Western Harnett’s Laron Gilchrist will get the opportunity to don the football pads one more time as the fullback has been selected to play in the 2014 East-West All-Star football game on July 23 in Greensboro. The annual game, which has been played since 1949, pits the best gridiron players from the eastern part of the state against the best from the west.
Gilchrist is not your typical running back as the 5’10 ball carrier tips the scale at 275 pounds, outweighing several of his offensive linemen. The three-year varsity starter posts a 4.8 40-yard dash time and possesses an uncanny combination of power, athleticism and speed which helped him finish as the Eagles' leading rusher this past year with 116 carries for 764 yards and seven touchdowns.
Western Harnett Coach Jason Furrie said, “Laron is built like a lineman but has the feet of a tailback. He can do handsprings into a back flip; it’s amazing to see someone of his size be so athletic.” Scotland County Head Coach Richard Bailey and the rest of the East All-Star team coaching staff was very impressed with Gilchrist’s highlight film and plans to use him on the defensive side of the football as well as in the offensive backfield.
Other regional players making the team include linebacker Matt Powell from Panther Creek, athlete Tyler Williams from Fuquay-Varina, kicker Jackson Maples from Pinecrest, linebackers Montez Samuals and Willie McDonald from Douglas Byrd, defensive lineman TJ Class from Pine Forest and offensive lineman Shayron Jones from St. Pauls.
Micah Lawrence (LCHS) turned in a new personal best as he finished tied for sixth in the Irish Creek Intercollegiate at The Club at Irish Creek in Kannapolis, helping Barton College to a second-place finish out of 18 teams last week. Lawrence turned in rounds of 72 and 73 to finish with a 145. His nine birdies in two rounds were the second most made birdies in the tournament. Barton finished with a team score of 589, just three strokes behind team title winner Newberry College. Lawrence and the Bulldogs continued their good play through this weekend, leading the Echo Farms Intercollegiate at the Echo Farms Golf and Country Club in Wilmington after first-day play. The Bulldogs currently lead the 10-team field by eight strokes. Lawrence again finds himself in the top 10, tied for seventh with an opening round 76. Barton will take next week off and be back in action March 17-18 hosting the Barton Intercollegiate in Wilson.
Akeem Richmond (SLHS) continues to be hot at the right time of year as he would lead East Carolina (16-14, 5-10) to a 75-68 victory over UNC Charlotte in the Pirates' final home game of the regular season. Richmond sank eight three pointers to lead the Pirates with 27 points, while adding five rebounds, three steals and an assist in 40 minutes of play. Richmond has now scored 25 or more points in a game eight different times in his career and made eight or more treys in a game four different times. The Pirates would not have the same luck against Marshall as they would fall to the Thundering Herd, 64-61. Richmond finished as ECU's second-leading scorer with 15 points. With one game left to play in the regular season, Richmond has moved into 14th place on the NCAA Division I career three point field goals made list with 399. His 540 points this season are the fifth-most in a single-season in ECU school history. The Pirates will travel to Old Dominion for their final regular season game on Thursday.
Alex Tucker (LCHS) and Bethel University (19-11, 10-9) ended their regular season with a loss to Martin Methodist, 72-65, and a win over Mobile, 83-82.
Josh Mellette (SLHS) and Wake Tech (19-10, 13-4) wrapped up their regular season with a dramatic overtime win over Lenoir CC, 97-90. Mellette finished with 11 points and 18 rebounds, while adding six assists, three steals and two blocks.
Brianna Taylor (SLHS) and the Wake Tech (14-10, 9-7) ended their regular season with two losses — falling to Catawba Valley CC, 67-63, and Louisburg College, 82-60. Taylor would come off of the bench against the Buccaneers to score two points while adding three rebounds and a steal.
