George Whitfield, an N.C. High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame coach, had never seen an eight-man football game until he coached in Kinston Parrott’s 46-40 victory over St. David’s.
Whitfield, 78, is a solid baseball man, but had been an assistant football coach at Richmond County years ago. He was named as Parrott’s baseball coach during the summer and agreed to join Coach Matt Beamon’s football staff this year.
“They told me that at my age I ought to be able to impart wisdom,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m enjoying it. It is fun to go to practice and games.”
He said he still is adjusting to the eight-man game.
“During the game, I kept looking for those other six players,” Whitfield said. “They aren’t there. I kept waiting for the pursuit to get to the ball, but there was nobody there.”
Whitfield, who is in nine halls of fame, is known for his baseball coaching prowess. His high school and American Legion baseball teams had a 954-286 record. He is looking forward to returning to the dugout. He has not coached a team since retiring as an assistant coach from East Carolina in 2006.
“I’ve got to find me a couple of younger guys to throw BP (batting practice.) I can’t do it anymore,” he said. “But I love baseball and love kids and enjoy being around them. Baseball still is a lot of fun.”
Sanford Grace Christian, which posted a 27-2-1 record last year while winning the NCISAA 1A title, opens the tournament at 1:30 p.m. against North Raleigh Christian (2013 3A champ).
Fayetteville Academy (the 2A titlist) plays Charlotte Country Day in the 8:30 p.m. nightcap.
In between, St. David’s plays Charlotte Latin (3:30 p.m.) and Ravenscroft takes on High Point Christian (5:30 p.m.).
Gibbons posted a 116 three-player total to top second-place Pittsboro Northwood by 20 shots.
Andrew Peterson of Raleigh’s Friendship Christian is second with 21 points (eight goals, three assists).
Among area 4A players, Heritage senior Hunter Weiland and junior Logan Shytle are tops with 18 points. Weiland has 14 assists while Shytle has nine goals.