Fanfare: Hillside, Southern, Orange football ranked in state's top 15
HILLSIDE, ORANGE, SOUTHERN RANKED IN TOP 15
CarolinaGridiron.com has ranked the top 15 high school football programs in North Carolina in each of four attendances classifications.
Locally, Hillside is ranked No. 15 in 4-A, defending state 3-AA champion Southern is ranked fourth and Orange is ranked 10th in 3-A.
No 1-A or 2-A teams in the area made the exclusive lists.
Defending champions lead the way this year with Mallard Creek (4-AA), Havelock (3-A), Shelby (2-A) and James Kenan (1-AA) taking the top spots in their respective classifications.
The rankings confirm that Hillside faces a daunting non-conference schedule to open the season. Hillside hosts 4-A No. 6 New Bern in the season opener Aug. 22, takes on Southern as nominal host at N.C. Central’s O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium on Aug. 29 and, after a bye week, hosts 4-A No. 4 Greensboro Dudley on Sept. 12.
Southern’s schedule isn’t much easier. In addition to Hillside, Southern travels to No. 3 4-A Laurinburg Scotland County on Sept. 12 and travels to Orange in what could be a Big Eight 3-A conference title deciding game on Nov. 7.
Southern opens its season at home Saturday, Aug. 23, against Landover (Md.) Capital Christian, a private school that was 7-0 last season, it’s first as a varsity program.
Duke’s Boutier falls in U.S. Women’s Am
GLEN COVE, N.Y. — For the second straight day, Duke junior Celine Boutier’s U.S. Amateur match play contest went to extra holes, but the Blue Devil standout dropped her match in 20 holes against 39th-seeded Kristen Gillman Thursday at Nassau Country Club.
Boutier held the lead through nine holes and was 2-up through six holes. A bogey by Boutier on the 182-yard, par three 10th evened the match. A second straight bogey by Boutier gave Gillman her first lead of the match through No. 11.
A birdie by Gillman on the 13th put her up two holes, but Boutier responded with a birdie and Gillman a bogey on 17 to even it again. Boutier’s bogey on the 20th hole cost her the match.
Sources: Love to unite with Cavs’ James, Irving
Kevin Love isn’t on his way to Cleveland just yet, but it won’t be long before LeBron James has a new All-Star teammate with him on the Cavaliers.
Minnesota and Cleveland have agreed in principle to a trade that will send Love to the Cavaliers for Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett and a first-round draft pick, two people with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press on Thursday. No official agreement can be reached until Aug. 23, when Wiggins, this year’s No. 1 draft pick, becomes eligible to be traded.
By that point, the deal could be expanded to include a third team, according to one of the people familiar with the talks. The Timberwolves have had discussions with the Philadelphia 76ers about acquiring forward Thaddeus Young to help fill Love’s shoes. The Wolves could use the first-round pick they get from the Cavaliers to help entice the Sixers to part with the 26-year-old Young, but talks continue on that front, the person said.
For now, the deal will unite Love, LeBron James and former Duke star Kyrie Irving in a new-look Big 3 in Cleveland.
James is the best player in the NBA, Irving is an All-Star and the 25-year-old Love is coming off his best season, one in which he averaged 26.1 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.4 assists. He is the top “stretch 4” — a power forward who can rebound and shoot 3-pointers — in the game.
Landon Donovan announces his retirement
CARSON, Calif. — Landon Donovan says he will retire from professional soccer at the end of the MLS season.
The LA Galaxy forward is widely considered the best soccer player in American history. The 32-year-old Donovan is the top goal-scorer in MLS history and the top scorer in U.S. national team history.
“I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have played a role in the remarkable growth of MLS and US Soccer during my playing career,” Donovan said in a statement on his Facebook page. “And while my career as a player will soon be over, rest assured I will stay connected on many levels to the beautiful game.”
Donovan was named the most valuable player of his 14th MLS All-Star game on Wednesday night in Portland, scoring a goal in the All-Stars’ 2-1 win over Bayern Munich.
Duke athletes top ACC academic honor roll
GREENSBORO — For the 26th time in 27 years, Duke led all ACC schools with a conference-record 494 selections as ACC Commissioner John D. Swofford announced the 58th annual ACC Honor Roll Thursday.
The Honor Roll is comprised of student-athletes who participated in a varsity-level sport and registered a grade point average of 3.0 or better for the full academic year 2013-14.
Duke eclipsed its own ACC record of 474 set last year. Boston College followed with 402, Notre Dame 397, North Carolina 347, Virginia with 305, Virginia Tech 232, N.C. State 230, Syracuse 229, Maryland 224, Pitt 213, Florida State 202, Clemson 198, Wake Forest 183, Georgia Tech 159 and Miami 152.
BULLS PUT PLAYOFF TICKETS ON SALE
DURHAM — The defending International League Champion Durham Bulls have placed tickets on sale for the first round of the 2014 Governors’ Cup Playoffs. Durham Bulls Athletic Park would host Game Three of the best-of-five opening round on Friday, Sept. 5.
The Friday night game would begin at 7:05pm and feature postgame fireworks. Games Four and Five would be played as necessary at the DBAP on Sept. 6 and 7, respectively. The Bulls currently lead the second-place Norfolk Tides and Charlotte Knights by 8.0 games in the IL’s South Division.
The first round series between the IL South Division and West Division Champions will begin at the home park of the West winners on Sept. 3 and 4 for Games One and Two. The Governors’ Cup Championship Round takes place Sept. 9-13, and the 2014 Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game will be played on Sept.16 at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte.
Single game playoff tickets are $10 for all seating bowl locations. Groups of 20 or more can purchase playoff tickets for $8 each. Playoff tickets are now subject to the State of North Carolina’s tax of 7.5% on all ticketed entertainment and live events. Tickets for the Governors’ Cup Playoffs can be purchased now at the DBAP box office, by phone at 919.956.BULL, or online at durhambulls.com.
Ex-Tar Heel Felton suspended four games
DALLAS — The NBA has suspended new Dallas Mavericks guard Raymond Felton for the first four games of the upcoming season after his guilty plea in a New York gun case.
Felton’s suspension without pay was announced Thursday, two weeks after he took a plea deal that involved admitting a felony but avoiding jail time.
Felton said in a statement released Thursday by the Mavericks that he demonstrated poor judgment and takes full responsibility for his actions. He says he’s eager to start fresh in Dallas.
Felton pleaded guilty July 23 in New York to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm. He admitted he knowingly had a large-capacity ammunition magazine and a semi-automatic pistol without a license.