On Campus 2/12/13
Aaron Mellette’s dream has taken another step toward becoming a reality. This past week, the Phoenix wide receiver became just the second player in Elon school history to earn an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine, joining former Phoenix linebacker Chad Nkang as a combine invitee. Nkang was invited in 2007 and was later drafted in the seventh round of the NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Mellette will travel to Indianapolis, Ind., where he will participate in the combine, which is held from Feb. 20-26 at Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts. The NFL Network will provide live coverage. Wide receivers are scheduled to arrive on Feb. 21 and will spend the first two days completing a medical examination, orientation, official measurements and interviews. On day three, Mellette will participate in the bench press, go through psychological testing and a players association meeting. On his final day, Feb. 24, he will partake in on-field testing, which includes the 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, three cone drill and shuttle run.
Other in-state college players receiving an invitation include N.C. State’s Mike Glennon-QB, Earl Wolff-DB, Zach Allen-OL and David Amerson-DB; the University of North Carolina’s Giovani Bernard-RB, Travis Bond-OL, Jonathan Cooper-OL, Brennan Williams-OL, Sylvester Williams-DL and Kevin Reddick-LB; Wake Forest’s Tommy Bohanon-FB; Duke’s Sean Renfree-QB and Conner Vernon-WR, and Appalachian State’s Demetrius McCray-DB.
National Signing Day
Last Wednesday, high school athletes across the nation participated in national signing day, making official their collegiate athletic intentions. Lee County High School recognized 11 athletes signing the dotted the line by holding an assembly in the gymnasium and celebrating the final exclamation on these young athlete’s high school athletic careers. This was the largest group of Yellow Jackets to sign since the spring of 2006. Nine of the 11 athletes were football players and included: Chase Arrington QB - Gardner-Webb, Brian Stryffeler OL - Wingate, Austin Johnson OL - Brevard, T.J. Lett WR - Brevard, James Foushee RB - Guilford, Reese Setzer OL - Guilford, Tre Wells TE - Greensboro College and Cody Lanier OL - UNC Pembroke. Ben Grossfuss, who split time as a kicker on the football team and leading scorer the past two seasons on the soccer pitch, was undecided between Guilford and Lynchburg College to play soccer. Rounding out the signing class were Lady Jacket soccer players, Olivia Sturdivant, goalie, who will play for Kennesaw State, and defenseman Jill Davis, who signed with High Point University.
Opponents of Lee County and Southern Lee celebrated some of their players signing letters of intent as well. Here is a rundown of where football players from the 4A Tri-Nine and Cape Fear Valley 3A conferences landed, as well as some other local teams.
Middle Creek: Blake Aaron - Campbell, James Ferguson - Greensboro, Brian Hughes - Methodist, Jeff Sladek - Tusculum, Naylaan Lopez - Tusculum, Ryan Dowell - Campbell, David Salmon - Campbell.
Fuquay-Varina: Josh Ricci - Lenoir-Rhyne, Jon McBride - N.C. Central.
Panther Creek: Christian Hartsfield - Shaw, Mike Sutton - Air Force.
Holly Springs: Daniel Fish - Old Dominion.
Green Hope: Dylan Hartigan - Wingate.
Cape Fear Valley 3A
Grays Creek: Patrick Roane - N.C. State.
Other Local Teams
Richmond County: Devante Covington - South Carolina, Dakwa Nichols - N.C. State, Alex Norton - Air Force, Tyrone Crowder - Clemson, Taivon Jones - Wingate, Trent Bostick - UNCC.
Jordan-Matthews: Will Cockman - UNC Pembroke.
Pinecrest: Luke Fetia - Army.
Three-time All-American and defending national champion Mike Williams (SLHS) is making national headlines as a finalist for the “The NCAA Nation’s Most Dominating Wrestler” award as well as being one of the nation’s top ranked wrestlers in most falls and tech falls across all divisions in the NCAA Division II. Williams currently boasts a 31-1 record, placing him in fourth place on the NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler listing for Division II. He is also listed in sixth place on the NCAA Division II pins leaders chart. Of his 31 wins this season, eight have come via the pin, three others have come by technical fall and eight more have been by major decision. The Most Dominant Wrestler standings are calculated by adding the total number of points awarded through match results and dividing that number by the total number of matches wrestled. Points awarded per match are as follows: Fall, forfeit, injury default or DQ = 6 points (-6 points for a loss), Tech falls = 5 points (-5 points for a loss), Major decision = 4 points (-4 points for a loss), and Decision = 3 points (-3 points for a loss). Williams, whose lone loss came via a technicality at the Pembroke Classic in mid-November, has won 47-straight matches against NCAA Division II competition heading into the NCAA Super Region I Tournament on Feb. 22-23 in Kutztown, Pa.
Akeem Richmond (SLHS) and East Carolina (13-9, 4-5) were beaten by Central Florida, 83-73, in their only game of the week. Richmond was the leading scorer from off the bench, contributing six points, two rebounds and one assist in 14 minutes of play. The Pirates will host two games this week as University of Alabama Birmingham comes calling on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tipoff and Southern Miss will arrive on Saturday for a 5 p.m. game.
Julian Martin (SLHS) and N.C. Wesleyan (15-9, 6-7) split games last week, falling to Greensboro on Senior Night, 93-86. Martin got the start at guard and finished with six points, two steals and a rebound in 16 minutes of play. The Battling Bishops bounced back later in the week to pick up a win over William Peace, 88-78, with Martin coming off the bench to score 10 points while adding three assists and two rebounds. N.C. Wesleyan then dropped Sunday night’s game to LaGrange, 94-86. Martin was the leading scorer off of the bench scoring nine points and adding one steal and one block in 15 minutes on the floor. N.C. Wesleyan will wrap up their regular season this week traveling to Christopher Newport on Wednesday.
