Midtown: Sports

Broughton’s Battle wins ESPN’s coolest name contest

Staats Battle, the N.C. State walk-on guard and former Broughton standout, won ESPN’s “Coolest Name in the NCAA Tourney” contest Monday night, the same night of the NCAA Championship game. Battle defeated Vander Blue of Marquette by winning 77 percent of the vote.

The contest featured 64 players to resemble the NCAA Tournament. Battle was the No. 6 seed in the “Uwe Blab Regional.”

“All my friends have been posting [the contest] on Facebook and Twitter,” Battle told ESPN in an interview. “Coach [Mark] Gottfried, [assistant] coach [Orlando] Early and [assistant] coach Nima [Omidvar] have been doing a lot.

“I’d like to thank all the Wolfpack fans. This award is definitely owed to them because of all their support.”

Battle breezed through the first round, getting 84 percent of the vote to beat Mike Broghammer of Notre Dame. Battle picked up about 64 percent of the votes to top Grandy Glaze of St. Louis and 70 percent to beat Alabama’s Dakota Slaughter. Battle believes what helped him win was that most people think Staats sounds like basketball “stats.” The name is actually of Dutch ancestry and rhymes with “dots.”

Former Cap wins honor: Former Broughton High boys’ soccer keeper Scott Goodwin has been selected as the I.R. Hagadorn award winner as outstanding junior in the University of North Carolina’s Department of Biology.

Goodwin helped UNC to a 21-2-3 overall record and recorded his 11th shutout of the season in a 1-0 victory over Charlotte in the NCAA championship game. He allowed 0.67 goals per game last season and started every game.

Goodwin was a second-team Academic All-America selection and has an overall grade point average of 3.95.

Christian gets attention: Broughton cross country coach David Christian was featured in a recent ESPN blog about the top high school coaches in the country.

Christian ran for nationally-respected coach Tony Rowe at Daviess County High in Kentucky. Christian was a Foot Locker national finalist in 1996 and 1998 and was a standout at N.C. State under coach Rollie Geiger.

He used what he calls “Rowe Miles” in preparing for the state championship.

On the Monday three weeks before the state meet, he has the Broughton varsity runners do a hard two-mile followed by a hard mile. Two weeks before the championships, the runners run a pair of hard miles. The week before the state meet, the runners run one mile and are expected to set personal bests.

The workouts are on grass or the track instead of on cross country courses. Christian expects the boys to run in the low-4:30s and the girls shoot for sub-5:30s. Christian said the three-week preparation is excellent for the state meet because it gives the runners tangible evidence of readiness.

“They can say, ‘I (earned a personal record) in the mile. I must be really fit.’” Christian said.

Franklinton cheerleaders take first: The Franklinton High cheerleaders were first runner-up in the Cheer Ltd. Nationals cheerleading competition two weeks ago in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Franklinton competed in the small varsity, nontumble division.