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Friday, December 19, 2014

Durham Bulls' Charlie Montoyo headed upstairs to the Tampa Bay Rays

Posted by on Fri, Dec 19, 2014 at 11:18 AM

Charlie Montoyo's new job is getting players to home. The esteemed and winning manager of the Durham Bulls  Montoyo is now in the big leagues joining the Tampa Bay Rays as third base coach, the teams announced today.

Montoyo is the second departure from the Bulls; Neil Allen left to become the pitching coach of the Minnesota Twins.

Tampa Bay's coaching and management staff is undergoing major changes after Joe Maddon left the Rays for the Chicago Cubs.

  • Kim Kellam

Here's the full text of the press release:

"The Durham Bulls, in conjunction with the Tampa Bay Rays, have announced eight-year Durham manager Charlie Montoyo has joined the Major League club as third base coach.

Montoyo, 50, managed the Bulls from 2007-2014, winning the International League South Division seven times, reaching the Governors’ Cup Finals a league-record six times and capturing two Governors’ Cup championships in 2009 and 2013. His 633 victories rank first all-time in franchise history, after passing current Rays Minor League Field Coordinator Bill Evers with his 614th victory on July 21, 2014.

“The entire Durham Bulls organization is thrilled for Charlie,” Bulls General Manager Mike Birling said. “He is the definition of a class-act, and while it’s bittersweet to see him go, we’re happy to see him take the next step in his career. No one is more deserving of this promotion.”

The native Puerto Rican retired from playing after the 1996 season, and was hired by Tampa Bay as a minor league manager that fall. Since retiring, he has spent each of the past 18 seasons as a manager in the Rays organization, heading teams at every classification in the system.

A two-time International League Manager of the Year (2010, 2013), he also managed the International League All-Star Team on two occasions, most recently in front of his hometown crowd when he led the IL to a 7-3 win in the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. In 2009, he led the Bulls to the Triple-A National Championship title, earned Baseball America’s Minor League Manager of the Year award and was named Minor League Baseball’s Mike Coolbaugh award winner, honoring an individual for their outstanding mentoring of young players. Montoyo has served as a coach of the World team at the MLB Futures Game on three occasions (2010, 2011 and 2013) and represented Puerto Rico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic as a member of his national team’s coaching staff.

The Louisiana Tech product enjoyed a 10-year playing career as an infielder in the Milwaukee Brewers, Montreal Expos and Philadelphia Phillies organizations. His lone Major League experience came in 1993, when he spent 27 days with Montreal, appearing in four games.

The announcement comes a week after Kyle Snyder was named Durham Bulls pitching coach, replacing Neil Allen who was named Pitching Coach of the Minnesota Twins. Montoyo’s replacement and the remainder of the Bulls coaching staff will be announced at a later date."
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    Montoyo was two-time International League Manager of the Year, took Bulls to two Triple-A championships

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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Carolina RailHawks exercise contract options on six players, decline on five others

Posted by on Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 3:02 PM

  • courtesy of Carolina RailHawks
  • Tiyi Shipalane
The Carolina RailHawks announced today that it has exercised contract options on six players for the 2015 North American Soccer League (NASL) season.

The club picked up the options of midfielders Leo Osaki, Nazmi Albadawi and Tiyi Shipalane, defenders Daniel Scott and Connor Tobin, and forward Daniel Jackson. They will join striker Nacho Novo, who is already under contract with the RailHawks for 2015.

Chief among the contract optionees is Shipalane, who will return to Carolina for his fifth season. The speedy South African playmaker has 19 goals in 91 appearances for his RailHawks’ career. In 2014, he scored five goals and assisted on four others, highlighted by this NASL Goal of the Year nominee.

In his first season with the RailHawks, Albadawi, a former N.C. State standout, scored four goals and displayed versatility in oscillating from the holding and attacking midfielder positions. Albadawi and Osaki, both 23 years old, were nominated for the NASL’s Young Player of the Year award.

“Being able to bring back a core group of the players is an important piece for our plans in 2015,” RailHawks manager Colin Clarke said in a statement. “This is the first of many moves as we build a championship roster for next season.”

The RailHawks also announced that it is declining to exercise options on five other players: defenders Jordan Burt and Uriah Bentick, midfielders Gabe Latigue and Danny Barrera, and forward Aaron King.

