In many respects, the softball programs at Louisburg High School and Louisburg College are even closer than the one mile of North Main Street that separates the campuses.
Louisburg High has a long history of sending players to Louisburg College, including current Warriors assistant coach and athletic director Erica Wammock, who starred for the Hurricanes as a catcher before graduating from East Carolina – and quickly returned to LHS as a coach.
Phillips is the latest Warriors player to continue that sustained trend as she has committed to join the community college’s roster for the next two years.
“The schools are so close that it is easier for us to interact with each other,” said Phillips, who has also starred in volleyball and basketball. “(LC coach Michelle Carlson) is over here a lot. It just makes the communication easier.”
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It doesn’t hurt the college’s recruiting efforts that Louisburg High coach J. Stamey is another former Hurricane – both as a player and assistant coach under Sheilah Cotten.
A Lincolnton native, the power-hitting Stamey lettered at LC in 1997 and 1998 and was part of the school’s national tournament qualifier in 1997.
After two years at Barton, Stamey returned to Louisburg – and hasn’t left. In addition to spending the past three seasons as LHS’ head coach, Stamey also serves as the Town of Louisburg’s Parks and Recreation Director.
“When I came here, I really liked the small community,” Stamey said. “There are a lot of great people here. Having the college right down the street is great for our kids because they don’t have to leave home, but it’s a great stepping stone for them to help decide what they want to do with their lives. And it gives them an opportunity to keep playing (sports).”
Outfielder Sarah Foster is another Warrior who will be suiting up next year for Louisburg College, but in volleyball, not softball. Foster and Phillips, along with five other softball starters, played key roles in the Warriors’ runner-up finish last season in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A volleyball championship.
“This is home – I’ve always been here,’’ Foster said. “This is where I want to be. This small town is like a big family to me.’’