15th Sep2012

Dixon loses late lead to North Duplin

by Ken Clarke

DIXON – Holding a three point lead late in the fourth quarter proved not enough as the Bulldog defense allowed the North Duplin Rebels one last score and the 28-24 win.

Plagued with costly penalties all night the Bulldogs hung tough and in the fourth quarter took the lead.

From the onset it was the clear Dixon quarterback C.D. Hansley  was going to have a special night and he did scoring all four of the Bulldogs touchdowns, rushing for 107 yards and completing 8-of-15 passing for 132 yards.

In the first quarter Dixon trailed 7-0, but in the second quarter the Bulldogs put 12 points on the board, but the defense allowed the Rebels 14 and at half Dixon trailed 21-12.

The second half looked like a different story as Dixon scored six more points to cut the lead to 18-21 heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth Dixon scored again and held a three point lead with about three minutes remaining in the game, then North Duplin punched it in for another score. The Bulldogs had a final drive to retake the lead and possible the game, but fell just short.

14th Sep2012

Surf City Soccer returns this fall

by Contributor

SURF CITY - Surf City Soccer is returning for Fall 2012 with teams and leagues for “kids” of all ages, from three to adult.  And for the first time, anyone can register online – players, coaches and volunteers.

Simply go to http://www.playerspace.com/ or http://surfcity.govoffice.com/ “Parks & Recreation” then click through to the link to register. Age divisions are U-5, U-6, U-9, U-12, U-16 and adult with 7v7 play introduced for the first time at the three oldest divisions.

“We are very proud to once again offer our recreational soccer league, “said Town of Surf City Parks & Recreation Director Kristie Grubb. “We welcome both new and returning players – with our main purpose being having fun!”

Players may also register at Surf City Community Center, 201 Community Center Drive off J. H. Batts Road.  The season will kick off with a Field Day on Saturday, Sept. 8 starting at 9 a.m.  Games will begin Saturday, Sept 15.

The cost is $30 through U-9 and just $35 for the older age divisions and all games will be played on Saturdays with practices during the week.  All practices and games will be at the Surf City Athletic Complex adjacent to the Community Center with small group play featured as it has been in past seasons.

All players receive a game jersey. Volunteers are being welcomed as coaches and in other capacities. A coaching clinic is being planned along with additional online training. A referee clinic is also in the works. Team and league sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information please contact Athletics Supervisor Steve Unger at (910) 328-4887 or e-mail athletics@townofsurfcity.com.

14th Sep2012

Lady Titans fall on the road to James Kenan

by Lee Wagner

KENANSVILLE – Sometimes things are just not meant to be, and on Thursday as the Lady Titans of Task High School ventured outside the friendly confines of Titantown they were unable to keep their stretch of three-consecutive wins – and four of their first five – conference wins in tact when they lost to a team, in all reality, they probably shouldn’t have lost to.

Anna Brodmerkel had 13 service points, 13 assists, and two aces, Chrishonda Brown had 11 points and seven digs, and Neisha James had 14 kills, and 10 digs but it was not enough to overcome a night of missed opportunities and too many unforced errors as Trask lost 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 26-24, 13-25, 12-15) to James Kenan on Thursday in a Tri-County Conference volleyball game on the Lady Tigers’ home court.

Rachel Wilson returned from an injury that sidelined her for several games to finish with eight kills for the Lady Titan, which dropped to 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the conference.

The road doesn’t get any easier for Trask as they will welcome county and conference rival Pender (9-4, 5-0) to Rocky Point before back-to-back conference road games at Midway and Lakewood.

Trask beat Midway 3-2 (20-25, 25-14, 25-27, 25-23, 25-11) on Aug 28 at home before falling in Titantown 3-1 (23-25, 14-25, 26-24, 10-25) on Aug. 30.

Trask              20-25-26-13-12

J. Kenan         25-23-24-25-15

Trask: Anna Brodmerkel 14 points, 13 assists, 2 aces; Chrishonda Brown 11 points, 7 digs; Neisha James 14 kills; Rachel Wilson 8 kills.

14th Sep2012

Lady Pirates easily roll over Coatan

by Lee Wagner

HAMPSTEAD – For a while, or until at least until next Thursday, it would appear that the Topsail High School volleyball team is in the easier part of their schedule.

After conquering a pair of East Central 2A conference contenders in wins over now 10-1 (4-1 in conference) East Duplin (25-20-25-15, 25-15) on the road, and over South Lenoir (23-25, 25-10, 25-12, 25-19) on Sept. 4 and Sept. 6, respectively, the Lady Pirates easily manhandled Clinton (0-9, 0-5) in three games (25-16, 25-16, 25-15) on the road before returning home last night to face a usually tough opponent in Croatan.

