Garner Cleveland: Sports

Johnston alums bring home top collegiate conference honors

Andrew Henry
Andrew Henry Eastern Michigan University Photo

Clayton High School graduate Gary Clark has been named the American Athletic Conference’s defensive player of the year for men’s basketball. Clark, a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati, was the only player in the conference to rank in the top six in rebounds (8.9 per game), blocks (1.5) and steals (1.3).

He was also named second team all-conference.

Clark led the Bearcats in rebounding in 16 games this season and has had four games with as many as 14 rebounds. He leads Cincinnati with seven double-doubles (double-figures in points and rebounds in the same game) this season.

Clark talked about what’s helped him earn the honor and how he’s improved this season with

“My resiliency on both ends of the floor,” Clark said of what he’s been working on most. “Coach is always getting on me to play harder and harder and dominate the game on both ends of the court.”

Henry is a two-time MAC champ: West Johnston High grad Andrew Henry finished his Mid-American Conference swimming career at Eastern Michigan University in record-breaking fashion. Henry broke the school and conference record in the 100 freestyle at 43.34 seconds and also Henry also won the 200 free with another conference and school record at 1:34.99.

The championships are the first MAC titles of Henry’s career. He was named the MAC’s outstanding swimmer and helped the Eagles win their 33rd MAC men’s swimming team title in school history.

Henry is a senior majoring in construction management at EMU. He will compete in the NCAA Championships later this month.

Carmichael honored with new scholarship at SSS: A scholarship for students at Smithfield-Selma High School has been established to honor the late Reggie Carmichael. Carmichael, a multi-sport standout for the Spartans and a member of the Spartans class of 1992, passed away last year.

The scholarship will be presented based on need and the candidates resemblance of Reggies characteristics: modesty, friendship, athleticism, attentiveness as a student and a sense of humor.

Applications for the inaugural award are due by April 22. Go to to download an application for a SSS student.

The scholarship was established by the Carmichael family and members of the SSS class of 1992. Donations to the Reggie Carmichael Scholarship Fund are also being accepted at the website.

Cleveland wins at Hatteras: Cleveland’s baseball team won the title at the inaugural Cape Hatteras Sandlot Tournament on March 5 at Cape Hatteras Secondary School in Buxton. The Rams beat Cape Hatteras, 10-0, and downed Currituck County, 9-2.

Cleveland standout Tyler Keenan was the tournament MVP and Rams Caleb Howard, Brennan Lindfield, Will Tetrault and Ryan Flowers were named to the all-tournament team.

Cape Hatteras is coached by former South Johnston coach Keith Durham, who was a high school teammate of Cleveland coach Jamie Lee at South.

NCISAA all-stars: Wake Christian’s Rob Whitfield and Crossroads Christian’s Jeremiah Green engineered a huge rally for the East in Saturday’s N.C. Private School All-Star game. The East trailed 89-80 with just under three minutes to go but won 110-101 thanks to five 3-pointers from Whitfield, who led the East with 20 points.

“We needed to get going the whole second half,” said Whitfield, who led the East with 20 points. “Once somebody made a shot we were all like hit a spark and it worked for everybody.”

Cape Fear Christian’s Quentin Jackson had 17 points.

The West girls won 93-75. Durham Academy’s Liz Roberts scored 17 points.

Honor for West tennis coach: West Johnston tennis coach Amanda Fisher was recently named the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year. Fisher is a career and technical education teacher at West.

The teacher of the year is selected from those who were previously selected as a GCCOC Teacher of the Month.

Mudcats set promotional dates: The Carolina Mudcats have announced their promotional events schedule for the 2016 season. There are 10 souvenir giveaways planned and three game used jersey auctions with a portion of the proceeds going to charities.

Among the souvenir highlights are a Star Wars Lightsaber giveaway on April 30, a T-shirt on May 28, a BBQ apron on June 19, a Muddy Christmas in July bobblehead on July 30 and a Budweiser pint glass on Sept. 3.

The Mudcats will wear Star Wars jerseys on April 29 with the auction benefitting the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Eastern N.C. Strikeout Cancer Weekend jerseys will be worn July 15-17 with proceeds to various cancer charities and Carolina will wear special Batman jerseys on Aug. 13.

Daily promotions include Thirsty Thursdays with specially-sized discounted beer and sodas and fireworks on Fridays.