Garner Cleveland: Sports

Conference match to decide JUSA Cup

Clayton made a big move toward holding onto the JUSA Cup – the Johnston County boys soccer championship – for another year last month with its 5-0 victory over West Johnston. The Comets and Wildcats were set to play in the championship match of the event the first week of the season but thunderstorms that week meant the tournament couldn’t be completed.

Scheduling problems and the implications in potential playoff races made it tough to put together a makeup match, so the two squads decided that if either swept their two conference matches they would win the Cup.

The second meeting comes Oct. 21 at Clayton. If West wins that match, the two teams will go to penalty kicks after that match to determine who wins the Cup.

Meekins receives service award: Former Princeton High School baseball coach Kenny Meekins received a Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Award last month during the NCHSAA’s regional meetings.

The Charlie Adams Distinguished Service Awards are given per region and go to a person with at least 10 years experience in education and athletics who is still active in the field and has regularly gone “above and beyond” the call of duty at both the local and the state level.

Meekins led the Bulldogs to state baseball championships in 1992 and 1994 before taking the head baseball and athletic director positions at Manteo High School where he won another state baseball title in 1996.

5K to benefit NCS programs: The inaugural Cougar Pride 5K Trail Run will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20, to support the cross-country and track programs at Neuse Charter School. The event, held at the school (909 E. Booker Dairy Road in Smithfield) includes a 1-mile fun run as well. The 5K entry fee is $25 before Oct. 18 or $30 thereafter. The fun run entry fee is $15. Sponsorships are available as well. Register online at or contact Gail Browning at or 919-938-1007 for more info.

Former SSS pitcher will manage summer college team: Former Smithfield-Selma High School standout pitcher Ben Moore has been named the manager of the Strasburg (Va.) Express, a collegiate summer baseball team in the Valley League.

The Express post is Moore’s second new baseball job in a couple of months. He was named an assistant coach at Randolph-Macon College in August.

Henry to Duel in the Pool: Former West Johnston High standout swimmer Sarah Henry has been named to the U.S. squad for the Duel in the Pool, an international swimming competition between a team of U.S. swimmers and European All-Stars to be held Dec. 20-21 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Henry, a junior at Texas A&M, is one of the best distance swimmers in the world.

The competition will be shown on NBC television stations on Dec. 22.