But that match turned out to be a relatively easy one considering the opposition, and now the Topsail girls must find a way to keep their focus as they await the arrival of Richlands (1-8, 1-3) next Tuesday (Sept. 18). Of course, Richlands is on roll, having secured their first win of the year with a win (25-18, 25-12, 24-26, 25-21) over winless (0-9, 0-4) Northside.

It’s what happens next Thursday (Sept. 20) that could prove to be interesting but, for now, the Lady Pirates can go to the football game tonight knowing they are in sole possession of first place in the conference.

Angie Poage kept her wonderful senior season on pace with eight points, 19 assists, one kill, two aces, and 12 digs, and classmate Carlie Smith continued to show college coaches why she is a recruit worthy of their attention with nine points, 13 kills, three aces, two blocks, and two assists as Topsail rolled to a 3-0 (25-9, 25-21, 25-20) win over Croatan in Hampstead on Thursday in an East Central 2A Conference volleyball game.

The win leaves the Lady Pirates (10-3) alone in first place in the conference standings with a 5-0 record, while running their conference consecutive-win streak to 35 games. Topsail gained sole possession of the conference lead, in part, thanks to South Lenoir’s 3-1 (19-25, 25-19, 26-24, 25-21) win Swansboro (5-4, 4-1).

That leaves Swansboro (5-4) and East Duplin tied for second in the conference, one game behind the 5-0 Lady Pirates, both at 4-1. South Lenoir (7-6) evened its conference tally at 2-2.

Croatan            9-21-20

Topsail            25-25-25

Topsail: Kayla Hyatt 4 points, 3 aces, 2 kills, 34 digs; Reagan Holloway 4 points, 6 kills, 3 digs; Sarah Woodward 12 points, 2 aces, 3 kills, 5 digs; Angie Poage 8 points, 23 aces, 12 kill, 19 assists, 12 digs; Carlie Smith 9 points, 3 aces, 13 kills, 2 blocks, 2 assists; Summer Darnell 10 points, 1 kill, 2 aces, 5 digs; Chandler Skipper 3 digs.

14th Sep2012

Lady Patriots rise to occasion in win over
Lady Leopards

by Lee Wagner

BURGAW – Last season the Lady Leopards of Lakewood High School quashed Pender’s hopes of winning the volleyball championship in the Tri-county 1A Conference and –worse than that perhaps –they ended the Lady Patriots’ playoff run.

So along with a slightly upper hand in the early race for this year’s conference title, there was a little measure of revenge at stake for the Pender girls when they welcomed those same Lady Leopards to the Ray Horton Volleyball Court in Burgaw on Thursday, and the early message that they are going to be a force with which to be reckoned again this year was sent back to Salemburg with the Lakewood girls by the hometown team.

Whether it was received or not will be determined on Oct. 9.

Senior Kayvia Thompson had a career-high 16 kills and a career-high 13 digs, and junior setter Jackie Sanabria bettered her career mark in assists with 36 as Pender defeated Lakewood 3-1 (23-25, 25-14, 25-18, 25-23) in an early-season battle for supremacy in the Tri-County 1A Conference on Thursday in Burgaw.

Pender now stands at 9-4 overall and at 6-0 in the conference standings while the Lady Leopards fell to 10-1 overall, and 5-12 in the conference.

“I told the girls this should feel real good,” Pender Coach Matt Davis said. “Lakewood played us about as well as anyone has all year, and our girls showed that they had developed the ability to stay together and work as one.

“No matter the situation there was a calmness in them, no panic even during Lakewood’s run. It was, again, a good team win with everyone working together, but I really thought Kayvia carried us when we had to have a play. I mean everyone played well, but it was like the team adopted her, “no-quit,” attitude tonight.”

Both teams came out hyped early and the tension gave the gym that all-too-familiar playoff atmosphere. Both teams knew what was on the line – Lakewood their undefeated record and Pender wanting to stay perfect in the conference play.

It was back-and-forth for the first little bit of the first game, with both teams getting kills from their hitters. Neither team really could put together a lead until Alyssa Carter (5 aces) took over the serving, forcing passing errors on Lakewood and racking up three aces.

Pender had an early six-point cushion but, as with any Lakewood team, they didn’t go away. Lakewood scored three points to Pender’s one, then came back with a four-point surge to Pender’s two until it was tied at 23-23. Two tough serves from Rayshada Parker gave them the game.

Much like the first game the score was close until – at 4-4 – Thompson ran off a string of serves that included an ace and several free-ball opportunities for Pender that K. B. Hansley (9 kills) and Carter (9 kills) were able to convert into points.

That swung the momentum in Pender’s favor and Lakewood never really made much of a run the rest of the game, struggling to put together more than three points at any one time. Brenee’ Jones and Brianna Pittman, each with three blocks in the contest, seemed to frustrate the Lady Leopards’ hitters, leading to an 11-point Lady Patriots’ victory.

