but Lady Vikes still battling tough and two teams pushing each other to the limits.  Contests has been everything it was billed as thus far.

#4 20:44 – Smith reenters and a foul gives Avery a free kick from 25 yards out, missed just high by Smith.  Very well played contest thus far.  Still time to come out to the Stadium if you are in town!

Update #3 23:44 – Still scoreless in Newland as the crowd is silent.  Viking leader Mary Chesnut Smith injured on a play and on the field.  coming off the field, but a big blow to the Lady Vikings at this time. Unsure of the situation at this time.

Update #2:  30:00 –  Lady Vikings with a couple of good chances at the goal, and Lake Norman matching their efforts.  Quality gameplay to this point in the contest.

Update #1:  39:00 1st half – Avery controls the ball first, but a great defensive stop and some good movement of the ball from both teams.  Great start to the action.

Avery reached the NCHSAA 1A semifinal with a huge 3-0 victory over North Moore in the state quarterfinal; while Lake Norman enters the contest off a 1-0 victory at Bishop McGuinness.

Neither team has allowed a goal in the post-season this year, and it shapes up to be a great contest between the two schools.

Villanueva, Smith Earn All-State Honors

It was a hot, humid day in Greensboro on Friday, and three Viking Track and Field athletes competed for individual titles in the NCHSAA 1A State Championships on the track at North Carolina A & T.

Alex Villanueva began the day for the Vikings, competing in the first event of the meet, and soaring over 5’10” on the high jump on his first attempt.  Alex was unable to clear 6’, tying the sophomore for 10th in the event, just outside of All-State recognition.

Villanueva then had a short amount of time to get himself ready for the preliminary heats of the Men’s 110m Hurdles, using the thirty minutes to stretch and mentally prepare himself for his next event.  Villanueva fell behind early in the race, and battled his way through, stumbling over the final hurdle and barley edging out the runner to his left for the fourth and final qualifying spot in the 110m hurdle finals.

In the other preliminary race of the day involving an Avery athlete, Caroline Crenshaw competed in the 300m hurdles.

Crenshaw battled tough, striding step for step and finishing fifth in the heat, just outside of finals qualification.

The day continued to get hotter, as did the action on the track, with the sprint preliminaries taking place throughout the morning.  As the morning continued, a number of Western Highlands Conference athletes were also performing well in their respective events.

The afternoon session got underway, and quickly Villanueva was poised and ready to begin his final race of the day, drawing the 8th lane for the spot in the finals.  Alex exploded out of the blocks, attacking the course, and earning a 7th place finish and taking home an All-State finish.

Mary Chesnut Smith finally took the track after a long day of anticipation, competing in the women’s 1600m run to open her state competition.  Smith paced herself through the opening laps, and as she came into the final lap, she was sitting in 7th position crossing the line for the bell lap.  Smith battled tough, pushing her way through the field, and finishing just tenths of a second behind Kristen Stout of Hendersonville for 4th position in the event.

Smith then waited patiently once again for the final event for Avery on the day, the women’s 800m.

The race opened, and Smith lagged back to feel out the competition, but entering the final lap she pushed forward, and as the runners made their way down the back stretch to finish 2nd in the event and garner her second All-State honor of the day.

Following the meet, first year Viking Track and Field coach Hannah Trice stated, “I have realized in my first year of coaching that the class you are in has nothing to do with your performance; what determines the outcome of your performance is the passion, dedication, and the ability to set a personal goal; and then go out and reach that goal.

“[Alex and Mary Chesnut] were outstanding.  They are both very well rounded athletes and show true dedication and passion no matter what sport or event they are competing in.”

“Caroline performed well and held her own,” continued Trice.  “We are very proud of all our athletes this season and look forward to next season.

Other local athletes making a splash at the State level:

Danica Huskins of Mitchell competed in three events for the Mountaineers, placing with All-State honors in all three.  Huskins placed 7th in the 100m and 200m sprints, while bringing home a 4th place finish in the 400m to earn All-State.

Congratulations to all of these fine young local talents!

Lady Vikings Host Lake Norman Charter in NCHSAA Semifinals

Avery’s Lady Vikings have advanced to the NCHSAA Semifinal Round in the 1A State Playoffs, and will face Lake Norman Charter School in the State Semifinal.

Both teams have not allowed a goal in the postseason.  The Lady Vikings enter the contest off a 3-0 victory over North Moore in the third round, while Lake Norman enters coming off a 1-0 victory at Bishop McGuinness.

Avery has scored 93 goals this season while only allowing 8 goals, amassing a 19-1-2 record on the year with 15 shutouts during the season.

Game time at Avery will be at 7 PM and the only entrance will be through the main parking area in front of the school.  Due to State Regulations, the admission will be $6 and no passes will be accepted with the exception of State Issued passes and official passes.


Vikings oust Eagles in NCHSAA Playoffs

CJ Vance won the game with a two out 2 run blast to give Avery the 16-14 victory at Hiwassee Dam (Holly Barker Photo)

The Avery Viking Baseball team struggled through much of the season, but have hit a groove at the most important time.

The Vikings defeated Hiwassee Dam on Tuesday afternoon 16-14 in 8 innings to move into the third round and a match-up with Murphy.

Avery held a large 14-7 lead after 5 1/2 innings, but in the bottom of the sixth the Eagles added three runs to cut it to 14-10.  In the seventh, the Eagles retired the Vikings in order, and added four more with a two out rally to send the contest to extra innings.

In the 8th, Avery got a runner on, and with two outs, CJ Vance belted a 2 run shot to right field to put the Vikes up 16-14, and Avery shut down the Eagles in the home half of the inning to seal the win.

Avery will play Murphy on Friday with a game time yet to be announced.  Go Vikes!

Lady Vikings to take on North Moore TODAY at Home!

The Lady Viking Soccer team has advanced to the Elite 8 in the NCHSAA playoffs for the first time in program history.  They host North Moore today at 6 PM at Avery High.  Head on out and support your Lady Vikings.

The Winner of Today’s contest will move on to face the winner of Lake Norman Charter and Bishop McGuinness in the State Semifinal round which will take place on Saturday.  This could be your last chance to catch the Lady Vikings at home.


Live at MacDonald Stadium – Lady Vikings vs Lady Bear Cats

Live here at the Lady Vikings second round game with the Lady Bearcats.

2:20 PM – In the 9th minute Mary Chesnut Smith placed a ball in the upper right corner of the goal to give Avery the 1-0 lead and grab momentum in the contest.   The two teams have battled back and forth for the opening minutes of the game.

2:30 PM – The two teams are still battling back and forth, with a very physical contest taking place.  A number of fouls being called on the Lady Vikings, and nothing seemingly being called against the Hendersonville ladies.  Lady Vikes still battling through it all, and holding a 1-0 lead.

2:45 PM – Lady Vikings 1 Lady Bearcats 0 at the Half.  Been a very physical contest, with a couple of great chances being called back by offsides calls.  Great first half, looking forward to 40 more minutes of great soccer.

3:05 PM – GOAL for the Lady Vikings in the 49th minute on a replay of the first goal against West Wilkes on Wednesday with Katelynn Eudy heading in a beautiful shot off a corner kick from Mary Chesnut Smith.  Avery 2 Hendo 0.

3:30 PM – Ten minutes remain with the Lady Vikes holding a 2-0 lead.  Some great play from all the Lady Vikings; look to be moving on to face the winner of Thomas Jefferson and North Moore.

3:40 PM – Lady Vikings WIN.  Move on to face the winner of Thomas Jefferson and North Moore in the third round of the NCHSAA playoffs following a 2-0 victory on the turf.  Avery will HOST the contest on Wednesday.



(Serena Smith Photo)

Avery’s Lady Vikings host Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy tonight, May 7, in what will be for the Western Highlands Conference Title.

The Contest is slated for a 6:30 PM start on Senior Night at Avery High.  Rumor has it that TJCA is bringing a Charter Bus full of fans, and Avery wants to offset the crowd by filling the stands.  ANY Avery County Student that comes to the contest wearing their school shirt or Red and Black to support the Lady Vikes will be admitted into the contest free of charge.

Make plans to attend the biggest soccer contest of the season!  GO VIKES!

LMC vs. Montreat Golf Cancelled for Thursday

The Lees-McRae and Montreat dual match scheduled for Thursday, April 29th, at Mountain Glen has been canceled.  There is the chance of the match being rescheduled for next week; however, the make-up date has yet to be determined.  We will pass any information along as soon as it becomes available.

Buchanan, Mitchell Win WHC Golf Tournament

Thomas Buchanan lit up the Avery Viking defense for 37 points in the WHC Basketball Tournament, and then lit up the two day WHC Golf Tournament, blistering the field to earn the top spot in the WHC tournament, as well as Most Outstanding in the WHC Tournament.

The Viking golfers finished the event in fifth place, but the story of the tournament may have been the round that didn’t count, put up by Morgan Johnson on the first day of the event.

“It’s a shame that, in conference play during the regular season,” stated Head Coach Boe Barinowski following the event, “the rules aren’t enforced while most coaches themselves play golf away from the athletes.  Then once a year at the Conference Tournament coaches and other adults that are needed to keep score, many of which do not have an adequate understanding of USGA rules, descend on the players and parents in a marginal effort to sporadically enforce rules and keep players’ scores.

“This leaves players and spectators vulnerable to being sited for violations that they may not understand and that are enforced inconsistently during the most important match of in the season.Coaches as a group are not modeling or teaching rules during the regular season and then are forced to rely upon others who don’t always know the rules or play the game to attempt to hold players, parents and spectators accountable. It’s just not  adequate or appropriate. Imagine if the football coaches scrimmaged each other during the regular season while their players competed against each other without referees, then during the conference tournament brought in referees and tried to coach.  That’s what high school competitive golf has been for decades.”

