Sports Shorts for June 22

by C. Jemal Horton and Andrew Stark

Myers Park’s Donyinah set to make international debut

The good news just keeps on coming for Myers Park boys track and field standout Kwame Donyinah.

Last weekend, at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, Donyinah finished fourth in the 400-meter dash with a time of 47.27 seconds. The June 16 performance was a personal-best clocking for Donyinah, who won the Class 4A state 400-meter championship last month in 47.48.

Now, Donyinah takes his talents to the international stage.

Donyinah, who was born in Ghana, soon will represent that country in the World Junior Championships in Barcelona, Spain. Myers Park coach John Cline said Donyinah, a rising senior, is heading out of the country soon to compete in some meets in preparation for the world championships, which begin July 10.

The International Association of Athletics Federation World Junior Championships are held every two years for competitors age 19 and younger.

Mustangs second in Wells Fargo Cup

For the second consecutive year, Myers Park’s bid to win the Well Fargo Cup was thwarted by Cary Green Hope.

Despite a strong showing during the spring sports season, the Mustangs finished second in the final standings for the 2011-12 Class 4A Well Fargo Cup.

The Wells Fargo Cup,  formerly known as the Wachovia Cup, is sponsored by Wells Fargo and the N.C. High School Athletic Association. The award recognizes the high schools that achieve the best overall athletic performance within each of the state’s four classifications. The Cup program is in its 33rd year.

Green Hope, with 510 points, maintained its lead after the winter sports season to capture the 4A Cup for the third consecutive year. Myers Park wound up with 400 points after a third-place finish in the boys golf state tournament to go with getting to the state semifinals in boys lacrosse and the quarterfinals in girls lacrosse.

Among other south Charlotte schools chasing the 4A Cup, Ardrey Kell was fifth (355 points) and Providence was ninth (275).

Charlotte Catholic took third place in the Class 3A race with 575 points, falling short of second-place Waxhaw Marvin Ridge (642.5) and Cup champion Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (775).

Wells Fargo Cup points are determined by a system based on performances in state championship events. All schools that finish in the top eight positions (plus ties) earn points.

Wells Fargo Cup standings are announced three times each school year – after the fall, winter and spring sports seasons – with the overall winner being announced in June.

Bogues conducts basketball camps

Former Charlotte Hornets star Muggsy Bogues will host his annual Fundamental Basketball Camp Monday, June 25 through Friday, June 29.

The camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Crews Road Recreation in Matthews for boys and girls ages 6 to14.

For those interested in a later date, the Muggsy Bogues Back to School Basketball Camp will be held Aug. 13-17.

The Fundamental Basketball Camp is designed to develop the player on and off the court.  The camp focuses on three things: fundamentals, the importance of practice and team play, and ensuring all campers enjoy themselves.

The cost is $215 for Matthews residents and $225 for non-Matthews residents.  To register or receive more information, visit www.muggsybogues.com.

Meck Special Olympics hosts golf tournament

Special Olympics Mecklenburg County will host its inaugural golf tournament on Aug. 27 at The Golf Club at Ballantyne.

The tournament will feature two flights: one beginning at 7:30 a.m. and another at 1:30 p.m. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided, depending on each player’s selected tee time. Auction prizes and giveaways will be provided throughout the tournament, and each player will receive a goodie bag and an event T-shirt.

The tournament will have a Captian’s Choice format, and players will pick their balls up after reaching bogey on any hole. The cost to enter is $150 per person or $600 per foursome, and the event is open to golfers of all ages.

For more information, call Susan Doggett at 704-358-1935.

Annual Links for Lupus golf tournament returns for 12th year

The 12th annual Links for Lupus charity golf tournament will take place on Aug. 27 at Cedarwood Country Club.

Individuals can register for a fee of $200 per person, and the cost for foursomes is $700. The shotgun-style start is scheduled for 12:30 p.m., and there will be an awards banquet and reception following the tournament at 5:30 p.m. Each participant will receive lunch and dinner, beverages during play and a team picture. Prizes will be awarded to the top three scorers.

