Thursday, September 27, 2012

49ers hitting stride in football practice

The 49ers completed their fourth day of football practice in pads and helmets Wednesday.

-- Charlotte's practices are set up in 18 five-minute segments, with director of football operations Trevor Lambert blowing an air horn signalling the end of each one. The defense practiced on one field for much of the afternoon, before joining the offense on the full-length field for the final 30 minutes or so.
"The thing that's nice now is that at the back end of practice, they're finally getting in shape," said coach Brad Lambert. "The first one or two days, we couldn't get to the 18th segment without everybody being worn out. We're not practicing long, but we're practicing at a pretty good pace."

-- The 49ers ended the practice with 20 plays from scrimmage. For what it's worth, here's what appeared to be the first teams on offense and defense (and there's plenty of time -- about 11 months-- for this to change, which it will).

QB: Matt Johnson
RB: Alan Barnwell
RB/slot: Will Thomas
Slot: Jaquil Capel
WR: Jamel Rose
TE: Jonathan Gidney
LT: Jamal Clovington
LG: Thomas La Bianca
C: Mason Sledge
RG: Jarred Barr
RT: Daniel Blitch
DL: Larry Ogunjobi
DL: Michael Potthast
DL: Hayden Beck
DL: Devin Clegg
LB: Shomari Jones
LB: Brandon Rodriguez
LB: Zeb Little
CB: Jordan Adams
S: Alex Petzke
S: Danny Leonardi
CB: Sam Dexter

-- The coaching staff is nothing if not enthusiastic. Assistant secondary coach John Russell got his troops going by bringing them together before a drill:
"Somebody light me up!" Russell shouted.
The players made a hissing sound, like a fuse burning down.
Then, they all yelled "Boom!"

-- Only about 5 yards separates the practice field from a fence, which held up well when Terrence Winchester tackled Alan Barnwell into it one play.

--  The practice was very physical. One drill had defensive backs playing off blocks and going after receivers who were running sideline routes. Then there was the always popular one-on-one blocking drills that end up with players grappling each other to the ground.

-- Brad Lambert singled out Barnwell, a 5-9, 165-pound running back from Burlington, and Ogunjobi, a 6-3, 253 pound nose guard from Greensboro, as players who have impressed early.

"Alan is getting a lot of work," said Lambert. "I've been impressed with his speed. What jumps out at you is how he hits that hole. He's also a really physical runner. He makes our defensive players better because they've really got to show up and tackle.

"Larry is  playing right in the middle of the defense and has a real presence. He can stop things up for us. I've been impressed with his quickness."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

49ers' Bolus to miss fall practice after surgeries

Charlotte 49ers' football player Justin Bolus is recovering from two stomach surgeries and will miss practice this fall.

Bolus, a 6-foot-2 freshman H-back from Folly Beach, S.C. who played in the 2011 Shrine Bowl, reportedly had the surgeries in Columbia. They are non-football related, according to a 49ers news release.

Bolus's condition is improving and he is expected to rejoin the team in the spring.

“With Justin, football is the farthest thing from our minds right now,” said 49ers coach Brad Lambert in a statement. “Our focus is on his well-being and getting him better. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family."

Lambert visited Bolus on Wednesday.

"In speaking with his mother this morning, we understand that he is improving -- and that is great news,” said Lambert.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Women's basketball schedule finalized

The 49ers' women's basketball team will open its Atlantic 10 schedule Jan. 13 at home against Fordham on the CBS Sports Network. The league announced its conference schedule Tuesday.

Charlotte will play a 14-game schedule, including each team in the 16-team Atlantic once except Dayton.

"We are excited to have the schedule completed," head coach Cara Consuegra said in a statement. "It's good to know, conference and non-conference, everything we have top to bottom."

The 49ers, who lost in the first round of last season's WNIT to Wake Forest, open the regular season Nov. 10 at Halton Arena against N.C. Central.


Nov. 10, N.C. Central; 14, at Texas Christian; 17, Florida Gulf Coast; 24, Kansas State; 28, at Central Florida.

Dec. 2, Florida State; 5, at UNC Wilmington; 8, Stetson; 18, at N.C. A&T; 21, Davidson; 29, Toledo (Georgia State tournament); 30, Mississippi Valley State/Georgia State (Georgia State tournament.).

Jan. 3, Coppin State; 6, Colgate; 13, Fordham; 16, at Rhode Island; 20, Xavier; 27, at Saint Louis; 30, at St. Bonaventure.

Feb. 3, Duquesne; 6, Temple; 10, at Saint Joseph's; 13, Butler; 17, George Washington; 20, at Massachusetts; 24, at La Salle; 28, Virginia Commonwealth.

March 3, at Richmond; 8-11, Atlantic 10 tournament, at Philadelphia; 16, Atlantic 10 tournament, at Brooklyn, N.Y.


The 49ers finished third in last weekend's Tar Heel Intercollegiate at Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill behind North Carolina and Duke. Freshman Dan Hendry tied for fourth individually at 3-under par. It was a big improvement for the 49ers, who finished 12th among 14 teams in their season opening tournament at the Gopher Invitational in Wayzata, Minn. The 49ers' next action is Oct. 1-2 at the Rees Jones Invitational in Daufuskie Island, S.C. 


