Sports Shorts for June 22

by Aaron Garcia and Andrew Stark

Area schools improve in Wells Fargo Cup standings

The N.C. High School Athletic Association released the final standings for the 2011-12 Wells Fargo Cup, and a trio of Union County schools – Cuthbertson, Monroe and Marvin Ridge – each improved their positions from the last school year.

Monroe made the biggest jump of the three, as the Redhawks finished in fifth place in the Class 1A standings with 325 points after landing in 14th place a year ago. Monroe registered a state title in girls track, while the boys team finished third.

Marvin Ridge finished in second place in Class 3A with 642.5 points, trailing only Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (775). The Mavs finished third last season but increased their standing, thanks to a strong spring season in which the program posted three state runner-up finishes in girls lacrosse, boys tennis and boys golf. Charlotte Catholic was third with 575 points. Weddington repeated its sixth-place finish from 2010-11, thanks in large part to a state title in baseball.

Cuthbertson continued its steady ascent up the 2A rankings this year. The Cavs followed up their fourth-place finish last year with a third-place effort in 2012, sparked by the girls soccer team, which followed up its 2011 state title with a runner-up finish this season. Cuthbertson was the lone 2A team from the county to make the list of top 15 programs.

The Wells Fargo Cup, formerly known as the Wachovia Cup, is sponsored by Wells Fargo and the NCHSAA. The award recognizes the high schools that achieve the best overall athletic performance within each of the state’s four classifications, and is in its 33rd year.

All-Southern Carolina 3A/4A boys tennis team

Marvin Ridge senior Joey Hatala was named the Southern Carolina 3A/4A Player of the Year after leading the Mavs to a conference championship and the Class 3A title match. Hatala was joined on the list by teammates Brett Ward, Cullen Kelleher and Woody Watson. Weddington, led by Coach of the Year Les Kolman, was represented on the squad by Steven Denny, Sahil Casa, Grant Starnes and Nick Kochulus. Parkwood’s Jackson Grotophorst also landed a spot on the team, as did Porter Ridge’s Camilo Duran and Simone Nimfa. Sun Valley’s Tyler Bourque rounded out the all-conference team.

All-Conference 8 girls team announced

If one needed proof of lacrosse’s emergence in Union County, the traditionally Charlotte-laden Conference 8 all-conference team was just that, as seven of the 13 spots were filled by local athletes.

Marvin Ridge led the county with four selections, including Amy Collins, Kensie Lancaster, Taylor Malseed and Mikayla Sweeney. Kelley Belue represented Cuthbertson on the squad. Weddington’s Cheyenne Burnam and Kayla Wynn also were honored. Weddington’s McKenna Gorham earned one of the league’s three honorable mention spots.

The other six spots were filled by Charlotte Catholic’s Danielle Ruffalo, Peri Strassner, Briana Storey, Natalie Wallon and Rachel Wallon, and Charlotte Ardrey Kell’s Madison Kennedy.  Natalie Wallon was named Player of the Year.

Mavs sweep conference lacrosse honors

While the Charlotte schools that share Conference 12 with Marvin Ridge, Weddington, Cuthbertson and Porter Ridge might have claimed the edge on the number of selections to the league’s all-conference team, Union County swept both the player and coach of the year awards.

Reilly McDermott, a sophomore goalie for Marvin Ridge, walked away with the league’s top individual honor after recording 187 saves at a 12.47 per-game clip (66.3 percent). McDermott also earned all-region and honorable-mention all-state nods after helping lead the Mavs to a program-best 15-4 record and No. 8 ranking in the state, according to

McDermott had plenty of company on the all-conference team as fellow Mavs Walker Bettison (32 goals, 34 assists), Jonah Moore (29 goals, 32 assists) and Corey Veneble (28 goals, 25 assists) were among the attackers chosen. The squad also included Weddington’s Connor Kennedy, who either scored or converted an assist in every game this season, when he finished with 38 goals and 20 assists.

Weddington’s Cam Roten (12 goals, 10 assists) joined Rutgers commit Zach Martin (25 goals, eight assists) and Mavs teammate Ryan Stranahan (20 goals, one assist) in the midfield. On defense, junior Dylan Malloy was Cuthbertson’s lone first-team selection, along with the Marvin Ridge duo of Jason Moore (42 ground balls) and Sean Van Gurp (29).

The first team also included Waxhaw resident and Charlotte Catholic attacker Nick Sawyer, who will join older brothers Mike and Matt at national runner-up Loyola (Md.) University next season.

The rest of the all-conferene team was filled by Charlotte Catholic’s Connor Flynn, Nick Beato, Ryan Beltrondo and Ethan Desmond and Charlotte Ardrey Kell’s Brendan Cullen, Chris Lombardi, Dylan Kane, Nick Balanda, Austin Gast, Chris Cummings and Merrick Osborne.

Marvin Ridge’s John Dodd was named Coach of the Year.

