Saturday, May 30, 2009

Men's soccer gets 10 commitments

Charlotte 49ers men's soccer coach Jeremy Gunn has received 10 commitments - including three from Charlotte Catholic High, for the 2009 season. The newcomers will join a roster featuring nine returning starters and a team that received its first national ranking last season in 10 years.

Joining the program from Charlotte Catholic are Nate Badke, Patrick Eavenson and Donnie Smith. Badke, Eavenson and Smith led the Cougars to the 2008 N.C. 3A state championship.

Badke, a defender who was a two-year captain at Catholic, was named All-Queen City Conference, All-Region, All-Mecklenburg County and First Team All-Charlotte Observer in each of the last two seasons. Eavenson, a goalkeeper, played on three NCYSA State Champion Teams. Smith, a midfielder/forward, co-captained Catholic and was named to NSCAA/adidas All-Region III team as a senior. He is a two-time Region Player of the Year who also earned All-Conference, All-Region, All-Charlotte Observer, All-Mecklenburg County and All-State honors as a junior and a senior.

Also joining the program are T. J. Beaulieu from Apex, Klay Davis from Jacksonville, N.C., Tyler Gibson from Knoxville, Tenn., Robert May from Asheville, Anthony Perez from London, Ontario Canada, Jennings Rex from Boone and Steven Saballos from Miami.

"I truly believe that we will enter the 2009 season with a much stronger squad than the previous two seasons. Our team will be more mature, and there will be an incredible amount of competition for playing time, something that I didn’t feel we had previously," Gunn said.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Bowden cleared to play

Freshman Shamarr Bowden, who missed the 2008-09 season because of a knee injury, has been cleared by his doctors to return to a full practice and playing schedule with no limitations.

Bowden, a 6-foot-3, 185-pound shooting guard from Greensboro, will have four seasons of eligibility remaining beginning next season.

"The doctor said to not do anything I had done the previous year to hurt it and refrain from things that cause pain. He said there will be some stiffness but eventually it'll go away the more I play," Bowden said. "It was hard for me to sit out this season because I had worked so hard all the way up until the season.

"Not being able to play was a dissappointment for me but I think the time I spent not playing was a good experience. It showed me how to watch and learn and realize the importance of life after basketball and the importance of being appreciative.

"I would have loved to play with Charlie (Coley) and Lamont (Mack). I will still have a chance to play with Shamari (Spears) who also sat out, along with the newcomers and the other guys on the team."

Even while recovering from surgery Bowden would take standing shots during practice sessions and pre-game warmups even though he couldn't full participate.

"After sitting and watching for so long, you start to feel like your distant from the team because I could not practice nor play in games. Now that im back I feel like I'm right back where I left at last season," he said. "The only difference is I'll be taking what I learned from last season, and what I know now along with my work ethic to put the pieces of the puzzle together and get back at it."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Spears named a Top 25 transfer

Charlotte 49ers forward Shamari Spears, a 6-foot-6, 235-pound transfer from Boston College has been named one of the Top 25 impact transfers in the country for the 2009-10 season by, a a recruiting Web site.

Spears, a former Observer Piedmont Player of the Year while a sophomore at Salisbury High, averaged 9.6 points and 6.1 rebounds in his sophomore season with the Eagles. He shot 49.3 percent from the field; 71.6 percent from the foul line and was second on the team with 88 free throw attempts.

Spears transferred to Charlotte to be closer to home. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Nagy tied for ninth at NCAA Golf Championships

Charlotte 49ers junior and former Vance High standout Corey Nagy is tied for ninth after the first day of the 2009 NCAA Golf Championships at the Inverness Club in Toldeo, Ohio.

Nagy shot an even-par 71 on Tuesday, the first day of the Championships. He is competing as an individual in the tournament as the 49ers as a team failed to advance out of the regionals.

Three players - Jonathan Bowers of Northwestern, Scott Langley of Illinois and Matt Hill of N.C. State - are tied for the lead after the first round at two-under par.

Friday, May 22, 2009

49ers ousted from A-10 baseball tourney

The Charlotte 49ers baseball team ended its season late Thursday night, falling 6-5 in 10 innings to Massachusetts in an elimination game in the Atlantic 10 tournament at Dayton's Fifth Third Field.

