The Free Press top 10 stories of 2006

As voted on by myself, David Hall, Richard Clark and Keith Spence…

  1. North Lenoir wins second consecutive state title
  2. Kinston Indians win Mills Cup for second time in three years
  3. LCC’s baseball team goes to No. 1 for first time in school history
  4. ECU goes to a bowl game for first time in five years
  5. Jones Senior finishes 9-5, makes deep playoff run
  6. Joshua Lovick wins second national pitch, hit and run title in three years
  7. Parrott Academy wins state titles in three sports
  8. LCC freshman pitcher Paul Novicki throws no-hitter
  9. North Lenoir fires Paul Dunn III
  10. LCC PA announcer Rock Anderson dies

See Monday’s Free Press for the story and graphic. By the way, Richard Clark did the designing on the package and it is FANTASTIC. Hope you guys like it.

Also, I won’t have enough space to fit your votes in Monday’s paper. But it will run in a future edition. So, if you haven’t voted yet, you can still vote until noon on Monday.

Happy New Year!

Rumble in Kenansville

My cel phone won’t quit blowing up: there was a fight at the Kenansville Christmas Tournament championship game between South Lenoir and James Kenan. The game was stopped in the 3Q with SL winning, 29-22. I talked to Jimmy Smith and he said he thinks the game is official and SL gets the win. I’ll verify with the NCHSAA on Tuesday.

From what I understand from talking to three people at the game, the game started in the stands and spilled onto the court. No players were involved.

Here’s a portion of Keith Spence’s story that will be in Saturday’s Free Press:

The commotion started in the foyer near the concession stand, continued in the balcony, and then finally spilled over onto the court itself.
        By that time, game officials had completely cleared all the players and coaches off the floor and  directed them to their respective locker rooms.
        No players or coaches were involved in the incident.
        “It’s a shame because this is really a great tournament,” Smith said. “Whether we come back here next year to play remains to be seen.”
        After about a twenty minute delay, during which several smaller incidents flared up both inside and outside the auditorium, James Kenan High School Principal Kenneth Houston made the decision to stop the night’s activities.
        “For the safety of the players, coaches, and fans, we decided it was best to send everyone home and end the game at that point,” Houston said.
        No injuries were reported although several arrests were made, according to the Duplin County Sheriff’s Department.
        Units of the Kenansville and Rose Hill police departments also responded to the scene.

See Saturday’s Free Press or go to for the complete story.

Were you there? Leave your comments here…First, we have the tragedy at Jones Senior and now this. What’s next?

My picks (and I’m already 0-1)


Missouri vs. Oregon State: I missed this one (I got it in too late…doggone it; I would have picked OSU)

Maryland vs. Purdue: Maryland

Georgia vs. Virginia Tech: Va. Tech

Miami vs. Nevada-Reno: Miami

Auburn vs. Nebraska: Auburn

Penn State vs. Tennessee: Tennessee

Arkansas vs. Wisconsin: Arkansas

Michigan vs. USC: Michigan

Boise State vs. Oklahoma: OU


N.Y. Giants at Washington: NYG

Jacksonville at Kansas City: Jax

St. Louis at Minnesota: StL

Carolina at New Orleans: Car

Seattle at Tampa Bay: Sea

New England at Tennessee: NE 

Kinston finishes fifth in Glaxo

Congratulations to the Vikings, who defeated Raleigh Broughton, 67-62, for the consolation championship (fifth-place) in the Glaxo on Friday. Kinston was led by all-tournament selection Curtis Hines with 16 points, while Miguel Starkey had 15 and Bo Ingram added 13. Kinston is off for a week until they start Eastern Carolina 3A play against Wilson Hunt at home next Friday.

In other tourney action throughout our area, South Lenoir plays James Kenan for the Kenansville Christmas Tournament championship at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Kenan Memorial Auditorium. Also, North Lenoir and Jones Senior face each other for seventh in the HTA tourney at LCC at 4 p.m.

Kinston rebounds in Glaxo

The Kinston boys’ basketball team played well after their first loss of the season, downing Apex, 66-54, on Thursday. Quinton Coples had another good game, finishing with 15 points and nine rebounds. Miguel Starkey had 14 points and Curtis Hines added 12.

Kinston faces Raleigh Broughton at 11 a.m. on Friday for fifth place in the Glaxo.

Standings after Week 19

JWade holds onto the lead by three games over me, 3 1/2 over Jagshouse and 4 over Flagan. The Kid turned in the best week at 11-4. One and a half weeks to go in the season.

