This is the first of the preseason polls from Radio Free
Cabarrus/485 Sports. First up is the South Piedmont Conference, where Northwest
Cabarrus is reigning champ.
The polling among our broadcasters and reporters was very
close with the top spot split between Northwest Cabarrus and A.L. Brown but the
Trojans get the call based on points awarded (6 for first and descending to 1
for sixth place).
So if our predictions are accurate, the South Piedmont
Conference could come down to the “Battle for Kannapolis.” Circle your Friday
nights in October: Oct. 11, Central Cabarrus at A.L. Brown; Oct. 18, Northwest
Cabarrus at Central Cabarrus; and Oct. 25, A.L. Brown at Northwest Cabarrus.
It should be fun. And of course we expect some surprises.
Radio Free Cabarrus/485 Sports will be broadcasting lots of games again this
year on the
NFHS Network. This year many of the school’s booster clubs will be doing
fundraisers through NFHS Network broadcasts. Contact your school’s boosters
club to find out how you can help.
Here are some of the comments from RFC broadcasters about
Three teams have a legitimate shot at winning the SPC title
this season. Northwest Cabarrus and AL Brown are my favorites but don’t
count Central Cabarrus out.
Northwest will try to prove that last season was not a fluke
and continue to look to establish itself as a top program in the always strong
conference. Another championship run this year could be the start of good
things to continue for that program.
The A.L. Brown Wonders will be looking to rebound and get
back to championship form and this could be the year. You can never count a
Mike Newsome coached team out so look for the Wonders to make some noise – they
have some payback on their mind with some county foes to regain some bragging
rights. If you own the bragging rights in the county then you own the SPC
title as well.
Central Cabarrus can make a difference in the race but they
will need more consistency to make it happen. All 3 of the top teams
cannot afford a setback at the hands of the other conference teams as Cox Mill
could be the sleeper again this year.
Concord and JM Robinson will battle it out for the bottom
two spots with the winner of that game probably avoiding the final spot in the
standings. Both teams are improved but not at the level of the other
teams in the conference.
I think A.L. Brown will be very strong this year, but Northwest
returns probably the best core of players. The Vikings will return a strong
core of players and could be better than both Northwest and AL Brown. I think
the Concord Spiders will surprise a lot of people and be tons better than last
year’s team and by end of the season could earn a playoff spot. I think the
Robinson Bulldogs will be slightly down this year but will still be a good
The Trojans have star players, Tyrese Blake and Nick
Wilds-Lawing, returning which should help keep them atop the conference. The
Vikings also have many returning players which will keep them in the running
towards the top of the conference.
Cox Mill lost a lot of strong seniors but former junior varsity players will
look to fill their shoes and should keep them in the middle of the pack.
Concord struggled mightily last season but with a strong
Junior Varsity team and more understanding of Coach Paxton’s systems should
help propel the Spiders to a better record than 1-10. A.L. Brown could be a
surprise team with returning seniors and a strong Junior Varsity team but with
the top three teams looking very strong it will be difficult to find conference
wins. Jay M. Robinson has a lot of problems to fix but they did show some
bright spots with young players making big plays throughout the season.
The Wonders likely fueled their offseason with memories of
losses to Northwest and Central Cabarrus and feel like they’re due some
payback. The new turf at Memorial Stadium should be beneficial to always
The Trojans and Vikings both return strong teams and should
make it a real battle for the top. College coaches have been very interested in
players for all three teams.
One question in my mind is whether the Vikings can avoid the
late season decline that has plagued the team for the past few years. Injuries
no doubt have played a major factor.
The Bulldogs and Chargers both have a few big holes to fill
and if they find the right pieces could content for upper half of the SPC. Can
Robinson find a consistent offense? Can the Chargers continue their outstanding
defense after major graduations along the defensive line?
The Spiders are the great unknown. Marty Paxton’s squad
showed improvement at the end of the season, but just how much progress did
they make in the off season. The SPC is a tough league to make up ground and
the Spiders could make great strides and still be in last place.
Check back next week for our Rocky River Conference
The 14th annual Cabarrus County Fair Pageant will be held on
Friday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m. at the New 103.7 Outside Stage at the Cabarrus
This is a natural, sundress pageant and four winners will be
crowned out of 1st through 12th grade girls. The four winners will receive a
crown, sash, trophy, and four fair tickets.
These new winners will also get to participate in the
Cabarrus County Fair Ribbon Cutting Ceremony the next day at 12:45 p.m.
The new Queens will make various appearances representing
their titles throughout the community and they and the runner ups will be able
to ride on the Cabarrus County Fair Float in the Concord Christmas
Parade. All contestants will receive an item of recognition.
Judging is based on the contestant’s on-stage introduction
about their community service involvement and also on their stage presence and
The deadline to enter is noon on Wednesday, Aug. 21st. For
more information and application, go to www.cabarruscountyfairpageant.weebly.com.
The pageant is directed by Susan Watkins and Adriane Watkins Miley.
RFC SPC football poll is coming
Our broadcasters have voted and we will be releasing our South Piedmont Conference preseason football poll this week. Check our where we rank your favorite SPC team.
On Saturday March 9th
2019 I was trying to talk with Jay’den Turner of Southwest Guilford about
NCHSAA Men’s 3A Western Region Basketball finals that had just end when one of
the league officials interrupted us and directed me to finish the interview
down in the postgame press conference.
And that is how I ended up sitting in my first ever press conference.
Not one to ever be
mistaken as shy, and a firm believer in the “fake it until you make it”
approach to new jobs, I fired off a single question to Cox Mill’s head coach
Jodie Barbee, which happened to be the first words I had ever spoken to the
coach I had heard so many rave about since I moved here three years ago. I asked something related to the quality of
his JV program and how he thought next year would be. As he took his next breath, I recognized by
the way his eyes puffed up, how he drew a deep but unsteady breath and how he
avoided eye contact for just a moment that he was stepping down. How did I know
this? Because I have had to do it three times myself.
he began to speak, I attempted to nod my head in a reassuring manor. Hoping to
offer some level of comfort coach to coach. I knew the pain he was feeling and
I knew how hard it is to publicly acknowledge that he was walking away from the
Juniors, Sophomores and Freshmen that had bought into his program and his
vision. The first time I ever “donned
the visor and headset” my team won the District 10 (Northern California)
championship. I left for Virginia the next day. After leading Woodrow Wilson’s (Portsmouth
VA) JV team to a 9-1 season and helping a record 18 out of 22 varsity seniors
find scholarships to play at the next level I gathered my kids around and told
them I was moving to Charlotte NC. I did it again to my players in 2017 after an
100% administration change over at Cabarrus County’s Christ the King Catholic High
School meant a different vision and priorities for the program I had started.
By stepping down I knew I was letting down the Juniors and Sophomores who had
taken beatings, suffered humiliating defeats and but experienced the thrill of
the program’s first two wins because they believed in what I was telling them.
coaches we love our players as if they are our own. I have told every group of
players that I have coached since my first daughter was born in 2002 that they
are the sons I will never have. That they were/are my legacy so I knew the pain
Coach Barbee had to have felt as the delivered the news to his team in the
locker room before coming into face the press.
first time I ever “donned the visor and headset” my team won the District 10
(Northern California) championship. I had stepped into a job in Virginia that
everyone told me was a losing venture and gone 9-1 and I had failed myself,
players and parents at Christ the King.
the two-time defending state champion explained that he had made his decision
because he wanted to spend more time with his family and friends and that he
wanted to have a chance to watch his son play. I instantly felt a common bond
with the man I had never spoken to before.
explained that he wanted to do something that could not happen if he continued
to coach at a school different from the one his son played at. He told us that
his son had decided not to transfer out of loyalty to his own teammates. The
Coach in Barbee respected that but the father in him was proud of that. He talked about how it was a difficult call
but the right decision. I wanted to stop the press conference and tell him that
he had said the wrong thing. What he had meant to say is that he didn’t want to
retire and look back and realize that for all the things he had accomplished as
a coach he had failed the ultimate test, the test of fatherhood.
do I know that’s what he really wanted to say? Because I failed that very same
test. Prior to going into coaching full time, I spent 21+ years in the
military. 5 years and 8 months as a US
Marine and the remainder as an Intelligence Specialist in the US Air
Force. My DD214 (the official separation
paperwork where your career is reduced to a single piece of paper) had an
impressive listing of some 24 medals. The write-ups for these make me out to be
some kind of comic book hero. They talk about “valor in the face of imminent
danger” and “immeasurable contributions to improving international relations.” My
shadow box is filled with mementos that tell a story of a decorated leader who
supposedly cared about the welfare of his men “above the call of duty” and led
the Air Force’s 480th Intelligence Wing (the USAF’s largest wing at
the time) through the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell “with dignity and
compassion never before experienced by those who were affected most.” My
evaluations tell the story of an innovator, an experimenter and “fearless
leader who galvanized the fighting will of hundreds.” But it’s what they don’t tell that, looking
back, matters the most.
