by Chris Hunt, Aaron Garcia and C. Jemal Horton

Hough High standouts make all-state soccer team
The N.C. Soccer Coaches Association released its 2011 girls all-state team this week, and three Hough High School players were selected.

Junior midfielder Hannah Robinson, junior goalkeeper Emily Rusk and junior forward Allison Stearns each earned all-state accolades on the Class 4A squad. Stearns also was named to the 4A all-state team last season, when she played for the 2010 state champion, North Mecklenburg High.

Two more Lake Norman-area players were named to the 4A team, as Lake Norman High’s Kendall Fischlein and Allye Mertes were chosen.

Each year, the NCSCA releases all-state squads for the Class 4A, 3A, 2A, 1A and private-school levels. A number of other Mecklenburg County players were selected this year.

The Class 4A all-star team included Ardrey Kell’s Liska Dobberstein, Emilee Engelhaupt and Nicole Steyl; Myers Park’s Katie Carroll and Carly Hammack; and Butler’s Kelly Culicerto.

The Class 3A all-state team featured Charlotte Catholic’s Jane Cline and Morgan Luckie.

On the private-school all-state squad, Mecklenburg County honorees included Charlotte Country Day’s  Kelly Bach, Adelaide Cummings, Raina Johnson and Courtney Stutts; Charlotte Latin’s Ashley Finke; and Matthews Covenant Day’s Mackenzie Weigel





Bonds, Caldwell join college squads

Davidson Day boys basketball players Jimmy Bonds and Omar Caldwell become the fourth and fifth players from the Patriots’ Class of 2011 to join a college basketball team.

Bonds will be a preferred walk-on at Wingate University, while Caldwell accepted a spot at Sewanee: The University of the South, a Division III program in Tennessee.
Bonds and Caldwell join a list that includes teammates Bernard Sullivan  (Clemson University), Gabe Mercer (Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania) and Keith Belfield (Furman University).

Athletes earn top I-MECK honors
The I-MECK 4A released its baseball, softball and girls soccer all-conference teams last week, and Hopewell, North Mecklenburg and Hough High School each claimed player of the year awards.
• Senior shortstop Michael Russell, a University of North Carolina recruit, was named the league’s Baseball Player of the Year. Russell helped the Titans reach the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs as a No. 3 seed out of the I-MECK.

Russell’s Titan teammates Cam Underwood and Hunter Conley made the I-MECK all-conference team. So did Hough’s Nick Daddio and Jared Sobo, as well as North Meck’s Anthony Dimino and Paul Leonard.

Lake Norman High’s Taylor Thurber is the conference’s Pitcher of the Year. Lake Norman’s Robert Little is Coach of the Year.
• Big-hitting catcher Sarah Mooney was named the I-MECK’s Softball Player of the Year after she amassed double digits in home runs for the second consecutive season.

As of May 25, Mooney boasted 19 home runs and a .700 batting average this season. It was the senior’s third consecutive player of the year honor. Mooney was an All-American selection last season. The Vikings advanced to the 4A Western Regional semifinals with a mark of 24-4.

North Meck’s Morgan Lashley, Chelsea Parton and Hannah Foret joined Mooney on the all-conference team. Hopewell’s Lindsey Russell, Tayla Berry and Breanna Blakely also made the list, along with Hough’s Jasmyn Lindsey and Katelyn Shifflert.

Mooresville’s Margaret Whitestone was the I-MECK 4A Pitcher or the Year, and Hopewell’s Cheryl Burwell was the league’s Coach of the Year.
• Hough goalie Emily Rusk was named the I-MECK Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Rusk finished with a 0.55 goals-allowed average and recorded 11 shutouts. The Huskies advanced to the state semifinals but lost to Ardrey Kell, 2-1, on penalty kicks. Hough finished with a 22-4-1 mark and a share of the I-MECK conference championship in the program’s first season.

Six Huskies, including Rusk, made the all-conference team: Hannah Robinson, Allison Stearns (25 goals), Alison Vest, Lindsey Byrne and Brandi Arey. Hopewell’s Katelyn Faucette, Brooke Arey and Audrey Boyle also garnered first-team honors. So did North Meck’s Megan Sullivan and Erin McAnulty.

Lake Norman’s Jon Mertes is the Coach of the Year.

Patriot invited to USA Football Camp
Seventh-grade Davidson Day football player Robert Washington was invited to join the 2011 15-and-Under U.S. National Team Development Program.

The USA development program includes players from across the country who will meet in Canton, Ohio, for a weeklong camp July 16-24. Only 50 players from across the country were invited.

Hough tennis players give back
Hough High School girls tennis players Courtney Wakeman and Allie Schutrum have created a nonprofit charity that uses the sport to reach underprivileged girls. The charity, called Girls Serving Girls, will offer complimentary tennis equipment and instruction to those in need.

“We both really love tennis and want to be able to share the joy of the sport with other girls that may not be able to otherwise participate in it,” said Wakeman, a junior.
“We hope that the girls we are working with will develop some skills in the game and find it as enjoyable as we do,” added Schutrum, also a junior.

