Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rochelle returns to 49ers baseball as assistant coach

Former 49ers catcher Kris Rochelle has been named an assistant coach for for the 2010 season. He will take over as hitting instructor and work with the catchers and infielders.

Rochelle had his pro playing career cut short, playing parts of three seasons of minor league baseball following his 2007 graduation. He joins the Niners after two seasons with the Washington Wild Things and a season with the Oneonta Tigers.

“I am extremely fortunate because this was the exact job I thought about getting in the future,” said Rochelle. “It is a little earlier than I expected when I thought about my career, but when the opportunity came, I had to jump at it.

"I had young guys behind me playing my position that I coached a little along the way as a player so I think I am ready to work hard at this. I look forward to getting our team on the field and evaluating them and getting ready for the season."

Although he was injured as a pro, Rochelle rarely missed a game in college. He is currently tied for eighth on the all-time career games played list at Charlotte, with 215. He caught all but four of Charlotte's school-record 549.1 innings pitched in 2007 as the 49ers finished first in the country with a 2.64 team ERA.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

49ers basketball injury update

I caught up on Tuesday with Carlton Anderson, the Charlotte 49ers' head athletic trainer, who filled me on some injuries to Charlotte basketball players this summer.

Rising junior forward Charles Dewhurst, who starred at Charlotte Latin School, underwent surgery on his right knee during the season. However, Anderson said Dewhurst required a second surgery to clean up scar tissue from the first operation and has been progressing nicely since. Anderson believes Dewhurst will be ready to go by the start of the 2009-10 season.

Senior point guard DiJuan Harris, who was recently cleared to play after a severe right ankle sprain early in the summer, rolled his left ankle during a pickup game Monday night. It's considered a mild sprain.

Derrio Green, a 6-foot, 180-pound guard who just completed his freshman season at Gulf Coast Community College in Panama, City, Fla., has been diagnosed with tendinitis in his right knee and will have to sit out two to three weeks.

Neither Harris nor Green's injuries are considered serious, Anderson said.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Withers to entertain Solace for Children

The Charlotte 49ers athletics department and University Provost Office will host the Solace for Children teens group on campus on July 27. Halton Arena will be one of the venues visited by the children as part of their tour of campus that day.

The teens, from an original group of 34 children, are refugees from Afghanistan who are in Charlotte to receive needed medical care donated by local doctors.

Former 49ers basketball player Curtis Withers, who took Russian while at Charlotte and played overseas in Turkey (who speak similar languages to the teens), will be part of the entertainment and take part in a dunking display. Other members of 49ers teams will be on hand for the kids' visit, which will stop by Halton Arena from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The children will tour the computer and Information Technology facilities in Woodward Hall and also see the Health and Human Services department at the university as part of their day on campus.

Solace for Children is a non-profit organization in Lake Norman which has helped over 60 Afghan children over the past three years.

Charlotte alum named cross country coach

Former 49ers track and field standout Ed Schlichter has been hired as cross country and distance coach. Schlichter comes to Charlotte after spending the past two seasons as assistant track and field and cross country coach at USC Upstate.

Schlichter, who replaces Ed Herbster after he left for a position at Clemson, joined the USC Upstate track and field program in the summer of 2007. Schlichter was the recruiting coordinator and distance coach for the USC Upstate track and field program.

Under Schlichter's guidance the USC Upstate cross country and track and field programs had one runner named Atlantic Sun MVP, two runners claimed A-Sun Freshman of the Year honors as well as four runners were A-Sun Conference Champions.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Niners add another guard to roster

The Charlotte 49ers men’s basketball team got another boost to its compliment of guards – a group that was in short supply last season.

Colby Lewis, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound shooting guard who played at Forsyth Country Day in Lewisville, N.C., last season, is joining the 49ers as a walk-on. Lewis opted to forgo pursuing offers from several Division II and III schools to play for Charlotte.

“I always wanted the opportunity to play college basketball and to have the chance to do it on the Division I level and not far from home,” said Lewis, whose family lives in Statesville.

Lewis will be a much-welcomed addition to the 49ers, whose compliment of guards was decimated last season by injury and defection.

Point guard Michel Gerrity quit before the season started and freshman Shamarr Bowden – who led the team in scoring during preseason trip to Canada – injured his knee and missed the entire season. Charlotte also lost starters Charles Dewhurst and An’Juan Wilderness to injury for much of the season.

Lewis, whose 16-year-old brother, Tyler, is also being recruited by the 49ers, said he plans to work hard to earn playing time. “I’m going to take it day-by-day,” he said. “I just want the chance to show the coaches what I can do.”

Asked who wins the one-on-one battles between himself and his talented younger brother, Colby answered, “Me, of course.”