Charlotte finishes the season 33-22, the fifth consecutive season the 49ers have won 30 or more games - a school record.

Tied at 4 after nine innings, UMass scored two runs after four straight one-out singles, two of them that did not leave the infield, in the tenth. Charlotte sophomore Ryan Rivers and senior Aaron Bray both singled to lead off the tenth, but Bray was caught stealing and Bomann drove in Rivers for the fifth Charlotte run, However, a strikeout ended the game.

Bray’s tenth-inning hit pushed hit career total to 293, four past Bo Robinson on Charlotte’s all-time career hits list. He finishes four shy of the career mark for runs scored, at 212. He is only the second player in program history with over 200 hits and 200 runs scored, joining Kevin Ayers.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Charlotte 49ers football update

Charlotte athletics director Judy Rose sent out an email on Tuesday to those interested in the 49ers' efforts to obtain a football program. There were several interesting tidbits included. Here are some highlights:

1. At the time of the email's creation, Charlotte had sold 1,645 Football Seat Licenses - about 33 percent of the goal of 5,000 for a football program to begin.

2. A payment plan has been created to pay for FSLs, in which a monthly amount will be charged to a credit card until the FSLs are paid in full. For more information on this option, call (704) 687-4950 or (704) 687-4949.

3. The cost of season tickets for football cannot be set until a stadium plan is finalized, as well as a schedule.

4. Early efforts at marketing have been focused on those who pledged to buy FSLs. A volunteer force is being created to continue to target that group. Mainstream advertising toward the general public will begin in mid-June.

5. A coach would likely be hired in 2011.

6. With the tough economy fundraising will be targeted first toward those things necessary to start the program, such as facilities and staff.

7. To volunteer to help in the cause to bring football to Charlotte, call (704) 687-4950.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lyerly named first team all-Atlantic 10

Former Piedmont High standout Rob Lyerly is the only member of the Charlotte 49ers baseball team to be named first-team all-Atlantic 10 in balloting done by the league's head coaches. It's the second consecutive season Lyerly has been named to the first team.

Charlotte’s Justin Wilson, Zane Williams, Ryan Rivers and pitcher Joe Yermal were all named to the second-team. Rivers and Lyerly were also named to the league's academic all-conference team.

Lyerly is fifth in the league in batting average (.390) and has 60 hits, 44 RBI, 16 doubles and 10 home runs this season.

Ngoundjo heading to DII Grand Canyon

Former Charlotte 49ers forward Gaby Ngoundjo has transfered to NCAA Division II Grand Canyon University. Ngoundjo, a 6-foot-8 forward from Cameroon, announced shortly after the conclusion of the 2008-09 season he was leaving Charlotte.

Ngoundjo will be eligible to play immediately for the Antelopes and have two seasons of eligibility remaining. He will play for new coach Russ Pennell, who guided Arizona to a 21-14 record and NCAA Sweet 16 appearance this season as the Wildcats' interim head coach.

Pennell was hired as an assistant coach at Arizona on May 5, 2008. He took over the head job on Oct. 24, 2008, a day after Lute Olson resigned.

In nearly seven minutes of playing time this season, Ngoundjo averaged roughly a point and rebounds per game.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

49ers open Wednesday in A-10 baseball tourney

The Charlotte 49ers will begin their quest for their third consecutive Atlantic 10 tournament title on Wednesday when the sixth seeded 49ers (32-20) face No. 3 seed Xavier (33-18) at 3:30 p.m. at Fifth Third Field in Dayton, Ohio.

Charlotte has won 30 or more games for school-record fifth fifth consecutive season and is seeking to become the first A-10 school to win the tournament title three straight seasons.

The 49ers are led by junior Rob Lyerly, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2008 Championship, and sophomore Ryan Rivers, who leads the conference with 18 home runs.

Dayton earned the No. 1 seend, Rhode Island No. 2, Massachusetts the fourth seed and Fordham the fifth seed. Charlotte has won its last six tournament games on the way to the last pair of tournament titles and is 6-2 all-time in the championship since joining the A-10 in 2006.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Baseball clinches Atlantic 10 tourney berth

The Charlotte 49ers' 13-1 win over St. Bonaventure on Thursday assures the 49ers a spot in the 2009 Atlantic 10 Conference baseball tournament.

