- One of the byproducts of the N.C.
General Assembly’s meddling in the rules of the state high school
athletics association is already beginning to show, and it’s not
one of its actions earlier, the legislature forced the N.C. High School
Athletic Association to cut the penalty for being ejected from a contest
for fighting from missing two games down to one.
Sept. 14 of this season, ejections have shown a sharp increase. A total
of 156 athletes and seven coaches have been ejected from high school
number of fighting ejections tops the list with 67, all athletes.
- I don’t normally write about
middle school athletics, but today I’m taking a brief departure
from that to recognize longtime Mac Williams coach Mike Bieniek, who
is stepping down after nearly 30 years as a teacher and coach.
has raised in quite the athletic family to go with his years at Mac
Williams. His daughter Brooke Bieniek was an state doubles tennis
champion for Cape Fear, and his younger daughter Shea is a current
member of the team.
- It’s a little difficult these
days to report on changes being announced by the NCHSAA because of
the fear it will do something the state legislature doesn’t like
and it will get banned a few days later.
that vein, I’ll still report the announcement made during regional
meetings this week of changes coming to some NCHSAA sports during the
coming school year.
wrestling is now a full-fledged state championship sport. Regionals for
the ladies will be Feb. 2-3, 2024, with regionals set for the Mideast,
Midwest, West and East. Jack Britt High School could be a candidate for
the Mideast Regional.
state championship will be held in conjunction with the men’s
wrestling finals. Women’s wrestling will join 1-A, 2-A, 3-A and 4-A
boys at the Greensboro Coliseum Feb. 15-17.
- After a lot of complaints about
the sites that were used last year and some fans being turned away,
the regional and state basketball finals are undergoing a major
tentative plan is to hold the regional finals and state championship the
week of March 11-16. There will be four games a day for regionals Monday
through Thursday. State finals will be held on Friday and Saturday.
will require some games during the school day, something many other
states are already doing.
was noted the state of Georgia plays its state football championship
games at 10 a.m.
probable site for the regionals and state finals is Lawrence Joel
Coliseum in Winston-Salem.
- The shot clock remains a concern
for a lot of coaches, but an NCHSAA ad hoc committee will present a
report in December that says it’s unlikely the state will add the
clock in basketball.
20 states are using the shot clock now, a number that will rise to 27 by
main problem remains cost, which is an average of $5,000 per school.
There are other issues to consider, like having to tear up the gym floor
to install the wiring, along with connecting the shot clock to an
existing clock. That problem is complicated if the current clock in a
school is older than 2018.
challenge is training someone to operate the clock and paying them.
the shot clock is ever approved, it will be phased in over a multiyear
- Congratulations to a pair of
longtime Cumberland County high school baseball coaches, Terry
Sanford head coach Sam Guy and Cape Fear assistant coach Chris Hall.
voting conducted recently by the N.C. Baseball Coaches Association, Guy
shared the Region 4 Coach of the Year honors with Coach Bill Kennedy of
North Moore High School.
was named the winner of the Region 4 Assistant Coach of the Year award.
- Congratulations to the Cape Fear
football team, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary of
taking part in a highway cleanup program.
to a story by Kamari Faison of the Cape Fear News Network, members of
the football team have been cleaning the road near the high school at
least twice a year every year since 2013. They do one cleanup during the
team’s bye week and a second during the final week of the spring
Vander Fire Department also pitches in to escort the team during the
cleanup. The team has been previously recognized for its work by the
N.C. Department of Transportation and Gov. Roy Cooper.
- Congratulations to Cape Fear
golfer Kate Wilson, who shot a 91 to take medalist honors in the
weekly United 8 Conference golf tournament held at Gates Four Golf
and Country Club.
two weeks of the season, Wilson leads the conference with a nine-hole
stroke average of 46.0. Also under 50 strokes for the season from
Cumberland County is her teammate Alex Serbio with 48.7.
- Congratulations to a pair of Terry
Sanford High School golfers, Ethan Paschal and Thomas Horne.
competed in the U.S. Amateur at famed Cherry Hills Country Club in
qualified for the Round of 64 by shooting 3 under par, including a round
of five under the final day. He tied for 17th place in stroke play.
the Round of 64, he fell 6 and 4 to Connor Gaunt.
announced his commitment to play golf for Georgia Southern. The Eagles
have won 10 conference titles and made 21 appearances in the NCAA
tied for sixth in the state 3-A finals won by Terry Sanford. He shot
- The N.C. High School Tennis
Coaches Association released its preseason women’s state 3-A poll
this week, and both Terry Sanford and Cape Fear are ranked.
