Up & Coming Weekly

June 11, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1128223

Contents of this Issue


Page 24 of 32

24 UCW JUNE 12-18, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS Herz leaning toward signing after being picked by Chicago by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Bears seek to replace large graduating class by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Since his earliest days playing any sport, Terry Sanford baseball standout D.J. Herz has always played at the highest level. Now that he's been drafted by the Chicago Cubs to play Major League Baseball, his father, John Herz said, that's likely to continue. While a final decision hasn't been reached, the senior Herz, who is also representing his son in negotiations with the Cubs, said both are leaning toward signing a contract and starting D.J.'s professional career in the minor leagues as soon as possible. D.J. was the 252nd player chosen in the draft, going to the Cubs in the eighth round. "He's really ready to get started,'' the elder Herz said of his son. "That's just D.J.'s makeup. He's always played up, always played with the best. He's ready to con- tinue that trend.'' D.J. was a three-sport athlete during the majority of his high school career at Terry Sanford, starting at quarterback in football, playing guard in basketball, and pitching and playing in the field for the baseball team. This past season, the young Herz was voted Player of the Year in the Patriot Athletic Conference. He led Terry Sanford to the regular-season title, a 24-3 record and the third round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A playoffs. For the second year in a row, the Bulldogs were eliminated by the eventual state champion, New Hanover. On the mound, Herz was 8-1 with a 0.51 earned run average and a Cumberland County Schools best of 106 strikeouts in 56.1 innings. At the plate, he batted .419 and drove in 26 runs. He had a county-best 13 doubles and tied for the lead in home runs with four. He also shared the lead in triples with three. Herz's father said the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pursued his son hard and was still hopeful of getting him to play for the Tar Heels this fall. But the senior Herz indicated the prefer- ence is to focus on professional baseball and forego a college career. Once D.J. makes a final decision to sign, he will likely be assigned to one of Chicago's rookie league teams, which are located in Arizona. Editor's note: This is part of a series on Cumberland County high school spring football workouts. A big senior class enter- ing a football season is a plus, but when that year is over, it can be a major liability. Gray's Creek foot- ball coach David Lovette is dealing with that harsh reality as his Bears lost 20 players who played a vari- ety of key roles last season. The good news is there were a lot of youth in the offensive line. Most of them return this year, along with the quarterback, who just happens to be Lovette's son Ben. Ben threw for 729 yards in the Bears' run- oriented Wing-T offense. Another key player returning is promising run- ning back Jerry Garcia, who saw a lot of playing time last season and rolled up 529 yards and five touchdowns. "It's not like the cupboard is bare,'' Lovette said of the graduation losses. "We'll miss those guys, but a lot of them (the returners) have seen playing time.'' Garcia has been timed electronically at 4.5 sec- onds in the 40-yard dash. "He's one of those kids that if the weight room is open, he's there,'' Lovette said. "He's a hard worker.'' The Bears used much of the spring to put in a few changes to their system. "We're doing the same things, just doing them differently,'' Lovette said. Some changes are being made in the defense, and Lovette is still searching for a punter to complete the special teams. One of the top defen- sive players back for the Bears is defensive end Kendall Evans. At 6-foot- 3 and 240 pounds, he's being recruited by such schools as Wake Forest, North Carolina A&T, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State. "I just want to work on my technique, my speed and my strength,'' Evans said of the summer and fall workouts. He feels the Bears need to focus on working together better as a team. "I think we did a lot bet- ter last year than we did previous years,'' he said. "We didn't have anyone selfish on our team. We were selling out for each other.'' Last season the Bears were 7-5 and lost to Northern Durham in the first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A state playoffs. EARL VAUGHAN JR., Sports Editor. COMMENTS? EarlUCWSports@gmail. com. 910-364-6638. D.J. Herz David Lovette Kendall Evans

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - June 11, 2019