Photo Courtesy of USA Today
Trenton Gill: To start his second season with the Chicago Bears, Gill found himself busy in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers at Solider Field. The Packers defeated the Bears 38-20. Gill averaged 53 yards on four punts. His longest was 54. One punt was downed inside the 20-yard line. The Bears will travel to Raymond James Stadium to face Tampa Bay this Sunday.
Bryse Wilson: The Milwaukee Brewers remain in first place in the National League Central. On Wednesday, Wilson threw two-and-two-thirds innings against the Miami Marlins at Miller Park. Wilson allowed only two hits with one walk and no runs. He struck out two. The Marlins defeated the Brewers 2-0. On Saturday, Wilson threw a shutout inning in a 9-2 win over the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. On Friday, Wilson threw another shutout inning as the Brewers defeated the Yankees 8-2. He allowed only one walk. Currently, Wilson is 6-0 with a 2.72 ERA with three saves and 58 strikeouts over 70 innings. As of Thursday night, the Brewers lead the Chicago Cubs by four-and-a-half games in the National League Central.
Payton Wilson: Once again, Wilson was the leading tackler for N.C. State in its 45-24 loss to #10 Notre Dame at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh on Saturday. Wilson had 14 tackles, including one-half of a tackle for a loss. In a play that went viral, Wilson chased down a Notre Dame ballcarrier. He was measured running 23.7 miles per hour on GPS, the fastest on record for a Wolfpack player in a game. Wilson is 7th in FBS with 12 tackles per game. N.C. State will host VMI on Saturday.
Darius Satterfield: Elizabeth City State defeated St. Augustine’s 13-0 in the 26th annual Down East Viking Football Classic at the Rocky Mount Sports Complex on Saturday. Satterfield averaged 33.3 yards per punt on three punts. One was downed inside the 20-yard line. Satterfield also converted an extra point. The Vikings are 1-1.
Ivy Garner: The Liberty women’s soccer team has opened 8-0. Garner scored the game-winning goal for the Flames in a 2-1 win over Longwood on August 31 in Farmville, VA. Garner scored in the 50th minute off an assist from Allison Hansford. On Thursday night, the Flames defeated Appalachian State 2-0 at Osborne Stadium in Lynchburg, VA. Garner scored a goal in the 60th minute for the Flames. It was her only shot on goal. Liberty defeated Marshall 2-0 on September 10. Garner assisted on the second goal, scored in the 79th minute by Rachel DeRuby. Liberty defeated West Virginia 3-1 on September 3. Garner assisted on the game-winning goal by Saydie Holland in the 86th minute. Garner fired two shots, one on net.
Emerson Talley: The Division II Lenoir-Rhyne women’s soccer team played to a 1-1 tie against Florida Tech at Rick Stottler Field in Melbourne, FL. Talley started and played all ninety minutes, getting off two shots. On September 9, the Bears defeated Tusculum 3-0 at the Moretz Sports Athletic Complex to kick off play in the South Atlantic Conference. Talley had two shots on goal in 71 minutes of action. Lenior-Rhyne is undefeated at 2-0-3 and will travel to Limestone on Saturday.
Grace Young: In a mid-week game, Georgia Southern defeated UNC Asheville 3-0 on scores of 25-12, 25-10 and 25-15. Young played in all three sets and had three digs. UNC Asheville will head to Greensboro this weekend to face Charlotte and UNC Greensboro in a UNC Greensboro tri-match on Saturday starting at noon. The Bulldogs are 5-6.
Anaya Carter: The Division II UNC Pembroke volleyball team dropped a hard-fought five set match against Lenoir-Rhyne at Lumbee Guaranty Bank Court (25-9, 19-25, 19-25, 25-16, 15-9). Carter played in all five sets and had seven digs with one ace. The Braves are 4-5. They will host Chowan and Winston-Salem State during a tri-match in Pembroke on Saturday.
Julie Altieri: Division III Salisbury volleyball swept Washington (MD) on Tuesday. Altieri played in two sets and finished with 12 assists, four kills and one dig. Salisbury is 6-1 and will host a tri-match with Gettysburg and William Smith this weekend.
Random thoughts regarding high school sports as we enter September.
–This Tuesday will mark the first big conference volleyball match of the season between Cedar Ridge and Orange inside Red Wolves Gymnasium. Watching 90,000 fans fill Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, NE on Wednesday night to see Nebraska face Omaha led to me quipping on Facebook “I hope no one yells when Omaha serves or else someone from J.H. Rose will complain.” It was a joke from last year when they was a controversy regarding fans yelling during serves during the 3A Eastern Regional Final match between Cedar Ridge and Rose. That post led to a lengthy thread where local referee Chris Andrews weighed in saying “It’s up to the opposing coach to come to the official to complain. The official can judge whether or not proceed and have the Game Day Admin handle the situation. But the official can’t tell the fans to be quiet.” This will most likely become an issue at various matches over the next two months, so please keep that in mind.
