South Charlotte

This season’s finest: Monroe team hopes to brighten Christmas for Chancellor Adams

Monroe Girls Basketball team: From left, Destiny Wallace, Jehnyia Smith, Aunnia Rorie, Kyria Triplett, Essence Hamilton, Jasmine Reddick, Angel Roland, Ariel Knotts, Keena Parker, Jasmia Parsons, Quianna Parker, Tanaja Stevenson, with coach Leroy Osborne
Monroe Girls Basketball team: From left, Destiny Wallace, Jehnyia Smith, Aunnia Rorie, Kyria Triplett, Essence Hamilton, Jasmine Reddick, Angel Roland, Ariel Knotts, Keena Parker, Jasmia Parsons, Quianna Parker, Tanaja Stevenson, with coach Leroy Osborne

Monroe Girls’ Basketball Team/Chancellor Adams: Coach Leroy Osborne and his Monroe girls’ basketball team look forward to providing a Christmas for a family less fortunate than themselves each December.

While every family has been memorable, Coach Osborne says this year “feels a little bit more special.”

The reason is because they are trying to make this Christmas a little better for Chancellor Adams.

Adams is the son of former Carolina Panther, Rae Carruth and the late Cherica Adams.

Carruth was convicted of conspiring to kill Cherica Adams, when she was eight months pregnant, Nov. 16, 1999. Carruth is still in prison.

Chancellor Adams was born the same day by emergency Caesarean section. Chancellor was born with permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy after being without oxygen for more than an hour before he was born.

Cherica Adams died on Dec. 14, 1999.

While Adams’ life was altered forever because of the way he was born, now 17 years old, his grandmother, Saundra Adams (who takes care of him), told Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer that he is “thriving not surviving.”

“The way Chancellor has fought his entire life is inspiring to all of us,” Osborne said. “We reached out to Saundra (Adams) to see if we can provide a Christmas for Chancellor. From the first day of basketball tryouts, we told our team that this was our project and to go out and advertise it. ...

“We have had a ton of response. Everyone wants to help Chancellor have a better Christmas.”

The Monroe girls’ basketball team will present the gifts to Adams on Dec. 16 when the team hosts Piedmont at 6 p.m.

Adams will serve as the girls’ honorary captain before the game.

Coach Osborne says they have received over 100 gift cards, a television with a DVD player, a football signed by the whole Duke football team and Washington Redskins’ gear is also on the way from former Monroe football star, Jameson Crowder, who now plays for the Redskins.

You can still donate a gift card by taking it by Monroe High to the main office before 3 p.m. or to the gym from 3 to 6 p.m. this week.

There will also be a booth at the Piedmont game Dec. 16, set up to accept more gifts for Chancellor.

The Adams’ family has requested gift cards from Apple Store, Old Navy, Target and Walmart, but no money.

All 13 players from the Monroe girls’ basketball team have bought Adams a gift card and Piedmont girls’ team is also bringing several gifts, according to Osborne.

“Friday night is going to be really special for all of us,” Monroe senior forward, Quianna Parker said. “We just want him (Chancellor) to be happy. We want him to know that Friday is his night and it’s all about him and we want to make him feel important.”

Jake Reid, Providence Wrestling, sr.: The Providence-Alexander Central wrestling match Dec. 9 came down to the final weight class (160).

Trailing by four points, Providence needed senior, Jake Reid to pin Alexander Central’s Christian Romero, to win the match. Both wrestlers are ranked in the top 10 in state in their weight class.

But Reid came up big when his team needed him most, pinning Romero, to win the match for himself and his team.

Reid also won the Bobby Abernathy Invitational at Piedmont the next day (Dec. 10) and 17-2 overall this season.

Nikoly Dos Santos, Providence Wrestling, so.: While Reid’s dramatic victory against Alexander Central won the match, Providence sophomore, Nikoly Dos Santos, turned the momentum to help her team win, according to Panthers’ wrestling coach, Brett Houghton.

Dos Santos was forced into action in the 120-pound weight class because starter, Robbie Snyder, was out with a concussion and his backup was also sick.

Dos Santos’ made the most of her opportunity, notching her first win over a male wrestler by pinfall. Coach Houghton says it was the turning point in the whole match for his team.

Eric Hudson, North Mecklenburg Wrestling, so.: North Mecklenburg sophomore, Eric Hudson won the 195-pound weight class at Al Kessie Mecklenburg County tournament (at Olympic) Saturday (Dec. 10) to run his record to a perfect 9-0 this season.