Those words came after a decision prior to the second round that disqualified Johnson’s score from the day before due to “conversation with ‘a parent’ on the course.”

“I think it affected our team as a whole,” continued Barinowski.  “We entered the round thinking we were 13 strokes out of second place, and fell to 29 strokes due to the decision.  It’s evident that it effected the kids, all three of my best golfers shot 5 over par on the 1st hole of the day.

“Golf is a great sport; when a player signs their score card they effect a written contract stating that their score for the day is correct.  When the conference coaches post the scores for players at the end of the day, they collectively state that they agree to those scores.  Disqualifying a player after we’ve agreed to the score turned in is a double standard. In normal circumstances, decisions to disqualify a player should be made the day that the infraction occurred.”

“At least 3 of the coaches knew of the rules violation before scores were posted,” continued Barinowski, “and none of us did anything about it.  In my opinion we didn’t have the right to make the decision the day after the fact.”

The Vikings performed as well as they could amidst the controversy and conditions.  Chase Watson put up an 83 on the first day and coupled it with a 45 on the second to put up a score of 128 in the two day affair; finishing 6th and earning him All-Conference honors.  Johnson shot an 83 on day one, the score that was later disqualified, and added a 46 on day two for a 129.  Ethan Buchanan had his best performance of the season, finishing third on the Viking squad and earning a spot in the regional; following up a 99 on day one with a 45 on the back nine at Mt. Glen for a 144.  Shea Buchanan shot a 147 in the tournament earning him the final slot in the Regional Tournament.  Hunter Gossett and Dylan Aldridge closed out the Avery scoring with a 150 and 152 respectively.

As a team, Avery claimed 5th in the Tournament, shooting a 550 in the tournament. Mitchell won the event with a team score of 494, and swept the honors with Buchanan earning Most Outstanding Golfer and Quentin Buchanan of Mitchell taking Coach of the Year honors.

The top two teams in each division (1A/2A) earned spots in the regional tournament with the top four finishers not on a qualifying team earning slots as well.  The final results were as follows:

Overall Team:

1 – Mitchell (1A, 1A Regional qualifier) – 494
2 – Hendersonville (1A, 1A Regional) – 510
3 – Polk County (2A, 2A Regional) – 516
4 – Owen (2A, 2A Regional) – 538
5 – Avery (1A) – 550
6 – Thomas Jefferson (1A) – 607
7 – Mountain Heritage (2A) – 628
8 – Madison (2A) – 681

All Conference:

1 – Thomas Buchanan (MIT)    70  40 – 110
2 – Wiekus Tolles (HEND)      76  42 – 118
3 – Luke Stewart (MIT)           79  43 – 122
4 – Mickey McMechen (OW)  84  39 – 123
5 – Kyle Brown (PLK)             84  42 – 126
6 – Chase Watson (AVY)        83  45 – 128
6 – Dylan Jones (PLK)            83  45 – 128
8 – Davis Horne (PLK)            88  43 – 131
8 – Grant Hahn (HEND)          88  43 – 131
8 – Marcus Wood (MIT)         87  44 – 131

Regional Qualifiers (Top 4 not on Qualifying Teams)

1A – Chase Watson (AVY) – 128; Lucas Murray (TJCA) – 138; Ethan Buchanan (AVY) – 144; Shea Buchanan (AVY) – 147
2A – Gaston McGill (MAD) – 135; Tyler Emory (MAD) – 137; Spencer Bishop (MHHS) – 152; Zach Brown (MHHS) – 161

Congratulations and good luck to each of these guys as they compete in the Regional tournament on Monday, May 3rd.

Toe River Conference Baseball and Softball Tournament Schedule

Toe River Conference Tournament Schedule:

BASEBALL – Rock Gym – Newland

Wednesday, April 28th – First Round

4:00 p.m. – #3 Harris Blue Devils vs. #6 Cranberry Wildcats
6:00 p.m. – #4 Bowman Bulldogs vs. #5 Avery Panthers

Thursday, April 29th – Semifinals

4:00 p.m. – #1 East Yancey Panthers vs. Avery/Bowman winner
6:00 p.m. – #2 Cane River Rebels vs. Harris/Cranberry winner

SOFTBALL – Little League Complex – Newland

Wednesday, April 28th – Opening Round

4:00 p.m. – #4 Avery Lady Panthers vs. #5 Harris Lady Blue Devils
6:00 p.m. – #3 Bowman Lady Bulldogs vs. #6 Cranberry Lady Wildcats

Thursday, April 29th – Semifinals

4:00 p.m. – #1 Cane River Lady Rebels vs. Avery/Harris winner
6:00 p.m. – #2 East Yancey Lady Panthers vs. Bowman/Cranberry winner

Championships for both will take place on Saturday, May 1st at 11 AM.  Site still TBD – depending on way tournament plays out.

Panthers Draft Edwards in 3rd Round of NFL Draft

Courtesy Appalachian Sports Information

QB Armanti Edwards

BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University legend Armanti Edwards will move less than 100 miles to begin his professional football career, as the Carolina Panthers selected him in the third round of the 2010 National Football League Draft (89th selection overall) on Friday night.

Carolina traded a second-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft to the New England Patriots for the right to draft Edwards, who was the most decorated player in NCAA Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision — formerly Division I-AA) history as Appalachian’s record-setting signal-caller from 2006-09. He ranks second in FCS history with 14,753 yards of total offense (behind only Steve McNair, who amassed 16,823 at Alcorn State from 1991-94) and is the only two-time winner of the Walter Payton Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top FCS player.

With 10,392 passing yards and 4,361 rushing yards, Edwards is the only player in Division I history (FCS or FBS) with at least 9,000 passing yards and 4,000 rushing yards in a career and the only FCS player to reach the 8,000 passing/4,000 rushing plateau. He was responsible for 139 touchdowns in his career (74 passing, 65 rushing), highlighting his 64 ASU and 14 Southern Conference records.

The only four-time all-American in Appalachian history, Edwards compiled a 42-7 record as a starter and led the Mountaineers to back-to-back national championships (2006 and ‘07) and four-straight SoCon titles.

As a senior in 2009, Edwards threw for a school-record 3,291 yards and rushed for 679 more. His 330.8 yards of total offense per game ranked third nationally and he also finished among the nation’s top 20 in rushing touchdowns (t-3rd – 18), completion percentage (4th – .680), passing yards (8th), scoring (10th – 108 pts.), passing efficiency (12th – 147.90 rating), completions (13th – 257) and touchdowns responsible for (16th – 30).

He won his second-straight Payton Award in a landslide, receiving 55 of a possible 108 first-place votes and 431 total points in a vote by national media and sports information directors to easily out-distance Elon wide receiver Terrell Hudgins, who received 16 first-place votes and 268 points, for the 2009 honor. He was also a landslide winner of the 2008 Payton Award, garnering 398 total points and 53 first-place votes, compared to 290 points and 17 first-place nods for James Madison quarterback Rodney Landers. Edwards is one of only six underclassmen to ever take home the FCS version of the Heisman Trophy.

Off the field, Edwards graduated from ASU in December with a bachelor’s degree in graphic arts and imaging technology. An honors student, Edwards earned his degree in just three-and-half years, a feat accomplished by less than three percent of all ASU undergraduates.

Edwards is the 19th Mountaineer ever selected in the NFL Draft and the first since wide receiver Dexter Jackson and safety Corey Lynch were drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (second round) and Cincinnati Bengals (sixth round), respectively, in 2008. Edwards will be reunited with Jackson in the NFL, as Jackson signed with the Panthers’ organization during the 2009 season. As the No. 89 overall pick, Edwards was selected higher than all but five of ASU’s previous 18 NFL draftees. Linebacker Dino Hackett remains Appalachian’s highest-ever selection, going to the Kansas City Chiefs with the 35th overall pick (second round) in 1986.

Edwards will play as a pro at Carolina’s Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., just 99.5 miles from ASU’s Kidd Brewer Stadium. The Panthers’ headquarters are also only 135 miles from Edwards’ hometown of Greenwood, S.C.

Viking Track and Field with Great Performances at North Buncombe

Alex Villanueva posted a personal best 15.5 seconds in the 110 Hurdles to qualify for the State Meet (Submitted Photo)

The Avery Track and Field team traveled to North Buncombe for a meet on Tuesday, April 13, with a number of athletes putting up a number of personal records along the way.

In the 100 m dash, Kyle Griewisch put up another personal record, posting a time of 11.18 and taking first, also qualifying himself for the 1A State meet.  Alex Villanueva qualified in two separate events, performing well in both as he put up state qualifying times; finishing 2nd in the 110 Hurdles, posting a personal best time of 15.5 seconds, as well as a 44.82 in the 300 Hurdles.

Caroline Crenshaw and Sara Wiseman also qualified for State competition putting up season and personal bests.  Crenshaw joins Villanueva in the 300 m Hurdles,  posting a new PR with 52.56 seconds; and Wiseman posted a 30′ throw in the Shot Put to qualify for the State Meet.

The Vikings will HOST their first track event in recent years on Tuesday, April 20th to break in the new facility at MacDonald Stadium.  Head on out and support your Viking Athletes with competition getting underway around 3:30 PM in Newland.  Congratulations to the Vikings on a great meet at North Buncombe and Go VIKES!

