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Baseball

Last week, it looked like the 2A Southwestern Conference would come down to Chase (12-5, 8-5) or East Rutherford (17-2, 11-2), but now R-S Central has shown up on the scene.

R-S Central (13-5, 9-4) would need to beat East Rutherford twice next week (4/30 and 5/3) just to end up with a share of the regular season title. If East gets just one win, they become the No. 1 seed in the league tourney. I feel bad for Chase since they do have a lot of sickness that way that didn't help the chances of winning last week's games. However, the Hilltoppers pitched and defended well enough and continue to pick up some confidence in what is a young team. However, Central could still finish tied for second or third. All Chase can do is hope to capture second and that is possible. South Point has East Gaston twice and I suspect the Red Raiders will handle business and get to 9 conference wins.

Meanwhile, East Rutherford has won six straight conference games and 9 of the last 10 games in general. All three are in Easter Tourney's this week.

Softball

Just like in baseball, Chase (14-3, 11-2) has been the team to beat, but last week, that all changed. R-S Central has surged into the conference lead after upsetting Chase twice last week.

R-S Central (15-6, 12-1) has East Rutherford (10-6, 8-4) on 4/30 and 5/3. Should the Lady Hilltoppers win out, they keep the No. 1 seed and win a regular season conference title for the fourth year in a row.

Chase has Shelby on 4/29 and 5/1 and can finish no worse than second, while East Rutherford will finish third overall in conference play. While East knows that they could play better, you have to admire how well they run the bases. When they likely hit the road in the playoffs, that is at least one thing to scare potential opponent(s) in the postseason.

NFL Draft

The NFL Draft is this week starting April 25th. Kyler Murray seems to be the possible No. 1 pick, but that isn't in stone. I am curious to see how that goes. I don't like to prognosticate here since at the flip of a dime, trading can go on.

Locally, the Panthers also have some dire needs. An edge rusher, a wide receiver, a tight end, offensive lineman, a safety or defensive back, depending on how they wish to use personnel this year, and maybe even a linebacker if for a steal. They have seven picks and I am curious to see what they do.

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