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december19, 2014

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What’s Up With Three for Three?

By Calvin Hastings - Listen to Calvin on the radio M-F 6am-8am on 1050AM, 1390AM & 1590AM

By Calvin Hastings - Listen to Calvin on the radio M-F 6am-8am on 1050AM, 1390AM & 1590AM

What’s Up in Local Sports

By Calvin Hastings

They can say what they want, but our area has to be the BEST when it comes to Championship High School Football.  Three area teams made it three for three last Saturday.  It started  at noon on Saturday when Shelby downed Clinton 31-7 to take the State 2A championship.  It was Shelby’s second straight state championship.  The Golden Lions finished 13-2 on the season losing only to 3A champions Crest and South Point early in the season.  Shelby running back Chad Reid was name the game’s Most Valuable Player after rushing for 169 yards.  Shelby quarterback R.J. George was named the game’s Offensive MVP and Shelby lineman Chavon Miller was named the games’s Defensive MVP.  The Crest Chargers followed up next with a 24-3 win over Havelock.  Havelock had won three straight titles before being stopped by a stifling Charger defense.  The Crest Chargers finished 16-0 on the season and ranked number one in the What’s Up Shopper power poll.  Crest’s Tre Harbison was named the game’s MVP.   Quarterback Willie Green was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player and Chris Willis was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player.  Then the East Lincoln Mustangs made it a 16-0 season with an exciting 14-13 win over Washington  A blocked extra point spelled victory for the Mustangs.  It was the Mustangs second state 2AA title in the past three years.  East Lincoln’s Chaz Surratt was named the game’s MVP.  Damarius Valentine was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player and East Lincoln’s T.J. McLain was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player.

The Big South 2A/3A Conference has named its All Conference  Football Team.  Moe Neal of Forestview was named the Offensive Player of the Year.  Montavis Rogers of Forestview was named the Defensive Player of the Year.  Christian Stewart of North Gaston was named the Special Teams Player of the Year and Chris Medlin of Forestview was named the Coach of the Year.

The Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference has named its All Conference Football Team.  Mason Martin of Thomas Jefferson was named the Offensive Player of the Year.  Trey McGee of Thomas Jefferson was named the Defensive Player of the Year and Bessemer City’s Larry Boone was named the Coach of the Year.

The South Mountain Athletic Conference has handed out its annual football awards.  Crest running back Tre Harbison was named the Offensive Player of the Year rushing for over 1800 yards with 38 touchdowns.  Shelby’s Omar Brooks was named the Defensive Player of the Year with 18 sacks.  Mark Barnes of Crest was named the Coach of the Year.  East Burke’s Ryan Newell was named the Specialist of the Year.

The Southern District 7 has handed out its year end football awards.  East Lincoln quarterback Chazz Surratt was named the Offensive Player of the Year.  Triston Dennis of East Lincoln was named the Defensive Player of the Year.  Dylan Wambold of Bandys was named the Specialist of the Year and Mike Byus of East Lincoln was named the Coach of the Year.

Lincolnton has a new Athletic Director and Head Football Coach.  The Board of Education has approved the promotions of Cole Sigmon as the school’s new athletic director and Ledford Gibson as the new head football coach replacing Scott Cloninger who resigned this year.  Sigmon has served as the school’s head baseball coach.  Gibson served Cloninger as the team’s defensive coordinator.  Both coaches teach at the school.

Belmont’s Steve Berkley recorded his sixth career hole in one last week on the Number 2 hole at Green Meadows Golf Course.  Barkley used a 7-iron to ace the 135 yard par 3.  Dan Jackson, Darrell Hager and Ben Johnson witnessed the shot.

South Point’s Landon Isaacs has signed a letter of intent to play golf at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia.  He will be participating in the Dixie Amateur Golf Tournament in Coral Springs, Florida December 19-22.