Apologies and Updates:

Due to an overwhelmingly busy spring coaching the Cranberry Middle Baseball team, as well as some internet connection and blogsite issues, I offer my deepest apologies for the lack of updates on the blog.  We should be back and ready to continue bringing you great coverage of local sports, including Avery’s spring schedules as well as the updates on local colleges and athletes at the collegiate level.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

Spring Round-up:

Viking Baseball Battles Tough; Falls to Heritage 17-9

The Vikings seemed to have the contest in control, jumping on top early taking a 6-3 lead after one inning of play, the Heritage Cougars battled their way back to overtake the Vikings and earn the victory.  Avery’s bats were electric as the contest got underway, but the Cougar bats answered the Vikes, tying the contest in the bottom of the second.  Avery Battled tough, taking the contest into the sixth inning tied at 9, but an offensive explosion from the Cougars opened it up to 17-9.

The Lady Viking softball team fell to the Lady Cougars 15-1 in Thursday’s action. The Vikings host Mitchell in their home opener on Tuesday, April 13 with Varsity action getting underway at 4 PM.  Go Vikes!

Becca Biggerstaff (Jessica Puckett Photo)

Manis Named Coach of Year in WHC

Clarke Named Player of Year, Eppley and Hughes garner All-Conference Honors

In a season where many didn’t give the Avery Viking Basketball team much of a chance to compete, the Viking Coaching staff and players had a chip on their shoulders to prove to critics that they were a more seasoned club than the one that took the floor last season.

Avery’s boys were 3-21 in a forgettable season during the 2008-2009 season.  They were more than ready when the season tipped off at Cloudland, and it only got better from there.  Avery opened play with a two point victory at Cloudland before losing five straight.  They then blew out West Wilkes at home to head into Conference play with a 2-5 record.

Due to weather the Vikings found themselves in a struggle against Polk to open conference play, thanks to a three week layoff that took a toil on their stamina.  That changed quickly as the Vikings started to roll through conference foes and as the season closed the Vikings had a 10-11 record, and were 8-6 against conference teams and finished third in conference and were second among 1A schools.

The dramatic turn around for the Vikings earned Coach Bo Manis recognition from the other coaches in the conference, who voted Manis the Coach of the Year in the Western Highlands Conference.

“Its an honor,” stated Coach Manis.  “When your peers think enough of you to select you as the Coach of the Year, it humbles you a little.  I didn’t expect it, especially with a coach who went undefeated in Conference play, which is hard to do in our conference.”

Manis just completed his second year at the helm of the Vikings and led the Vikings to the NCHSAA Playoffs for the first time since 2006.

“The players deserve recognition as well,” continued Manis.  “They played hard and I wouldn’t be anything without them.”

The players received recognition as well, with Dustin Clarke picking up the WHC Player of the Year award, beating out favorite John Cannon of Mountain Heritage.

“Dustin has worked hard since the end of last season,” explained Manis.  “I am happy for him, to see his work paying off and being recognized.”

Clarke averaged just over 23 points per game, adding six rebounds, five assists and three steals per game to lead the Vikings in all statistical categories.

Joining the junior guard as All-Conference honorees for the Vikings were Senior Forward Dylan Eppley and Junior Guard Kody Hughes.

Eppley joined the Viking squad this season, transferring over from Watauga and making an immediate impact on the Viking frontline.  Eppley averaged just over 10 ppg while adding close to six boards.  He became an integral part of the Viking offense late in the season, becoming the go-to-guy under the basket, lightening the load on Clarke and becoming a threat to many teams with his tough play and rebounding.

Hughes played well from the three guard position, adding key rebounding, as well as a second threat from beyond the arc for the Vikings this season.  The junior amassed close to 9 ppg while adding 4 rebounds.  He aided defensively for the Vikings with great defensive pressure that led to a number of opponent turnovers.

Congratulations to Manis and the Vikings on a great season!

From the Dugout: Cranberry Wildcat Baseball 2010

We finally got to take a field…

That is the only way I can describe our first game.

It is hard as a coach to prepare your team for the ins and outs of a baseball game without actually getting to take the field and prepare with dirt under your feet.  That is what I would say is the hardest part of coaching a middle school baseball team.

Due to the snow we as a team have not been able to practice outside at all; weather postponed our first two contests, and coming into this week, we were unable to take the field for any practice.

We headed to Cane River on Monday evening for our first contest of the year, facing off with what has been the best team in the conference over the past few years.  Kaleb McCurry took the mound for the Rebels, and I feel is likely the fastest and most well rounded pitcher in the conference; which posed a tough task for the Wildcats.  We had barely been able to take a decent batting practice of live pitching this season.

Another issue that faced us entering the contest was the inability of our pitchers to actually take the mound and get some experience.

I was very proud of the way the team played considering the circumstances.  For a team that had not seen dirt this season, they did a great job of containing their emotions and handling the contest.

I was particularly proud of the way that Hunter Guinn, Cainan Singleton and Sam Atcheson-Adams pitched despite a tight strike zone, having to make adjustments in the heat of the contest.

I thought from top to bottom the lineup did a great job of adjusting to the pitching, being the first time we had seen live pitching on the year; I was pleased with adjustments that were made at the plate, and the different approach that I saw each hitter take from one at bat to the next.

All-in-all, I thought the guys played great!  As a coach, I saw a number of things to work on during practices, and a lot of things that I still need to go over with the team to help them adjust to the difference in speed and distance in the middle school game, compared to the game they are used to coming out of little league.

It looks to be a good season, and win or lose, I’m proud of the effort that I have seen each day from a group of boys who are dealing with the changes that come with Middle School baseball; but also a group of guys who are dedicated to playing their best.  Go CATS!!

NCHSAA Western Regional Final: Mitchell vs. Bishop

FINAL – Western Regional Final

Bishop McGuinness  68
Mitchell 48

Buckland (BMHS) – 27 points to lead all scorers; Jensen (MIT)- 17 points

5:26 PM – Game over, Lady Mountaineers fall 68-48 in Regional Final.  With time winding down, Mitchell Head Coach Dawn Lowe removes her seniors.  Crowd stands to applaud Norris as she leaves the floor, wrapping up a great season and great career for her.

5:21 PM – Bishop McGuinness 63, Mitchell 47 with time winding down.  Athleticism of the Lady Villains has practically shut the Lady Mountaineers down.  For Mitchell:  Jensen 17, Glenn 12 and Norris 10 right now in the contest.

5:15 PM – Much like last night, Bishop McGuinness has gone to a slowed down, keep away type of offense.  It has been one of the best performances of the season for the Lady Villains.

5:14 PM – Looking bleak for the Lady Mountaineers.  Unable to get much going offensively – 2:47 remaining – 56-43 BMHS.

5:11 PM – Buckland now has 21 points to lead all scorers, and defensively has taken Norris out of the contest, holding her to just 10 points on the afternoon.  McGuinness now has a 15 point, 56-41 lead.

5:08 PM – Lakin Norris has 10 now, trying to spark a Lady Mountaineer comeback.  5 min remain in contest.  51-41 lead for the Villains.

5:03 PM – Buckland putting on an offensive and defensive clinic through three quarters.  BMHS holds a 51-39 lead as time runs out on the third period.

5:00 PM – Lyndsay Jensen keeping the Lady Mountaineers in the contest, but McGuinness answering every Mitchell basket with one of their own.  Jensen has 17 points to lead the Lady Mountaineers.  1:00 remaining in the third quarter, BMHS has 48-39 lead.

4:56 PM – Norris grabs a steal and drives to the basket; called for an offensive foul to pick up her 2nd of the contest.  42-34 BMHS.

4:52 PM – Jensen nails a jumper to cut the lead to 39-32.  Bishop calls time-out to talk it over.

4;50 PM – Ashley Greene with a steal to spark an Autumn Thompson basket.  Danica Huskins draws a foul on the other end to get the ball back, and Mitchell has cut the lead to 39-30.

4:47 PM – Emily Glenn with a great shot to cut the lead to 10 to open second half.  Mitchell comes out in a box and one set on Megan Buckland.

Game of runs – BMHS 15-2 to open contest.  Mitchell 17-4 to tie contest at 19-19.  BMHS 15-3 to close first half.

4:38 PM – Halftime in Greensboro.  Bishop McGuinness 34-22 lead over Mitchell.  Buckland has 15 at the half, Goldsmith as 13 in a tough physical battle.  Norris with a tough first half, only has six; Lyndsay Jensen has 10 to lead the Lady Mountianeers.

4:35 PM – Physical game proving to be difficult for the Lady Mountaineers, the 1-2 shot of Buckland and Goldsmith are absolutely dominating the Mitchell Ladies.  McGuinness holds a 34-19 lead.  Another 15-0 run for the Lady Villains.

4:30 PM – Mitchell time out as Buckland nails another 3 point basket to make it 30-19.  11-0 run for the Lady Villains, all 11 scored by Buckland, she has 15.  3:30 to go in the second quarter.

4:28 PM – After Mitchell’s 17-4 run to tie the contest at 19-19, McGuinness has pushed the lead back out to 27-19 with another 8-0 run.  Megan Buckland has 12 points so far for the Lady Villains.

4:25 PM – 6-0 run to open the second quarter for Mitchell and they have cut the lead to 19-18.  McGuinness takes a time out.

4:20 PM – End of the 1st quarter Bishop McGuinness up 19-12.  McGuinness opened up a 15-2 run to open the contest, but a great run from the Lady Mountaineers close the contest to seven after one.

Mitchell Lady Mountaineers taking on the Bishop McGuinness Lady Villains in the NCHSAA Western Regional Final.

LIVE at NCHSAA Western Regional

Final – Semifinal #2

Bishop McGuinness  57
Avery                                   42

Megan Buckland (BMHS): 24 pts 10 reb   L. Avery (AVE): 14 pts  S. Wiseman (AVE): 11 pts

9:57 PM – Final – Bishop McGuinness 57 Avery 42…Avery goes cold from the field during second half and season ends, but Congratulations to all the Lady Vikings on a great season and a great run.   GO VIKES!

