Ronnie Ash is heading to Rio. The Knightdale graduate, whose only year in town was also his first year of doing track and field, was second with a 13.21 at the U.S. Olympic Trials in the men’s 110-meter hurdles.
Ash was a national champ at Bethune-Cookman after one year at Knightdale, then transferred to Oklahoma for his final collegiate season.
Proctor new AD at Princeton: Longtime baseball coach Bruce Proctor was named as the new athletics director at Princeton High and Middle schools on Thursday, filling the void left by Marty Gurganus’ retirement last month. The two schools still share the campus and athletic facilities.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Proctor said of the new role. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The tough part of it is giving up baseball coaching. But I’d started to have thoughts about when would be the right time to get out of coaching and I’d rather go out (of coaching) like this than any other way.”
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Proctor served as an assistant coach on the Bulldogs’ two state championship baseball squads in the 1990s and left to take baseball head coaching jobs at Smithfield-Selma and then Garner before returning to take over the baseball program reigns at Princeton.
He helped continue the big run of success on the diamond, leading the Bulldogs to the state championship series in 2004 and a state championship in 2007.
“Schools like Princeton are really extinct in a lot of places,” Proctor said. “This school is kind of like a dinosaur, but in a good way. Our whole community revolves around our school and our whole school revolves around the community. It’s a special place to be.”
The first couple of orders of business for Proctor this summer will be filling the head coaching voids left by the departure of Gurganus and his own departure from the baseball dugout: baseball and girls basketball.
D. Clay Best
McCauley new AD at Orange: Mike McCauley’s appointment as the new AD at Orange came last week, shortly after the retirement of Earnie Price, who served almost 30 years in the district system.
McCauley previously has worked at Orange as an assistant athletics director, on the staff of football head coach Pat Moser and as a teacher in the exceptional children’s department.
Before coming to Orange High School in 2013, McCauley was the athletics director at Southern Lee High School. He worked for eight seasons at Graham High School, 2004-2011, where he followed Moser as the head football coach.
Price realized it was time to step aside in May, when Orange baseball ended its regular season against Cedar Ridge on a Friday night. The next day, there was a conference meeting to discuss the upcoming Big-8 baseball tournament, followed by a softball game that night.
On his way out the door Saturday morning, Price’s 10-year-old daughter Avery asked her father “Where are you going?”
“Daddy’s gotta go to work,” said Price.
With tears in her eyes, she responded “I’m gonna have to call Mr. (departing Orange principal Jason) Johnson.”
“Why?” asked Price.
“I’m gonna have to tell him to find somebody else to do this work. I miss you.”
That was when Price realized nine years as an athletic director was enough.
“It broke my heart. That’s when it hit me the time is right.”
Price leaves after a banner year for Orange athletics, which featured Big-8 conference championships in football, wrestling, baseball and softball. The boys’ basketball team captured a conference tournament championship for the first time in over 30 years.
Clash of the Carolinas: North Carolina swept South Carolina in the Clash of the Carolinas boys and girls soccer games on Saturday at Cardinal Gibbons.
Megan Greene of Fuquay-Varina scored in a 3-1 girls’ victory. Also on the team were Athens Drive’s Rachel Snyder, Fuquay-Varina’s Kelley Suggs, Clayton’s Lauren Daniels and Broughton’s Kelly Ann Evans and Lily Schneider.
Holly Springs’ Eddie Zuniga, Broughton’s Elvis Wiredu, Apex’s Will Tomlinson, Leesville Road’s Matt Bissette and Franklin Academy’s Nic Hughes played on the boys’ team that won 4-3.
This was the first time that North Carolina hosted the event which has been held in Charleston since 2007. NC now leads the girls’ series 7-1-2 and 6-1-3 in the boys’ ledger.
Culliver, Moore to host camps: Two former area football players, now in the NFL, are returning to Wake County to host free football camps.
Indianapolis Colts linebacker Sio Moore, a 2008 Apex High graduate, is hosting the first Reach Four Moore Camp, a free one-day football camp Saturday in Holly Springs. The camp also will feature lessons on leadership, accountability, individuality, adversity and bullying. About 10 National Football League players are expected to attend.
“It’s something that I wanted to bring back home to my community, and actually being more than just an athlete,” Moore said. “I wanted to be somebody to actually give back to my community and the youth.”
Organizers hope the camp will be an annual event. This year’s camp will be 9:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. at the North Main Athletic Complex at 1151 N. Main Street in Holly Springs. Children from second through 12th grade are eligible to attend. Nearly 300 already are registered, and spaces are still available.
Garner graduate and current free agent Chris Culliver will take a break from his recovery from a serious knee injury to host a free youth football clinic, Cully’s Camp, on Saturday, July 23, at Thompson Field (500 Thompson Road) in Garner.
“He’s excited come back home and give something back to the kids in the community,” said Antone Barnes, Culliver’s agent from The Brand Architects. “This is something he’s wanted to do for a few years and we’re excited to be able to put it together this summer.”
The event, which runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. is open to ages 6-18. Participants will run through a wide range of non-contact football agility drills, be treated to lunch, get a free camp T-shirt, receive an autograph from Chris and a photo. Chick-Fil-A and BodyArmor — event sponsors — will provide the campers with food and drinks.
Registration is open at www.cullyscamp.info or can be done beginning at 8 a.m. the day of the camp. Additional information on the camp can be obtained by contacting Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
D. Clay Best & Kathryn Trogdon