Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Sad Saturday of Stanly Softball

I do not like to be the bearer of bad tidings, but here goes anyway...

South Stanly and West Stanly both lost their sectional finals games last night. West Stanly lost 7-0 at Central Davidson and South Stanly lost at home 7-2 to East Surry.

Both teams had tremendous seasons in 2010. Both won the regular season conference championships, and South Stanly also claimed the Yadkin Valley Tournament title as well. West Stanly was ranked in the top 10 in the 2A for much of the season, while South Stanly vaulted all the way to #1 in the coaches' poll.

Congratulations to both teams on super seasons...I know you wish they had went about one week longer.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mother Nature is not cooperating with us

As badly as the Burleson garden in the southern part of Stanly needs rain, the precipiation was a bit too heavy for softball or baseball last night.

South Stanly and West Stanly both had their games rescheduled to tonight. The Bulls host East Surry at 6 p.m. while West Stanly goes back up to Central Davidson for a 7 p.m. game with the Spartans. Neither game ever got underway last night.

As far as Stanly County Legion at Statesville, that games was rained out as well. The make up has been tentatively scheduled for Sat. June 19 here at Don Montgomery Park. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader.

Coverage of Post 76's win Thursday over Mocksville, plus a few other random stories in this Sunday's paper. Rain makes putting together a sports page challenging, to say the least.

Friday, May 28, 2010

South softball cancelled and rescheduled for Sat. night at 7 p.m.

Post 76 out to 3-0 start; Softball tonight

The finish to Thursday's Stanly County American Legion game was quite dramatic despite the late hour Thursday night. Through Friday's game, Post 76 is 3-0 and 2-0 in league play and is off to a strong start so far.

The next few days will be a tough test for Stanly. Three road games in three nights, with Friday at Statesville, Saturday at Mocksville and Sunday at Eastern Randolph. Add to that a non-league game Monday night at home with Concord, and it's four games in four nights. Thankfully, those last two games are non-league games and will not count in the divisional standings.

Also, another scheduling change: Post 76 will play at Rowan County on Sunday, June 7. If you have never been to a game at Newman Park in Salisbury, you owe it to yourself to go. The Pinky's hotdogs are great (not as good as Whispering Pines at Don Montgomery Park), the slush machines are a godsend on a hot night (and $1 each) and the atmosphere is down home. Dr. Clyde Young plays a trumpet in the stands, doing the fight songs for all of the Armed Forces branches between innings, along with sound effects for walks, home runs, etc. You all know how I love sound effects at a game.

I'm heading out to South Stanly tonight to see if the Rebel Bulls can make it to the state championship series next week. They have a tough test with East Surry tonight...and considering the gloom, despair and agony predicted tonight by the weather people, this game may have trouble getting finished if it's anything like last year's ten-inning classic.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stanly leads 5-4 top of the third over Mocksville at the DMP.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Stanly wins 7-1and plays at home Thursday night.
After seven innings, Stanly leads Concord 7-1
Stanly County Post 76 leads Concord on the road 4-0 in the top of the fifth.
Warm night for legion ball at Concord. Coverage in Thursday's paper.

And Then There Were Two

It's amazing that just one year later after South Stanly's run to the 1A baseball title in 2009, we may be seeing another state championship appearance from Stanly County in a spring sport. In fact, we may see two.

South Stanly and West Stanly's softball teams have both reached the sectional finals fourth-round of the 1A and 2A state playoffs, respectively. However, fans may not want to make those hotel reservations for June 4-5 in Raleigh just yet as both teams have extremely tough opponents to hurdle on Friday night.

South Stanly hosts East Surry, the #4-ranked 1A team in the state in the final coaches' poll. East Surry eliminated the Bulls last year 1-0 in the third round of the playoffs and went on to win the state title, their second-straight state championship.

Then if life could get any more difficult, West Stanly has to travel to Central Davidson Friday night to face the #2-ranked 2A team and three-time defending state champions Spartans.

Full coverage of softball in Thursday's paper.

Baseball news: I know that the Albemarle faithful are disappointed about their playoff run ending, but it is rare to see a team reach the fourth round of the playoffs in consecutive years, and all the Albemarle players, coaches and fans have nothing about which to hang their heads.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Three Teams Still Alive

Two softball teams and one baseball team are still alive from Stanly County in the state playoffs. West Stanly and South Stanly are in the third round of the 2A and 1A state playoffs, respectively, while Albemarle hosts Bishop McGuinness in the sectional finals tonight, weather permitting of course.

The Stanly County Legion team opened their season Sunday night with a non-league game against Eastern Randolph. Post 76 was scheduled to play Monday but was rained out. They will travel to Concord on Wednesday night.

