Kinston/Lenoir Co. Sports Hall of Fame ceremony

Really hope to see you at today’s Kinston/Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame ceremony at Lenoir Community College’s Sportatorium, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door and are $25 each.

We saved the best for last — check out my story on the man, the legend, the ol’ coach: Jimmy Smith’s profile is in today’s Free Press.

Morning News Report; Aug. 13, 2010


President Obama will sign a $600 million emergency bill to help secure the Mexico-U.S. border.

My take: Is it just me, or does this feel like a political ploy? Why hasn’t he — and W and Clinton before him — just enforced the freaking laws we’ve had on the books to keep illegal immigrants out of the country?


The Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., will induct its Class of 2010 tonight, which includes Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, the late Dennis Johnson, Gus Johnson, Jerry Buss, Cynthia Cooper, Bob Hurley Sr., the 1992 U.S. Dream Team, the 1960 U.S. Olympic Team and Maciel “Ubiratan” Periera.

My take: That’s a hell of a class, from top to bottom. Pippen might be the best sidekick to ever play in any sport; The Mailman was arguably one of the best power forwards to ever suit up; Larry Bird calls DJ the best teammate he ever played with; Buss is the best team owner in the history of the game (next to Red Auerbach, of course); Cooper is probably one of the top three or four women’s players of all time; Hurley is one of the best prep coaches in the game; and the two teams were incredibly good.

I’m not that familiar with Gus Johnson and I don’t know who the hell Periera is, but he must be pretty good.

Altogether — a heck of a class. Still waiting for Ralph Sampson to get his invitation, because you all know he deserves to be in there — NO JOKE.

The iPod shuffle

Jump — Kris Kross

These Are Days — 10,000 Maniacs

It’s About Time — Van Halen 

Tears In Heaven — Eric Clapton

Sunshine Of Your Love — Cream

P.S. I rented “Madden NFL 2011″ last night … and it is AWESOME. Went 3-0 with America’s Team, the Redskins, and am now ready to take on all challengers.

P.P.S.S.: Don’t forget to send me an e-mail at if you want to win two $25 tickets to Saturday’s Kinston/Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame. Put “Hall of Fame” in the subject line and how to contact you in the body of the e-mail. I will draw for the winner this afternoon.

While you’re at it, check out today’s HOF feature on former North Lenoir basketball star Samuel Shepherd, who went on to score 30,000 points in South America professional basketball and to play in the Olympics against the Dream Team.

P.P.P.S.S.S.: Found out what Tea Baggers were today from, all of people, Lenoir County Commissioner Tommy Pharo. Anthony D. Hall, the leader of the Lenoir County Young Democrats, wrote today’s guest column in TFP that called Tea Party members “Tea Baggers.” I had NO IDEA what it meant, until Mr. Pharo and two of my reporters caught me up to date.

P.P.P.P.S.S.S.S.: Lots of questions about the fantasy football leagues — I will announce signups over the weekend. First priority is going to go to those who played last year; if they want to play again this year, they’re in. Stay tuned over the weekend for the info.

Morning News Report; Aug. 12, 2010


Six University of North Carolina football players were named in a letter from N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall to sports agents for information: Marvin Austin, Greg Little, Deunta Williams, Kendric Burney, Bruce Carter and Quan Sturdivant.

South Lenoir fans will never forget the interception Burney had of Blue Devils QB Brandon Rouse in 2005 when Burney jumped about 5 feet off the ground to snap the pass. 

The above report also states that UNC might be getting a ruling from the NCAA by Friday; however, WTVD ABC-11 in Raleigh says that’s not true.

There is a presser taking place today in Chapel Hill, though, and we should know a little more about the situation.

My take: I’ll be REAL interested to see what ends up coming out of this whole mess.


In news that is going to make Jon Dawson weep for days, the comic strip “Cathy” will be coming to an end in October.

My take: I know it was  comic for women … but I’m not sure I ever laughed at a single one of them.

However, I wish they’d bring back “Calvin and Hobbes.” Now THAT’S comedy.


U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin and Golf Channel “reporter” Jim Gray had a heated exchange yesterday after Pavin claimed Gray misquoted Pavin about including Tiger Woods on the Ryder Cup team.

My take: I’ve had zero respect for Jim Gray since he tried to interview Pete Rose before an All-Star Game a few years ago — and that level of respect dropped even further after the LeBron “Decision” fiasco a few weeks ago.

It’s people like Gray and Jim Rome who make it hard to be taken seriously as sports reporters. The good news is that everyone in sports reporting are not like those douchebags.

The iPod shuffle

You Be Illin’ — Run-D.M.C.

Walk This Way — Run-D.M.C.

New Sensation — INXS

Ocean Avenue — Yellowcard

With Arms Wide Open — Creed

P.S.: Check out Jon Dawson’s funny column about how to decide the winner in the N.C. House District 10 race.

P.P.S.S.: Don’t forget to send me an e-mail at if you want to win two $25 tickets to Saturday’s Kinston/Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame. Put “Hall of Fame” in the subject line and how to contact you in the body of the e-mail. I will draw for the winner tomorrow at about noon.

While you’re at it, check out today’s HOF feature on former Arendell Parrott Academy football coach Bill Rowe, one of my all-time favorites.

