Last year, former Butler Bulldog Ryan Houston entered UNC weighing a whopping 273 pounds–as a running back! He netted 145 yards and scored one TD playing a back-up role for the 2007 Heels. This season, Scout.com reports, he’s at 240 pounds and looks like a new man. He’s listed at No. 2 on the Tar Heel depth chart, but look for him to make huge strides this season. Butler’s head Coach Mike Newsome said he could one day see Houston playing in the NFL. He seems to be on the right path.
The Independence Patriots want to forget the sting of last year’s three-loss season. Coaches led kids through position drills and 7-on-7 drills on a warm, humid Monday morning as they head back to work for the upcoming season.
Don’t worry though. These kids aren’t running laps in the August heat, they are running to get some water during a short break.
Football practice started Friday at Charlotte-Mecklenburg high schools.
Look for more photos Thursday in The Mint Hill Times.
The Panthers announced today Steve Smith will have to sit out the first two games of the season for punching Ken Lucas at Friday’s practice. He will also not get paychecks for those first two games.
Smith is the best player on the Panthers. Wouldn’t it have been better to just fine a few grand, then let him play? That way the rest of the team (and fans!) aren’t penalized with Smith. The first two games of the year by the way are San Diego and Chicago–both powerhouse teams. Yikes.
The Rock Hill Herald reports today former Independence High School football player Dominique Walker was denied enrollment into South Pointe High School in S.C. Walker, who was (unfairly) hit with a 14 game suspension for ineligibility at the Big I last season, can’t play in S.C. as a result.
DeVonte Holloman, the all-world safety who is also seeking a transfer to South Pointe from Independence, has not officially been allowed to enroll either. Holloman’s parents are separated, and the school system is waiting for the divorce papers.
Both Walker and Holloman are honor roll students who are graduating after the fall so they can begin college early. Holloman has always lived in the right school district; Walker just wants one more chance to showcase his talents to colleges so he can get a scholarship. (Holloman is going to Clemson in the fall.)
What’s going on here? Good kids who just want an opportunity to play and yet because they went to Independence–and because Independence has had a stellar run of 9 years–they are being persecuted.
Enough is enough. Everyone has suffered because of the ineligibility probes. Let the kids play. Now.
**UPDATE: Jeff Taylor at the Meck Deck blog wonders this:
Bonus Observation: Maybe the reason one CMS HS has thus far avoided the full-on CMS inquisition on athletic eligibility is that one of its coaches is dating the daughter of an area super. Just a thought.
Don’t know what school he’s talking about, but if his info is true, it’s an interesting correlation.
Steve Smith’s temper has flared up again. Smith, the Panthers’ No. 1 receiver, was involved in a fist fight with cornerback Ken Lucas. The Associated Press reported Lucas was carted off the field with an ice pack over his left eye.
Smith was charged with assault in 2002 after he punched Anthony Bright during a film session. Bright suffered a broken nose and spent two nights in the hospital.
The 5-foot-9 Smith is supposed to punish opponents’ cornerbacks, not his teammates.
The Elam-N8 Cancer team raised more than $26,435.34 at this past weekend’s 24 Hours of Booty bike race to help fight cancer. It was the 4th highest amount raised of any team in the competition. Team member Charles Cullen raised the most money for an individual–$23,852.85. Way to go guys!
In the spring, the Mint Hill Athletic Association named a field for Brandon Elam, a former MHAA baseball player. Brandon passed away last year after a battle with cancer.
**UPDATE: The 24 hours of booty Web site updated its stats–Team Brandon Elam drops to 5th place. No worries, it’s still an awesome performance!