Coverage of all the above plus West Stanly's baseball loss to East Rutherford all in Tuesday's sports section.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Albemarle baseball and West Stanly softball both play at home Tue. night at 7 p.m.
Legion game cancelled for tonight. South's softball game on Tue. is at 6 p.m.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

East ruth. beats west stanly 10-4...more details on tuesday
West Stanly trails 8-4 bottom four. East Ruth. has scored seven runs in a row.

Legion season opens tonight

I put the schedules for the Stanly County American Legion senior and junior baseball teams in today's paper. Both teams play today but the results will be late for the print edition (I will try to get something in a blog over the weekend).

West Stanly baseball plays East Rutherford tonight at 7.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Big baseball games tonight!

Heading out to West Stanly and East Rutherford's been since 2004 since a West baseball team has reached the third round and I hope there is a huge crowd for the game tonight.

Albemarle got a big crowd the other night against South Davidson, and I'm sure the DMP will be packed tonight for the Bessemer City game.

On the softball front, congrats to the West Stanly girls for their 6-4 win over West Lincoln in the second round on Thursday...they will play again on Tuesday at home. South Stanly has North Stokes tonight as well.

Check Sunday's paper for those stories, plus a little world-title cheerleading and more!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Baseball and softball weather updates

It looks like West Stanly baseball is the only team not playing their game tonight...the Colts will play West Caldwell on Wednesday at 7...everything else is the same for tonight!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Softball Pairings

The NCHSAA has released the softball pairings for the state playoffs starting on Tuesday and there are some interesting facts to note about the 2A West and 1A West brackets:

1) The top side of the 1A West region features four of the top 10 teams from the final softball coaches' association poll released the first week of May, including three of the top five-ranked teams (South Stanly #1, #3 North Moore and #4 East Surry).

South Stanly opens with Gray Stone and has seeding priority though the section round into the four-team championship tournament on June 4-5. Out of the eight teams in South Stanly's district, only Cherryville (18-5) and Chatham Central (17-7) have winning records. Should the Bulls and the Bears meet, it would a huge rematch in the district finals.

The bottom half of the region has just two ranked teams in #2 Swain County and #5 Murphy. If those teams were to meet, it would be in the sectional finals with a berth to the finals on the line.

2) On the 2A West regional side, West Stanly (23-3) opens at home with West Davidson (9-11). The Colts would be on the road in the next round if they were to face West Lincoln (16-6).

West finished as the #7-ranked team in the state poll. Only two other teams ranked in the poll are in West's section: Central Davidson (20-4, #2) and Chase (14-3, #10). The soonest West Stanly would see Central Davidson would be the sectional finals, but there are some tough teams in front of the Colts.

Let the playoffs begin!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Playoffs March Along

Heading out today to Pfeiffer to see the Gray Stone girls take on Bishop McGuinness in the second round of the 1A soccer playoffs...ought to be a great match!

We had a three-page sports section today, a lot of ground to cover. Congrats to Albemarle, South and West for all winning their games on Friday night. Albemarle will host South Davidson, South Stanly hosts Bishop McGuinness, and West Stanly hosts West Lincoln on Tuesday night.

I will try to blog later tonight about the Gray Stone game, plus I'm keeping on eye out to see who West Stanly and South Stanly will play in the first round of the softball playoffs.

I also have some interesting information about this year's American Legion squad...but I'm saving that for later this week...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Softball Success Brings Heightened Expectations

I'm not trying to put any more pressure to bear on the West and South softball teams, but the pressure games for those two teams are just beginning.

Consider if you will Thursday's game between North Moore and South Stanly. The Mustangs came in ranked #3 in the state in 1A while South Stanly is #1, and there were no playoff seeding implications or anything else on the line except rivalry and pride between two teams that might see each other again in the playoffs.

South Stanly won the game with some timely hits, claiming the tournament title, yet the reaction of the girls and the South fans was quite subdued. It was more of a response of their belief that this team is supposed to win every time out.

I have been around teams like that in the past, first as a manager with the Hayesville women's basketball teams that won six straight 1A titles from 1988-1993. The parents, coaches and players celebrated their team's victories all year long but never truly relaxed until after the wins at Carmichael Auditorium.

True champions never rest, never stop working, never stop yearning, never stop needing victory until the championship game. These two softball teams have the opportunity to acheive great things...but the real work has just begun.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Nickel Tour at the Paper

Every now and again, we have tours of students coming through the paper of all ages, from kindergarten through college-age. It's always fun to see the wonder and excitement in the eyes of young kids.

We had an awesome group of students come through earlier today from West Stanly and I have rarely seen such excitement from our five-cent tour. I have suggested we should have a gift shop at the end of the tour, but nothing is yet forthcoming (just kidding).

Every now and then, when I go to the schools to snap pictures, I will notice in some classrooms that our articles are covering the walls. Being able to reach out to people with the power of print is an awesome responsiblity that none of us at the paper ever take lightly.

