High schools

Former Hillside standout Josh McNeil plans to go to Florida State

February 9, 2014 

Josh McNeil, a former Durham Hillside football standout, plans to enroll at Florida State in December and join the Seminoles program for spring practice next year.

McNeil played only one year of high school football, but was recruited by some of the nation’s most prominent programs. He committed to Alabama and later to LSU, but did not meet NCAA eligibility requirements.

The 6-foot-6, 250-pound McNeil attended New Berlin (N.Y.) Milford Academy in the fall of 2012 and said he attended Walnut (Calif.) Mt. San Antonio College, but did not play football.

He currently is enrolled at Wesson (Miss.) Copiah Lincoln Junior College and plans to play football in the fall.

“Florida State has stuck with me the entire time,” McNeil said. “There were a lot of schools that said they wanted me and they cared about me, but they cut me off when I had my problems getting all of my credits accepted. Florida State always seemed to have my best interests in mind.”

McNeil said he has 25 offers. “Everybody is jumping back in the picture now that I have been able to get everything squared away,” he said. “But the Seminoles never left me.”

He will have three years of NCAA eligibility if graduates from junior college.

35 rebounds: Cary Academy’s Rebekah Banks had 35 rebounds in the Chargers’ 52-34 girls basketball victory over New Life Home School on senior night. She also scored 18 points.

The 6-foot-1 UNC-Wilmington recruit had 17 offensive and 18 defensive rebounds in the game.

“She has a nose for the ball and always has been a good rebounder,” said Cary Academy coach Michael Zeillmann. “The bad part is that we missed a lot of shots so there were a lot of rebounds at the offensive end. Defensively, we played more zone than usual.”

The N.C. High School Athletic Association record for rebounds in a girls game is 36 by Michelle Richardson of Columbia against Cape Hatteras in 1992. Farmville Central’s Lisa Lang had 35 against West Craven in 1987.

Cary Academy is a member of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association and Banks’ totals are not eligible for the NCHSAA record book.

Banks leads the area with 20.2 rebounds per game and holds the school record with 383 rebounds this season.

The national record for most rebounds by an individual in a girls basketball game is 54.

Meredith recruits: Meredith soccer coach Paul Smith received commitments from four area players – forward Samantha Litt of Apex, keeper Jaisa Loch of Greenville Conley, defender Kaitlyn Peeples and midfielder Elizabeth Tracy of Cardinal Gibbons.

U of Mary: East Wake football defensive end Gavin Leach signed with the University of Mary on Wednesday. The school is in Bismarck, N.D.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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