Streak for the Cash October winner: David Pollock!

David Pollock has become the new dominant force in our little game as he came away with his fourth win in six months. His 75 victories in October were nine better than four-time winner Jackson Irvin and 11 more than two-time winner J. Osterberg.

David — email me at bhanks@freedomenc.com and we’ll hook you up with something nice.

As for the rest of you, if you’re not playing, you’re not living. Join us by clicking here for a chance to win cool stuff!

October’s top 10

1. D. Pollock (David Pollock) — 75

2. J. Irvin — 66

3. J. Osterberg — 64

4. Hanks — 62

5. C. Pollock — 59

6. R. Capps — 57 (Chargers)

7. S. Jones — 53 (Chargers)

8. L. Walker — 45

9. Hot Blonde — 39

10. F. Jones — 37

All-time blog winners

2009

February: Flagan (F. Jones) – 43 wins

March: B. Pelletier – 60 wins

April: Flagan (F. Jones) – 59 wins

May: Flagan (F. Jones) – 57 wins

June: B. Pelletier – 53 wins

July: Flagan (F. Jones) – 69 wins

August: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) – 69 wins

September: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) – 69 wins

October: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) – 62 wins

November: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) – 83 wins

December: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) & D. Guido – 91 wins

2010

January: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) – 71 wins

February: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) – 68 wins

March: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) – 82 wins

April: J. Irvin (Jackson Irvin) – 77 wins

May: R. Capps (Randy Capps) – 75 wins

June: P. Howard (WolfpackPete) – 69 wins

July: J. Irvin (Jackson Irvin) – 80 wins

August: R. Capps (Randy Capps) – 87 wins

September: J. Irvin (Jackson Irvin) – 73 wins

October: J. Irvin (Jackson Irvin) — 79 wins

November: R. Capps (Randy Capps) — 79 wins

December: J. Osterberg — 79 wins

2011

January: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) — 81

February: D. Guido — 71

March: S. Jones (Beale St. Buc) — 96

April: Flagan (Franc Jones) — 90

May: D. Pollock (David Pollock) — 90

June: D. Pollock (David Pollock) — 81

July: Bryan Hanks — 78

August: J. Osterberg — 85

September: D. Pollock (David Pollock) — 84

October: D. Pollock (David Pollock) — 75

Breaking down the prep football playoffs with Nick and Chris

Pull up a chair and enjoy a show that was taped yesterday at WRAL in Raleigh — I joined WRAL CBS-5/highschoolot.com’s Nick Stevens, Chris Edwards and James Alverson to break down the prep football playoffs all over the state of North Carolina:


 

My take: Not going to give away who I picked to win the eight titles (although those familiar with my homerism won’t have TOO much trouble), but it was a fun project. Really appreciate Nick asking me to be a part of it.

Speaking of Nick, he will be joining Ryan Herman and I on this week’s Free Press High School Football Podcast, along with WCTI ABC-12′s Brian North.

Kinston gets (unofficial) overall No. 1 seed

The NCHSAA has released its preliminary football playoff pairings; here’s where our area teams are slotted:

  • Kinston (9-1) is the overall No. 1 seed in 2AA East; the Vikings will face SW Edgecombe (4-6) in the first round and the winner of Topsail (7-3)/North Pitt (6-5) in the second round. The Vikings have homefield advantage all the way to the state championship.
  • Ayden-Grifton (9-1) is the No. 1 seed in 1AA East and No. 2 overall to Mideast’s Wallace-Rose Hill (10-1), meaning A-G has the homefield until the 1AA East finals. The Chargers host East Carteret (2-8) in the first round and the winner of Gates County (4-6)/Dixon (3-8) in the second round.
  • Greene Central (5-5) has the No. 8 seed in 2A East (No. 13 overall) and travels to overall No. 1 Jacksonville Northside (11-0) in the first round.
  • Jones Senior (6-4) is the No. 3 seed in 1A Mideast (No. 6 overall) and hosts Northampton-West (4-5) in the first round. If they win, the Trojans will either travel to SE Halifax (7-4) or host Goldsboro Rosewood (5-5) in the second round.

