Sports Shorts for March 16

by C. Jemal Horton and Andrew Stark

South Meck baseball fans raise more than $3,000 for charity
On March 7, the South Mecklenburg High School baseball team sponsored and competed in a baseball game to raise money for The Miracle League, a baseball organization for Charlotte-area youths with disabilities.

South Meck and Concord Cox Mill baseball players competed in a game last week to benefit The Miracle League, a program for youths with disabilities. Photo courtesy of Anne Mauldin

The money will go toward building a custom-designed, rubberized turf field at the University City YMCA. The field will be handicap accessible so that children with disabilities will have both the opportunity and site to play baseball.

Morgan Spease, an 11-year-old Miracle League player, threw out the first pitch of the game, in which South Meck faced Concord’s Cox Mill High School. The Sabres won the contest, 11-1.

South Meck students, families, and alumni, along with many others from the south Charlotte community, participated in activities that included face painting by the South Meck National Art Honor Society, a silent auction, raffle, and pitching contest. There also were three home run derby events: for students, South Meck baseball alumni and the community, featuring a guest appearance by former Major League Baseball player Tony Womack. National Honor Society and Diamond Doll students also volunteered during the event.

The South Meck baseball team is continuing to raise money to support the Miracle League and is accepting donations. Anyone interested in making a donation should make checks payable to the South Mecklenburg Athletic Booster Club (include “Baseball Team/Miracle League” in the memo section on your check). Mail checks to South Mecklenburg High School, attention Coach Jon Tuscan, 8900 Park Road, Charlotte, N.C., 28210.

For more information, visit www.­

Panther Buttrey earns national honor
Providence High School baseball player Ty Buttrey recently was named to the Rawlings Preseason All-American team.

The Rawlings squad recognizes the top 400 high school baseball players in the United States.

Buttrey is a 6-foot-6, 210-pound right-handed pitcher who has signed with the University of Arkansas.

“Each of the chosen athletes represent the very best in their class and the future of the game,” Rawlings Senior Vice President of marketing Mike Thompson said in a press release. “This recognition is a culmination of their diligence, tremendous ability and drive over the years and should be celebrated amongst all of their supporters, leaders and peers.”

Country Day girls remain unbeaten
On March 8, the Charlotte Country Day girls soccer team broke open a game knotted at halftime to secure a 4-1 victory over Covenant Day.

Kelly Bach had three goals for the Bucs, while University of South Carolina signee Raina Johnson scored one. Ansley Waite was in goal for Charlotte Country Day.

The win allowed the Bucs to improve their record to 4-0 on the season.

Bucs golfers open with victory
Coble Wright and Teddy Garner’s low scoring helped the Charlotte Country Day boys golf team cruise past Covenant Day, 151-194, on March 8 at The Golf Club at Ballantyne.

Wright fired a nine-hole round of 35 to take individual medalist honors, while Garner was close behind with a 36. Other Bucs scorers included Chakka Pasupa (38) and Robert Gilmour (42).

Covenant Day was paced by Luke Cooper (42), John Crouch (46), Josh Wall (51) and Ian Johnson (55).

The event was the season-opener for Charlotte Country Day, while Covenant Day’s record dipped to 1-1.

Yes I Can offers spring basketball
Online enrollment has begun for the Yes I Can Basketball spring youth leagues and training academies.

Separate leagues are offered for boys and girls in various age groups. The popular basketball league combines professional teaching, competitive games, clean and safe gyms, all in a positive atmosphere at an affordable rate.

The training academies are two hours of high-energy drills and teaching designed for the player hungry to improve. Programs tip off on March 17.

For more information and to register, visit or call 704-442-1238.

Charlotte Country Day’s 10 future college athletes gathered for a celebration last week. Photo courtesy of Scott Benson

Country Day celebrates college signees
On March 6, 10 Charlotte Country Day senior athletes gathered for a ceremony to celebrate their impending moves to college sports programs.

The participants included girls soccer players Kelly Bach (Dartmouth), Courtney Stutts (Virginia Tech) and Raina Johnson (South Carolina); swimmer Hayden Bumgardner (Villanova); field hockey players Esty Byrd (William & Mary) and Caroline Plyler (North Carolina); football players Bryan Erb (Case Western), Brian Duncan (Bucknell) and James Howe (Williams College); and boys soccer player John Kendall (Princeton).

Country Day girls lacrosse goes 1-1
The Charlotte Country Day girls lacrosse team split a pair of games last week.

On March 6, the Bucs took a 12-7 victory over Waxhaw’s Cuthbertson High. Charlotte Country Day, which won the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association championship last season, was led by Hannah Krueger’s five goals in the victory.

Linley Benson, Anna Comer and Ellie Lewis each registered two scores for the Bucs, while London Vaughan added one goal.

On March 7, the Bucs lost to Fort Mill High, 13-9, despite another strong performance from Krueger.

Krueger scored five goals and added two assists for the Bucs in the defeat. Comer, Vaughan, Mason Lucas and Lucy Pitts also tossed in goals for Country Day, with Comer adding an assist.

Former Butler wrestler Rinaldi to compete on Ultimate Fighter Live
Jordan Rinaldi, a 24-year-old Butler High graduate, is competing on FX’s nationally televised mixed martial arts competition “Ultimate Fighter Live.”

Rinaldi finished second at the 4A Western Regionals in 2004 while wrestling for the Bulldogs, but has since become a professional mixed martial arts fighter.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship-sponsored event kicked off March 9 and features 32 light heavyweight hopefuls from the United States, Brazil, England and Ireland. The overall winner receives $100,000 and a professional UFC contract.

The Ultimate Fighter competition has produced several UFC stars, including Rashad Evans, Forest Griffin and Nate Diaz.

The 14th Ultimate Fighter competition is being filmed live in Las Vegas and will air on FX until a champion is crowned on June 1.

Rinaldi, who closed out his amateur mixed martial arts career with a 5-1 record, is undefeated as a pro with five victories, four coming by submission

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  1. How about the AK Men’s and Women’s track and field teams? Two time defending conference champs and the girls are represented by a few of the top distance runners and sprinters in the state. They’ve started of blazing with a 2-0 start and are only getting better.


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