The Southern District Conference has named its girls tennis All Conference Team.  Local team members included Lilly Aldrich of East Lincoln.  Olivia Godfrey and Skylar Geer of West Lincoln and Allison Brown of Lincolnton.  Brittany Connor of Newton-Conover was named the Player of the Year and Ken Hilderbran of West Lincoln was named the Coach of the Year.

The Southern District Conference also named its girls volleyball All Conference Team.  Local team members included Alex McClure of East Lincoln.  Ashley Duncan of Lincolnton and Erin Huff of West Lincoln.  Megan Fair of Bunker Hill was named the Player of the Year and Marsha Davis of Maiden was named the Coach of the Year.

It’s always fun to look back and see how we did on our pre-season What’s Up Shopper Top 10 Predictions.  We picked the Shelby Golden Lions first and they finished 3rd with a state 2A title.  We picked the Crest Chargers second and they finished first after winning the state 3A title.  We picked the South Point Red Raiders third and they fell to sixth.  We picked the East Lincoln Mustangs fourth but they finished second after winning a state 2AA football state title.  We picked the Lincolnton Wolves fifth but they jumped one up to fourth.  We picked the Ashbrook Greenwave sixth but would up ninth.  We picked the Kings Mountain Mountaineers seventh and they finished 8th.  We picked Hunter Huss eight and they finished unranked.  We picked the Forestview Jaguars ninth and they surprised us all and wound up fifth.  We picked the Burns Bulldogs tenth and they were unranked.  Bessemer City had a good year and finished in the Top 10 at number seven.  And the East Gaston Warriors cracked the Top 10 Final Poll at number 10.  We’ll see you next August with the 2015 pre-season predictions.

“DOWN TO THE NITTY GRITTY”

Follow me on Twitter @KevinHastings (PHOTO of me in St. Louis 2000 to see the Cowboys at Rams)

Follow me on Twitter @KevinHastings (PHOTO of me in St. Louis 2000 to see the Cowboys at Rams)

HOLLYWOOD’S NFL REVIEW

By Kevin Hastings  / @KevinHastings

Every week of the NFL season we eliminate one team from Super Bowl contention.  This is my opinion only and it is not a power poll.  To be a Top 12 team, you have to be qualified for the playoffs.  This week we say goodbye to the  Santa Clara, I mean, San Francisco 49ers.  It’s been a tumultuous season in the Bay and the 49ers will have some major changes coming before next season.  I highly doubt Harbaugh will be back.  Goodbye San Francisco!

ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK

15.  Kansas City Chiefs (8-6) I firmly don’t believe the NFL or the football gods want Baltimore in the playoffs due to the Ray Rice scandal.  Bad news is Kansas City or San Diego will have to step up and take their place.  In 14 games, KC still hasn’t had a wide receiver catch a single touchdown pass this season!

14.  San Diego Chargers (8-6) The Bolts have been up to #2 in our poll and now are hanging on the edge of a playoff berth.  Maybe they are the same old Chargers.

13.  Philadelphia Eagles (9-5) Chip Kelly’s offense seems dangerous if they had a good quarterback.  Come on, we all know what Mark Sanchez is, and it ain’t Tom Brady.  They made a good comeback but couldn’t hold out for the win.  Now, Philly is on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.

THE NFC SOUTH TOILET BOWL

12b.  Atlanta Falcons (5-9) This week’s game versus New Orleans will decide the Dirty Birds fate.  What if they tie?  We could have a three-way tie for the division winner this season with a 6-8-1 record!

12a.  New Orleans Saints (6-8) Ladies and gentlemen your first place leaders of the NFC South.

IN THE PLAYOFFS, FOR NOW

11.  Baltimore Ravens (9-5) I’ve already kicked out Miami, Houston and Buffalo and they’ve all made it to 7-6 positioning themselves for a playoff run.  For my sake I  hope the current AFC top six hold fort or I’ll be eating crow from one of these cities. I would hope it’s at least KC and not Baltimore.

