Independence High School 120 lb. wrestler Jennifer Solares Zeledon took on East Meck’s Nebyu Assefa in the semi-final match at the SW4A Conference Tournament. She was pinned, but only in the last period at 5:24. Zeledon ended up taking third place at the tournament. The Patriots took second place as a team to Porter Ridge. […]
Mint Hill’s Queen’s Grant senior wrestling standout Nic Mitchell already has one state championship to his credit, hopes to repeat next month
By Andrew Stark
Queen’s Grant High School’s Nic Mitchell has a plan to return to the top of the high school wrestling landscape, but his quest won’t end with just another state championship.
Mitchell has already reached the apex once, winning the 138-pound N.C. High School Athletic Association’s Class 2A title last season as a junior at High Point’s TW Andrews.
“It was something I will never forget,” said Mitchell, who moved to the Charlotte area this summer. “It was eye-opening because there were so many wrestlers all there for the same reason – to win a state championship – and it was great to come out on top.
“It was hectic. I got up at 6 in the morning, practicing two to three times a day, but I was so glad I did it. This year I brought the same work ethic and a level head. It was great to win it, but that was last year and I can’t let what happened last year effect how I wrestle this year.”
By Leah Schmalz
Each month, students at J.H. Gunn, Bain, Lebanon Road and Clear Creek elementary schools are recognized through the Terrific Kids program sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Mint Hill and the Chick-fil-A on Albemarle Road. This week, in addition to the program, Kiwanis presented each school with a check for $1,000 to purchase much-needed books.
Each teacher chooses one student they feel stood out for the month to be honored as a Terrific Kid. Teachers submit a short summary describing why the student earned the Terrific Kid title, which is read at the awards ceremony. Phrases like “ray of sunshine” and “enthusiastic learner” marked the descriptions at Clear Creek’s ceremony on Monday. The students also receive free ice cream at lunch and have their photos taken to display on a bulletin board in the school. […]
By Andrew Stark
For four consecutive seasons the Rocky River girls basketball team has been ascending, but even to some of the team’s veterans something about this year feels a little different.
The change starts at the top, with first-year coach Epiphany Woodson taking the reigns of a program that won a school-record 19 games a season ago, up from 11 the previous season and 10 in 2010-11 after going winless in 2009-10.
Woodson, a former standout at Providence Day who later played at the University of Miami and for the Charlotte 49ers before a brief pro career overseas, was an assistant on last year’s state champion Myers Park team under Barbara Nelson, a Charlotte coaching legend who won seven state titles at Providence Day, including three with Woodson as her point guard.
But Woodson said she wasn’t thinking of coaching, and especially not in high school, last year. She had just come back from overseas and was settling into a corporate job when Nelson called and asked if she’d help out when she had time.
“Without that experience last year, this would be a lot tougher,” said Woodson, who has guided the Ravens to a 15-2 start to open the season. “Last year did prepare me for this, although I didn’t know it was coming.
“I knew (the Ravens) were talented and I knew that along with Butler they were the up-and-coming teams in the area, but I didn’t pay them that much attention last year except when they played Myers Park. When I started thinking about coaching, this is the job that I really wanted because I knew it was a great school with great facilities and I knew there was talent here. It’s been a blessing for me.”
And Woodson is right, there is no shortage of talent on Rocky River’s roster.
Sophomore guard Ariana Nance leads the team with 15.6 points per game, but six Ravens average 7.4 or more points and eight players average at least 2.2 rebounds per game, providing a depth most teams aren’t afforded on the high school level.
“Everyone is stepping up in different ways to do whatever they can to help our team win,” Woodson said. “They are stepping up their practice habits, their confidence is going up because they see how well they can play when they play together. They’ve played as a team during this stretch, and while we’ve had different individuals step up at different times and moments this year which makes us that much tougher.”
The stretch Woodson is referring to is an eight-game win streak entering their Jan. 20 matchup with Porter Ridge. […]