Garner Cleveland: Sports

Leroy Harris makes Lions’ final roster; Culliver, Smith to spend season on injured reserve

Former Southeast Raleigh High and N.C. State standout center Leroy Harris made the Detroit Lions roster. Harris, 29, spent his first six seasons in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans.

He is backing up 13-year veteran center Dominic Raiola for the Lions, which open the season at home against Minnesota. The closest the 6-foot-3, 303-pound center will come to playing near his hometown of Garner this season will be Sept. 22 when Detroit visits Washington.

Garner grad Chris Culliver will miss the 2013 season after tearing the ACL in his knee during the preseason. Fellow Garner alum Brandon Banks is still unsigned after the Redskins elected not to bring the kick returner back this season.

North Johnston grad Willie Smith is also out for the season after being first released, then placed on injured reserve with an unspecified injury by the Raiders last week.

Smith, a 6-foot-5, 305-pound offensive tackle who played at East Carolina, started seven games at right tackle for Oakland last season and was in line to be a backup tackle this season.

Ejection-free schools: Five area high schools have been recognized for their ejection-free campaigns in the 2012-13 school year. Garner, West Johnston, South Johnston, Princeton and Neuse Charter were five of the 128 N.C. High School Athletic Association schools to go without an ejection.

The guidelines record ejections for unsportsmanlike acts such as fighting, taunting, profanity, obscene gestures or disrespectfully addressing or contacting officials.

“We are proud that 128 schools were ejection-free last year,” said NCHSAA commissioner Davis Whitfield. “But we have to continue to make sportsmanship a priority and not lose focus until all member schools are ejection-free.”

All schools with no ejections for the year will receive a certificate of recognition at the NCHSAA regional meetings across the state.

Johnston minors update: Clayton’s Jason Creasy had a stellar finish to the regular season with the Single-A West Virginia Power. Creasy, a 6-foot-4, 197-pound right-handed pitcher, hasn’t given up more than two runs in a start since July 27 and finished the regular season with a 2.74 ERA and a 6-4 record. The 21-year-old’s ERA is only 2.29 in his last 10 starts.

Creasy has struck out 96 in 108 1/3 innings while only issuing 24 walks for the Pirates farm club.

The Power are meeting Hagerstown in the first round of the South Atlantic League playoffs this weekend.

Smithfield-Selma High grad Jerry Sands finished up his first year in the Pirates organization with a .212 batting average for the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. Sands had nine home runs and 37 RBIs on the season.

Indianapolis met Durham in the first round of the International League playoffs.