Season’s greetings from your qnotes sports staff! We hope everyone enjoys their time with friends and family this December, even if it’s to wait out the Mayan apocalypse hunkered down in a bunker somewhere. For those throwing caution into the wind and ignoring the prophecies, here is what went down this past November in the Charlotte sports scene.

Rugby

D-E-F-E-N-S-E! Was the cry on the field between the Charlotte Royals and the Nashville Grizzlies as the Royals tried to hold back Grizzlies’ Jimmy Arredondo.

The Charlotte Royals entered the month of November undefeated, with three home games left in their season. The first match was Nov. 3rd versus the Nashville Grizzlies, a rematch from earlier in the season in which the Royals squeaked out a 25-15 victory on the road. However, on this day, there would be no doubt who would win the game from the opening whistle. Charlotte jumped out to early lead with two quick scores from Danny Wadsworth and David June in the first 10 minutes. From there, the Royals never looked back, getting a 0-40 lead at halftime. Nashville was never able to get any offensive flow going due to Charlotte’s swarming defense led by JT Wentz and Garrett Jordan from the forward positions. The second was more of a grind, with the Royals stepping off the peddle some with their substantial lead, but finished the contest strong, earning a well-deserved 0-67 win over a good, although undermanned Grizzlies team.

Box Score: David June (20 pts.), Danny Wadsworth (17 pts.), Arthur Milne (10 pts.), Jon Hoppel (10 pts.), Cody Webb (5 pts.), Garrett Jordan (5 pts.)

Men of the Match: Arthur Milne, David June

To wrap up their season, the Royals hosted a mini-tournament between themselves, Guilford College and Table Rock Rugby Club (TRRC) on Nov. 17th. Charlotte was looking to go undefeated for the first time ever in their team’s history. First they took on the young and quick Guilford College team, a team they were looking to overpower with size and experience.

This game ended up being a battle to the very end, with the Royals hanging on to a 0-7 lead with 10 minutes to play. But a couple of costly turnovers in their end lead to two scores for Guilford and the Royals were unable to overcome them. The game ended 10-7 in favor of Guilford, ending Charlotte’s hopes of an unblemished record.

Next, Guilford College took on TRRC, an experienced and talented side from Morganton, N.C. The game got away from Guilford early, clearly showing fatigue from the very physical match against Charlotte. TRRC won easily over the young squad, 40-0, barely allowing Guilford to cross midfield.

The tournament’s finale pitted Charlotte versus TRRC in a clash between two teams who know each other well, with the Royals trying to earn their first victory over the well-balanced and experienced squad. But, despite their best efforts, Charlotte was unable to stop TRRC’s back line at any point during the game and watched them run roughshod through their defense, scoring easily and often. The victory for TRRC was never in doubt, winning with a final tally of 63-0.

Despite these two losses, the Royals had a very successful season, finishing with a winning record and achieving a greater participation than ever before. Ending the season the way they did, fighting and playing hard despite being unable to pull out victories, should definitely give the team more focus and outline things they can approve on before next season, which they hope will be even better!

Softball

The Carolina Softball Association finished their season on Nov. 18th with their end of the season tournament. Four teams competed for the championship in the one-day event held at Veterans Park. Game 1 pitted the second and third seeded teams against each other, who finished the season with identical 5-4 records. However, the game wasn’t nearly as close as those records would lead you to believe. Team Stan (3 seed) got out to a big lead early over the Carolina Jackets (2 seed) and kept it rolling through all 7 innings, winning with a margin of 30-8.

The second game, and by far the most entertaining one of the day, had Team Hoppie (4 seed) taking on Team Possum (1 seed). These two teams had polar opposite seasons, with team Hoppie going 1-8 and Team Possum winning the regular season with a record of 7-2. But, that didn’t stop the underdog team Hoppie from giving the top seed all they could handle from inning one. Team Possum was able to chip away at the 12-run deficit they faced. And, after a couple late inning errors by the other team, they were able to steal the win, 12-15.

In the final, team Stan was unable to keep their hot bats going, only able to tally 11 runs against the favored 1 seed. Propelled by the powerful hitting of Andrew Mckenna and basehitting of Katie Gies, Team Possum got early runs on the scoreboard. And, with John Rukavina holding down the outfield with stellar play, team Stan never could mount a rally, losing 11-17. CSA would like to thank everyone who came out and played and cheered on the league this season. For information on when the spring season will start, check their website at carolinasoftball.org. : :