9:40 PM – BMHS 42, Avery 30 after three.  Lady Vikings went cold in the quarter while the Lady Villains have rallied to take a 12 point lead with eight minutes to play.

9:35 PM – Under 2 min to play in the third quarter, Bishop McGuinness spurts out to a 13 point, 38-25 lead with a 15-5 run to open the half.

9:15 PM – Bishop McGuinness 25, Avery 20 at the Half.  Been a great half of basketball, but the Lady Vikings struggling right now from the field and from the line.  Turnovers: BMHS 7  Avery 10 (Points off: BMHS 9 ACHS 2)

9:05 PM – Looks like the early jitters are starting to subside…Avery doing a great job in the 2nd quarter of dominating the boards and blocking shots to go on a 4-0 run to cut it to 13-12.  BMHS Timeout.

9:00 PM – Bishop McGuinness 9, Avery 8 at the end of the 1st quarter

8:51 PM – Fast paced game so far, but the Lady Vikings not hitting Lay-ups well at this point.  BMHS leads 7-4 with Lauren Avery going to the line.

8:25 PM – Upcoming – Lady Vikings taking on Bishop McGuinness in Semifinal #2

Regional Semifinal #1:

Mitchell 60
Mt. Airy 58

L. Norris (MIT): 26 Points – Game Winner as time expired

8:20 PM – Lakin Norris grabs her 5th rebound and hits the basket as time expires to give the Lady Mountaineers the 60-58 victory in the first Semifinal of the evening.

8:17 PM – Lyndsay Jensen nails a three point basket with 50 seconds remaining on the the clock to tie the contest 58-58.

8:12 PM – Mitchell 53, Mt. Airy 52 with 2:30 remaining in contest.  Norris just picked up a fourth personal foul.

8:05 PM – Mitchell opens final quarter with a 7-0 run  tying contest at 44-44 with 5:41 to play.  Jordan Hiatt and Ellie Case combined for 24 of the 44 Lady Bear Points, with Lakin Norris just making good on an and one play to give her 22 for the game, and give the Lady Mountaineers the three point 47-44 lead with 5:00 Minutes to play.

8:00 PM – Mitchell cuts it to four at the end of three periods of play.  Norris leading the way with 19 points, scoring 10 of Mitchell’s 16 points in the quarter.  Mt. Airy holds the 44-40 lead heading into the final quarter of play.

7:55 PM – With time winding down in the third quarter, Mt. Airy has extended the margin to six at 44-38.

At the Half:  Lakin Norris (Mit): 9 pts, 2 reb   Jordan Hiatt (MTA): 6 pts to lead Lady Bears

7:30 PM – Mt. Airy 25 Mitchell 24 at the half.  Norris has 9 points to lead the Lady Mountaineers.  Great half of action.

7:25 PM – Mitchell Timeout:  Mt. Airy 23, Mitchell 19.  Lady Bears rally take their first lead of the contest, and use a defensive stop and a three point basket to make it a four point advantage with time running down in the first half.

7:20 PM – Four minutes into the 2nd quarter, and the Lady Mountaineers are clinging to a small lead.  Ellie Case just pulled down a rebound and nailed the layup, drawing the 3rd foul on Ashley Greene of Mitchell sending her to the bench.  Case hit free throw to make it a 17-16 Mountaineer advantage.

7:15 PM – Mitchell 12 Mt. Airy 9 at the end of the first quarter.  Lakin Norris has 6 points to lead all scorers.

7:10 PM – Mitchell and Mt. Airy are on the floor right now, and Mitchell holds an 8-5 lead midway through the first quarter.  Keep posted here throughout the night as we try to keep you in the know!

Avery @ Nantahala: My Perspective

First and foremost, I hope this will quell a few questions and rumors.

Second, I’m not here to give anything more than an opinion, and the last thing that I would want to do is paint someone in a bad light.

There really is not a good way for me to describe what took place on Wednesday evening at Nantahala School, it was to say the least chaos at its finest.  If you were there, then you fully understand that what took place was more than interesting; for those of you that weren’t…here is my take.

The contest started just like any other, the teams took the floor and action got underway.  Nantahala controlled the tip, and scored the first basket.  Excitement was high as the game got underway in anticipation of the match-up between Avery’s Dustin Clarke and Justin Griffith of the Hawks.

Griffith was impressive and, in my opinion, it would have been a great battle between he and Clarke…that is if Clarke had been on the floor.  Toward the end of the first period, Clarke picked up his second foul of the contest on a questionable call, sending him to the bench.  After Clarke was on the bench, Griffith was able to spark a Hawk run to open a 15-9 lead, scoring 11 of Nantahala’s 15 points in the period.

Clarke reentered the contest early in the second quarter, and quickly was called for his third foul; which again was a questionable foul, sending him back to the bench for the remainder of the first half.

As the second period continued, calls became more questionable, and fouls were aplenty among the Avery Vikings.  Three players entered the half with three fouls and one with four personal fouls in just sixteen minutes of play.  The foul count at the half was Avery – 15 Nantahala – 4.

Throughout the gymnasium grumblings were heard during the half about the lopsided numbers on the board; most notable the grumblings that I overheard coming from the Nantahala fans.  The surprising thing of it all was that yes, they were excited to be leading 47-21 at the half; but they were still in shock about the apparent one-sided nature of the contest.

I even overheard a Hawk fan saying, “I don’t know if we want to win this way” to another fan.

As the second half got underway, Avery exploded out of the gate, pulling back into the contest, but the Hawks matched them shot for shot over the first couple of minutes of the third period.  Midway through, Clarke picked up his fourth foul, benching him yet again, and allowing Griffith have his way with the Viking defense.

Avery continued to battle as best they could, but a clearly objectionable travel call occurred midway through the third period, as Dylan Eppley was blocked back to the floor by Wesley Holden.  The call should have been, by rule, a held ball; a call that would have reverted to the possession arrow.

Instead, Eppley was called for the travel sparking a question from the Avery bench.  Head Coach Bo Manis had no more than gotten two words out of his mouth before he was hit with a technical foul, seemingly in anticipation of a bitter exchange.  The technical was Avery’s second of the contest, and raised further questions among the crowd.

As the contest headed into the final quarter, the chaos was starting to set in, with some fans exchanging banter back and forth, and the players becoming more frustrated with the situation that was taking place.

With just over seven minutes remaining, Clarke was called for his fifth foul on a phantom charge call that sent Clarke to the bench.  The foul in question was the third such call of the evening on Clarke, and was the sixth offensive foul called on the Vikings on the night.  The foul itself appeared to have been a great acting job by Holden, who appeared to flop to his back while Clarke was going straight up for the basket two feet away.

Clarke was then tagged with Avery’s third technical of the evening for “refusing to leave the floor”; a call that was made while Coach Manis still had fifteen seconds of the allotted thirty to substitute for the player.

The situation continued to build as the fourth quarter continued, with a number of questionable calls, and no-calls that appeared to happen on both sides of the ball at times, but the contest was already out of control in some factors, and only got worse.  With just under two and a half minutes remaining, Manis was tagged with his second technical foul of the contest for reasons that are still uncertain.  The Bench was assessed another technical during the exchange while questioning what the fourth call was for.

At this point the crowd began to realize that what was going on seemed deeper than just an argued call.

Manis was asked to leave because of the second technical on him, and due to the third being called on the bench, Assistant Coach Reggie Oakes was also asked to leave; leaving the Vikings with both coaches to finish the contest from the locker room.  Confusion set in among the Viking team, but they huddled next to the bench to regroup and look to continue the contest.

It was at this point that the contest took an unexpected and even more questionable turn with the officials leaving the floor with 2:21 remaining in the contest.  The Hawks held an 84-59 lead, and Avery’s team already had 4 players on the bench that had fouled out of the contest.  After the teams regrouped, Nantahala administrators asked the officials to return to the floor to finish the contest, to which the officiating crew refused and terminated the contest.

As I said, I’m not fully sure what took place in that gymnasium on Wednesday evening, and to be honest…I’m pretty happy that I don’t know all the facts.  I was glad I was there to see what took place, because it is one of those things that you have to see to believe.

A few observations I have on the contest from where I was sitting:  I think the Avery faithful handled themselves in a great manner based on what I saw.  I did not see any unsportsmanlike conduct from anyone on the Avery bench, or any one sitting in the crowd.

I have heard of issues that supposedly took place, but I did not see those issues with my own eyes, and therefore have no reason to comment on those matters.  I will say that it is a shame that a team traveled three and a half hours for a contest that on paper looked like a great match-up for both schools, only to find themselves in a contest that turned ugly.

I, personally, want to congratulate each of the Viking players on a great season; a season in which they exceeded expectations and a season that unfortunately ended in a less than memorable fashion.


