Midtown: Sports

Prep notes: Oak Hill Academy basketball to face Raleigh’s Word of God

Famed Oak Hill Academy of Mouth of Wilson, Va., is scheduled to play two boys’ basketball games in the Triangle this season.

Coach Steve Smith’s club will play Durham Mount Zion Academy on Jan. 10 and Raleigh Word of God on Feb. 1, according to the schedule the school announced last week.

This year’s Warriors team includes N.C. State commitments Cody and Caleb Martin, who played at Davie County in 2013; Wake Forest commitment Shelton Mitchell, who led Waxhaw Cuthbretsen to the NCHSAA 2A title in 2013; and Virginia commitment B.J. Stith, who led Brunswick County to three Virginia state championships while playing for his father, former UVa star Bryant Stith.

Rams football rebuilding: Raleigh Word of God reached the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association eight-man football championship game for the third consecutive season last fall but lost to Southampton (Va.) Academy in the title game.

The Rams finished 10-2, with both losses coming against the Raiders – a 40-34 regular-season loss and a 56-28 championship loss less than a month later to the Virginia school, which plays football in the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association.

Otherwise, Word of God was dominant, piling up 45.1 points per game and scoring 50 or more points five times.

The Rams have gone 34-2 over the past three years but have started the 2013 season with three losses after returning no seniors from last year’s team.

“This is the youngest team we have had,” coach Kevin Washington said. “With no seniors, we are building.”

Word of God travels to Rocky Mount Academy (2-1) on Friday.

Coach education: The N.C. High School Athletic Association staff will stress coaches education at regional meetings throughout the state during the next couple of weeks.

All non-faculty and newly hired coaches need to pass the National Federation of State High School Associations’ Fundamentals of Coaching course before being allowed to work with athletes. The goal is for every NCHSAA coach to have successfully completed the course by Aug. 2, 2015.

More than 1,000 area coaches have passed the course, including an area-high 55 coaches at Cardinal Gibbons.

NCHSAA finances, calendars, fines and athletic eligibility also are on the agenda.