don’t tell the story of a father who missed 9 birthdays, 4 Christmases and
countless firsts. Including my youngest daughter’s first birthday, first steps,
first words, first day of school and my oldest daughter’s first tooth, first
dance, first nightmare. They don’t tell
the story of a husband who was half a world away while his wife fought
incompetent doctors as their infant daughter fought for her life. They don’t
tell of the man who was on a plane while a surgeon cut open his baby girl in a
touch and go surgery. They don’t tell of
the father and husband who was out listening to music and having dinner with
pals in Korea while his wife sat in an ICU room listening to a machine breath
for that same daughter.
why I instantly respected the Coach who many will question. He will be there for his son’s senior
night. I won’t be there for my oldest
daughter’s. He will be there to celebrate the wins and provide comfort after
the losses. He put his family ahead of himself. His wife will be able to reach
out and find his hand to hold when their son has his big moment and they as a
family will shed some tears when his time on the court or field is done.
Sometimes life presents you with choices and its hard to decide which one is the right one. Sometimes life gives you opportunities to be more than you are. Sometimes the answers are easy other times they aren’t. But if your faith is strong enough, your heart is open enough, your mind is focused enough and you are man enough you will make the right call. Coach Barbee did this on a cold and rainy afternoon in Hickory. And that’s why he is a much better man than I.
Jay Alverson is a veteran, a football coach at Victory Christian and a broadcaster with Radio Free Cabarrus/485 Sports.
Can’t make it out to the Fourth Round Games? Please enjoy the following live video streams from our partners at the NFHS Network. Subscribe for the full month for just $9.95 to enjoy all Regional Finals and State Championships for the 2019 Basketball Playoffs!
NFHS NETWORK Live Video Streams(Stream Start time in Parenthesis)
WOMEN’S 4A EAST – #2 Southeast Raleigh vs. #3 Laney – Game Link (6:00 p.m.)
MEN’S 3A WEST – #2 Cox Mill vs. #3 Freedom – Game Link (6:50 p.m.)
MEN’S 4A WEST – #6 West Charlotte vs. #7 Ardrey Kell – Game Link (6:45 p.m.)
MEN’S 4A EAST – #1 Millbrook vs. #4 Seventy-First – Game Link (7:00 p.m.)
Below is a list of approved broadcasts for the 2019 NCHSAA Basketball Playoffs Fourth Round
1A Men’s Fourth Round
#1 Washington County vs. #4 West ColumbusWest Columbus HS Athletics FB – Live Internet Video Stream (Non-NFHS Network) – WCHS Facebook
#9 Bishop McGuinness vs. #21 North StanlyBishop McGuinness Athletics Radio – Audio-Only/Radio (Ed. Rate) – BMHS Mixlr Account
2A Men’s Fourth Round
#1 East Lincoln vs. #13 East RutherfordWAGY Radio – Audio-Only/Radio – 1320 AM, RutherfordtonKTC Broadcasting – Audio-Only/Radio – 107.5 FM, Lincolnton & www.KTCBroadcasting.com
Can’t make it out to the Third Round Games? Please enjoy the following live video streams from our partners at the NFHS Network. Subscribe for the full month for just $9.95 to enjoy Regional Finals and State Championships for the 2019 Basketball Playoffs!
NFHS NETWORK Live Video Streams
WOMEN’S 4A EAST – #2 Southeast Raleigh vs. #7 Pine Forest – Game Link (4:00 p.m.)MEN’S 4A EAST – #1 Millbrook vs. #9 Knightdale – Game Link (4:00 p.m.)
WOMEN’S 4A WEST – #2 West Forsyth vs. #10 Hickory Ridge – Game Link (5:45 p.m.)
WOMEN’S 3A WEST – #2 Freedom vs. #7 Asheville – Game Link (6:20 p.m.)
MEN’S 3A WEST – #2 Cox Mill vs. #10 Mount Tabor – Game Link (6:50 p.m.)
MEN’S 3A WEST – #3 Freedom vs. #11 A.L. Brown – Game Link (7:45 p.m.)
Below is a list of approved broadcasts for the 2019 NCHSAA Basketball Playoffs First Round