NCHSAA releases ADMs

The NCHSAA released its Average Daily Membership numbers today, meaning we have a vague idea of what division (A or AA) each playoff football team will fall under when matchups are released tomorrow.

By the way, if you want to see an excellent breakdown and analysis of the ADM numbers, check out the good work from Phil Gardner of the Gaston Gazette. He has guaranteed A/AA and middle ground; great work by the young man.

Here’s how area teams shake out, with Phil’s prediction for placement:

Kinston (playoff lock) – 893, likely 2AA but not guaranteed

North Lenoir (won’t make playoffs) — 989

South Lenoir (won’t make playoffs) — 803

Greene Central (borderline playoffs) — 809, likely 2A but not guaranteed

Ayden-Grifton (playoff lock) — 678, definitely 1AA

Jones Senior (playoff lock) — 318, definitely 1A

East Duplin (playoff lock) — 871, right slap in the middle, could go either 2A or 2AA

My picks, Week 10

Make your own picks by clicking here.

Prep

Kinston 28, North Pitt 27 — I will not at all be surprised if NP pulls this out. That’s not to denigrate Kinston, but NP is tougher than its 5-4 record indicates, Kinston is coming off a bye week where focus might be lost and its star QB, C.J. Bradshaw, is recovering from a serious injury. This just seems like the classic trap game to me. If Kinston wins tonight, it’ll mark only the second time in school history the Vikings have gone unbeaten through a conference race (2008′s 5-0 run through the Eastern Carolina 3A under Battle Holley was the only other time).

Eastern Wayne 24, North Lenoir 8 — I wish the players at North Lenoir cared as much as the coach does at North Lenoir. Until that happens — and it’s HIGHLY unlikely it’ll happen tonight — the Hawks lose … again. And that conference losing streak is now at 26. Before this streak, the longest conference losing streak for the Hawks was 18 in the Coastal 3A, from Oct. 29, 1982-Nov. 8, 1985 under Doug Hill; the second-longest streak was 14 in the Coastal 3A, from Oct. 1, 1999-Nov. 3, 2000 under Wayne Jackson. This current streak includes 11 losses under Jackson and 15 (and counting) under Calvin Sutton … who has not had a conference win in his tenure in Wheat Swamp.

Clinton 16, South Lenoir 14 – Too much “stuff” going on in Deep Run right now; as I mentioned on Twitter, my phone didn’t stop blowing up from calls, texts and messages from folks south of the river last night. There’s a lot of dysfunction going on right now; I’d love to see the Blue Devils pull it together for K’Hadree and the seniors (and Coach Wilson), but it’ll be tough.

Ayden-Grifton 34, Goldsboro 27  – The game of the week, at least in The Free Press area. Goldsboro has owned A-G the past two years, but that ends tonight.

Greene Central 26, Farmville Central 13 – Rams gotta win to make the playoffs; Jags won’t put up too much of a fight.

Jacksonville Northside 35, East Duplin 14 – THIS is the game of the week in Eastern North Carolina, although I think the Monarchs are going to run all over Battle’s Boys.

College

ECU

UNC

Clemson

Georgia

South Carolina

NFL

Carolina

Buffalo

Detroit

New England

Philadelphia

Morning News Report; Oct. 28, 2011

BEST WORLD SERIES GAME EVER?

In what some are calling the best World Series game in baseball history, the St. Louis Cardinals rallied in the ninth and 10th innings to down the Texas Rangers, 10-9, in Game 6 of the Fall Classic.

My take:A heck of a game, to be sure. If you’re the Rangers and you’ve had your heart ripped out the way it was last night, how do you recover for Game 7 tonight? My gut says tonight is anticlimactic — St. Louis probably wins 12-3 or something like that.

So … where does last night’s game rank to you?

‘IRON MAN 3′ TO FILM IN WILMINGTON

N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue announced the superhero movie, “Iron Man 3″ will begin filming in Wilmington soon. Filming will allegedly bring more than $80 million to the state, along with 550 crew jobs and 1,000 jobs for actors.

