Tuesday, August 31, 2010

49ers vs. Davidson in football? Won't happen

There has been some sentiment -- OK, maybe by me -- that a great way for Charlotte to open its first-ever football season in 2013 would be against Mecklenburg County rival Davidson.

That's not going to happen. The Wildcats' '13 schedule has already been finalized and the 49ers aren't on it. So unless Davidson pulls a Tennessee (which recently begged out of a contract with North Carolina) with somebody, we'll have to wait a while longer for a 49ers-Wildcats game.

Davidson athletics director Jim Murphy said Tuesday that Charlotte hasn't contacted him about scheduling a football game. Charlotte AD Judy Rose won't comment on who she's trying to schedule but has said she wants the first game -- which will likely be Aug. 31, 2013-- to be at home.

Said Murphy, whose FCS football program doesn't have scholarships: "We'd be interested in the near-term, but based on the number of scholarships they're going to give, not in the long-term."

Morehead State is still the only opponent the 49ers have announced. Expect news of more games to be released pretty soon, though.

Here's a list of first-season schedules for FCS teams that have recently started programs. Remember, at least half Charlotte's schedule must include Division I teams (doesn't matter if they're FBS or FCS):

OLD DOMINION (2009, includes results of the Monarchs' 9-2 season)

at Virginia Military (FCS), 42-35 W
N.C. Central (FCS), 42-28 W
Georgetown (FCS), 31-10 W
at Savannah State (FCS), 38-17 W
Campbell (FCS), 28-17 W
Presbyterian (FCS), 34-16 W
at Fordham (FCS), 34-29 L
Monmouth (FCS), 31-28 L
Jacksonville (FCS), 28-27 W
Virginia Union (Div. II), 49-17 W
Chowan (Div. II), 36-21 W

SOUTH ALABAMA (first full season; unclassified this year; plans on moving to FBS)

Pikeville, Ky. (NAIA)
Nicholls State (FCS)
Edward Waters, Fla. (NAIA Div. II)
Kentucky Wesleyan (Div. II)
Missouri S&T (Div. II)
at Lamar (FCS)
at UC Davis (FCS)
Georgia State (FCS)
Henderson (Ark.) State (Div. II)
Ark.-Monticello (Div. II)


Shorter, Ga. (NAIA)
Lambuth, Tenn. (NAIA)
Jacksonville State (FCS)
at Campbell (FCS)
Morehead State (FCS)
Savannah State (FCS)
N.C. Central (FCS)
at Old Dominion (FCS)
at South Alabama (FCS)
Lamar (FCS)
at Alabama (FBS)

LAMAR (2010)

at McNeese State (FCS)
Webber International, Fla. (NAIA)
at Southeastern Louisiana (FCS)
at Stephen F. Austin (FCS)
Sam Houston State (FCS)
Langston, Okla. (NAIA)
South Alabama (FCS)
at North Dakota (FCS)
at Georgia State (FCS)
South Dakota (FCS)
Oklahoma Panhandle State (Div. II)


Northeastern (Okla.) State (Div. II)
McMurry, Texas (Div. III)
at Southern Utah (FCS)
Bacone, Okla. (NAIA)
at Sam Houston State (FCS)
South Alabama (FCS)
at UC Davis (FCS)
at Northwestern State (FCS)
Georgia State (FCS)
at McNeese State (FCS)
Minot (N.D.) State (NAIA)

49ers' Kubrick A-10 rookie of week

Charlotte freshman Alex Kubrick is the Atlantic 10's women's soccer rookie of the week after allowing one goal in 184 minutes in the 49ers' season-opening victories against Davidson and N.C. State last week.

Kubrick blanked Davidson in a 1-0 triumph, then helped the 49ers to a 2-1 overtime victory against the Wolfpack.

She had four saves against Davidson and six against N.C. State.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cross country teams ranked regionally

Charlotte's women's and men's cross country teams are both ranked regionally as they prepare for their season-opening meets this weekend.

The 49ers women are seventh in the Southeast region's preseason rankings; the men are 13th.

"While this is exciting, it will be more important to finish this high or higher at the end of the season," said coach Ed Schlichter.

The women finished ranked 13th in the Southeast last season, while the men were 14th.

The cross country teams' first meet is Saturday at the USC Upstate Eyeopener in Spartanburg.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Strong start for women's soccer

-- The 49ers' women's soccer team got off to an impressive start this weekend with a pair of victories -- one against rival Davidson, the other against the ACC's N.C. State.