Local divers make splash at regional meet

Thanks, in part, to the efforts of Waxhaw resident Nikki Canale, the Carolina Diving Academy won its third consecutive USA Diving Region 3 title on June 10 at the University of North Carolina’s Koury Natatorium.

Canale, a 13-year-old competing in the 12-13 Girls bracket, claimed second place in both the 1- and 3-meter springboard events with 278.2 and 273.3 points, respectively.

Marvin Ridge’s Sara Maleski, Union County Weekly’s 2011-12 Girls Swimmer/Diver of the Year, also competed for CDA and placed sixth in the 16-18 Girls 3-meter springboard with 407 points.

As a team, CDA, which is located at Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics, amassed 333 points to claim the Region 3 crown over teams from North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. The next-closest finish was from the American School for Diving at Duke University, which finished with 203 points.

The CDA team will next travel to Bloomington, Ind., for the Zone B championship meet July 13-15.

Bogues conducts basketball camps

Former Charlotte Hornets star Muggsy Bogues will host his annual Fundamental Basketball Camp Monday, June 25 through Friday, June 29.

The camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Crews Road Recreation in Matthews for boys and girls ages 6 to14.

For those interested in a later date, the Muggsy Bogues Back to School Basketball Camp will be held Aug. 13-17.

The Fundamental Basketball Camp is designed to develop the player on and off the court.  The camp focuses on three things: fundamentals, the importance of practice and team play, and ensuring all campers enjoy themselves.

The cost is $215 for Matthews residents and $225 for non-Matthews residents.  To register or receive more information, visit

Meck Special Olympics hosts golf tournament

Special Olympics Mecklenburg County will host its inaugural golf tournament on Aug. 27 at The Golf Club at Ballantyne.

The tournament will feature two flights: one beginning at 7:30 a.m. and another at 1:30 p.m. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided, depending on each player’s selected tee time. Auction prizes and giveaways will be provided throughout the tournament, and each player will receive a goodie bag and an event T-shirt.

The tournament will have a Captain’s Choice format, and players will pick their balls up after reaching bogey on any hole. The cost to enter is $150 per person or $600 per foursome, and the event is open to golfers of all ages.

For more information, call Susan ­Doggett at 704-358-1935.

Annual Links for Lupus golf tournament returns for 12th year

The 12th annual Links for Lupus charity golf tournament will take place on Aug. 27 at Cedarwood Country Club.

Individuals can register for a fee of $200 per person, and the cost for foursomes is $700. The shotgun-style start is scheduled for 12:30 p.m., and there will be an awards banquet and reception following the tournament at 5:30 p.m. Each participant will receive lunch and dinner, beverages during play and a team picture. Prizes will be awarded to the top three scorers.

In its 12 years, the tournament has raised more than $341,000 for LFA Piedmont Chapter, an organization that provides local education and support services to 15,000 people in the Charlotte area who are living with lupus.

For more information, call 704-716-5640 or send an e-mail to info@­

WSOC-TV lands Carolina Panthers game

Initially, it appeared that Carolina Panthers fans who did not have the NFL Network wouldn’t be able to view the Carolina Panthers’ Thursday, Sept. 20, home game against the New York Giants, but a local television station has changed that.

WSOC-TV Channel 9 recently acquired the NFL Network broadcast rights to televise the Giants-Panthers game.

Coverage of the game begins at 8 p.m. with kickoff scheduled for 8:20 p.m. The station will broadcast a locally produced, 30-minute pregame special from 7:30 to 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast in HD on WSOC and simulcast on the NFL Network.

“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to bring to Charlotte area fans this important Panthers home game against last year’s Super Bowl champions,” WSOC-TV Vice President and General Manager Joe Pomilla said in a station press release.

Charlotte Latin hosts Nike softball camp

The Nike softball camp, a tour for players ages 6-18, recently chose Charlotte Latin School as a site on its nationwide schedule. Charlotte Latin will host the Nike camp July 9-13.

Hawks coach Eric Smith, who is in his fifth season, will be the camp’s director. Under Smith, Latin has won the last four Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association championships and finished among the top three in the state tournament each of the past three years. Under Smith, the Hawks have produced 17 all-conference players and six all-state selections.

At the Nike camp, players are broken into groups of similar ages, skill and goals. According to the Nike camp website, the sessions are designed for “intensive training that is essential to improvement for all skill levels. Every facet of the game is covered with an emphasis on fundamentals to help players become valuable team members.”

For more information, visit www.­ or call 1-800-NIKE-CAMP.


In the June 8 edition, Union County Weekly incorrectly listed Sun Valley’s Taylor Webb and Brittany Smith as Porter Ridge soccer players who were named to the 2012 N.C. Soccer Coaches Association Region 9 Class 4A team.

Porter Ridge players Kristina Hoff and Katelyn Krall joined teammate Kristina Black on the team. Union County Weekly regrets the error.

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