Eastern Wake: Sports

Column: Smothers takes Knightdale athletics director job

Chad Smothers, whose Leesville Road football teams have averaged almost 11 wins a season during his three years as head coach, has resigned to become the athletics director at Knightdale High.

Smothers has ties to eastern Wake County. He came from Rockingham to be the head baseball coach at East Wake in 2001. He resigned in 2003 to become an assistant football and baseball coach at Havelock High. He took the Leesville Road baseball job in 2005 and became the Pride’s defensive coordinator.

He added head football coaching duties in 2011 and gave up coaching baseball this spring.

His three football teams posted 12-1, 12-1 and 8-4 records.

Smothers is following the Guy Blough at Knightdale. Blough is retiring on June 30 and Smothers begins on July 1.

East Wake wins again: The Warriors completed a season sweep of rival Knightdale in boys tennis with their 7-1 victory in Wendell on April 16.

East Wake won all but one singles match. Only two doubles matches took place, and the Warriors won both.

Taking singles wins for East Wake were Will Clement (6-0, 6-2) over Peter Nguyen on court No. 1, and David Egan (6-0, 1-6, 10-7) in a third-set tiebreak over Andre Willis at No. 3. Ty Matheny won 6-2, 6-0 over David Nguyen in the No. 4 match and Brooks Stancil swept Brian Levine at No. 5.

Knightdale’s lone win came from Dominic Cao (5-7, 6-1, 10-6) in a tiebreak on singles court No. 2. East Wake’s Jake Clement took a win on court No. 6 by default.

In No. 1 doubles, Will Clement and Egan defeated Cao and Willis 8-2. Stancil and Jake Clement shut out Peter and David Nguyen in the other doubles match.

Trojans continue streak: Harnett Central won Tuesday’s boys golf match at Keith Hills Golf Club to remain undefeated heading into the final Greater Neuse River 4A match of the season.

Team scores are produced by the sum of the four lowest rounds posted by each school.

The Trojans carded a 308 in Buies Creek and were trailed by West Johnston (314), Clayton (334), Garner (338), Rolesville (343), Knightdale (360), East Wake (419) and Southeast Raleigh (441).

Rolesville’s Blake McSea was the individual medalist with his 2-under-par round of 70.

Harnett Central had two players break 80, Zach Freeman with 71 and Jacob Lowe with 73. West Johnston had three players to do so; Ben Lacombe (75), Brice Connors (76) and David Chavis (77).

Low rounds from other schools came from Clayton’s Alex Owens (79), Garner’s Kyle Gilman (81), Knightdale’s Justin Smith (82), East Wake’s Josh Beddingfield (95) and Southeast’s Austin Brown (100).

All Harnett Central has to do to claim first place in the league is compete in the final league match this coming Tuesday, April 29, at The Neuse, Clayton’s home course. The round is set for 3 p.m.

Eagles honored: The North Central Athletic Conference included three East Wake Academy basketball players on its All-Conference list for the winter season.

Those earning honors are seniors Collin Blank and Terrance McCarthy, forwards on the Eagles’ boys team, and sophomore Brooke Sanderson, a sophomore forward for the EWA girls.

Blank, who averaged 14.9 points and 4.8 rebounds on the season, was seventh in scoring in the league. His senior highlights included 24-point games against Faith Christian School and Roxboro Community School. Blank surpassed the 20-point mark seven times on the season.

McCarthy paced the Eagles with 15.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. His best outing was in December, when he posted 30 points and 22 rebounds in a 63-52 win over Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School. McCarthy was fourth in the league in scoring, third in rebounding and third in blocked shots.

“Collin and Terrance have both been a part of the program since middle school and it’ll be a substantial loss to the program with them graduating this year,” EWA Athletics Director Bret Bystricky said. “Not only were they good basketball players, but they were good people. You don’t easily replace kids like this.”

Both Blank (soccer and golf) and McCarthy (cross country and baseball) are three-sport athletes. Blank plans to attend East Carolina University to major in Sports Studies and Business Management. McCarthy plans to attend N.C. A&T University to major in Mass Communications.

East Wake Academy has plenty to look forward to from Sanderson. The sophomore managed 12.8 points and 6.9 rebounds over 19 games, missing a handful of contests due to injury.

Sanderson scored 20 or more points five times in the winter. Her best offensive showing came in February, when she scored 29 of the Eagles’ 36 points in league play against Woods Charter School. She was third in the conference in scoring and fifth in rebounding.

Disc golf ongoing: The Triangle Chain Posse’s disc golf doubles league in Zebulon, known as Zubz, began in January but runs through November. That means there’s still plenty of time to join in the action, or simply get outdoors and check out it out.

Zubz meets on the third Sunday of each month at Zebulon Community Park, 401 S. Arendell Ave. Registration opens at 9 a.m. and the rounds begin at 10. The entry fee is $8 per player, with $1 entered into a pool for hole-in-one shots.

The format of play changes each round and teams are paired based on experience, catering to players of all skill levels.

For more information, visit trianglechainposse.com/zubz, or email tcpdiscgolf@gmail.comtcpdiscgolf@gmail.com.

Staff writer Tim Stevens contributed to this report.