High Schools

Dave Thomas returns as Harnett Central head football coach

tstevens@newsobserver.comFebruary 20, 2013 

Dave Thomas, the head football coach at Harnett Central in 2000 and 2001, has been named as the school’s new head coach. He succeeds Patrick Turner, who resigned to take a position in Florida.

Thomas resigned after the 2001 season to be closer to his sons, who had moved to near Nashville, Tenn.

He was an assistant at Central last year.

"Just like the first time I was here, this is a tremendous challenge," said Thomas, a 1980 graduate of Pikeville Aycock High and a 1985 graduate of East Carolina. “We’ve got to get 4A strong. There is a lot of work to be done between now and the start of the season.”

Thomas was head coach at Bartlett Yancey for three years before going to Central.

“I enjoy building,” Thomas said. “I like trying to do things when people say that it can’t be done.”

Thomas is from a coaching family. His father Dave Thomas is a former coach and athletic director in Wayne County. Brother Greg won state football championships as head coach at Greenville Rose and brother John coached Josh Hamilton in baseball at Athens Drive and later was the head coach at Louisburg College.

Coger to Middle Tennessee: Raleigh Word of God basketball standout Tyrek Coger has committed to Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn. He had committed to Missouri earlier, but had opened his recruitment.

Track Invitational: Cary’s Bakri Abushouk and Ravenscroft’s Wesley Frazier are among the area athletes who are expected to compete in the Brook PR Invitational indoor track meet in Seattle, Wash., this weekend.

Abushouk won the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A cross country championship last fall and won the NCHSAA indoor 1,000, 1,600 and 3,200 titles. He will run the two-mile in Seattle.

Frazier has been a top 10 finisher in the Foot Locker Nationals cross country championships and has dominated the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association outdoor track championships for the past three years. She has won national championships outdoors in the mile, two-mile and 5,000 meters.

Ryen Frazier, a sophomore at Ravenscroft and Wesley’s younger sister, also will run the 3,200.

Mollie Williams of Clayton, a former NCHSAA hurdles champion, is in the 60-meters hurdles.

Green Hope’s Mike Miragliuolo is one of the invited coaches.

Softball scrimmage: Twelve area high school softball teams will scrimmage Saturday at the Smithfield Community Park in the Smithfield-Selma High and the Smithfield Parks and Recreation Department’s Miracle League Scrimmages.

Smithfield-Selma, Athens Drive, South Johnston, Leesville Road, Erwin Triton, Corinth Holders, Northern Durham, North Johnston, West Johnston, Clayton, Harnett Central and Cleveland will scrimmage. Also participating are Southern Pines Pinecrest, Fayetteville Pine Forest, Hope Mills South View and Fayetteville Cape Fear.

Scrimmages begin at 9 a.m. with three scrimmages occurring on separate fields starting every 90 minutes with the final scrimmages starting at 4:30. Admission is $5.

Coach education: New Wake County athletic director Deran Coe has been a leader in continuing education for coaches.

As the Wake Forest-Rolesville athletic director, Coe required his coaches to complete the coaching fundamentals class, which is one of three courses required to be nationally certified. The coaches also need to take one sport specific class and a first aid class to be nationally certified.

“I think Deran wanted Wake Forest to be the first school in the county to have all of its coaches certified,” said outgoing Wake County athletic director Bobby Guthrie. “I suspect coaching education will continue to be important to him.”

All newly hired coaches at NCHSAA schools are required to complete the courses.

Player dies: Josh Level, 17, died Tuesday night during a high school basketball game between his Greensboro New Garden Friends School and Winston-Salem Quality Education.

Level, a 6-foot-5 junior, had played at Arden (N.C.) Christ School before transferring to New Garden Friends. He averaged 9.0 points per game at Christ School in 2011-12 and was ranked among the top 10 sophomores in the state by MaxPreps.

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