6 year-old Dancing Sensation to Coach Fan Fest


On Friday, August 7th, the Carolina Panthers will welcome a pint-sized addition to their coaching staff.  Through the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central & Western North Carolina, 6-year-old Braylon Beam of Denver, NC will serve as honorary Head Coach for the team’s annual Fan Fest practice.  Beam, who has garnered national attention since his appearance on The Ellen Show, signed a one-day coaching contract back in June during a surprise pep rally at his school.  The contract, per General Manager Dave Gettleman, “includes a clause that requires [Braylon] to show off [his] dance moves.”


ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 25, 2015) – The Chesapeake Bayhawks used a final run in the fourth quarter to top the Charlotte Hounds 15-13 on Saturday night. Chesapeake’s head coach, Dave Cottle, ended his MLL coaching career with one final win, as he plans to join the front office management of the Bayhawks in 2016. Ben Rubeor was named Coca-Cola Player of the game following his five point (4g, 1a) performance, while Joe Walters added two goals and five assists and Drew Westervelt tallied three goals and two assists. Tyler Fiorito had 18 saves for the Bayhawks, with Niko Amato adding two in the second half, while Pierce Bassett made 19 saves for the Hounds.Joey Sankey played a stand out game with four goals, keeping the score close throughout the game.

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Two Weeks Later, No Greg Hardy Decision



Two weeks ago today, hearing officer Harold Henderson reduced the 10-game suspension imposed by Commissioner Roger Goodell on Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy to four games.

As of now, Hardy still hasn’t decided whether to further challenge the reduced suspension in court.

Per a league source, Hardy is still exploring his options with the NFL Players Association. The source also called it a “fluid situation.”

Read Full Story @Pro Football Talk

Charlotte 49ers in for ‘culture shock’ in first season in Conference USA

Texas-San Antonio football coach Larry Coker has words of advice for the Charlotte 49ers as they prepare for their first season in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision and Conference USA

“They’re in for a little bit of culture shock,” said Coker, whose Roadrunners made a similar jump in 2012, the only program to make such a move faster than Charlotte.

The 49ers are playing just their third season of football, starting the sport in 2013 as Football Championship Subdivision independents. Two years later, Charlotte is in the sport’s big time.

Read Full Story @ The Charlotte Observer 

2015 All-ACC Preseason Football Team Announced

2015 All-ACC Preseason Football Team Announced

Clemson leads with five selections; four each from Florida State, Virginia Tech


GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Clemson leads all schools with five selections to the 2015 All-Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Football Team announced on Thursday.


The team was selected by a vote of 163 media members who were credentialed for the ACC Football Kickoff earlier this week at Pinehurst Resort.


Clemson sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson, who earlier this week was voted the ACC Preseason Player of the Year, is joined on the All-ACC preseason team by Tiger wide receivers Mike Williams and Artavis Scott, offensive guard Eric Mac Lain and defensive end Shaq Lawson.


Florida State and Virginia Tech each placed four student-athletes on the 2015 All-ACC preseason team, while Pitt had three selected.


Watson, who threw for 1,466 yards and 14 touchdowns despite being limited to eight games and five starts last season due to injuries, is joined in the offensive backfield by running backs James Conner of Pitt and Shadrach Thornton of NC State.


Conner, a 2014 All-American and the reigning ACC Player of the Year, led the conference and ranked among the nation’s leaders with 1,765 yards rushing and an ACC-record 26 touchdowns as a sophomore. Thornton, a rising senior, ranks 10th in NC State history with 2,369 career rushing yards and 12th all-time among Wolfpack ball-carriers with 16 career rushing touchdowns.


Clemson’s Williams and Scott are joined on the preseason All-ACC wide receiving corps by Pitt junior Tyler Boyd, the the first player in ACC history to compile 1,000 receiving yards in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Williams joined Boyd as one of four ACC players with at least 1,000 receiving yards in 2014, and Scott was close behind with 965.


Preseason All-ACC tight end recognition goes to Virginia Tech’s Bucky Hodges, a redshirt sophomore who broke in last season with 45 receptions for 526 yards and six TDs. He is joined on the offensive line by Florida State’s Roderick Johnson and Pitt’s Adam Bisnowaty at tackle.North Carolina’s Landon Turner and Clemson’s Mac Lain man the guard spots, while Duke’s Matt Skura was selected at the center position.


Three defensive ends were selected due to ties in the voting, with Virginia Tech’s Dadi Lhomme Nicolas joining Clemson’s Lawson and Louisville’s Sheldon Rankins. Adam Gotsis of defending Coastal Division champion Georgia Tech is a choice at defensive tackle, along with Virginia Tech’s Luther Maddy.


