Pick these games, Week 2


North Lenoir at Kinston

Eastern Wayne at South Lenoir

Parrott Academy at Cary Christian

C.B. Aycock at Greene Central

North Pitt at Ayden-Grifton

Jones Senior at Havelock

James Kenan at East Duplin


East Carolina vs. South Carolina (in Charlotte)

Northwestern at Boston College

UCLA at Houston

BYU at Mississippi

Colorado State at New Mexico

Boise State vs. Georgia (in Atlanta)

LSU vs. Oregon (in Arlington, Texas)

Miami at Maryland (Monday night)

Morning News Report; Aug. 31, 2011

Before we jump into the MNR this a.m., THANKS to everyone for checking out the Irene videos, pictures and stuff on my Facebook page. I appreciate the feedback (including the several “Are you an idiot?” questions I had.

Anyhoo — we should be back to relative normal (other than the fact I’m off Friday and Monday). What this specifically affects is our HBFL Online Draft, which we suspended Friday. It’ll pick back up at 2 p.m. today — I am going to text all the owners. We’re also going to drop the time to select from an hour to 30 minutes between picks.

I’m also going to post the Blog Pick ‘Em contest in the next few minutes — as many of you saw, we are going to throw out last week as if it didn’t exist. Many of you didn’t have Internet access last week, although I appreciate everyone who emailed and Facebooked me your picks — one person even texted me their picks!

For those of you who know the personal stuff I’m going through, thanks for your prayers and kind words. Not quite ready to share that with everyone here yet, but rest assured — bloggees, you’ll be the first to know before I release it for the world.

OK — now on to your MNR:


Seven counties in Eastern North Carolina — Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico and Tyrell — were declared federal disaster areas by President Obama, meaning they are now eligible for federal aid.

My take: Curious that Lenoir County didn’t make that cut, especially considering the millions of dollars of damage in our little corner of heaven. I have noticed in the past, though, that sometimes it takes a few extra days for all the counties eligible to be included. Hope that’s the case in Lenoir County … because there’s a lot of damage from ol’ Irene here.


From 1946-48, the United State conducted experiments with veneral diseases (such as syphilis and gonorrhea) in Guatemala on thousands of unwitting patients. An international panel is urging the U.S. to make financial reparations to those who were affected by the experiments.

My take: Sounds fair to me, but it does shock me sometimes to find out what we — as a country — has done in the past.


Eight University of Miami players will be suspended at least one game following an NCAA investigation into the Nevin Shapiro controversy.

My take: Maybe it’s just me, but that seems like that’s a little light. My feeling is that there’ll be more punishment down the line — just not the death penalty everyone was initially anticipating.

The iPod shuffle

Don’t Treat Me Bad — Firehouse

Longview — Green Day

Janie’s Got A Gun — Aerosmith

About A Girl — Nirvana

Why — Annie Lennox

Woo-hoo! We’re back, baby!

Thanks to the hard work of Scott Edgington and Amy Lock Collier, the ol’ blog is back up and running. Really appreciate it, y’all.

However, because I’m up to my eyeballs with Hurricane Irene coverage, no updates here until later today.

As I stated on my Facebook page yesterday, we ARE NOT going to count this week’s blog pick ‘em, since a ton of you couldn’t get in yesterday. We’re just throwing out this week like it didn’t happen. In fact, I’m going to delete it from the system. I’ll post the games to pick for next week sometime this weekend so we can get a jump on it.

Also, I’ve suspended the HBFL Online Draft until noon Monday because of the blog snafu and Irene.

I can’t say this enough — THANK YOU to everyone who texted, called, emailed and Facebooked me about the blog being down. You really don’t know how much it means to me!

Morning News Report; Aug. 25, 2011


With area residents hitting the stores in anticipation of Hurricane Irene, it appears the ol’ girl will now pass near the Outer Banks as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane — but directly impact the Northeast near Boston and New York City.

A look at the latest tracking map, as of 6:58 a.m.:

Click on the map for a better view.

My take: While I’m certainly happy it appears we’ll possibly miss the direct hit, there’s still going to be a hell of a lot of rain and potential flooding. And you have to know emergency management directors in the Northeast are none too happy right now.


