Published: Oct 06, 2012 07:00 PM
Modified: Oct 05, 2012 01:32 PM
It’s not unusual to hear cheering at UNC Finley Fields, but if you listened carefully one Sunday evening recently, you would have heard the chanting of “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie!”
The crowd of Special Olympics North Carolina athletes, family members, coaches, staff and friends had gathered Sept. 23 to recognize Bernie Prabucki of Carrboro as the 2012 Special Olympics N.C. Coach of the Year.
“This has made me speechless … which is a hard thing to do,” Prabucki said. “I’ve competed in all the sports you all are training in and have competed at the pinnacle of each one, but this is by far the best thing I’ve ever accomplished.”
A 1982 NCAA Div. III national champion in the 5,000 meters for Fredonia State, where he still holds the school record for the 5K, Prabucki has served for 18 years as a volunteer coach for general athletics, basketball, soccer and softball for Special Olympics Orange County.
“All those records, honors — they’re all meaningless,” he said, adding that coaching special meant more to him than past achievements. Megan O’Donnell & Rachel Milano Mendes dives into Duke career
Alexa Mendes is among the class of 16 student-athletes starting out this week with Duke’s swimming and diving program at the N.C. College Invitational in Greensboro.
Mendes, daughter of Bobby and Nicole Mendes, lettered four years at Chapel Hill High School, where she was the team MVP and Carolina 3A Conference Swimmer of the Year as a senior. She earned all-conference recognition as a junior and Academic All-American status as a senior.
Before she started the Duke varsity season this weekend, Mendes was the runner-up at the Trinidad International Open Water Championships. She’ll specialize in freestyle distance events for Duke.Wildcats reschedule homecoming
The football game between East Chapel Hill and Orange High School, rescheduled once after a postponement, was cancelled completely after more bad weather last week. The Wildcats plan to move their homecoming festivities, originally planned for the Orange game, to the season-ending game Oct. 26 against Roxboro Person.Karl to join Fast Break Against Cancer
Denver Nuggets coach, two-time cancer survivor, and UNC basketball alumnus George Karl will join the speaker lineup at the eighth annual Fast Break Against Cancer with Coach Roy Williams.
Karl, a 1973 graduate of the University of North Carolina, played basketball under Coach Dean Smith. At UNC, he received the Patterson Medal and was in the Order of the Golden Fleece and the Order of the Old Well. He has a long career as both a player and a coach in the NBA. He became head coach of the Denver Nuggets in 2005, leading the team to the postseason. He is a two-time cancer survivor, having beaten both prostate cancer and neck and throat cancer. His comeback season was strong, coaching every game of the 2010-2011 season, and becoming the seventh NBA coach to record 1,000 career wins on Dec. 10, 2010.
Karl, who is a winner of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance, is actively involved with several cancer-related organizations. He will share his powerful story of survivorship at Coach Williams’ Oct. 12 Fast Break Breakfast.
Tickets are still available for the Fast Break event via unclineberger.org/fastbreakSasser gets a bronze
The four-man team featuring Louis Sasser, who works with the advertising department of the Chapel Hill News and the News Observer, finished third in last week’s Prestonwood Pro-Am.
PGA pro Jim Thorpe led the team along with amateurs Jim Puryear, Jack Simonds, Wickham Simonds and Sasser. They finished two strokes behind the winning team captained by professional Allen Doyle.
Compiled by W.E. Warnock