Smith to head Yellowjackets baseball
Forest Hills High School hired a new baseball coach this week, and though he may be a new addition to the Yellowjacket staff, he hardly is a new face to Union County high school sports fans.
Former Sun Valley two-sport star Cory Smith was hired to replace former coach Todd Swackhammer. Smith starred in football and baseball for the Spartans before matriculating to the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where he played quarterback.
This past spring, Smith guided the ninth-grade baseball team at Pembroke’s Purnell Swett High School to an 8-3 record.
“We were very pleased with the caliber of coaches we had to choose from (for the position),” said Forest Hills athletics director Warren Taylor, who added the school’s administration received over 20 applications for the job.
“Throughout the interview process, Cory’s enthusiasm, passion, knowledge of the game and short-term, as well as long-term plan to bring success for baseball at Forest Hills High School was impressive,” said Taylor. “The young man is a natural leader and a winner. At every level of his playing career in both baseball and football, he has been successful. As a player, he has led in both the resurrection of programs, and he has led programs that were in their inaugural stages. Cory was an integral part of quickly bringing unprecedented success to each through his play and leadership.”
American Legion playoffs
The American Legion baseball playoffs began this week, and Union County Post 535 qualified as the fourth seed out of the Area IV Eastern Division. Union County finished its season with an overall record of 14-5, good for fourth place behind Huntersville (19-1), the Queen City Mustangs (15-5) and Mint Hill’s Senior Legion Army team (15-5).
Post 535 began its postseason with a 7-4 win over Alexander County (8-8) in the first game of the best-of-five series, which began June 29. The second game was slated to be played June 30 at Alexander County, with the series returning to Post 535’s home field at Wingate University on Friday, July 1. The fourth game, if needed, will return to Alexander County, while the series’ fifth game will be played at Wingate. All games begin at 7 p.m.
Monroe Post 27 also qualified for the playoffs with a 7-13 record, which landed a seventh seed. Post 27 drew a first-round match-up with Caldwell County (13-7), the second seed from Area IV’s Western Division. The series began on June 28, with Caldwell County taking a 5-0 win. Monroe then dropped the second game, 13-2, on June 29. The series was slated to continue June 30 at Caldwell County. The fourth game, if needed, will be played at Monroe’s Walter Bickett field at 7 p.m., while the fifth game is scheduled to return to Caldwell County.
Public has chance to win Golden Ticket
Area residents will have a chance to win “a sports enthusiasts dream” in the coming months, now that the Charlotte Sports Commission, in collaboration with presenting sponsor Piedmont Natural Gas, has opened the first public Golden Ticket raffle.
The winner of the Golden Ticket raffle will receive tickets to every major sports event in the Charlotte area over the next year, including:
• Two tickets to all 2011 Carolina Panthers home games
• Two tickets to the first home game between the Charlotte Bobcats and Miami Heat
• Two weekly lawn/clubhouse passes to the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship
• Two 2011-12 season tickets to the Charlotte Checkers
• Two 2012 season tickets to the Charlotte Knights
• Two 2012 tickets to Charlotte’s Major League Lacrosse Team’s inaugural season
• Two 2012 season tickets to Charlotte Eagles’ soccer
• Two tickets to the 2012 Bank of America 500 NASCAR race
• Two tickets to the 2012 Sprint All-Star Race
• Two tickets to the 2012 Coca-Cola 600
• Two tickets to the 2012 Pit-Crew Challenge
• Two tickets to the 2011 Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship
• Two tickets to the 2011 Belk Bowl
• Two tickets to 2012 CIAA basketball tournament
• Two tickets to the 2012 ACC Basketball Championship in Atlanta
Tickets can be purchased for $50 each by visiting the Charlotte Sports Commission’s website, ww.charlottesports.org/goldenticket
The raffle will close on Aug. 25 at midnight, and the winner will be selected and notified on Aug. 26. Once selected, the winner will be asked to attend an Aug. 31 ceremony at the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte.
The Golden Ticket raffle is only open to legal North Carolina residents 18 years of age and older. Purchase is not tax deductible. A portion of the proceeds from the raffle will benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte.
“This is a sports enthusiast’s dream – tickets to experience each major sport that Charlotte has to offer all year long, while supporting a deserving local children’s charity,” said Jeff Beaver, executive director of the Charlotte Sports Commission.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.stjudefootball.com.