Florida State’s Terrance Smith, Wake Forest’s Brandon Chubb and Louisville’s James Burgess form the preseason All-ACC linebacker corps.


The secondary features a trio of returning All-Americans in cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey of Florida State and Kendall Fuller of Virginia Tech, as well as Duke safety Jeremy Cash. Virginia’s Quin Blanding, the 2014 ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, also earned a spot at safety on the preseason team.


The special teams include junior All-America placekicker Roberto Aguayo, whose 293 total points in two seasons already ranks eighth on Florida State’s all-time list. Wake Forest’s Alex Kinal earned the spot at punter, while North Carolina’s Ryan Switzer is the choice at return specialist.


Pitt’s Conner led the overall voting, being chosen by 148 of the 163 media members casting ballots. Florida State’s Aguayo received 141 votes.


Others reaching or topping the century mark were Pitt’s Boyd (137 votes), Duke’s Cash (116), Florida State’s Ramsey (115), Virginia Tech’s Fuller (112), Duke’s Skura (111), North Carolina’s Turner (108), Virginia Tech’s Nicolas (108), Florida State’s Johnson (104) and Clemson’s Watson (100).


Boyd, Conner, Aguayo, Fuller and Ramsey were all named first-team All-ACC last year, while Scott, Williams, Nicolas, Gotsis, Smith, Cash, Blanding and Kinal all earned second-team All-ACC. Switzer, Hodges, Turner, Skura and  Rankins were 2014 third-team All-ACC selections.


2015 All-ACC Preseason Football Team



WR – Tyler Boyd, Jr., Pitt

WR – Mike Williams, Jr., Clemson

WR – Artavis Scott, So. Clemson

TE – Bucky Hodges, r-So., Virginia Tech

OT – Roderick Johnson, So., Florida State

OT – Adam Bisnowaty, r-Jr., Pitt

OG – Landon Turner, r-Sr., North Carolina

OG – Eric Mac Lain, Gr., Clemson

C – Matt Skura, r-Sr., Duke

QB – Deshaun Watson, So., Clemson

RB – James Conner, Jr., Pitt

RB – Shadrach Thornton, Sr., NC State



DE – Dadi Lhomme Nicolas. r-Sr., Virginia Tech

DE – Shaq Lawson, Jr., Clemson

DE – Sheldon Rankins, Sr., Louisville

DT – Adam Gotsis, Sr., Georgia Tech

DT – Luther Maddy, r-Sr., Virginia Tech

LB – Terrance Smith, r-Sr., Florida State

LB – Brandon Chubb, r-Sr., Wake Forest

LB – James Burgess, Sr., Louisville

CB – Jalen Ramsey, Jr., Florida State

CB – Kendall Fuller, Jr., Virginia Tech

S – Jeremy Cash, r-Sr., Duke

S – Quin Blanding, So., Virginia


Special Teams

PK – Roberto Aguayo, r-Jr., Florida State

P – Alex Kinal, r-Sr., Wake Forest

KR – Ryan Switzer, So., North Carolina


2015 All-ACC Preseason Team Voting



Deshaun Watson, Clemson 100; Justin Thomas, Georgia Tech 33; Marquise Williams, North Carolina 13; Brad Kaaya, Miami 10; Jacoby Brissett, NC State 6; Michael Brewer, Virginia Tech 1.


Running Back

James Conner, Pitt 148; Shadrach Thornton, NC State 37; Dalvin Cook, Florida State 36; Jon Hilliman, Boston College 33; Wayne Gallman, Clemson 19; Brandon Radcliff, Louisville 15; Shaquille Powell, Duke 12; T.J. Logan, North Carolina 9; Matt Dayes, NC State 6, J.C. Coleman, Virginia Tech 5; Joe Yearby, Miami 4; Gus Edwards, Miami 2.


Wide Receiver

Tyler Boyd, Pitt 137; Mike Williams, Clemson 98; Artavis Scott, Clemson 86; Ryan Switzer, North Carolina 32; Travis Randolph, Florida State 23; James Quick, Louisville 23; Quinshad Davis, North Carolina 23; Stacy Coley, Miami 21; Isaiah Ford, Virginia Tech 16; Max McCaffrey, Duke 8; Jesus Wilson, Florida State 8; Steve Ishmael, Syracuse 5; Canaan Severin, Virginia 4; Ja’Quay Savage, Louisville 3; Mack Hollins, North Carolina 3.