Bulldogs hold the No. 2 position in the first poll while the two-time
defending 3-A dual team champion Colts are No. 4.
teams are in different conferences and are not scheduled to meet in the
- High school football returns to
radio coverage tonight with three stations scheduled to have live
teams, E.E. Smith and Terry Sanford, will have crews that will call all
their varsity games.
Smith, it will be WIDU, 1600 AM, with the main voices being Glenn Adams
and Jimmy Harvey.
Edge and Mark Heil will again call Terry Sanford games on WFNC, 640 AM.
the Mid-South Sports crew including Charles Koonce, Steve Driggers and
Chris Koonce will continue their game-of-the-week format, broadcasting
various county games on Sunny 94.3 FM.
- Chris Rey was a track star at Pine
Forest and East Carolina before tragedy struck his family, forcing a
detour in his education that led him to an Army career and,
eventually, a law degree from William & Mary.
has been involved in a number of business ventures since finishing his
education. He took a swing at politics with terms as mayor of Spring
Lake and a run for the U.S. Senate from North Carolina. But recently, he
accepted what might be the biggest challenge of his life.
will become president of Barber-Scotia College in Concord.
school has a rich history, ranking as the second-oldest historically
Black college in the state behind Shaw University. It is the 17th-oldest
historically black college in the nation.
school has distinguished alumni, most notable among them Mary McLeod
Bethune, famed educator and adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt.
the school fell on hard times in 2004 when the Southern Association of
Colleges and Schools stripped its accreditation, accusing it of awarding
degrees to some students who had not fulfilled the proper requirements.
then, the college has fallen in debt. Although the situation might
appear hopeless to many, Rey said it is an opportunity he felt compelled
to take on.
believed it would be a disservice not to at least try,” he said.
“These types of institutions have provided a way of life for many
folks, specifically in the African-American community.
create an ecosystem that helps not just Black folks, Brown folks, white
folks; it just creates a more equal system that really helps individuals
find their path and their way.”
of Rey’s biggest mentors was the late Congressman John Lewis, who was
at the forefront of the civil rights movement and a close associate of
Martin Luther King Jr.
campaigned for Rey during his runs for mayor of Spring Lake.
Lewis passed away, Rey said, he passed the baton to him and gave him a
charge to do his part for his generation and the world.
visited Barber-Scotia while he was at East Carolina.
going to use my talents and my national and international network to
save this college,” he said. “I know it’s a big mountain. But
mountains are made to climb.”
has already kicked off a fundraising campaign for the school and plans
to expand its curriculum to offer study in what he calls niche programs
like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and the many applications
for using airborne drones.
big selling point for now is how affordable an education at
Barber-Scotia is, costing only $12,000 in tuition for four years.
is reaching out to companies, individuals and nonprofit organizations to
establish 300 scholarships he can offer to prospective students.
will allow me to recruit people to come here,” Rey said.
promise to them will be that while Barber-Scotia is not accredited now,
it will be within the four years it will take them to graduate.
want to be that institution that provides that opportunity for those
individuals in areas of learning that other institutions aren’t
focused on,” he said.
admits he doesn’t yet have all the answers to what some of those
degree programs will look like, but he hopes the affordability of the
school will set Barber-Scotia apart.
going to be one of the things that will make us an option for a lot of
folks,” he said.
- I was deeply saddened to hear of
the passing of Ray Williams, who starred at Reid Ross High School
and went on to an outstanding career at Clemson University.
played on one of the best Reid Ross football teams in 1981, leading the
Cougars to the short-lived NCHSAA Division II 4-A title with a 21-7 win
over High Point Central in the championship game.
was a rare two-sport athlete in college, playing football and baseball
for the Tigers. His name is still in the Clemson record books in both
sports. He is sixth all-time in kickoff return yards and sixth in stolen
bases. In 2013, he was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame.
long battle with diabetes led Williams to undergo a liver transplant. He
eventually had his right leg amputated.
devoted the final years of his life to recruiting 1,000 people to become
registered organ donors.
support his efforts and register as a donor, go to RegisterMe.org/RayWilliams.
- Congratulations to Terry
Sanford’s Zoe Dorsey, who took home a national championship in the
recent National Junior Olympics in Eugene, Oregon.
won the 800-meter run for girls in the 15-16 class, running for the
Fayetteville Flyers. She posted a time of 2:09.10.
also took fourth place in the girls 15-16 400-meter dash with a time of
- Lillian Cross of Gray’s Creek
High School has been selected to serve as a representative of Region
4 on the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s Student-Athlete
is a cheerleader and soccer player for the Bears. She is also active in
student government and works with younger cheerleaders and a local
nonprofit charitable organization.
