Bill Hall, the football coach at Pittsboro Northwood for the past 15 seasons, told players last week that the 2014 season will be his last as the Chargers’ coach.
“I had made the decision and thought I had an obligation to share it with my players,” he said. “It doesn’t mean I’m going to slack off or lower my expectations, but I thought they should know.”
Hall has been at the school 27 years.
“There were a lot of factors,” he said. “I’m tired of being tired. And it has reached the point that I can no longer justify the time demands for the amount of money in the paycheck. Coaching high school football has become a 12 month a year job.
“There are some other reasons, of course, but this has been a family decision.”
Northwood has a 79-39 record over the past nine years and has had only one losing record during the span.
Catamounts roaring: Panther Creek is No. 1 in The N&O high school girls soccer rankings, and it could be just as good next year.
The Catamounts are 5-0 and have outscored their opponents 28-3, helped by an 18-0 shellacking of Rolesville.
The Catamounts have six juniors who have made commitments to NCAA Division I schools. The latest are Justine James, who recently announced for UNC-Asheville, and Briana Velasquz, who is committed to Marshall.
Sophomore Hollie Cartwright has six goals, and James has five. The Catamounts have had 11 players score goals.
Special K: Raleigh Grace’s Josh Greene struck out 14 of the 16 batters he faced in a 5-inning 4-0 victory over Southern Pines O’Neal last week. The final out of the game came when the Grace catcher threw out a runner on a stolen base attempt. The batter faced an 0-2 count.
“Josh came really close to getting every out by strikeout,” Grace coach Charlie Murphy said.
Greene, a 6-foot-4, 205-pound senior, hit one batter and gave up a fifth inning single.
“He didn’t throw any curveballs,” Murphy said. “He threw about 80 percent fastballs and 20 percent sliders. The weather was bad, and we were trying to get the game in and I think that helped him pick up the pace.”
The win is the only game the Eagles have played this season. They are scheduled to play at Kinston Parrott at 4 p.m. Thursday.
Win one, lose one: Broughton’s Ben Eller was the winning pitcher and the losing pitcher in the Caps’ baseball doubleheader split with Garner on Monday.
Eller threw the last four innings of a game that was suspended in the 10th inning because of darkness last week, and Broughton coach Harry Jones turned to him to finish on Monday.
“He did an outstanding job of pitching to contact and missing the fat part of Garner’s bats,” Jones said. “We had done a good job of fielding the ball in first 10 innings, but we misplayed some balls in the 11th and Garner had a big inning (in a 5-2 Broughton loss).”
Jones used a different pitcher in every inning of the second game but needed Eller to finish up when Garner rallied to tie the game at 6 in the seventh inning. Eller retired six of the last seven batters he faced and the Caps scored in the ninth for a 7-6 win.
“Ben did a nice job handling the pressure to get us out of inning seven and really pitched well in relief,” Jones said.
National ranking: Charlotte Myers Park, which plays Southeast Raleigh on Saturday in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A girls basketball championship, is No. 7 in the country in the MaxPreps ranking and No. 14 in USA Today.
Myers Park’s only loss was 70-58 to Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Blackman during the Naples (Fla.) Holiday Shootout. Blackman is the No. 1 team in the country in the USA Today ranking and No. 6 in MaxPreps.
Southeast’s two losses were to Lilburn (Ga.) Parkview 39-35 and Elizabethton (Tenn.) 40-38 in the Upward Classic in Dorman, S.C.