Updates on South Sports Scene by Dan O’Neal

GRANITE FALLS, NC (January 29, 2019) — First, congratulations to the South Caldwell Men’s Swimming Team on winning the Northwestern 4A-3A Conference Championships held recently at the Hickory Foundation YMCA. South edged out St. Stephens 415.5 to 396.5. Brody Carroll took first in the 500 Freestyle along with the Spartans winning two of the three relays. In the Ladies competition, South finished fourth with Kayana Taylor winning the 200 Individual Medley title as well as the 100 Butterfly. To Coach Brent Tomberlin, outstanding body of coaching work!

That Wrestling (not Rasslin) – At the recent Conference Tournament held at Freedom High School, the Spartans tied for the third with Freedom in the overall scores. Of course, it is not a mystery as to who the entire meet…duhhhh, Saint. If I am not mistaken, St. Stephens is the only unbeaten wrestling team in the entire state. Congratulations to Senior Dustin Herman on winning the 152 lb. weight class championship there. Other top-4 finishers include: Jonah McBurney, 3rd, 106; Jade Hutto, 4th, 126; Andrew Clark, 4th, 132; Hunter Hudson, 3rd, 138; CJ Crawford, 4th, 182; Justin Chester, 4th, 195; Steven Warren, 3rd, 220; Josh Voelkel, 3rd, 285. Have to say that these young people have a great time in their participation. Another outstanding body of work by the coaching staff helps to facilitate such enjoyment.

Congrats to the Spartans’ Men’s Basketball squad on getting their first win recently, a 46-44 victory over Alexander Central. Even though the presently have a 1-15 record, these young men continue to work hard and improve every game. The Ladies basketball record presently stands at 5-11 with recent wins over St. Stephens and Alexander Central but the loss to 2-13 Hibriten proved to be a setback. Both squads have an opportunity to improve on their record as they face West Caldwell at home on January 29th.

Other musings….The Stupid, ooops Super Bowl 53 (forget the proper Roman numerals). This writer really does not give a flying flip who wins. Through my lens, sports like pro football and the NBA are as rigged as that rasslin I referred to earlier. Now the networks and the athletic apparel companies determine the victor. And I thought it was always a level playing field…

Confession time (please be kind readers)…I am always and ever a Duke fan. If you were raised to be a Tarheel fan, a Wolfpack fan or in the case of East Burke head wrestling coach Mark Boyd, a Kentucky Wildcats fan, then that is the school you root for. Hence, please refer to my raising. That said, do I like the “One and Done” concept that rules College Basketball presently? In a word, NO, I am not. Pardon me for being old school but am still of the belief that these players should stay three years. Of course, that is now unrealistic.

However, maybe I can make an exception for freshman sensation and extreme highlight reel Zion Williamson. If there is an NBA franchise who should deliberately tank this season, it is the New York Knicks. From what I gather, the Knicks and their conglomerate, Madison Square Garden greatly covet Zion Williamson. In turn, Zion Williamson would love nothing more than to play 41 games a year at the Garden. It will be intriguing to see what transpires at the end of June.

So now writers block is setting in with me again. Maybe some you wish that would remain. Nevertheless, I will say it is a joy and a blessing to make this connection with the students, coaches, administration and faculty of South Caldwell High School as well as the other area learning institutions. Thank you so much for the hospitality and the way you have made me feel welcome. Keep this one thought in mind however….with some of the written content. I do, at times, have an annoying habit of saying or writing things merely to see what reaction I get from you.