The third game was pretty much a mirror image of the first two. Thompson had three kills and Hansley had four in the game as Pender built a six-point advantage and, every time Lakewood attempted to make a run, a Lady Patriot senior would step up with a big play, be it a pass from Ruby Gasca, a block by Jones, or kills from the hitters.

Sanabria, according to Davis, “Made some of the best decisions and sets she had made all year long,” with Pittman (5 kills) on the receiving end of some of those sets.

A key play in the game came with Pender leading 17-14. A tip from one of Lakewood’s hitters seemed destined to hit the floor before junior Cassidy Miller came diving in to get the ball up and Carter was able to get the ball to Hansley for a kill.

That crucial point put the lead at 18-14 instead of cutting it to 17-15, and helped the Lady Patriots stay in control of the game en route to a 25-18 win.

Pender had the confidence and momentum it needed heading into the fourth game and the Lady Patriots again built an early lead only to see Lakewood claw their way back in with tough serving and timely hitting. The Lady Leopards led at 21-20, 22-21, and 23-22 but the Lady Patriot girls made the plays down the stretch.

On the final two tallies you could see that Pender was not going to be denied, working to dig up balls and getting them to Sanabria who was getting out to the hitters in the two-point (25-23) Lady Patriots match-clinching victory

“As big a game as this was, in some ways I’d rather lose to them early in the season than later when it really matters,” said Lakewood Coach Sheila Davidson, downplaying the loss in an interview with the Sampson Independent.

Pender takes a short respite from conference play, albeit not an easy one, when the Lady Patriots travel to Wilmington on Monday (Sept. 17) for a non-conference match against a very good Wilmington Christian Academy squad. The girls in the red, white, & blue uniforms then stay on the road for conference matches on Tuesday and Wednesday when they travel first to Rocky Point for a match with neighboring Trask then to Newton Grove where they will face the Lady Wildcats of Hobbton on Thursday (Sept. 20).

Lakewood      25-14-18-23

Pender            23-25-25-25

Pender: Kayvia Thompson 16 kills, 13 digs, 4 blocks, 3 aces; K. B. Hansley 9 kills, 6 digs, 3 aces; Brenee’ Jones 2 kills, 5 blocks; Ruby Gasca 3 aces, 6 digs; Jackie Sanabria 36 assists, 1 kill; Alyssa Carter 9 kills, 2 blocks, 5 aces, 3 digs; Brianna Pittman 5 kills, 10 blocks; Cassidy Miller 12 kill, 4 digs.

Lakewood: Allyson Heinz 21 assists; Morgan Herring 12 points, 14 kills; Bailey Dudley 11 points, 3 kills; Tiesha Rich 9 kills, 2 blocks.

14th Sep2012

Lady Bulldogs rally for 3-2 win over Southwest Onslow

by Lee Wagner

JACKSONVILLE – After Wednesday’s loss to Jacksonville in which the Dixon High School volleyball team let a 2-0 lead dissolve into a 3-2 defeat, Lady Bulldogs’ Coach Heather Moore said her word of the day was, “Frustrating.”

Thursday, in a Coastal Plains1A Conference game against Southwest Onslow, it looked like that word –and feeling – was going to carry over into another night as Dixon quickly fell behind the Lady Stallions 2-0 because – well – they simply were unable to make routine plays as evidenced by a combined 30 unforced errors (17 in the first game and 13 in the second) that pretty much gift-wrapped the two Southwest victories.

So the usually mild-mannered Moore tried a different approach with her players in the huddle following that second contest. Instead of her usually positive, “We can get it done,” approach, Moore verbally took off on her team – a tactic that has mixed results with today’s young people – but last night, well, it worked to perfection.

Senior Hannah Sorenson was solid offensively at the net with 18 kills, senior Kelsey Pearce was all over the place with 15 service points, 17 assists, 11 blocks, 2 kills, and six digs, and their classmate Caitlin Trexel was nothing short of amazing on the back line with 24 digs as Dixon rallied from that 2-0 deficit to record a 3-2 (19-25, 23-25, 25-17, 25-23, 15-13) win over Southwest Onslow on Thursday in an extremely key Coastal Plains 1A Conference match in Holly Ridge.

With the win in the first conference game for both teams, Dixon grabbed the first leg up as they now stand at 3-4 overall but an extremely important 1-0 in the conference race. SWO is now 5-3 overall and an equally crucial – for the Lady Bulldogs – 0-1 in the conference.

“In the huddle after that second game I said, ‘I’m not sure you guys want to win,’” Moore said. “I told them if they couldn’t find a way to win this there would be consequences. It works when I chastise them in practice so thought I’d see if it worked here, and they found a way to be intense, and to work together, and that’s what we need on the court all the time if we’re going to be successful.”