Both were one-goal victories. One winner came early; the other came late.

Sam Huecker's goal 54 seconds into the game gave the 49ers all they needed against Davidson on Friday. Then, after a planned dinner Saturday night at midfielder/forward Macky Wingo's house (she's from Raleigh), the 49ers beat the Wolfpack 2-1 on Whitney Bryant's goal in overtime Sunday.

Charlotte will take its 2-0 record into home games next weekend against Arizona State (Friday) and Pittsburgh (Sunday).

-- Charlotte's volleyball team won its first match of the season, beating East Carolina on Friday, then fell to 1-2 with losses Saturday to Liberty and Cleveland State.

The 49ers play in a tournament in Fairfax, Va., next weekend.

-- Charlotte's men's soccer team, which went 1-0-1 in the preseason, opens on the road Wednesday aganist UNC Greensboro. The 49ers beat Winthrop last Thursday 1-0 in their second exhbition after tying Coastal Carolina 0-0.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

49ers will face Morehead State in football


The Charlotte 49ers have their first football opponent for their first season of 2013.

Charlotte will play at Morehead State on Nov. 23, 2013. The 49ers and Eagles will play a return game in Charlotte's planned on-campus stadium Nov. 22, 2014.

"The formal announcement that we are starting football in 2013 with no uncertainty was very exciting," 49ers athletics director Judy Rose said in a statement. "We quickly moved forward to begin scheduling and we are off and running. There are many more games to schedule, including our inaugural game, but it's exciting that we have our first contract in hand."

Morehead State, located in Morehead, Ky., is a non-scholarship NCAA Football Championship Series program that plays in the Pioneer League, the same conference in which Davidson plays.

The Eagles were 3-8 last season (losing 16-10 to Davidson).
Morehead State's basketball program plays in Division I's Ohio Valley Conference.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Harris playing in Finland

-- Former 49ers point guard Dijuan Harris is off to play professionally in Finland. He said goodbye Tuesday on his Twitter account.

-- Charlotte's Andy Sajevic didn't make the cut at this week's U.S. Amateur golf tournament in University Place, Wash. Although Sajevic had a 72 on Tuesday, he couldn't overcome the 84 he shot Monday at the Home Course.

Sajevic, a sophomore at Charlotte, was an all-Atlantic 10 selection last season. Charlotte's fall golf season gets underway Sept. 12-13 at the Gopher Invitational in Wayzata, Minn.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dewhurst returning? Beavers added to schedule

49ers news and notes:

-- Charles Dewhurst, who graduated in May after playing three seasons of basketball for Charlotte, has apparently had a change of heart and wants to play one more season. Dewhurst was a redshirt junior last season who announced in February that he would forego his senior year.

Under NCAA rules, however, players are eligible for a fourth season while enrolled in a graduate program.

A few things have to happen for Dewhurst to play again: First, he must be accepted by Charlotte's Masters program. And since he hasn't been participating in offseason workouts, he's got to show new coach Alan Major that he's physically ready to play again.

Dewhurst, who played at Charlotte Latin, averaged 2.8 points and 3.9 rebounds last season. He missed most of his freshman season when he injured his lower left leg.

-- Charlotte has added a game at Oregon State to its men's basketball schedule. The 49ers will face the Beavers on Nov. 24 -- the day before Thanksgiving -- in Corvallis, Ore.

Oregon State will play in Halton Arena in 2011-12. The Beavers are coached by Craig Robinson, President Obama's brother-in-law.

The 49ers open their season Nov. 13 at home against S.C. State and will play in a tournament in Charleston the next week.

-- Charlotte's women's soccer team suffered an early blow when senior defender Katie Davies broke her ankle in preseason practice. The 49ers open their season Friday against Davidson at Transamerica Field ... Senior defender Megan Minnix has been nominated for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for women's soccer ... Fans bringing a school supply to Friday's Charlotte-Davidson women's soccer game at 7 p.m. at Transamerica Field will be admitted free.

-- The 49ers' athletic website (www.charlotte49ers.com) has added a countdown clock for its first football season of 2013. No game has been scheduled yet, but the clock is set to expire Aug. 31, 2013, the earliest weekend NCAA teams can play that season. It's set for midnight, though, which would be a strange time to play.

