Stevens

Rodon named high school baseball player of the year

Staff WriterAugust 6, 2011 

Holly Springs High pitcher Carlos Rodon cannot imagine a better senior season.

He was undefeated as and led the Hawks to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A championship. He was named the championship series most valuable player following a two-game sweep of Asheville Roberson.

Friday, the N.C. Baseball Coaches Association selected him as its high school player of the year.

"It has just been awesome," Rodon said. "I don't think it could have gotten any better."

Rodon, a left-handed pitcher, was 11-0 with 135 strikeouts. His ERA was 1.40 and he hit .375 with 22 RBIs. He finished his high school career with a 23-2 record.

He led Holly Springs to a 27-2 record, including 21 straight victories to complete the season.

Rodon signed with N.C. State but was taken in the 16th round of June's Major League Baseball draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. He said he is talking with the Brewers about accepting a professional contract and has until Aug. 15 to decide.

"Signing is a possibility," he said. "We're still talking."

Several players from area teams were named to NCBCA all-state teams:

4A: Alex Raburn, Durham Jordan; Dylan Maples, Southern Pines Pinecrest; Will Butler, Wakefield; Brian Taylor, Harnett Central; Jason Creasey, Clayton; Justin Manning, Holly Springs; Dillon Frye, Lee County.

3A: Peter Owens, Chapel Hill.

2A: Zach Cooper, South Granville; Even Dixon, Pittsboro Northwood.

Hillside soaring: The Durham Hillside football team is getting tremendous interest this fall after going undefeated and winning the NCHSAA 4A championship in 2010.

Coach Antonio King had more than 175 candidates report to tryouts last week.

"We hated to do it, but we had to cut," King said. "We probably had to cut as many as some teams had try out."

The Hornets are expected to field a ninth-grade team with 43 people, a junior varsity with about 50 and a varsity team with 55.

"It is really exciting to see this much interest," King said.

Improved PAC-6: Southern Durham football coach Adrian Jones believes the Piedmont Athletic Conference will be stronger this season.

"I think we are going to be better. [Durham] Jordan is going to be better," Jones said. "Person is better, and is going to be really good. Hillside might not be quite as good, but still is very good. [New coach] Gary Merrill is going to get it going at Northern Durham, and Riverside is improved. East Chapel Hill has a lot of people back and is really dangerous."

Trojans going camping: Three former Garner High football players are in NFL camps.

The New England Patriots signed Richard Medlin, the male athlete of the year in 2010 at Fayetteville State, to a free-agent contract. Medlin led the Broncos in rushing yards as a senior and caught 26 passes.

Chris Culliver, who played at South Carolina, was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round this year.

Brandon Banks is back with the Washington Redskins after leading the team in kick-return yardage (1,155 yards and one touchdown) in 2010.

Garner native Leroy Harris, who played at Southeast Raleigh, is penciled in as the Tennessee Titans' starting left guard, and is entering his fifth NFL season. He started the final 15 games of last season.

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