By percentage

Pos (LW)  Name          Pct. (record) 

1 (1) JWade                  .670 (189-93)

2 (3) HANKS                   .660 (186-96)

3 (2) Jagshouse              .658 (185-96)

4 (4) Flagan                    .656 (185-97)

5 (5) Heelatious              .646 (173-95)

6 (7) GWhitley                .642 (179-100)

7 TIE (8) S. Lovick           .638 (180-102)

7 TIE (6) Greg Melvin       .638 (180-102)

9 (10 TIE) Go Twins         .628 (177-105)

10 TIE (NR) Jeff Howard    .624 (176-106)

10 TIE (NR) PantherFan     .624 (176-106)

By wins

JWade                      189-93 (.670)           7-8

HANKS                     186-96 (.660)           8-7

Jagshouse                185-96 (.658)           5-10

Flagan                      185-97 (.656)           8-7

S. Lovick                   180-102 (.638)           8-7

Greg Melvin               180-102 (.638)           7-8

GWhitley                   179-100 (.642)           8-7

Go Twins                  177-105 (.628)           9-6

Jeff Howard               176-106 (.624)           9-6

PantherFan                176-106 (.624)           9-6

BW                          175-107 (.621)           7-8

Tate Mooring              174-106 (.621)        7-8

Heelatious                  173-95 (.646)           8-7

Clay                          169-113 (.599)          6-9

Taplie Coile                169-113 (.599)           7-8

RJarman                   169-113 (.599)           9-6

Johnny Kennedy        169-113 (.599)           7-8

Devil27                     166-101 (.622)           10-5

The Kid                     166-116 (.589)           11-4

K-Town Pirate            165-117 (.585)           9-6

Bward                      164-117 (.584)           10-5

Spence                     164-118 (.582)           6-9

ENCMetalhead           162-107 (.602)           5-10

JGoodson                 160-117 (.578)           7-8

CBeaman101              158-109 (.592)          7-8

SLfootball15               156-96 (.619)           7-8

COliver                       155-98 (.613)         7-8

DubG GC                  153-114 (.573)           5-10

Will the Thrill               153-129 (.543)         7-8

Lee                          140-97 (.591)           —–

Natis9988                  137-85 (.617)           —–

CourtKillinger              124-99 (.556)           —–

Canescoach               117-63 (.650)           9-6

Mr_NL1991                113-78 (.592)           —–

ECPirates11               92-55 (.626)           —–

Marine                        78-55 (.586)           —–

DJTyndall06/DJ           72-61 (.541)           —–

James Roberts           52-35 (.598)           —–

TRH                         46-44 (.511)           —–

KHS loving sister         46-50 (.479)           —–

Blue Dog                   38-28 (.576)           —–

Scott44544               30-30 (.500)           —–

Bears Fan               22-23 (.489)           10-5

Deeprunpirate         20-10 (.667)          —–

Deep Run              16-14 (.533)           —–

KHSDefensivetackle     16-14 (.533)           —–

I know things            16-14 (.533)           —–

BCrews1                 15-15 (.500)           7-8

WMurphy                   9-6 (.600)           —– 

CJonesNP9               8-7 (.533)           —–

APAfootball9              5-8 (.385)           —–

* indicates first week of selections  (no newbies this week)

Top 10 sports stories of 2006

Here is the exact ballot I sent to the voters here at The Free Press for the top 10 sports stories of 2006. I’d love for you to vote; place your votes in the comments section, or you can e-mail them to me at I will run your tally here on the blog and in our special recap on Jan. 1…

To make it easier on me, just LIST the top 10 stories in order instead of copying and pasting the results in the comments or e-mail. I need your votes by 9 a.m. on Sunday.

Top sports stories of 2006 ballot

Please rank the top 10 stories from 1 to 10, with 1 being the most important…

_____ Ralph “Rocket” Wheeler inducted into Kinston Pro Baseball Hall of Fame

_____ Mt. Calvary Christian Academy wins NCCSA 2A basketball championship

_____ Parrott Academy wins NCISAA state titles in swimming, golf and girls’ softball

_____ John Alphin pitches no-hitter in first varsity start for North Lenoir in win over Spring Creek

_____ LCC baseball team reaches the No. 1 ranking in the NJCAA D-II poll for the first time in school history

_____ South Lenoir’s baseball team wins second straight Ray Avery Easter Tournament at Ayden-Grifton

_____ North Lenoir fires basketball coach Paul Dunn III after only two seasons and a 39-16 record; later hires John Eric Waters

_____ LCC baseball team scores six runs in bottom of ninth inning to force extra innings, then knocks off longtime nemesis Louisburg College, 12-11, in 10th inning