-- Former Charlotte 49ers golfer Corey Nagy qualified for this week's Nationwide Tour Knoxville Open by shooting a 66 in Monday qualifing. Another former Charlotte player, Trevor Murphy, is also in the field. Nagy tees off at 9:30 a.m. Thursday at Fox Den Country Club; Murphy is at 2:10 p.m.

-- Sophomore golfer Andy Sajevic is playing in this week's U.S. Amateur in University Place, Wash. Sajevic, an all-Atlantic 10 selection last season, shot a 72 on Tuesday and has a chance at qualifying for match play.

Monday, August 23, 2010

49ers women to host Duke

The 49ers' non-conference women's basketball schedule was released today. The highlight comes early when Charlotte hosts Duke on Nov. 27. That will be part of a doubleheader that will also have Charlotte's men playing their home opener.

Charlotte opens its season in the Preseasoln WNIT with a home game Nov. 13 against Iona. A 49ers victory would put them in the second round, possibly against former coach Amanda Butler and the Florida Gators.

"We believe in establishing ourselves early is very important and this year's schedule gives us that opportunity," said coach Karen Aston. "Hopefully (the schedule) prepares us for the rigors of the A-10."

Here's the non-conference schedule:

Nov. 13, Iona (Preseason WNIT); 14-15, Preseason WNIT second round; 17-21, Preseason NIT semifinals, championship; 23, Savannah State; 27, Duke; 30, at N.C. A&T.

Dec. 2, at UNC Wilmington; 5, East Carolina; 8, at Western Carolina; 11, Virginia Commonwealth; 19, at Arkansas State; 22, Md.-Eastern Shore; 28-29, at Tulane Christmas tournament (vs. Old Dominion, Nicholls State/Tulane).

Jan. 2, Virginia Tech.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Get an early look at fall sports teams

The regular-season is still a week away for Charlotte's soccer and volleyball teams, but all three squads are in preseason action this weekend.

The men's soccer team plays Coastal Carolina in an exhibition at 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Transamerica Field. The women's team faces Pfeiffer at 7 p.m. on Saturday, also at the soccer stadium.

The volleyball team plays its Alumni Match on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Halton Arena.

Regular-season openers:

Men's soccer: Sept. 1 at UNC Greensboro.
Women's soccer: Aug. 27 vs. Davidson.
Volleyball: Aug. 27 at East Carolina.
Men's/women's cross country: Sept. 4, at USC Upstate Eyeopener

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another neutral site for women's tournament

The Atlantic 10 women's basketball tournament is moving to the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass.

It's the second time in the league's 29-year history that the tournament has been played at a neutral site. The tournament was held in Upper Marlboro, Md., last season, with Xavier winning the championship.

The Tsongas Center is home to the NCAA Division I hockey team of Massachusetts-Lowell.

Tournament dates are March 4-7, with the championship game being televised on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. March 7.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Barnette passes on Red Sox for 49ers

Right-hand pitcher Tyler Barnette, who was taken by the Boston Red Sox in June's Major League Draft, will play for the Charlotte 49ers instead. Barnette didn't sign a contract with the Red Sox by Monday's midnight deadline and is expected to enroll at Charlotte for the fall semester.
Barnette, who played at Hickory High, was drafted in the ninth round by the Red Sox. He had already committed to Charlotte before the draft but until Monday had not decided whether to turn pro or play in college. He'll be eligible for the draft again after his junior season at Charlotte.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

49ers men's soccer picked 2nd in A-10

Charlotte's men's soccer team has been picked by the Atlantic 10's coaches to finish second in the league this season. Saint Louis, last season's tournament champion, is the preseason choice to win the league. Dayton, Rhode Island, Fordham and Massachusetts round out the top 6.

The top six teams in the league will play in the conference tournament, scheduled for Nov. 11-14 at Charlotte's Transamerica Field.

The 49ers, who have eight starters back from last season's NCAA tournament team, open their season Sept. 1 at UNC Greensboro, with the home opener Sept. 4 against Elon. The 49ers are ranked 25th in the College Soccer News preseason poll.

Davidson back on 49ers' schedule

The 49ers' men's basketball schedule won't be released for a few weeks yet, but -- unofficially -- here are some highlights:

-- The 49ers will resume their rivalry with Davidson with a Dec. 11 game at the Wildcats' Belk Arena. Charlotte and Davidson haven't played since 2007.

-- Charlotte will play Tennessee at Time Warner Cable Arena on Dec. 17.

