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Mecklenburg players make junior All-American team

By Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

Three Mecklenburg County football players have been selected to the MaxPreps Junior All-American team.

Davidson Day record-setting quarterback Will Grier and Charlotte Catholic running back Elijah Hood were named to the first team. Charlotte Christian tight end Jeb Blazevich made second team.

Grier, named the N.C. Gatorade Player of the Year, has committed to Florida. He was a first-team All-Charlotte Observer pick and was named quarterback of The Associated Press all-state team, selected by North Carolina media members.

Grier, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound junior, set state records with 5,785 yards passing and 69 touchdowns last season. During the playoffs – when he led Davidson Day to its second straight state title – he threw for 837 yards and 10 touchdowns in one game.

Hood, the Observer’s offensive player of the year, rushed 278 times for 3,309 yards and 48 touchdowns. He led the Cougars to the N.C. 3AA championship game. Hood, 6-1 and 215 pounds, set Mecklenburg County season rushing records for touchdowns and yards.

Hood, like Grier, was a first-team All-Observer pick and a Associated Press all-state selection.

Blazevich, a 6-5, 230-pound tight end, was an All-Charlotte Independent Schools Athletic Association, all-state and first-team All-Charlotte Observer pick. He caught 30 passes for 379 yards and five scores.

Football: Mallard Creek’s North down to three potential schools

Mallard Creek All-American receiver Marquez North will announce his college decision on national college signing day next month, his father told the Observer.

North, the top recruit in the Carolinas, will announce his choice during a Feb. 6 news conference at the school, when all of Mallard Creek’s football players will be signing their letters of intent.

North, 6-3 and 215 pounds, plans to visit Clemson this weekend, his father, Ramondo, said, and will visit North Carolina on Jan. 18.

Ramondo North said his son will choose from among Clemson, North Carolina and Tennessee. Ramondo North said the family ruled out Florida after a recent visit there.

The elder North said his son is fully recovered from shoulder surgery during October, which forced him to miss the playoffs. Ramondo North said Marquez was injured during a 7-on-7 scrimmage last summer.

“He played all season with it,” Ramondo North said, “but as the season went on, it got weaker and weaker. When we were on a visit to Tennessee, (the shoulder) popped out (of its socket) while he was asleep. I pulled him right there. I just thought it was best to not play anymore.”

Football: Butler’s Hales wins national coach of the year award

Butler High’s Brian Hales was selected by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl as the 2013 Xenith National Coach of the Year. The award honors the nation’s top high school football coach, recognizing exceptional coaching abilities and leadership skills as well as serving as a positive influence to the youth of America on and off the field.

Hales led his team to a 15-0 season in his second year. He will receive the award, named after legendary coach Bill Yoast, who, along with coach Herman Boone, was immortalized in the movie “Remember the Titans.”

Basketball: Cuthbertson’s Mitchell commits to Wake Forest

Cuthbertson High junior point guard Shelton Mitchell has committed to Wake Forest.

Mitchell, who is 6-3, is ranked No. 20 in the junior class by ESPN. He ranks as the No. 5 point guard in his class. He had offers from Arizona, Charlotte, Clemson, Connecticut, Illinois, Memphis, Missouri, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Washington and Virginia Tech.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams also came to Waxhaw a few times to see Mitchell practice and play, but he didn’t make an offer prior to Mitchell’s commitment.

Wake Forest made an offer to Mitchell when he was in ninth grade.

This season, Mitchell is averaging 22 points, 3.5 assists, three rebounds and two steals for the Cavaliers (12-1), who were N.C. 2A state runner-up last season. Cuthbertson will play at Monroe’s Central Academy on Tuesday night.

Wertz: 704-612-9716; On Twitter: @langstonwertzjr
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