If you’re a Democrat or unaffiliated voter in Kinston, today marks the first day of “no-excuse” early voting in the city. Visit the Lenoir County Election HQ at 110-B South Herritage St. in early voting for the Sept. 13 primary.

My take: I changed my affiliation from Libertarian to unaffiliated just so I could take part in this — so you know I’m pumped! Take 2 minutes and exercise your right, either in early voting or in the Sept. 13 primary.


Former Cy Young winner and current Baltimore Orioles General Manager Mike Flanagan was found dead yesterday. A report says he committed suicide because he was despondent over his team’s failures. He was 59.

My take: If that is true, it is terrible, terrible news. It is just a game, although I know it was a job to him. Terrible news.


One of the most important men in American business history, Steve Jobs, resigned as CEO of Apple yesterday. He will remain as chairman of the company’s board of directors.

Here’s a nice analysis of five things that made him great.

My take: Remember this — he was a college dropout who worked hard and did what he loved. I think he’s going to go down in history as a key figure in our country’s history. His health problems have been a real issue and I hope this is not why he had to step down.

The iPod shuffle

Leningrad — Billy Joel

I Want You, I Need You, I Love You — Elvis Presley

Say It — Beastie Boys

Dreams — Van Halen

American Idiot — Green Day

2011 HBFL Online Draft underway

I know not everyone in our blogosphere is interested in the Hanks Blog Football League draft, so I’ve created a page for the teams and anyone who wants to look at our draft as it evolves — http://bhanks.encblogs.com/?page_id=6150. You can also access it by clicking on the link on the right side of this page titled Hanks Blog Football League 2011.

Here’s the draft order, as drawn by Jon Dawson and photographed and witnessed by Free Press Circulation Director Jim Register:

1. Charlie Kraebel:

2. Michael Moon:

3. Darren Becton:

4. Hot Blonde:

5. Brent Pelletier:

6. Matt Lavender:

7. Daniel Jones:

8. Seth Jones:

9. Ryan Herman:

10. Chris Lavender:

11. Elizabeth Moon:

12. Hanks:

13. Taplie Coile:

14. Drew Loftis:

Let’s get it on!

Morning News Report; Aug. 24, 2011


Folks in our neck of the woods continue to prepare for the potential of Hurricane Irene; however, Accuweather.com is now projecting she will just “brush” our coast. Here’s the projected path of Irene as of 10:34 a.m.:

Click on the photo for a larger view.

My take: I know weather junkies are going to be sad about this … but it wouldn’t break my heart a bit if the ol’ girl turns her nose up towards the Northeast.


The Free Press guest columnist this week is Lenoir County school board member Giles Stroud, who gives us some insight to the dismissal of former superintendent Dr. Terry Cline.

Among the revelations are that Cline allegedly intimidated school employees and that the investigation into whether the superintendent misused his authority cost nearly $6,000.

My take: One thing you can say about Mr. Stroud, whether you agree with his politics or not — he’s not afraid to say/write what he thinks.


Legendary Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit revealed yesterday she has onset dementia of Alzheimer’s. She will continue to coach this season.

My take: Having lost my Grandma Hanks to Alzheimer’s, I know exactly how cruel that disease is. I’ve never been a fan of Summit’s — or women’s basketball, for that matter — but you have to respect what she’s done to get her sport on the map. My prayers are with her and her family as they battle this terrible disease.


NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points leader Kyle Busch pled guilty yesterday in Statesville to driving 128 mph in a 45 mph zone — and lost his license for 45 days. He was also fined $1,000 and will serve 30 hours of community service.

My take: Seriously? Seriously?

If you or I do that, we’re probably thrown in jail for a year and lose our license for the same amount of time.

NASCAR should suspend him for the same amount of time — how the heck can you drive on a track with a suspended driver’s license? Just another reason to look down on the pseudo-sport.