CityView colleague, Jami McLaughlin,
reported earlier this week that the Spring Lake Board of Aldermen
voted to name Woodland West Park after my dear departed friend Rex
spent years working as a coach at Spring Lake and later with student
activities at Fayetteville Technical Community College. He was also a
standout football player at Pine Forest High School.
that, Perry was a kind-hearted soul who never met an enemy and was a
great friend to me during my days at The Fayetteville Observer.
old friend, on a well-deserved honor.
- Tucked between the sessions at
this week’s N.C. Coaches Association meeting dealing with
offensive strategies and how to run practice was an important
session on eating disorders presented by Rachael Steil.
is the author of the book “Running in Silence” and came to share
with the coaches her experience with an often overlooked problem in high
has been a runner since the age of 5 but developed an eating disorder in
college. At first, she thought she was just displaying discipline and
power, until the problem began to take over all aspects of her life. Her
only concern became running faster, and it left her battling a host of
years into college, she shared her story on her website, runninginsilence.org.
book was published in 2016. In it, she details her personal story,
including her battles with losing weight and binge eating.
details how her problem affected her relationships and what the recovery
process was like. She tells the story from the perspective of an
the book was published, she took on speaking engagements and realized
other athletes needed to hear her story.
said most people who have eating disorders don’t know it, and there
isn’t much guidance available for coaches to offer help to their
athletes who suffer from disorders.
noted many schools have mandatory concussion training for coaches, which
she fully supports, but that there’s no guidance on eating disorders.
affect 10% of athletes, which is a high number,’’ she said. “Yet
13.5% have eating disorders.”
more she got into coaching, the more Steil realized coaches need to know
what to do about eating disorders and how to find helpful resources in
statistics show runners have a higher risk for eating disorders than
most athletes, Steil said about one in eight athletes will struggle with
had soccer players reach out to me, long jumpers, basketball players,”
the book focuses on Steil’s story, she prompts all coaches and
athletes who read it with questions at the end of each chapter on how to
apply what they’ve read in their own lives.
stresses the three R’s of eating disorders: recognizing, receiving
help and recovery.
book helps advise coaches how they can support their athletes and help
prevent eating disorders without going outside their lane of expertise.
more information on Steil’s work and her book, visit her website, runninginsilence.org.
- Fayetteville will continue to have
a presence at the East-West All-Star football game when it moves to
December for the first time later this year.
Sanford coach Bruce McClelland was an East All-Star assistant this week
as the East team scored a 14-0 win over the West.
December, Pine Forest head coach Bill Sochovka and Terry Sanford
assistant coach Jeff Morehead will serve on the coaching staff for the
N.C. Coaches Association moved the game to December at the request of
football coaches who feel it will allow more of the best players to be
available for the game.
the East-West game was held in mid-July as part of the N.C. Coaches
Association Clinic in Greensboro. But when colleges began getting
football recruits to enroll in summer school immediately after
graduating from high school, it cut down on the number of star players
available for the All-Star game.
new December date will put the East-West game in competition for the
annual Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas for players, but the football
coaches seem to feel the pool to pick from will be larger in December
since most players will still be in high school.
- The All American and United 8
conferences announced the winners of their respective Wells Fargo
Cups this week. The award is presented annually to the conference
school with the best overall sports program based on points awarded
for order of finish in each of the officially recognized conference
winners were Terry Sanford in the All American and Cape Fear in the
Sanford survived a tough battle with second-place Harnett Central,
winning with 605.5 points to 602.5 for Harnett Central.
Bulldogs were boosted by conference titles in boys soccer, girls tennis,
baseball, girls soccer, boys tennis and boys golf.
season point totals in the conference were Pine Forest, 585; Overhills
and Triton, 555; Western Harnett, 507.5; E.E. Smith, 350; and Westover,
Fear scored a 25-point win over second-place Jack Britt, 905-880.
Colts took championships in volleyball, girls tennis, girls golf, girls
basketball, boys and girls swimming, baseball, softball, girls soccer,
boys tennis and boys golf.
season point totals were Gray’s Creek, 795; Lumberton, 720; Purnell
Swett, 610; South View, 555; Seventy-First, 420; and Douglas Byrd, 250.
- The schedule has been set for the
annual Cumberland County Football Jamboree. It will be held Friday,
Aug. 11, with scrimmages at E.E. Smith and Douglas Byrd High
schedule at E.E. Smith is as follows:
- 5 p.m.: Gray’s Creek vs. Hoke.
