Eastern Wake: Sports

Zebulon players part of state championship tennis team

Rick Rogers (left) and Allen White had good reason to smile after going 4-0 in doubles play in the 55 and over 6.5 combo tennis state championship held in Wilmington, N.C. Nov. 13-15, 2015.
Rick Rogers (left) and Allen White had good reason to smile after going 4-0 in doubles play in the 55 and over 6.5 combo tennis state championship held in Wilmington, N.C. Nov. 13-15, 2015. COURTESY OF RICK ROGERS

Locals Rick Rogers and Allen White participated on the Central Carolina Tennis League’s Carolina Preserve team that won the 55 and over 6.5 combo state championship in Wilmington Nov. 13-15.

The title qualified Carolina Preserve for the USTA sectionals in Auburn, Ala. in March, 2016.

Rogers and White won all four matches during the round-robin tournament that shifted sites from Landfall Country, Pine Valley Country Club and Holly Tree Racquet Club.

The local duo cruised past a Raleigh doubles team, 6-0, 6-2, in their opening match that Friday and beat a Kinston team 6-3, 6-4 later that day.

Their greatest test of the tournament came the following morning. A Neuse-area team made Rogers and White rally to win their opening set 6-3, and handed them their only loss of the tournament, 4-6, in the second set. Rogers and White prevailed 10-4 in a tiebreaker to improve to 3-0.

In their final match Sunday morning, facing a team from the Greensboro area took just 39 minutes to produce a 6-0, 6-1 win for the local players to remain unbeaten.

Rogers and White are regulars at Zebulon’s Whitley Park courts Saturday mornings, Sunday afternoons and on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The name of their local league is “The Zebulon Old Farts Tennis Tour,” which can be found on Facebook and has contact information listed there. Anyone wishing to join them is encourage to simply show up and play.

Stepping down: Southeast Raleigh football coach Mike Thibodeau is stepping down after two seasons, he said, to spend more time with family.

Thibodeau was 8-14 in his two years with the Bulldogs. He previously was the offensive coordinator at Knightdale.

“Southeast will have a great group of returning players in 2016 and I wish them and the school all the best,” he wrote in a release. “I thank my administration and AD for the opportunity over the past two years and look forward to hearing good things about the Bulldogs in the near future.”

Ejection-free: There were 139 ejection-free schools in the NCHSAA in the 2014-15 athletic year. Franklin Academy and Chatham Central were commended for being ejection-free for five consecutive years.

Other local teams who did not have an ejection include: Cary, Chapel Hill, Clayton, Corinth Holders, Durham School of the Arts, East Chapel Hill, Chatham Charter, East Wake, East Wake Academy, Franklinton, Granville Central, Hillside, Holly Springs, Kestrel Heights, Lee County, Louisburg, Middle Creek, Millbrook, N.C. Science & Math, Neuse Charter, North Johnston, Northern Vance, Princeton, Raleigh Charter, Rolesville, Roxboro Community, Smithfield-Selma, Southern Durham, Wake Forest, Warren County and Woods Charter.

East football coaching staff: The 2016 N.C. Coaches Association East-West All-Star Football Game will feature three coaches with ties to Johnston County. Current Corinth Holders assistant coach and former Smithfield-Selma head coach Don Andrews will be an assistant coach on the East staff, which will be led by Wilson Fike head coach Tom Nelson. Nelson is a former head coach at North Johnston.

Also on the East staff is Beau Williams, the brother of Corinth Holders head coach Bubba Williams. The game will be played July 20 in Greensboro.

West Johnston head coach Jimmy Williams led the East squad, featuring several players from the Johnston/Garner area, to a win earlier this year.