Neither of those things was in evidence in the first two games, but especially in the first one. Dixon committed 17 unforced errors (balls out of bounds, balls hitting the floor, players in the net or over the line, balls into the net) in the first game, and the Lady Stallions took advantage of almost every miscue.

Nine of  Southwest’s first 11 points and 12 of their first 15 points were the result of Dixon hitting errors and, because of those
errors, the Lady Bulldogs were unable to put together any runs (one of three points) in the game as SWO won by six (25-19).

Dixon got a little better in the second game, but not much, as they committed 13 unforced errors. Despite that, the Lady Bulldogs stayed close in a game that was deadlocked 12 times – the last at 23-23 before a kill by Southwest’s Hali Bozenhart and an ace by her teammate Alexis France put Dixon in a 2-0 hole.

Enter the not-so-gentle Moore!

The Lady Bulldogs intensity rose and they cut down on their own mistakes (10) in the third game and never trailed even though the Lady Stallions would not let them open up any kind of a secure lead.

A three-point spurt behind kills by Alyssa Aquafredda, Miranda Davis, and Trexel produced an 8-5 Dixon lead. That margin stayed fairly consistent the rest of the game, although SWO did close to with two at 14-12. It was 19-16 in Dixon’s favor when Trexel went back on serve, and it was 24-19 when she relinquished it when a Southwest Onslow soft hit managed to find the floor on Dixon’s side of the net.

In the run, Sorenson, Darian Meridyth, and Alison Brown had kills, and Sorenson wrapped up the win with a kill.

There were only tied on three occasions (9-9, 10-10, & 14-14) in the fourth game but it, too, was highly competitive – and close. SWO used a five-point burst to take an 11-9 lead midway through the game but – trailing 14-12 – the Lady Bulldogs responded with a six-point splurge behind a pair of aces from Sorenson and kills from Sorenson and Meridyth to take an 18-14 lead.

Southwest pecked away and was within 24-21 before a missed-hit ball and a kill by Lady Stallion Amanda Allen brought the Lady Stallions to within one at 24-23. Sorenson quashed that attempted comeback with a game-winning kill.

“We were determined that we weren’t going to lose to them,” Brown said. “We came from a horrendous loss to Jacksonville on Wednesday and we were not going to let it happen again.”

The fifth game in a five-game match – which goes to 15 points rather than the usually 25 – is why volleyball coaches get gray hair, and this one probably added a new tint of gray to the heads of both Moore and Southwest Coach Bev Marley.

Pearce was on serve at the beginning of the game and an ace and a pair of kills by Sorenson staked the Lady Bulldogs to a 4-0 lead. SWO answered with a four-point run (all Dixon hitting errors) to tie the game at 4-4, and it was deadlock three more times at 6-6, 9-9, & 13-13.

A six-point run highlighted by kills from Pearce, Davis, and Aquafredda and a block by Pearce helped the Lady Bulldogs overcome a 9-7 deficit, producing a 14-9 lead. But SWO answered with a four point splurge to tie the game at 13-13.

Davis made it 14-13 with a kill that gave Dixon the service and a good serve by Davis produced a free ball that Trexel got to setter Kelli Peterson, and Peterson set it up for Aquafredda, and Aquafredda set off a wild celebration as she slammed the ball to the floor on the Southwest side of the court.

“In those last three games we played as a team, we all came together, and we were determined,” said Trexel, who along with her 24 digs only had one miss in 31 serve/receive opportunities.

Moore said it was a huge win for three key reasons.

“It’s huge because it sets the tone for the conference, it’s ever bigger because of the loss to Jacksonville last night, and it’s even bigger than that because we came back from two games down,” Moore said.

The Lady Bulldogs have work to do if they want to stay atop the conference standings, simply, they must put an end to matches where they commit a combined 65 unforced errors in giving an opponent 63.1 percent (65 of 103 SWO points). Rest assured, Moore will see to that.

It doesn’t get any easier for Dixon as the Lady Bulldogs will travel to Bayboro on Tuesday for a conference match against the Lady Hurricanes of Pamlico. Dixon stays on the road for the two conference games following that one –the first at Jones, Sr. on Thursday (Sept. 18), and the next at East Carteret on Tuesday, Sept. 25).

SWO               25-25-17-23-13

Dixon              19-23-25-25-15

Dixon: Darian Merydith 7 kills, 3 digs, 2 assists, 1 block; Alyssa Aquafredda 5 kills, 1 block, 12 ace; Kelsey Pearce 15 points, 11 blocks, 17 assists, 2 kills, 6 digs; Allison Brown 8 kills, 4 aces, 1 block, 1 assist, 3 digs; Hannah Sorenson 9 points, 18 kills, 5 aces, 3 blocks, 11 digs; Kelli Peterson 18 assists, 4 digs; Caitlyn  Trexel 24 digs, 1 kill; Miranda Davis 5 kills, 1 assist, 4 digs.