Clarke indicated that the club is negotiating new deals with several unspecified players either out of contract or whose contract options were declined. The notable RailHawks believed to be currently out-of-contract include team captain Jun Marques Davidson, the venerable Kupono Low and sibling midfielders Enzo and Alex Martinez.

The 2015 fates of midfielders Austin da Luz and Nick Zimmerman, defenders Jordan Graye and Austen King, and goalkeeper Scott Goodwin also remain undetermined.
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    Tiyi Shipalane will return to Carolina for his fifth season.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

Tar Heels stay perfect, Blue Devils hold on in Top 10

Posted by on Mon, Dec 1, 2014 at 6:20 PM

UNC played great defense in its season opener against Howard (above) and continued it during its dream vacation in Hawaii. - FILE PHOTO BY KIM KELLAM
  • File photo by Kim Kellam
  • UNC played great defense in its season opener against Howard (above) and continued it during its dream vacation in Hawaii.

There's a saying out there that "All good things must come to an end," and that was true this week in Triangle ACC women's basketball.

N.C. State lost twice and Duke lost once, all on the road. And none was really an upset. So that leaves UNC as the only team with a chance to get through the 2014 portion of the schedule without a loss.

But both the Tar Heels and Blue Devils got good news when the AP poll came out. UNC moved all the way up to sixth place from No. 11 after upsetting Stanford, while Duke - which at No. 8 lost at No. 7 Texas A&M as All-America center Elizabeth Williams nursed a foot injury - dropped only one spot to leave the ACC with four teams in the top nine.

Continue reading…

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    Blue Devils host No. 1 Gamecocks on Sunday.

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

It's a shocker as Wolfpack just demolishes Tar Heels

Posted by on Sat, Nov 29, 2014 at 5:06 PM

Juston Burris defends as the Tar Heels' Mack Hollins tries to catch a pass. - CHRIS BAIRD
  • Chris Baird
  • Juston Burris defends as the Tar Heels' Mack Hollins tries to catch a pass.

KENAN STADIUM/CHAPEL HILL Even for the losers, it was probably going to be a decent season.

Everybody was already going to a bowl game and both teams were heading in the right direction when 6-5 UNC hosted 6-5 N.C. State in their 140th meeting on a sunny but chilly Saturday afternoon.

And bowl scouts from the preferred Belk Bowl as well as the Military and Independence were in the house.

Each team was coming in off a convincing win over its other ancient natural rival, the Wolfpack a 42-13 rout over Wake Forest two weeks ago and the Tar Heels a surprisingly comfortable 45-20 win over then-No. 24 and defending Coastal Division champion Duke nine days ago.

Maybe the old cliche about a team "wanting it more" applied this time, but it was definitely the Wolfpack's day as State rolled to a shockingly easy 35-7 victory. Shockingly easy.

The Wolfpack finished with 454 yards total offense - 388 on the ground - to 207 for the Tar Heels, and ran 69 plays without a turnover.

Continue reading…

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    State dominates all day and probably improves its bowl prospects.

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Season-ending rivalry day will set up three bowl games

Posted by on Sat, Nov 29, 2014 at 1:08 AM

UNC's Romar Morris breaks the tackle attempt by Duke's Jamie Cockey while Jonathan Jones follows the play. The Blue Devils' 95 is Jamal Wallace. - FILE PHOTO BY CHRIS BAIRD
  • File photo by Chris Baird
  • UNC's Romar Morris breaks the tackle attempt by Duke's Jamie Cockey while Jonathan Jones follows the play. The Blue Devils' 95 is Jamal Wallace.
It's Rivalry Week, Part II.

All across the country, about half of the biggest college football teams are playing their most despised rivals. And with cooperation from the SEC, the ACC is right in on the act today.

It was always the day for those big cross-conference rivalry games like South Carolina at Clemson and Georgia Tech at Georgia and Florida at Florida State. And now there's Kentucky at Louisville. And in the conference there was Virginia at Virginia Tech last night.

It's the same deal in the Triangle, where N.C. State (6-5, 2-5 ACC) will visit UNC (6-5, 4.3) - with both teams already guaranteed bowl trips. Duke (8-3, 4-3) will try to improve on its bowl standing - for the third straight year - when the Blue Devils host long-time in-state rival Wake Forest (3-8, 1-6.)

