MacDonald Emerging as Team Leader for UNCP
BY CHARLIE BERGMANN
Special to The Pilot
More than four years ago, then-St. Andrew's College cross-country coach Gary Aycock came to Union Pines High School to attend the signing ceremony of a new recruit, Bonnie MacDonald.
Two years later, Aycock became the head coach at UNC Pem-broke, and the former Viking all-conference and all-region runner under coach Nat Carter followed him. At Saturday's UNC Pembroke Invitational cross-country meet held in Lumberton, MacDonald finished fourth individually, and the Braves finished in first place as a team. Methodist junior Kate Ballard, a Pinecrest alum, came in 12th.
According to Aycock, it is like the stars have been aligning for the Braves' cross-country program with MacDonald emerging as the leader of the team.
"In the past two years, Bonnie has really blossomed as a student and athlete," the coach says. "Because of her leadership, she's our team captain."
MacDonald is the daughter of James and Mary MacDonald. The women's cross-country workouts at UNCP are led by assistant coach Jeff Moody, a former star athlete at Pinecrest who previously coached at both his alma mater and Union Pines.
Fayetteville State defensive back Josh Scales returned two blocked kicks for touchdowns in Saturday's game against Elizabeth City State.
Scales was an all-conference performer in football and basketball at Pinecrest. The effort by the redshirt freshman came in a losing cause. The Broncos were defeated 38-26 in the 13th Annual Down East Viking Football Classic held in Rocky Mount.
The Elizabeth City State punter was Danny Heimrich, a Pinecrest teammate of Scales in 2008. Heimrich was named the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Specialty Player of the Week two weeks ago for his contributions in a game at Central Arkansas. He was honored for a second time this week based on his overall performance against Fayetteville State.
Scales' first chance to get in the scoring column came on an unsuccessful two-point run after the Broncos took an early 6-0 lead. But just over a minute later, the first of two blocked kicks by Anson County product Dennis Rorie was scooped up by Scales and returned 15 yards for a touchdown.
The 13-0 Bronco lead was wiped out by 31 unanswered points by the Vikings. Scales' second touchdown came on a 22-yard return with 40 seconds left in the game.
Scales finished the game with six solo and nine total tackles, tying him for second on the team. Freshman Blade Shoop, a 2009 all-conference pick at Pinecrest, was an offensive line starter for the Broncos.
Heimrich punted for a 39.2 average in the game, including two kicks inside the 20. His first of the day was downed at the Bronco 2-yard line. Including his kickoffs, he helped provide Fayetteville State with an average starting position on their own 26-yard line.
A trio of former Pinecrest soccer players saw action at the college level last week.
N.C. State junior Tanya Cain scored the only goal in the Wolfpack's 1-0 victory over Florida International. The all-time career goal scorer for the Patriots has three goals and four assists in the team's 6-3 start. The Wolfpack begin ACC play on Thursday at Clemson.
Rebecca Dupre, a teammate of Cain at Pinecrest in 2008, has started all six matches as a freshman for the soccer team at Converse College in Spartanburg, S.C.
The Valkyrie midfielder earned both conference and region player of the year, and all-state honors as a senior defender at Pinecrest. She scored her first college goal in last Wednesday's 4-1 loss to Southern.
Slowed by a leg injury, freshman Thomas Goulden saw his first action for Barton College in a 5-0 loss to Limestone College on Saturday.
The three-time all-conference and all-region selection for Pinecrest took two of the team's eight shots in the match.
Contact Charlie Bergmann at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story