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High School Notes: Garinger hires new basketball coaches

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 5/30/2020 By Langston Wertz Jr., The Charlotte Observer

Outgoing Garinger athletics director Tony Huggins has hired new boys and girls basketball coaches. Huggins is retiring next month.

Former Rocky River High coach Jermaine Walker takes over the boys basketball program.

Garinger’s boys were 0-25 last season under coach James Fuller. In the past three seasons, the Wildcats have won 5 games.

Since the start of the 2005-06 season, Garinger has had nine coaches. None have had a winning season.

Walker, who helps run the popular Charlotte Hoops Challenge tournament in November, was successful at previous stops at Waddell and Rocky RIver.

? The new girls coach is Justin Clark, who takes over a team that was 1-21 last season. Garinger’s girls have won three games in three seasons.

2 Local Students win $20,000 Foot Locker Scholarships

Lake Norman Charter High School senior Jordyn Earl and Charlotte Country Day School senior William Harris were each awarded $20,000 by Foot Locker as part of the Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Program that annually recognizes 20 students nationwide for exceptional leadership in the classroom and community, as well as for achievements in sports.

Across the country, school closures continue to impact millions of students, parents, and families, including student-athletes who are no longer able to experience the moments they’ve dreamed about and worked toward. On May 21, Earl, Harris and other selected finalists joined a virtual discussion, facilitated by content creator and media personality Tony Mui, to discuss how the pandemic is impacting their lives and communities.

The finalists were then surprised with a celebratory reveal by NBA player Collin Sexton, who announced that they were all actually winners of the 2019/2020 Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Scholarship.

“I know it’s been tough for high school seniors everywhere, who have had to miss out on major milestones,” said the Cleveland Cavaliers guard. “I’m honored to team up with Foot Locker to help reward these student athletes for all of their hard work and dedication, especially during this time.”

? Earl has been a competitive dancer since the age of three. She put a tremendous amount of time and effort into running, a relatively new sport she picked up in high school, became the captain of her varsity track and field team, and led her team to win two N.C. 2A state titles.

Despite her terrifying experience as a subject of bullying throughout middle school, she rose as a leader in high school by founding a Diversity Club for younger students to learn the importance of acceptance and diversity, reaching out to students who might be in the same position as she once was in, and creating a safe environment where the voices of middle school students could be heard without judgement.

Jordyn maintains a 3.85 GPA and is a member of the Mu Alpha Theta Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars, the Spanish National Honor Society, the English National Honor Society, the National Honor Society and the Science National Honor Society. Jordyn also works a part-time job to help her family and dreams to become a pediatric neurosurgeon.

? Harris is a two-year captain of his varsity cross country team. After learning about the unique challenges his Spanish teacher had gone through during the naturalization process, he came up with a creative solution with his twin brother and co-founded Naturalize Charlotte, which includes a working group of nonprofits and a website that provides a central hub of information and resources for eligible residents in Charlotte who are seeking to be naturalized as U.S. citizens.

William will be the youngest honoree to receive the City of Charlotte’s Mayor Richard Vinroot International Achievement Award along with his twin brother for their work co-founding Naturalize Charlotte. Additionally, William is actively involved with RunningWorks, a nonprofit that supports disadvantaged children and people with homelessness through sports, and he was selected as the first-place delegate to represent the State of North Carolina in the United States Senate Youth Program. He is an AP Scholar with Honor and was the recipient of his school’s Humanities Award. William also placed as a semifinalist in the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Essay Contest. He will continue to play sports as a collegiate athlete at Haverford College and his long-term goal is to give back through public service.

Fields announced for two major high school tournaments

Phenom Hoop Report has announced the field for its 2020 boys basketball season-opening tournament, the Carmel Christian Tip-Off Classic Nov. 13-14.

Participating teams include defending state champions Cannon School and Davidson Day along with Carmel Christian, Combine Academy, Concord First Assembly, Covenant Day, Greensboro Day, Henderson Collegiate, Hickory Grove, Liberty Heights, Lincoln Charter, Providence Day, Rabun Gap, The Burlington School, Westminster Catawba and Wesleyan Christian.