Charlotte (31-19, 15-10) got eight strong innings from sophomore starter Joe Yermal, who improved to 8-2 on the season and struck out a career-high seven batters.

Charlotte has finished in the top four all three previous seasons in the Atlantic 10, with a pair of titles in the past two years, and a fourth-place finish in 2006. Charlotte is currently fourth in the league standings.

The teams meet at noon Friday in Game 2 of the three-game series.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Charlotte's Law, Currie honored

Darius Law and Lamarra Currie of Charlotte have been named the Atlantic 10 student-athletes of the Year in men’s and women’s outdoor track & field, respectively, in voting conducted among the conference’s sports information directors.

Currie established meet records in the 100m (11.44) and 200m (23.46) dashes on May 2-3 as she defended her titles in both events at the 2009 A-10 Outdoor Track & Field Championships.

A finalist for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Academic Award and a three-time Academic All-Conference selection, Currie boasts a 4.0 grade point average as a psychology major.

Law defended his titles in the 200m (20.70) and 400m (46.60) dashes and was a part of Charlotte’s winning 4x100m (40.57) and 4x400m (3:13.58) relays at the 2009 A-10 Championship as the 49ers captured their second team title in four seasons. Charlotte’s time of 40.57 in the 4x100m relay established a meet record.

An accounting major with a 4.0 grade point average, the Raleigh resident is Charlotte’s first-ever Student-Athlete of the Year in men’s outdoor track & field.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Baseball reaches 30 wins - sets record

The Charlotte 49ers baseball team won two of three home games over the weekend against Atlantic 10 rival Saint Joseph's to improve to 30-18 on the season.

Charlotte, which has won 13 of its past 16 conference games, has won 30 games for five consecutive seasons - a program record. The 49ers also are 20-8 at home this season, the fourth consecutive season of 20 or more home wins, also a program record.

Junior infielder Rob Lyerly, making his first start at third base this season on Sunday, had three hits, extending his team-leading hit streak to 18 games, and improved his batting average to a team-best .399 on the season.

Charlotte will wrap up its home season on Tuesday when the 49ers host top-ranked North Carolina. The 49ers look to sweep the season series, having already beaten the Tar Heels on March 25 - a 2-1 victory in Chapel Hill.

The Niners finish the regular season on the road with three games at A-10 rival St. Bonaventure next weekend.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Charlotte softball fighting off elimination

The Charlotte 49ers softball team, after dropping a 2-0 decision to nationally ranked Massachusetts Friday in the Atlantic 10 tournament, will attempt to stave off elimination facing Saint Joseph's at noon Saturday in the loser's bracket final at Fordham's Bahosky Field.

The 49ers (33-15) kept the game with UMass (37-8) scoreless through five innings, but back to back home runs in the sixth gave UMass the win.

In the circle, former Butler High standout Emily Jeffery (23-9) took the loss for Charlotte, allowing two runs on five hits and striking out eight in six innings. Brandice Balschmiter (30-4) picked up the victory for UMass with a complete game, three-hit shutout.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Kummer to interview for UT-PA coaching job

Charlotte 49ers assistant men's basketball coach Bobby Kummer will interview next week for the head coaching job at Division I Texas-Pan American, The Observer has learned.

Kummer, who is in his second stint as an assistant at Charlotte, is one of three finalists for the position, sources said Friday. The others are former Centenary coach Kevin Johnson and North Texas assistant Bill Foy.

Texas-Pan American is part of a new Division I conference, the Great West, but will not be eligible to participate in the NCAA Tournament for seven more years. The Broncs finished 10-17 last season but the Great West will hold its first conference tournament in the 2009-10 season.

Kummer is expected to the first candidate interviewed, sources said, and the two-day process should begin Tuesday.

