Garner junior running back Nyheim Hines, who scored a school record 60 touchdowns for the Trojans this season, picked up All-American and all-state honors last week.
Hines was named to the MaxPreps.com junior All-American squad after helping the Trojans reach the third round of the 4AA state playoffs.
He was one of four running backs on the national team with Andre Robinson of Harrisburg (Pa.) Bishop McDevitt, Calvin Strong of Omaha (Neb.) North and Kellen Overstreet of Hamilton (Mo.) Penny.
The all-state honors came from the Associated Press and its 13 media voters.
The squad includes 14 offensive players, 12 defensive players and six specialists and athletes. The squad was expanded this year because of a three-way tie at running back and two-way ties for athlete, defensive back and kicker.
Charlotte Christian runner Elijah Hood was the leading vote getter with 12 of 13 votes. The University of North Carolina recruit rushed for 3,690 yards and scored 53 touchdowns.
Sims had 401 yards receiving and seven touchdowns for Garner as a senior. He can officially sign on Feb. 5.
Meserve cited a desire to work more with the community youth programs and teaching. He plans to serve as an assistant coach for the Panthers next season. North was winless in 2013, its first season in the brutal Eastern Plains 2A Conference.
“By being an assistant coach I can assist with the communication with the players, game planning and community relations more effectively, and allow the new head coach to focus on the administrative side of the job,” Meserve said in a statement to the media. “The head football coach wears many different hats and without the right support staff the process fails.”
He led North to the second round of the 2A playoffs in 2011 and was 11-24 in three seasons as the Panthers’ head coach.
North’s junior varsity program went 8-2 in 2013 so there is promise in the future, but winning in a league that produced four consecutive state finalist teams from 2009-12 and where the bulk of the league’s offensive stars will return in 2014 could be a tough task in the near future. For comparison purposes, It would be comparable to a struggling team trying to make the move up into the always stacked top half of the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference.