WWAY’s Monday night sports – July 22

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GREENSBORO, NC (ACC) — Clemson, seeking its 15th Atlantic Coast Conference football title and its second in three years, is the preseason choice to win the Atlantic Division and defeat Miami in the 9th Annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game, according to a poll of media members attending this week’s ACC Football Kickoff at the Grandover Resort.

Clemson, which leads all ACC teams with 14 conference championships, finished atop the media preseason poll for the second time since 1991. The Tigers have been picked to finish first six times overall since the ACC preseason poll began in 1976.

Clemson senior quarterback Tajh Boyd was the overwhelming choice to repeat as ACC Player of the Year. The senior from Hampton, Va., was named on 105 of 120 ballots after a 2012 season in which he broke his own ACC single-season marks for touchdown passes (36) and touchdown responsibility (46). Boyd enters the 2013 season with 8,053 career passing yards and 73 touchdown passes.

Miami running back Duke Johnson, with four votes, placed second to Boyd in the 2013 ACC Preseason Player of the Year voting. Virginia Tech quarterback Logan Thomas and Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins received three votes apiece.

Clemson received 102 first-place votes in the Atlantic Division balloting, and defending ACC champion Florida State placed second with 18. Miami was chosen as the likely Coastal Division winner by 65 voters, while Virginia Tech was named on 27 ballots and North Carolina on 22. Clemson was named on 95 ballots as the likely overall ACC Champion.

ACC Championship Votes
1. Clemson 95
2. Florida State 15
T3. Georgia Tech 3
T3. Miami 3
T3. North Carolina 3
6. Virginia Tech 1

Atlantic Division
1. Clemson (102) 815
2. Florida State (18) 731
3. NC State 490
4. Wake Forest 392
5. Maryland 373
6. Syracuse 320
7. Boston College 211

Coastal Division
1. Miami (65) 736
2. Virginia Tech (27) 654
3. North Carolina (22) 649
4. Georgia Tech (6) 522
5. Pitt 313
6. Virginia 230
7. Duke 228

ACC Player of the Year
1. Tajh Boyd, Clemson 105
2. Duke Johnson, Miami 4
T3. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech 3
T3. Sammy Watkins, Clemson 3
5. Bryn Renner, North Carolina 2
T6. Jeremiah Attaochu, Georgia Tech 1
T6. Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State 1
T6. Stephen Morris, Miami 1

ACC Championship Game Predictions
Clemson over Miami 55
Clemson over Virginia Tech 19
Clemson over North Carolina 18
Florida State over Miami 7
Florida State over Virginia Tech 7
Clemson over Georgia Tech 3
Georgia Tech over Clemson 3
Miami over Clemson 2
North Carolina over Florida State 2
Virginia Tech over Clemson 1
North Carolina over Clemson 1
Miami over Florida State 1
Miami over Florida State 1
Florida State over North Carolina 1


WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) — UNCW men’s basketball icon Brett Blizzard has agreed to play for the North Carolina entry in the Basketball Alumni Legends League (The-Ball) showcase event in two weeks.

Blizzard, UNCW’s all-time leading scorer, has been playing professionally in Italy since leading the Seahawks to NCAA appearances in 2000, 2002 and 2003. He will compete with other North Carolina collegiate standouts against the Washington, D.C., team, the D.C. Dobermans, on Aug. 1 at George Washington’s Charles E. Smith Center.

The Dobermans are scheduled to battle teams from Maryland (July 27), North Carolina (Aug. 1), Virginia (Aug. 3) and Philadelphia (Aug. 6). The four-game series sets the tone for The-Ball’s official launch in the summer of 2014 that will feature six teams and a 20-game season.

“It will be great to play against quality competition,” said Blizzard, who owns and operates Blizzard Athletics, a player development facility in Wilmington. “A lot of fans don’t have an opportunity to see their favorite players after leaving college. They’ll be able to see how they’ve developed in their careers.”

The North Carolina team will be coached by former UNC Chapel Hill great Phil Ford and includes players such as Justin Gray (Wake Forest), Scott May (UNC Chapel Hill) and Rayshawn Terry (UNC Chapel Hill).

The showcase games will feature several unique rules designed to speed up play, including “on the fly” player substitutions and “all or nothing” free throws. A four-point shot from 25 feet is also planned.

All four of the contests in the showcase will be televised live by Comcast SportsNet and streamed on ESPN3.com.

Note: Brett Blizzard is the co-host of WWAY’s Full Court Press.


WILMINGTON, NC (UNCW) — The Dub Club Initiative, a unique program that allows UNCW fans to form supportive groups based on common interests, is being introduced by the Seahawk Club.

The separate groups or clubs will compete throughout the year to raise money for student-athlete scholarships. One recognition will be awarded to the Dub Club that raises the most funds and one recognition will be awarded to the Dub Club that has the most members. The recognition for each contest will have the ability to direct an additional in-state scholarship to the sport of their choice. The recipient sport will be determined by the winning Dub Club leader.

The Dub Club program begins immediately and runs through Dec. 31, 2014. Contributions may be made to the Seahawk Club or sports scholarship fund of the donor’s choice.

“This initiative will allow our donors an opportunity to give on their terms,” said Rob Aycock, Senior Associate Athletic Director/Executive Director of the Seahawk Club. “Passion for UNCW Athletics runs deep in the community and among our former student-athletes.

“Everyone will have the opportunity to contribute to the entire athletic department, while also competing to elevate their selected sport. We have a great need for unrestricted scholarship support, but we know that our donors really want an opportunity to elevate the program of their choice. This initiative allows us to do both at once.”

Donors who have already made gifts in 2013 may have the funds designated for a Dub Club by contacting the Seahawk Club office.

To join an existing Dub Club or create a team, please visit UNCWsports.com/SeahawkClub or call the office at 910-962-7737.


WILMINGTON, NC (LANDFALL NEWS RELEASE) — The Country Club of Landfall’s (CCL) ACE Junior Tennis program won five state championships this past weekend at the United States Tennis Association’s North Carolina Junior Team Tennis State Championships. Titles were won in the 10 & Under Beginner, 12 & Under Beginner, 14 & Under Intermediate, 18 & Under Beginner and 18 & Under Intermediate categories. Two of the five teams, the 14 & Under Intermediate and 18 & Under Intermediate, will go on to compete in the Sectional/Southern Qualifier held in Auburn, Alabama during the weekend of August 16-18.

Over 500 juniors competed in the tournament, held in Fayetteville, NC with CCL representing almost 10% of the field taking 54 junior players to compete. In addition, two ACE Juniors Alex Lee and Diana Wasserman were each awarded with the Sportsmanship Award, voted on by coaches and USTA representatives in attendance.

The 14 & Under Intermediate team took the title for the second year in a row and the 18 & Under Intermediate took the title for the third year in a row. CCL sent seven teams to the State Tournament, winning five total and coming in fourth in the 8 & Under and 12 & Under Intermediate categories. The ACE program is taught by Jon Ingham, CCL’s Head Tennis Professional and Assistant Tennis Professionals, Lauren Isenhour, Alan Donald and Brad Dobbins.

“This was a very successful tournament for our ACE juniors and it is quite a feat to have won five team titles,” said Jon Ingham, CCL’s Head Tennis Professional. “Everyone played hard and represented our ACE program and the Club well. Coach Lauren and I are very proud of their accomplishments.”

Winners by Category
10 & Under Beginner – Alex Lee, Julia Johnston, Mia Marino, Shark Baynard, Cole Stockman, Kevin Kernan, Quaid Sutherland, J.R. Johnston

12 & Under Beginner – Jacob Best, Jack Miller, Evan Das, Alexa Brown, Ava Williams, Chloe Kernan, Aidan Sullivan

*14 & Under Intermediate – Holland Baynard, Westley Gaines, Lila Das, Patrick Senior, Robert Schuett, Kara Ferner, Eddie Janosko, Taylor Walicki

18 & Under Beginner – Lazelle Smith, Maxx Middleton, Caspian Gourdarzi, Mimi Hearne, Jared Lowell, Lola Lazarns, Diana Wasserman

*18 & Under Intermediate – Brooke Graham, Anna Hodges, Patrick Ryder, Chase Horton, Tyler Smith, Reid Gilbert, Jack Gallop, Parker Anderson, Alex Gianoplus, Talat Gourdarzi


DURHAM, NC (AP) – Authorities have dismissed charges against North Carolina basketball leading scorer P.J. Hairston from a traffic stop last month.

Hairston was arrested June 5 and charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and driving without a license at a checkpoint in Durham. But the Durham County clerk of court’s office said Monday those charges were dismissed Friday after Hairston produced proof he had a driver’s license and had completed a drug assessment program.

Two passengers – Elizabeth City State player Miykael Faulcon and former college basketball player Carlos Sanford – were also charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession. Their cases are pending with an Aug. 6 court date.

That traffic stop was the second time in a month that Hairston had been cited while driving a rental vehicle linked to a convicted felon.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Edenton, NC (SHARKS) -– The Wilmington Sharks (8-7, 22-20) came up just short 3-1 on the road on Monday night against the Edenton Steamers (9-3, 29-9).

The Steamers had their bats going as they picked up 13 hits in the ball game and every player in the lineup picked up a hit. John Williams improved his record to 4-0 on the year for the Steamers going six innings on the bump as he gave up one run on four hits and struck out five. Jake McCoy was credited with his eighth save on the year.

Josh Hampton struck first for the Steamers in the bottom of the fourth inning with a solo home run over the left centerfield fence to give Edenton an early 1-0 lead. The Sharks came back in the top of the fifth inning as Tyler Slaton tied up the game 1-1 with a two out line drive home run his first of the year.

Trent Miller gave the Steamers the lead for good in the bottom half of the fifth on a one out two RBI double down the left field line to give the Steamers a 3-1 lead. The Sharks were able to pick up three hits along the way through the last four innings, but were unable to get on the board.

Alex Freedman, Tyler Slaton and Mike Dunster each picked up two hits in the ballgame for the Sharks. Laz Villa went 2-4 with a run scored for the Steamers. The Wilmington Sharks return back home on Tuesday night as they welcome the Morehead City Marlins to Buck Hardee field with a 7:05 p.m. first pitch.


NEW YORK (AP) – Former National League MVP Ryan Braun has been suspended without pay for the rest of the season and the postseason in what appears to be the first of a series of suspensions resulting from baseball’s investigation of a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced the penalty Monday, citing Braun for multiple “violations” of baseball’s drug program and labor contract. The Milwaukee Brewers star will miss at least 65 games.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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