- 6 p.m.: Jack Britt vs. Apex
- 7 p.m.: Terry Sanford vs. Hoke.
- 8 p.m.: Westover vs. Purnell Swett.
- 9 p.m.: E.E. Smith vs. St. Pauls.
schedule at Douglas Byrd is:
- 5 p.m.: South View vs. Triton.
- 6 p.m.: Pine Forest vs. Richmond
- 7 p.m.: Cape Fear vs. Durham
- 8 p.m.: Seventy-First vs. Panther
- 9 p.m.: Douglas Byrd vs.
- Terry Sanford golfer Ethan Paschal
won a berth in the U.S. Amateur, scheduled Aug. 14-20 at Cherry
Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills, Colorado.
at Dataw Island Club’s Cotton Dike course earlier this week, Paschal
earned one of five available qualifying spots by shooting a
tied for third place in the final scores with rounds of 70 and 67,
finishing three shots behind the co-leaders.
- Former Terry Sanford and Duke
football product Mark Gilbert may be returning to the National
Football League sooner rather than later.
Saturday, Gilbert will wrap up an impressive debut with the Pittsburgh
Maulers of the USFL by playing in the league’s nationally televised
championship game at 8 p.m. on NBC.
Maulers, 4-6 in the regular season, will take on the Birmingham
Stallions, coached by Skip Holtz, in the title game. Birmingham is the
defending USFL champion and went 8-2 in the regular season.
to stories written recently by Alex Kozora of Steelers Depot and Alan
Saunders of Steelers Now, Gilbert has enhanced his stock considerably
with his play for the Maulers and could be reunited with the Steelers
when training camp begins later in July.
is the cousin of former New York Jet great Darrelle Revis. Gilbert was
slowed by injuries in his years at Duke but managed to land a spot on
the Pittsburgh Steelers practice squad in 2021.
eventually made the Detroit Lions roster and played eight games for the
Lions, but he wound up playing for the Maulers in the USFL this season.
Gilbert led the USFL in interceptions with four and was chosen All-USFL
in his first season in the league.
USFL title game will be played on the same field Gilbert played for the
Maulers, Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The stadium is
next door to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
- It’s been 30 years ago this
month since South View High School won Cumberland County’s last
state 4-A slow-pitch softball championship.
N.C. High School Athletic Association was beginning to phase out
slow-pitch in the early 1990s in favor of fast-pitch, which was more
popular nationally and took over completely in the late 1990s.
on by the motto “Heart makes it happen” from a hit song by the late
Kenny Rogers, Coach Eddie Dees’ Tigers surged to a 27-1 record, the
only defeat coming in the 13th game of the season by a 12-10 score at
home to perennial 4-A power Richmond Senior.
Tigers got a break in the state playoffs, playing all but one postseason
game at home, including the best-of-three title series with Hickory.
closest postseason win was 5-4 over Hickory in the first game of the
state finals. Yexenia Ugarte, MVP of the title series, was a defensive
whiz against Hickory. Kim Johnson crushed a game-winning solo homer in
next day, the Tigers exploded for six runs in their first at bat and
cruised to a 10-4 win and the title.
Marsh, starting outfielder and a sophomore that year, said the whole
season was amazing.
we stepped on the field, it was like we were in our own little
bubble,” she said. “We had this bond of a love for the game, a love
for each other.”
the middle of it all was Dees, part coach, part philosopher, all
was also a gifted communicator.
you got tagged out running to third when he told you not to run, he’d
turn his hat sideways and make this funny face,” Marsh said. “You
knew without him screaming at you that’s not something you would do
said she still remembers teammate Heather Dawson making the catch for
the final out that sealed the win, followed by celebrating with her in
were a bunch of girls full of heart, and we knew what we wanted to
do,” Marsh said. “We just wanted to do what Mr. Dees taught us to
stars recognized on All-State baseball team
number of Cumberland County high school baseball players were honored
this week by the N.C. Baseball Coaches Association.
were named to the 3-A All-State team. They are Ethan Nobles and Josh
Mozingo of Terry Sanford and Mason Hughes of Cape Fear.
honored was Pine Forest’s Isaiah Pinero, who was chosen NC tip BCA
All-Region 3 and 4 team.
Sanford golf team ranked No. 1 in state
- Terry Sanford’s 3-A state
champion boys’ golf team continued to add to its winning haul by
being ranked No. 1 in the final HighSchoolOT statewide golf poll.