It really makes the long hours worthwhile when you see the excitement of a young sports fan who wanted to meet me just because I write sports stories for the paper. It makes me want to work that much harder to make the sports page and every facet of the SNAP's sports coverage in Stanly County that much better.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

YVC Softball Update

Scores from Tuesday's softball games:
North Moore 9, East Montgomery 3
South Stanly 2, Chatham Central 1 (great game)

North Moore and South Stanly play for the tournament title Thursday night at 6 p.m.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Gas Card Winner; Soccer Playoffs Open

It looks like Randy Shank was the first person to respond with a comment and the correct password...your $20 Citgo gas card will be waiting for you up front at the reception desk here at our office on 237 West North Street...congrats!

On to other business:

Gray Stone and Albemarle have both qualified for the 1A state women's soccer playoffs and play this Wednesday. Albemarle will travel up to Bishop McGuinness while Gray Stone hosts fellow Yadkin Valley Conference opponent East Montgomery at 5 p.m. over at the soccer complex in front of Stanly Community College.

I will have softball tournament updates plus some Uwharrie Bobcats coverage, running from the Beach Blast 5K and more in Tuesday's paper!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Win a Free $20 Gas Card!

The first person that returns a comment to this blog that can tell me the password that I printed in Sunday's paper will get a $20 Citgo gas card...who's gonna win?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Baseball wraps up tourneys tonight; Softball opens next week

BIG games tonight in both the Yadkin Valley and Rocky River baseball tourney finals.

West Stanly beat Forest Hills 7-2 Thursday night...Josh Cochran went deep twice along with home runs from Rusty Hartsell and Jeremy Lowder.

Cuthbertson topped Piedmont 3-1 with three solo home runs and a great pitching performance from Peter Hendel.

Cuthbertson and West tonight at 7 for the title.

Albemarle and South Stanly face each other for the conference title tonight at 7 p.m. at North Moore High School in Robbins.

With the way that the softball teams of West and South Stanly are playing this year, there is a chance next week that Stanly County could be celebrating two more conference titles at home, with West hosting the Rocky River and South hosting the Yadkin Valley.

What a year for the baseball/softball teams and we still have the playoffs on the horizon!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday's paper + baseball tourney scores tonight

I have a big sports section in the Thursday paper, with coverage of the baseball tournaments, West softball, Gray Stone soccer and a lot more...don't miss it!

You can also check back here on my blog tonight after the RRC semifinals, I'll post the scores and who's playing in the title game on Friday.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Baseball, Tennis updates

A quick correction in the tournament schedule for the Yadkin Valley; the semifinal games are TONIGHT starting with South and East Montgomery at 4:30, followed by Albemarle and North Moore at 7.

First-Round YVC results:
1) South Stanly 11, West Montgomery 1
2) Albemarle 17, North Rowan 6
3) North Moore 12, South Davidson 8

On to the Rocky River:
1) Piedmont 14, CATA 0 - will play the Cuthbertson - Union Academy winner on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

West Stanly will play the North Stanly - Forest Hills winner tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Team Tennis Update:
1A - Albemarle (12-5) beat CATA 5-1 in the first round and plays at East Montgomery (16-0) in the next round.
2A - North Stanly (11-6) topped Wheatmore 5-3 in the first round and plays at Salisbury (17-2) in the District Round.
West Stanly (10-5) lost their first-round match to West Davidson 6-3.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Conference Tournaments open tonight...better late than never

There is still a lot for teams to play for in the postseason conference tournaments that open tonight across the county.

Consider if you will North Stanly, who has to beat Forest Hills Wednesday afternoon at 4:30 in order to earn the fourth and final 2A spot in the state playoffs. The Comets won the coin flip, meaning that they will be the home team in the game. The two teams are evenly matched, and both games between the two have been hotly-contested games that needed extra innings to decide, with Forest Hills winning at North 8-6 and the Comets winning down in Marshville 6-5.

West has the #1 seed and the home-field advantage, so the Colts have a good chance of sweeping the RRC titles this week.

South has the #1 seed in the YVC tourney, while Albemarle is a #3 seed...both teams should go far in the tourney.

Let the postseason begin!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

2010 YVC Baseball Final Regular Season Standings

Here are the final standings for the Yadkin Valley Conference in baseball:

1) SS - 13-3
2) NM - 12-4 (beat NR 8-4 Friday)
3) Alb. - 10-6 (beat CC 12-7 Friday)
4) CC - 8-8 ( lost Friday to Alb. 12-7)
5) EM - 9-7
6) NR - 7-9 (lost to NM 8-4 Friday
7) SD - 7-9 (swept GS 6-2 and 14-4 Friday)
8) WM - 6-10
9) GS - 0-16