Avery’s Wednesday Evening Match-ups

(Courtesy Avery Athletic Department)

Avery High School Boys and Girls have advanced to the second round of the state basketball championships.  The Boys will start at 6:00pm @ Nantahala High School and the Girls will start at 6:00pm @ Hiwassee Dam High School.
Hiwassee Dam High School
Approx.  193 miles       4 hours and 22 minutes
Hiwassee Dam High School
267 Blue Eagle Circle
Murphy, NC 28906
Hiwassee Dam is approximately 140 miles west of Asheville. Follow I-40 W past the Canton exit and take Exit 27.  Exit 27 merges with US 23/74 west; follow 23S/74W past Sylva, Bryson City, Nantahala Gorge, Topton, and Andrews, to Murphy. Proceed west on 74/129.  Turn right on Hwy 294 approximately 10 miles west of Murphy.  Follow Hwy 294 for approximately 8 miles and turn left into the school driveway.  Visitor parking is located in the front of the building.
Nantahala High School
Approx. 146 miles    3 hours and 5 minutes
Nantahala High School
213 Winding Stairs Rd
Topton, NC 28781
Take I-40 West past Asheville.  Follow I-40 W past the Canton exit and take Exit 27.  Exit 27 merges with US 23/74 west; follow 23S/74W past Sylva, Bryson City, Nantahala Gorge, Topton, and Andrews, to Murphy.  Turn right at W. Hwy 19/Us-19 S/US-74 W.  Continue to follow US-19 S/US-74 W for approx. 7.7 miles.  Turn left a Wayah Rd and continue for approx. 4.5 miles.  Turn left at Winding Stairs Rd.  Nantahala High School will be on the right.
Avery High School Boys and Girls have advanced to the second round of the state basketball championships.  The Boys will start at 6:00pm @ Nantahala High School and the Girls will start at 6:00pm @ Hiwassee Dam High School.
Hiwassee Dam High School            Approx.  193 miles       4 hours and 22 minutes
Hiwassee Dam High School
267 Blue Eagle Circle
Murphy, NC 28906
Hiwassee Dam is approximately 140 miles west of Asheville. Follow I-40 W past the Canton exit and take Exit 27.  Exit 27 merges with US 23/74 west; follow 23S/74W past Sylva, Bryson City, Nantahala Gorge, Topton, and Andrews, to Murphy. Proceed west on 74/129.  Turn right on Hwy 294 approximately 10 miles west of Murphy.  Follow Hwy 294 for approximately 8 miles and turn left into the school driveway.  Visitor parking is located in the front of the building.
Nantahala High School             Approx. 146 miles    3 hours and 5 minutes
Nantahala High School
213 Winding Stairs Rd
Topton, NC 28781
Take I-40 West past Asheville.  Follow I-40 W past the Canton exit and take Exit 27.  Exit 27 merges with US 23/74 west; follow 23S/74W past Sylva, Bryson City, Nantahala Gorge, Topton, and Andrews, to Murphy.  Turn right at W. Hwy 19/Us-19 S/US-74 W.  Continue to follow US-19 S/US-74 W for approx. 7.7 miles.  Turn left a Wayah Rd and continue for approx. 4.5 miles.  Turn left at Winding Stairs Rd.  Nantahala High School will be on the right.

Viking Weekend Update

Viking Basketball:

The Avery Viking Basketball teams competed in the Western Highlands Conference Tournament over the end of last week, with both teams falling to Mitchell in their tournament run.  The Viking Men fell on Thursday evening in a heartbreaking loss to Mitchell.  Thomas Buchanan dropped 38 points for the Mountaineers, while Dustin Clarke and Dylan Eppley combined for 46 points in the 78-74 loss at Owen Middle School.
The Lady Vikings fell in a tough contest with the Lady Mountaineers in Friday evening’s championship contest.  Lyndsey Jensen and Lakin Norris combined for 43 of the Lady Mountaineer’s 59 points, and they rolled to a 59-48 victory at Owen High School.
The NCHSAA Playoff bracket was set on Saturday, setting up a Monday double-header at Avery High.  The Lady Vikings will begin their quest with the Elkin Lady Bucking Elks at 5 PM in Viking Gymnasium.  Elkin enters the tournament as the #3 seed from the Mountain Valley Conference.  In Men’s action, the Vikings will host a rematch with #3 MVC seed West Wilkes.

Viking Wrestling:

Brock Yackey and CJ Vance battled their way into the NCHSAA Wrestling Tournament which will take place next weekend in Greensboro.  Yackey earned the Western Regional Championship at the 119 lb weight class with a 7-5 victory over #1 seed J.J. LaPlante from West Wilkes.  The 119 championship was likely one of the most exciting matches of the evening, with Yackey earning the victory with a reversal with four seconds remaining in the match.
Vance earned his way in, wrestling back through the consolation bracket, defeating Nick Brooks of Mitchell in the Consolation Semifinal 7-3 to seal his spot in the State Tournament.  Vance wrestled tough through the weekend, going 4-2 and earning a fourth place nod.  Congratulations to all Viking wrestlers that competed at the Regional level, and good luck to Yackey and Vance next weekend!

WHC Tournament Finals Tonight!

Tonight’s schedule for the Western Highlands Conference Tournament is as follows:

4 PM – 2A Girls – #1 Owen vs #3 Madison
5:15 PM – 1A Boys – #1 Hendersonville vs #3 Mitchell
6:30 PM – 1A Girls- #1 Mitchell vs #2 Avery
8 PM – 2A Boys – #1 Heritage vs #2 Madison

In the 2A there were four great contests last night, Madison squeaked by Polk 60-57 and Heritage needed overtime to overtake Owen 53-49.  Owens girls easily disposed of Polk in ladies action, and Madison won a thriller, defeating Heritage by two.

In the 1A both Avery and Mitchell’s girls suffered from long layoffs in the first round, getting stern tests from Hendersonville and Thomas Jefferson; setting up the top two girls teams in conference for a head-to-head battle tonight.  Hendersonville easily disposed of Thomas Jefferson in men’s action, and Mitchell won a thriller with Avery in a contest where Thomas Buchanan scored a career-high 38 points.

WHC Tournament Schedule Change

The WHC has changed around their first round contests in the 1A bracket at Owen Middle School.  The NEW schedule for this evening is as follows…

Thurs. @ Owen Middle School (Located across the street from the High School entrance:

1A Girls – 4 PM – #2 Avery vs #3 Hendersonville
1A Boys – 5:30 PM – #2 Avery vs #3 Mitchell
1A Girls – 7 PM – #1 Mitchell vs #4 Thomas Jefferson
1A Boys – 8:30 PM #1 Hendersonville vs #4 Thomas Jefferson

Fri. @ Owen High School:

1A Boys – 5:30 PM –  Winners Avery/Mitchell vs Hendersonville/TJCA
1A Girls – 7 PM – Winners Avery/Hendersonville vs Mitchell/TJCA

WHC Tourney Schedule Released – Awaiting Monday’s Games for final seeding

Final seeding is not yet set, but the WHC released tournament brackets over the weekend.  We’ll pass along the Avery seeds and times as soon as everything is final.  Here are the brackets as they sit at this time:

Western Highlands Conference
All games at Owen
Wednesday’s games

No. 1 vs. No. 8, 4 p.m.
No. 2 vs. No. 7, 5:30 p.m.
No. 3 vs. No. 6, 7 p.m.
No. 4 vs. No. 5, 8:30 p.m.
Thursday’s games
No. 1-No. 8 winner vs. No. 4-No. 5 winner, 7 p.m.
No. 2-No. 7 winner vs. No. 3-No. 6 winner, 8:30 p.m.
Friday’s game
Championship, 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday’s games

No. 1 vs. No. 8, 4 p.m.
No. 2 vs. No. 7, 5:30 p.m.
No. 3 vs. No. 6, 7 p.m.
No. 4 vs. No. 5, 8:30 p.m.
Thursday’s games
No. 1-No. 8 winner vs. No. 4-No. 5 winner, 4 p.m.
No. 2-No. 7 winner vs. No. 3-No. 6 winner, 5:30 p.m.
Friday’s game
Championship, 7 p.m.

Yackey Wins Third Straight Conference Title

Yackey works for back points in the finals match-up witn J.J. Davis of Madison (Phillip Greene Photo)

Drive.  Something junior Brock Yackey knows a little about.

Yackey has a competitive spirit, and spending just a couple of minutes with him, you can see that his drive and determination are contagious.  You could say he gets it honest, coming from a very driven family; but Yackey also has something that can’t be taught in the practice room: heart.

Brock’s competitive spirit drives him to give 110% no matter what he is doing. Whether on the soccer field, where Yackey earned an all-conference bid; in the classroom, where Brock has earned accolades for his academic performance; or on the wrestling mat, Yackey is not the type to concede quickly.

Yackey with the Viking Coaching staff following his victory at 119 in the WHC tournament (Phillip Greene Photo)

“He’s a great leader,” stated Head Wrestling Coach Stacey Clark.  “He’s one of those kids you can put your confidence in.  On a number of occasions [Brock] has taken time out of his practice to make sure one of the younger guys in the room understands what we’re trying to accomplish.  He has an outstanding work ethic.”

Brock began his career at Avery a little shaky, but began to shine midway through his freshman season, battling his way to the 112 lb conference championship.  Yackey followed that season with a stellar sophomore campaign, again earning the conference title at 112, and battling his way into the NCHSAA 1A/2A State Tournament.  This season, Yackey set his standards higher, not only wanting to earn a bid for the State Tournament, but to grasp that elusive State Championship.

“A State Championship is my ultimate goal,” explained Yackey.  “It would be great to win just one, but I would love to finish up my career with two.”

This season started a little slower than the last two for Yackey.  Due to growth, Brock started the season competing in the 130 lb weight class, but was determined to get to his minimal weight allowed by the state.  He achieved that weight a couple weeks back, getting down to the 119 weight class and causing a mix-up among conference foes as they scattered to avoid facing him in the conference tournament.

“It’s a sign of respect,” explained Clark, “when you have guys who respect you enough to bump away from you, it shows what kind of wrestler you are.  A couple of kids were willing to test a heavier weight-class just to avoid facing Brock.”

Yackey entered the tournament as the one seed, an honor he earned in a classic battle with J.J. Davis on Tuesday evening when the Vikings traveled to Madison to wrap up their regular season.  Davis took an early lead, and seemed to have worn down Brock as the match carried on; but Brock proved he wasn’t finished.  Late in the bout, Yackey put on a clinic, battling his way from a 10-5 deficit taking down Davis four times in the final period to even the match at 13-13 and send it into overtime.  In the overtime period Yackey would earn his fifth takedown to seal the win at 15-13.