The iPod shuffle

It’s Bad You Know — R.L. Burnside

Can’t Fight This Feeling — REO Speedwagon

Drive Slow — Kanye West feat. Paul Wall & GLC

Magnificient — U2

Finish What You Started — Van Halen

P.S.: There will not be a Friday night football game this week, as all have been moved because of the potential of Irene. Kinston at South Lenoir, North Lenoir at West Montgomery, Greene Central at Ayden-Grifton and Jones Senior at Warsaw Kenan are all on Thursday. Arendell Parrott Academy’s home season-opener against Hobgood Academy has yet to be scheduled, but when it is, I’ll let you know.

Standings after Week 1 (with update)

The seventh season of the blog pick ‘em is starting the way the sixth one ended — with Eastern in first place and Brent Pelletier and JWade right behind him.

Eastern, who won his first Blog Pick ‘Em title last year by two games over Pelletier, was 13-2 last week to finish Week 1 in first place all by himself. Eastern’s only misses were West Carteret over Richlands and the big upset of the week, Nash Central over Tarboro.

“B” was in an eight-way tie for second with three-time blog pick ‘em champ JWade, Beale St. Buc, Jeff Howard, Jackson, JDog, Jourbet and Smokin’ Aces.

The hardest game of the week was certainly that Nash Central upset — only TrumpetingPenguin got it right out of our 34 players.

Well, here are your standings. As always — for another year — a big thank-you to the wonderful Hot Blonde for helping me with the standings. Any mistakes are mine, not hers.

1. Eastern                            13-2 (.867)

T2. B                                     12-3 (.800)

T2. BealeStBuc                   12-3 (.800)

T2. Jeff Howard                  12-3 (.800)

T2. Jackson                         12-3 (.800)

T2. JDog                               12-3 (.800)

T2. Jourbet                          12-3 (.800)

T2. JWade                           12-3 (.800)

T2. Smokin’ Aces                12-3 (.800)

T10. BehindTheCounter      11-4 (.733)

T10. John Q Awesome         11-4 (.733)

T10. The Kid                         11-4 (.733)

T13. Blake H.                         10-5 (.667)

T13. Canyoureadthis            10-5 (.667)

T13. CCPirate                        10-5 (.667)

T13. Deep Run Dynasty       10-5 (.667)

T13. Deep Run Pirate           10-5 (.667)

T13. Heelatious                     10-5 (.667)

T13. Ryan Herman               10-5 (.667)

T13. Horns                            10-5 (.667)

T13. Jagshouse                     10-5 (.667)

T13. Lee                                 10-5 (.667)

T13. MoonWife                     10-5 (.667)

T13. PeteyPablo                   10-5 (.667)

T13. RouseHouse                  10-5 (.667)

T13. Shandsp                         10-5 (.667)

T13. Wimpy57                       10-5 (.667)

T28. Richard Clark                 9-6 (.600)

T28. ECPirates11                    9-6 (.600)

T28. Hanks                              9-6 (.600)

T31. Comet65                          8-7 (.533)

T31. JacqueStrappe                8-7 (.533)

T31. RJarman                          8-7 (.533)

T34. Lesboulez                         7-8 (.467)

T34. TrumpetingPenguin       7-8 (.467)

Morning News Report; Aug. 23, 2011


Accuweather.com is predicting that Hurricane Irene will be strongest storm to hit the Carolinas since 1996.

Here is Accuweather.com’s projected path as of 4:12 a.m. today:

Click on the map for a larger view.

My take: This is serious stuff, y’all — not just another weatherman’s breathless BS warning. Get your water and batteries and prepare to hunker down Saturday.


David Letterman returned from his two-week summer vacation last night to the report of an Internet jihadist calling for his tongue to be cut out. In his characteristic style, though, Letterman joked about it throughout his program and even blamed the reports on Jay Leno.

My take: Letterman has gone more and more to the left in the past few years, but those are some damned funny jokes in that link. Check ‘em out … and screw the terrorists. Good for Letterman.


Because of concerns about Hurricane Irene, the Kinston-South Lenoir varsity football game has been moved to Thursday. The JV game between the teams is now on Wednesday at Viking Field.

My take: The Vikings (the past five years) and Blue Devils (first year, 2005) are the only two teams to win the Freedom Cup, the trophy given to the top prep football program in Lenoir County by The Free Press. In my opinion, Thursday’s game will also determine this year’s winner.