SWO: Hali Bozenhart 2 aces, 2 kills; Naya Burney 11 assists, 1 ace, 10 kills; Amanda McCurry 5 kills, 1 ace; Jesse Sbrocco 1 kill; Amanda Allen1 kill; Taylor Marley 13 assists, 1 ace, 7 kills; Alexis France 3 kills, 1 ace.

14th Sep2012

Week 4 of area High School football previews

by Lee Wagner

Each Friday Topsail News Online’s Lee Wagner will give a breakdown of each game our four local high school football teams will play. The feature will include breakdowns for not only our local team but their opponents. Stay tuned each week.


WHERE & WHEN: At Topsail High School, Hampstead, 7:30 p.m.

COACHES: Topsail – Bryan Davis, 7th year (35-23); Northside – Bob Eason.

SEASON’S RECORD: Topsail is 2-1 after a 16-13 win over Trask, a 26-7 win over 4A Ashley, and a 22-20 loss to Pender. Northside is 4-0 with wins over R. L. Fike (34-21), Jacksonville (12-0), West Craven (26-0), and White Oak (35-0).

NEXT GAME: Topsail travels to East Duplin for an East Central 2A Conference game. Northside returns to Jacksonville to face Swansboro in a conference tilt.

LAST PLAYED: Northside beat Topsail 43-21 on Sept. 16, 2011.

COMMON OPPONENTS: None at this time.

KEY PLAYERS FOR NORTHSIDE: QB Jake Erickson, WR Jose Cabrera, WR Shadell Markee.

KEY PLAYERS FOR TOPSAIL: Sr. RB/OLB Devin Williams, Soph. QB Austin Schoenleber, Sr. QB/WR/OLB Matt Gilgo, Sr. TE/DE Trevor Savidge, Sr. TE/LB Mason Kimmel, Sr. OL/DE Ben Houghton, Jr. OL/LB Jakeem Smith, Sr. PK Alex Webster, Sr. P/WR/DB Palmer Rice.

FOR NORTHSIDE TO WIN: Well, the Monarchs are 4-0 but the four teams they have played are a combined 5-10 and Jacksonville has three of their wins so it is hard to determine just how good this team is. They appear to have a good mix of running and passing, and QB Erikson can get the job done through the air but can he do that against – perhaps – one of the better defenses he will have faced to this point. Must mix it up and keep Topsail’s offense on sidelines and, defensively, must contain running of Williams and Hunter Jacobs (and Josh Jessup if he is healthy) while keeping Schoenleber off balance when he passes.

FOR TOPSAIL TO WIN: I was impressed with the way the Pirates shut down Quincy Rhodes and the high-powered offense last week, and they will need the same effort this week against a Bob-Eason coached Ashley triple-option offense. Mistakes kept Topsail from scoring more against both Trask and Pender and if they can eliminate them offensively I think they can move the ball against a good Northside defense that has pitched three shutouts in their four wins.


WHERE & WHEN: At Trask High School, Rocky Point, 7:30 p.m.

COACHES: Trask – Interim Coach Bill Mercier takes over for the ill Glenn Sellers, 1st game as a head coach (0-0). Sellers was 14-27; Midway – Tommy Sloan.

SEASON’S RECORD: Trask is 0-3 after a 42-14 loss to Ashley, a 26-14 loss to North Brunswick and 16-13 loss to Topsail. Midway is 3-1 with wins over Southside (34-21), Rosewood (44-7), and Princeton (62-30), and a loss to South Johnston (33-10.

NEXT GAME: Trask is at home against Lakewood, and Midway is at home against Wallace-Rose Hill.

LAST PLAYED: Trask beat Midway 44-26 on Sept. 19, 2011.


KEY PLAYERS FOR MIDWAY: QB Taylor Calcutt, WR Troy Spell, RB Aaron Thurman, K Jansen Wrench, RB Jeremy Robinson, LB Jordan Thompson, LB Luke Clark.

KEY PLAYERS FOR TRASK: QB/FS Larry Johnson, WR/FS Arthur Brown, WR/DB Ethan Bishoff, FB/LB Quan Brown, RB/DB Jakita Lane, RB/LB D. J. Love, TE/DE Kemodrick James, T/NG Josh Smith

FOR MIDWAY TO WIN: If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Raiders are 4-0, have scored 150 points in those four games while yielding just 91, and 33 of those came in only loss to South Johnston and 30 came after Raiders had large lead in 62-30 win over a not-very-good (0-4) Princeton team. Must move the ball consistently against an inconsistent Titans’ defense, and must work defensively on curtailing Quan Brown’s running, and the QB leadership of Johnson. Just for the record, Midway’s four opponents have a combined 6-10 record with South Johnston (3-1) and Southside (2-2) recording five of the six wins.

