Archive for December, 2007

How I voted – ncpreps Basketball Poll (Week 1)

December 31, 2007

A definte work in progress…

BOYS
1A
1. Mt Airy 12-0
2. North Edgecombe 8-0
3. Cherryville 11-1
4. Hendersonville 9-1
5. Trask 5-0
6. Thomasville 7-1
7. Hayesville 10-3
8. Polk County 10-3
9. Louisburg 6-1
10. Albemarle 4-1

2A
1. Smoky Mountain 10-0
2. Bessemer City 9-0
3. Graham 8-0
4. Richlands 9-0
5. West Caldwell 9-0
6. Northwood 5-0
7. Pisgah
8. Shelby
9. Clinton
10. W. Bladen

3A
1. Northern Vance
2. Kinston
3. Concord
4. Trinity
5. Washington
6. Jacksonville
7. Fike
8. East Rowan
9. Hickory
10. N. Buncombe

4A
1. New Hanover
2. Mt. Tabor
3. Middle Creek
4. Pinecrest
5. McDowell
6. Vance
7. Myers Park
8. Ashbrook
9. Clayton
10. Panther Creek

GIRLS
1. East Surry 13-0
2. E. Bladen
3. Louisburg 9-0
4. Hiwassee Dam 13-1
5. Polk County 12-0
6. Williamston 9-0
7. Pender
8. Union
9. Bishop McGuinness
10. Chatham Central 4-0

2A
1. N Stanly 8-0
2. Shelby
3. Salisbury
4. Graham
5. First Flight
6. S. Lenoir
7. Tarboro
8. Bandys 6-2
9. East Davidson 7-1
10. Forest Hills 5-1

3A
1. Beddingfield 10-0
2. Forestview
3. Hickory
4. Hunter Huss
5. South Central
6. Rockingham County
7. Rocky Mount
8. Statesville
9. Western Harnett
10. TC Roberson

4A
1. Grimsley
2. Hillside
3. Wakefield
4. N. Forsyth
5. Broughton 9-1
6. Garner 12-1
7. Hoke County 8-1
8. Leesville Rd 9-1
9. Millbrook 9-1
10. NW Guilford 12-1

A friendly wager…

December 20, 2007

Well, fantasy football season is wrapping up and, much like my good buddy Drew Loftis, I’m in more leagues than I should be. And like brother Drew, I’m doing well.

One of my leagues has me meeting up with another pal, Kinston Free Press Sports Editor Bryan Hanks. Because we’re boys, and not at all because I have a small gambling problem, we’re wagering on the outcome.

If I win, I get a Kinston Indians cap. Should he emerge victorious, he gets a Myrtle Beach Pelicans hat.

Hey we’re journalists. Did you expect money or something? And while I pause to give props to Hanks for winning his usual truckload of press awards, he’s going down harder than the Spears family this weekend.

Here’s the breakdown:

Free Press Predators (Hanks)
QB: Matt Hasselbeck
RB: Steven Jackson
RB: Ryan Grant
WR: Greg Jennings
WR: T.J. Houshmandzadeh
TE: Kellen Winslow
PK: Neil Rackers
DEF: Steelers

Henderson Gunners (me)
QB: Vince Young
RB: Frank Gore
RB: Marshawn Lynch
WR: Marques Colston
WR: Reggie Wayne
TE: Leonard Pope (I know he’s hurt. Can’t change him now…)
PK: Jeff Reed
DEF: Cowboys

On paper, I’m in trouble. But I did rock the Preds, 113-72, back in week 10.

So, I’m figuring that, since Hanks is “working” in Florida this week, fate will smile upon me for being stuck here in chilly Henderson.

Time will tell…

Move over Barry…

December 13, 2007

From Friday’s Dispatch

Barry Bonds just got some company.
Baseball’s anti-hero, accused of using performance enhancing drugs and currently in hot water on perjury charges, was just one of the dozens of players named in the long-awaited Mitchell Report Thursday.
The list covered the spectrum of baseball’s player pool. All-stars like Bonds, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte and Miguel Tejada top the list while lesser-known players like Chad Allen and Mike Bell find their way into infamy as well.
To me, the most striking thing to me about this is the fact that Clemens, long thought to be the best pitcher of this era, now deserves the same level of scrutiny that Bonds has received.
I hate to say I told you so, but I wrote this about Clemens in May:
“So when Roger Clemens signs the richest one-year deal — almost $155,000 a day — in baseball history this week at almost 45-years-old, why is he regarded as a marvel when Bonds is automatically labeled a cheater?”
Turns out that he wasn’t really cheating Father Time. He was just living better through chemistry.
It’s a sad day, really, for baseball. But it isn’t an unexpected one.
For me, it’s just validation that we are, and have been, living in a steroid era – a time period in which all accomplishments must be viewed through the prism of skepticsm.
Former senator George Mitchell suggests that the players named in the report not be punished for their past transgressions – and based on the lack of positive drug tests and the he-said, she-said nature of some of the testimony – it’s easy to see why he’d say that.
It’s hard to throw a blanket over these guys as the only users in this era. Surely there are some players falsely accused. Surely there are some players who aren’t named here that deserve scorn.
This report isn’t the end of the steroid-era disclosure. It’s the tip of a dirty iceberg.
But on Thursday, the asterisk discussion in regards to Bonds and his breaking of Hank Aaron’s all-time home run mark is over.
How can you single out one man when the guys hitting around him, the guys out in the field against him and the pitchers staring him down on the hill were also cheating the game?
The entire era is tainted. It’s all suspicious. I’ll never look at the game of baseball the same way again.
I still love baseball, and I’m already counting down the days until Spring Training. I’m sure not everyone will be as forgiving as I plan to be, but baseball will survive.
It has carried on through work stoppages, gambling scandals, collusion and a host of other ills in the game’s sometimes dubious history.
Questions, however, remain. Where does this leave Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, both unnamed in this report? How does this affect Clemens, Bonds, Tejada and Pettitte in terms of their future Hall of Fame chances? Will Bud Selig push for further testing, including the search for a reliable test for human growth hormone? Will he punish anyone?
It’s hard to guess where, if anywhere, this all will lead. One thing is certain. The cloud that’s been following Bonds for the last few years is suddenly a lot bigger.
And the moody slugger can now be jugded with his peers, instead of just by them.

Contact the writer at rcapps@hendersondispatch.com.