Don’t sleep on South Lenoir — I will make my pick later in the week, but I feel like this is as strong a Blue Devils team as I’ve seen since that magical 2005 season, especially the defense. I’ll say this with all certainty: if Kinston can’t hang onto the ball better than it did against Jones Senior last Friday, South Lenoir will win easily Thursday.

The iPod shuffle

Steppin’ Out — Joe Jackson

Don’t Let Him Go — REO Speedwagon

Why Can’t This Be Love — Van Halen

When I Think Of You — Janet Jackson

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go — Wham!

P.S.: HBFL Online folks — don’t forget the draft begins tomorrow at noon. We will draw for draft order this afternoon and I’ll post it tonight. I will also be sending out an email to all the owners, so be looking for that, too.

Morning Sports Report; Aug. 20, 2011


Kinston’s Chris Hatcher made his second appearance as a Florida Marlins pitcher in last night’s game at San Diego — and he’s still perfect. He pitched the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Padres, giving up his first MLB hit and walk, but no runs were scored against him.

My take: He pitched in a blowout victory in his MLB debut and in a close one in his second game. I’m interested to see how the Marlins are going to use him — but wouldn’t it be something if he were handed the closer’s role? Florida has suffered a plethora of injuries this season and he’s shown some good stuff this year between Double-A and the majors.


Kinston wide receiver Jevonte’ Jones was featured in a nice piece on national football recruiting guru Tom Lemmings’ JuniorRank.com website. In the article written by Dan Hilbert, Jones talks about the injury that knocked him out last season and his desire to play at the D-1 level.

Jones’ top three schools are N.C. State, Georgia Tech and Georgia.

My take: I covered the Kinston game last night and was duly impressed with his size (he seems much taller than his listed 6-foot height, but he’s a physical specimen. It would be pretty cool to have Jones join South Lenoir’s K’Hadree Hooker and North Lenoir’s Maurice Morgan at N.C. State next year, wouldn’t it? Talk about a Lenoir County connection in Raleigh!


In last night’s area games, Kinston sloughed past scrappy Jones Senior, Greene Central scored two late fumble recovery TDs to win at North Lenoir, South Lenoir whipped Spring Creek and Ayden-Grifton spanked Riverside-Martin in Williamston. For the yardsticks for last night’s four local games, click here.

My take(s): As mentioned above, I covered the KHS-JS game — and it wasn’t nearly as close as the 28-13 score indicated. Too many Kinston mistakes (six lost fumbles!) and plenty of Trojans heart kept that game infinitely closer than it should’ve been.

GC might be a bit improved, but I’ll be surprised if the Rams are better than 3-8 this season.

Sounds like North Lenoir caught some of the fumbleitis that Kinston had last night.

Not surprised by the South Lenoir result. If the Blue Devils can be just moderately good on offense this year, Hooker and that stout South Lenoir defense could get that program its first playoff victory this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Blue Devils go 7-4 or 8-3 this  season.

Ayden-Grifton has one of the best coaches in ENC in Paul Cornwell — the Chargers will be solid again with only Goldsboro challenging them in the Carolina 1A.

The iPod shuffle

Free Fallin’ — Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Suspicious Minds — Elvis Presley

Mama Said Knock You Out — LL Cool J

Found Out About You — Gin Blossoms

Look What The Cat Dragged In — Poison

Aug. 19 scores (with 1:30 a.m. update)

Kinston 28, Jones Senior 13

Greene Central 19, North Lenoir 3

South Lenoir 33, Spring Creek 7

Ayden-Grifton 28, Riverside-Martin 7

Scores from around the state, courtesy of the Associated Press:

Alexander Central 54, North Iredell 14

Andrews 22, Cloudland, Tenn. 8

Anson County 48, Marshville Forest Hills 38

Apex Middle Creek 32, Northern Durham 0

Ashe County 41, West Caldwell 6

Asheboro 21, Providence Grove 6

Asheville 63, North Gaston 14

Asheville Erwin 17, Burnsville Mountain Heritage 7

Asheville Reynolds 21, Watauga County 14

Asheville Roberson 45, Canton Pisgah 7

Ayden-Grifton 28, Riverside Martin 7

Bertie County 26, Gates County 24

Black Mountain Owen 27, Brevard 7

Boonville Starmount 20, Mt. Airy 19

Burlington Cummings 59, West Montgomery 21

Burlington Williams 26, Oxford Webb 7

Carrboro 47, Central Davidson 36

Cary 14, Raleigh Broughton 7

Catawba Bandys 28, Hickory St. Stephens 7

Central Cabarrus 31, South Rowan 23

Chapel Hill 19, South Granville 13

Charlotte Berry Tech 44, Charlotte Vance 6

Charlotte Catholic 46, South Mecklenburg 28

Charlotte Independence 38, Hough High School 32

Charlotte Myers Park 29, Charlotte Garinger 16

Charlotte Olympic 44, North Mecklenburg 42

China Grove Carson 16, North Rowan 6

Claremont Bunker Hill 28, Cherryville 20

Clayton Cleveland 21, North Johnston 20

Columbia 6, KIPP Pride 0

Concord 27, West Charlotte 26

Concord First Assembly 18, Forsyth County Day 15

Cox Mill 38, Charlotte Harding 24

Creswell 36, Pinetown Northside 8

Croatan 55, Pamlico County 10

Davidson Day 61, Harrells Christian Academy 29

East Burke 49, Lenoir Hibriten 21

East Duplin 56, Pittsboro Northwood 6

East Forsyth 24, West Forsyth 7

East Lincoln 55, Newton-Conover 13

East Montgomery 25, Elkin 13

East Wake 28, East Chapel Hill 21

Eastern Alamance 36, Hillsborough Cedar Ridge 22

Eastern Randolph 29, Randleman 21

Edenton Holmes 53, Wendell Corinth-Holders 8

Elizabeth City Northeastern 49, Perquimans County 6

Enka 47, Sullivan South, Tenn. 44

Erwin Triton 48, Clinton 13

Fairmont 50, Clinton Union 7

Fannin County, Ga. 34, Murphy 28

Fayetteville Britt 28, Southern Pines Pinecrest 14

Fayetteville Byrd 43, Hope Mills South View 13

Fayetteville Sanford 14, Fayetteville Westover 0

Fayetteville Smith 41, Spring Lake Overhills 6

Forest City Chase 35, West Lincoln 20

Franklin 29, Charlotte Christian 7

Franklinton 29, Lakewood (Salemburg) 20

Fuquay-Varina 42, West Johnston 19

Garner 62, Raleigh Enloe 42

Gastonia Huss 39, East Gaston 32

Graham 21, Southern Alamance 14

Granville Central 30, Northampton-East 14

Green Sea Floyds, S.C. 12, West Columbus 6

Greene Central 16, North Lenoir 14

Greensboro Page 41, Davie County 7

Greenville Conley 48, Wilson Fike 14

Havelock 24, Greenville Rose 14

Hayesville 21, Towns County, Ga. 6

Hendersonville 48, West Henderson 7

Hickory 7, Statesville 7 (TIE)