? A preliminary list of teams has been released for the annual Charlotte Hoops Challenge at Myers Park High. The event is tentatively scheduled to run Nov. 25-28.

BOYS: Charlotte Latin, Providence Day, Victory Christian, Gaston Day, Hickory Grove, Combine, United Faith, Durham Academy, Cannon, South Meck, Mallard Creek, Concord First Assembly, Ardrey Kell, Grace Christian, Westminster Catawba, Davidson Day, Garinger, Myers Park, Hickory Ridge, Vance

GIRLS: South Meck, Ardrey Kell, Providence, Providence Day, Charlotte Christian, Myers Park, Olympic, Cannon, Independence, Carmel Christian, Davidson Day, Shelby, Cuthbertson, Vance

? Phenom is also a pre-Christmas tournament that will feature local public school teams against their private counterparts. The Phenom Queen City Challenge is Dec. 21-23.

Teams include Carmel Christian, Covenant Day, Davidson Day, Harding, Hickory Grove, Hickory Ridge, Hunter Huss, Providence Day, Rocky RIver, South Mecklenburg and Vance.

NCHSAA recognizes outgoing Student-Athlete Advisory Council members

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association Student Athlete Advisory Council was created to serve as a voice for student-athletes who participate in NCHSAA programs. The Council is celebrating its tenth year of service.

“We are pleased to highlight the efforts and accomplishments of this outstanding group of young people,” said Commissioner Tucker. “Their efforts, insight, and dedication to growing in leadership will continue to pay dividends for their communities, schools and the NCHSAA. We thank them for their service while a member of SAAC and wish them well in the next chapter of their journeys.”

Among outgoing area members:

? Ruta Petrikis is a tennis player from Ardrey Kell High School in Charlotte, representing Region 6. Her service project involved coordinating the tennis team and other school sponsored clubs to prepare a meal for the Urban Ministry Center.

? Alexandra Wrenn, who also represents Region 6 is a basketball, golf and soccer athlete from Lincoln Charter High School. Ally dedicated her service project to raising funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Providence Day girls star signs with Francis Marion

Myers Park guard MiLeia Owens will play college basketball at Francis Marion. Owens missed her senior season with a knee injury. As a junior, she averaged 5.3 points, 3.8 assists and 2.7 rebounds. Despite missing the season, Owens was named to the 2020 N.C. Private School all-star game.

“Prior to her injury, we had already identified MiLeia as a high IQ, high motor point guard from one of the best programs in the Charlotte area (the Chargers have won 13 of the last 16 NCISAA state titles),” Porter said. “We spent the year tracking her progress and paying attention to how she handled the adversity that she was faced with. We have been so impressed with her positivity and her character and we believe that she has plenty of good basketball ahead of her once she has gotten her rhythm and conditioning back. We are excited to welcome her to our basketball family at FMU.”

This past season’s Patriot squad went 14-13 and finished fifth during the Peach Belt regular season. FMU loses only one senior off that squad.

Charlotte Christian star, battling cancer, commits to Liberty

Charlotte Christian girls star Breya Busby has committed to Liberty.

Busby started a battle with a rare cancer earlier this year, buoyed by a large amount of community support.

The Observer chronicled Busby’s story earlier this year.

Hunter Huss names new athletic director

Eliott Bridges is the new athletic director at Hunter Huss High School in Gaston County. Bridges replaces Steve Gardner who retired in January.

Bridges has a master’s degree in sports management and a certification in project management from Western Carolina. He was most recently assistant AD at South Caldwell High School. He will teach in the Huss physical education department.

“I want to say thank you to South Caldwell, athletic director Jeff Parham, and the Spartan family for many great years,” Bridges said. “I am very excited and honored for the opportunity to become the athletic director at Hunter Huss. Persistence, commitment, and accountability are just a few life lessons I learned from sports and I look forward to working with Dr. Denton, the administrative team, and coaching staff at Hunter Huss to instill these qualities into our student-athletes. I am eager to see our athletic teams excel on and off the field, and continue to promote Huskie pride within the community.”


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