N.C. Central's season is over, but it ended up on a great note last week as the Eagles held off uber-rival North Carolina A&T to earn a 7-5 winning season and a share of the MEAC title for first-year coach Jerry Mack.

Continue reading…

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    All three Triangle ACC teams will be in bowls in the same season for the first time in 20 years.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Colin Clarke returns as head coach of Carolina RailHawks

Posted by on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 2:52 PM

  • Rob Kinnan / Courtesy of Carolina RailHawks
  • RailHawks manager Colin Clarke
The Carolina RailHawks announced today that the club has agreed to terms with head coach Colin Clarke for the 52-year-old Ulsterman to remain manager of the Cary-based soccer team.

Clarke’s new contract is described as a “multi-year deal,” although no further details were disclosed by the club. Clarke coached the 2014 season in the final year of his original three-year contract with Carolina. This is new deal will make Clarke the longest tenure coach in RailHawks franchise history.

Clarke took charge of Carolina in 2012 after a five-season stint as manager of the Puerto Rico Islanders, where he won the 2010 USSF D2 Pro League title. In three seasons as the RailHawks’ gaffer, Clarke has an combined regular season record of 33 wins, 22 draw and 26 losses. Of the seven members of the North American Soccer League (NASL) competing in each of the last three regular seasons, only the San Antonio Scorpions (43) and Minnesota United FC (41.1) averaged more points per year than the RailHawks (40.3). Carolina finished with the best overall record over the 2013 NASL regular season.

Moreover, in each of Clarke’s three seasons in Carolina, the team has made impressive runs in the annual Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, advancing to the Cup’s quarterfinal round in 2013 and 2014. Indeed, the RailHawks have defeated Major League Soccer’s L.A. Galaxy in Open Cup competition for three consecutive years.

However, the one piece of hardware still eluding Clarke in Carolina is the one he vowed to attain when he first arrived: a league championship.

“I am very happy to be coming back to the RailHawks,” Clarke said in a statement. “I want to thank our owner Traffic Sports USA and team President Curt Johnson for the faith they showed in me and the opportunity they are giving me to continue the work we started in 2011. I am looking forward to the opportunity to further build the franchise and the brand. We’ve had a lot of success over the last three years, but our ultimate goal of winning The Championship has eluded us. I assure our great supporters that my staff and I will do everything possible to bring a championship back to the Triangle.”
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    Clarke’s new contract is described as a “multi-year deal."

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Sources: North American Soccer League poised to announce LA expansion

Posted by on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 11:33 AM

The North American Soccer League (NASL) is readying to reveal that its newest expansion club will be in Los Angeles, Calif. A league announcement is anticipated within the coming weeks.

Multiple reliable sources, each citing high-ranking league officials, also inform INDY Week that the new Los Angeles-based NASL club plans to enter league play beginning in the 2015 fall season.

This expansion rollout recalls the entry of the New York Cosmos into the NASL in 2013, when it also began league play in the fall season and ultimately won that year’s NASL Soccer Bowl championship.

When reached for a response, a league spokesperson informed INDY Week that the league has no official comment on this topic.

The Cary-based Carolina RailHawks is a member of the NASL.

The announcement of a Los Angeles expansion club would occur as the deadline looms for the NASL to expand into the Pacific time zone. According to the most recent Division II Professional League Standards promulgated by U.S. Soccer, obtained by INDY Week in September, any sanctioned D2 men’s outdoor soccer league must have at least one member club in the Eastern, Central and Pacific time zones by year six of their existence. The USSF first provisionally sanctioned the NASL in 2011, and an LA expansion club would be the league's first Pacific outpost.

The identity of the investors in the LA expansion club remains unknown. Two other outstanding issues are the name of the new club and where it would play its home matches. No information is yet forthcoming on either topic.

The NASL currently holds the trademark to the “L.A. Aztecs” brand and logo. The Aztecs competed in the original NASL for eight seasons from 1974-1981. That said, the NASL also holds the trademark to several other so-called “legacy” brands, including the Chicago Sting, Baltimore Bays, Washington Diplomats and Detroit Express.