-- The 49ers play at Georgia Tech on Jan. 2, the same day the Carolina Panthers play the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome at 1 p.m. Gametime for the 49ers-Yellow Jackets hasn't been announced, but 49ers officials are hoping it's at night or late afternoon.

-- The 49ers will open the season in a tournament in Charleston, along with N.C. State, Georgetown, George Mason, Wofford and East Carolina. The final two teams of the eight-team tournament have yet to be announced.

-- There's talk that the home opener will be Nov. 27 against S.C. State, part of a doubleheader with the 49ers' women's team. Their opponent? Duke.

-- The rest of the non-conference schedule will include home games against Winthrop and Wright State and away games against Mercer and East Carolina. Dates on all of them aren't firm yet.

-- The Atlantic 10 schedule hasn't been announced yet, but Charlotte has home-and-home league games against George Washington, Richmond and Xavier, while it will play home games against Dayton, Fordham, La Salle, Massachusetts and Saint Joseph's. On the road: Duquesne, Rhode Island, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis and Temple.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lessons from Georgia State

ATLANTA -- With football for the Charlotte 49ers officially on the way in 2013, I headed down Interstate 85 on Wednesday to Georgia State, where the Panthers will play college football for the first time this season.

I’m writing a story that will appear in The Observer within the next few weeks about how the Panthers have made it to this point -- and what lessons Charlotte can take from them.

But here are a few early observations from downtown Atlanta, where Georgia State’s campus is located:

-- There are plenty of similarities between Georgia State and Charlotte -- two state universities in big cities, both with “commuter” school reputations that play in the shadows of more established programs in the ACC and SEC. The biggest difference is Georgia State’s campus is as urban as you can get, while UNC Charlotte is located on the outskirts of town and has built up its own surrounding community. Another difference: Atlanta is a huge college football city. Charlotte, not so much.

-- As the 49ers prepare to build their own on-campus stadium, Georgia State is swinging as far the other way as possible. The Panthers will play in the 71,228-seat Georgia Dome, a seven-minute walk from campus. The school has sold 3,187 season tickets. Athletics director Cheryl Levick says the goal is to sell out the lower bowl of the Georgia Dome, which seats 28,155.

-- Georgia State’s best move so far appears to be hiring coach Bill Curry, a former Georgia Tech and Alabama coach who grew up near the Georgia State campus in College Park, Ga.
Curry is a local guy whose wife Carolyn is a Georgia State grad. He’s totally committed to making it work. He’s got the credentials, contacts, experience and charisma to help get the program off to a solid start.
Charlotte athletics director Judy Rose says she might have a coach hired by early 2011. She would do well to find someone like Curry.

-- Curry’s staff is also impressive. Defensive coordinator John Thompson is a former head coach at East Carolina. Offensive coordinator John Bond probably didn’t have to move, coming from Georgia Tech, where he coached ACC rushing leader Tashard Choice in 2007.

-- Just because Georgia State is a start-up, it doesn’t mean there aren’t quality players on the roster. The Panthers’ 90-player roster, while dominated by freshmen, also has a healthy dose of transfers. Chief among them are quarterback Star Jackson, who played in five games as a redshirt freshman last season for Alabama, and offensive guard Joseph Gilbert, a two-year starter at Georgia Tech. Freshman quarterback Drew Little threw for 9,003 yards in high school in McDonough, Ga., the second highest total in state history.

-- Georgia State’s first freshman commitment is from Charlotte, sort of. Linebacker Mark Hogan played high school football in Sudbury, Mass., but his family moved to Matthews after he graduated. He was the only football player on campus when he enrolled in January 2009, and worked out by himself the entire semester. Five other players joined him that summer before the rest of the school’s first class of football players joined them last fall.

-- Curry says the economy has been the biggest challenge that the school has faced in starting the program. “That’s affected everything you do, it’s the most unpleasant thing I’ve had to deal with,” said Curry. “Just like it’s affected everybody in the world, everybody is suffering the same way. Here we are attempting to raise funds, which is worthy, but is it more worthy than an earthquake victim? So we can’t wallow around in self pity, because everybody else is suffering the same way.”

-- That said, the school received a $1.5 million donation from a local businessman Wednesday. The booster -- Parker H. Petit -- will perform the coin toss before the first game.
Is there anyone out there who would write the 49ers that kind of check?