10.  Cincinnati Bengals (9-4-1) Weekly Item: Marvin Lewis, 11 years, 0 playoff wins.

9.  Detroit Lions (10-4) If the season ended today the Lions would be hosting a home game versus the Packers would be the 6-seed travelling to Dallas.  Also the 6-8 Saints would be hosting the 10-4 Seahawks!  What world are we living in?

8.  Green Bay Packers (10-4) Buffalo has a good defense but come on man! You can’t say you’re the best team in the NFL then go out and lay an egg against the Buffalo Bills. That one loss cost them the divisional lead and now would be the 6-seed.

7. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-5) Weekly note:  I’m done making comments on this team until the end of the season.  Honestly, flip a coin each week because that’s better than what I can tell you about this team.

6.  Seattle Seahawks (10-4) With games at Arizona and versus St. Louis the Hawks have a chance to take the division lead or miss the playoffs altogether.

5.  Dallas Cowboys (10-4) How ‘bout them Cowboys!   I swear they would be close to undefeated if Jason Garrett wasn’t there ruining the playcalling.  After the opening kickoff fumble recovery on first down from the 19, Garret calls a pass, incomplete.  A few DeMarco Murray runs later on 1st and goal from the 4-yard line, Garrett goes 5-wide and throws a pass.  At midfield later in the game on 3rd & 1, up 21-0, Garrett calls a play action 40-yard heave-ho into double coverage for Dez Bryant, incomplete, punt.  Then with 3:10 remaining in the game, up 11 points, Garrett is still calling passes and stopping the clock for the Eagles.  It’s almost like he has direct orders from Jerry Jones to mess up as much as possible and keep the games close for TV ratings.  I can’t take seeing him on the sidelines anymore.  A twelve-year-old Madden player would do a better job of clock management.

CLINCHED AND THEY’RE IN

4.  Arizona Cardinals (11-3) I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a coach talk so much smack talk than Cards main man Bruce Ariens. Whoo!  Folks I’m telling you what, there’s a reason their defense is one of the best and they’re 11-3 with the #4 QB playing.  If they want to win the Super Bowl though, I believe they need to call Tebow or Kurt Warner.

3.  Indianapolis Colts (10-4) Good news for Indy is they’re in the playoffs!  The bad news is they’ve played one of the easiest schedules in the league and may not be as good as their record suggests.

2.  Denver Broncos (11-3) Denver keeps winning but with running backs we’ve never heard of and Manning ducks floating through the air.  Right now they’re #2, but no way I’m betting on them in the playoffs.

1. New England Patriots (11-3) With the Packers losing  to the Buffalo Bills and dropping to a 6-seed, the Pats move back to the top of our poll.

WILD CARD ROUND

6. Packers @ 3. COWBOYS / 5. SEAHAWKS @ 4. Saints

6. Ravens @ 3. COLTS / 5. STEELERS @ 4. Bengals

DIVISIONAL ROUND

5. SEAHAWKS @ 1. Cardinals / 3. COWBOYS @ Lions

5. STEELERS @ 1. Patriots / 3. COLTS @ 2. BRONCOS

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND

5.  Seahawks @ 3. COWBOYS / 5. STEELERS @ 2. Broncos

SUPER BOWL

COWBOYS over Broncos

$50 NFL PICK’EM

Pick the games below for a chance to win $50.

Entry deadline is Sunday at noon

ALL CAPS is Hollywood’s game pick!

** Indicates The Game Of The Week ** = 3 Pts.

Plus indicate total points in this game for tiebreaker

Online or by email contests@whatsupshopper.com

Minnesota Vikings @ MIAMI DOLPHINS

Baltimore Ravens @ HOUSTON TEXANS

DETROIT LIONS @ Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns @ CAROLINA PANTHERS

Atlanta Falcons @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

GREEN BAY PACKERS @ Tampa Bay Bucs

Kansas City Chiefs @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ New York Jets

New York Giants @ ST. LOUIS RAMS

BUFFALO BILLS @ Oakland Raiders

Indianapolis Colts @ DALLAS COWBOYS

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ Arizona Cardinals

THIS WEEK'S TIEBREAKER GAME!