–There will be a larger column on this issue later, but the North Carolina High School Athletic Association will go to seven classifications in 2025. It’s been four months since athletic directors across the state voted to pass a measure to expand classifications, yet many questions remain unanswered by the NCHSAA. One of them is: will there be conferences? I’m waving the banner to keep conferences alive. Not every team is a state championship team, even with more of them being legislated. So there needs to be secondary levels of achievement. Otherwise, the regular season becomes too narrow. To use a pro wrestling term, you need some Interconential Champions and U.S. Heavyweight Champions because there can be only one Roman Reigns or Hulk Hogan. For instance, Orange volleyball hasn’t won a conference title in 18 years. If this current group can win the Central Carolina Conference title this year, it will mean a lot to them.
–There was quietly a landmark occasion on Friday night as the Person Rockets football team defeated Northern Durham. It was the final game between the two teams at Durham County Stadium. In the 1980 and 1990s, Durham County Stadium was the modern-day equivalent to Bryant-Denny Stadium for the Alabama Crimson Tide (The Knights will have an on-campus stadium when they open their new school this week). Northern was every bit the juggernaut back then that Georgia and Alabama are now. They won 17 consecutive PAC-6 Conference championships between 1984-2001 and didn’t lose to another team from Durham County from 1976-2000. Person won there in 1990, then went decades without a victory over the Knights, in Roxboro or Durham. While the modern Northern Knights are hardly similar to the powerhouse teams of the past, winning the final tilt in Durham County had to bring some satisfaction to those in Roxboro, who remain loyal to their high school teams in the stands and in the media. You would think that Northern Durham’s potential final game inside DCS would draw some media attention after they were the center of the high school football universe for decades, but alas, it went largely ignored. I guess Mack Brown losing 60 pounds was more important to the Herald-Sun.
Those are my thoughts. Now on to the Magnificent 7 for week 2 of the season, ranging from August 21-26. Seven great local performances in no particular order.
- Ella Wimsatt, Orange, Sr. The Orange volleyball team hasn’t had a home game since their season-opener on August 15, but it hasn’t impacted them in the slightest. Against Seaforth on August 21, Wimatt had 18 kills and ten digs. Three days later, Wimsatt had a career-high 24 kills in a 3-1 win at Falls Lake in Creedmoor. Falls Lake entered the match #1 in the 1A East Region RPI rankings.
- Naomi Dyreng, Cedar Ridge, Jr.: Dyreng finished tenth for the Cedar Ridge women’s cross country team in the Early Bird Challenge on August 19. She finished at 20:58.90. Last year, Dyreng was the top finisher among Hillsborough female runners in the 3A State Cross Country Championships in Kernersville. She also won three regional championships at the Mideast Track and Field Championships last May.
- Dominic McNerney, Cedar Ridge, Jr.: The Cedar Ridge men’s soccer team is 4-0-1, it’s best start in at least 13 years. McNerney assisted on a goal in the Red Wolves 3-1 win over Vance County on August 21. Against Northwood, McNerney scored the Red Wolves’ only goal in a 1-1 tie in Pittsboro. McNerney is a co-Captain for a Cedar Ridge team aiming to make the state playoffs for the first time since 2016.
- Ryker Stein, Orange, Sr. : With 54 seconds remaining against Carrboro on August 23, Stein scored the equalizing goal as Orange tied the Jaguars 1-1. For Stein, it was the fifth goal of his career. Last year, he scored three for a Panther team that reached the state playoffs for the first time in five years.
- Mason Cates, Cedar Ridge, Sr.: Had eight tackles for the Cedar Ridge football team in its loss to Granville Central on August 18. Cates also had 40 yards rushing. A two-sport athlete, Cates also was an All-Conference pitcher for the Cedar Ridge baseball team last spring on a Red Wolves team that made the state playoffs.
- Makayla Davis, Orange, Sr.: Won both of her matches for the Orange women’s tennis team in a 5-4 loss to the Durham School of the Arts on August 22. Davis teamed with Molly Kruse to defeat Yunah Park and Nina Goffney 6-4. In her singles match, Davis defeated Sadie Miller 6-4, 6-4. This season, Davis has a 9-1 record in singles and doubles matches.
- Addie Reid, Cedar Ridge, Sr: Reid had nine kills in Cedar Ridge’s 3-1 win over East Chapel Hill on August 21. She also had two blocks and two digs. Reid also had eight kills in a 3-1 loss to Carrboro where the Jaguars won two sets by a score of 25-23. Reid, a member of Cedar Ridge’s 2021 3A State Championship team, also had a block.