South Charlotte football fans not rooting for Notre Dame or Alabama still had a reason to cheer during the BCS Championship football game Jan. 7. Three former south Charlotte players started in the national championship game, two on Notre Dame’s defense and one on Alabama’s offense.Charlotte Christian graduate Matthias Farley started at safety for the Fighting Irish. The 5-foot-11, 200-pound sophomore had 6 tackles in the championship game, which Alabama won 42-14. He finished the season with 49 tackles and one interception in 11 starts. Ardrey Kell graduate Prince Shembo started at outside linebacker for the Fighting Irish and had three tackles in the title game. Shembo, a 6-foot-2, 250-pound junior, started every game this year for Notre Dame and finished the season with 51 tackles and 7.5 sacks. Providence Day graduate Kelly Johnson started at tight-end/H-back for Alabama. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior had one reception for five yards in the game. He finished with five catches for 39 yards on the season. Three other former south Charlotte players were on one of the championship teams’ rosters. Freshmen Mark Harrell, an offensive lineman from Charlotte Catholic, and Romeo Okwara, an outside linebacker from Ardrey Kell, play for Notre Dame. Independence High alumnus Ranzell Watkins is a junior defensive back for Alabama.Alabama sophomore defensive back Vinnie Sunseri, who played at Marvin Ridge before transferring to Northridge (Ala.) High, started and had two tackles in the championship game. He finished the season with 54 tackles, 1.5 sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.Hales named national coach of the yearThe U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee named Butler High football coach Brian Hales as the 2013 Xenith National Coach of the Year. Hales led the Bulldogs to an undefeated season and a N.C. High School Athletic Association 4AA state championship in his second year as head coach. Hales will receive the Yoast Award, which is named after coach Bill Yoast, who along with Herman Boone was immortalized in the movie “Remember the Titans.” Butler senior Peter Kalambayi played in the All-American Bowl Jan. 5. The Stanford recruit had one tackle in the game.All-AmericansButler’s Kalambayi was also named first-team All-American by MaxPreps. Charlotte Catholic running back Elijah Hood, who led the Cougars to the state championship game, was named second-team All-American by MaxPreps. Hood was also named to MaxPreps’ Junior All-American first team. Charlotte Christian tight end Jeb Blazevich was named second team Junior All-American.
Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013
South Charlotte athletes play in BCS championship
Charlotte Christian graduate Matthias Farley started at safety for Notre Dame in the BCS Championship football game.
Alabama's Kelly Johnson (31) celebrates T.J. Yeldon's (4) touchdown in the second quarter of the BCS National Championship game against Notre Dame at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Monday, January 7, 2013. (Jim Rassol/Sun Sentinel/MCT)
Notre Dame linebacker Prince Shembo (55) celebrates his sack of Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn during the third quarter with teammates Kapron Lewis-Moore (89) and defensive lineman Hafis Williams at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana, on Saturday, November 13, 2010. Notre Dame defeated Utah, 28-3. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/ Chicago Tribune/MCT)
FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2012, file photo, Notre Dame safety Matthias Farley (41) intercepts a pass past Stanford tight end Levine Toliolo (11) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind. Farley was a soccer player before transitioning to football, first as a wide receiver and now a starting safety for No. 1 Notre Dame. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
Inscoe: 704-358-5923; Twitter: @CoreyInscoe
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