THIS WEEK'S TIEBREAKER GAME!

Last Week’s Winner was

MARK WARD of Mt. Holly Perfect score of 27!

december 12, 2014

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WATCH LIVE CHRISTMAS PARADES ON KTC BROADCASTING!

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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6

Crouse on WLON1050AM.com - 12:45pm

Kings Mountain on WOHS1390AM.com - 2:45pm

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 7

Gastonia on WCSL1590AM.com - 1:45pm

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 13

Cherryville on WCSL1590AM.com - 10:15am

Cat Square on WLON1050AM.com - 1:45pm

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 14

Shelby on WOHS1390AM.com - 2:45pm

crown me champ!

What’s Up Shopper Prep Previews

By Andrey S. Bush

By Andrey S. Bush

When the season starts everyone has the goal of becoming State Champs.  You fight all year to make the playoffs, not only to make it but survive to play in December.  Well, the time has come, its December and what better stocking stuffer for the players that have put their bodies through all the big hits and spent Friday nights and Saturday mornings icing down bumps and bruises, than to hoist the State Champion banner and have fingers sized for the rings of the Champions.  There will be two college venues hosting games, NC State and Wake Forest.  Our coverage area will have three teams represented this NCHSAA State Championship weekend.  From the SMAC the Crest Chargers (@CrestHSCHargers) and Shelby Golden Lions (@ShelbyGoldLions).  Crest will be playing at 4pm on Saturday at NC State and Shelby will be Noon at Wake Forest.  Representing the SD-7 Conference will be the East Lincoln Mustangs (@EastLHSMustangs).  Follow along on twitter for score updates and game action @ktcbroadcasting, and also tweet with me live from the Shelby Golden Lions and East Lincoln Championship games. Good luck to all teams may you all be victorious.

Clinton Dark Horses vs SHELBY GOLDEN LIONS

12:00 noon @ Wake Forest

If you picked up a paper last week and checked out my preview I said that RJ George would be the man for Shelby against a gritty Mt Pleasant. The game went down to a 80 yard touchdown drive capped off by a RJ George three yard touchdown run.  Every team’s leader has to have that “Put It On My Back” attitude and folks RJ has that attitude.  He just continues to add to the legacy that he will leave behind at the Shelby High Golden Lion football program.  Shelby will be playing to capture back-to-back titles.  Football is the ultimate team sport and that said I don’t want to take away from the skilled and talented teammates alongside George that has made it possible for their program to be in contingency to defend their Championship title.  Standing in the dark hoping to spoil all the Golden Lions plans to repeat will be the Clinton Dark Horses.  The Dark Horses are a run heavy team that like to get after you on defense then feed you a heavy dose of sophomore runner Ryheem Skinner.  Clinton advanced past Southwest Onslow last Friday with a big 45-20 decision.  So there will be no shortness of confidence on either side of the ball come noon Saturday.

KEY TO VICTORY: Play sound defense!  Shelby has no problem scoring so I feel safe with the offense being able to take advantage of all scoring opportunities with the balance run and pass.  The concern to me will be Clinton runner, Ryheem Skinner.  Skinner is a very dangerous runner and can be a knife in the side of the Golden Lions if they fall behind.  But no worries for the Golden Lion nation, this game should end very well to the experienced team led by an experienced winning tradition.  GO GOLDEN LIONS!!

Havelock Rams vs CREST CHARGERS

4:00pm @ NC State

The Crest Chargers are back to complete a mission they let literally slip through their fingers last year at Wake Forest University, when they lost to Southern Durham on a blown coverage that allowed a go ahead touchdown pass by Durham.  Tough way to lose a game but an even better motivation to not let that happen again.  The Chargers have dominated all competition that they’ve faced this season which includes last weeks dogfight with South Point.  The game was definitely closer than I had expected it to be after the first meeting was early rest for the starters.  South Point came out struggling to move the ball on a smothering Crest defense but to the amazement of the crowd the Red Raider defense was able to come up with some key stops to keep the Chargers off the board.  In the end, the depth of talent went to the Chargers.  Standing in the way of the Chargers this year will be the Havelock Rams who easily advanced past Eastern Wayne in last week’s final.  They took a 21-6 lead into the half and never looked back winning 35-12.

