High School Sports

NCHSAA honors its first 100 years at gala

tstevens@newsobserver.com January 13, 2014 

The N.C. High School Athletic Association wrapped up its centennial celebration Saturday night with a black-tie event in Cary that was part reunion, part recognition and totally celebratory.

There probably has never been more high school coaching wins represented in one gathering. The three coaches at the table where I sat represented more than 2,000 victories.

A special committee selected 100 coaches, 100 female athletes, 100 male athletes and 100 administrators to be honored at the event. More than 700 people with ties to North Carolina high school athletics attended, including about half of the honorees.

Among the athletes recognized were basketball standouts David Thompson of Shelby Crest, Tommy Burleson of Newland, Phil Ford of Rocky Mount, Andrea Stinson of North Mecklenburg, Danyel Parker of Clinton, and Taylorville’s Kay Wilson Hammer, who once scored 68 points in a half.

Former Tarboro football great Kelvin Bryant was there, and so was Wilson Fike football standout Carlester Crumpler.

Among the coaches and administrators who were honored at the gala were National High School Hall of Fame members Charlie Adams, Jerry McGee, Russell Blunt, Bob Jamieson and Willie Bradshaw.

Throughout the evening, the coaches talked about how lucky they had been to have great players, and the former high school greats talked about how fortunate they were to have had their high school coaches.

Crumpler and Thompson spoke of how the athletic success of their teams pulled together communities that were going through desegregation.

Former Major League pitcher Scott Bankhead of Reidsville said he didn’t remember any of the scores from his games at Reidsville High, but that he’d never forget the relationships he had with his teammates and coaches.

Berrios injured: Leesville Road High graduate Braxton Berrios caught three passes for 30 yards and a touchdown pass in the Under-Armor All-American game in St. Petersburg, Fla.

He did so with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

He tore the ligament in the second period and continued to play the third and fourth quarters.

Berrios recently tweeted: “Ya know the funny thing about my TD in the All American game? I did it with a Torn ACL...God has a plan though.”

The University of Miami wide receiver – he enrolled this spring – missed much of his senior year with an ankle injury and did not play in the Shrine Bowl Game of the Carolinas all-star game because he was recovering.

Leesville coach Chad Smothers said Berrios is scheduled to have surgery on Wednesday and be ready to compete for playing time in the fall.

Backboard: Nubian Spann’s backboard-busting dunk in Panther Creek’s boys basketball game on Friday night has received more than 100,000 views on YouTube.

The Catamounts’ senior shattered the backboard with the first dunk of his high school career. He ended up with the No. 1 play on ESPN Sports Center Top 10 and was interviewed during national television show’s 11:30 p.m. telecast on Friday.

Apex and Panther Creek, the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference leaders, are scheduled to resume the game on Thurday at 7 p.m., at Panther Creek. The Catamounts lead Apex 20-14 with 6:54 left in the second period.

Tigers coach: Former Durham Riverside and East Carolina baseball player Lee Land is the new baseball coach at Chapel Hill High.

“I’ve wanted to be a high school baseball head coach for quite a while,” Land said. “The relationship between a coach and player has always been very important to me, and that relationship in high school is special.”

Recruiting: Durham Academy’s Trey Harris has accepted a swimming scholarship to Davidson.

Lee Montgomery and Elliott Warnock contributed to this story.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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