-- The Panthers’ schedule features a mixture of smaller schools, some of similar size and one very big challenge on a Thursday night in November. Georgia State’s first two games are against NAIA schools Shorter (Ga.) and and Lambuth (Tenn.). Many of their next games feature FCS teams, including Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Savannah State, N.C. Central and Old Dominion. Lamar, which will play the Panthers Nov. 6, is playing football for the first time since 1989. Campbell, which hosts Georgia State on Sept. 25, is in its third season of football and Old Dominion (Oct. 23) is in its second season.
And on Nov. 18, Georgia State will play Alabama in Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

-- Unlike Charlotte, Georgia State has no plans to play beyond the NCAA Football Championship Series (formerly Division I-AA) level. The Panthers will play as an FCS independent in 2011 before joining the Colonial Athletic Association in 2012.
Look for the 49ers and Panthers to be play each other regularly.

Georgia State’s 2010 schedule

Sept. 2: Shorter (Ga.)

Sept. 11: Lambuth (Tenn.)

Sept. 18: Jacksonville State

Sept. 25: at Campbell

Oct. 2: Morehead State

Oct. 9: Savannah State

Oct. 16: N.C. Central

Oct. 23: at Old Dominion

Oct. 30: at South Alabama

Nov. 6: Lamar

Nov. 18: at Alabama

49ers women picked second in A-10 soccer

The Charlotte 49ers women's soccer team has been picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10 in a preseason vote by the league's coaches.

The 49ers, who have won three of the last four A-10 regular-season championships, were picked behind only Dayton in the poll.

Charlotte, which has a 23-game unbeaten streak in the conference, returns nine starters from last season's team which finished 16-3-2 and was 9-0-2 in the league (Charlotte lost to Dayton in the tournament championship game). The 49ers open their season Aug. 29 at N.C. State; the home opener is Sept. 3 against Arizona State.

Atlantic 10 women's soccer preseason poll:

1. Dayton (16-1-6 last season)
2. Charlotte (16-3-2)
3. Fordham (9-12-1)
4. Saint Louis (8-9-4)
5. Richmond (8-10-2)
6. La Salle (10-8-2)
7. St. Bonaventure (10-11)
8. Rhode Island (6-12-1)
9. Duquesne (7-11)
10. George Washington (7-8-4)
11. Massachusetts (6-11-2)
12. Saint Joseph's (7-9-3)
13. Temple (7-11-1)
14. Xavier (3-15-1)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Men's soccer adds six players

The 49ers' men's soccer team has six new commitments for the upcoming season, which holds a lot of promise with eight returning starters from last season's team that made the NCAA tournament for the first time in 12 years:

-- Defender Thomas Allen (Providence High) was all-state last season.

-- Goalkeeper Gavin Dawson is a transfer from Denver, where he played in three games last season with a 1.28 goals-against average.

-- Midfielder Jeremy Dennis (Vance High) was The Observer's player of the year last season and was all-state.

-- Midfielder Aidan Kirkbride comes from Ormskirk, Lancashire, England and attended tryouts recently for Ireland's U-19 national team.

-- Midfielder Will Mayhew played at Concord Robinson High and is a transfer from Wake Forest. He's a preseason Atlantic 10 all-rookie team selection.

-- Midfielder Paul Willoughby is a transfer from West Florida, where he scored 11 goals and had eight assists in two seasons.

Charlotte's first game is Sept. 1 at UNC Greensboro; the home opener is Sept. 4 against Elon.


New men's tennis coach Billy Boykin has hired Jesse Tarr as his assistant. Tarr, a former player at James Madison, was an assistant last season at William & Mary and was a volunteer assistant at Boise State.

Monday, August 2, 2010

49ers football: It's officially a go

The Charlotte 49ers cleared their final hurdle for starting a football program Monday when Governor Beverly Perdue signed a University Non-Appropriated Capital Project bill that included the funding plan for construction of an on-campus football stadium at UNC Charlotte.

That means Charlotte is on schedule to play intercollegiate football in 2013.

"With the Governor's signature endorsing the General Assembly's approval of construction of our football-related facilities, we open a new chapter in the dynamic history of UNC Charlotte," said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois in a statement. "The path to this point has been a lengthy but carefully considered one, from the Trustees' decision in late 2006 to authorize a study of the feasibility of football to final approval by the Board of Governors this past spring."

The 49ers' plan includes playing in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) initially, then moving up to the Football Bowl Subdivision (Division I-A) at a later date.