Wright wins Bronko Nagurski defensive award for preps
York Comprehensive’s Lee Wright was named the 2012 Charlotte Touchdown Club’s Donnie Shell High School Defensive Player of the Year on Monday night at the group’s meeting. Since 1997, the Touchdown Club has doled out the award to Charlotte area high school football players who excelled in scholarship, sportsmanship, leadership and citizenship. York’s athletic department receives a $1,000 honorarium in Wright’s name.
“That’s big,” Wright said. “To be the best defensive player in North and South Carolina, that’s a big accomplishment.”
Wright knew he was one of several finalists for the award and found out he’d won when he arrived at the event in downtown Charlotte and saw the program. The senior linebacker, who has a 3.7 grade point average, had quite a senior season for the Cougars, racking up 140 tackles, four sacks and four interceptions – three of which he returned for touchdowns. He also had six punt or kickoff returns that went for touchdowns, but his defensive production, in his first season primarily playing that side of the ball, was especially impressive. After rushing for over 1,800 yards as a junior running back, Wright voluntarily shifted to defense to help the Cougars.
“Lee Wright is as good a defensive player as we have coached,” said York coach Bobby Carroll, who accompanied Wright to the banquet along with several defensive coaches and the player’s parents, Lewis and Mary Wright. “How many kids rush for 1,800 yards and then ask to be moved to play defense? Shows his unselfishness and his commitment to winning. We are extremely proud of Lee and we are going to miss him dearly.”
Wright, who will represent South Carolina in the Shrine Bowl next week, was honored alongside some of college football’s best players at the Bronko Nagurski Award ceremony. The trophy is given to the nation’s best defensive college football player, and Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o took home the hardware, staving off the likes of former South Pointe standout and current South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and Georgia sack master Jarvis Jones.
Hanging out with those guys during the banquet was a memorable experience. Maybe Wright, who’s getting serious recruiting interest from Toledo and Notre Dame, among others, could return to the banquet as a college player too.
“Oh yeah,” he said.
Local athletes named to volleyball all-state teams: Juniors Christen Bragg (Rock Hill) and Gabby Seymore (Fort Mill) were named to the Class AAAA all-state squad, while Lewisville senior Madison Ramsey earned a spot on the Class A squad.
Additionally, two area volleyball players played in the North/South All-Star game, held Nov. 17 at Erskine College. York’s Cara Powers and Nation Ford’s Gabrielle LaCorata helped the 3A/4A North squad best the South squad 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-20).
Rudolph picks up second major scholarship offer: Jim Baxter, of SCVarsity.com, reported Monday that Northwestern junior quarterback Mason Rudolph had received a second major offer from a BCS school, and Trojans coach Kyle Richardson confirmed last night that the school in question was Virginia Tech.
Rudolph, who threw for well over 3,000 yards and over 40 touchdowns this season while leading Northwestern to the state championship game, also has an offer from LSU.
Bearcats wrestlers finish sixth at Southern Slam: Rock Hill High School’s wrestling team placed sixth out of 39 teams last Saturday at the Southern Slam in Greenville. Archer High School (Ga.) won the tournament by a landslide, scoring 289 points, 111 more than second-placed Lexington High School. Fort Mill finished 12th, South Pointe 20th and Nation Ford 25th. Chester placed 33rd to round out area teams.
Individually, Fort Mill’s Nick Leitten earned a pair of one-point decisions in the quarterfinals and semifinals of the 145-pound bracket, before dropping Archer’s Thomas Bullard 11-3 in the final for medalist honors. Rock Hill’s Devon Faile (106) was also a top placer, losing a 1-0 heart-pounder in the championship of his weight class to finish second to Vinny Artigues (Archer). Eddie Byrams (Fort Mill) placed fifth at 113 pounds, Corey Morgan (South Pointe) fifth at 195, Josh Driscoll (Nation Ford) fifth at 220, Mike Miller (South Pointe) sixth at 132, Zack Dulcie (Fort Mill) seventh at 285, Michael Allen (Nation Ford) eighth at 138 and Nick Raniszewski (Nation Ford) eighth at 152.
Basketball polls released: Several area teams are ranked in the latest basketball polls released by the South Carolina High School Basketball Coaches Association, including the Great Falls’ boys, coached by John Smith and ranked No. 1 in Class A. No local girls team is currently ranked.
4. West Ashley
5. Spring Valley
7. Rock Hill
8. Ridge View
9. Richland Northeast
10. White Knoll
1. Lake Marion
7. Calhoun County
8. Indian Land
10. Fairfield Central
1. Great Falls
4. Whale Branch
6. Carvers Bay
9. Christ Church
10. CA Johnson
Bret McCormick 329-4032; Twitter: @BretJust1T