School was back and prep sports were underway heading through the month of September, but we had a homegrown professional soccer player bid farewell on the pitch, along with a shakeup within the Cape Fear Community College Athletics Department.
The brass representing the Wells Fargo Championship also came to town to make an announcement regarding the 2017 PGA Tour sanctioned event, which will be held in Wilmington. Legendary Coach Bobby Bowden stopped in town to speak at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes annual banquet and demolition began at the Hoggard High School baseball complex as fundraising efforts continued to improve what is arguably the worst facility in the area.
There are very few instances when an athlete has a chance to play in front of his home crowd from the time spent growing up through high school ranks to competing at one of the highest levels as a professional.
For Wilmington Hammerheads FC veteran Cody Arnoux, the opportunity to salute the more than 3,000 fans in attendance during his final match proved to be one of the marquee moments in a memorable career as Arnoux announced his retirement prior to the Hammerheads’ season finale at Legion Stadium.
The pitch on Carolina Beach Road is where it all started for Arnoux, with many great experiences from his days as a New Hanover Wildcat when he scored 102 goals and 82 assists on his way to being named 2005 North Carolina High School Player of the Year. His playing time found its final stretch with the Hammerheads beginning in 2012.
Cape Fear Community College announced athletic director Robert McGee was selected to serve as CFCC’s first dean of student affairs, while men’s basketball coach Ryan Mantlo was appointed as the college’s athletic director.
As preparations continue for Wells Fargo Championshp, which is set for May 1-7, 2017, tournament and club officials were at Eagle Point Golf Club in mid-September to set the building blocks for the first PGA Tour-sanctioned competition in the area since 1971.
Tickets went on sale October 12 and can be purchased at www.wellsfargochampionship.com. Tournament officials estimate the 72-hole event will have an estimated $40-60 million impact for the Wilmington area.
Bowden recently released his latest book, “The Wisdom of Faith” and spoke at the annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes fundraiser on the campus of UNCW.