Archive - 2010 - Sports Article
Two of the three members of Newton-Conoverâ€™s offensive backfield are back for their senior season, and they are two important members. Running back Octavius Harden and fullback Jamal Coates return with one season of varsity experience for the Red Devils.
â€śHaving me and him back is good,â€ť Coates said. â€śIt means we are both experienced and know what to do when we get into the first game.â€ť
The Fred T. Foard Tigers had to look for some leaders this season, and they look to the interior to find them. Linemen Cole Schanilec, a senior, and Tanner Flemming, a junior, are what the Tigers found as the start of the 2010 season approaches.
“I love it,” Foard coach Ryan Gettys said. “Nothing happens without linemen. People will really respect other players, and sometimes the skill guys forget about linemen. Having them as leaders is going to be big.”
Bandys’ David Barrow will step into an important role this season. The Trojans junior quarterback is taking over in 2010 for graduated QB Kyle Houser, who set the school’s passing record last year and was named the Catawba Valley 2A’s best offensive player as a senior.
“Kyle left some big shoes to fill, but I will do my best and do what I can to help the team,” Barrow said. “I guess I’m a little bit nervous, but I’m prepared. I’m ready because I have a good solid team around me and good coaching staff.”
The St. Stephens Indians prepared for the opening of contact drills Monday with a night under the lights. The stadium at St. Stephens High had the bulbs blazing and the microphone blaring as parents and fans attended the 2010 season's first contact practice at St. Stephens. Only one player — a significant one — was left on the sidelines.
Justin Sizemore is about to head back to school. The 2009 Maiden grad will travel this week back to Liberty University to start his sophomore year. Then it is onto one more spring in the sun and on the baseball diamond. This is Sizemoreâ€™s second season playing baseball at Liberty.
â€śI think Iâ€™m going to try to mature a little bit and use my experiences in the game,â€ť he said. â€śI want to use that transition this year to better myself and use my skills that I learned. I want to be a good teammate, never quit and keep trying hard.â€ť
Lenoir-Rhyneâ€™s Carlee Carpenter left an impressive record in her athletic career at Bandys. The accomplished softball player also left her mark on the state record books. Carpenter set the North Carolina record for career triples â€“ the hardest type of hit to earn in softball â€“ her senior year with the Trojans.
â€śI really donâ€™t have a clue how that happened,â€ť she said.
Carpenter was voted as The Observer News Enterpriseâ€™s Female Athlete of the Decade presented by Dan Waters and Associates. Carpenter was nominated and voted on by readers of The O-N-E.
Nick Bazzle led the Newton-Conover Red Devils to two consecutive state championship games â€” winning one in 2008. He has 97 career wins as head coach at Newton-Conover, and he can add one more to that before the start of the season.
Bazzle, in his 12th season as head coach of the Newton-Conover Red Devils, is The Observer News Enterprise Coach of the Decade presented by Dwayne Wilson Insurance. Bazzle won the award based on the amount of reader votes he received.
Newton-Conover reached the top of the hill in 2008, and it set some records and high standards during that season. The Red Devilsâ€™ 15 wins that season set a school record, and their state football title is still the only one in school history.
â€śThat was a dream come true,â€ť said Tevin James, a former Newton-Conover lineman who now plays at Elon. â€śI guess we were the team to beat that year.â€ť
The Maiden Blue Devils donâ€™t have a wealth of experience on their offensive line this season. Tony Martin is the only returning starter, and even he has to adjust to moving from guard and tackle to center.
The linemen this year make up for that lack of game experience with two things â€”Â energy and enthusiasm.
â€śA lot of the guys are ready to show what they can do, and I hope they can do something too,â€ť Martin said. â€śI think itâ€™s finally helping out that we practice a lot harder than we used to. When itâ€™s time for joking, we do it. Some things can get a little crazy.â€ť
A lot of changes happened at Bunker Hill before the start of the 2009 season, and the lead up to the 2010 season was not much different. The changes this year, however, involved people instead of new and improved athletic facilities.