Stevens: Cardinal Gibbons soccer star Taiwo wins honors

tstevens@newsobserver.comDecember 11, 2012 

Cardinal Gibbons junior Ade Taiwo (10) is able to move past Jacksonville junior Ryan Johnson (3) during the first half. Jacksonville High played at Cardinal Gibbons High in the Eastern Regional Finals of the NCHSAA 3A Soccer Championship on Tuesday, November 13, 2012. Jacksonville won the game 6-2.

GREG MINTEL — newsobserver.com

Cardinal Gibbons junior Ade Taiwo has been named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America high school all-America team.

Taiwo was earlier selected as state player of the year by the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association and in 2011 was most valuable player of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A boys’ championship game.

Taiwo had 11 goals and 11 assists during the 2012 season despite facing double- and triple-team defenses.

“He was always the marked man and surrounded all the time by the other team’s best defender,” Gibbons coach Tim Healy said. “He really shines in the big games. He scored or got an assist in every playoff game this year and last year.”

Alston dies: Long-time high school sports reporter Charles Alston, 54, of Rocky Mount died on Monday. Alston was one of the best-known high school sports writers in the state and was very active on the ihigh.com website.

All-state football: Media representatives throughout North Carolina are voting this week for The Associated Press all-state football team. Twenty-seven players will be selected by position. The team will be announced Monday.

Quadruple-double: Sanford Grace girls’ basketball standout Brooke Strickland recorded her fourth quadruple-double (10 or more points, rebounds, assists and steals) last week in a 73-34 win against Southern Pines O’Neal.

Strickland, 5-foot-7, had 16 points, 12 rebounds, 10 steals and 12 assists. She is averaging 20.8 points, 10 rebounds, 8.0 steals and 7.0 assists.

“She is flying under the radar a little,” said Grace coach Joel Murr. “She transferred back here from Chatham Central and has been having a tremendous year. Teams have been double-teaming Anna (Murr), but Brooke is playing tremendous.”

Murr leads the team in scoring and had 38 points in the victory against O’Neal.

Raleigh Grace scorer: Raleigh Grace’s 6-5 senior guard Michael Taylor scored 20 points Friday in a 75-60 loss to Kerr-Vance Academy to notch 1,000 points in his career. He is averaging 20.6 points and could become the school’s all-time leading scorer.

Cheerleading: Middle Creek won the Carolina Cup in the 10th annual NCHSAA invitational championships on Saturday. The cup is presented to the team with the highest overall score

Middle Creek won the large varsity division with 128.6 points Other division winners were Ledford in super large (115.4); Cornelius Hough in medium (125.1); Leesville Road small (103.96); Canton Pisgah in large non-tumble (113.1); North Buncombe in small non-tumble (114.5); East Forsyth in small varsity co-ed division (110.9); Davie in large varsity co-ed (116.85) and Northern Vance in non-mount category (75.55).

Shrine Bowl: Garner football coach Nelson Smith is the head coach for the N.C. squad in Saturday’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, a high school all-star football game between teams from North and South Carolina.

The game is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C.

Among the N.C. players are runner Khris Francis of Durham Hillside, linebacker Tim Thorb of Garner, defensive back Korrin Wiggins of Hillside, runner Jachin Watkins of New Bern, Tarboro linebacker Tyquan Lewis, Wilson Hunt defensive lineman Lewis Neal, Northern Nash athlete DeQuavais Mann, defensive back A.J. Coplon of Havelock and quarterback Pharoh Cooper of Havelock.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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