KEY TO VICTORY: Business as usual.  The Chargers are not unbeaten on the season just by chance, but by choice.  The Crest Charger team was everyone’s shoe in for a State Championship appearance.  Crest Head Coach, Mark Barnes has done an exceptional job this season managing his talent by putting his players in position to win week after week no matter the level of talent on the other side of the ball.  It will be a safe bet to dial in the Chargers as Champions.  GO CHARGERS!!!

Washington Pam-Pack vs EAST LINCOLN MUSTANGS

4:00pm @ Wake Forest

After a long Friday of debate on twitter amongst the Franklin hopefuls and East Lincoln faithful the outcome was quickly finalized.  The East Lincoln Mustangs will be making a trip back to the State Championship.  Last time they went was two years ago when Garrett Young led his team to a State Title.  Young, then was the quarterback throwing to now Mustang quarterback Chazz Surratt.  The reigns were handed to Surratt and he hasn’t looked back switching from receiver to quarterback.  Surratt has went on to pass all statistical categories once held by former teammate Garrett Young.  The heart of a Champion is hard to measure on a meter but if there was a meter to measure it to Surratt will definitely being sitting along top that list.  There’s only one team standing between Chazz and his second Championship in 3 years, the Washington Pam-Pack. The Washington Pam Pack is headed to the state championship for the first time in 58 years after defeating Elizabeth City Northeastern, 41-17 in front of a packed house at Choppy Wagner Stadium.  The Pam-Pack defense had one of its best outings of the year shutting down one of the top offenses in Class 2A. So that just makes for an even more interesting game when they have to try and stop the Mustangs offense who I find it hard to believe would be considered second to any other team in their class.

KEY TO VICTORY: Unleash the Offense.  This will be the game that Mike Byus should unleash his offense.  Put the ball in the hands of Surratt and let his instinctive talents take control of the game.  Not to say that coaching will not be needed I’m just saying open up the offensive playbook and put it all on the line, its Championship Saturday, why not?

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What’s Up with the State Championships?

By Calvin Hastings - Listen to Calvin on the radio M-F 6am-8am on 1050AM, 1390AM & 1590AM

By Calvin Hastings - Listen to Calvin on the radio M-F 6am-8am on 1050AM, 1390AM & 1590AM

What’s Up in Local Sports

By Calvin Hastings

The stage is set…the finalists are ready!  It’s State Championship Weekend this Friday and Saturday in Winston-Salem and Chapel Hill.  And best of all, we have three local teams in the picture.  In the 2A Playoffs at 12:00 Noon at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem it will be Shelby at 13-2 taking on Clinton who is 13-1.  In the 2AA playoffs at 4:00 PM at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem it’s East Lincoln at 15-0 taking on Washington who are 14-1.  And in the 3A playoffs at 4:00 PM at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh it’s the Crest Chargers at 15-0 taking on Havelock who are 14-1.  All games can be heard on www.ktcbroadcasting.com along with the Shelby game on WOHS and WLON.  The East Lincoln Game will be aired on WCSL and WLON and the Crest game can be heard on WOHS.  We’ll also have a special Super Saturday preview Friday night at 5:30 on all three stations and www.ktcbroadcasting.com.  In the other state playoff games its Plymouth at 14-1 meeting Robbinsville at 15-0 for the 1A Championship.  It’s Wallace Rose-Hill at 14-1 taking on Starmount who are 12-3 for the 1AA Championship.  Its North Guilford at 14-1 meeting Weddington who are also 14-1 for the 3AA championship.  It’s New Bern at 15-0 meeting Charlotte Catholic who are 14-1 for the 4A championship and its Wake Forest at 15-0 meeting Mallard Creek who are 14-1 for the 4AA championship.

