The overwhelming majority of prep coaches from across the state will be in Greensboro this week for the N.C. Coaches Association Coaching Clinic, which also include all-star games featuring some of the best recently-graduated senior players in the state in boys and girls basketball (Monday), girls and boys soccer (Tuesday) and football (Wednesday) matching teams from the East and West regions.
The boys basketball game, to be played Monday night at 8:30 in the Greensboro Coliseum, will feature Garner graduate Demarcus Sanford and Middle Creek grad Quinton Ray, who grew up in Clayton.
Tuesday’s boys soccer match (8:30 p.m. on the UNC-Greensboro campus) gives Melecio Rubio-Villagran his second all-star appearance this month.
Wednesday’s football game will feature Garner quarterback Vince Jeffries, among others. That game will be played at A.J. Simeon Stadium in High Point since traditional site Jamieson Stadium at Grimsley High School in Greensboro is currently under renovation. The game kicks off at 8 p.m.
Corinth Holders grad Rubio-Villagran started in the Tar Heels’ 2-0 victory and played just more than 60 minutes.
Pirates’ coach Brent Walston, a former North Johnston coach as well, coached the North Carolina squad and enjoyed the unique experience.
“The East-West All-Star Game that is held in Greensboro is special,” Walston said. “I coached that in 2000, but this is even more so because you are representing the entire state. The host state soccer associations and all the people involved do a great job of making the coaches feel welcome. It was a great honor and privilege.
“It was a very easy job when you have players of that caliber playing. All 18 of our boys and Coach (Tim) Healy from Cardinal Gibbons, who was the other N.C. boys coach, were great to work with.”
Walston’s sons, Graham, 14, and Ian, 11, served as ball boys for the North Carolina squad making the game a bit more memorable for him.
Wilmington Ashley’s Gary O’Neill, the match’s MVP, and Aaron Sparks of Jacksonville scored the match’s only goals.