Ovester Grays, one of the most successful girls basketball coaches in the state, is expected to add an extra duty when he becomes Hillside’s athletics director.
Grays, who has been serving as interim AD, wants to bring his academic standards to the rest of the school.
The state rule says an athlete is eligible so long as he or she only fails one class. Grays aims higher. He asks his younger players to achieve A’s and B’s in their core courses, or else they don’t play.
“If a kid has six classes, and gets three D’s, two C’s and an F, he can play sports. Sports is a powerful tool, so let’s use it for a long-lasting cause. Let’s not let our kids play with C’s and D’s, especially ninth-graders – that sets the tone,” Grays said. “Or a kid makes some bad decisions, and we put them right back on the field. I believe in helping kids, but that kid has to learn the consequences.”
He knows it won’t be a popular change.
“I remember petitions to fire me 18 years ago when I first put in the grade standards (for girls basketball). I was fortunate enough to have a principal who stood in the line of fire with me,” he said.
More televised football: Time Warner Cable has announced its full slate of live-televised football games, which are played at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays instead of Fridays. This is the first year the N.C. High School Athletic Association has allowed games to be televised live.
Eight area teams will be on TV in four games: Garner at Cleveland on Aug. 27, Chapel Hill at Southeast Raleigh on Sept. 10, Orange at Southern Durham on Sept. 24, Western Harnett at South Johnston on Oct. 8.
Wynn added to all-stars: East Wake graduate Kianna Wynn has been added to the East roster for the N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Game, set for Monday in Greensboro.
The Barton College signee was promoted to the East squad after a roster member announced he was unable to attend the showcase.
Wynn was an alternate selection and easily could have been included in the original list, according to Marlon Lee, Clayton High’s girls basketball coach who is co-leading the East team.
“We really could have gone either way in the selection,” Lee said. “We knew if one (player) wasn’t going to be able to make, it was going to be (Wynn).”
Bullock All-American: South Granville rising junior Justin Bullock was named a MaxPreps sophomore All-American for this past baseball season. Bullock helped the Vikings to a 24-5 record and the NCHSAA 2A title.
Football records: Gobiggreen.net, a fan-operated website out of Asheville, is a friend to any and every high school football fan in the state. The site already had accounted for every NCHSAA team in the state’s win-loss records dating back to 1999; now it goes to 1980.
Garner and Northern Durham lead the Triangle with 20 conference championships apiece over the past 35 seasons. Clayton and Southern Durham each has 15 league titles, followed by Fuquay-Varina (14), Clayton (14), East Wake (11) and Bunn (10).
Of the area schools that have opened since 1980, Southeast Raleigh fared the best in its first varsity season, going 6-6 in 1999.
Eberhardt signs: Middle Creek graduate Sheldon Eberhardt has signed to play basketball at Elon in the fall. Eberhardt averaged 15.5 points per game in his only season with the Mustangs after transferring from Germany.
Bonita Best contributed to this report.