High Schools

Leesville coach got his start in lacrosse through officiating

tstevens@newsobserver.comApril 26, 2013 

Jeremy Fulbright followed an unconventional path to become the boys’ lacrosse coach at Leesville Road High. Fulbright, who grew up in Asheville, was first exposed to lacrosse through officiating.

He was an assistant football coach at Leesville seven years ago when a football game official at a scrimmage in Asheboro mentioned that Fulbright might want to consider becoming a lacrosse official.

Lacrosse was expanding in North Carolina and as the sport’s popularity grew, so would the demand for game officials.

“It is an unusual way to get involved in the game,” Fulbright said. “But it is a great game and I knew we needed to add it here. It has really been a lot of fun.”

Two years ago, Leesville fielded a club team. Last season the varsity was 8-8. This year the Pride is 11-3, assured of a playoff berth and in contention for the league regular-season title.

The Pride plays Sanderson Friday and faces Broughton on either Monday or Tuesday. The league’s No. 1 playoff berth may be at stake against the Caps, who won the teams’ first meeting.

Leesville is young. Freshmen Griffin McNamara (30 goals, five assists, 35 points) and Drew Davis (25 goals, 12 assists, 37 points) are the club’s leading scorers.

Super stingy: North Johnston, No. 1 in the N&O softball rankings, has not allowed a run in its past 11 games. The Panthers have outscored its Northern Carolina 2A opponents 158-1.

North Johnston defeated Louisburg 20-1 on March 4 and has not allowed a run since.

Camaraderie: Wakefield sophomore tennis standout Blaine “Bo” Boyden loves playing with his Wolverine teammates. Some of the top high school tennis players in the state don’t play for their school teams, but Boyden said that representing the school is fun to him.

“In the summer in the tournaments, it is basically you,” he said Wednesday after winning the Cap Eight 4A singles title. “But in high school, it is all about the team. Everybody is pulling for everybody else.

“Plus, it is kind of nice to be recognized at school.”

Boyden is 16-0 this season and is among the N.C. High School Athletic Association favorites in the singles competition. Area 4A regionals are scheduled for Friday and Saturday at the University of North Carolina.

NCHSAA mulls spring football: The board of directors will meet Tuesday and Wednesday.

Permitting spring football practice, which has been rejected several times in past years, is expected to be discussed.

The board also is expected to receive reports from the nontraditional schools committee and the education and athletics committees. The board will discuss nonboarding parochial school’s dominance in some sports.

Long balls: Delane Smith, a junior second baseman, hit a grand slam and a three-run home run in Wake Forest-Roleville’s 13-1 Cap Eight 4A softball victory against Broughton Tuesday.

Mustangs’ signings: Middle Creek recently had five athletes sign letters of intent. Swimmers Kendall Pena and Torie Pena signed with N.C. State and the University of Indianapolis, respectively. Connor Talbot (Mars Hill), Kimmie Pittman (Methodist) and Samantha Mendez (Meredith) signed to play soccer.

Neuse golf: West Johnston’s Scott Freeman shot a two-under-par 70 on Tuesday at the Reedy Creek Golf Course to win the Greater Neuse 4A regular-season golf championship by eight strokes over Harnett Central’s Alex Holgaard. Freeman led West to the conference team title.

“It’s pretty special feeling,” Freeman said of winning the conference team championship. “We knew we had the team to do it this year. It was just about us coming together and playing as well as we could.”

Area leaders: Sophomore Emily Truelove of Cleveland has taken the area scoring lead in girls’ soccer. She has 43 goals and 18 assists for 104 points. She had four goals in a 7-1 win against Triton and three goals in a 5-2 win against Corinth Holders.

Alexis Shaffer (81 points) and Alexis Degler (80) of Green Hope are second and third in scoring.

• In girls’ lacrosse, Sydney Holman of East Chapel Hill continues to dominate with 85 goals and 30 assists for 115 points. Broughton junior Kelsey Dupere has 60 goals and 23 assists for 83 points.

Apex senior Derek Sweet is first in boys’ lacrosse scoring with 32 goals and 43 assists (75 points). Broughton junior Davis Weaver is first in goals with 43.

• Apex junior Lindsay Hodge has a 16-1 softball pitching record and leads the area in doubles with 10.

TSTEVENS: 919-829-8910

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