Kummer, a former four-year letterwinner for the 49ers, Kummer served as an assistant coach under Melvin Watkins for two seasons (1996-98). Kummer moved with Watkins when Watkins took over as head coach at Texas A&M and spent six years (1998-2004) as an assistant there. He returned to Charlotte in 2004 serving as the program's director of basketball operations before being named assistant coach in 2005.

Reached by phone on Friday, Kummer declined to comment on his candidacy.

49ers complete recruiting class

The Charlotte 49ers have completed their 2009-10 men’s basketball recruiting class, landing Turkish national Gokhan (pronounced GO-kin) Sirin, a 6-foot-9, 201 pound forward with a soft shooting touch.

Sirin picked the 49ers Friday over Georgetown, Loyola (Md.) and South Florida, his high school coach, Dave Tallman, said. ranks Sirin the 62nd best power forward in the country in the class of 2009.

Sirin arrived in the United States last August and enrolled at St. Mary’s Ryken High School in Leonardtown, Md. He quickly established himself as a scorer and averaged 17 points a game this season for the Knights.

“Gokhan is a tough matchup and a great shooter,” said Tallman. “He is very skilled for his size and continues to work hard to get stronger. Right after graduation, he is leaving to play for the Turkish National Team. The game is a little slower over there, but he has made the adjustment quite well.”

St. Mary’s Ryken plays in the competitive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, which features prep powerhouse programs like Bishop McNamara, DeMatha and Gonzaga (D.C.).

Soon after his only high school season in the U.S. began, Sirin was attracting scholarship offers from Division I programs, Tallman said.

Sirin was recruited by Charlotte associate head coach Rob Moxley. “Gokhan loved his visit to Charlotte, loved the team,” Tallman said. “Coach Moxley really worked real hard to get him. I think it will be a great fit.”

Thursday, May 7, 2009

49ers softball opens A-10 tournament

The No. 2 seed Charlotte 49ers open play in the 2009 Atlantic 10 softball tournament at 3 p.m. Thursday against Saint Louis at Fordham's Bahoshy Field.

Saint Louis (22-31) advanced out of the opening round with a 10-0 victory over Saint Bonaventure on Wednesday in six innings. Charlotte (32-14) and Saint Louis split their doubleheader earlier in the season.

The winner advances to take on the winner of Thursday's 1 p.m. game between top seed Massachusetts and Fordham. The loser of the Charlotte/Saint Louis game will move to the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Hickory High's standout PG joining 49ers

Trevin Parks is willing to work hard for an opportunity that would not otherwise be available.

The Hickory High standout point guard has opted to join the Charlotte 49ers men’s basketball team as a walk-on and forgo scholarship offers from Division II schools.

“I did have DII offers but ever since I first started playing basketball as a kid, I always saw the North Carolinas and Dukes on TV and I wanted to play on that level,” said Parks, who averaged 22 points and five assists this season for the Red Tornadoes.

“The coaches at Charlotte told me they are giving me an opportunity to earn a scholarship, either before the next season or after next season. They told me I have the ability to play at this level and I want to prove them right.”

Parks, 17, has already been accepted into the school and plans to arrive on campus for the start of the first summer school session. He has made visits to campus and had the opportunity to play against junior forward Shamari Spears and junior center Phil Jones, among others.

“It was good to find a DI school that wasn’t just looking at your height,” said Parks, who is 5-9, the same height as Charlotte starting point guard, DiJuan Harris. “I just wanted to have the chance to show what I can do.”

Parks said his likely destination had he not walked on at Charlotte would have been Division II Lenoir-Rhyne.

While he spent most of this season as a scorer for Hickory, Parks said he relishes the role of point guard.

“I want to do whatever coach (Bobby) Lutz wants me to do so we can be successful,” he said. “If that means zero points and 22 assists – that’s fine with me. I think if I play how I know how, I’ll be OK with the playing time I’ll see.”

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Golf team set for Florida regional

The Charlotte 49ers golf team was selected to participate in one of six 54-hole regionals as part of the 2009 NCAA Golf Championships. The 49ers received an automatic invitation by virtue of winning the Atlantic 10 Championship.