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

49ers' Harris cleared to play

Charlotte 49ers rising senior point guard DiJuan Harris has been cleared by doctors to resume full activity.

Harris, a former standout at Charlotte Victory Christian, suffered a bad ankle sprain in early June during a pickup basketball game.

Harris did about six weeks of rehabilitation on his ankle. After point guard Michael Gerrity quit the team before the start of last season, Harris was the only scholarship point guard available on the team throughout the 2008-09 season.

Charlotte recruit stars in prep all-star win

Charlotte 49ers basketball recruit and former West Rowan star K.J. Sherrill was a big contributing factor in a lopsided 124-92 victory Monday night by the West team in the N.C. East-West All-Star game in Greensboro.

Sherrill, a 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward who finished his career No. 3 in career scoring at West Rowan, finished the game with 19 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks. He will be a freshman this fall at Charlotte.

Sherrill, however, did not earn most valuable player honors. That distinction went to his West teammate, Mount Tabor's Michael Grace, who had 16 points and five assists.

"I was out there playing for MVP," Sherrill told The Salisbury Post. "But I'm not mad that a teammate got it. What's important is we won."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Two 49ers golfers named All-America Scholars

Charlotte junior Corey Nagy, the 2009 A-10 Golf Student-Athlete of the Year, and his 49ers teammate Stefan Wiedergruen, were among seven players from the Atlantic 10 Conference named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).

It's the second straight year Wiedergruen has earned the earned recognition. Nagy finished 36th overall at the 2009 NCAA Championship. He won the individual title at the 2009 A-10 Championship, helping Charlotte to its fourth straight league title.

To qualify for the honor in Division I, the student-athlete must be a junior or senior academically, compete in at least two full years at the collegiate level, participate in 70-percent of his team's competitive rounds, have a stroke average under 76.0 and maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.2.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Former Niners golf star named assistant coach

Charlotte 49ers head golf coach Adam Pry has hired former 49ers standout Andrew DiBitetto as assistant coach. DiBitetto, an all-America golfer and former Atlantic-10 golf student athlete of the year, was part of a historic 49ers class that became the first in school history to participate in four consecutive NCAA Tournaments.

“Andrew’s experience as a highly successful student-athlete, a professional golfer and assistant coach made him the ideal candidate for the position," Pry said. "As a former team member, Andrew is passionate about UNC Charlotte and the Charlotte 49ers golf team.

"This passion helped Andrew become one of the most successful student-athletes in our team’s history and will certainly serve the golf team extremely well as the assistant coach.”

DiBitetto, who served as an interim assistant coach for the 49ers in the spring of 2009, was named an honorable mention all-America as a junior in 2007 after leading the 49ers to a tie for third place at the NCAA Championship. He posted a career stroke average of 73.04, finished in ninth place at the NCAA finals, the best-ever finish by a 49ers golfer.

“In my years here as a student-athlete, it was obvious that this athletic department does things the right way and for the right reasons, while having fun doing it," DiBitetto said.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hall named associate head baseball coach

Charlotte head baseball coach Loren Hibbs has promoted assistant Brandon Hall to associate head coach, while continuing his duties as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator.

Hall, a Raleigh native, is entering his eighth season with the 49ers coaching staff, and the fifth season as the team's recruiting coordinator. His main on-field responsibility is handling the pitching staff.

“Over the past seven years, Brandon has developed into one of the top assistant coaches in this region,” said Hibbs. “He has displayed a tremendous work ethic, an incredible desire to improve and a loyalty to our program and this institution that is unmatched.

"He fits with our overall program philosophy and has been a major factor in our success in recent years. Brandon ‘gets it’ and I am really looking forward to continuing to work alongside him in the future.”

In his 11 seasons as an assistant at two different schools, Hall has been on a coaching staff of teams that have won five regular-season championships. Six of the pitching staffs have been ranked nationally in ERA, including the top spot in the nation in 2007 (with a team 2.64 ERA).

“I want to thank Coach Hibbs and the Charlotte 49ers for this promotion,” said Hall. “I have really enjoyed coming to work each day for the past seven years at Charlotte. We have accomplished a lot on and off the field as a program in that time, but we also understand there is still more to do. I am excited about what the future holds as we continue to grow as a program and University.”

Monday, July 13, 2009

Women's soccer hosts A-10 tourney in '09

The Charlotte 49ers women's soccer team, which has won the past two Atlantic 10 conference tournaments, will try to win a third consecutive title this fall on its Transamerica Field. Charlotte, which advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, will host the conference tournament Nov. 5-8.