Dillon Frye (1-0) (LCHS) and Nova Southeastern University (14-2, 2-1) opened conference play going 2-1 against Florida Tech, winning the first game, 5-2, dropping the second, 10-2, and winning the third, 3-2. Frye earned his first victory of the year with the Sharks' 3-2 victory over the Panthers, pitching four innings, facing 17 batters, giving up two runs on four hits while striking out two. Nova will have a four-game home stand hosting Southern New Hampshire on Wednesday and then a three-game series with Eckerd College this weekend.
Nick Durazo (LCHS) and East Carolina (6-5) suffered a mid-week 3-0 loss to VCU before sweeping the 11th Annual Keith LeClair Classic with wins over Western Kentucky in extra innings 2-1, Pittsburgh, 4-2, and Ohio State, 3-2. Durazo would see action against VCU, coming in for relief in the seventh inning, facing eight batters and giving up two runs on three hits while striking out one. The Pirates will play four games this week, traveling to UNC Greensboro on Wednesday before hosting Marshall for a three-game series this weekend.
Justin Cox (SLHS) and Ferrum College (7-4, 5-1) finished 2-3 this past week in losing to Hampden-Sydney, 15-5, and Bridgewater, 7-2, before beating Maryville College, 13-0 and 12-3, and then losing the final game, 17-14. Cox started in centerfield and batted leadoff for the Panthers, finishing the Maryville series 4-of-12 at the plate scoring five runs with one RBI. Ferrum will again play five games this week with mid-week games against Bridgewater College and Emory & Henry College before a three-game series with LaGrange College this weekend.
Jared Kehagias (SLHS), Jacobi Harris (Northwood), Kory Wood (Overhills) and North Carolina Central (2-7-1) finished 1-3 last week, falling to High Point, 16-3, before splitting games with North Carolina A&T — losing the first two games of their MEAC opener, 6-5 and 5-1, then battling back to win game three, 9-3. Against High Point, Wood played left field, finishing 1-of-1, while Kehagias started at second and was 0-of-3 from the plate. In the weekend series with the Aggies, Wood started in center field, going 2-of-12 and scoring one run, while Kehagias served as a designated hitter going 2-of-8 while also scoring one run. The Eagles will play five games this week, traveling to face Asheville today then hosts Longwood University on Wednesday before traveling to Daytona Beach this weekend for a three-game series with Bethune-Cookman University.
Alex Scott (LCHS), Conner Gaines (SLHS) and Wake Tech (1-9, 1-4) celebrated their first win of the season in dramatic fashion this past weekend as it took the Eagles 13 innings to dispatch Catawba Valley CC, 1-0. Scott started at shortstop for Wake Tech, finishing 2-of-5 at the plate. The Buccaneers won the first game of the series, 10-6. Earlier in the week, Wake Tech fell to Louisburg, 9-0. The Eagles will play four games this week, traveling to Louisburg on Wednesday and then hosting Surry CC for a three-game series this weekend.
Jennibeth Burge (SLHS), Lauren Martin (NHS), Caroline Womble (WHHS), Taylor Hains (LCHS) and Peace College (5-9, 1-3) finished 1-5 last week while earning their first conference victory. Against Guilford, the Pacers lost 10-0 and 10-5 in four innings with Martin picking up the loss in game two. Burge scored two of Peace’s five runs in game two with a 1-for-1, two RBI performance at the plate. Peace lost to Huntingdon, 4-3 and 9-1. Burge would account for one of the RBI in game one while scoring the only run for the Pacers in game two. Hains would start in left field in game two going 0-of-2 at the plate. Peace would pick up its first conference victory against LaGrange, 5-4. The Pacers would fall in the second game, 3-1. In Peace’s win, Burge finished 1-of-3 batting with one RBI, while Hains would go 0-of-2 with one RBI, Womble would score one run as a pinch runner. The Pacers will play 10-game marathon this week hosting Christopher Newport in a doubleheader today, Greensboro in a doubleheader on Wednesday, Piedmont in a doubleheader on Friday, Covenant in a doubleheader on Saturday and then travel to Salem on Sunday for a doubleheader.