Tight End

Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech 75; Braxton Deaver, Duke 28; Cam Serigne, Wake Forest 21; David Grinnage, NC State 13; Jordan Leggett, Clemson 12; Ryan Malleck, Virginia Tech 6; J.P. Holtz, Pitt 5; Chris Herndon, Miami 3.


Offensive Tackle

Roderick Johnson, Florida State 104; Adam Bisnowaty, Pitt 70; Bryan Chamberlain, Georgia Tech 63; Jon Heck, North Carolina 22; Eric Smith, Virginia 17; Errin Joe, Georgia Tech 16; KC McDermott, Miami 12; Casey Blaser, Duke 12; Trevor Darling, Miami 7; Ivan Foy, Syracuse 3.


Offensive Guard

Landon Turner, North Carolina 108; Eric Mac Lain, Clemson 36; Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech 33; Joe Thuney, NC State 31; Trey Braun, Georgia Tech 30; Dorian Johnson, Pitt 29; Lucas Patrick, Duke 20; Caleb Peterson, North Carolina 18; Danny Isidora, Miami 18; Tony Adams, NC State 3.



Matt Skura, Duke 111; Ryan Norton, Clemson 18, Freddie Burden, Georgia Tech 11; Rob Trudo, Syracuse 7; Lucas Crowley, North Carolina 5; Nick Linder, Miami 5; Ross Burbank, Virginia 4; Quinton Schooley, NC State 2.


Defensive End

Dadi Lhomme Nicolas, Virginia Tech 108; Shaq Lawson, Clemson 56; Sheldon Rankins, Louisville 56; Ken Ekanem, Virginia Tech 50; DeMarcus Walker, Florida State 21; Mike Rose, NC State 9; Mike Moore, Virginia 8; KeShun Freeman, Georgia Tech 6; Dajaun Drennon, North Carolina 3; Ron Thompson, Syracuse 3; Quan Muhammad, Miami 2, Ufomba Kamalu, Miami 2; Kevin Kavalec, Boston College 2.


Defensive Tackle

Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech 87, Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech 66; Corey Marshall, Virginia Tech 27; Connor Wujciak, Boston College 27; Derrick Mitchell, Florida State 25; Nile Lawrence-Stample, Florida State 22; D.J. Reader, Clemson 19; David Dean, Virginia 11; Nazair Jones, North Carolina 10; B.J. Hill, NC State 9; Jabari Hunt-Days, Georgia Tech 6; Kentavius Street, NC State 5; Calvin Heurtelou, Miami 4; Truman Gutapfel, Boston College 3; Carlos Wray, Duke 3; Khaynin Mosely-Smith, Pitt 2.



Terrance Smith, Florida State 99; Brandon Chubb, Wake Forest 75; James Burgess, Louisville 67; Reggie Northrup, Florida State 58; Keith Kelsey, Louisville 38; Ben Boulware, Clemson 36; P.J. Davis, Georgia Tech 33; Rafael Kirby, Miami 19; Jeff Schoettmer, North Carolina 16; Steve Daniels, Boston College 14; Jermaine Grace, Miami 9; Deon Clarke, Virginia Tech 8; Zaire Franklin, Syracuse 7; Mike Strizak, Boston College 3; Darrion Owens, Miami 2; Jerod Fernandez, NC State 2; Marqez Hodge, Syracuse 2; Demond Smith, Georgia Tech 1.



Jalen Ramsey, Florida State 115; Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech 112; Mackensie Alexander, Clemson 28; Maurice Canady, Virginia 12; D.J. White, Georgia Tech 10; Breon Borders, Duke 7; Shaq Wiggins, Louisville 7; Jack Tocho, NC State 5; Tracy Howard, Miami 5; Juston Burris, NC State 5; Artie Burns, Miami 4; Justin Simmons, Boston College 3; Bryon Fields, Duke 3; Demetrious Nicholson, Virginia 3; Chris Milton, Georgia Tech 3; Brian Walker, North Carolina 2; Lafayette Pitts, Pitt 1; Des Lawrence, North Carolina 1.



Jeremy Cash, Duke 116; Quin Blanding, Virginia 92; Jayson Kearse, Clemson 21; Deon Bush, Miami 20; Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville 18; Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech 16; DeVon Edwards, Duke 13; Nate Andrews, Florida State 10; Tyler Hunter, Florida State 8; Hakim Jones, NC State 4; Ryan Janvion, Wake Forest 3; Deondre Singleton, Duke 2; Josh Jones, NC State 2; Dallas Crawford, Miami 1.



