High Schools

Knightdale football coach Robert Senseney takes Burns job

tstevens@newsobserver.comFebruary 25, 2014 

Robert Senseney, who led the Knightdale football team to an 11-2 record in 2013, has been named head coach at Burns High in Lawndale.

Senseney had a 25-19 record in his four years at Knightdale, posting 3-7, 4-6 and 7-4 records before the 2013 season. The Knights reached the state 4A quarterfinals last fall before losing to Scotland County.

“I enjoyed my time at Knightdale,” Senseney said Tuesday. “I was treated well by the administration.

“Our kids worked hard, and this past year it was great to see the kids get the attention they earned and deserved.”

Senseney said the Burns job looks like a good one.

“Burns is an upgrade in pay and football facilities,” he said. “What impresses me the most is the dedication and support the community gives to the school.”

Senseney coached two AA state championships in Virginia at Gretna High (2003 and 2004).

Morris leaving? The Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Sun News is reporting that Cleveland High’s Marc Morris is a finalist for the head football coaching position at Myrtle Beach Carolina Forest High.

Morris started the Cleveland program and has a 32-10 record at the school. He previously was 62-10 at Harnett Central High and led the Trojans to the state 4A championship game in 2009.

Northern defense: Northern Durham boys basketball coach Ronnie Russell said his team is playing well but can play better. The Knights (25-2) defeated Holly Springs 93-41 on Monday in the first round of the 4A playoffs.

“We are peaking, but we haven’t peaked,” said Russell, whose team plays Middle Creek on Wednesday night in the second round. “We are executing on offense and finding each other with the ball. We still are working hard in practice.

“Right now, the big thing we need is to improve defensively. You can always improve your defense. If we can get it together on defense, I think we will be all right.”

If the Knights beat Middle Creek, Northern will play Apex or Fayetteville Smith in the third round.

Six overtimes: McDowell County defeated Jamestown Ragsdale 111-104 in six overtimes Monday night in the first round of the NCHSAA 4A boys basketball playoffs. A six-overtime boys basketball playoff game may be unprecedented.

Stepping up: Garner boys basketball coach Eddie Gray told his players after a 103-62 first-round victory against Lumberton that somebody would have to step up in Wednesday’s second-round game against Millbrook.

Julius Barnes, the club’s leading scorer, left the win over Lumberton in the third quarter with a right ankle injury.

“I told the guys after the game that somebody is going have to rise to the occasion and pick it up because we are going to play the game one way or another Wednesday,” Gray said. “I’m sure somebody will step up.”

Millbrook is 21-4 and is No. 2 in The N&O rankings. Garner has won 12 straight.

Triton soccer: New Erwin Triton girls soccer coach Eric Long is looking forward to seeing the Hawks’ Morgan Goff in action in Wednesday’s season opener at home against Spring Lake Overhills.

Long will be making his coaching debut at Triton, and Goff, a sophomore, will be playing her first game for the Hawks. She did not play high school soccer last year but has made a verbal commitment to the University of North Carolina.

“Her skill level is very good,” Long said. “She sees the field very well and she has great passing ability. She also has a great ability to get to the goal and make shots. I’m looking forward to seeing how all that translates in a game.”

Soccer rankings: Millbrook and Leesville Road are ranked in the Student Sports preseason Fab 50 in girls soccer. Millbrook is No. 18 and Leesville Road is No. 38.

The two Cap Eight 4A clubs play at Millbrook on March 26 and at Leesville on April 28.

Cornelius Hough is ranked No. 2 in the country behind Naperville (Ill.) Neuqua Valley.

Football recruiting: Mike Clark of scout.com, an online recruiting site, reports that Georgia offered scholarships to junior running backs Bryce Love of Wake Forest and Nyheim Hines of Garner on Monday. In 2012, the Bulldogs came to North Carolina and signed Tarboro rusher Todd Gurley and Millbrook running back Keith Marshall.

Cleveland junior defensive tackle Sterling Johnson is expected to visit Alabama this weekend. He also plans to visit Florida State, Florida, South Carolina, Ohio State, Texas and Mississippi.

Bengals on top: Perfect Game, an online baseball site, has Fuquay-Varina as its top-ranked North Carolina high school team. The Bengals, ranked 14th overall on perfectgame.org, open their season Friday at home against Garner.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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