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Area sports briefs

From staff reports
Catawba coach Chip Hester mentioned prior to Saturday’s NFL draft that the teams that liked Delaware’s 6-foot-7 quarterback Joe Flacco also were high on Catawba’s 6-6 Brad Roach.
Proof came after the draft when the Ravens, who selected Flacco with the 18th pick of the first round, inked Roach to a free-agent contract.
Roach, who watched the draft in Charlotte, is going into a good situation. It’s not like the Ravens, who have relied on their defensive unit over the years, have Tom Brady at the controls.
Kyle Boller, a first-round choice by the Ravens in 2003 out of California, has thrown 45 TDs and 44 interceptions and is the No. 1 quarterback after the retirement of Steve McNair, who was plagued by injuries last season.
Baltimore’s backup is Troy Smith, the Heisman-winning Ohio State quarterback who was drafted in the fifth round by the Ravens in 2007. He got into four games last season and threw two TD passes
Now Flacco, who had his hands full with Appalachian State in last December’s Football Championship Subdivision title game, and Roach, who broke most of Catawba’s passing marks, enter the mix.
Roach threw for 7,874 yards and 62 touchdowns in three years as Catawba’s starting quarterback and proved a worthy successor to Luke Samples, a four-year starter who racked up huge numbers, but didn’t get much more than a quick glance from the NFL.
The Houston Texans, who flew Roach in for a workout, and the New York Giants, who sent their quarterbacks coach to Catawba’s pro day, were enthused about Roach, along with the Indianapolis Colts, Kansas City Chiefs, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets and Miami Dolphins.
Baltimore’s mini-camp begins May 8, and the Ravens open preseason play on Aug. 7 at New England.
Wingate tight end Chris Conklin signed as a free agent with the Carolina Panthers, while Wingate defensive lineman Kenwin Cummings signed with the New York Jets. Conklin and Cummings have been workout partners of Roach and share the same agent, U.S. Sports.
– NCHSAA honors coaches
Smoky Mountain girls basketball and volleyball coach Cindi Simmons and Avery County soccer coach Thomas Evaul are the recipients of the Toby Webb Coach of the Year Award given annually by the NCHSAA.
– Clark wins cage match
Andy Clark, a member of the Revolution Fight Team that trains in Rockwell, won his bout at the Ruckus in the Cage at Charlotte’s sold-out Metrolina Expo over the weekend.
Clark, a veteran of tough-man contests, has been training under Revolution’s Scott Clawson and employed some of his new mixed martial arts training in his debut in the cage.
Clark won via a submission hold ó a triangle choke ó in the third round.
Another big cage event is coming to Bobcats Arena in June.
– North Carolina Hall
The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame will enshrine eight new members on Thursday, May 15.
Inductees will include Roy Williams, Tom Butters, Richard Childress, Leo Hart, Bill Hensley, Ken Huff, Jack Jensen and Curly Neal.
– Tuttle to regional
Catawba senior men’s golfer Allen Tuttle will compete as an individual at the Southeast Region Golf Tournament.
The event held along with the Atlantic Regional will be played on May 6-7 at the Point Lake and Golf Club in Mooresville.
Tuttle is one of five individuals to join eight teams in the Southeast Region Tournament. The senior has a 73.22 stroke average this season. In nine tournaments, Tuttle had seven top 10s.
– Carolina Speed
The Carolina Speed (3-4) of the American Indoor Football Association play their next home game at Cabarrus Arena on Saturday at 7 p.m. against the Florida Stingrays.
A number of former Catawba and Livingstone players are listed on the Speed roster, including former Catawba defensive line standouts Marcus Huntley and Richard Scott and defensive back Jamel Jackson.
Huntley has recorded a safety this season, while Jackson has two interceptions.
The Livingstone contingent includes Bill Houston, James Lowery, Taurus Covington and Hakim Pearce.
– Softball league
Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department’s Hall Gym is accepting registration for a Women’s Open Softball League. Registration is through May 31.
The Women’s Open Softball League is a USSSA sanctioned league.
Teams play twice a week at the Sports Complex, beginning Thursday, June 26 and concluding in late August.
Games will be played from 6-9 p.m. Registration fees are $375 per team, with an additional $25 sanctioning fee payable to USSSA.
Contact Tim Pittman at tpitt@salsiburync.gov or (704) 638-2711.
– Pitch, Hit and Run
Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department’s Hall Gym is the host for a Pitch, Hit and Run competition on Sunday, May 4, at 2:00 p.m. at the Salisbury Community Park on Hurley School Road. Pitch Hit and Run is for ages 7-14.
There is no charge to participate and children who win an event may move on to compete in a regional competition. Contact Tim Pittman at (704)638-5289 or by e-mail at tpitt@salisburync.gov.

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