Bulldogs were rated ahead of 4-A champion Pinecrest (No. 6), 2-A
champion East Surry (No. 2), 1-A champion Mitchell (unranked), NCISAA
Division I champion Charlotte Latin (No. 5), Division II champion
Greensboro Day (unranked) and Division III champion Gaston Day (No. 3).
Sanford High School interim Principal Rhonda Hill, at the school’s
graduation exercises, was proclaimed Teacher of the Year Steven Barbour.
Smith Hall of Fame
Smith High School recently held the induction ceremony for the second
class of members in the school’s sports hall of fame. The induction
was at the Crown Coliseum Complex.
a capsule look at the members who were added:
Askew: Teacher and coach from 1963-81. Won a state title in girls track
A. Black: Football and men’s and women’s basketball coach from
1929-40. His 1939 men were runners-up in the National Black High School
Butts: Head football coach for 15 years. Led team to six state playoffs
runs, two conference titles and two 4-A Eastern finals
Vaughn Battle: Lettered in three sports. Played college basketball at
Winston-Salem State and Fayetteville State universities.
Brickey: Named North Carolina’s Mr. Basketball in 1986. Earned
scholarship to Duke and helped the Blue Devils to three Final Fours and
one NCAA championship game.
Cole: All-State and Shrine Bowl running back. All-CIAA at Johnson C.
Cole: All-State running back.
Cole: Lettered in three sports. Star running back and leading scorer on
basketball team. Batted .375 as a senior.
Cole: Lettered in three sports. All-State running back. All-State
sprinter and long jumper.
Toomer Council: Restarted girls basketball in 1946. Organized the first
program for exceptional children and was the first principal of
Galbreath: All-State in football and basketball. Four-time All-CIAA in
football at North Carolina College. Had distinguished career in Canadian
W. Hill: All-Conference in volleyball, basketball and track. Star
basketball player at North Carolina A&T State.
Hughley: All-State football and East-West All-Star game selection.
Football standout at Hampton University.
Dobbins Johnson: Standout in basketball and track. Basketball
scholarship to North Carolina A&T State. Three-year starter there.
Maynor: Three-year letterman, football and basketball. MEAC offensive
player of the year twice at North Carolina A&T State. Won two CIAA
championships as head football coach at Winston-Salem State. Played 12
seasons of Arena Football.
McNeill: Started in three sports. Played basketball and baseball at
Fayetteville State. Two-time All-CIAA in baseball.
Wallace: Twice school athlete of year. Four-time All-State wrestler.
Stone: Three-year letterman in football, basketball and baseball. Led
1968 football team to state title. Football star at North Carolina
Central. Led MEAC in passing and total offense in 1973.
Earl Williams: All-State in football and baseball. Earned football
scholarship to North Carolina A&T.
Williams: Four-time school female athlete of the year. State triple jump
and 100 meter hurdles champion. Track standout at South Carolina State.
Major Williams: Earned letters in three sports. Team MVP in three
sports. Earned track scholarship to East Carolina. Four-time conference
track coach of the year.
honored were the following teams: 1939 men’s black basketball
tournament finalists and men’s 1950 state basketball champions.
- Seventy-First, which is already
ranked No. 1 in the state 3-A classification in at least one
preseason high school football poll, got some bad news this week
when standout running back Anthony Quinn Jr. announced he plans to
transfer to Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in northeast Georgia. The
school is about a two-hour drive from Atlanta.
Gap is a private boarding school that is a member of the N.C.
Independent Schools Athletic Association.
by Quinn, Seventy-First was 14-1 last year, only losing 23-22 to
Northern Nash in the 3-A East Regional finals.
rushed for 2,450 yards, averaging 8.78 yards per carry while scoring 29
- Cape Fear High School girls tennis
coach Chris Lucas has decided to step down to spend more time with
took over the Cape Fear girls program in 2015 and guided the Colts to
state 3-A team titles in 2021 and 2022. The doubles team of Brooke
Bieniek and Anna Piland won the 3-A state title in 2021.
a statement posted on social media, Lucas said his goal is to work with
boys tennis coach Lee Osbourne to grow the sport by making elite tennis
accessible for all the students in the area and to encourage the players
to have high expectations for themselves and their teammates.
a tribute she posted on social media, Piland wrote, “Thank you for
being the coach that inspired us to dream big and gave us the confidence
to succeed and give it all on the courts.”
- Westover High School’s versatile
quarterback Joshua Jones, who is now an incoming freshman on the
football team at North Carolina Central University, drew quite a bit
of interest from colleges during the recruiting process.
been reported by Cumberland County Schools that Jones received 10 bona
fide scholarship offers with a total value of $3,130,115.
