Former Cary High football coach Ben Kolstad wasn’t sure what he’d find when he accepted the head coaching position at Sanderson.
The Spartans have won three games in the past three years and have averaged about two wins a year for the past 14 seasons.
“But the barrel is not empty here,” Kolstad said as his Spartans prepared for Friday night’s opener at home against Knightdale.
“We have some good players, and from everything I’ve been told the community support is outstanding. You might think that there wouldn’t be a lot of support for the team, but from what I understand, the home side is full. It looks like a good situation.”
He expects to have about 55 players on the varsity and is pleased with the staff that he has assembled.
Quarterback Matt Koehler might be the best that Kolstad has coached, he said, and big things are expected from tight end Jah Laville. Inside linebacker Cole Nigro might anchor the defense.
“There are a lot of adjustments, of course,” Kolstad said. “The players have to learn my expectations and the way I want things done and I’m still getting to know them.
“The change has refreshed me and made me examine everything we do. You have to go back and teach everything. I never thought I’d leave Cary, but this is like starting all over. We’re starting from scratch again.”
Rolesville football: Rolesville High, which opens this fall, will not play a varsity football schedule this season. It will field a junior varsity team this fall and begin its varsity program in 2014. It will have varsity teams in all other sports and is a member of the Greater Neuse 4A.
Football coach Jermaine Evans has about 50 players, including about 10 sophomores.
“We have a lot of young kids,” Evans said. “We’re trying to get some leaders. Some are trying to step to the plate, but it’s early. We have decent size and more athletes than I thought. We’ve got some linemen out here in Rolesville, which is really good.”
Reunion: Garner is recognizing its 1987 state 4A football championship team before Friday night’s season-opening football showdown with Middle Creek. The ’87 club was undefeated and beat previously unbeaten Charlotte Harding 40-21 in the title game when Anthony Barbour rushed for 265 yards and four touchdowns.
Barbour scored on the first carry of his high school career as a sophomore and on his final carry, a 50-yard dash against Harding.
The ’87 team also has a banquet scheduled for Saturday night.
Spivey returns: Steve Spivey, who coached Broughton teams to several boys and girls tennis championships, has come out of retirement to teach at Enloe and coach its girls tennis team.
He has seven freshmen among his 12 players. Juniors Colleen Brown and Elizabeth Sigarto are expected to play Nos. 1 and 2.
Spivey’s former Broughton players, boys and girls, are having a reunion on Saturday at “The Yardhouse” in Raleigh’s North Hills.
Track moves: Clayton High graduate Keni Harrison is joining the University of Kentucky track team after two years at Clemson. Harrison was the most valuable performer at the ACC Outdoor Championships and finished in the top five in three events at the NCAA Division I Championships this summer: the 100-meter hurdles, the 400 hurdles and the 400 relay.
Two former Southeast Raleigh High School standouts have joined the University of North Carolina track and field program. Kendra Douglas, a sophomore, is transferring to UNC from Western Carolina after winning a conference championship in the 400 meters.
Charity Lackey, a 2013 grad and member of the Bulldogs’ state championship girls team this past spring, will run for the Tar Heels. Lackey finished fourth in the 2013 indoor state championships at 1,000 meters.
Return to baseball: Luke Emmett, a 2012 Leesville Road graduate, has signed to play baseball at Louisburg College.
Emmett attended N.C. State last year, but did not play baseball. He was 7-1 as a Pride pitcher in 2012 and set the school record with a 1.18 earned run average. He had 54 strikeouts.
Wake Forest coach: Former Bunn High girls basketball coach Ben Daniels is the new girls basketball coach at Wake Forest High. Daniels was the girls basketball coach and boys soccer coach at Bunn for the past four years. He also will be the boys’ junior varsity soccer coach at Bunn.
“Leaving Bunn was not easy,” Daniels said. “In my time there, I met so many outstanding people who were great to work with and coach. We had a lot of success, and I am going to miss them very much, but I am still excited for a new challenge at Wake Forest.”
Wolfpack baseball: Leesville Road junior catcher Jack Conley has made a commitment to N.C. State. Conley played this summer with the Raleigh Post 1 American Legion baseball team.
North Raleigh volleyball: North Raleigh Christian won the “End of Summer Slam” tournament at Forsyth Country Day last weekend.
The Knights did not lose a set in a pair of victories against Charlotte Providence Day and High Point Westchester Country Day and in a semifinal win against Gaston Day. North Raleigh beat Charlotte Providence Day 25-19, 25-13 in the finals.