This Week’s Outstanding Athletes

Local High School Sports

Independence High School Patriots 


Jamarius Burton – The senior scored 19 points for the second game in a row.  While he added 8 assists, 5 rebounds with 1 steal in the win over West Charlotte.  Burton scored 33 points, hauled down 9 rebounds, 7 assists, 4 steals against Audrey Kell propelling the Patriots into the Elite 8 in the State 4A Championships.

Matt Smith – The athletic junior scored 15 points, added 9 rebounds with 1 steal and 1 block in the second round victory in the 4A State Championship tournament.  Smith added 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks in the win over the Knights.

Miles Pauldin – The junior sixth man who complements Matt Smith so well under the boards and defensively had his best offensive game of the season scoring 11 points, with 3 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 assist.

Honorable Mention:  Junior Raja Milton contributed 12 points with 4 assists, and Jordan Mobley added 10 points with 2 assists and 1 steal in the win over West Charlotte.

Rocky River High School Ravens 


Jaden Springer –  Springer had another phenomenal game with a double-double against North Mecklenburg ending the Vikings 46 game winning streak at home. The super sophomore scored 29 points with 14 rebounds for a double-double against Ronald Reagan High School in Round 1 of the State 4A Championship Tournament.  Ravens won by a 83-58 margin.

Trayden Williams –  The sophomore had an outstanding game against North Mecklenburg scoring 18 points and swishing a huge game winning 3 pointer with 4 seconds remaining on the scoreboard clock to break an 81-81 tie giving the Ravens a 84-81 lead in the biggest victory in school history.

Darlinstone Dubar – D-Stone contributed 18 points for the Ravens with multiple rebounds in the victory over the Vikings helping advance Rocky River into the second round of the State 4A Championships.

Track and Field: 

Jirah Sidberry – At the Class 4A Indoor Track Championships she won the long jump and triple jump for the Ravens in the sate championships with a winning leap was 18-08.50.  Jirah then just edged out teammate Kenya Livingstone to win the triple jump leaping 39-05.50. Livingstone also finished second in the high jump with a 5-06.00.

Outstanding Teams of the Week: 

Independence Patriots basketball advancing to the Elite 8 by beating Audrey Kell 72-65.  The Patriots are currently ranked #3 in the state and # 44 in the nation.  They face Olympic High School next in a key Charlotte area match-up.  Indy is seeded # 2 and Olympic is the #3 seed.

Rocky River Ravens basketball advanced to the Elite 8 by upsetting #1 seed North Mecklenburg 86-81 on the road for their biggest win of  the season.  They now will compete against Matthews rival Butler High School.  The teams are 1-1 head to head in the Southwestern 4A Conference.  The Ravens are ranked #17 statewide and #246 nationally.

Butler Bulldogs – The Bulldogs basketball team advanced to the Elite 8 with a 65-43 win over Scotland.  They move on to play Rocky River next in a rival match-up.   Butler is ranked #15 in the state and #230 nationally.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran’s affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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