Local official Dusty Haynes will be on the field for the state 1A game between Plymouth and Robbinsville.

Former Burns Bulldog Darius Ramsey has been named a Capital One Academic All-American.   He is only the 4th Western Carolina player to ever receive that honor.  He led the Catamonts in rushing this past season with 763 yards and holds a cumulative grade point average of 3.63.

Former Hunter Huss Huskie Cody Jones has been named first team All-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference placekicker from North Carolina A&T.  Jones converted 45 of 47 extra points and 15 or 19 field goals helping the Aggies to a 9-3 record.  Also former Forestview Jaguar Keon Willliams was named a Southern Conference first team running back for Chattanooga.  Former Burns star Darius Ramsey was named to the second team along with former East Gaston star Richard Sigmon as a placekicker for Western Carolina.

The 38th annual Phil Wallace Holiday Classic Junior Golf Championship will be held December 22nd at the Riverbend YMCA Golf Course.  The tournament is open to players 18 and under and is an 18 hole individual stroke play competition.  Cost is $50 per person.  For more information call the River Bend YMCA golf course at 704-482-4286.

The Southern Piedmont 1A named its volleyball All Conference Team.  Area team players included Caitlin Hay and Bayleigh Henley of Cherryville.  Amber Brock of Bessemer City, Sydney Pearson of Highland Tech, Madi Neesmith and Tessa Carr of Lincoln Charter.

The Southern Piedmont 1A named its soccer All Conference team.  Area players included K.J. Woods and Owen Levy of Highland Tech.  Coco Varela and Justin Riffle of Cherryville.  Heath Patterson, Tony Minnaude and Matthew Groff of Lincoln Charter.

The Southern District 7 named their Cross County All-Conference Teams.  For the boys area players included Beck Classey and Parker Whitely of East Lincoln.  Jovan Angle, Tristan Brunner and Brandon Sherrill of Lincolnton and Matt Bumgardner of West Lincoln.  Corbin Boyles of Maiden was named the Runner of the Year and Alan Sigmon of Bandys was named the Coach of the Year.  For the girls area All Conference Team members included Magdalyn Foley, Shelbee Knopf, Frances Massey, Madison Rowles and Megan Rowles of East Lincoln.  Jada Blake of Lincolnton.  Adriana Compton, Kaitlin Eaker and Keeley Stemplien of West Lincoln.  Frances Mauney of East Lincoln was named the Runner of the Year and Jill Farrar of East Lincoln was named the Coach of the Year.

The Southern District 7 named their boys soccer All Conference Team.  Area players included Micheal Hernandez, Garrett Reavis, Bret Shanklin and Riley Steuh of East Lincoln.  Anthony Abonza, Daniel McBride, Jeffrey Perez and Francisco Velasquez of Lincolnton.  Also Ivan Cabrillo of West Lincoln.

Victoria Carter of Lincoln Charter has signed a letter of intent to play volleyball at Catawba Valley Community College.  Also, North Lincoln’s Savannah Dishman has signed to play volleyball at Catawba Valley Community College.

The pairings have been set for the Bud Black/Dennis Tate Holiday Classic December 27-30th at Cherryville’s Nixon Gym.  In the girls division on December 27th, Stuart Cramer will meet Bessemer City at 10:00 AM.  Castlewood, Virginia will face Burns at 1:00 PM.  The Community School of Davidson will face Wythe, Virgnia at 2:30 pm and Chase meets Cherryville at 5:30 pm. In the boys division on December 27th, Stuart Cramer meets Bessemer City at 11:30 am.  Mountain Island Charter meets Australia at 4:00 pm and Chase meets Cherryville at 7:00 pm.