FOR TRASK TO WIN: With all due respect to Mercier and the rest of the Titans’ coaching staff, this could be a tough game in dealing with the loss due to illness of head coach Glenn Sellers. Truthfully, a lot depends on how the Trask players respond to that loss. Other than that, I am worried about whether the Titans’ defense can stop Midway. Offensively they can move the ball but they must avoid the turnovers and penalties that doomed them against Ashley.


WHERE & WHEN: At Pender High School, Burgaw, 7:30 p.m.

COACHES: Pender – Tony Hudson, 2nd year (4-10); Hobbton – Jeff Byrd.

SEASON’S RECORD: Pender is 1-2 after a 22-20 win over Topsail, a 41-18 loss to Whiteville, and a 21-16 loss to North Brunswick. Hobbton is 1-3 with an opening-game win over 0-4 Princeton (20-14), and consecutive losses to Fairmont (36-0), West Columbus (32-24), and North Duplin (42-7).

LAST PLAYED: Hobbton beat Pender 21-14 on Sept. 16, 2011.


NEXT GAME: Pender is at Union and Hobbton plays host to James Kenan.

KEY PLAYERS FOR HOBBTON: RB Rashad Davis, RB Charles Chestnut, K Eli Escalar.

KEY PLAYERS FOR PENDER: Soph. FB Sam Dixon, QB Nickey Wells, OL/DL Kymothy Murphy, OL/DL Jacob Dew, RB/LB Caleb Johnson, WR/S Rashawn Deloach, RB/CB Julius Powell, G/DE Zach Jones, T/DE Andre Donaldson

FOR HOBBTON TO WIN: Don’t want to jinx the Patriots but I don’t see it happening. Wildcats have given points in bunches (124) while scoring just 51 against four teams with a combined 6-10 record. To have any hope, Hobbton must shut down Dixon, keep the Pender option from getting outside, and force Wells into mistakes. Offensively must move the ball against a fairly-decent Patriots’ defense.

FOR PENDER TO WIN: Dixon, Dixon, and more Dixon until Hobbton proves it can stop him, then go outside with speed. Defensively just stay in their lanes and flow to the ball Hobbton does not have an omnipotent offense.


WHERE & WHEN: At North Duplin High School, Calypso, 7:30 p.m.

COACH: Dixon – Ray Swaney, 4th year (12-25); North Duplin – Hugh Martin.

SEASON’S RECORD: Dixon is 2-1 after wins over Princeton (24-20) and Mattamuskeet (34-0), and a 30-22 loss to Swansboro. North Duplin is 2-1 with wins over 2-2 Southside (48-14) and 1-3 Hobbton (42-7) around a 20-0 loss to 3-0 Lakewood.

NEXT GAME: Dixon play host to Spring Creek and North Duplin will be on the road at Lejeune.

LAST PLAYED: North Duplin beat Dixon 41-12 on Sept. 16, 2011.


KEY PLAYERS FOR NORTH DUPLIN: Sr. FB/LB Julio Mora, Sr. QB/DB Tyler Royal, K Antonio James.

KEY PLAYERS FOR DIXON: Sr. QB/S C. D. Hansley, Sr. C Travis Padgett, Sr. TE/DE Bryan Moore, Sr. T/DT Austin Rosensteel, Sr. DT Jake Strong, Sr. DT Eric Parker.

FOR NORTH DUPLIN TO WIN: Rebels can move the ball as evidenced by the fact they have put up 90 points in their two wins, albeit those two teams have a combine mark of 3-5. Mora is a good running back and he must be able to lead his team up and down the field against a better-than-average Dixon defense. Defensively the Rebels must contain Hansley and keep Dixon from sustaining long drives.

FOR DIXON TO WIN: Hey, I’m becoming a bit of a believer and this game could go a long way to propelling the Bulldogs to a good season. Record against the Rebels is not overly good the past few years. Hansley must run the offense precisely with no turnovers to keep a seemingly high-powered Rebels’ offense on the sidelines, and to do that the offensive line must have a very good day. Defensively let’s shut down Mora and the Rebels running game and see what Royal can do in the air.

13th Sep2012

Lady Bulldogs fall in five to Lady Cardinals

by Lee Wagner

JACKSONVILLE – The word that Dixon High School volleyball Coach Heather Moore used after Thursday night’s non-conference game at Jacksonville was, “Frustrating.”

It’s hard to decide if the frustration came from losing to a team the Lady Bulldogs had beaten 2-0 (25-16, 25-16) at the Battle of the Beach Tournament in Swansboro back in mid-August and 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-21) on Aug. 21 in a non-conference regular-season game in Holly Ridge, or if the frustration came from the sheer realization that her girls’ head were not in a somewhat meaningless game with a crucial Coastal Plains 1A Conference-opening game against Southwest Onslow on tap tonight.

