Davidson Day's Grier named nation’s top high school football player

DAVIDSON – Davidson Day quarterback Will Grier was named Mr. Football USA, on a vote by a five-member panel of Student Sports football experts. The award is given to the nation’s top high school football player. Student Sports has a magazine, website and television branches.

Grier, who graduated in December and has enrolled at the University of Florida, passed for 4,989 yards and 77 touchdowns, which set a state record. He helped Davidson Day win its third straight state championship.

Previous winners of the Mr. Football USA award include Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (1993), Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (2005) and former NFL running backs Emmitt Smith (1986), Herschel Walker (1979), Eric Dickerson (1978), Marcus Allen (1977), Earl Campbell (1973) and Tony Dorsett (1972).


Big game for Hopewell alum

DAVIDSON – Hannah Early, a Hopewell High graduate, scored 16 of her game-high 22 points in the second half of Davidson College’s 79-66 victory at Georgia Southern in Southern Conference women’s basketball Jan. 18.

Davidson won its third straight to improve to 9-9 overall and 6-1 in conference.

Early, a junior, was 9-of-16 shooting, including 6-of-9 in the second half. All three of her 3-pointers were during Davidson’s 19-7 run that turned a 56-54 lead into 75-61 advantage with less that three minutes left. It was the seventh time Early has scored 20 or more points.

Laura Murray (19 points, six assists and five rebounds) and Dakota Dukes (10 points) also played well for Davidson. The Wildcats will next play at Appalachian State (Jan. 25) and Western Carolina (Jan. 27).


Brooks leads Davidson hoops to win

DAVIDSON – De’Mon Brooks, a Hopewell High graduate, scored 24 points to lead the Davidson College men’s basketball team to a 93-82 victory at UNC Greensboro in a Southern Conference game Jan. 18.

Brooks, a senior, was 8-of-13 from the floor and 8-of-10 at the free throw line to record his third 20-point effort in the past five games and 20th of his career. Jack Gibbs followed with 17 points, hitting all 12 of his free throws, while Brian Sullivan added 14 points, including three 3-pointers.

Davidson (8-11) improved to 4-1 in the Southern Conference. The game marked the 750th of coach Bob McKillop’s 25-year tenure (he has a 460-290 record) and the 2,500th in Davidson men’s basketball history. The Wildcats will next play at Western Carolina at 7 p.m. Jan. 23.


Lake Norman Charter sweeps conference swim meets

HUNTERSVILLE – Lake Norman Charter won the boys’ and girls’ team championships at the Big South 3A/4A conference meet Jan. 16.

The Knights boys’ team scored 361 points, well ahead of Gastonia Ashbrook (222 points) and Belmont South Point (210). Lake Norman Charter’s girls finished first with 290 points, followed by Gastonia Forestview (265) and South Point (249).

The Lake Norman Charter boys won three relay events – the 200-yard medley (Ben Hardin, Corrin Rothwell, Drew Queen and Sean Powers), the 200-yard freestyle (John Creel, Tyler Henderson, Andrew Farber and Matt Cuttino) and the 400-yard freestyle (Powers, Rothwell, Hardin and Queen).

Queen also won conference titles in the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke. Powers was conference champ in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles. Rothwell won the 200-yard freestyle.


SouthLake Christian on a hot streak

HUNTERSVILLE – The SouthLake Christian boys’ basketball team used balanced scoring to beat Asheville School 88-54 on Jan. 17.

The Eagles improved to 12-6 by winning for the sixth time in the past seven games.

Jalen Sanders led SouthLake with 21 points, nine assists and five steals. Kahlil Robinson had 16 points and five steals, Preston Smith scored 15, and Hayden Goins and Cody Cox added 10 points each.

SouthLake shot 51 percent (31-of-61) and forced 30 turnovers.


Eagles wrestler has standout season

HUNTERSVILLE – Hamilton Hewitt, a junior wrestler at SouthLake Christian, is tied for sixth nationally among 145-pound wrestlers in points scored, according to the National Wrestling Coaches Association website (www.nwcaonline.com).

Hamilton is 39-6 and has scored 218 points. Of his 39 victories, 26 have been by pin, which generate six points for the winner’s team.

Technical falls (victories by 15 or more points) count for five points, major decisions (victories by 8-14 points) are worth four points and a decision by 1-7 points earns three team points.


Dates set for 2014 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas football combines

FORT MILL, S.C. – The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas will hold five combines for juniors who’re interested in potentially being picked for the game or being noticed by college scouts.

The opportunity costs $20, cash only. High school coaches and fans will be admitted for free.

The combines will be April 5 at Eastern Alamance High in Mebane; April 12 at Rocky River High in Mint Hill; April 26 at South Johnston High in Four Oaks; May 31 Reynolds High in Asheville; and June 7 at Washington High.

There is no advance registration for Shrine Bowl combines. At each event, registration for kickers, punters and long snappers will be at 9:30 a.m., registration for position players at 10 a.m., kickers’ start time at 10 a.m., and position players’ start time at 11 a.m.

Each player’s height and weight will be measured. They’ll be tested in the vertical jump, 40-yard dash, pro agility shuttle and bench press repetitions (all position players will lift 185 pounds as many times as they can).

Each position player will work with coaches at his position and participate in football-related drills. Players can only attend one combine, and they will receive a T-shirt. They’re encouraged to bring videos for the Shrine Bowl coaching staff to evaluate.