- I rarely write about middle school
athletics, because I agree with the policy adopted long ago by
county school officials that middle school athletics focuses on the
development of the student academically, athletically and socially
while avoiding emphasis on individual athletic achievement. I’m
making an exception to share news about the accomplishments of the
Mac Williams Middle School baseball team coached by Mike Bieniek.
Mustangs finished the 2023 season with a 12-0 record, but that’s just
part of their accomplishment. Their closest game was a 6-0 win over John
Griffin Middle School. They scored in double digits 10 of the 12 games.
allowed one unearned run, the only run they gave up, to Gray’s Creek
Middle School. In 72 innings, their pitchers recorded 123 strikeouts
with just 10 walks.
hitters were Luke Clevidence at .652, Brycen Talley at .615 and Landon
Underwood at .611. Logan Rayburn was 6-0 with 42 strikeouts in 21
innings. Bryce West was 3-0. The team’s ERA was zero and they allowed
seven hits for the year. The defense committed three errors.
and the two-year record at Mac Williams is 23-0.
- Freedom Christian will play for
the NCISAA 2-A state softball championship today and Saturday at the
University of Mount Olive.
seeded No. 2 in the seven-team field, faces top-seeded Wayne Christian
School. Wayne is 18-7, and Freedom is 12-8. Today’s game is at 6 p.m.
with the second game at 3 p.m. Saturday. A deciding third game will
follow if needed.
- In other NCISAA playoffs,
Fayetteville Academy’s girls lacrosse team plays Asheville School
for the Division II championship at noon Saturday in Asheville. The
Eagles are the No. 2 seed with a 17-1 record while Asheville is No.
1 at 11-2.
- Congratulations to E.E. Smith’s
Keashiana Murphy and Seventy-First’s Jared Davis. They have been
chosen for the N.C. Coaches Association East All-Star girls and boys
basketball teams, respectively, for this summer’s annual East-West
All-Star basketball games at Greensboro Coliseum. The doubleheader
is scheduled for July 17.
- Best wishes for a speedy recovery
to former Terry Sanford baseball standout Austin Warren. Warren, who
was recently promoted from Triple A Salt Lake to the Los Angeles
Angels, underwent successful Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm
Wednesday in Dallas.
Keith Meister, who is the team orthopedic surgeon for the Texas Rangers,
performed the surgery. He has previously operated on other Angels
pitchers. Warren is expected to miss the rest of the season recovering
from the operation.
- Good luck to the multiple
Cumberland County athletes who will be heading to the state 3-A and
4-A track meets this weekend. The 3-A meet begins this morning, and
the 4-A meet begins Saturday. Both will be held at North Carolina
A&T State in Greensboro. Among the numerous county qualifiers
for events, the following were event winners in regional competition
- South View: 4x100 and 4x200 meter
- Gray’s Creek: Chris Mulder,
- E. Smith: Zahir McPhail, shot put.
- Jack Britt: JaMeesia Ford, 100,
200 and 400 meters (defending state champion in 400).
- E. Smith: Charity Stroud, high
jump; Janna Tupuola, shot put; 4x400 relay.
- Terry Sanford: Zoe Dorsey, 400,
- Cape Fear: Futoria Harris, 100
to NCRunners.com, Terry Sanford’s Dorsey has the best time in the 3-A
400 meters this year. JaMeesia Ford of Britt has the top time in the 4-A
- Congratulations to Seventy-First
High School multisport athlete A’jaylah Yates, who was named this
week to the East-West All-Star games as a member of the East girls
year’s game is scheduled for July 18 at Macpherson Stadium in Bryan
Park near Greensboro.
- Best wishes to Terry Sanford’s
Drew Hedgecoe and Jayden Pham as they take part in the state 3-A
boys state tennis championships today and Saturday at Burlington
is the No. 1 seed from the Mideast Regional and faces Julian Stolevski
of West Henderson in today’s first round. Pham was the No. 4 regional
seed and plays Drake Gallian of West Henderson.
- Eric Finley announced on social
media this week that he is stepping down as lacrosse coach at Cape
Fear High School.
boys team finished 11-8 this season, losing to Carrboro 17-3 in the
second round of the 3-A state playoffs.
Karl Molnar announced the field this week for the annual MLK Dream Jam
school boys’ teams include Terry Sanford, E.E. Smith, Gray’s Creek,
Pine Forest, South View, Westover, Overhills and Douglas Byrd.
schools include Trinity Christian, Fayetteville Academy, Berean Baptist,
New Life, Wayne Country Day, Northwood Temple, Fayetteville Christian
and Freedom Christian.
school girls teams include Terry Sanford, Pine Forest and Richmond
Senior. Private schools are Trinity Christian, Wayne Country Day and
Cape Fear Christian.
will be announced later.