* Conference Games

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Charlotte 49ers news, notes

Charlotte 49ers news and notes:

Men's soccer

-- Giuseppe Gentile is off to a slow start, with one goal in Charlotte's first six games. But it's not like he's not getting chances. In the 49ers' 3-2 double overtime victory Wednesday against South Carolina, Gentile had five shots, at least three of which he'd probably admit he should have scored on. But Gentile also had the assist on Donnie Smith's game-winning goal. Gentile has 23 shots this season, tied for the team lead with Smith. Gentile has also put 13 of those shots on frame, so he's coming close.

-- Here's how Charlotte is ranked in this week's national polls: Soccer America, 8th; NSCAA, 5th; College Soccer News, 4th; Top Drawer Soccer, 24th.

-- Interesting to hear coach Kevin Langan say that Wednesday that goalkeeper Klay Davis is the second-fastest player of the team behind Gentile.

-- The 49ers now play five straight on the road, starting with UNC Greensboro on Saturday, then Elon on Sept. 22, Central Florida on Sept. 26. They start Atlantic 10 play at Virginia Commonwealth on Oct. 5 and at Richmond on Oct. 7, before coming home to face Fordham on Oct. 12.

Remember, the A-10 tournament is at Transamerica Field Nov. 8-11.

-- Here's what Gamecocks coach Mark Berson said about playing the 49ers:

"They're truly one of the best teams in the country and one of the best we'll play this season. They have that ability to unbalance you. Their style is so direct, they're not going to build the ball. They just win it and put you back on your heels right away."

South Carolina's 2-3-1 record is deceiving. Charlotte was the fourth Top 25 team the Gamecocks have played. They beat No. 5 South Florida 1-0, losing to No. 15 St. John's 2-0 and tying No. 25 Northwestern 0-0.

Men's basketball

-- Ran into Chris Braswell on Wednesday. He said his broken foot is healed and he's been playing pickup games. He'll be ready to go when practice begins in October.

-- Also talked with Lenoir recruiting analyst Bob Gibbons about Charlotte's freshman class. He said forward Darion Clark is a "warrior, a real effort player" who will make the 49ers better immediately. Willie Clayton "was one of the best players in Georgia over the past few seasons." Denzel Ingram is a "true point guard who can shoot it and really understands how the game is played."


--The 49ers are wrapping up three weeks' worth of conditioning drills and will have their first pads-and-helmets practice Sept. 21.


Charlotte is off to its fastest start since 2007 (coach Chris Redding's first season) and is host to the 49er Invitational this weekend. Charlotte (7-2) plays Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. Friday, then faces UNC Asheville at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and Towson at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Because of the Democratic National Convention taking up hotel rooms, this is Charlotte's first home action of the season. Charlotte has already broken a school record by winning its first 10 sets of the season (sweeping its first three opponents, then winning the opening seat against Clemson).

Bianca Rouse has passed the 1,000-kill mark for her career and is 12th on the school's all-time list.
A pleasant surprise has been senior setter Lily Vera, who is third in the Atlantic 10 with 11.91 assists. This is Vera's first season as a starter.  

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Charlotte 49ers open A-10 schedule with La Salle

The Charlotte 49ers men's basketball team begin its final season in the Atlantic 10 with a conference opener against La Salle on Jan. 9 at Halton Arena.

The 49ers play a 16-game league schedule, which includes one home-and-home series with Temple (at Temple, Feb. 6; at Charlotte, Feb. 24) and single games with the rest of the 16-team league. The 49ers and Owls leave the Atlantic 10 after this season, with Temple heading to the Big East.

The 49ers play league newcomers Butler on Feb. 13 in Indianapolis and Virginia Commonwealth at Halton on Feb. 9.

Charlotte opens its regular season Nov. 9 at home against Charleston Southern. The 49ers will play in the Great Alaska Shootout Nov. 22-24 and has games against the ACC's Florida State (Dec. 22, in Time Warner Cable Arena) and at Miami (Dec. 14).

The Atlantic 10 tournament is March 14-17 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Charlotte 49ers 2012-13 men's basketball schedule

Nov. 9, Charleston Southern; 13, Georgia Southern; 17, Lamar; 22-24 Great Alaska Shootout (22, Texas State; 23, Oral Roberts or Loyola Marymount; 24, TBA).

Dec. 1, East Carolina; 5, at Davidson; 8, Central Michigan; 14, at Miami; 16, at Kennesaw State; 19, Radford; 22, Florida State (Time Warner Cable Arena).

Jan. 2, UNC Asheville; 9, La Salle; 12, at Rhode Island; 16, Fordham; 19, at Richmond; 23, Xavier; 26, at George Washington.

Feb. 2, Massachusetts; 6, at Temple; 9, Virginia Commonwealth; 13, at Butler; 16, at Saint Louis; 24, Temple; 27, Dayton.

March 2, at St. Bonaventure; 6, at Duquesne; 9, Saint Joseph's; 14-17, Atlantic 10 tournament (at Brooklyn, N.Y.).

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

49ers land Porter Ridge star

49ers football coach Brad Lambert has said will need to quickly step up Charlotte's recruiting as they prepare for FBS football in 2015. It appears they're already doing that with a verbal commitment from Porter Ridge High's Chris Duffy.

Porter Ridge coach Blair Hardin said Duffy, a senior strong safety and running back, committed to the 49ers on Saturday and that he also had offers from East Carolina and Tennessee.

Duffy (5-11, 190 pounds) was an all-state defensive back last season as Porter Ridge went to the 4A state championship game. He's scored four touchdowns and is averaging nearly 8 yards per carry this season as a running back.

The 49ers are getting plenty of Porter Ridge players already: Guard Thomas LaBianca, quarterback Lee McNeill and kicker Stephen Muscarello are freshmen at Charlotte this year.