Charlotte has been assigned to the May 14-16 regional at the Red Tail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla., hosted by Central Florida. The 49ers have been seeded 12th. The top seed in the regional is Georgia. The top five teams from the regional will advance to the NCAA Championship, which is May 26-30 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

The 49ers are making their fifth straight NCAA appearance, the most consecutive NCAA bids by any team in school history. The 49ers have finished in the NCAA top 10 in each of the last two seasons, posting a program-best third in 2007 and tied for eighth last season.

"It's always an accomplishment to make regionals and you always want to be proud of that," said 49ers interim coach Adam Pry. "That being said we certainly have our work cut out for us with 14 teams and only five spots (moving on to the NCAA finals).

"I'm looking forward to going back to Orlando where we just played and where we've had a lot of success over the last few years."

Monday, May 4, 2009

Former Charlotte prep star joins 49ers

The Charlotte 49ers women's basketball team is adding some more local talent. Former Providence Day standout and Mecklenburg County player of the year, Epiphany Woodson is transferring to Charlotte from Miami (Fla.) She will sit out the 2009-10 season per NCAA rules and have two years of eligibility remaining.

At Miami, Woodson scored 328 points, had 120 rebounds and 106 assists in two seasons. She recorded 14 double-figure scoring games including 10 double-figure scoring games against ACC competition.

“I am so happy that Coach (Karen) Aston and the 49ers coaching staff have given me the opportunity to play," Woodson said. "Charlotte is a great school with a really good women’s basketball program. I can’t wait to return to Charlotte and get started.”

Aston said Woodson will add needed depth to the 49ers' roster of guards. “It was a surprise addition that I think the community of Charlotte will be thrilled about considering she is a Charlotte native and had a tremendous high school career at Providence Day," Aston said.

"She has experience at the college level that will help our program continue to grow. Again, I can’t tell you how excited I am that we are continuing to attract Charlotte players."

At Providence Day, Woodson led her team to three straight North Carolina Independent Schools Association state championships. She was named Mecklenburg County Player of the Year as well as to the All-Observer team, first-team All-Mecklenburg County and second-team N.C. AP all-state.

Woodson will take the roster spot of redshirt freshman Brittany Carter who has left the team due to medical issues. Carter saw action in 27 games over the past two seasons. She played the two best games of her career in the Atlantic 10 Tournament when she recorded back-to-back double-figure scoring games in wins over Duquesne and Temple.

Charlotte won its first Atlantic 10 Conference tournament title this season and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history, losing to Purdue in the first round.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Softball ends regular season with pair of wins

The Charlotte 49ers softball team completed its regular season on Saturday with a pair of wins against Atlantic 10 rival Dayton. Charlotte (32-14, 14-4) took a 4-0 win in Game 1 and a 5-1 victory in Game 2.

The 49ers wrapped up the second seed in the conference tournament. Massachusetts will be the top seed.

In the circle, Charlotte's Emily Jeffery (22-8) was incredible yet again as the former Butler High star tossed her ninth shutout of the season in Game 1. She struck out 13 batters.

Jeffery tied the single-season shutouts record set by Courtney Hankes in 1990. Jeffrey's 22 wins places her in sole possession of third place on the single-season Charlotte wins list.

In the circle, sophomore Katy Hackett (8-4) picked up the victory in Game 2 allowing one run on seven hits while striking out 10. Her 10 strikeouts were the most this season.

“We told them to take care of business today and they did just that. We wanted the No. 2 seed and are extremely glad that we got the job done," said Charlotte coach Aimee DeVos.

49ers top La Salle to open weekend series

Charlotte's baseball team hit three home runs and sophomore starting pitcher Joe Yermal pitched into the ninth in the 49ers' 8-2 victory to open an Atlantic 10 weekend series against visiting La Salle.

The Niners (27-16, 11-8) have won 10 of their past 11 conference games. Charlotte is in a tie for third with Xavier in the Atlantic 10. Yermal picked up his league-leading seventh win of the season (7-2).

-- Observer News Services

Friday, May 1, 2009

Nagy A-10 student-athlete of year in golf

Charlotte 49ers junior golfer Corey Nagy, who starred at Vance High, has been named the Atlantic 10 Conference's Student-Athlete of the Year in men's golf in voting conducted by the conference's sports information directors.