Due to the bumping that took place, as well as a lucky draw, Yackey only needed to win one match to earn a spot in the finals.  Brock pinned his opponent to move forward, and set up a rematch with Davis for the conference title.

Brock wasted no time in taking the early advantage, and his quickness and determination paid off, earning a major decision over Davis to clinch his third straight conference championship.

“I made some adjustments over the past week,” stated Yackey, “I learned some of his tendencies during the match on Tuesday, as well as seeing some of the same moves in his first round match today.  I applied that to the game plan and was able to counter defensively and pickup the takedowns in the final.

“Another thing that helped in preparation for today was Coach Puckett’s advice,” continued Yackey.  “Coach noticed something about my warm-up that wasn’t quite right, and mentioned that today I needed to break a sweat before taking the mat; he said I looked as if I wasn’t fully warmed up until the third period on Tuesday.  I don’t know if I did anything differently, but with only three of us coming, I had to warm up with Lucas [Lecka – 215] and CJ [Vance – 160].  Just the difference in weight forced me to break a sweat, but helped me to be loose entering the match, and kept me focused on the task at hand.”

CJ Vance, Brock Yackey and Lucas Lecka traveled to Owen to take part in the WHC Tournament on Saturday (Phillip Greene Photo)

Lecka battled his way to a third place finish, winning his final bout in the consolation finals 4-1 to earn a medal.  Vance had the toughest draw of the Vikings, winning one of three to finish just outside of medal contention.

The Viking wrestlers will begin their run at the 1A State Tournament in the Western Regional, slated to begin on Friday, February 20.

Paint it Red (or Black) on Senior Night!

Senior Night at Avery High was postponed due to inclement weather in the area.  Due to the postponement of the Avery/Mitchell contests, Friday evening’s contest with West Wilkes has been bumped to make room for the Conference finale with the Mountaineers.  The West Wilkes contest will not be made up.  JV Girls will get underway at 4 PM on Friday, February 12. 

Vikings vs. Cancer, February 8

Monday evening, February 8th, the Avery Vikings host the Hendersonville Bearcats in Western Highlands Conference action.  That same evening the Avery faithful will again put life in perspective for a greater cause.

Throughout the evening, Avery will accept donations in honor of former Lady Viking basketball player Haley Calloway, who is undergoing cancer treatment at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.

The JV boys will kick off action at 4 PM, weather permitting.  In the case of postponement, Avery will hold the fundraiser on the same night as the reschedule date for the Hendersonville contests.

Bentley’s 18 Points Sparks Lady Vikings; Late Defensive Stand Leads Vikings Past Patriots

Mercedes Bentley scored a career-high 18 points to lead the Lady Vikings over Madison on Tuesday evening (Serena Smith Photo)

In what is proving to be a tough week for the Viking basketball program, Avery hit the road for the first of three road games in three nights, traveling to Marshall to face Madison in WHC play.

In JV boys action, the JV Patriots were able to put away the Viking JVs, jumping out to a late second half, thirty point lead.  In the fourth quarter, however, Avery battled back cutting the lead to eleven, but was unable to pull closer, falling to Madison in a tough contest.

In Varsity action, the Lady Vikings started slow, but a late first quarter surge gave the Lady Vikes an 11-7 lead after one.  In the second, Mercedes Bentley got into the act, catching fire and dropping 16 of the 31 Lady Viking points in the period, pushing the Lady Vikes out to a 45-18 lead at the break.

In the second half, the Lady Viking attack continued, pushing the issue and dominating the Lady Patriots with some great guard play.  Madison tried to muster a comeback effort, but Avery’s defense halted the Patriot efforts, with Avery cruising to a 71-48 victory.

Bentley led the Lady Vikings with 18 points, getting another double double from Katelynn Eudy to earn the victory.

In boys action Avery benefited from early foul trouble for the Patriots to take a 16-9 lead after one quarter of play.  The Patriots regrouped in the second stanza to battle their way back, evening the score at 32-32 at the half.

In the second half, Avery was able to fight their way to the lead, overcoming foul trouble and taking advantage of poor shooting from the field by the Patriots to extend the lead back to a seven point advantage midway through the final quarter.  Madison battled their way back into the contest, taking a late lead at 58-57 with a minute remaining.

Avery came back down the floor and found their way inside for the basket to jump back on top with under 30 seconds to play.  Madison came down the floor hoping to hold for a final shot, and called time out with 12 seconds remaining.

Joey Potter's late defense sealed the victory for the Vikings on Tuesday (Serena Smith Photo)

Following the time-out, Madison looked to inbound from beneath their own basket, and found Corey English in the corner as time ticked away.  English took the pass and looked to drive baseline, but Joey Potter stepped into the lane, drawing the charge to give Avery possession.

Madison fouled Dylan Eppley to send him to the line with a chance to make it a three point Viking advantage.  Eppley hit the first, missing the second, but quick thinking by Clarke during a battle with English for the rebound gave Avery the ball sparking an interesting series of events with eight seconds to play.

Clarke was able to throw the ball off of English, avoiding the bounce as the two tangled toward the sideline.  English’s disagreement with the call earned him a technical foul, sending Clarke to the line, giving him the chance to ice the game.

Clarke hit one of two to make it a three point advantage with Avery to inbound at mid court.  Clarke took the pass and was fouled in the backcourt with 5 seconds remaining.  Clarke hit one of two to make it a four point Avery advantage, sealing the 62-58 victory.

Clarke led the Vikes with 25 points and 11 rebounds, adding 5 assists and 3 steals on the evening.  The Vikings take on Owen tonight in Black Mountain with JV girls beginning action around 4 PM.

Forrest Sickler Selected for Elite International Soccer Experience

(Courtesy 365 Sports)

Forrest Sickler (Skip Sickler Photo)

Raleigh, NC, January 20, 2010.  365 Sports is proud to announce the acceptance of Forrest Sickler onto the 2010 USA Soccer Team.  Forrest will represent his country in international play this summer at the 2010 Gothia Cup, a prestigious international showcase tournament being held in Sweden.  Forrest was invited to participate in the 365 Sports Program based on his exceptional play and dedication to the sport of Soccer.

Forrest Sickler, a  Junior at Avery County High School,  has played on the varsity Soccer Team the past three years under Head Coaches Tom Evaul and Lew Brancroft.  Forrest, who considers Soccer to be his primary sport, plays with one of the local soccer clubs during the high school off-season.  Currently, he is a member of the Burke Blast 91 Boys Soccer Team of Morganton, NC, a Division 1 Classic Team, coached by Roger Mueller. Previously, he was a member of the High Country Avalanche Soccer Club, which was coached by Chris Wallace. Forrest, who has been recognized each year by the NC High School Athletic Association as a Scholar Athlete, desires to play soccer when he attends college.

The 365 Sports Program is an opportunity available to select individuals that demonstrate elite play on the field and who are striving to raise their game to the next level.  The program offers athletes a comprehensive growth opportunity developing character-building skills that will remain with them for a lifetime.

The organization, directed by former collegiate and professional coaches, encompass the complete athletic experience for today’s demanding Soccer player.  Athletes will be immersed in an intensive training environment, learning advanced methods by professional performance trainers to challenge them to take their skill development to a higher level.  Athletes will have the opportunity to compete in their own International Championship while interacting off the field with athletes from other countries.

According to Rik Seymour, CEO of 365 Sports, Inc., “The 365 Sports experience is a tremendous opportunity for a young athlete to develop their character and leadership skills.  It provides the athlete a unique way in which to experience the sharing of culture and sport between people of different nationalities.”

365 Sports’ Corporate Headquarters is a one of a kind, state of the art sports training facility in Raleigh/Durham catering to athletes of all skill levels and ages.  For more information on the 365 Sports programs, go to www.365sports.org or call 919.941.0365.

Paint it Red or Black, 2nd Haiti Benefit

Show your school spirit on Senior Night 2010 by wearing Red or Black to support the Vikings.  Paint the “Octagon” red or black when the Vikings tangle with Mitchell.

UIC and YAHH will also be holding a second night of fund raising, taking donations for the victims of the Haitian Earthquakes…please make plans to join the Vikings in these efforts.

Avery to Hold Benefit for Haiti Tonight

Young Adults Helping Haiti (YAHH) is teaming with United in Christ (UIC) at Avery High tonight in an effort to raise money for Haitian Relief.

The Avery Vikings are slated to face off with the Polk Wolverines this evening in Viking Gymnasium in WHC action in what look to be four great games.  During the evening, Avery will also be honoring Dustin Clarke in recognition of his 1,000th career point for the Vikings.

UIC and SGA will have a table set up in the lobby where they will receive donations.  They will also be holding raffles during the evening.

Please make plans to attend, not only for some great basketball, but also for an even greater cause!

Clarke Scores 1,000th Point

Vikings Roll Past Gryphons 90-31

(Serena Smith Photo)

Dustin Clarke entered Monday evening’s contest with Thomas Jefferson needing 21 points to reach 1,000 for his career.  The Junior Guard reached the milestone midway through the 3rd quarter on Monday evening, with what would be his final basket of the game.

Clarke has improved his average over the past two seasons, averaging 17.7 points per game last season, and improving that mark to 21.6 this season.  This meaning he would only need to match his average to achieve the 1,000 point plateau.

“I didn’t know,” stated an overwhelmed Clarke following the game.  “I had no idea.  I have a great group of guys around me, and they do a great job of working the ball around to find open shots.  We’re good together, we just try to keep winning; we’re not really worried about it, just glad that it happened.”

Clarke provided the spark for the Vikings in the opening quarter, scoring nine of Avery’s 23 first quarter points, opening up a 23-7 lead after one quarter of play.