My take: Pretty cool, although you have to wonder how much N.C. had to give up to get this to come to Wilmington. Regardless — has to be a shot in the arm for Wilmington economically.

NBA NEARING RESOLUTION TO LOCKOUT

It appears there might be some sort of deal between the NBA owners and players to end the lockout — as early as today.

My take: They better get something worked out; with baseball stealing the stage, the NFL getting its usual lofty ratings and college basketball getting ready to debut its 2011-12 edition, the NBA is already going to have to battle to gets its audience back. If it’s gone for more than the two weeks its already lost, it would be a pretty tough task to get the peripheral fans back.

The good news, though? Those (sarcasm intended) hard-to-get Charlotte Bobcats tickets should be even easier to obtain after this mess is over.

The iPod shuffle

Rock N Roll Band — Boston

Mandy — Barry Manilow

Come As You Are — Nirvana

Sad Songs (Say So Much) — Elton John

Another One Bites The Dust — Queen

P.S.: If you’re one of our Pink Hill bloggees, take a look at four of the six candidates running for your town board; Justin “The Kid” worked hard on the stories and aided Jon Dawson and I on the podcasts, which you can also access at the link.

And note I wrote four of the six — candidates Debra Grady and Marion Mitchell didn’t think it was important enough to share their messages with Free Press readers. What chaps my lips the most about that is eight candidates from Pink Hill (mayoral and town board) and 11 from Kinston and La Grange made the time to come to our office or be interviewed over the phone for this FREE feature over a three-day period, but Ms. Grady and Mr. Mitchell essentially blew us off, after multiple calls and talking to Justin.

I would never encourage to vote for or against a candidate … but I’d strongly consider my vote for a candidate who can’t take 15 minutes out of their day to share their message with voters. If they can’t take 15 minutes, how are they going to have the time to help run your town?

This week’s Free Press High School Football Podcast

Click here to listen to this week’s High School Football Podcast with Ryan Herman and I. This week, the Hermanator (Copyright 2011: Heelatious) and I talk about last week’s games, tomorrow night’s game and welcome Ayden-Grifton head coach Paul Cornwell to the show. The Chargers have a huge game with Goldsboro tomorrow night for the Carolina 1A title.

It was a true pleasure having Coach Cornwell on — one of the true gentlemen in the game today.

I’ll say this — if I’m reading the tea leaves correctly and my sources throughout the county are accurate, there are going to be some changes soon in at least one head coaching position and perhaps two. It’s no secret South Lenoir is struggling mightily — with its longest losing streak (7 games) in a while — and the natives are restless in Deep Run. While Coach Kevin Wilson is a strong, passionate (and, in my view, a positive) influence, there is a significant community movement afoot to remove him from his position. Frankly, I’d be surprised if he is in the position past the first semester of school.

At North Lenoir, apathy rules — through no fault of Coach Calvin Sutton. The community atmosphere’s not changed much between Coach Sutton and his predecessor, the honorable Wayne Jackson — both men who love high school football and have done/did their best to make North Lenoir a football school. It’s just this simple — North Lenoir is a baseball/basketball school and the athletes there simply don’t care about football. It is what it is.

Does that mean Sutton is out? Probably not — I hear it’s his job as long as he wants it. But who wants to continually give their heart and soul to a place and continually get smacked in the jaw? Coach Jackson gave his heart and soul there for 10 years with not much payback, finally saw the light and is now part of one of the best prep programs in North Carolina.

Morning News Report; Oct. 27, 2011

TELEP ON RECRUITING’S UNDERBELLY

College basketball recruiting’s best analyst — ESPN’s Dave Telep — has an informative and exposing piece at the Worldwide Leader’s site on the state of basketball recruiting.

Important note — to read the whole thing, you need to be an ESPN Insider … but trust me: it’s worth the price of the membership to read this article.

My take: In fact, it’s too bad it’s an Insider piece, because there is information there that needs to be read everywhere.

What intrigued me is that Telep — who is recognized as being the best in the business at the moment — basically admits it’s impossible for any program to be clean in this day and age. And yes, that includes Duke, UNC and the rest of the so-called “clean” programs out there.