Either way Moore was not a happy camper!

Senior Kelsey Pearce had 13 service points, four kills, 11 assists, an ace, and a block, classmate Allison Brown accounted for 13 points, four kills, eight aces, and a block, and Hannah Sorenson was a force at the net with seven points, eight kills, an assist, three aces, and a block but their combined efforts were still not enough to stave off defeat as Jacksonville gained a small measure of revenge on the two previous losses with a 3-2 (19-25, 18-25, 25-13, 25-18, 12-15) win over Dixon on Thursday on the Lady Cardinals’ home court.

Dixon dropped to 2-4 overall but Moore’s hope is they can put the pre-conference schedule – and certainly the loss to Jacksonville – in the rear-view mirror as they await the visit from conference foe, and contender, Southwest Onslow tonight.

“We struggled with consistent passing in the first game against a Jacksonville team that was much better that the last two times we saw them,” Moore said. “In both games one and two we had a hard time coming back from a hole we got ourselves in with numerous errors.

“The third and fourth games were much more intense as we focused on passing and talking on the court to bring things back to Dixon ball. Unfortunately in a short game to 15, with as many hitting errors as kills and numerous service errors, we were not able to pull it out.

“Our goal now is to focus on tomorrow. I told them when they left that they had to visualize what they needed to do tomorrow and not dwell on what happened today. Our goal now is to focus on a big game tomorrow. We are going to increase kills and service points and decrease errors to pull out a big win.”

If that type of confidence spills over to her players, than the Lady Stallions of SWO could be in for a long night.

Jacksonville (6-6) was solid in the opening game and in the second game as well, and combined with the poor passing and hitting errors of Dixon the Lady Cardinals prevailed with the game-clinching points in both of those games coming on Dixon hitting miscues.

Moore was animated in the team huddle between the second and third games, and the Lady Bulldogs responded. An ace by Sorenson and a kill by Alyssa Aquafredda put the finishing touches on a 12-point victory in the third game, and Dixon rode that momentum to a seven-point win in the third game – clinching the win on an ace by senior setter Kellie Peterson.

In the fifth and deciding game that goes to 15 points rather than the normal 25 Jacksonville took an early 4-0 lead. The Lady Bulldogs closed to within one at 7-6 on a kill by Sorenson. That lead stayed at one point for the Lady Cardinals before a three-point surge provided the hosts with a 13-9 advantage.

Dixon kept fighting and got to within two at 14-12 before a long serve that went out of bounds gave Jacksonville the game-clinching – and match-clinching – final point.

Dixon                   19-18-25-25-12

Jacksonville         25-25-13-18-15

Dixon: Hannah Sorenson 7 points, 8 kills, 1 assist, 3 aces, 1 block; Kelsey Pearce 13 points, 4 kills, 11 assists, 1 ace, 1 block; Allison Brown 13 points, 4 kills, 8 aces, 1 block; Miranda Davis 6 kills.

Jacksonville: Emily Rideout 7 kills, 4 aces, 15 digs; Kaiya Wallace 19 digs.

13th Sep2012

ESA ends competition season in North Topsail Beach

by Contributor

ESA/Central North Carolina ended its local competition season on Saturday, September 1, at Access 4 in North Topsail Beach.  Conditions were less than ideal with small knee to thigh waves.  Competitors performed well despite the lack of surf.  Many were anxious to complete the season then wait for the tropical swells that often grace us in September.

Stevie Pittman was the stand-out performer of the contest.  Just returned from a Hurley Surf Camp in California, Pittman executed turns as if he was in chest high surf.  He easily won his age group then went on to dominate the Open final.

Paul Poston also excelled in the small conditions winning both the Grandmasters and the Masters Longboard Divisions.

In the Novice Menehune Division (push in), three young surfers went wave for wave with each other.  Preston Walker emerged the champion in a very close final.

Team CNC will head to Nags Head, NC on September 16th to compete in the week-long ESA Eastern Surfing Championships.  There they will compete against the best surfers on the East Coast, Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico.

Here are the results of Contest 6, sponsored by Nixon and Mike Connolly.


