12/17/04 — Graduate glance

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Graduate glance

By Gabe Whisnant
Published in Sports on December 17, 2004 1:55 PM

Lovett lending a hand

LOUISBURG -- Erik Lovett's skills on the baseball diamond have helped him land a spot on the North Carolina State baseball team in 2006, following graduation at Louisburg College.

He's looking forward to the new challenge, but still has his heart in Louisburg -- on and off the field.

Lovett recently volunteered with teammate, Joe Pietropoali, to help a friend of the program -- Will Murphy -- design and chalk a baseball diamond for Murphy's three sons. Murphy grew up on and used to have neighborhood friends over to play on the same field. His sons are six, four and two.

"He (Murphy) asked Coach (Billy) Godwin if some of the boys would come over and build a field," Lovett said. "We started about a week ago with cut outs for first, second third and home and marked out the lines."

The field doesn't have backstop or fence, but has room for infielders and outfielders. A mound will be added soon.

Lovett saw the opportunity as a chance to give back to the game of baseball and its younger generation of players.

"I've had coaches throughout help me out. Coach Trae McKee has been one of the biggest helps through the years," he said. "A time when baseball was just another thing for me, he sat down me down and told me that I had to make up my mind about baseball. I changed my ways about how I looked at the game.

"When coach Godwin told me about that, I wanted to do something for somebody else."

Brinson solid at LCC

KINSTON -- Goldsboro graduate Ray Brinson is adjusting well at the junior college level and is currently logging his fair share of minutes for the Lenoir Community College basketball team.

Brinson is averaging 4.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game for the Lancers (8-3). He scored 15 points recently in a 99-68 win against Louisburg Junior College -- a game veteran coach Bobby Dawson called his team's best performance of the season.

Brinson, who is in the graphic arts program at LCC, has started in two games. Dawson has especially been pleased with his rebounding skills and overall hustle.

"He's very good at positioning for rebounds," Dawson said. "He's going after loose balls, and he's surprised me on a couple of occasions. With his personality, he doesn't look like that kind of guy, but he's quietly aggressive and we like that."

Dawson said Brinson is one of the biggest players in size and weight in the JUCO Region X, Division I.

"I think Ray has been a quick learner. His size has been a big plus for him," Dawson said. "He's very patient and receptive to our system."

LCC returns to action on Jan. 13 at Sampson Community College in Clinton.

Herring commits to Campbell

BUIES CREEK -- Former Greene Central and Snow Hill American Legion Post 94 standout Blake Herring has signed an agreement to play baseball for Campbell University and will join the program beginning with the 2006 season, announced head coach Chip Smith.

Herring plays for Lenoir Community College.

Herring, a 6-foot, 215-pound pitcher, is currently a sophomore at Lenoir and is a 2003 graduate of Greene Central High School. The Snow Hill native was the Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference Player of the Year as a senior and a member of the all-conference and all-state teams.

Clayton Pittman (Morehead City), Jared Lehman (Lebanon, Pa.), Ryan Hamme (Wilmington) and Jacob Allen (Raleigh) have also agreed to play at Campbell.