- I was deeply saddened at the news
of the passing of Sandy Wilson. His funeral was held Wednesday.
was no bigger supporter of Douglas Byrd High School athletics,
especially during the school’s football heyday under the late Bob
was a regular along the Byrd sidelines every Friday night cheering them
on. Prayers are offered for his family and many fellow Eagle friends and
- Seventy-First High School soccer
standout A’jaylah Yates has been named a National Player of the
Week from North Carolina by the United Soccer Coaches and MaxPreps.
was previously recognized as a CityView Athlete of the Week.
currently leads the United Eight Conference in scoring with 35 goals and
Terry Sanford won its Easter baseball tournament, defeating East Bladen
12-9 in the championship game.
Nobles was named tournament MVP. He was 4-for-7 with a pair of doubles.
Bulldogs earlier beat Midway 4-0 and Pinecrest 6-5.
are 17-2 overall and 10-0 in the All American Conference.
have a nonconference game at home with Lee County on Saturday, then wrap
up the conference regular season with four games, home and away meetings
with both Pine Forest and Westover.• Douglas Byrd High School is
hosting a wrestling tournament for boys and girls of all ages on April
NCAA champion Austin O’Connor of the University of North Carolina will
be at the tournament. There will be Greco, freestyle and folkstyle
competition. One style is $25, two is $30 and three is $35.
register, visit the Douglas Byrd wrestling page on Facebook and scan the
QR code displayed on the page.
- The deadline is 4 p.m. today,
April 14, for member schools in the N.C. High School Athletic
Association to vote on a proposed amendment that would allow the
association to change the number of school classifications from the
traditional four to as many as seven.
least 75% of the more than 400 member schools in the association must
cast a ballot for the vote to be valid.
- If you have concerns about the
pending bill in the North Carolina legislature that would basically
strip the N.C. High School Athletic Association of its power to
oversee high school sports in the state and leave it in the hands of
elected officials, here are the email addresses of members of the
Cumberland County legislative delegation.
of them, Sen. Tom McInnis, is a primary sponsor of the bill.
addresses are as follows: Charles.Smith@ncleg.gov, Diane.Wheatley@ncleg.gov, Val.Applewhite@ncleg.gov, Marvin.Lucas@ncleg.gov and Tom.McInnis@ncleg.gov.
- The score is Weather Forecast 1,
Terry Sanford baseball 0.
seeing grim forecasts for rain this weekend, Bulldog baseball coach Sam
Guy finally made the tough decision to move the annual Bulldog Easter
tournament to Monday through Wednesday, April 11-12.
usual, this year’s tournament will feature some solid competition,
with multiple teams in the field ranked in various statewide and
regional high school baseball polls.
games include South View vs. Pinecrest at 10 a.m., Terry Sanford vs.
Midway at 1 p.m., Richmond Senior vs. Wayne Country Day at 4 p.m., and
East Bladen vs. Western Harnett at 7 p.m.
Tuesday, the losers of the first two games meet at 10 a.m.; losers of
the second two games play at 1 p.m.; the first two winners battle at 4
p.m.; and the second pair of winners meets at 7 p.m.
games will be at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday, with the third-place game
at 4 p.m. and championship game at 7 p.m.
said he’s tried to match the teams up as best as possible to avoid
mismatches and also to keep teams in the same conference from facing
each other until the championship game if possible.
the most part, I think we do a good job to provide good baseball games
for fans,’’ he said. “Our concession stand is awesome.’’
said next year, he’s considering a family-oriented fundraiser one day
to invite parents and children to the field to enjoy the concession
stand while offering children a chance to play catch or run the bases.
helps our booster club and our team,’’ Guy says of the tournament.
“That’s what it’s all about from a fan perspective: enjoying the
- After serving in a variety of
roles, Pine Forest’s David May is returning to his old job as the
school’s head boys basketball coach.
stepping down seven years ago, May spent some time coaching the Pine
Forest girls, and for the past four years he has served as an assistant
coach for Jimmy Peaden.
has decided to step down to spend more time with his family, opening the
door for May to take the job again.
principal and the athletic director asked if I would do it,’’ May
said. “I started thinking about it and said, ‘Let’s give it
another shot.’ Here I am.’’
comes to the job with eyes wide open and realizes some things have
changed since his last stint as head coach.
have to do the best we can with what we’ve got,’’ May said.
