Notebook: Marc Morris named as coach in South Carolina

March 5, 2014 

Cleveland High football coach Marc Morris is headed to Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Carolina Forest High. Morris, who started the Cleveland program, confirmed Wednesday that he would be leaving to take the job.

Gaye Driggers, the Carolina Forest principal, sent out a release Wednesday morning saying Morris had been selected as the school’s football coach. He will be presented to the Horry County Schools for approval on March 17.

“Ms. Driggers, athletic director Boe Rainbow, and the selection committee believe this is a tremendous hire for Carolina Forest,” the release said.

Morris has a 96-25 record in nine years at Harnett Central and Cleveland. His three varsity teams at Cleveland were 11-4, 12-2 and 9-4, despite playing two seasons without seniors.

Carolina Forest had a combined 3-19 record in the past two seasons under coach Drew Hummel. He resigned last fall. Two assistant coaches resigned recently.

Regionals: The board of directors of the N.C. High School Athletic Association is expected to discuss the regional basketball concept during its annual spring meeting in May.

This year, the NCHSAA played its first three rounds at the sites of the higher seeds before moving to Fayetteville and Greensboro for the quarterfinals and semifinals.

One idea that might receive support is playing the quarterfinals at the home court of the higher seeds before moving to a neutral site for the semifinal and championship games.

The NCHSAA is in the fourth year of a four-year regional agreement and this spring would be the logical time to think of changes.

This year’ playoffs accentuated some of the drawbacks of the current regional set-up. On Tuesday, Southwest Onslow and Jacksonville Northside, which are about 10 miles apart, traveled to Fayetteville to play. There were fewer spectators than if the game had been played in Jacksonville.

All eight 4A boys’ and girls’ quarterfinalists are from the Triangle, but have to make the trip to Fayetteville.

High school gyms are built for large numbers of spectators. Apex’s quarterfinal boys’ game at Clayton and Panther Creek’s boys’ game at Millbrook probably would be sellouts in area gyms.

The impetus for moving the regionals from high school gyms to arenas was the hundreds of spectators, including many parents, who could not get in the gym after the seating capacity was filled.

Kane to Tar Heels: Maggie Kane of Broughton, the 2012 NCHSAA 4A girls’ tennis champion, plans to play at North Carolina.

“Everyone here at North Carolina and within our tennis program are really excited that Maggie will be joining our team this fall,” UNC coach Brian Kalbas said in a release. “Because of her work ethic, tremendous attitude and talent, Maggie had many offers and options to play college tennis. We’re thrilled she chose Carolina and will be a great addition to our strong incoming class.”

Kane was the 4A runner-up last fall to Wakefield sophomore Suzanne Boyden.

More awards: Davidson sophomore Dakota Dukes, a Cary Christian graduate, was selected to the all-Southern Conference women’s basketball team. She averaged 14.3 points and 7.8 rebounds for the 14-15 Wildcats.

Whitney Bunn, a Bunn High graduate, was named to the league’s freshman women’s all-conference team.

McDonald to Duke: Wakefield junior soccer standout Kat McDonald has committed to Duke. McDonald had two goals and an assist in the Wolverines’ season-opening 6-0 victory over Cary.

Jenkins wins honor: UNC Greensboro freshman Carter Jenkins, a Leesville Road graduate, was named the Southern Conference’s golfer of the week after he tied for 11th with a 7-under-par 209 in the USF Invitational last week. He had rounds of 72, 70 and 67.

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