The areas high school boys soccer strength is reflected by Green Hope (13-0-0), Sanderson (16-0-2) and East Chapel Hill (8-1-2) currently ranked Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association statewide poll.
Durham Jordan (10-3-3) is No. 10 and Leesville Road is 15th, giving the area five of the top 15 4A clubs in the rankings.
The road to the high rankings has not been easy.
Green Hope has won by one-goal in its last three games, defeating Panther Creek, 2-1; Cardinal Gibbons, 3-2; and Holly Springs, 4-3.
Sanderson has allowed only seven goals and leads the area in scoring defense, posting 12 shutouts and allowing only 0.4 goals per game.
East Chapel Hill has won four one-goal games, tied Jordan and Southern Pines Pinecrest 0-0 and lost to rival Chapel Hill 3-0.
Tough games are ahead. Sanderson has a big Cap Eight 4A game at Leesville Road (10-5) on Thursday; Green Hope plays at Apex in a key Tri-Nine 4A game on Oct. 18; and East Chapel Hill is at home against Jordan on Oct. 11 in another top 15 matchup.
Durham Science and Math (10-0-0) is No. 1 in the 1A poll.
Central unbeaten in Neuse: Harnett Central is undefeated in Greater Neuse 4A boys soccer this fall, but doesnt lead the league. The Trojans are 3-0-5 in conference games, including ties their last three games. They are 6-2-6 overall.
Central has tied Southeast Raleigh (1-1), Smithfield-Selma (1-1), Knightdale (3-3), league-leading Garner (1-1) and Southeast again (1-1) in conference games.
Central is at home against Garner on Oct. 24.
Bass wins tournament: Former Holly Springs High golfer Thomas Bass won the three-day Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic on Tuesday. Bass had rounds of 71-68-72 and was the only golfer under-par for the tournament. He helped UNC-Wilmington to second-place.
The Seahawks Ryan Nagy, who played at North Raleigh Christian Academy, tied for 28th.
Carrboro wins at Wendys: Carrboro won the girls invitational championship on Saturday in the Wendys Invitational cross country championships in Charlotte. Senior Grace Morken (18:48) was 12th overall to lead the Jaguars. Maysa Araba, Alexa Phillips and Helen Morken finished Nos. 16, 17 and 19.
The top area girl finisher was Pegah Kamrani of East Chapel Hill, who was third..
Carys Bakri Abushouk ran a 15:05 to win the boys invitational. Chapel Hill topped second-place Cary, 74-104, to win the boys invitational team title. The Tigers were led by Tima Karginov (15:48) and Chris Redder (15:49), who were Nos. 7 and 8.
Okoye is preseason pick: VMI senior Stan Okoye of Knightdale was named the 2012-13 Big South Conference mens basketball preseason player of the year this week. He was an all-conference pick last season after averaging 17.1 points and 7.2 rebounds during a 17-16 season. He scored 20 or more points in 12 games.
Unanimous picks: The 13 voters on The Associated Press North Carolina high school football poll were unanimous in their top teams this week: Mathews Butler in 4A, Northern Guilford in 3A, Tarboro in 2A and Swain County in 1A
Garner, No. 1 in The N&O poll, is No. 6 in 4A. Undefeated Leesville Road, No. 2 in the N&O, is not ranked in AP poll. Undefeated Cleveland is No. 6 in 3A, but unbeaten Cardinal Gibbons is not ranked.