SOUTHERN'S STATE 3-AA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONS GET THEIR RINGS
Southern High School celebrated its first state football title in style Friday, presenting state championship rings to players, coaches, school officials and program associates.
On hand for the elaborate two-hour ceremony in the school theater were guest speakers who included departed state title coach Adrian Jones, school coaching legends Chip Gill and Pete Shankle, new coach Darius Robinson and several hundred fans, cheerleaders, marching band and dance team.
Not to mention the 41 players who made the day possible.
They were treated to a video montage tribute recalling the 3-AA state championship win at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem in December and performances by the dance team, cheerleaders and band.
Southern School of Energy and Sustainability — Southern’s official name — principal Kenneth Barnes drew a few laughs during his welcoming remarks when he made it clear the ring presentation evening couldn’t have come sooner. Barnes admitted that players and coaches have pestered him for months asking when the rings would arrive.
Robinson, Southern’s athletic director who moved up from defensive coordinator to the head coaching job when Jones left to become an aide at N.C. Central after the season, admitted he was among the impatient.
Area teams lead or share leads in five of six conferences that include area high school interscholastic athletic programs after the winter season in Wells Fargo Conference Cup competition.
No. 5 West Brunswick ousts No. 13 Southern in state's Sweet Sixteen despite 34 points from Amari Hamilton.
Three girls’ and three boys’ teams enter the Sweet 16 of the N.C. High School Athletic Association basketball tournament Friday, Feb. 28, including at least two distinct favorites in No. 2 4-A boys’ seed Northern and undefeated No. 1 3-A girls’ seed Chapel Hill.
The N.C. High School Athletic Association on Saturday announced its brackets for the state 1-A/2-A/3-A/4-A boys’ basketball tournaments which begin Monday night. No. 1 seeds went to the Chapel Hill (3-A) and Granville Central (1-A) girls and to the Orange (3-A) boys.
The No. 3 seed Spartans defeated No. 1 seed Orange 67-53 at Chapel Hill High School, giving the Spartans the title in their first year in the new league since moving down from the 4-A ranks after last season.
A fired-up and focused Southern boys' team with three players in double digits edged Chapel Hill on its home court 52-48 Thursday night while the undefeated Chapel Hill girls downed Southern in the girls' semis.
With 2 seconds remaining in the game, Northwood junior point guard Ti Pinnix muscled his way into an interior shot that had been money for him all night. A basket would tie the game and send it to overtime.
Area 2-A, 3-A and 4-A wrestlers who finished in the top four of their weight classes in regional competition Sunday and Monday will take to the mats at the Greensboro Coliseum Thursday through Saturday for NCHSAA championship competition. Area 1-A qualifiers will begin state title competition Friday and continue on Saturday.
The area’s top remaining non-committed college football prospect, Hillside High School running back Donté Thomas-Williams, on Wednesday announced that he will attend West Virginia in the fall.
The visiting Panthers couldn’t match Southern’s intensity this time around, as the Spartans (10-8, 7-2 Big Eight 3-A) blitzed Orange 70-53 on Friday night. Amari Hamilton scored 20 of his game-high 28 points in the second half, including 14 in a clutch performance in the fourth quarter.
Hillside dominated Southern in the girls’ half of the doubleheader, 99-72. Star Justine Lyon scored 24 points and teammates Tykyrah Williams, Elisia Grissett and Zuri White scored 16 apiece to offset 35 points from Southern’s Bryanna Staton.
Junior point guard Andrew Gillespie was having a rough go of it for Chapel Hill, missing a series of layups and short jumpers in a see-saw Big Eight 3-A Conference battle against Southern that saw seismic lead shifts. But with 4:14 remaining in the game Gillespie drove to the basket and laid one in as part of an 8-0 Tigers run to erase a 45-40 Southern lead that Chapel Hill would not relinquish in its eventual 50-47 victory.
Nation's top high school sophomore center, 7-1 Thon Maker of Martinsburg, Va.'s Carlisle School, will be on hand for Monday night game. Games are scheduled throughout the day Saturday and Monday and feature area programs Hillside, Northerm, Riverside, Mount Zion Christian, Voyager Academy, Durham School of the Arts and Bull City Prep.
In one of the worst-kept secrets in recent memory, Mack names former Southern High coach Adrian Jones as running backs coach. Mack to assume offensive coordinator duties.