See a First Look gallery of photos from the Ardrey Kell - Sanderson 4-A baseball championship game.
State champ used ineligible players
Tim Stevens, who has covered sports for The Raleigh Times or The News & Observer since he was a student at Garner High School in 1967, says one of the biggest changes he's seen is parents pushing their kids to get an athletic scholarship to college. "Parents get caught up in it," Stevens said recently. "We have parents who will tell a 12-year-old he has to go out and practice." There are more camps, more club teams and more specialization now.
That can take the fun out of sports, Stevens said. But not all top athletes have taken that approach, as The N&O's Edward G. Robinson reported recently. Duke golfer Amanda Blumenherst is the three-time NCAA player of the year and the 2008 U.S. Women's Amateur champion. Growing up, she also played basketball and tennis, swam competitively and participated in gymnastics. Her father told Robinson: "Our whole thing with Amanda was basically to go out and have fun with the game and spend quality time together." Amanda Blumenherst said: "I feel sorry for the kids, because you only have one childhood. And it it's so regimented by a sport, it's no longer fun." To read Robinson's story, click here.
In his Sunday recruiting column, Stevens says some high school football players put too much emphasis on "combines" at which players are measured, tested and drilled. Stevens reports that the high school coach is still the most important source of information for college recruiters. "Parents don't alway agree, of course, but the high school head coach is our best source," said Jerry Petercuskie, NC State recruiting coordinator. To read the entire column, click here. For my recent column on Stevens and his induction into the N.C. High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame, click here.
Ken Browning leads initial Northern Hall of Fame class
Gibbons leads in NCHSAA 2-A; 4-A top five are: Charlotte Myers Park, Green Hpe, Matthews Butler, 3. Matthews David Butler, Winston-Salem Mount Tabor and East Chapel Hill
Broughton, Clayton, Chapel Hill and Green Hope lead area 4-A conferences in all-sports competition.
Yadkin Valley 1-A boys and girls basketball, wrestling all-conference teams
Don't miss the slide show and interviews with selected area spring sports athletes:
Gymnast of the Year: Kari Creech (Smithfield-Selma)
Wrestler of the Year: JJ Rodriguez (East Wake)