Spring training prep will begin this week for Major League teams across Florida and Arizona.
Former Smithfield-Selma High standout Jerry Sands will be making his debut as part of the Chicago White Sox in Phoenix starting Tuesday. Sands hit .236 in 50 games with the Indians last year and hit four home runs. He was picked up by the White Sox in late December after the Indians released him.
The White Sox open Spring Training against their camp mates, the Dodgers, on March 3.
Former Clayton High standout Chris Archer, an All-Star last season, opens camp today (Feb. 21) with the Rays in Port Charlotte, Fla. The right-handed went 12-13 last season with a 3.23 ERA, while striking out a career high 252 batters in 212 innings of work.
The Rays open Spring Training play against Washington on March 2.
WCA standout to All-Star Game: Wake Christian senior Rob Whitfield will play in the 2016 N.C. Private School All-Star Basketball Game next month in Charlotte. The game features some of the top private school players in the state.
Whitfield, a 6-foot-2 guard, averaged 22.3 points for the Bulldogs this season, along with 6.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists.
The boys game will feature eight players who have already signed scholarships. The games are set for Saturday, March 5, at Providence Day School in Charlotte. Girls play is at 1 and the boys start at 2:30.
JUSA player to Olympic Development tourney: Dillon Parker, a player from the 98 Johnston United Red team, will play in the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program National Championships in Phoenix later this week.
Parker has participated in the ODP for North Carolina and Region III teams every year since 2010 having played in a Region III match vs. Costa Rica. He plays outside back in a 4-3-3 formation.
Matches will be played Feb. 24-28 in Phoenix.
Gaskins shines in clutch: Clayton High grad Anthony Gaskins has made two game-winning 3-pointers for Saint Augustine’s men’s basketball team this month. Gaskins, a junior guard, helped the Falcons beat Shaw 93-90 with a 3 at the buzzer on Feb. 13. He did the same against Winston-Salem State on Feb. 6.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder was also named the CIAA player of the week on consecutive weeks. For the week ending Feb. 13, he averaged 24.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in two games.
Saint Augustine’s was tied with Johnson C. Smith for first place in the CIAA Southern Division entering this weekend’s schedule.
West coach to lead State Games baseball squad: West Johnston High baseball coach Joey Worley will be one of the coaches for the Region III squad at the Powerade State Games of North Carolina High School Baseball Showcase in June. Worley will coach the area stars with Roxboro Community’s Pete Tucker, Guy Civitello of Leesville Road and Mike Carroll of Oxford Webb.
Mudcats’ job fair: The Carolina Mudcats have set their annual season job fair for Saturday, March 5, at Five County Stadium. The event will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. inside of Cattails Restaurant. Ages 16 and older are eligible.
Available openings include food and beverage, picnic staff, ushers, parking attendants, stadium clean up, batboy, grounds crew and promotions crew.
The Mudcats video department will also be hiring for multiple positions. Available gameday production positions include camera operators, video board operators, instant replay, audio operators and directors.
Employment applications are available online at carolinamudcats.com. For more info, call 919-269-2287.
Local golf finishes: Mike Johnson of Clayton won the gross championship for the age 63-64 division at the Carolinas 2016 Mid-Amateur/Senior/Super Senior Tournament at Mid Pines in Pinehurst recently. He posted a gross score of 159 in the 36-hole event.
Area golfers finished fifth in two other divisions: Garner’s Ray Casey (ages 50-54) and Clayton’s Wes Davis (ages 60-62).