Butler defense is one of the best ever in Mecklenburg County

The Mint Hill Times

Stephan Amoah (No. 44) and Ozzie Sombo (No. 5) are two stars on a defense loaded with great players. (Photo by Mark Sward at swardpics.com)

Butler vs. Vance 7:30 at Bulldog Stadium

The Butler Bulldogs’ football team currently has a 29-game winning streak. They are the defending 4AA state champions, and are in the driver’s seat to repeat this season. While the Bulldogs have been putting up big point totals lately, it’s the tone the defensive unit sets each game that intimidates their opponents.
“We just stay focused,” says linebacker Stephan Amoah. “We don’t take any opponent lightly, no matter what their record is.”
Showing up for games and playing hard is not the only objective for Butler’s defensive players. It takes a lot of work in practice during each week to prepare for opponents. The players must learn formations and individual assignments for each play. After three hours of practice on the field there are film sessions in order to see the opponents’ tendencies in live action. These Bulldog defenders do their homework.
“Their goal is to shut down whoever we’re playing,” Head Coach Mike Newsome says. “They take great pride dominating an opponent. Coach Shaughnessy our defensive coordinator and our defensive coaches do a tremendous job game planning each week. On top of that we have great talent on the field.” Continue reading

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Butler Splits Basketball Contests at Vance

The Butler girls’ basketball team improved their record to 3-0 with an 88-17 win at Vance on Tuesday.  At one point in the first quarter the Bulldogs lead 35-0.  Four Butler players finished in double figures including Jaymee Fisher-Davis, the game’

s high scorer with 22 points.

Even with the strong start, Head Coach Mark Sanders feels the team has room for improvement.

“Right now our main focus is on defense.  At the end of the day the team with the best defense ends up winning the game.”

The Butler girls are the reigning state 4AA champions.

The Butler boys’ basketball team dropped a season-opening thriller in overtime on Tuesday.  Vance defeated the Bulldogs 76-72.

Having only seven players in uniform, and facing a 15-point third quarter deficit, Butler rallied back.  Marcus Burton nailed a game-tying 3-pointer with 19 seconds to play in regulation.  Burton finished the game with 22 points.  Anthony Stitt was the game high-scorer with 29, but it wasn’t enough to carry the Bulldogs to victory.

Head Coach Kurt Wessler felt this was a springboard game for his team.

“Every experience that we have like this is going to make us better down the stretch.  To have to face the adversity we had was huge.”

The Butler basketball teams host Robinson High School on Monday and West Charlotte on Tuesday.

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Butler Rolls into State Semi-Final

The Butler Bulldogs defeated Richmond Senior 48-21 Friday night in the third round of the 4AA football playoffs.  Butler played the visitor role to perfection for the seventh time this season, running their win-streak to 29 games. 

It was a jam-packed, standing room only stadium that had the Raider fans in a frenzy when Richmond’s Walter Ellerbe went up the middle for a 74-yard touchdown for the game’s first score.  That’s when Bulldogs’ Quarterback Riley Ferguson went to work.  Thanks to great protection from his offensive line, Ferguson orchestrated four first-half touchdown drives.  Butler took a 27-14 lead into the intermission.  Their offense continued their dominance in the third quarter, breaking the game open with a 29-yard touchdown reception by Channing Stribbling.

Ferguson’s passing totals were 19 of 27 for 254 yards and four touchdowns.

“We felt like we could throw the ball on them,” says Butler Head Coach Mike Newsome.  “We were hoping that the weather would hold off, and we threw the ball like we thought we could.”

Newsome knows that the Bulldogs’ potent passing attack would not be as effective without the consistency of running back Jahwan Edwards.

*Read the rest of the recap on Butler’s victory, plus a preview of the Bulldogs’ rematch with Vance in the December 2nd issue of The Mint Hill Times.

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Butler Turns Back Page in Football Playoffs

The Butler Bulldogs defeated Greensboro-Page 35-14 in the second round of the North Carolina 4AA playoffs on Friday night.  The win gives Butler a 28 game win-streak, and stamps their ticket to Richmond County for a third-round match-up next week.

Quarterback Riley Ferguson was sharp again, throwing for more than 250 yards and two touchdowns.  Sophomore Uriah LeMay showed his big-play capabilities with 135 receiving yards on four catches, two of which were touchdowns.  LeMay feels that being aggresive offensively gives the Bulldogs an edge.

“Physicality is definitely a big part of the game.  The more physical you are the more it wears down the other team.”

Read more about Butler’s win, plus a preview of the Bulldogs’ game against Richmond Senior in the November 25th issue of The Mint Hill Times.

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Newsome: ‘It’s us against the world’

Coach Mike Newsome

Butler is the reigning state 4AA champions, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the NCHSAA bracket where Butler is ranked behind Richmond Senior. If Butler can get by the Page Pirates on Friday they will have to travel to Richmond for a road game next week, even though Butler beat Richmond 21-7 back in September. Coach Newsome is not surprised, nor is the Bulldog squad fazed by the bracket seeding.
“The players took the seeding with a grain of salt,” Newsome said. “It doesn’t matter where we are, we’ve gotta make this season us against the world. That’s been our motto all year long.”

PHOTO BY MARK SWARD (swardpics.com)

For THE best Butler coverage, pick up a copy of The Mint Hill Times.

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