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Football: Mallard Creek takes on Scotland County in scrimmage Friday

By Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com
MALLARDCREEK_WAKEFOREST_15
Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
The Mallard Creek Mavericks celebrate their victory over the Wake Forest Cougars 59-21 with their fans following the N.C. 4AA football championship game at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh.

Two N.C. powers will play a featured high school football scrimmage Friday night at Charlotte’s Rocky River High School.

Rocky River will host a eight-team scrimmage beginning at 5 p.m. The final matchup will feature N.C. 4AA state champion Mallard Creek against 2011 N.C. 4A champion and 2013 N.C. 4A runner-up Scotland County. The N.C. Preps preseason statewide poll ranks Mallard Creek No. 1 in the 4A class, followed by Butler and Scotland County. The N.C. High School Athletic Association subdivides the 4A playoffs, grouping larger schools into the 4AA bracket and smaller ones into the 4A.

Mallard Creek started the week with a home scrimmage against Greensboro Dudley, which beat Scotland County in the 2013 4A state final. Dudley is ranked No. 4 in the preseason poll.

The Mallard Creek-Scotland scrimmage will begin approximately at 8:30 p.m. Anson County will play Statesville at 5 p.m., followed by Cuthbertson-Hopewell and Rocky River-North Rowan. Each scrimmage will consist of two full quarters of play with normal clock operation.

Admission is $2.

• Scotland QB Jaylend Ratliffe, a Georgia Tech recruit, suffered a fractured skull in a serious ATV accident two weeks ago and has been hospitalized at Charlotte’s Carolinas Medical Center. He was put in a medically induced coma to reduce swelling on his brain. The Laurinburg Exchange reported last Friday he was off a ventilator and able to speak, and it reported this week he began minor rehab, getting out of bed and taking a few steps with assistance. Georgia Tech will honor his scholarship, whether he can play or not, according to published media reports.

• Charlotte Christian running back/defensive back Jaylon McClinton has committed to Army. McClinton had 77 tackles last season and four interceptions.

Basketball

Former Providence Day girls’ basketball star Epiphany Woodson, considered one of the top 10 players in Mecklenburg County history, is the new girls’ basketball coach at Rocky River. Woodson, who played collegiately for Charlotte and Miami (Fla.), was an assistant at Myers Park last season. With the Mustangs, Woodson reunited with her old high school coach, Barbara Nelson. Nelson led the Mustangs to an N.C. 4A state championship.

At Rocky River, Woodson inherits a team from Odis Gadson that was 19-8 last season and returns its top 10 scorers. Rocky River plays in the same Southwestern 4A conference as Myers Park.

• Former Charlotte Latin player Will Reigel has joined the staff at Davidson as an assistant. Reigel played at Davidson after graduating from Latin.

Soccer

Providence Day girls’ soccer coach Dan Dudley was named N.C. private/parochial school coach of the year by the National Soccer Coaches Association. Dudley, who also won in 2013, led his team to a second straight N.C. Independent Schools 3A state title. Providence Day finished 16-0-3.

• Community School of Davidson’s Chad Solomonson won in 1A public and Hough’s David Smith, who led his team to the 4A state title, was the 4A public school coach of the year.

• Charlotte Latin’s Mitch Sanford (private) and Charlotte Catholic’s Bill Laurie (public 4A) won state assistant coach of the year honors.

Tennis

Daniel Belsito, a home-schooled high school student in Charlotte, won his third N.C. State Closed singles title last week in Raleigh in the U18 division. He previously won U14 and U16. He’s also won three doubles championships. In the five years, he’s played on the N.C. summer state closed circuit, Belsito has amassed a record of 47-6, including 28-4 in singles. Tennis Recruiting Network ranks him among the top 100 junior tennis players in the nation

Baseball

JP Culp has resigned his position as head coach at Olympic to take a similar position at Sun Valley in Indian Trail.

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