Hudson is currently ranked No. 2 in the state in the 182-pound weight class, according to

Tanner Gleaton, Central Cabarrus Wrestling, jr.: The Central Cabarrus junior notched his 100th career victory Dec. 7 with a win over Myers Park’s Spencer Bradley.

Gleaton, who wrestles in the 120-pound weight class, is 12-0 this season, and 102-16 in his Vikings’ career. He was 3A state runner-up last season (113).

Luca Katz, Charlotte Country Day Football/Lacrosse, sr.: The Charlotte Country Day senior, Luca Katz, received the Michael A. Kahn High School Community Service/Scholastic Scholarship Award, Dec. 5 at the National Defensive Player of the Year Awards’ Banquet (hosted by Charlotte Touchdown club and Football Writers’ Association of America) at the Charlotte Convention Center.

Katz received the award for his work on and off the field, as he is not only an all-state football and lacrosse player at Charlotte Country, but the straight-A student is also president of the French club, the Military Support club and a National Honor Society student.

Katz is a regular volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Galilee Refugee Center, the French Red Cross and the United Service Organization.

The Kahn scholarship carries a $40,000 scholarship over his four-year of undergraduate study.

Michael Sanders, Cannon School Golf, jr.: The Davidson native, Cannon School junior golfer won the Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award recently presented at the Rolex Junior All-American Awards’ Banquet at PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach, Fla.

Sanders has helped raise over $140,000 in donations to the Jack Nicklaus’ Children’s Healthcare Foundation.

Sanders, ranked No. 7 in the state (according to Tar Heel Youth Golf Association) and No. 57 in the nation (Polo golf rankings), is the reigning Charlotte Observer boys’ golfer of the year.

Sanders, a Louisiana State University (LSU) commit, won the 2016 NCISAA state championships in May by six shots.

Destiny Johnson, East Lincoln Girls’ Basketball, jr.: The East Lincoln junior guard had a monster week, averaging 32.5 points 13.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, nine steals and four blocks per game in the Mustangs two wins over Hibriten and North Lincoln.

Johnson, a 5-foot-7 guard, had 31 points, 19 rebounds, nine steals and five blocks in the 64-20 win over Hibriten on Dec. 5. Two days later, she came back with 34 points, eight rebounds, nine steals and six assists in the 77-38 victory over North Lincoln.

Ahlana Smith, Mallard Creek Girls’ Basketball, jr.: The Mavericks’ junior guard scored 14 points to help her team beat Ridge View High (SC) 64-40 at the Best of the Carolinas’ Tournament on Dec. 10, earning most valuable player honors for the game.

The 5-foot-8 guard also had 11 points, five rebounds and four steals to help Mallard Creek (7-0) to a big, MECKA 4A conference win over Hopewell (63-42) on Dec. 9.

Jarren Cottingham, Hickory Ridge Basketball, sr.: The Hickory Ridge senior point guard had a week to remember, averaging 19 points, four rebounds, five assists and three steals per game, while helping his team to three straight, conference road wins in three straight days.

Cottingham started his week with 16 points, four rebounds and five assists in a 72-59 win at East Rowan on Dec. 6.

The next night, the 6-foot-1 guard helped the Ragin’ Bulls win a 76-75 overtime thriller at Concord, with 12 points, six assists and three steals.

But Cottingham had his best game at Jay M. Robinson on Dec. 8 in Hickory Ridge’s (now 6-0 this season) third game in three nights, scoring 29 points, with four assists and five steals, including the game-winning layup to give the Ragin’ Bulls a 76-75 upset win.

Malique Nelson, Bessemer City Basketball, sr.: The 6-foot-2, Bessemer City senior forward averaged 16 points and 12 rebounds to help lead the Yellow Jackets to a perfect 3-0 record last week, beating Pine Lake Prep, South Point and Thomas Jefferson Academy.

Nelson had his biggest game in the 79-68 victory over Pine Lake Prep, scoring 31 points and grabbing 18 rebounds.

Jay Edwards is a freelance writer:

Charlotte Observer columnist Scott Fowler contributed.


This season’s finest highlights high school athletes with outstanding performances. Information published today includes statistics through Dec. 11. In most cases, the athletes featured will come from sports that don’t get a lot of recognition. However, the goal is to recognize excellence. If you want to suggest someone to be included in This Fall’s Finest column, send email to Jay Edwards at Please include the athletes’ name, school, class and applicable game performance statistics. Coaches must be willing to verify information