Novice Menehune                  2A Boys                      3A Boys                      3A Jr. Men

1.Preston Walker                     1. Bradley Rideout     1. Stevie Pittman         1. Mason O’Neal

2.Bentley Reese                      2. John Guarino           2. Ruffin Mancuso      2. Jared Stilley

3.Cooper Hanford                                                       3. Braden Munden      3. Thomas Horner

4.Hunter Draughon     4. Christian Norris

5. Blake Reese

6. Zach Crawford

3A Men                                  Masters                       Sr. Men                      Grandmasters

1.Cameron Privette                 1. Tate Hanford          1. Jerry Ennett             1. Paul Poston

2.Philip Rice                            2. Curtis Evans            2. Kiley Hanford         2. Phil Munden

3. Josh Bradley           3. Dan Brinson            3. Pem Mancuso

4.Nathan Eubanks

Legends                                  Girls                            Jr. Women                 Ladies           

1.Tim Nixon                            1. Sydney Pittman      1. Brook Reese            1. Beth Schub

2.Bruce Willis                                                             2. Brianna Balderson

3.David Sledge

4.Scott Rice


Menehune Longboard          Jr. Longboard           Men’s Longboard     Masters Longboard

1.Ruffin Mancuso                   1. Thomas Horner       1. Josh Bradley           1. Paul Poston

2.Hunter Draughon                 2. Christian Norris       2. Jimmy Cannette      2. Phil Munden

3.Braden Munden                                                       3. Philip Rice               3. Pem Mancuso

Legends Longboard              Jr. Womens Longboard                               Ladies Longboard

1.Bruce Willis                         1. Sydney Pittman                                          1. Beth Schub

2.Scott Rice                            2. Brook Reese

3.David Sledge                       3. Brianna Balderson

4.Tim Nixon

5.Bill Berry


Menehune Bodyboard          Open Shortboard      Open Longboard

1.John Guarino                        1. Stevie Pittman         1. Thomas Horner

2.Braden Munden                   2. Jared Stilley                        2.Scott Rice

3.Hunter Draughon                 3. Cameron Privett      3. David Sledge

4.Mason O’Neal          4. Ruffin Mancuso

5.Thomas Horner

6. Ruffin Mancuso

13th Sep2012

Morris steps down as Pirates’ baseball coach

by Lee Wagner

HAMPSTEAD – In a somewhat disappointing move to all involved in Topsail High School athletics in general, and the highly-successful baseball program in particular, Pirates’ Athletic Director B. J. Horne announced today that Ryan Morris has found it necessary to step down as the head baseball coach due to a potentially highly-successful business opportunity.

“When we (Morris and Horne) spoke a few weeks ago Ryan expressed the feeling he could work in his new endeavor and he could make coaching baseball work along with it,” Horne said. “But since then, in talking to his new employer (Edward Jones Investments) and to his wife, he felt he would not be able to give the kids the time that would be necessary for them to be successful, and that it wouldn’t be fair to the kids or the program to stay on.

“We met with him on Monday and that’s when he informed us and we met with the kids yesterday (Wednesday) at lunch time. We’re going to post the job and conduct interviews as soon as the opportunities present themselves but it’s going to be difficult to find someone this time of the year. We have a mathematics (teaching) opening right now but it will be difficult to find a baseball coach who can teach math and be willing to make the move at this time.”

Morris, who led the Pirates to an overall record of 20-5 and an East Central 2A Conference championship mark of 11-3 in his first, and only, year at the helm of the Pirates’ program, said it was an excruciating decision and the first time in his life he found it necessary to step away from the game of baseball, but it was a move he had to make.

“It was time to make a decision with a career choice that was best for my family in a great area where we hope to stay for a long time,” said Morris, who had been working as a teacher’s assistant in the Exceptional Children’s Program. “I will be getting my own branch with Edward Jones Investments in Hampstead. My intention all summer long was to continue to coach but in the last two weeks I realized how challenging it was going to be to get my business started.

“I also started thinking seriously about what affect it would have on my family. My wife has a very good job as an area supervisor for Pfeifer Pharmaceuticals where she travels a lot, and I just realized it was not going to work.”

Morris said that one of the main reasons he made the decision he did was that it wouldn’t be fair to the kids to not be able to give them the attention he would want for the program to continue to be successful.

“These kids deserve every ounce of energy that I have, and I was doubtful whether I could put enough energy in the program for it to be successful,” Morris said. “When I started doubting that commitment, I knew.

“All along I preached to the kids that whenever you do something, to be successful, you need to put every ounce of energy into it, and I live my life the same way. I told them I was not going to be able to give them what they needed. They were disappointed, I think, and at least no one cheered when we met.”

Morris said he very much appreciated the support he received from the administration, the parents, his coaches, and especially the kids.

“I would like to recognize the fact these kids were asked to do a very difficult thing last year with a change in the leadership of the program,” Morris said. “A lot of time, when faced with that type of change, you take a step back but this bunch did not do that, and I think that’s indicative of the fact this is a very special group. I will miss the game of baseball, and especially these players, very much but I feel in my heart it was the right thing to do at this time.”

Along with the search for a new baseball coach, Horne indicated they were on the brink of interviewing applicants for the recently-vacated girls’ basketball coaching position that opened when former Coach Sarah Graves left to take a job at Forrest Hills Elementary School in Wilmington – less than five minutes from her home.