Midtown: Sports

Leesville Road’s Murray wins Rex Open Junior

Former Leesville Road High golfer Grayson Murray won the Rex Hospital Open Junior Invitational this week for the second time to qualify for the Rex Hospital Open, a Nationwide Tour event at TPC Wakefield Plantation.

Murray, 18, shot a 70-67 to win the junior event by three shots. In 2010, he also qualified for the Rex Open and became the second youngest golfer ever to make the cut in a Nationwide Tour event. He finished 55th.

He graduated from Leesville in January and did not play high school golf this spring. He is expected to enroll at Wake Forest in July on the Arnold Palmer scholarship.

“I’m going to try and treat this as I would any tournament,” he told the Winston-Salem Journal. “I think the first time I was in it, I was kind of in awe with everything, but I’m feeling good about my game at this point.”

Purvis staying in touch: N.C. State basketball recruit Rodney Purvis is staying in touch with his future Wolfpack teammates before heading to Colorado Springs, Colo., for training camp with the USA Basketball U18 National Team. Twenty-four players have been invited to the June 5-12 camp, and 12 will be chosen to represent the U.S. in the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which will be played June 16-20 in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil.

Purvis said he speaks regularly with future Pack teammates Lorenzo Brown, C.J. Leslie and Richard Howell. He also keeps up with fellow incoming freshmen Tyler Lewis of Winston-Salem and T.J. Warren of Durham.

“We’ve played some pickup games, but most people are at home right now,” Purvis said.

Richard Murphy game: A scholarship foundation has been established to honor Richard Murphy, a former principal at Broughton, Sanderson and Leesville Road. A Broughton vs. Leesville Road alumni game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 14, at Leesville Road High.

New Neuse AD: Raleigh Neuse Christian has named Scottie Richardson as its athletic director. Richardson attended Neuse Christian as a sophomore, before his father accepted a head coaching job at Hickory Tabernacle Baptist.

Richardson, 40, began his coaching career when he was 18 years old as the junior varsity basketball coach under his father at Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast Christian. Richardson has coached teams to state titles in golf, tennis and basketball, and was the head boys and girls tennis coach at Bluefield College in Virginia.

He has been out of coaching for four years.

“I’m excited to get back into coaching,” he said. “Timing is everything, and the timing for this job is perfect.”

Aycock seeks baseball, softball titles: Pikeville Aycock played in N.C. High School Athletic Association baseball and softball championships this weekend.

The Falcons (21-9) played Matthews Weddington (26-6) in a best of three baseball series that began Friday night at the Carolina Mudcats’ Five County Stadium in Zebulon. The Aycock softball team (29-2) faced Newton Foard (25-4) at Raleigh’s Walnut Creek softball complex.

The Aycock baseball team was 10-7 midway through the season and advanced to the playoffs as the No. 4 seed from the Eastern Carolina Conference. Pitcher Collin Dubose is 6-0 with a 0.69 earned run average. He was likely to go against Weddington’s Alex Bostic, who is 10-0 with a 0.98 ERA.

The Aycock girls had been outstanding all season and were appearing in their eighth championship series in the past 13 years. The Falcons’ Meredith Burroughs is one of the top hitters in the state with a .525 average, 17 home runs and 42 RBI.

Foard was led by Lexi Shubert, who was 25-4 with an 0.28 ERA and 358 strikeouts entering the championship.

Pirates coaching change: Durham Riverside High assistant boys basketball coach Brian Strickland has been named as head coach, succeeding Tim Ross, who resigned to become the athletic director at new Durham Lucas Middle School.

Strickland played for Ross at Riverside in 1996 through 2000 and has been an assistant coach at the school for the past seven years. Strickland, a UNC-Greensboro graduate, is one of three basketball assistants at the school who played for Ross.

“I think having so many former players around is a good indication of the family atmosphere that Coach Ross built,” Strickland said. “He is a coach that expects a lot from his player and when you are young and new as a player it is sometimes hard to understand. But as you mature, you really appreciate what Coach Ross was doing for you.”

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