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PREP NOTEBOOK: Blue Devils win tennis opener

February 27, 2012

The Maiden boys tennis team kicked off its season on the right foot Monday, defeating Lincolnton 6-2 on the hard court.

“I thought we played pretty well today,” said Maiden coach Jon Huffman. “Lincolnton was missing its No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 players. I wish they were at full strength so we could see how we matched up against them. I thought they played us well.”

The Blue Devils host Wilkes Central on Wednesday, a team Huffman said will present a tough test.

Cougars' Harper named new Hickory football coach

February 27, 2012

The replacement for John Worley as Hickory High School football coach is a familiar rival within the Northwestern conference.

Tom Harper, who has been the head coach at Alexander Central for the past five seasons, takes over the Red Tornadoes’ football program.

Pair of Red Devils win wrestling state titles

February 26, 2012

A pair of Newton-Conover wrestlers earned individual state championships Saturday in Greensboro.

Senior Addison Klutz and sophomore Franklin Wepner both earned titles, the first since Andrew Tremain's state championship in 2010.

"It's an honor to be on the list of Newton-Conover state champions," Wepner said. "I would like to thank coach (Eddy) Clark and coach (Vallie) Murray. I'd also like to congratulate Addison for his state championship."

Klutz said he is thankful to those who helped pass along the rich tradition in the Newton-Conover wrestling program.

Trojans win to reach third-straight Western Regional

February 24, 2012

Bandys is returning to the Western Regionals following a 73-55 win against North Stanly on Friday.

The Lady Trojans (27-2) delivered the Lady Comets their second loss of the season in New London.

“I was really tickled with the win,” said Bandys coach Beth Queen. “We went into a difficult gym to play at. They had a good crowd. It was a small gym. They were really loud.”

The Trojans fell behind 6-0 with two three-pointers from North Stanly, but Bandys roared back to take an eight-point lead after the first quarter.

Foard's McGinnis signs with Emory & Henry

February 24, 2012

The transformation from Tiger to Wasp started Friday for Katheryn McGinnis.

The Foard senior soccer player signed her National Letter of Intent to play for Emory & Henry this fall.

“I’m really, really excited,” McGinnis said. “It’s something I’ve always looked forward to as a kid growing up — getting to play first at the varsity level and now at college. I’m very excited that my dream is coming true.”

A four-year member of the Lady Tigers varsity squad, McGinnis earned all-conference honors last season and the coaches’ award in 2010.

4 wrestlers will vie for state championships Saturday

February 24, 2012

Four Catawba County wrestlers are in the finals on Saturday of the 2A and 3A state championships in Greensboro.

Newton-Conover’s Franklin Wepner (126) and Addison Klutz (152), Maiden’s Evan Spears (160) and St. Stephens’ Bradley Bader (113) are all in the championships of their respective weight classes with a chance to bring home individual state titles.

Wepner and Klutz and trying to become the first state champion wrestlers at Newton-Conover since Andrew Tremain in 2010.

If Spears is victorious, he will become the first-ever Maiden wrestler to win an individual state title.

DAY 1 UPDATE: NCHSAA wrestling tournament

February 24, 2012

Nine 2A wrestlers and seven 3A wrestlers are still alive for a chance at NCHSAA individual state wrestling titles after the first day of competition in Greensboro.

Newton-Conover remains in the best shape for a potential state championship. All five Red Devils who qualified for states, including Ian Canrobert (106), Franklin Wepner (126), Eric Holbrook (145), Addison Klutz (152) and Tyler Benfield (195), all advanced to the second round.

Foard seeking state wrestling title repeat

February 23, 2012

Trying to repeat its state title from a season ago, Fred T. Foard goes from the hunters to the hunted.

The Tigers wrestling team claimed the school’s first-ever boys state championship a year ago.

Foard coach Mike Carey said the feeling of entering as defending champions isn’t that different from starting last year as challengers.

“It gives us a sense of confidence that we can do well,” Carey said. “Individually, we just have to wrestle every match we get the chance to. It could be the last time. We have to make sure we need to take care of things and good things will come.”

Foard's Watts, Pierce named top NWC swimmers

February 23, 2012

A pair of Fred T. Foard swimmers were honored by the Northwestern 3A/4A conference this week for their outstanding achievements this past season.

The Tigers’ Jake Pierce and Leah Watts were named conference swimmers of the year.

Watts shares her honor with Hickory’s Janie Kennedy.

Along with her solo award, Watts was named all-conference in the 200-yard individual medley, 500-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle relay.

Stewart and Kenseth win Daytona qualifying races

February 23, 2012

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Roush Fenway Racing will have three cars at the front of the season-opening Daytona 500.

Matt Kenseth won the second of the twin 150-mile qualifying races Thursday with a bold pass of teammate Greg Biffle. The victory gave Kenseth a spot on the second row for Sunday's race — right behind teammates Carl Edwards and Biffle.

Tony Stewart, the defending NASCAR champion, won the first race and will line up next to Kenseth at Daytona International Speedway.

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