Telep admits the recruitment of LeBron James opened his eyes — not by colleges, but by Nike and adidas.

This is probably the best piece I’ve ever read on the ins and outs of college recruiting. Take 15 minutes and give it a read.

BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD RETURN TONIGHT

One of the greatest shows in television history returns tonight when “Beavis & Butt-head” returns to MTV with new episodes after 14 years.

My take: Yep … the DVR is set to tape the comeback.

Heh heh … I said “comeback.” Heh heh.

NO CONTROVERSY WITH GRONKOWSKI/PORN STAR

While most NFL stars had boring times during their bye weeks, New England Patriots tight end (heh heh, “tight end”) Rob Gronkowski had a photo taken with porn star Bibi Jones that was blown up on Twitter. Here it is, with another shot of Ms. Jones:

(Click on the images for better viewing)

There was no controversy, though; evidently, Gronk didn’t know who Ms. Jones was and has been embarrassed by the attention garnered by the event.

My take: It is funny that he carries a jersey with him everywhere, though, isn’t it?

The iPod shuffle

Ride Wit Me — T.I.

Miuzi Weighs A Ton — Public Enemy

She — Green Day

Speak To Me/Breathe — Pink Floyd

Mediate — INXS

P.S.: If you’re one of our Pink Hill bloggees, check out the stories and podcasts for the four mayoral candidates by going here. Justin “The Kid” Hill and Jon Dawson worked hard putting these and the town board stories/podcasts together (which will be in tomorrow’s FP/Kinston.com), so if you’re a Pink Hillian (is that a word?), take a few minutes and become better informed.

Blog Survivor Pool 2011, Part II; Week 2 results (and make your picks for Week 3)

After a perfect first week by our 12 players, we lost three last week when the Hot Blonde, Petey Pablo and The Kid picked Baltimore to win at Jacksonville.

Five went with Dallas last week, three successfully picked New Orleans and one went with Pittsburgh.

You old pros know the drill — try to make your pick before noon on Sunday … it’s not fun having to track you losers down at church or waking your lazy butts up to get your pick from you!

If you lost this week, please get your $5 to me; if you still owe money from Part 1 of this season – please send me your check or cashola to 2103 N. Queen St., Kinston, 28501. There are still several of you guys/gals out there, so hook a brotha up.

1. Hanks (Green Bay, New Orleans): Baltimore

2. Jonathan Massey (Baltimore, Pittsburgh): New Orleans

3. Drew Meadows (Pittsburgh, Dallas): N.Y. Giants

4. Jeff Howard (Oakland, Dallas): San Francisco 49ers

5. Randy Capps (Pittsburgh, Dallas): New Orleans

6. Shanna Capps (Green Bay, New Orleans): Baltimore

7. John Q. Awesome (Green Bay, Dallas): New Orleans

8. Sealgirl (Pittsburgh, New Orleans): Baltimore

9. Heelatious (Green Bay, Dallas): N.Y. Giants

ELIMINATED (WITH WEEK OF ELIMINATION IN PARENTHESES AND TEAM IN STRIKETHROUGH THAT KNOCKED YOU OUT)

Hot Blonde (Week 2): Green Bay, Baltimore

Petey Pablo (Week 2): Green Bay, Baltimore

The Kid (Week 2): Oakland, Baltimore

Pick these games, Week 10

Prep

Kinston at North Pitt

Eastern Wayne at North Lenoir

Clinton at South Lenoir

Goldsboro at Ayden-Grifton

Farmville Central at Greene Central

BONUS GAME: Jacksonville Northside at East Duplin

College

Tulane at ECU

Wake Forest at UNC

Clemson at Georgia Tech

Florida vs. Georgia

South Carolina at Tennessee

NFL

Minnesota at Carolina

Washington at Buffalo

Detroit at Denver

New England at Pittsburgh

Dallas at Philadelphia

Notes: 16 games this week instead of the usual 15 to get us back to 150 total after this week. … Parrott and Jones Senior fans, don’t fret — I didn’t include you guys this week because it’d be 34-0 picking for y’all against Lawrence and East Carteret!