Several players and teams made great achievements in their respective fields in 2019. Here’s a few of the highlights:
1 CFCA wins softball state championship
Normally, the tournament is hosted by the previous year’s state champion, but with 2018 champ Halifax Academy moving up to 2A, the rights to host were open for the taking. CFCA applied and was chosen to host the 2019 tournament, and the home field advantage undoubtedly helped the Eagles claim the state title.
CFCA came into the tournament as the No. 4 seed and took down No. 1 Lawrence Academy 7-2 in the opening game. That win moved them into the winner’s bracket later that afternoon, where they topped No. 2 Ridgecroft 11-0 to advance to the championship. The Eagles faced Pungo Christian Academy in the final, needing just one win while Pungo needed two. CFCA got the job done on the first try, defeating Pungo 9-6 to take the state title.
, who was just a seventh-grader, smacked three hits, including a double and a two-run dinger over the left field fence, and Rhyleigh Horne, then an eighth-grader, pitched her second complete game of the weekend in the title-clinching win over Pungo.
The Eagles didn’t have a single senior on the roster last year, making them strong favorites to repeat in 2020.
2 Logan Patrick wins back-to-back state championships
For the second year in a row, won the 2A individual state championship, shooting a 71 on day one and a 74 on day two to combine for a 145 — two strokes ahead of runner-up Chase Clayton of West Stanley.
While the Raiders were unable to repeat as team state champs, they still had a respectable showing by shooting a combined 648 to take second place — 31 strokes behind Lake Norman Charter.
“We got behind 13 strokes after the first day, and I think a few of our guys were just pressing a little too much,” said Midway head coach Glenn Patrick. “But they shouldn’t hang their heads. Second in the state is nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve got to give it to Lake Norman Charter, they have a great team. I’m proud of our boys. They’ve worked hard this year, and I have no doubt that they’re only going to get better.”
“My goal is to shoot around 66-69,” Patrick said after winning in 2019, already looking ahead to 2020. “It’s going to take a lot of work, and I know there’s only going to be more people shooting for me. But I like that.”
3 Chris Clemons finishes third on all-time NCAA scoring list, joins Houston Rockets
Clemons finished the year leading the nation in scoring with 30.1 points per game and ended his career as the third all-time leading scorer in NCAA history with 3,225 points. Those eye-popping numbers helped lead Campbell to a Big South regular season championship and an NIT appearance.
While the 5-foot-9 phenom went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft, he still got his chance to prove himself by signing a . He led the Rockets in the with 20.2 points per game and earned a two-way contract in September. He’s proved his worth in sparing minutes with the Rockets, averaging 5.3 points on 38.7% shooting from 3-point rage in 9.4 minutes per game as the second backup point guard. On Nov. 16 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, with starting point guard Russell Westbrook sidelined, Clemons stepped up with a career-high 19 points.
On Dec. 27, with all of his two-way days used up, Clemons signed a three-year NBA contract, solidifying his place at the highest level for the next couple of years.
4 Matthew Barefoot, Tyson Messer among four Camels taken in MLB Draft
Right-handed pitcher Seth Johnson was the first Camel selected, taken 40th overall in the second round by the Tampa Bay Rays, making him the highest pick in program history.
was the second Camel to come off the board, taken 196th overall in the sixth round by the Houston Astros. The outfielder was a local legend, winning a state championship at Midway in 2014 and staying home to win back-to-back Big South titles at Campbell.
Harnett Central alumnus Tyson Messer was the third Camel selected, taken 260th overall in the ninth round by the Chicago White Sox. Messer, a right-handed pitcher, also elected to stay home for his college career and was one of Campbell’s most effective relievers.
Campbell ace and Big South was the fourth Camel selected, taken 916th overall in the 30th round by the Houston Astros. Horrell, who was roommates with Barefoot, will join his former teammate in the Astros’ organization.
The selection of Barefoot and Messer marks the second consecutive year that two players from Daily Record high schools were taken in the MLB Draft. In 2018, Overhills and Florence-Darlington Tech alumnus Tanner Myatt was taken with the 337th overall pick in the 11th round by the New York Yankees, while Triton and Barton College alumnus Trent Fennell was taken with the 726th pick in the 24th round by the Colorado Rockies. Myatt pitched all of 2019 with the Yankees Class A affiliate, the Charleston Riverdogs. , pitching at every level except AA in the Rockies’ organization before ending the season at the High-A affiliate, the Asheville Tourists.
5 Campbell wins
After claiming eight trophies over seven sports, Campbell University was presented the , recognizing the Camels as the top overall sports program in the Big South Conference for 2018-19. Campbell won the Big South men’s sports trophy for the second year in a row and finished second in the women’s sports trophy standings.
The Camels won eight Big South championships in 2018-19 — three outright or shared regular-season titles and five tournament crowns. Campbell won the regular-season title in baseball and shared the championship in men’s basketball and men’s tennis, while claiming the conference tournament championship in men’s cross country, men’s soccer, men’s and women’s golf, and baseball.
Campbell won the Sasser Cup for the first time since claiming the honor three-straight years from 1992-94. CU was runner-up in the 2017 and 2018 Sasser Cup standings. During its 17-year tenure in the Atlantic Sun Conference (1995-2011), Campbell finished as high as third in the combined men’s and women’s all-sports race.
Campbell now owns more Sasser Cup trophies (four) than any other current Big South member.