The high school football schedule gets an early start this week as some teams play Thursday instead of Friday night because of the long Labor Day weekend.
Leesville Road, No. 3 in The News & Observer rankings, was an impressive 62-21 winner in its opener last week against Durham Jordan and is at home Thursday night against Apex, which was a 43-0 winner against Harnett Central. Apex rushed for 403 yards during its victory.
The key for Apex is slowing down Leesville Road quarterback Braxton Berrios, who ran for four touchdowns and 206 yards in the first half against Jordan.
Broughton is at Athens Drive and North Johnston is at Bunn in other Thursday games.
Thursday Soccer: Green Hope, No. 1 in The N&O boys’ soccer rankings, is at home against No. 5 Sanderson.
Middle Creek volleyball : The Mustangs won the Heritage Volleyball Invitational last weekend, topping Person 25-18, 26-24, 25-23 in the finals.
The Mustangs went 1-2 during the tournament’s pool play competition on Friday, but bounced back to defeat Triton, and then avenge pool-play losses to Leesville Road and Person in Saturday’s bracket play.
“I made some team changes and then we changed up the defense a bit and we tried to run a quicker offense,” said first-year Middle Creek coach Danielle Martzolf.
Middle Creek’s Katie McCullough was named MVP of the tournament. She had 14 kills against Person in the championship game.
Leesville, the 2012 state runner-up, finished third.
Gibbons runners win: The Cardinal Gibbons boys and girls won championships at the Western N.C. Cross Country Carnival last weekend in Hendersonville. The boys topped Chapel Hill, 80-105. The girls beat second-place Maryville, Tenn., 55-73.
Cardinals Gibbons’ Mary Grace Doggett (18 minutes, 32.43 seconds) and Sophie Ebihara (18:40) were first and second in the girls’ race. Drew Roeber of Chapel Hill (16:27.84) was the top area finisher in the boys’ race, taking sixth.
Green Hope girls cruise: The Falcons, last year’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A cross country champions, cruised to the title at the Providence Invitational cross country meet in Charlotte. The Falcons led second-place Providence 96-151. The Green Hope boys were second behind Winston-Salem Mount Tabor, 106-159.
Soccer scoring: Raleigh Friendship’s Andrew Peterson leads area boys’ scoring by a wide margin. Peterson has 11 goals and five assists in five games. Friendship’s Tyler Nelson is second with six goals and five assists.
Field hockey: The annual Play 4 The Cure field hockey tournament at Cary Academy helped raise $2,526 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure to put toward breast cancer research.
Charlotte Providence Day, led by tournament MVP Meredith Clay, won this year’s tournament by defeating Carrboro in the championship game.
Cary Hall of Fame: Cary High’s 2013 Hall of Fame class includes Josh Adams (football, class of 2006), Zach Schilawski (boys’ soccer, 2006), Phil Gray (wrestling, 1987), Bill Rogers (football, basketball, 1953) and Jennifer Sage Goodman (diving, 1999).
The induction will be at halftime of Cary’s home football game Oct. 4 against Panther Creek.
Look online: Last week The N&O posted 1,222 high school sports photographs online. Check out The N&O high school galleries at: newsobserver.com/hsphotos.
J.Mike Blake contributed to this story