By PATRICK CASEY
The Pensacola Catholic Crusaders held South Walton scoreless in a 1-0 victory in the District 1-3A soccer championship game at Chipley last week. The win gives Catholic, 12-6, their ninth consecutive win of the season and allows them to host Taylor County in the opening round of the girls soccer playoffs on Thursday. The Crusaders score early in the first half as Liz Long got the goal off an assist from Skylar Kurpuis while Sarah Grace Lowery had seven saves for Catholic. The Seahawks (9-6-2), who lost all three games to the Crusaders by one goal this season, will travel to Tallahassee to take on Floirda High (17-5-2) on Thursday in the opening round at 6 p.m.
The Walton girls soccer team wrapped up a rough season with a 3-0 loss to Chipley in the opening round of the District 1, Class 3A playoffs last week in Chipley.
Former Walton basketball player Darryl McGhee is in his junior year at the University of West Florida. McGhee has led the Argos in rebounds six times this season while recording a double-double (18 points and 10 rebounds) in a 67-54 win against Tampa on November 28. He scored 18 points against Flagler at the Montevallo Classic and put up 14 points in a 102-34 blowout over Temple Baptist on December 16. McGhee has started 10 of the squad’s 18 games this season and is averaging 6.4 points per game.
It appears that Wewahitchka’s Samantha Rich has thrown her last pitch for the Lady Gators. Rich, a senior, injured her right throwing shoulder last week while playing volleyball in physical education class. She underwent arthroscopic surgery late last week where a doctor found fairly extensive damage to her throwing shoulder, which included a torn labrum. The injury is a huge blow to the two-time defending state Class 2A champion, though Rich may be able to return to the team later this season, pitching will likely not be on the menu. On the mound, Rich led the Lady Gators to two titles, earning all-state honors as well as being named the Class 2A Player of the Year. Rich was 56-6 for her high school career, including 20-2 last year after sharing pitching duties her first two seasons. She has lost to just one Class 2A team in her high school career. She also has hit over .400 with more than 100 RBIs, 52 as a freshman, and 26 home runs, a school career record. The Lady Gators have reached the state Final Four in each of her three seasons, losing in the semifinals her freshman year before breaking through with consecutive titles. Wewahitchka has the smallest enrollment in Class 2A. Rich signed an NCAA Division I scholarship with Jacksonville State University in 2008, but the extent of the damage and the results of rehabilitation will dictate whether Rich pitches at the next level or not.
Gulf Coast Community College softball signed two players for the 2010 season this month. Mosley’s Bethany Wilke signed a letter of intent last week with Port St. Joe pitcher Kayla Minger signing in mid-January on the first day of the national signing period for junior college softball. Minger, who has also played shortstop, first base and the outfield, also is a danger with the bat, hitting .427 for her career, with 63 RBIs and 10 home runs.
Auburn’s Clinton Durst said last week he was promised a scholarship by former coach Tommy Tuberville’s staff, but those plans changed after Gene Chizik was hired. Chizik said Durst might earn a scholarship in the summer, something that didn’t sit well with the Destin native. Durst believes he deserves a scholarship after his performance this past year. The walk-on was third in the SEC and 26th nationally in punting, averaging more than 42 yards a kick. He said he will remain at Auburn as a student but has to work so he can afford classes, so apparently he will not be back next season, at least at Auburn, unless something changes soon.
University of Alabama head men’s basketball coach Mark Gottfried resigned on Monday. Crimson Tide assistant coach Philip Pearson will assume the role of interim head coach for the remainder of the season. Gottfried was named head coach at Alabama on March 25, 1998, and compiled a record of 210-131 (.616 winning percentage) with the Crimson Tide, including a mark of 83-82 in Southeastern Conference (SEC) games, winning one SEC regular season championship and leading the team to five NCAA Tournament appearances. He joined the Crimson Tide after three seasons as head coach at Murray State where he compiled a record of 68-24 while leading the Racers to three Ohio Valley Conference championships (1995, 1996, and 1997) and three NCAA Tournament appearances. Gottfried’s career record stands at 278-155 for a winning percentage of .642 in 14 seasons as a college head coach. Gottfried, a 1987 Alabama graduate, played guard for the Crimson Tide for three seasons (1984-85, 1985-86, and 1986-87) while starting 98 consecutive games for then-head coach Wimp Sanderson after starting his college career at Oral Roberts University (1982-83 season).
Contact Patrick Casey at the DeFuniak Herald with local sports notes at: firstname.lastname@example.org.