Kisnton/Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame ceremony is Saturday at LCC

I can’t believe it’s only three days away, but the induction ceremony for the 2010 class of the Kinston/Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame is Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Lenoir Community College’s Sportatorium. Tickets are $25 each and are on sale now at The Free Press, Grainger Stadium, the Parks and Rec building and South Lenoir High School.

It’s an impressive class this year, headed by three of my favorite people in Lenoir County: Jimmy Smith, Tommy Mattocks and Bill Rowe. The rest of the class includes Marshall Happer, Alley Hart, Linwood Hartsell, Charlie Lewis, Poo Rochelle and Sam Shepherd.  We’re also going to honor the 1952 Adkin High School and 1955 Grainger High School football teams for winning state championships.

Ticket sales are going well — and I have a pair of tickets I am giving away to the ceremony here on the blog. All you need to do is e-mail me at by 11 a.m. on Friday; I’ll draw for them shortly thereafter. Put “Hall of Fame” in the subject line and a way to get in touch with you in the body of the e-mail.

Hope to see you there! It’s going to be a lot of fun.

By the by, here are the stories I have written so far for the inductees; Rowe’s will run Thursday, Shepherd’s will run on Friday and the Ol’ Coach will run on Saturday. Just click on the person’s name for their story; I’ll link Rowe, Shepherd and Ol’ Jimmy in the next three days of MNRs:

Morning News Report; July 28, 2010


According to a new study released in BusinessWeek, North Carolina is the fourth-laziest state in the U.S.

My take: Seriously? I don’t think N.C. is the busiest by any stretch, but the fact we’re in the top 10 surprises me.


Terrell Owens will join Chad Ochocinco as a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals next season.

Unfortunately, this blogger from the San Francisco Gate has the gall to think people reporting this fact are racist.

My take: Well, color me racist, I guess; T.O. is controversial and he has a competing TV show on VH1 with “85.” So, according to that guy, you’re racist if you report that. And yes, I can “draw up” a football play, so I can write whatever the hell I want. Your whole reaction is racist in and of itself … so get over yourself, you hypocrite.

Dude, it’s 2010 — GET OVER IT. There are people (you included, evidently) who will try to turn EVERYTHING into a racial incident. Geez.


The Kinston/Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2010 will be inducted at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14 at LCC’s Sportatorium. Included in this year’s class are South Lenoir legends Jimmy Smith and Linwood Hartsell, along with our good friend — and renowned referee/umpire — Tommy Mattocks.

My take: As I’ve been on the committee since its inception, I can tell you A LOT of work has gone into this. It’s going to be a fantastic ceremony — and I hope to see a lot of you Blue Devil supporters out there. As the linked story states, tickets are $25 each and are available at The Free Press office, the Parks and Rec HQ, Grainger Stadium and (forgot to add this in the story) South Lenoir High School.

The iPod shuffle

Get On Your Boots — U2

Vasoline — Stone Temple Pilots

While You See A Chance — Steve Winwood

Love Rescue Me — U2

Mama — Genesis

Ol’ Jimmy, Mattocks, Hartsell, Rowe headline 2010 HOF class

The Kinston/Lenoir County Sports Hall of Fame has announced its 2010 class (link will work after midnight Sunday) — and it is chock full of great names (in alphabetical order):

  • Marshall Happer — Grainger High School basketball and tennis player; UNC tennis player
  • Alley Hart — Grainger High School and Wake Forest basketball star
  • Linwood Hartsell — South Lenoir High School boys’ and girls’ basketball coach, football coach
  • Charlie Lewis — three-sport star at Grainger High School, played basketball at East Carolina University
  • Tommy Mattocks — Grainger High School basketball and baseball star; N.C. State basketball star; official in basketball and baseball for four decades
  • Vernon H. “Poo” Rochelle — Grainger High School basketball and football star
  • Bill Rowe — Arendell Parrott Academy football coach
  • Sam Shepherd — North Lenoir High School and international basketball star
  • Jimmy Smith — South Lenoir High School athlete and coach with nearly 1,000 career victories
  • The 1952 Adkin High School and 1955 Grainger High School football teams will also be honored for their respective state titles

This is the third class; in 2004, the committee inducted Lin Dawson, Bill Grice, Leo Hart, Bobby Hodges, Paul Jones, Cedric Maxwell, Frank Mock, Jerry Stackhouse and Ron Wooten. In 2007, Bryant Aldridge, Grady Bethel, Eleanor Cummings, Bobby Davis, Red McDaniel, Amos Sexton, Oliver Smith, Donna Horton White and George Whitfield were inducted.

I have had the honor of being on all three committees and I am blown away by the balance of this third class. Yes, there are five more Grainger honorees (added to the nine in the first two classes), but with Ol’ Jimmy, Coach Hartsell, Sam Shepherd and the first APA honoree in Coach Rowe, there is representation from all over the county.

My only disappointment was that there is not a woman in this class; there also wasn’t one in the 2004 class, but we had two in the 2007 class. There were some pretty good nominees — including two world-class swimmers in Carolyn Goodley and Jennifer Nye and Margaret Richardson — but there just wasn’t enough votes garnered among the 11 voters. Hopefully, next year.

Some other athletes who just missed the cut: Grainger’s Doug Bruton and Tommy Cole, Kinston High’s Goodley, North Lenoir’s Mitchell Wiggins and Woodington’s Margaret Richardson. We had 25 candidates and decided to induct nine this year — just like we’ve done in 2004 and 2007.

So … what do y’all think?