Prep Notebook: Kadlecik out, Drexler in as Carrboro soccer coach
In one of the more convoluted coaching-change stories of the year, Carrboro boys’ and girls’ soccer coach Mark Kadlecik has stepped aside and been replaced as Carrboro boys’ coach by East Chapel Hill girls’ coach and Carrboro boys’ assistant coach — to Kadlecik — Jared Drexler.
Complicating the story further, Kadlecik coached East Chapel Hill’s girls and Carrboro’s boys until consolidating both jobs at Carrboro last season.
Both Kadlecik and Drexler are faculty members at Carrboro.
Kadlecik’s departure from the sidelines — he’ll remain on the Carrboro faculty — is a story in and of itself.
In his continuing role as N.C. High School Athletic Association regional supervisor of soccer officials, he’d faced criticism over conflict of interest issues relating to his treatment of and by soccer referees.
Eventually he had to choose between coaching and his administrative duties and his referee supervisory role won out. Ironically, because of NCHSAA reclassification this season, Carrboro has moved from the area-based Carolina 12 1-A/2-A Conference (now defunct) to the Piedmont-area Mid-State 2-A Conference, which doesn’t fall under Kadlecik’s regional supervisory control.
So, the conflict of interest issue was basically eliminated. Still, he had to step aside.
The transition should be smooth for the Jaguars.
While Kadlecik has had one of the best coaching résumés in the state, including back-to-back state 2-A title match losses by his boys’ team and a state quarterfinals loss by his Carrboro girls’ team in his one year in that job, not to mention the 2004 3-A state girls’ title while at East Chapel Hill, Drexler has played an integral role as a Carrboro boys’ aide during the Kadlecik tenure.
At East Chapel Hill, he tied Jordan for the PAC-6 4-A title last year, both teams with 10-0-2 PAC-6 records that included a pair of 0-0 ties in head-to-head matchups.
“We are excited to have Coach Drexler take over the program from Coach Kadlecik because he brings the same level of energy and enthusiasm as his predecessor,” Carrboro athletic director April Ross said in an emailed statement. “We will miss Coach K and wish him much success in his role as Soccer Regional Supervisor for the NCHSAA.”
Kadlecik said he’ll miss the opportunity to be on the sidelines, but is thankful for the opportunity to remain in contact with his former players in his role as a faculty member.
Drexler knows he’s taking on a tough challenge to sustain and improve an excellent program.
“I’ve got some big shoes to fill, no doubt about that,” Drexler said. “But I know the boys there (Carrboro) from being on the staff there. I’m grateful for the chance to coach at Carrboro. It’s an excellent overall athletic program.”
Drexler will also have excellent resources to call on for any assistance he might require. He said former Jordan High coach Steve Turner, winner of multiple state 4-A titles with the Falcons before stepping down to become a Kadlecik aide last season, will remain on the Carrboro boys’ staff. And, of course, Kadlecik is just down the hall in the physical education department.
Neither Carrboro nor ECH has named a new girls’ soccer coach.
MORE COACHING MOVES
Hillside High athletic director Bob Hill announced five head coaching hires Thursday — one of them to replace him.
Another is local football legend A.J. Davis.
Hill, the now-former HHS volleyball coach will be replaced by Syreeta Mason. “I just didn’t have the time to keep coaching,” Hill said, laughing. “These announcements just take up too much time.”
Former Northern High and N.C. State defensive back A.J. Davis, who played in the National Football League with the Cleveland Browns, Kansas City Chiefs, Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans, has been named boys’ track coach. Davis will also assist Hillside head football coach Antonio King.
Also, Hillside junior varsity baseball coach Anthony Leak will assume the varsity reins, Sylvia Latson was named softball coach and Rob Clodfelter will take over the cross-country program.
Clodfelter is a former Livingstone College all-America football player and a member of that school’s athletic hall of fame. Latson is a former all-CIAA star at N.C. Central University and an NCCU hall of famer.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Four former Mount Zion Christian Academy players have found new basketball homes.
Former center Giacomo Zilli (6-9, 225) will be a freshman on UNC Asheville this fall, former small forward Michel Nzege (6-8, 220) has transferred from Winston-Salem State to East Carolina and former guard Billy Joyner (6-1, 200) will play for N.C. Wesleyan.
NCPreps.com has named Carrboro running back Trai Sharp its state 2-A preseason player of the year.
Sharp, a rising junior running back, was named also named to the all-state 2-A first team and Marlin Johnson, a rising senior wide receiver and teammate of Sharp, was named to the first team as an “athlete.”
Sharp (5-9, 185) is being recruited by major college programs including N.C. State, Duke and Purdue. Johnson (6-2, 205) had attracted mainly mid-major attention on the recruiting trail, but is expected to jump onto the major college radar after running a 4.6-second 40 at a recent Wake Forest University football camp. His speed had been questioned by recruiters.
At 3-A, NCPreps named Southern rising senior wide receiver Maurice Trowell (5-11, 177) to its preseason all-state first team. Trowell has committed to N.C. State.
In the 4-A ranks, NCPreps named Hillside stars Trevion Thompson (6-3, 180) and Kalen McCain (6-1, 175) to its 4-A preseason all-state first team.
Thompson is a rising senior wide receiver and among the most coveted prep prospects in the country. He has yet to commit to a college program.
McCain, a rising senior defensive back, has committed to play at N.C. State next fall. He had originally committed to Virginia Tech in April, but switched his commitment to the Wolfpack in mid-June.
College commitments are not binding on players until they sign NCAA national letters of intent on national signing day in February.
— Staff writer John McCann contributed the notes on the former Mount Zion basketball players.