_____ LCC pitcher and former South Lenoir star Paul Novicki throws a no-hitter against Southeastern CC to win 8-0. He is later named the NJCAA D-II pitcher of the week for the effort

_____ LCC finishes with a school-record 44-12 mark, but loses in the NJCAA D-II District Tourney, a win short of the World Series

_____ Lee Atkins resigns as South Lenoir football coach to go to Raleigh Wakefield HS and is later replaced by former assistant Casey Corey

_____ South Lenoir softball team advances to NCHSAA 2A championship series

_____ Kinston football coach Ken Whitehurst resigns to take Greenville Conley position; later replaced by longtime assistant Tony Edwards

_____ North Lenoir wins second consecutive NCHSAA 2A baseball championship

_____ Former Kinston HS baseball star Chris Hatcher is drafted in fifth round by Florida Marlins

_____ Six Kinston Indians (Trevor Crowe, Wyatt Toregas, Brian Barton, Scott Lewis, Chuck Lofgren and Joe Ness) named to Carolina League All-Star team; Lofgren starts on the mound for CL

_____ K-Tribe win first-half CL South title in record-breaking fashion (47-23)

_____ Kinston’s Jerry Stackhouse helps lead Dallas Mavericks to NBA Finals

_____ Kinston HS incoming freshman Josh Lovick wins second national title in Pepsi Pitch, Hit and Run 14-and-under competition (he also won 12-and-under two years ago). He ended up being the best of 575,000 competitors at 3,800 sites

_____ North Lenoir coach Wayne Jackson and Ayden-Grifton fullback Matt Tripp represent area at East-West All-Star football game in Greensboro

_____ Kinston basketball team finishes second in prestigious East Coast Invitational in Jacksonville

_____ South Lenoir coach Jimmy Smith selected to coach East in 2007 East-West All-Star basketball game in Greensboro

_____ K-Tribe’s Jordan Brown named Carolina League MVP

_____ Kinston wins second annual Freedom Cup by sweeping North and South Lenoir in football; would prove to be Vikings’ only wins of season

_____ K-Tribe wins Mills Cup championship by sweeping all five games in playoffs

_____ Jones Senior finishes a school-record 9-5 and advances to the third round of the 1A football playoffs for the first time in school history

_____ Parrott Academy catcher Brittany Robinson signs to play softball at North Carolina

_____ North Lenoir’s trio of Sthil Sowers (East Carolina), Brandon Sutton (Appalachian State) and Andrew Manning (ASU) sign Division I baseball scholarships

_____ South Lenoir boys’ basketball team sweeps North Lenoir for the first time in a decade

_____ East Carolina gives football coach Skip Holtz a two-year contract extension worth $4 million

_____ East Carolina football team advances to first bowl game since 2001, finishes 7-6

_____ Longtime LCC baseball/basketball announcer and Kinston sports fan Rock Anderson dies at the age of 63

Upset at the Glaxo

Kinston lost to Durham Riverside, 67-64, in the first round of the GlaxoSmithKline Holiday Invitational at N.C. State’s Reynolds Coliseum on Wednesday.

The Vikings only hit 5 of 14 free throws and 28 of 73 from the field. Quinton Coples led the Vikings with 18 points, while Bo Ingram had 15 and Curtis Hines added 12.

Kinston next plays in the consolation bracket at 2:20 p.m. on Thursday against either Apex or Taft HS out of California.

Pick these games, Dec. 29-Jan. 1

Getting this out early for our boy PantherFan, who is leaving sunny ENC for a cruise. Also, these are the closest points spreads, not necessarily the biggest (or best) games…just in case you’re ready to complain.

Additionally, this is the next-to-the-last week. We will not have a full slate next week, with only four NFL playoff games and three bowl games. Make those picks count, kiddies!

I’ll post the leaderboard later Tuesday.


Missouri vs. Oregon State (Friday, Sun Bowl)

Maryland vs. Purdue (Friday, Champs Sports Bowl)

Georgia vs. Virginia Tech (Saturday, Peach Bowl)

Miami vs. Nevada-Reno (Sunday, MPC Computers Bowl)

Auburn vs. Nebraska (Monday, Cotton Bowl)

Penn State vs. Tennessee (Monday, Outback Bowl)

Arkansas vs. Wisconsin (Monday, Capital One Bowl)

Michigan vs. USC (Monday, Rose Bowl)

Boise State vs. Oklahoma (Monday, Fiesta Bowl)


N.Y. Giants at Washington

Jacksonville at Kansas City

St. Louis at Minnesota

Carolina at New Orleans

Seattle at Tampa Bay

New England at Tennessee