The football field that has been a centerpiece — geographically — of the Clayton High School campus for so many years will get a name of its own when the 2015 season begins.
The field will be renamed Nixon-Fowler Stadium in honor of the two coaches who led the Comet football program for a combined 53 years. The stadium name honors Glenn Nixon who coached Clayton from 1959 until 1984 and built a consistent winner and Gary Fowler who took over for Nixon in 1985 and coached through the 2012 season.
“During these 53 years, their success in leading so many Comets on the field and in the classroom has set the standard for future Comets and our athletic program,” said Clayton principal Clint Eaves, a member of the Fowler-led 1989 Clayton state 2A championship team, in a statement. “This is a well-deserved honor for two men who gave so many years to Clayton High School.”
The dedication ceremony will be held prior to kick off of the Comets’ home opener this season on Friday, Aug. 21, against Cleveland. The ceremony will take place at 6:45 p.m. The game kicks off at 7.
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Gates open at 5:30 with a $7 admission charge.
Johnston resident to play at N.C. State: Green Hope High rising senior Bryce Dixon has verbally committed to accept a football scholarship from N.C. State.
Dixon is the son of Green Hope head coach Kwame Dixon, a former college player at Pitt, who started his local head coaching career West Johnston High School. The Dixon family still lives in Johnston County.
Bryce Dixon, a 6-foot-3, 224-pound receiver, projects as an H-back for the Wolfpack and could line up in the backfield, on the line or in the slot. He’s ranked the 32nd-best senior in the state by Rivals.com. He said he made the decision because N.C. State had his desired major - sport management - and will use him in a variety of ways.
“They had the major that I wanted and it was close enough where my family and my extended family could watch me too,” Bryce Dixon said. “I feel like they can put me in the best position to pursue a future after football.”
Green Hope went 10-3 last year and won the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference championship. He had 62 catches for 879 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior.
Barnes headed to Hickory: Garner standout point guard Julius Barnes, the MVP of the Trojans’ 4A basketball state championship win last season, has set his plans for the coming basketball season.
Barnes will spend the 2015-16 basketball season at Moravian Prep in Hickory.
“I’m going to Moravian Prep in Hickory for a year,” Barnes said after the East-West All-Star Basketball game. “I need to work on becoming a better point guard, get stronger and bigger and get those test scores up some. I need to do the work that’s needed to get those offers next spring.”
The 5-foot-8 point guard averaged 14.7 points, 6.7 assists and 2.7 steals as a senior for the Trojans.
More local All-Star Coaches: The coaches for the 2016 N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Games and the N.C.-S.C. Carolinas Basketball Clash include two coaches from Johnston County.
Don Andrews, a Corinth Holders assistant coach and the former head coach at Smithfield-Selma High, will be an assistant coach for the East football squad next July. He will be on a staff led by Tom Nelson, the current Wilson Fike head coach and a former head coach at North Johnston.
Longtime South Johnston boys basketball coach David Dewey will be the assistant coach for the Carolinas Basketball Clash next March. West Rowan’s Mike Gurley will be the N.C. head coach.