10/05/04 — Graduate Glance

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Graduate Glance

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on October 5, 2004 1:56 PM

Brian Grant performs well at Pulaski

Despite a shoulder injury that caused him to miss at least four starts with the short-season Single-A Pulaski (Va.) Blue Jays, Charles B. Aycock graduate Brian Grant still has good reason to believe his 2004 season could be a valuable stepping stone as he continues to develop as a pitcher.

Grant, the Jays' number one starter, finished with a 3-1 record and had a 2.93 earned run average in 10 starts. Grant was put on the disabled list before his fifth start of the season. After coming off the DL, he was put on a tight pitch count by Pulaski, which was in first place for 63 of 72 days in the East Division of the Appalachian League.

"My shoulder is good now. I was just taxed," Grant said. "I pitched 67 innings in the spring and came into that with my arm kind of taxed."

He was moved up to the Auburn Doubledays (New York-Penn Single A) for the postseason, but did not appear in any playoff games.

Currently, Grant is gearing up for next spring by working out while taking classes. He said he will start throwing in about two months.

"Last year was a good stepping stone ... something I can take in and build off of," Grant said. "Hopefully I can take that and continue to get better and stay focused. Right now, I'm still developing in their mind.

"The Blue Jays' organization is pleased with what I've done so far, and the relationship is good."

Last season was Grant's third as a professional.

Coates making mark

at Hutchinson

Goldsboro High Graduate Robert Coates (C/O 2003) became Hutchinson Community College's (Kansas) all-time completions leader after completing 15-of-31 pass for 125 against Butler Community College on Saturday.

He went into the game needing eight completions to pass P.J. Peters as Coates now has 221 completions in less than two seasons with the Dragons.

Coates also moved into third place on the HCC all-time passing yardage list with 2,748 yards. He is also tied for second on the all-time touchdown list with 23.

The Dragons (4-2) lost to Butler but look to turn things around next Saturday at Dodge City.

Local runners

compete at Campbell

A pair of 2004 graduates, Liza Davis (C.B. Aycock) and Amy Arthur (North Duplin), are currently running on the women's cross country team at Campbell University.

Arthur and Davis both turned in season-high times in their first collegiate meet on Sept. 4 at the Campbell Invitational. Arthur ran a 17:05, good for ninth overall, while Davis' 17:36 was good for 14th.

Last Friday at the Great American XC Festival in Cary, Arthur ran a 21:18 and Davis finished at 22:04.

Campbell runs again on Oct. 18 at the N.C. Intercollegiate Championships hosted by East Carolina in Greenville.

Smith moved

to tight end

2004 Rosewood graduate Troy Smith -- a News-Argus all-area selection center as a senior -- seems to be adjusting well to a position change in his freshman year at Guilford College.

Guilford coach Mike Ketchum said several practices in pads it was apparent Smith's size made him a more suitable tight end in the Quakers' two tight sets. He's also seeing time as a fullback and starts on the kick off return team.

"The linemen are so much bigger in college. This gives him a little better match at tight end," Ketchum said. "He's a wonderful blocker. We've got to get him better at catching passes, but we will get to that."

"He was doing a great job in practice, but he was outweighed by 60 or 70 pounds. His long term position may be at the line. But now we've got to get him in the right spot physically."

Guilford dropped to 0-4 on the season with a loss on Saturday to cross-town rival Greensboro College. The Quakers travel to Ferrum (Va.) this Saturday.