In the second quarter, the Vikings continued to build the lead, but maybe more impressive than the offensive burst was the defensive pressure that the Vikings provided.  Avery’s smothering defense held the Gryphons to just three points in the quarter to open a 43-10 halftime lead.

The Vikings ended the half, with Clarke leading the way with 15 points and 5 steals.  Kody Hughes also added 9 points, with Joey Potter chipping in with 6 points for the Vikings.

(Serena Smith Photo)

In the third quarter, Potter caught fire, netting 10 points, and sparking the Viking offense with a performance that was overshadowed by the third basket from Clarke, which gave him the milestone.  The sixteen combined points for Potter and Clarke sparked a 24-9 quarter for Avery, putting them up 67-19 after three.

In the final quarter, the Viking attack received 16 points from three JV players, who were moved up to the Varsity ranks for the contest.  Shea Buchanan, Dustin Clark (soph.), and Austin Lyons combined for 16 points to lead the Vikings to a 23 point final stanza.  Clark and Lyons each scored seven, with Buchanan adding two from the charity stripe, as the Vikings rolled to the 90-31 victory.

The elder Clarke and Potter each netted 21 points to lead all scorers, as Clarke added seven steals and three assists, and Potter, six rebounds and four assists.  Hughes added 11 for the Vikes in the victory.

The win follows up a great week for the Vikings, extending their winning streak to four, as they picked up wins over Owen and Thomas Jefferson last week.  On Tuesday, January 19, the Vikes rallied to defeat Owen 58-54, and Friday, were able to knock off the Gryphons in Mooresboro, 79-38.

Clarke amassed 61 points, 15 steals, 15 assists and 10 rebounds in the three games.

The Vikings traveled to Hendersonville last night to tangle with the Bearcats, falling 82-78 in a tough contest.  They return home to face off with Polk on Thursday in WHC action.  Avery now sits at 7-7 overall, 5-2 in conference play.

The JVs split the week, knocking off the Warhorse JVs in last  Tuesday evening’s action, traveling to Hendersonville last night falling in a tough contest to the Bearcat JVs on the road.

Avery’s Lady Vikings Ranked #10 in Latest 1A Polls

The Lady Vikings have battled their way into the top ten rankings among the NCHSAA 1A rankings.  The Lady Vikings are 14-2 on the season, 6-1 in conference play.  Mitchell’s Lady Mountaineers are also ranked, sitting at #8 in the latest poll.

A couple of WHC teams are also ranked among the 1A and 2A standings in boys competition, a full rundown of the polls are as follows:

1. Bishop McGuinness (7) 10-4 – 115
2. East Surry (1) 14-3 – 101
3. Mount Airy (2) 13-2 – 98
4. Williamston (3) 14-0 – 95
5. Robbinsville 13-1 – 79
6. River Mill 21-4 – 74
7. Cherokee 13-2 – 55
8. Mitchell 13-4 – 37
9. Southside 12-2 – 25
10. Avery 12-2 – 11

HONORABLE MENTION: Alleghany (10-4) – 9; Chatham Central (12-4) – 6; Murphy (11-6) – 5; Pender (n/a) – 4; Weldon (n/a) – 1

1. Kinston (13) 14-3 – 138
2. Shelby 12-2 – 114
3. East Rutherford (1) 15-1 – 107
4. West Caldwell 13-2 – 85
5. West Bladen 13-2 – 75
6. Cedar Ridge 15-2 – 63
7. Smoky Mountain 12-3 – 55
8. Northeastern 15-1 – 46
9. Pisgah 12-2 – 22
10. Providence Grove 17-3 – 20

HONORABLE MENTION: Mountain Heritage (10-2) – 15; Jordan-Matthews (15-4) – 11; Trinity (14-3) – 6; Brevard (12-3) – 4; North Brunswick (11-3) – 4; Wilkes Central (12-3) – 1; Salisbury (9-4) – 1

1. Winston-Salem Prep (12) 18-3 – 135
2. Cherryville (1) 12-2 – 119
3. Monroe (1) 16-1 – 113
4. Pender 12-1 – 88
5. Lejeune 16-1 – 75
6. Hendersonville 12-2 – 71
7. Murphy 13-3 – 50
8. Weldon 12-1 – 45
9. Wallace-Rose Hill 11-1 – 37
10. North Rowan 11-4 – 15

HONORABLE MENTION: SW Onslow (7-1) – 10; Rocky Mount Prep (15-8) – 5; North Wilkes (12-4) – 4; Bishop McGuinness (12-5) – 2; Hayesville (14-3) – 2; Albemarle (8-3) – 1

Lady Avalanche Win Two of Three at TFC Friendlies College Showcase

Mary Chesnut Smith (4) and Emily Banner played great over the weekend, leading the Lady Avalanche over the victory (Serena Smith Photo)

HCSA Lady Avalanche ’92 U17 soccer team traveled to Fayetteville, NC to play in the TFC Friendlies College Showcase. Mother Nature made it difficult to get together and practice much prior to the weekend, but most of the team have played together at least two seasons, with some more than that. The girls came from five different high schools: Ashe, Avery, Hibriten, Watauga and Wilkes Central. Ashe was represented by sophomore Kebrina Keys; missing in action was injured sophomore player MacKenzie Domske. Avery’s players were juniors Emily Banner and Mary Chesnut Smith. Hibriten had three players; juniors Hallie Hilliard and Miranda McCrary played with the team all fall; Kayla Stamey was a guest player for the weekend. One of the two keepers was sophomore Caitlin Curley from Wilkes Central; junior Christina Call was out taking the SATs. Watauga High players included juniors Sam Byrd, Mary Kate Huffman and Bethany Miller. Watauga sophomores were Kendyl Baird, Skylar Hicks, Katelynn Mullenix and Jeanette Vines. The team is coached by the Director of Coaching for the High Country Soccer Association, Kiki Wallace.

At the last minute, fields were changed and games shortened due to the recent hard rains in Fayetteville. Unfortunately, the Lady Avalanche still had an 8 AM game on Saturday. The games Saturday were all 55 minutes, with no half time (and therefore no switching of ends which made it tough on the keepers facing the sun).  With temperatures in the high30s and a very damp field, players and parents alike were very cold, and had numb toes at the end of the first game. However, spirits were high as the Lady Avalanche played ragged but tough and managed a 2-0 win over the TFC White. They were from the host club and were ranked 15th in the state. The Lady Avalanche were ranked 13th. The scoring came in the middle of the game with both goals coming in a 4 minute period. The first was off the foot of Hallie Hilliard with an assist from fellow forward Kendyl Baird. Almost exactly four minutes later, a pair of midfielders teamed up for the second goal with Kebrina Keys assisting Mary Chesnut Smith for the score.

Hot showers and food were the next order of the day, followed by a 2 PM match in the stadium field back at Reid Ross Classical School. The stadium field was definitely narrow, causing the Lady Avalanche to change their normal mode of play. All of the scoring in this game came in the first 15 minutes of play. The Avalanche, taking advantage of the narrow field, scored off of two throw-ins by Mary Chesnut Smith, who was able to put the ball in front of the goal. The first score came off the head of Kebrina Keys while Hallie Hilliard scored her second goal of the day off the second throw-in. The 14th ranked CASL Spartan United scored within a minute of the second Avalanche goal.  This however was the last score of the game, giving the Avalanche a 2-1 victory. With the temperature in the mid-forties and only a light breeze, the conditions had been better during the second game.

Emily Banner eyes the ball in weekend competiton (Serena Smith Photo/HCSA)

The two Avalanche captains were selected for the All – Star game Saturday evening. Tired and sore, Bethany Miller and Mary Chesnut Smith joined 9 other juniors to play 11 other juniors in a very fast-paced 35 minute game. They said it was one of the hardest games they had ever played in due to the speed of play. Of course, having already played two tough games after a two month lay-off from soccer made them sorer and more tired than normal.

Fortunately their game on Sunday had been postponed an hour, so the team had a little longer to rest before hitting the fields for their 10:30 match-up against what Coach Kiki thought would be the toughest game of the weekend for the team. Although the Maryland team was officially unranked, their record was good. Other coaches said they were a physical team. The Avalanche came mentally and physically prepared for a tough game and got on the score board first. In the 15th minute of the first 30 minute half, midfielder Mary Chesnut Smith was able to send the ball to the back of the net from about 20 yards out, placing it just over the keeper’s hands. In the 23rd minute the Maryland Matrix were able to get one off the fingers of the Avalanche keeper, Caitlin Curley.

The Avalanche answered in the next minute, when Avery teammates connected; Emily Banner crossed the ball to Smith who powered the ball past the keeper to make the score 2-1, where it stayed for the rest of the half. In the second minute of the second half, the Matrix found a way to get past Avalanche keeper Mary Kate Huffman to tie the score. Not to be outdone, the Avalanche took the lead again within the next minute, Hallie Hilliard passed the ball to Kendyl Baird who dropped it to Smith, who was able to take the ball through traffic and get the ball past the keeper to score, for a hat trick. The score remained 3-2 until the 25th minute of the half when the Matrix got past their defenders and sailed a ball over the keeper’s hands to tie the score. Play remained intense with the score knotted at 3 and time running down.

With just a minute left in the game, the Matrix found a way to take the lead for the first time of the day, but it was to be the time that counted as the Lady Avalanche were not able to answer that goal before time ran out. It was a good game, but a hard one to swallow after leading most of the game and dominating the play for the most part.

Trojans ‘Easley’ Charge Past Bobcats 90-73

Adam McFerran netted a career-high 20 points in 24 minutes off the Bobcat bench in Saturday's contest (Phillip Greene Photo)

Kendrick Easley scored 30 points on 10 of 22 from the floor, hitting 4 of 11 from behind the arc, as the Mount Olive Trojans rolled past the Bobcats on Saturday afternoon.

