Skip Prosser dead at 56

Wake Forest basketball coach Skip Prosser has died at the age of 56. He passed away while jogging this morning.

Kinston’s Craig Dawson and Jeremy Ingram played for Prosser, who was a pretty nice fellow in the media settings that I was involved with him.

Kinston’s Reggie Bullock was being recruited by Prosser, too.

We send our thoughts and condolences to the Prosser and Wake Forest family.

Update at 7 p.m.: Dick Vitale has posted a very moving eulogy to Prosser here. Check it out; it’s excellent.

Legion baseball

Wow…lots of traffic on the “Vick indicted” thread about Legion and Junior Legion baseball, so here’s your very own thread about it.

My quick thoughts after perusing your thoughts … I, too, wondered why there were two junior Legion teams in the county, but I know there is a lot of talent here. If there’s enough talent to fill two teams, why not do it? I know the South team took some “L’s” this year, but I would’ve loved to have seen what kind of record a combined Lenoir County Junior Legion team would’ve had.

Just my two cents worth.

I do know this: there is a lot of talent coming up the next few years in baseball in Lenoir County. Everyone who thinks there is going to be a significant dropoff is going to be proven wrong.

ECU picked to finish second in division

The East Carolina University football program has certainly picked up some (much-deserved) respect. The Pirates have been picked to finish second in the East Division; here’s the ECU press release info, along with the preseason awards and such:

2007 C-USA FOOTBALL COACHES PRESEASON POLL

Predicted Order of Finish

 

EAST DIVISION (Points)

1. Southern Miss (69)

2. East Carolina (48)

3. UCF (47)

4. Marshall (39)

5. Memphis (30)

6. UAB (19)

 

WEST DIVISION (Points)

1. Houston (63)

2. Tulsa (62)

3. SMU (48)

4. UTEP (37)

5. Rice (30)

6. Tulane (12)

 

 

2007 C-USA FOOTBALL COACHES PRESEASON SPECIALTY AWARDS

 

Offensive Player of the Year

Jarret Dillard, WR, Rice (91 catches, 1,247 yds., 13.7 avg., 21 TD)

 

Defensive Player of the Year

Albert McClellan, DE, Marshall (77 tackles, 19.0 TFLs, 11.5 sacks)

 

Special Teams Player of the Year

Joe Burnett, PR, UCF (11 returns, 132 yds., 12.0 avg.)

 

First Team Offense

QB – Paul Smith, Sr., Tulsa

RB – Damion Fletcher, So., Southern Miss

RB – Kevin Smith, Jr., UCF

OL – Doug Legursky, Sr., Marshall

OL – Jeff Akeroyd, Sr., Houston

OL – Chris Clark, Sr., Southern Miss

OL – Brandon Pearce, Jr., Memphis

OL – Robby Heos, Sr., Rice

WR – Jarrett Dillard, Jr., Rice

WR – Emmanuel Sanders, So., SMU

WR – Donnie Avery, Sr., Houston

TE – Shawn Nelson, Jr., Southern Miss

 

First Team Defense

DL – Albert McClellan, Jr., Marshall

DL – Martavius Prince, Sr., Southern Miss

DL – Marcus Hands, Jr., East Carolina

DL – Philip Hunt, Jr., Houston

LB – Robert Henderson, Sr., Southern Miss

LB – Cory Muse, Sr., SMU

LB – Brian Raines, Jr., Rice

LB – Nelson Coleman, Sr., Tulsa

DB – Quintin Demps, Sr., UTEP

DB – Brandon Sumrall, Sr., Southern Miss

DB – Will Dunbar, Sr., UAB

DB – Kenneth Fontenette, Jr., Houston

 

First Team Special Teams

K – Ben Bell, Jr., Houston

P – Thomas Morstead, Jr., SMU

KR – Chris Johnson, Sr., East Carolina

PR – Joe Burnett, Jr., UCF

Excellent story on GC’s Brandon Sutton

Mike London of the Salisbury Post wrote an excellent piece on Greene Central star Brandon Sutton. You can read it here.

My favorite part of the story:

Sutton is bright, articulate, fun and full throttle physically and verbally. He makes Muhammad Ali in his prime seem painfully shy.

It’s a very well-written story by a sports writer at one of the best sports sections in the state. Mike and Post SE Ronnie Gallagher have developed a section the rest of us envy.

Vick indicted

Updated Friday at 1 p.m.: Maybe Al Sharpton isn’t that bad of a guy after all — he, too, jumps on the anti-Vick bandwagon. The full article is here, but here’s the excerpt:

In a letter to Goodell, Falcons owner Arthur Blank and Vick’s corporate sponsors, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons and the Rev. Al Sharpton joined with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the United States in calling for strong stands against animal cruelty.

 

“Today, we sound a clarion call to all people: Stand up for what is right, and speak out against what is wrong. Dogfighting is unacceptable. Hurting animals for human pleasure or gain is despicable. Cruelty is just plain wrong,” the letter said. 

As requested, here is your outlet to share your disgust, errr, views on Michael Vick and his dog-fighting allegations. I’m just sick of Ron Mexico and his exploits; let me know what you think.

Congrats to Brandon Sutton and the East!

If you saw my story in Wednesday’s Free Press about Greene Central’s Brandon Sutton, you know he promised to bring a win to the East in the NCCA East-West All-Star Football Game, even though the East had not defeated the West since 2001.

The East won, 22-14, on Wednesday night.

He also promised to bring home the defensive MVP.

Guess what? He did that, too. He had a game-high 10 tackles and two sacks to lead the East defense. He was ALWAYS around the ball.

Congrats to Brandon, who is one of the most intense, greatest young men I’ve ever been around. Here’s a pic of him and GC coach Jim Bob Bryant after the game:

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I think everyone will agree with me on this: Catawba College got themselves a steal when they signed him.

Live from East-West basketball games at Greensboro Coliseum

10:55 p.m.: Mezie Uzochukwu (NE Guilford) won the MVP as he led the West with 16 points. Dee Bost (who I voted for MVP) of Concord had 13 points, four assists and two steals and really deserved it more. The East was led by Jontae Sherrod (Tarboro) with 16 points aand Yorel Hawkins (Apex) with 14.  

10:10 p.m.: The West won the game, 81-75. More details shortly, including MVP and top scorers. 

9:10 p.m.: The East boys lead the West 22-18 with 7:20 left in the first half. Here’s a pic of ol’ Jimmy watching the East in the pre-game warm-ups:

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8:12 p.m.: The East came back in impressive fashion to defeat the West, 75-67. Jurica Hargraves and Shuanda Ashford led the East with 12 points each. Despite losing, Frances Hernandez of the West was named MVP.

7:23 p.m.: This is your spot tonight for live updates from the N.C. Coaches Association East-West basketball games at the Greensboro Coliseum. It’s halftime of the girls’ game and the West is winning, 37-23. Frances Hernandez (R-S Central) leads the West with 12 points while Lindsey Montgomery (Shelby) has added 8. The East is led by Shuanda Ashford (Fayetteville Smith) and Jurica Hargraves (Chapel Hill), who have 7 each. The only girl in the ENC area who is on the team is Jacksonville’s Martha White; she has 1 point but leads the East with 6 rebounds.