Though the search has been ongoing for much of this calendar year, it turns out Overhills had its new athletics director on staff the whole time. Assistant principal Jermaine White will officially take the reins next week.
White has been at the school for two years and was previously an assistant to Lee County athletics director and boys basketball coach Reggie Peace for eight years and a basketball coach at High Point Central before that.
Fellow assistant principal David Frazier had been serving as Overhills’ AD on an interim basis. White will continue his role as assistant principal.
Overhills couldn’t replace Frazier until it took care of two other pending vacancies this summer, the first filled by Steve Matthews as principal and then football coach Mark Kirk.
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“He’s been showing me a lot of things to look at and observe,” White said. “We’re looking at things to incorporate academics and athletics.”
White said his goal for the athletics program, which will continue to play Cumberland County schools in next year’s realignment as part of a new 4A/3A split, is to be an example off the field – to “win with class, lose with grace.”
Overhills, located just three miles from the Cumberland border, will be the only 4A school in Harnett County next year. The area’s growth stems from being so close to Fort Bragg and Fayetteville.
“You have a great community of people and a hunger for athletics and sports in general,” White said. “Because of the military we’re a pretty transient school, so there so the challenge there is to be able to really set the foundation in all of our programs to create a culture of sustainability so we make sure that we continue to compete at the highest level.”
He continued: “It’s just got its own unique culture, and the military it what makes it special. ... What we really want to try to do, on the athletics side especially, is develop more relationships with the community stakeholders and find ways and things for us to connect at a greater level.”
White said he would evaluate the possibility of adding athletic programs like lacrosse. No county school has fielded the sport since Triton disbanded its program after the 2011 season.
“We get a lot of different students from a lot of different places that have a lot of different backgrounds that are unique to our school,” White said. “We want to make that transition easy for them, and athletics is a way to do it.”