Girls Serving Girls began operations in early May by collecting donated tennis rackets and equipment. The instructional sessions began in May and will last 10 to 12 weeks. They are held at Latta Park and Freedom Park in Charlotte. For more information, send an e-mail to info@girlsservinggirls.com.

Knights host girls basketball game
The Lake Norman Charter girls basketball team, led by coach Bobby Williams, will host its annual summer basketball camp June 20-22. The camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The registration fee of $80 includes a T-shirt and a pizza party on the final day.

The camp is limited to the first 60 registrants. For more information or to register, send an e-mail to Williams at B8703@aol.com.

Patriot girls basketball to hold camp
Former Davidson College guard and current Davidson Day School girls basketball coach Jessica Mitchell will host the Patriots’ second-annual girls basketball camp.

The event is set for June 21-24 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for girls entering the fourth through eighth grades. For more information, contact Mitchell at 704-996-7422 or jmitchell@davidsonday.org

Lake Norman hosts wheelchair basketball
The National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s International Tournament of Champions will be held in the Lake Norman region August 7-14. The event will bring 250 of the world’s elite wheelchair basketball athletes and coaches to compete for the championship.

Teams will hold training camps in the area starting July 31. The USA mens’ team, along with teams from Canada, Germany, Great Britain, and Japan, is looking forward to a rematch with Australia, the defending 2010 World Champions. The USA women will be defending their titles of World Champions and Paralympic Champions against Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan.

The event is expected to generate an estimated $502,500 in visitor spending and 900 hotel room nights. The tournament competitions will be held in Cornelius at Bailey Middle School and JV Washam Elementary, and in Huntersville at Barnette Elementary, Hopewell High, Huntersville Elementary, Lake Norman Charter Middle and Lake Norman Charter High.

For more information, contact Travis Dancy, sports marketing manager with Visit Lake Norman, at 704-987-3300 or tdancy@lakenorman.org.

Women’s Carolinas golf tourney held
Cornelius’ Peninsula Golf Club hosted the 85th Women’s Carolinas Amateur golf tournament May 25-26. Nineteen-year-old Courney Gunter, a member of the University of North Carolina’s women’s team, won the event. Gunter held off runner-up Caroline Ellington by two strokes with a 2-over-par round of 72.

A new high school football team
There will be a new football team in the area when the 2011 high school football season kicks off.

The St. Jude Fighting Christians will begin play this fall as an independent varsity team. The team was formed primarily for home-schooled and private-school students in Mecklenburg and Union counties, although the organization also welcomes public-school athletes who don’t have a chance to play for their school teams for various reasons. The cost for athletes will be $299.

For more information, contact head coach Jim Mallos at jimmallos@aol.com or visit www.stjudefootball.com

Local bowl game goes primetime
For the first time, the Belk Bowl – formerly the Meineke Car Care Bowl and the Continental Tire Bowl – will be played in primetime.

The 2011 contest will be played on Dec. 27 at 8 p.m. and will be televised nationally on ESPN, according to Charlotte Collegiate Football, owner and operator of the game.

The 10th Annual Belk Bowl features a matchup of the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big East Conference and is played at Bank of America Stadium.

“The bowl has been a tremendous success, both on the field and off,” said Will Webb, the game’s executive director. “With this being the first year of Belk’s title sponsorship, we are looking forward to our best year ever. Playing the game at night for the first time will be a great opportunity to expand the reach of the game, both in the Charlotte community and nationally on ESPN. We are very proud that we have been chosen to kick off a week of primetime bowl action.”

24/7 lacrosse camp registration
From Monday, June 6 to Thursday, June 9, Team 24/7 Lacrosse, Inc. will hold two instructional camps at south Charlotte’s Davie Park.

The first camp, for boys in second through eighth grades, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The second camp, for high school-aged boys, will he held the same days from 4 to 6 p.m.

Both camps will be directed by Ryan Flanagan, a former standout at the University of North Carolina and the seventh overall pick in the 2011 Major League Lacrosse Draft.

Registration for the morning session is $325, while the afternoon session is $175. Players are encouraged to bring full pads and a stick, water and food.

A portion of the camp’s proceeds will benefit Fields of Growth International, an organization that provides education and healthcare to the less fortunate.

The camp also will feature a coaches academy, which will allow local lacrosse coaches to interact with those from Team 24/7 Lacrosse. The coaches academy will be held Sunday, June 5 through Friday, June 10. There also will be a two-hour classroom session on June 5. The cost is $75.

To register, visit www.team247lax.com.

Firethorne hosts tennis tourney
Registration is open for the third-annual Firethorne Junior Championships, slated for Friday, June 10 through Sunday, June 12, at Waxhaw’s Firethorne Country Club.

The level-4 junior tennis tournament is sanctioned by the U.S. Tennis Association.

For more information, call 704-843-5344. To register, visit www.tennislink.usta.com/tournaments and enter 703934111 in the Tournament ID field. The cost is $43.50 per player. The deadline to enter is June 5.