“Hopefully the kids will want to stay. It’s a challenge. You never
know what’s going to come in and what’s going to go out.’’
doesn’t think the success of a team has any major influence on a
player’s decision to go to another school. “I think it has to do
with kids seeing opportunities,’’ he said. “The system one school
runs might be better for them than the other. Parents get upset about
playing time. It could be a whole bunch of stuff.’’
feels Peaden left the Trojan program on solid ground and thinks the
future is bright.
Forest is going to be Pine Forest,’’ he said. “I think we’re one
of the better programs in the county.’’
said he adjusts to the situation but keeps a core of things he likes to
do as a coach. “I’m excited about it,’’ he said. “We’ll see
- The N.C.
Athletic Directors Association held its annual gathering earlier
this week in Wilmington.
Culbreth, student activities director for Cumberland County Schools and
a newly appointed member of the association’s board of directors, said
a reminder about an important upcoming vote on the bylaws of the N.C.
High School Athletic Association was a major topic at the meeting.
of the member schools in the NCHSAA gets one vote, to be cast by the
school’s principal, on making a major change in the bylaws of the
policy divides member schools into four classifications based largely on
daily enrollment but also incorporating other factors.
proposed bylaw change could create as many as seven or eight classes,
each with a maximum of 64 schools per class. What class you fall in
would be determined by the average daily enrollment at each school and
said the importance in each school voting for the change was stressed.
At least 75% of the schools must respond for the vote to be valid.
addition to discussing the proposed bylaw change, the athletic directors
handed out several awards to their members and a number of the winners
were from Cumberland County.
Athletic Director Troy Lindsey, now serving at Gray’s Creek, was
honored with induction into the NCADA Hall of Fame. Lindsey also serves
on the board of directors of the NCHSAA.
major honor went to former Cumberland County Schools Student Activities
Director Vernon Aldridge, who was presented with a Lifetime Achievement
Terry Sanford principal and county schools Superintendent William
Harrison received a distinguished service award. Jack Britt Athletic
Director Tracie Taylor earned a citation award.
- E.E. Smith girls basketball
standout Skylar White recently competed in the Brunswick 910
All-Star game at South Brunswick High School. She helped lead her
team to a 56-45 win. White scored 12 points and had five assists,
five steals, three rebounds and two blocks.
- Two Cumberland County basketball
standouts, Terry Sanford’s Miya
Giles-Jones and South View’s Naveah
Colon, took part in the 4BB Classic, two all-star
basketball games held at Charlotte’s Independence High School last
played in the Unsigned Senior Game, and Giles-Jones played in the
All-Star Classic. Colon scored 4 points in helping lead the Purple
Unsigned Senior team to a 74-56 win over the White team.
scored 7 points for the All-Star Purple team, which fell to the White
Angel of Cape Fear has been named to the
All-State basketball first team selected by the N.C. Basketball
led the United 8 Conference in scoring with 29.3 points per game. She
was named Player of the Year in the United 8.
The annual Fayetteville Sports Club Hall of Fame induction banquet will
be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, at Highland Country Club.
year’s inductees include basketball player Courtney Willis Colborne,
soccer player Rachel Yepez Rogers, basketball player LaToya Pringle
Sanders, basketball player Kenny Wilson, distance runner Marsha Kouba
and football coach Gary Weller.
are $65 each and can be purchased by contacting Ashley Petroski at
910-323-9195 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
continue the tradition of the annual banquet, the club is offering the
general public the opportunity to become Friends of the Sports Club. For
a fee of $100, individuals will receive one ticket to this year’s or
next year’s banquet and be recognized individually or corporately
during the banquet.
- The Carolinas Classic All-Star
basketball games will be held Saturday, March 25, at John T. Hoggard
High School in Wilmington. The game pits the top male and female
senior high school players from North and South Carolina against
Britt coach Ike Walker will be head coach for the North Carolina team,
with James Scott of E.E. Smith on the North Carolina boys roster.
led the All-American Conference in scoring last season with a 22.5
- This past Monday, the city of
Fayetteville proclaimed E.E. Smith Girls and Boys Varsity Basketball
Champions Day in the city. Mayor Mitch Colvin honored both teams in
a ceremony at City Hall for being conference champions in the same
season for the first time in school history.
boys were 26-4; the girls, 26-2.
- Terry Sanford recently announced
the hiring of Christopher Goodman as varsity girls basketball coach.
Goodman previously coached girls and boys tennis at the school. He
also served as an assistant coach for the varsity boys basketball