UNCP softball in elite company

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – For the second-consecutive year and only the third time in its history, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke softball squad has been named one of the Easton/NFCA Division II All-Academic teams, earning a spot on the prestigious, 78-team list.

In order to be selected as an All-Academic squad, a program must finish the season with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

The Braves are one of six Peach Belt Conference (PBC) teams on the list, compiling a 3.16 GPA as a squad.

Seven UNCP players were honored as individuals in addition to the team award, as current players Taylor Gerhart, Taylor Strickland and West Bladen grad Abbey Walters, as well as former Braves Mackenzie Brinson, Morgan Davis, Savannah Melvin and Katie Saunders all met the 3.5 GPA requirements.

On the field, the Braves wrapped up a 29-24-1 season in 2016 that saw them make an appearance in the PBC semifinals for the first time in program history.


Bladen youth soccer 2nd in state

GASTONIA — The Bladen County 14U boys soccer team claimed second place recently in the SWAC Tournament played in Gastonia.

The team defeated Mount Holly 10-0, then beat Nash County 3-0 to advance to the championship game — where they lost to Wilson in a shootout.

Members of the team, which was coached by Clint Hester, were: Jacob Priest, Will Hester, Malcolm Bolden, Jackson Bostic, Suleyman Algozy, Joel Johnson, Micah McKoy, Garrett Melvin, Joseph Masaid, Garrett Masaid, Sam Inscoe, Jacob Bryan, Stephen Allen and Dustin Naile.


Basketball registration now open

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Bladen County Parks & Recreation Department has opened registration for its annual basketball program, and it will continue through Dec. 9.

The program offers three age groups (6 to 8 coed, 9 to 12 girls and 9 to 12 boys). The fee per player is $30.

Participants can register in person at the Parks & Recreation office at 803 W King St. in Elizabethtown between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Send information for the Sports Briefs section by email to or regular mail to P.O. Box 70, Elizabethtown, N.C. 28337.


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