Roberto Aguayo, Florida State 141; Ross Martin, Duke 8; John Wallace, Louisville 6; Ian Frye, Virginia 4; Cole Murphy, Syracuse 2; Harrison Butker, Georgia Tech 1; Chris Blewitt, Pitt 1.



Alex Kinal, Wake Forest 89; Will Monday, Duke 38; Cason Beatty, Florida State 11; Justin Vogel, Miami 9; Riley Dixon, Syracuse 6; Ryan Rodwell, Georgia Tech 3; A.J. Hughes, Virginia Tech 3; Ryan Winslow, Pitt 2; Alex Howell, Boston College 2.



Ryan Switzer, North Carolina 62; DeVon Edwards, Duke 42; Tyler Boyd Pitt 32; Stacy Coley, Miami 9; Kermit Whitfield, Florida State 7; Myles Willis, Boston College 6; Jamal Golden, Georgia Tech 4; T.J. Logan, North Carolina 1.

NFL Teams Eventually Could Go Where The People, Money Are

The NFL’s stance regarding Los Angeles has pivoted from luxury to necessity for one primary reason: The well of taxpayer money for stadium construction and renovation has gone drier than ever.

While there’s a chance the pendulum could swing the other way at some point in the future, the current cycle feels more than temporary. If so, and absent efforts by local leaders to finagle public money without elections that are likely to fail if they ever happen, teams that want their stadiums to be replaced will either have to find a way to do it with private money in their current locations — or they’ll have to move to a city where they can.

Which means that the league inevitably will be looking at the bigger cities, where a greater concentration of fans and a greater opportunity to consistently fill a venue would mean a greater flow of cash that would be used to pay for the stadium.

Full story @ProFootBallTalk

Hurricanes Sign 1st-Round Pick Hanifin To 3-Year Deal

The Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C.- The Carolina Hurricanes have signed first-round draft pick Noah Hanifin to a three-year, entry-level contract.

Under terms of the deal announced Saturday, the defenseman will make $832,500 at the NHL level or $70,000 in the minor leagues through the 2017-18 season. Hanifin also receives a $277,500 signing bonus.

The signing was announced after the team concluded its summer development camp for prospects.

General manager Ron Francis says Hanifin “had a great week” at the camp and “fits the mold for the type of player and person we want in a Hurricanes uniform.”

The Hurricanes selected the 18-year-old with the No. 5 overall pick in last month’s draft. He had five goals and 18 assists in 37 games as a freshman at Boston College this past season.

Greg Hardy Didn’t Testify At His Hearing

Apart from the question of whether the NFLapplied the new Personal Conduct Policy retroactively to Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy is the question of whether he violated the policy. At his hearing in May, the NFL Players Association attacked the quality of the evidence that resulted in the the conclusion that multiple violations occurred — but Hardy himself didn’t testify.

Page 9 of the 12-page ruling from arbitrator Harold Henderson, a copy of which PFT has obtained, states that “Hardy was present for the entire appeal hearing but declined to testify.”

Full Article @ProFootballTalk


CHARLOTTE, NC (June 12, 2015) — The Charlotte Independence today announced the team has received on loan goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap from the Carolina RailHawks of NASL, effective immediately. The 32 year old will meet the team on Saturday and will be available for the club’s fourth round Lamar Hunt US Open Cup match on June 17.

The RailHawks signed Gilstrap ahead of the 2015 season. He has started seven matches, allowing nine goals and recording 18 saves for a 1.29 goals against average. Gilstrap spent the previous five seasons playing for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds of USL, where he won the 2010 USL-2 Goalkeeper of the Year Award.

Born in Asheville, N.C., Gilstrap grew up in Lexington, S.C., and played collegiate soccer at Clemson University and the College of Charleston. He began his pro career in 2006 with Miami FC, now the Fort Lauderdale Strikers. After one season in Miami, he joined the Cleveland City Stars for three seasons and in 2010 signed with the Riverhounds.

Gilstrap will train with the Independence alongside Andrew Pannenberg and Jacob Lissek, both of whom are signed to amateur contracts with the club. Starting keeper John Berner is expected to be out six to eight weeks following injuries sustained during the third round US Open Cup match against the RailHawks on May 27. Berner has returned to Colorado for treatment and rehab.

Goalkeeper Michael Lisch, who started for the Independence against the Richmond Kickers on June 7, remains on short-term loan from MLS side Houston Dynamo.

The Independence next face Gilstrap’s former team, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, on Saturday, June 13. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm at Winthrop University’s Eagle Field.