South Point quarterback and defensive end Jaquan Brooks has committed to play football at Cambell University as a cornerback.  Brooks rushed for 1,331 yards and scored 16 touchdowns for the Red Raiders.  He passed for 582 years and six touchdowns.  Brooks rushed for 4,048 yards and scored 49 touchdowns in his career at South Point.

Hunter Huss has named their basketball court in honor of former Lady Huskie Sylvie Rhyne Hatchell.  Hatchell is a longtime University of North Carolina women’s coach and was recently named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  The dedication ceremony is set for January 16th in a home game against Forestview.  Entering this season Hatchell has a career coaching record of 935-331 second only nationally to Tennessee’s Pat Summitt.

Shelby Post 82 will be honored for their state championship at a special awards banquet on December 22nd at the LeGrand Center in Shelby.  The event will begin at 6:30 pm and tickets are $10.00 each and are available at the S&M Sports Shop in Shelby.

Former Cherryville basketball star Terry Whisnant had a pretty good day in the East Carolina loss to the North Carolina Tarheels last Sunday.  Whisnant scored 15 points to lead the Pirates in scoring.

“3 Weeks To Go”

HOLLYWOOD’S NFL REVIEW

By Kevin Hastings  / @KevinHastings

Every week of the NFL season we eliminate one team from Super Bowl contention.  This is my opinion only and it is not a power poll.  To be a Top 12 team, you have to be qualified for the playoffs.  This week we say goodbye to the  Cleveland Browns (7-6)  It’s time to say goodbye to the Bryan Hoyer era.  The only winning quarterback in the new Browns 20-quarterback history. If not, then it’s time to trade Johnny Manziel because this can’t last.  I like the Browns organization, always have.  I wish they were constantly competitive.

ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK

16.  Kansas City Chiefs (7-6) Currently sixth in an eight team battle for two playoff spots, the Chiefs are starting to flounder. Stat of the year: No Chiefs wide receiver has caught a touchdown this season. The even better stat is they’re actually 7-6!

15.  San Francisco 49ers (7-6) My buddy Nelson and most prognosticators have San Fran out of the playoffs.  They’re probably right, just not this week. They’re 4th and two games behind in a four team battle for two playoff spots.

ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

14.  Baltimore Ravens (8-5) I’ve already kicked out Miami, Houston and Buffalo and they’ve all made it to 7-6 positioning themselves for a playoff run.  For my sake I  hope the current AFC top six hold fort or I’ll be eating crow from one of these cities. I would hope it’s at least KC and not Baltimore.

13.  Dallas Cowboys (9-4) How ‘bout them Cowboys!   Got a big win on Thursday night and more importantly puts them in position to win the division and win on Sunday night after 10 days off to prepare for the high-octane offense that blew them out on Thanksgiving day.  Look forward to Dallas gett ing the run game back going again as they are more comfortable on the road.  Thank goodness Garrett didn’t have a chance to blow this game!  The Boys could finish 11-5 and miss the playoffs while the Panthers could still win the division with a 5-8-1 record.

THE NFC SOUTH TOILET BOWL

12b.  New Orleans Saints (5-8) With games left at Chicago, versus Atlanta and at Tampa, only God knows how the Aints will finish. With the way this season is going in the NFC South they will probably tie Atlanta in Week 16, and the Panthers will win the division in a 3-way tie at 5-8-1.

12a.  Atlanta Falcons (5-8) We all knew what was going to happen in Green Bay right?  Especially when you turned on the TV and saw the snow.  I didn’t even have to watch and spent some time with the kids instead.  The Dirtiest of Birds finish at home versus Pittsburgh, at New Orleans and versus Carolina.

IN THE PLAYOFFS, FOR NOW

11.  Arizona Cardinals (10-3) It’s make or break time in the dessert with games at St. Louis, versus Seattle and at San Francisco.  The Cards probably need at least one win to feel good about making the playoffs.

10.  Cincinnati Bengals (8-4-1) Marvin Lewis, 11 years, 0 playoff wins.

9.  Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) Will the real Mark Sanchez please stand-up, please stand-up.  Sometimes when players see that silver star on the helmets of America’s team, it fires them up a little bit more and they play their best.  Can it happen again for Mr. Butt Fumble?