Josh Mellette (SLHS) and the Wake Tech (18-5) continue to soar as the Eagles are now a perfect 8-0 in conference play and riding an eight-game winning streak. Wake Tech registered wins last week over Johnston CC, 91-60, Lenoir CC, 77-64, and Catawba Valley CC 87-75. The Eagles will host two games this week as Louisburg College visits on Wednesday and Patrick Henry CC visits Saturday.
Ace Chalmers (SLHS) and Davidson CC (19-6, 2-4) split games this week, downing Pitt CC, 107-84, but then coming up short against Caldwell CC, 98-91. Against Pitt, Chalmers came off the bench to lead the team in steals with three while adding two points, four assists and a rebound in 22 minutes of play. He started at guard versus Caldwell, leading the team in playing time with over 30 minutes, steals with four and assists with three while adding 10 points and three rebounds. The Storm will hit the court three times this week hosting Sandhills CC at 7 p.m. Wednesday, then traveling to Sanford to take on Central Carolina CC at 3 p.m. Saturday before returning home on Sunday for a 7 p.m. game against Guilford Tech CC.
Alex Tucker (LCHS) and Francis Marion University (9-10, 4-8) split games last week, losing to UNC Pembroke, 91-68, and then returning home to hold onto a 77-76 Peach Belt Conference victory over Lander. In the loss to Pembroke, Tucker went a perfect 4-of-4 from the floor scoring eight points and grabbing a rebound in nine minutes of play. Tucker would only see three minutes of playing time against Lander, but still managed to score one point in the Patriots' win. Francis Marion will be at home both games this week as it hosts North Georgia on Thursday and then welcomes Young Harris on Saturday for Homecoming.
Elijah Buie, Dwayne McEachin (Grace Christian) and Davis College (10-11, 3-1) extended their winning streak to four games by going 3-0 last week. The Falcons scores wins over SUNY ESF, 95-74, Patrick Henry College, 83-32, and closed out the week with an overtime victory over Mid-Atlantic University, 81-80. Davis will play two games this week, hosting Delhi College tonight and then traveling to Christendom College on Saturday.
Russell Tatum (LCHS) and Peace College (3-12) fell to Sandhills CC, 91-60, and N.C. Wesleyan, 88-78, last week. Tatum saw 13 minutes on the court against N.C. Wesleyan, collecting one rebound. Peace will close out its 2012-2013 season this week hosting Mid-Atlantic Christian University tonight at 7:30 p.m. and then traveling to Pitt CC on Saturday for a 3 p.m. contest.
Yazzy Butler (SLHS) and UNC Pembroke (10-12, 4-9) finished 0-2 last week, dropping a close game to Francis Marion, 72-69, and then losing to Flagler, 71-46. The two losses in league play now drop the Lady Braves to sixth place in the Peach Belt Conference. UNCP will be on the road this week traveling to Young Harris on Thursday for a 5:30 contest and North Georgia on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. game.
Several collegiate baseball teams opened their season last week, while others will celebrate their opening day this week to kick off the 2013 baseball season.
Justin Cox (SLHS) and Ferrum College (1-4, 0-3) opened their season last Sunday with a 7-6 victory over Eastern Mennonite University. The Panthers would go on to drop close games against Roanoke College, 2-1, and a two-game series with Christopher Newport, 8-7 and 2-1. Cox started in left field for the Panthers in all three games and turned in his best game against Christopher Newport, going 2-for-3 with a single and a double, scoring one run. Ferrum will have a four-game homestand this week hosting Bridgewater College today and then a three-game series with Greensboro College this weekend.
Dillon Frye (LCHS) and N.C. State will open their season Friday at 3 p.m. as the Wolfpack hosts Appalachian State for a three-game series this weekend.
Nick Durazo (LCHS) and East Carolina will open their season this weekend as they host the University of Virginia for a three-game series with games Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Russell Clark (LCHS) and Campbell will open this Friday at 3 p.m. hosting a three-game series with Eastern Michigan. The Fighting Camels will complete the series on Saturday with a doubleheader at 1and 4 p.m.
Garrett Verrilli (LCHS) and the University of North Carolina club baseball team will play a three-game series this weekend with Coastal Carolina. A doubleheader is scheduled for Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. with game three being played on Sunday at noon. Verrilli is listed as an outfielder and left-handed pitcher.
Bkaye Smith (SLHS) and Virginia Tech (4-1) opened their season this weekend playing in the Dot Richardson National Collegiate Softball Invitational in Clermont, Fla. The Lady Hokies got off to a quick start by collecting wins over LIU Brooklyn 9-1, Southern Illinois 4-2 and Chattanooga 7-5. Their winning ways came to a halt against Fordham as the Rams handed Tech their first loss of the season 2-0, but the Lady Hokies bounced back to win their final game against Southern Illinois 9-0. Smith started at shortstop all five games of the tournament and collected four put outs and eight assists defensively. At the plate, she went 2-for-6 with a single and a double, scoring two runs and collecting four walks. Virginia Tech will be back in action this weekend when the Lady Hokies travel to Troy, Ala., to participate in the Troy Subway Invitational. Opening round games of the five-game tournament will be against North Florida, Evansville and Troy.