Former Boone standout David Harding is All-America good guy at Duke

Former Boone offensive lineman David Harding is part of AFCA Good Works Team

Former Boone offensive lineman David Harding, 71, is part of the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team. (Sentinel file)

Former Boone offensive lineman David Harding, 71, is part of the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team. (Sentinel file) (December 25, 2013)

Tuesday night's Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta will mark the end of a decorated college football career for Boone alum David Harding at Duke.

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound redshirt senior guard has made 30 consecutive starts for the Blue Devils (10-3), who will face Texas A&M (8-4) at 8 p.m. (ESPN).

But what he should be remembered for most didn't happen in the trenches. Harding has done community service projects and missionary work in Durham, N.C., and as far away as Ethiopia while playing college ball. He was one of 11 players selected to the American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, based on selfless service and character.

"You can't be more proud of a person. Forget the player, you couldn't be any more proud of a person than we are of David Harding," Duke coach David Cutcliffe told the Durham Herald-Sun.

Harding graduated in May with a degree in public policy and turned his attention to pursuing a political-science graduate degree. He gets my vote to be one of our nation's bright young leaders.

Rickman returns

Former Boone and Pine Castle Christian boys basketball coach Mark Rickman will return to his hometown as a visiting coach for Bishop Moore's Jim Clark Classic. His Fellowship Christian team from Roswell, Ga., will bring a 7-3 record to Orlando.

The Paladins will open against Kissimmee Poinciana (10-2) in a 5 p.m. quarterfinal Friday.

Rickman led Boone to state runner-up finishes in 2001 and 2002 and won a 2007 Class 1A state championship at Pine Castle.

His son, Roger, is a senior standout for Fellowship.

Knockout event

Kissimmee Osceola's Knockout Christmas Classic on Friday and Saturday has 10 wrestling teams ranked in the top 10 of their class. That includes No. 1 3A Homestead South Dade, which rallied to beat No. 2 Osceola 35-33 in a dual-match showdown in Dade County last weekend.

That clash came down to the final bout. Osceola's event is a bracket tournament, with weight-class finals tentatively set to start at 6 Saturday night.

The field includes three-time reigning state 2A champ Spring Hill Springstead, two-time reigning state 1A champ Lake Highland Prep, Winter Springs and a host of other top teams from Florida, Georgia and Virginia.

Winter Springs outscored Lake Highland 245.5 to 208.5 to win last week's Bill Scott Holiday Tournament at Lyman.

Basketball bits

Trinity Prep, off to a 13-1 start in its third boys basketball season under accomplished coach David Davis, will test itself against bigger schools at Seminole's Arrow Force Holiday Classic. Play will start Thursday.

No. 1 8A Evans (10-2), Port Orange Spruce Creek (10-4) and Deltona (10-3) will go to Ocala Vanguard's 16-team Kingdom of the Sun tournament Friday through Monday. The Florida High School Athletic Association granted approval for semifinals to be played on Sunday.

Kissimmee's storied Great Florida Shootout scales back to eight teams, all from Florida, and returns to a high-school setting at Osceola. The Kissimmee Rotary Club dropped its ownership of the Jan. 2-4 event, but some members still are assisting. Osceola coach Nate Alexander said he is committed to maintaining the tradition. Visiting teams include Windermere Prep (8-3) and Kissimmee Gateway (7-4).

Boone's Metro Orlando vs. Polk County Shootout is Jan. 4. Six Metro Conference teams, including Super 16 squads Evans, Wekiva, Dr. Phillips and Winter Park, are matched against Polk teams.

Dr. Phillips, Jones and Ocoee each are hosting two simultaneous eight-team girls basketball tournaments Thursday through Saturday as part of the Florida Prospects Christmas Holiday Tournament. Jones (11-1) has won 11 straight since losing its opener to Colonial and is No. 1 in the Super 16.

Florida Gulf Coast (6-7), darling of the 2013 NCAA men's basketball tournament, will play Stetson in DeLand on Sunday, Jan. 5, at 1 p.m. Winter Park grad Brett Comer leads the Eagles in points (14.5) and assists (5.5) per game. Freshman forward Logan Hovey has been sidelined by injury but was cleared recently to practice for FGCU.

bcollings@tribune.com

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