Area Sports Briefs: Former Wonder, Clemson star dies – Salisbury Post

Area Sports Briefs: Former Wonder, Clemson star dies

Posted at 5:02 am Wed Apr 19, 2023

From staff reports

Tracy Johnson, who starred for AL Brown in the early 1980s and played for the 1984 state runner-up team, has died at 56.

Johnson, who lived in Georgia, was diagnosed with cancer in 2021.

Johnson went on to play fullback for three ACC championship teams at Clemson (1986-88) and was a two-time honorable mention All-America. He played in 46 games for the Tigers, including four bowl games.

Johnson led the ACC in rushing touchdowns in 1987.

He rushed towards 1,579 career yards, scored 23 touchdowns and was credited with 180 knockdown blocks, still a Clemson running back record.

In a 1987 win against North Carolina, Johnson totaled 124 yards on 25 carries and had 11 blocks.

In the 1988 Citrus Bowl, Johnson scored three touchdowns against Penn State, rushing for 88 yards on 18 carries. He was the first Tiger to score three touchdowns in a bowl game.

Johnson went all the way to the 10th round of the 1989 NFL Draft when the Houston Oilers selected him, but he not only made the league, he lasted eight seasons.

Played in 121 NFL games for Oilers, Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks and the Tampa Bay Bucs and scored eight touchdowns. He had 228 total yards rushing and 218 yards receiving.

In a January 1992 playoff game, Johnson scored the Falcons’ only touchdown in a 24-7 loss to the Washington Redskins at RFK Stadium.

HS football

Emily Kelly made 15 saves for West Rowan in a 6-0 loss at Lake Norman Charter on Tuesday.

The Falcons played without Brittany Vanhoose (illness).

HS Golf

The Salisbury golfers have a 29-stroke lead in the Central Carolina Conference standings after four games.

John McCoy and Bryant Davis of Salisbury are in first place in the individual standings.

HS baseball

Salisbury cruised to a 14-3 victory against North Hills on Monday.

The Hornets got two hits apiece from Hank Webb, Cole Price and Landon Tucker. Jackson Sparger drives in two heats.

Tucker pitched two innings and Price three.

HS softball

Davie’s Sydney Dirks, a center fielder bound for Western Carolina, hit her 20th home run to tie the program’s career record.

College basketball

Catawba star guard Lyrik Thorne announced on social media that he plans to return.

Thorne was the Southeast Region Player of the Year and the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year

Thorne has played four seasons, but one of those was the COVID-shortened season for which athletes received a “redshirt” year.

College baseball

Liberty’s Kane Kepley (South Rowan) went 6-for-12 as the Flames went 2-1 in a weekend series with Kennesaw State.

Kepley had two doubles and two RBIs in Saturday’s win.


Methodist’s Jackson Deal (South Rowan) is hitting .352 and has 56 runs in 32 games.

Deal has walked 34 times while striking out 15 times and has 15 steals in 16 attempts.

Deal was 5-for-10 with six runs scored as Methodist won two of three in a weekend series with Southern Virginia.


Southern Wesleyan’s (West Rowan) Payne Stolsworth had another strong start Saturday in a 9-2 win against Greensboro.

Stallsworth (7-0) had 67 strikeouts in 60 innings and was twice named the USA South Pitcher of the Week.


Sam Safrit (Carson) picked up his first college win as Pfeiffer defeated William Peace 7-4 on Sunday.

Little league baseball

The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (5-3) opened their home season Tuesday night against the Charleston River Dogs.

The teams will play a six-game series before taking a break on Monday.


Owen White (Carson) is off to a great start with the Frisco Roughriders.

White has not allowed a hit in 7 2/3 innings. He struck out five while allowing three walks and two hits.

College tennis

The Catawba women are seeded fifth in the South Atlantic Conference tournament and will play the No. 4 seed Anderson on Thursday in Sumter, South Carolina

middle school baseball

Brody Pope went 3-for-3 in West Rowan’s 11-4 win against China Grove.

Cole Ludwick and Connor DiCarlo each had two hits and two RBI.


Corriher-Lipe cruised to a 12-0 victory over Southeast.

Jacob Prevett threw a gem on the mound, throwing five innings of no hit ball while striking out seven.

Prevette, Case Beaver and Blake Hunter had multiple hits.

Caleb Underwood drove in five runs.


Corriher-Lipe won 16-0 vs Knox at Arnold “Fat” Correll Field.

Blake Hunter and Levi Ballard each had three RBIs.

Noah Yow and Dalton Mullis each had two hits runs away Corbin Childers, Brennan Culp, Matthew Hamilton, Nick Washburn and Easton Akers had RBIs.

Hunter, Childers and Yow combined for eight strikeouts and did not allow a hit or walk.


West Rowan scored five runs in the seventh to beat Southeast 15-14.

JR Taylor and Jaden Sanders each drove in four runs for the Bulldogs.

Taylor at home. Luc Bame drives in three heats.

Offer, engage, etc.

West Rowan wrestler Christian Hercules, the 3A heavyweight champion, plans to continue his career at UNC Pembroke.


North Rowan girls basketball star Bailey Goodlett visited Winston-Salem State.


Salisbury linebacker Tyree Brown has committed to Livingston.

Local golf

In the McCanless Couples Captain’s Choice event, the team of JD Kirk, Larry Clifton, Crystal Clement and Susan Wydner edged out the team of Clarence Hobart and Azalee & David Huneycutt for first place.

Heather DePalma-Spivey was closest to the pin.

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