Nagy won the individual title at the 2009 A-10 championship with a one-under par 212, the lone competitor to finish under par for the 54-hole championship. A three-time all-conference selection, Nagy led the 49ers to their fourth consecutive A-10 title and school-record fifth straight NCAA Tournament berth.

In the classroom, Nagy maintains a 3.571 grade point average as a psychology major. A three-time member of the Commissioner's Honor Roll, he was named to the university's Chancellor's List (3.8+ GPA) in the fall of 2006 and 2008 and to the Dean's List (3.4-3.79 GPA) in the spring of 2007 and 2008.

Nagy was joined on the A-10 Golf all-Academic team by senior Stefan Wiedergruen, who placed second to Nagy at the 2009 A-10 championships. Wiedergruen owns a 3.56 GPA in Business Management.

49ers name 2008-09 award winners

2008-09 Award Winners
(certain awards given to 2007-08 recipients, as noted, since 2008-09 seasons are incomplete)

Baseball, MVP (2007-08), Chris Taylor
Men’s Basketball, MVP, Lamont Mack
Men’s Basketball, Charles Hayward Memorial Grubstake Award, DiJuan Harris
Women’s Basketball, co-MVPs, Danielle Burgin, Traci Ray
Women’s Basketball, Gold Nugget Award, Aysha Jones
Men’s Cross Country, MVP, Adu Dentamo
Men’s Track and Field/Cross Country, Vincent Vernitsky Memorial Award, Aaron Kauffman
Women’s Cross Country, MVP, Amanda Goetschius
Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country, Vincent Vernitsky Memorial Award, Jackie Ross
Golf, MVP (2007-08), Jonas Enander Hedin
Men’s Indoor Track and Field, MVP, Darius Law
Women’s Indoor Track and Field, co-MVPs, Lamarra Currie, Pat Springs
Men’s Outdoor Track and Field, MVP (2007-08), Darius Law
Women’s Outdoor Track and Field, MVP (2007-08), Lamarra Currie
Men’s Soccer, MVP, Chris Salvaggione
Men’s Soccer, David Schlee Memorial Award, Luke Exley
Women’s Soccer, MVP, Hailey Beam
Softball, MVP (2007-08), Sarah Malene
Men’s Tennis, MVP, Moritz Bernhoerster
Women’s Tennis, MVP, Koren Fleming
Women’s Tennis, Wendi Cook Memorial Award, Julie Junker
Volleyball, Coach’s Award, Carly Romberg
Volleyball, MVP, Courtney Cowles
Cheerleaders, MVP, Ashleigh Everhardt
Gold Dusters, MVP, Jessica Rector

Academic Awards
Highest GPA over previous two semesters: Spring, ‘08; Fall, ‘08)
Male (4.0)
Hugh McEniry Award, Matt Dobler, track and field
Hugh McEniry Award, Darius Law, track and field
Hugh McEniry Award, Macey Ruble, track and field
Female (4.0)
Bonnie E. Cone Award, Lamarra Currie, track and field
Bonnie E. Cone Award, Katherine Hadley, soccer
Bonnie E. Cone Award, Megan Minnix, Soccer

49ers baseball returns home

After two straight road series and four of their last five away from Hayes Stadium, the Charlotte 49ers return home for a pair of Atlantic 10 weekend series, starting this weekend with La Salle.

Charlotte is 26-15 overall, 10-9 and in a tie for fourth place in the league standings. The Explorers are 17-22 overall, 6-11. Charlotte has won its last three weekend series.

Charlotte will send sophomore righthander Joe Yermal (6-2) against La Salle's Zach Huff (0-0) at 6 p.m. Friday. Yermal's six wins are tied for the league lead. Saturday, Charlotte right-hander Patrick Lawson (5-2) will face off against the Explorers' Kevin Fuqua (4-2) in a 2 p.m. game. The teams play Sunday at noon.

Charlotte senior third baseman Aaron Bray needs 12 more hits and 11 more runs to become the 49ers' all-time leader in those two categories.

Also of note:
-Charlotte track and fieler performer Lamarra Currie was named one of 10 female finalists for the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award. Annually, the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award is given to an NCAA athlete who best exhibits academic excellence and community activism.