The women's team has also released its 2009 schedule which will feature six home games in September. The 49ers host Francis Mation on Sept. 4 and Villanova on Sept. 6. Charlotte plays at Davidson on Sept. 10 and hosts Georgia on Sept. 13, East Tennessee State on Sept. 18 and N.C. State on Sept. 20. Charlotte opens A-10 play hosting Duquesne on Sept. 25 and plays at Fordham on Sept. 27.

In October, the 49ers host Rhode Island on Oct. 2 and Massachusetts on Oct. 4. Then, the 49ers travel play at Dayton on Oct. 9 and at Xavier on Oct. 11. Charlotte hosts Richmond on Oct. 16 and George Washington on Oct. 18. The 49ers conclude the regular season with three A-10 road games - at Temple on Oct. 23, at Saint Joseph's on Oct. 25 and at Saint Louis on Oct. 30.

2009 men's soccer schedule released

The Charlotte 49ers men's soccer team has released its 2009 schedule. The season begins with two exhibition games in August. Charlotte hosts Gardner-Webb on Sunday, Aug. 23. Then, the 49ers host their annual Alumni game on Saturday on Aug. 29.

Charlotte kicks off the regular-season at rival South Carolina on Sept. 1. Then, the 49ers remain on the road with a game at Elon on Sept. 4 and play at Clemson on Sept. 9. Charlotte faces Campbell in its home opener on Sept. 12. Then, the 49ers look to capture their second straight Charlotte/Nike Invitational title when they welcome Appalachian State, Cal-State Bakersfield and Winthrop to Transamerica Field. The 49ers play Cal State Bakersfield on Sept. and Winthrop on Sept. 20. Charlotte concludes the month with games at UNC Greensboro on Sept. 26 and at Wake Forest on Sept. 29.

In October, Charlotte plays at Furman on Oct. 3, host George Washington on Oct. 9 and Richmond on Oct. 11. Charlotte travels to Saint Louis on Oct. 17, hosts La Salle on Oct. 23 and Fordham on Oct. 25. The 49ers conclude the month with a road game Oct. 30 at Dayton. In November, Charlotte plays at Xavier on Nov. 1, at Saint Jopseph's on Nov. 6 and at Temple on Nov. 8. The Atlantic 10 tournament is Nov. 12-15 at Rhode Island.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Two men's soccer players named preseason A-10

Two members of the Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer team were selected preseason All-Atlantic 10 in a vote by the league’s 14 head coaches.

Senior midfielder Adam Gross, who was a 2008 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American, was named to the preseason All-Atlantic 10 team. While freshman midfielder Steven Saballos was named to the preseason A-10 all-rookie team.

Last season, Gross (six goals, six assists) played a major role in helping the 49ers earn their first national ranking since 1998. Charlotte captured three regular-season tournament titles en route to 12 wins.

Saballos, a midfielder from Miami, played for the Miami Kendall F.C. in the United States Academy League. He is a United States Under-18 National Team Pool player.

The 49ers kick off the 2009 season when they host Gardner-Webb in an exhibition at 7 p.m. Aug. 23 at Transamerica Field. Charlotte opens the regular season at 7 p.m. Sept. 1 at South Carolina.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Four earn preseason A-10 women's soccer honors

Four members of the Charlotte 49ers nationally-ranked women’s soccer team earned preseason All-Atlantic 10 honors.

Senior midfielder Hailey Beam, junior forward Whitney Weinraub and junior defender Whitney Bryant named to the preseason All-Atlantic 10 team. Freshman defender/forward Taylor Rovito was named to the preseason A-10 All-Rookie team. The preseason All-Atlantic 10 teams were selected by a vote of the league’s 14 head coaches.

Last season, Beam, Bryant and Weinraub played integral roles in helping the 49ers win their third straight A-10 regular-season title and their second straight A-10 tournament championship.

Charlotte reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a school-record 18 wins.

Former 49ers soccer star on U.S. team

Former Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer All-American and Major League Soccer’s Chicago Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch has been named to the United States soccer senior national team roster for the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Busch, who was the 2008 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, is one of three goalkeepers on the team. Busch, who played in the 2004 MLS All-Star game as a member of the Columbus Crew, posted a shutout against Colombia as a member of the United States National team in March of 2005.

The CONCACAF Golf Cup runs through July 26. The U.S. team opens group play against Grenada on Saturday at Seattle’s Qwest Field. The United States faces Honduras on July 8 at RFK Stadium on Washington D.C. Then, the United States concludes group play against Haiti at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, July 11.

At Charlotte, Busch was named first-team All-America by the NSCAA in 1996 as he helped lead the 49ers to their first-ever appearance in the College Cup and a school-record 19 wins. In 1996, he recorded a career-high 12 shutouts, including two in the NCAA Tournament, and a career-low 0.89 goals against average.