Ben Penny, a former defensive coordinator at Erwin Triton, has been named as the school’s head football coach. He succeeds Ashley Ennis, who was named as head coach at North Johnston this week.
Penny has been defensive coordinator at Triton since 2009. He had been the defensive coordinator at Campbell University previously. Penny is a Triton High and Campbell graduate.
“It has always been a dream of mine to be a head football coach.” Penny said. “I am truly blessed to be able to do it where I played high school football.”
Soccer upset: Panther Creek girls’ soccer coach David Grant wasn’t surprised Wednesday when his Catamounts opened the 2014 season with a 2-1 victory over Millbrook, which was ranked No. 18 in the country in the Student Sports preseason rankings.
“I think we can compete,” Grant said.
The Catamounts return seven starters from a 14-4-1 club that lost 1-0 to Durham Jordan in the second round of the state playoffs in 2013. They have added a pair of freshmen starters.
“We are a relatively young team. We were mostly sophomores last year, but we have some D1 players,” he said. “We have a good team.”
Justine James, a junior who is committed to UNC-Asheville, scored both Catamount goals in the first half. Millbrook’s Cailyn Boch finished the scoring late in the first half and Panther Creek made some defensive adjustments that protected the lead.
“Celeste Barnard made three fabulous saves in the second half,” Grant said. “It was a really good game. Millbrook is very good.”
Rankings surprise: Leesville Road girls’ soccer coach Paul Dinkenor was stunned when he learned his team was a national preseason top 50 club by Student Sports.
“Don’t they know we graduated nine seniors?” he said.
The Pride opened the season with a 2-1 win over Green Hope on Wednesday.
Fast start: Holly Springs’ Kirsten Bootes scored five goals in the Hawks’ 6-3 girls’ soccer win over Jordan on Wednesday night.
Gibbons baseball: Green Hope is expected to have one of the top baseball teams in the area, but Cardinal Gibbons handled the Falcons in the opener, 5-2.
Junior Vanderbilt commitment Stephen Scott, who led the area in home runs in 2013, ripped his first homer in the win. “He is one of the best high school hitters in the country,” said Gibbons coach Jim Leiber.
Senior Daniel Pedersen, a four-year starter, drove in a couple of runs in the victory.
Enloe tennis wins: Enloe delivered a Cap Eight 4A boys’ tennis surprise on Wednesday, upending Millbrook, 5-4. Millbrook was picked in the preseason to be one of the top teams in the state. Enloe won four of five singles matches and at No. 2 doubles.
Wakefield and Broughton, another pair of tennis heavyweights, cruised with 9-0 Cap Eight victories over Sanderson and Wake Forest, respectively.
Returning to sectionals: Panther Creek assistant coach Shawan Robinson knows something about playing in sectional finals. Robinson played in four sectional finals while he was a player at Leesville Road High. The Catamounts play in another tonight at New Hanover.
He is in his second year as a Pride coach so that’s five sectional games in his six seasons as a high school player or coach.
“That’s unbelievable,” said Panther Creek coach L.J. Hepp. “It is really hard to get to a sectional final.
Panther Creek used a 7-0 scoring run in the fourth quarter to ease past Southeast Raleigh Wednesday in the second round. The surge, including five points by Juan Munoz, was the spark needed for a 59-53 win.
Three-pointers: University of North Carolina girls’ basketball recruit Jamie Cherry of West Craven broke the NCHSAA record for three pointers in a game with 12 in an 86-42 win over Erwin Triton on Wednesday night.
Cherry finished with 52 points and moved to No. 3 on the career scoring list with 3,119 points. Danyel Parker of Clinton (1986-80) had 3,225 points and Katie Paschal of Williamston (2006-2010) had 3,160.
Millbrook repeat?: Millbrook reached the NCHSAA 4A finals in boys’ basketball and girls’ basketball in 2011 and a repeat is possible this season. The Wildcats boys (23-3) are girls (22-4) are both at home Friday night in sectional finals. The boys play Fayetteville Seventy-First and the girls play Wilmington Ashley.
Winners advance to next weeks’ regional semifinal in Fayetteville.