THE CONTENDERS

8.  Detroit Lions (9-4) This Lions team being 9-4 points highly to the fact that the bottom of the NFC is downright awful. Are they the eighth best team?  I don’t think so but I can’t rank Sanchize, Marvin Lewis and whoever is playing quarterback for the Cardinals above Stafford and company.

7.  San Diego Chargers (8-5) The Bolts have won and lost in streaks this season and last week’s loss to New England and a loss to Denver this week would set them up at 8-6 with a trip to Santa Clara and Kansas City left.  The Bolts are standing on shaky ground.

6.  Indianapolis Colts (9-4) They have a favorable finishing schedule versus Houston this week, then will visit Dallas, then Tennessee. Colts should win enough to get in the tournament.

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) Weekly note:  I’m done making comments on this team until the end of the season.  Honestly, flip a coin each week because that’s better than what I can tell you about this team.

4.  Seattle Seahawks (9-4) Don’t be fooled by their recent winning streak.  They have beaten some good teams but still finish versus San Francisco, at Arizona and versus St. Louis.  Seattle could just as easily miss the playoffs as win the Super Bowl.

3.  Denver Broncos (10-3) Is something wrong with Peyton or are the horsies just riding the hot running game in the cold Denver weather?  I thought from the start when he chose Denver over Houston or San Francisco that he made a mistake because he stinks in bad weather.

2. New England Patriots (10-3) Brady is 3-2 in Super Bowls but it’s been 10 years since he won his last, shredding a heralded Panthers defense in Super Bowl XXXVIII in which some of you blame the kicker (who carried your steroid-driven team to the Super Bowl and should have a statue outside BOA plus his name in the ring of honor for being the greatest Panther ever)  for the loss instead of the defense. Laces out Dan!

Coming soon to a theater near you, Ace Ventura 4: A transgendered John Kasay kidnaps Sir Purr, QB Jameis Winston and head coach Sean Payton right before Super Bowl LVIII versus a 50 year old Peyton Manning.

1.  Green Bay Packers (10-3) Rogers is in a groove and all the ‘greatest quarterback ever’ talk is starting to heat up.  While I don’t believe a certain number of Super Bowls qualifies you as the greatest ever, but more than one definitely do.  Example #1: Eli Manning has TWO, and BOTH were over Tom Brady, which in effect eliminated Tom.  (unless he rattles off two more then we have to talk)

WILD CARD ROUND

6. Lions @ 3. EAGLES  //  5. SEAHAWKS @ 4. Falcons

6.  Chargers @ 3. COLTS  //  5. STEELERS @ 3. Bengals

DIVISIONAL ROUND

5. SEAHAWKS @ 1. Cardinals  //  3. Eagles @ 2. PACKERS

5. Steelers @ 1. PATRIOTS  //  3. Colts @ 2. BRONCOS

CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND

5. Seahawks @ 2. PACKERS  //  2. Broncos @ 1. PATRIOTS

SUPER BOWL:  Packers over Patriots

$50 NFL PICK’EM

Pick the games below for a chance to win $50.

Entry deadline is Sunday at noon

ALL CAPS is Hollywood’s game pick!

** Indicates The Game Of The Week ** = 3 Pts.

Plus indicate total points in this game for tiebreaker

Online or by email contests@whatsupshopper.com

STEELERS @ Falcons / Redskins @ GIANTS

Dolphins @ PATRIOTS / Raiders @ Chiefs

Texans @ COLTS / Jaguars @ RAVENS

Bucs @ PANTHERS / Bengals @ BROWNS

Jets @ TITANS / Broncos @ CHARGERS

Vikings @ LIONS /  49ers @ SEAHAWKS

** COWBOYS @ Eagles **

Last Week’s Winner was

Caroll Hamrick of Shelby - 25 points plus tiebreaker!