Month: May 2016

Beloved Coach Dies at 58

By: Trey Walker

Late Friday night, Don Horton, a former assistant football coach for NC State and Boston College, passed away. Coach Horton had been battling Parkinson’s disease for almost 10 years.

Don BC

Horton with Boston College

Horton will be remembered as a man who loved his family and cared for his players. During his coaching tenure, he coached in many bowl games and sent 15 lineman to play on Sunday.

A native of Cincinnati, Don’s love for football developed at a young age. He played offensive line in high school at Indian Hill High, and in college at Wittenberg(Ohio).

After graduating from Wittenberg, Coach Horton’s first gig as a coach came when he was asked to be a Graduate Assistant at Ohio State University. His love for coaching led him to get other opportunities on the coaching staffs of Southern Illinois, New Mexico State, Virginia, and Wittenberg.

In 1997, Tom O’Brien was hired as the head coach for Boston College, replacing Dan Henning. Horton was appointed as the Offensive Line Coach under O’Brien’s new regime. The two stuck together(from BC to NCSU) until Coach Horton took an administrative position in May of 2012. Horton had quite an impressive resume in his time with the O’Brien administration…

Coach Horton by the Numbers:

– 15 NFL lineman coached

– .695% overall winning percentage at NC State and Boston College

– 8 bowl victories

-1 conference title*

Many of his former players have expressed how influential Horton was in their lives: on and off the field:

“In a football world where players are treated as numbers, you treated us as people, and stood out” said former Boston College running back, Ryan Utzler, on Horton.

Horton is survived by his 2 loving daughters, Libby and Hadley, and his wife Maura.

You will be missed Coach Horton!

*This is a Big East title, for Boston College was not annexed into the ACC until the following season

Raleigh lands EPL Matchup

By: Trey Walker

It’s a date! West Ham United F.C. will cross the pond for a friendly with the Carolina Railhawks on July 12th, at Wakemed Soccer Park. This will be the first English Premier League team to play against the Railhawks in the Triangle.

Railhawks Nasl

The “Hammers” will be a different level of competition than the Railhawks are used to PC:NASL

West Ham officials traveled to Raleigh recently to inspect the venue, and were quite pleased with what they saw. Felicity Barnard (Commercial Director for West Ham) expressed her enthusiasm about this match in an interview with WNCN, “We know that soccer in this country (United States) is booming. It’s a fantastic growth sport on a huge trajectory and we want to capitalize on that as a Premier League team. So by bringing the live experience of a Premier League team over to a country like this allows the fans to touch and feel the game”.

Wakemed Soccer Park is no stranger to big time events like these. They have hosted international men and women’s friendlies for Team USA and the College Cup many times. OT Sports will be at this event, and you should join in on the action. Tickets are on presale now, but they will be available for general admission on May 23rd. Check out the Railhawks site for more info at: .

Raptors Extinguish Heat in 7

By: Trey Walker

For the first time in the Toronto Raptors 21 year franchise history, “The North” will be headed to the Eastern Conference Finals. I believe that Dwayne Casey’s team deserves this, as they have been bounced in the opening round for the last 2 years.

However, I can’t further my praise for the Raptors without first tipping my hat to the Heat. Dwayne Wade brought his team back after being on the verge of defeat against the Hornets. D-Wade hit crucial shots down the stretch in Game 6 of that series to keep the Heat’s hopes alive and force Game 7. It was definitely a team effort but Wade has stood out this postseason, averaging 21.4 points per game(13th overall in postseason PPG).

This grouping was easily the most evenly-matched series thus far. In 3 out of 7 of the games, a victor had to be determined in overtime. The Heat’s average margin of defeat was only 8 points in 4 losses.

Additionally, the absence of their rim defending big man, Hassan Whiteside due to a strained MCL was a big blow, but the paint wasn’t as vulnerable, for Raptors Center, Jonas Valančiūnas was ruled out with a tweaked ankle in Game 4. All-Star forward Chris Bosh did not play at all in the playoffs and his status to return to play remains uncertain(Bosh was limited to 53 games this season after an early diagnosis with blood clots).

If you are a Heat fan, don’t be discouraged. Your team reached the Conference Semi-Finals this year after losing key elements from the 2013 title team: Mario Chalmers, Norris Cole, and Chris “Birdman” Anderson. Young wing players like Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow have a bright future in South Beach.

Community Quotes:

Following the loss, I dug deep into Raleigh’s Heat fan base, and tripped upon a close friend Stephen Holloman. Steve has been a Heatle at heart since his youth, and I asked him about how he felt regarding the Heat’s performance this year amid injuries and roster transactions, and his response was optimistic………


“As a long time Heat fan I feel content with making the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals this season. With Bosh’s situation and Whiteside’s injury that took place, it was hard to expect anything more with this team in the playoffs. It was nice to see vintage D-Wade show out in key moments of some games against Charlotte and Toronto. The offseason will be an interesting one, with Dwayne’s contract and possibly working the cap out to lure KD in to Miami. Or who knows, maybe the King will return to South Beach pending another possible Finals loss…..”

On the other hand, Toronto did an exceptional job changing their gameplay in the absence of Valanciunas. Former Charlotte Bobcat prodigy, Bismack Biyombo stepped up and DOMINATED the glass for the Raps. The Center from the Congo averaged 8.9 rebounds during the series. Offensively, Kyle Lowry became the hot-hand(18.9 PPG in postseason).

Bismack on the rim

Biyombo getting some hang-time

Against the Cavs, the Raptors will need all the help they can get offensively, so look for Derozan to chip in too. Valanciunas is out for 2 games at least, per Dwayne Casey this afternoon.

Bottom Line: These two teams were evenly matched, but the Raptors just pulled away and won when advancement was on the line. 

Lastly, this Raptors run has been fueled by good play from the players, and outstanding coaching. Good coaching is underrated this time of year, as the star players get most of the spotlight. But wow, one cannot help but appreciate that Toronto has a hidden gem on their coaching staff….

Jerry Stackhouse Toronto

Stack has made a name for himself as a coach