Easley opened the contest with eight of the Trojan’s first 14 points, as Mount Olive opened an early ten point, 14-4 advantage over the Lees McRae Bobcats.  The Bobcats battled back over the next five minutes, going on a 10-4 run to cut it to an 18-14 Trojan advantage with just under nine minutes to play in the first half.

The Trojans responded with a 12-4 run over the next three minutes to take a 30-18 lead.

The Bobcats battled back, with Sam Youse capping an 8-3 run with a trey from the wing to cut the lead to seven with just under four minutes to play in the half.  The Trojans again responded with a run, pushing it to 42-28 with 1:38 left on the first half clock, and holding on to a 46-33 lead at the half.

The Trojans opened the lead to 18, at 55-37 with 16:23 to play, but Youse again connected from deep to cut it back to 15, and an Adam McFerran basket pulled it back to the 13 point halftime margin.  The “Cats would hang around until the ten minute mark, trailing 63-50, but an 11-1 run capped by an Easley basket, pushed the lead to 74-51 with 7:33 to play.

In the final minutes of play, the Bobcats were unable to cut the lead below 16 as the Trojan defense kept the Bobcats at bay, clinching the 17-point, 90-73 victory in Williams Gymnasium.

Leading the way for the Bobcats in the loss was Adam McFerran with a career-high 20 points in just 24 minutes off the bench.  Youse added 12 points, hitting 4 of 6 from beyond the arc, and three Bobcats added 9 points in the loss.

The Bobcats hit the road Monday, facing off with Belmont Abbey at 7:30 PM.  They return home on Thursday to face Pfeiffer following the women’s contest in William’s Gymnasium.

Lady Trojans Hold off Lady Bobcats in Thriller

Colette Montgomery led all scorers with 16 points and 11 rebounds in Saturday's contest with Mount Olive (Phillip Greene Photo)

Saturday’s contest between the Lady Bobcats and Lady Trojans came down to the wire, thanks in part to a great comeback effort by Lees McRae that fell just short in the waning moments, as Mount Olive escaped with a 59-58 victory in Banner Elk.

It took two full minutes for either team to find the basket, but once they did, no one in Williams Gymnasium knew the excitement that awaited as the game wound down.  Lees McRae took the early lead, when Janina Thurus found the basket with 17:49 on the clock to give the Lady Bobcats a 2-0 advantage.  The Lady Trojans responded with two 3-pont baskets to take the 6-2 lead, but Thurus answered with a three of her own to cut the lead to 1 with just under 17 minutes remaining in the first half.

On the next possession, a Sophia White basket gave the Lady ‘Cats the lead, and Lauren Casey’s rebound and putback 14:32 on the first half clock extended the lead to 9-6, in favor of Lees McRae.

The Lady Trojans then pieced together a 12-0 run over the next five minutes to take an 18-9 lead with just over 9 minutes to play in the opening half, extending their lead to 28-15 at the 4:04 mark to take control of the contest.  The Lady Bobcats, however, closed the half with an 8-2 run to cut the lead to 30-23 as the half closed.

In the second half, the two teams again started slow, but a 6-2 run to start the half for the Lady Bobcats cut it to three at 32-29 with just over 16 minutes to play.  Over the next 9 minutes the Lady Bobcats would battle tough, but Mount Olive would steadily build their lead back to an 11 point advantage, taking a 52-41 lead with 7 minutes remaining in the contest.

Colette Montgomery led the charge over the next six minutes, scoring 10 points, pulling down four rebounds and adding two assists to pull the Lady Bobcats within three at 59-56 with 1:31 left to play.  Casey cut it to one, taking the ball at the wing and dribbling underneath for a reverse lay-up to make it 59-58 with 52 seconds to play.

Lauren Casey had 10 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals in Saturday's loss to the Lady Trojans (Phillip Greene Photo)

The Lady Bobcat defense stood firm, forcing a turnover to get the ball back with just over 30 seconds to play.  The Trojan defense buckled down, facing up Casey, and keeping her from getting a good look at the basket as her shot fell just short and Mount Olive grabbed the rebound to earn the victory.

Montgomery led the Lady Bobcats with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Casey added 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the loss.  The loss drops the Lady Bobcats to 2-12, 2-8 in conference action; while the Lady Trojans improved to 7-8 overall, and 6-4 in Conference Carolinas play.

LMC hits the road on Monday, traveling to Belmont Abbey, before returning home to face Pfeiffer on Thursday, January 28; gametime for both contests is set for 5:30 PM.

Mountaineers Extend Winning Streak to Four; Defeat NC State and Gardner Webb

(Courtesy Appalachian Sports Information)


BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Appalachian State University defeated NC State and Gardner-Webb Wednesday night at Gardner-Webb. Chip Powell, Kyle Blevins, Carter Downs, Austin Trotman and Jacob Earp all won two matches for the Mountaineers.

The wins now give the Mountaineers’ four wins in a row and are now 6-8 on the year after starting the season 2-8.  The win over NC State is the first for the Apps since 1973-74 and the first over an ACC opponent since a 21-11 win over Duke in 2005.

Appalachian fell behind NC State after the first match to start the day, but four-straight major decisions gave ASU a commanding 16-3 lead that they would not relinquish. Powell started the action with a 14-0 win over Sean Smith. Blevins continued with a 10-2 win over Ray Ward while Downs beat Quinton Godley 13-3. Trotman was the final major decision winner, dropping Cedric Moore 13-2.

Dylan Temple
won the fifth-straight match for ASU with a 2-0 decision over Christian McLean and Earp clinched the match with a 4-2 decision over Scott Norris.

ASU continued to roll in the second match, winning the first five matches over Gardner-Webb on the way to a 31-7 victory.

Savva Kostis gave ASU a quick 3-0 lead with a 6-0 decision over Ryan Medved. The middle-weights pulled ASU through again as Powell, Blevins, Downs and Trotman gave ASU 17 points with a decision, two major decisions and a pinfall.

Brett Boston, Earp and Chris Collura ended the night on a positive as well, winning the final three matches. Boston dominated Michael Slaughter at 125 for a 7-1 win. Earp earned his second win of the night with a 19-6 major decision and Collura won the final match of the night with a 10-6 decision over Kurt Wentink.

With his two wins on the night, Trotman reached the 50 win total for his career. Trotman is the second Mountaineer to reach the 50 win plateau this season, joining Temple.

Appalachian will look to keep its win streak alive as they travel to The Citadel on Sunday to take on the Bulldogs at 2 p.m.

Appalachian State 22 NC State 17

149 – Bobby Ward (NCSU) dec. Savva Kostis (ASU) 7-5
157 – Chip Powell (ASU) major dec. Sean Smith (NCSU) 14-0
165 – Kyle Blevins (ASU) major Dec. Ray Ward (NCSU) 10-2
174 – Carter Downs (ASU) major Dec. Quinton Godley (NCSU) 13-3
184 – Austin Trotman (ASU) major Dec. Cedric Moore (NCSU) 13-2
197 – Dylan Temple (ASU) dec. Christian McClean (NCSU) 2-0
285 – Eloheim Palma (NCSU) maj. Dec. Ken Alarac (ASU) 8-0
125 – Mike Moreno (NCSU) maj. Dec. Brett Boston (ASU) 10-1
133 – Jacob Earp (ASU) dec. Scott Norris (NCSU) 4-2
141 – Dale Shull (NCSU) pinned Chris Collura (ASU) 0:58
* Match started at 149

Appalachian State 31, GWU 7

149 – Savva Kostis (ASU) dec. Ryan Medved (GWU) 6-0
157 – Chip Powell (ASU) pin fall Alex Medved (GWU) 2:00
165 – Kyle Blevins (ASU) maj. dec. David Pelsang (GWU) 18-4
174 – Carter Downs (ASU) dec. Blake Salyer (GWU) 7-0
184 – Austin Trotman (ASU) maj. dec. Jonathan Velazquez (GWU) 11-1
197 – Travis Porter (GWU) dec. Paul Glover (ASU) 6-2
HVY – Dustin Porter (GWU) maj. dec. Brock Durfee (ASU) 16-4
125 – Brett Boston (ASU) dec. Michael Slaughter (GWU) 7-1
133 – Jacob Earp (ASU) maj. dec. Brett Kostern (GWU) 19-6
141 – Chris Collura (ASU) dec. Kurt Wentink (GWU) 10-6
* Match started at 149

Viking Basketball and Wrestling Postponed

The Viking Basketball and Wresting matches Scheduled for tonight, January 21, have been postponed.  Make up dates have not yet been released, but we’ll pass those along as soon as they’re made available.

Shrine Bowl Coaches to Hold Combine in Boone


Purpose: To provide opportunity for high school football players demonstrate skills needed for athletic scholarships and possible Shrine Bowl selection.
Rising seniors should bring videos for the Shrine Bowl Staff to evaluate.

Who: Rising 12th graders are eligible to attend.

Dates and Schools:


9:30 AM

10:00 AM

10:00 AM

11:00 PM

Cost: $20.00 per player-High School Coaches and spectators will be admitted free. Each player will receive a T-shirt and unmatched exposure.

There will be no checks accepted at any of the combines, cash only please. There will be a responsible person at each combine to take up money.

To be measured:
1. Height
2. Weight
To be tested:
1. Vertical Jump
2. 40 Yard Dash
3. Pro Agility Shuttle
4. Bench Press Rep.
(All Position Players Will Rep 185 As Many Times As They Can.)
To be evaluated:
1. Each position player will work with coaches at his position and go through a series of football related drills.
Important Information:
2. Some events may change according to equipment available.
3. Please be on time: We are going to be on a tight schedule.

Shrine Bowl Combine Coordinator: Jim Bob Bryant (252) 717-8681