High Point Andrews 27, High Point Central 20

Hobbton 39, Princeton 38

Hoke County 21, Wilmington Ashley 16

Holly Springs 27, Wake Forest Heritage 0

Hope Mills Gray’s Creek 35, St. Pauls 0

Huntersville Hopewell 41, Charlotte Providence 13

Indian Trail Porter Ridge 55, Monroe 26

Jacksonville Northside 27, Jacksonville White Oak 6

Jamestown Ragsdale 37, Greensboro Grimsley 7

Kannapolis Brown 43, Shelby 24

Kernersville Glenn 27, Pfafftown Reagan 10

Kill Devil Hills First Flight 58, Cape Hatteras 8

Kings Mountain 17, East Rutherford 14

Kinston 28, Jones County 13

Lawndale Burns 33, Shelby Crest 12

Lee County 51, Southern Lee 13

Lexington 48, Concord Robinson 10

Lincolnton 14, Maiden 3

Lumberton 31, Cape Fear 7

Madison County 21, North Buncombe 10

Mallard Creek 28, Matthews Butler 20

Manteo 48, Currituck County 24

Marvin Ridge 17, East Mecklenburg 13

Mitchell County 48, Avery County 6

Monroe Central 14, Monroe Parkwood 6

Monroe Piedmont 21, Hickory Ridge 20

Mooresville 21, West Rowan 14

Morganton Freedom 25, South Caldwell 14

Morrisville Green Hope 38, Smithfield-Selma 0

Mt. Pleasant 57, North Stanly 7

Nation Ford, S.C. 34, Gastonia Forestview 27

New Bern 27, Durham Hillside 19

New Hanover County 61, Goldsboro 12

Newton Foard 25, North Lincoln 6

North Brunswick 14, Pender County 6

North Duplin 27, Chocowinity Southside 6

North Henderson 27, Rosman 12

North Stokes 44, Alleghany County 22

North Surry 33, East Bend Forbush 9

North Wilkes 55, Thomas Jefferson 35

Northwest Guilford 49, Greensboro Smith 14

Orange County 42, Person County 14

Panther Creek 49, Raleigh Leesville Road 0

Pasquotank County 13, Camden County 12

Pembroke Swett 56, Fayetteville Pine Forest 0

Plymouth 26, Farmville Central 14

Polk County 38, Waynesville Tuscola 22

R-S Central 21, McDowell County 20

Raleigh Athens Drive 40, Raleigh Sanderson 20

Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons 40, Clayton 26

Raleigh Ravenscroft 43, Northern Vance 28

Raleigh Wake Christian 44, Chatham Central 21

Raleigh Wakefield 48, Durham Riverside 28

Red Springs 44, West Bladen 21

Richmond County 70, Monroe Sun Valley 28

Roanoke Rapids 42, Northampton-West 6

Robbinsville 20, Hapeville, Ga. 6

Rockingham County 48, East Davidson 0

Rocky Mount 30, Bunn 0

Rocky River 15, West Mecklenburg 3

Salisbury 51, East Rowan 0

Scotland County 25, Fayetteville Seventy-First 8

Siler City Jordan-Matthews 27, Eden Morehead 0

South Brunswick 34, West Craven 7

South Central Pitt 27, Hertford County 14

South Columbus 20, East Columbus 6

South Iredell 26, Lake Norman 2

South Johnston 47, Dunn Midway 6

South Lenoir 32, Seven Springs Spring Creek 7

South Stanly 34, West Stanly 12

Southeast Guilford 32, Southwest Guilford 13

Southeast Raleigh 36, Raleigh Millbrook 6

Southern Durham 35, Greensboro Dudley 28

Southern Guilford 27, Eastern Guilford 0

Southern Nash 43, SouthWest Edgecombe 0

Southern Vance 26, Louisburg 10

Southern Wayne 27, Warsaw Kenan 19

Southwest Onslow 20, East Bladen 0

Southwestern Randolph 34, Cameron Union Pines 14

Swain County 21, East Henderson 14

Sylva Smoky Mountain 26, Cherokee 14

Thomasville 21, North Davidson 14

Thomasville Ledford 50, Trinity 7

Topsail 9, Rocky Point Trask 7

Victory Christian Academy (Gastonia) 30, Gastonia Highland Tech 12

Vldese Draughn 42, Morganton Patton 28

Wake Forest-Rolesville 38, Durham Jordan 6

Wallace-Rose Hill 46, Whiteville 3

Washington 47, North Pitt 28

Weddington 45, Cuthbertson 13

West Carteret 36, Richlands 28

West Davidson 26, East Wilkes 14

West Iredell 33, East Surry 0

West Stokes 9, Albemarle 7

West Wilkes 14, South Stokes 12

Western Alamance 28, Reidsville 21

Western Harnett 37, South Robeson 6

Wheatmore 34, South Davidson 27

Wilkes Central 48, Surry Central 7

Wilmington Hoggard 32, West Brunswick 21

Wilmington Laney 54, Jacksonville 14

Wilson Hunt 48, Eastern Wayne 6

Winston-Salem Carver 35, North Forsyth 14

Winston-Salem Mt. Tabor 43, Winston-Salem Atkins 0

Winston-Salem Parkland 14, Winston-Salem Reynolds 13, OT


Wilson Beddingfield vs. Northern Nash, ppd. to Aug 22.

Tarboro vs. Nash Central, ppd. to Aug 22.