In its 12 years, the tournament has raised more than $341,000 for LFA Piedmont Chapter, an organization that provides local education and support services to 15,000 people in the Charlotte area who are living with lupus.

For more information, call 704-716-5640 or send an e-mail to info@­lupuslinks.org.

WSOC-TV lands Carolina Panthers game

Initially, it appeared that Carolina Panthers fans who did have the NFL Network wouldn’t be able to view the Carolina Panthers’ Thursday, Sept. 20, home game against the New York Giants, but a local television station has changed that.

WSOC-TV Channel 9 recently acquired the NFL Network broadcast rights to televise the Giants-Panthers game.

Coverage of the game begins at 8 p.m. with kickoff scheduled for 8:20 p.m. The station will broadcast a locally produced, 30-minute pregame special from 7:30 to 8 p.m.

The game will be broadcast in HD on WSOC and simulcast on the NFL Network.

“We’re very excited to have the opportunity to bring to Charlotte area fans this important Panthers home game against last year’s Super Bowl champions,” WSOC-TV Vice President and General Manager Joe Pomilla said in a station press release.

Charlotte Latin hosts Nike softball camp

The Nike softball camp, a tour for players ages 6-18, recently chose Charlotte Latin School as a site on its nationwide schedule. Charlotte Latin will host the Nike camp July 9-13.

Hawks coach Eric Smith, who is in his fifth season, will be the camp’s director. Under Smith, Latin has won the last four Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association championships and finished among the top three in the state tournament each of the past three years. Under Smith, the Hawks have produced 17 all-conference players and six all-state selections.

At the Nike camp, players are broken into groups of similar ages, skill and goals. According to the Nike camp website, the sessions are designed for “intensive training that is essential to improvement for all skill levels. Every facet of the game is covered with an emphasis on fundamentals to help players become valuable team members.”

For more information, visit www.­ussportscamps.com/softball or call 1-800-NIKE-CAMP.

Butler’s Ferguson volunteers for Tennessee

Rising Butler High School senior quarterback Riley Ferguson picked up his first college scholarship offer during his freshman year. The offer came from national football powerhouse LSU, and it occurred before Ferguson had thrown a single pass on the varsity team.

Since then, Ferguson has broken the Bulldogs’ record for career touchdown passes (75) and single-season yardage (3,346), and added offers from schools such as Virginia Tech, South Florida, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Maryland, Clemson, Auburn, Alabama, Louisville and Michigan.

Recently, however, Ferguson received a scholarship offer from a school he simply couldn’t resist.

On June 15, the 6-foot-3, 190-pound Ferguson made a commitment to attend the University of Tennessee.

Ferguson’s coming off a junior season in which he completed more than 66 percent of his passes for 48 touchdowns with only eight interceptions and a video-game-like 217.7 quarterback rating.

ESPN.com ranks Ferguson as the 199th-overall prospect and 12th-best quarterback in the Class of 2013. He recently attended camp at Tennessee, and it didn’t take long for him to impress the Volunteer coaches.

“They run a pro-style offense similar to the one we run (at Butler),” Ferguson said. “The pro-style offense really suits me – I can make things happen with the ball in my hands. We ran the same type offense when I was an 8-year-old, and we threw the ball a lot then, too. It is what I have always been accustomed to.”

After the first day of camp, Ferguson said the coaching staff called five minutes after he left to offer him a scholarship. A week later, he accepted their offer.

“I ended up knowing it was the right school for me,” Ferguson said. “When I went to camp, everything just felt right with all of the coaches and how they acted toward me.
“I have always liked Tennessee since I was little. The room at my dad’s house was painted orange and black, like the Tennessee colors, because I liked them when I was younger.”

It helps that his dad is from Johnson City, Tenn., and he still has relatives in the area. But Ferguson said the decision ultimately came down to what he thought was the best fit for him.

“Everyone has advice, and I listen to what people say, but I like to look at things from my point of view because I am the one going to the school,” Ferguson said. “I made the decision based on things that are going to affect me, like the quarterbacks they have and the whole situation.”

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