Down, set — August 1, August 1 — hike!

Jul. 31, 2014 @ 11:11 PM

That 3-A state championship the Southern Spartans won last season had a real nice taste to it.

Those guys are still hungry and today in earnest will start working up another appetite that only will be satisfied by another state title.

The Spartans won’t have Adrian Jones scowling on the sidelines as their head coach. That guy was so good that first-year N.C. Central coach Jerry Mack hired him to coach the Eagles’ running backs.

Jones would tell you Southern is in good hands with Darius Robinson as the new leader of the Spartans.

Robinson was Southern’s defensive coordinator last season.

Now the whole show is his.

Robinson has a great cast featuring Kendall Hinton, whom the stadium announcer at Southern refers to as the “The Gunslinger.” And the kid sure enough has a rifle. Duke coach David Cutcliffe wanted him, and that’s saying something considering Cutcliffe’s penchant for developing quarterbacks — guys like NFL brothers Peyton and Eli Manning.

But Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson wound up winning the arms race for Hinton, who has verbally committed to the Demon Deacons.

Remember the Hornets

By the way, they’re still playing football over at Hillside High School.

The Hornets have been consistently good for so long that there’s the temptation to believe that Coach Antonio King’s guys have fallen off if they don’t go undefeated and bring home the 4-A title like they did in 2010.

But the Hornets haven’t gone anywhere.

Former Hornet moves on

Former Hillside football player Jamal Marcus has transferred from Ohio State to Akron.

Marcus was poised to start at defensive end for Ohio State but academic issues caught up with him.

Last season when Ohio State and Clemson met in the Orange Bowl, Marcus had three solo tackles and got in on three more, and he knocked down a pass.

NCAA rules require players to sit out a season when they transfer from one Division I school to another, so Marcus will be a spectator on Saturdays this year.

New coach at ECH

CHAPEL HILL — The N.C. High School Athletic Association is reporting that Mike Holderman is the new head football coach at East Chapel Hill High School.

Holderman coached high school football in New Hampshire last season, and he has coached on the college level, too.

Former ECH coach Jon Sherman is an assistant coach at Fayetteville’s Byrd High School.

Seasons change

DURHAM — Please pardon David Hackney if you see him and he’s not quite himself.

The guy’s having withdrawal symptoms.

Aug. 1 is the time when coaches lead their teams to practice fields for the start of football seasons, which is what Hackney had been doing for the past several seasons at Riverside High School.

But Hackney has become an assistant principal at Southern, and administrators in Durham Public Schools aren’t allowed to coach sports.

DPS athletics director Larry McDonald said the workload is too much for administrators to, well, administrate and coach.

So Hackney is having withdrawal symptoms.

“Just a little,” Hackney said.

Hackney turned things around at Riverside, last season getting the Pirates back into the state playoffs for the first time since 2006.

The ol’ ball coach said he’s looking forward to turning things around in the classrooms at Southern.