Sports fan delight this time of year

BY DON BEANE, News + Record Staff
Posted 8/29/19

What a time of year it is for sports fans with baseball winding down and football gearing up.

Sunday capped an almost two-week-long Little League World Series which produced big time with the …

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Sports fan delight this time of year

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What a time of year it is for sports fans with baseball winding down and football gearing up.

Sunday capped an almost two-week-long Little League World Series which produced big time with the Bayou State defeating Curacao to win the title.

It’s hard to believe with the baseball played in the state of Louisiana that it was the first World Series championship, but it was just that. In what was an exhibition of great fundamental baseball at the plate, in the field and on the mound, Louisiana battled back all the way through the loser’s bracket to down Curacao 8-0 in the finals.

And lets not forget Curacao, the little Caribbean Island produced as those kids put on quite a display of baseball before finally faltering in the later innings to the eventual champs.

High School sports is in full swing and the gridiron, volleyball, girl’s tennis,boy’s soccer and cross country teams are getting things cranked up at all five area high schools. While its just at the beginning stages of the fall season, some area teams to look out for early are the Chatham Central girl’s tennis team and the Jordan-Matthews boy’s soccer team among others when conference time rolls around.

This weekend the collegiate gridiron season gets underway with all the Big Four teams in action in what will be some entertaining games.

Wake Forest will get the area started at 8 p.m. Friday, August 31 with an intriguing match-up versus Utah State. The Aggies are always tough so it will be interesting to see how the Demon Deacons fare against an out west squad, especially with Graham’s Jamie Newman at the helm as the starting quarterback.

And how about the North Carolina and South Carolina showdown in Charlotte at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday? Talk about all sorts of story lines including the return of Mack Brown as the coach of the Tar Heels, UNC freshman QB Sam Howell from the Charlotte area gaining the starting nod, Angela and Sam Burgess’, both Siler City natives and Jordan-Matthews graduates, son Carson Burgess as a sophomore WR for the Tar Heels, and South Carolina providing another stiff SEC challenge to an ACC club. What an event that one should be.

Then there’s East Carolina and N.C. State in Raleigh. Everyone knows about this heated rivalry which was once halted for years due to the fan bases ‘interactions’ at the games. Not friendly ones I might add.

And the blood is even a little more bitter as the Pirates feel the Wolfpack ran the score up at 58-3 last season when the Pirates were without a head coach. Certainly things will be tougher this go around with Mike Houston at the helm of ECU, though conventional wisdom still sees the Pack winning by three touchdowns at least.

Duke, well, good luck to the Blue Devils. Coach David Cutcliffe and the Blue Devils will tangle with his alma mater down in Atlanta on Saturday at 3:30. To say Duke will be an underdog to the No. 2 ranked Crimson Tide would be an understatement especially with Tua Tagovailoa. For two-thirds of the season a year ago, Tagovailoa was probably the best quarterback at the collegiate level that I had seen.

After a nagging injury, Tagovailoa leveled off some, so it will be interesting to see just how he starts off the 2019 season.

So enjoy some area high school and collegiate sports this week. There’s not a whole lot better to do with your time as the fall season has officially arrived!


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