Holly Springs baseball coach Rod Whitesell and athletic director Andy Wheeler are two of just a few people still left at the school since it opened in 2006.
So when Wheeler – the only AD the school has known – retired on Aug. 1, Whitesell – the only baseball coach the school has known – was hired on Friday to take his place.
Whitesell’s baseball teams have made the playoffs in every season except its first and won the 2011 state title.
Friendship moves first game: Apex Friendship’s first home varsity football game will not be at home. The Patriots will host Tarboro’s North East Carolina Prep on Aug. 20 at Holly Springs High. Friendship’s field is unplayable until September.
Cates gets stadium name: Eastern Randolph isn’t just honoring the 10-year anniversary of the 2006 3AA state football champions for its opener on Aug. 19, it’s renaming the stadium after former head coach Burton Cates.
Cates, who led Eastern Randolph to three title games (going 1-2) and seven regional finals (going 3-4), is the head coach at Lee County. Lee’s home opener has been moved to Aug. 18 so Cates can attend.
Cary HOF: Cary High will have three players inducted to its sports hall of fame: Barry Armstrong (class of 1977), Eric Hall (1993) and Legare Woods (1965).
Armstrong was the first state champion wrestler in the school’s decorated history. Hall has served at the school as its athletic trainer for decades and Woods was one of the area’s first girls basketball stars during the sports’ infancy at the high school level.
They will be inducted at halftime of the Imps’ home football game on Sep. 16 against Apex.
Green Hope HOF: Green Hope has announced five new athletes for its athletics hall of fame: Dustin Prusik (class of 2005), Marcus Brown (2005), Cade Holliday (2005), Stephen Bickford (2005), Brittany Johnson (2006) and Jon Willard (2003). They will be inducted at halftime of the Falcons’ home football game on Sep. 9 against Holly Springs.
Prusik, a former quarterback, was a conference player of the year who led the Falcons to their only 4A East final in football. Brown holds several football school records and is the 10th all-time leading scorer in basketball.
Holliday was a three-sport athlete who later walked-on and played special teams on two national championship Florida football teams.
Bickford was a two-time state soccer player of the year, a two-time All-American and the 2004 national player of the year.
Johnson won one individual outdoor track and field state championship and one relay title. Willard holds several baseball school records and was a two-time all-state player.
NCHSAA news: The N.C. High School Athletic Association has promoted Tra Waters to Assistant Commissioner of Sports & Championships. The assistant commissioner role has been vacant for almost a year after Que Tucker was first promoted to interim and later got the permanent role as NCHSAA commissioner.
Waters has been with the NCHSAA for 11 years in various roles.
N&O PRESEASON TOP 25 SO FAR
14. Northern Durham
3. J.H. Rose
4. Rocky Mount
18. South Johnston
6. D.H. Conley
19. Southern Nash
20. West Johnston
The rest of the N&O’s preseason top 25 football teams will be revealed over the next two weeks. Here are the ones previewed thus far. Other top 25s will be revealed Aug. 14.