The original Aztecs club played its debut 1974 campaign at the present-day Weingart Stadium in East Los Angeles. Today, Weingart is a 20,000-seat facility owned by East Los Angeles College that has been retrofitted with a FIFA-recommended FieldTurf playing surface.
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    According to multiple reliable sources, the new LA-based NASL club plans to enter league play in the 2015 fall season.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Everybody stays perfect as Tar Heels, Wolfpack repel challenges

Posted by on Mon, Nov 24, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Freshman everywhere player Azura Stevens of Cary is having quick success for Duke. - KIM KELLAM
  • Kim Kellam
  • Freshman everywhere player Azura Stevens of Cary is having quick success for Duke.

The second week of the season for the Triangle's ACC women's basketball teams was a lot similar to the first - with all the marks going into the left column.

But there were a couple of close calls, as No. 11 UNC (3-0) had to fight in the final minute to hold off No. 21 Oklahoma State 79-77 on Sunday after N.C. State (4-0) was able to hold off pesky High Point 66-62 on Friday night. No. 8 Duke (3-0) has been pretty much cruising so far.

This week should get a lot tougher for everybody. The Wolfpack visits Tulane (3-0) tonight and could see No. 24 Purdue on Saturday in the Bahamas. UNC will take on No. 5 Stanford on Friday night in Hawaii. And Duke is at No. 7 Texas A&M on Sunday.

Continue reading…

  • Pin It
    Young Duke has been cruising against outgunned opposition so far.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Humongous rivalry games highlight grid weekend

Posted by on Thu, Nov 20, 2014 at 1:26 PM

This time the "Battle for the Victory Bell" is big enough for national TV. - FILE PHOTO BY CHRIS BAIRD
  • File photo by Chris Baird
  • This time the "Battle for the Victory Bell" is big enough for national TV.

It's Triangle Rivalry Week!

Or at least it's Part One.

And this time it's going to start a little bit early.

There are only two games, as N.C. State gets a week off, coincidentally to celebrate its bowl eligibility, but they're both monsters.

Tonight at 7:30, UNC (5-5, 3-3 ACC) will visit No. 25 Duke 8-2, 4-2) in a game to be shown on ESPN. Of course they don't like each other too much, and there's plenty at stake. If UNC beats either Duke tonight or the visiting Wolfpack on Nov. 29, the Tar Heels will be bowl eligible. Duke, meanwhile, has to beat UNC tonight and visiting Wake Forest on Nov. 29 to claim its second straight Coastal Division title and play Florida State for the ACC Championship again.

Now, on Saturday at 2, N.C. Central (6-5, 5-2 MEAC) will host North Carolina A&T (9-2, 6-1). Of course they don't like each other too much, and there's plenty at stake. If the Aggies win they're the outright MEAC champions and headed to the NCAA playoffs. But if the Eagles pull off the upset, there could be a three-, four- or five-way tie for the title; in three of the eight scenarios NCCU will be in the playoffs next week.

Continue reading…

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    Titles on the line as uber-rivals square off.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

So far, so good for Triangle ACC women's hoops

Posted by on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Sylvia Hatchell accepts congratulations from UNC men's coach Roy Williams after Friday's win. - KIM KELLAM
  • Kim Kellam
  • Sylvia Hatchell accepts congratulations from UNC men's coach Roy Williams after Friday's win.

By all accounts, the opening of the ACC women's basketball season was a great success in the Triangle.

No. 7 Duke opened with an explosion, annihilating a middling Alabama team 90-40 on the road Sunday night.

No. 13 UNC started 2-0, having to work harder to escape upstart Howard than No. 23 UCLA.

And work-in-progress N.C. State escaped challenges from a couple of Historically Black colleges in eventually comfortable wins over Tennessee State and Coppin State.

Continue reading…

  • Pin It
    Duke throttles Alabama in its first SEC Network appearance.

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Twitter Activity


Gaffe-r is right...he f8cks up all the time. "A lot of success over the last 3 years"....less smoke blows out …

by DonGarbageBlows on Colin Clarke returns as head coach of Carolina RailHawks (Sports)

OMG HAHAHA GREAT hire HAHAHAHA such a record of success :D

by DonGarbageBlows on Colin Clarke returns as head coach of Carolina RailHawks (Sports)

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