Midtown: Sports

Franklinton coach new but knows the area

New Franklinton High football coach Jeremy Buck has spent the past three years as head coach in Charlotte – Charlotte Harding (one season) and East Mecklenburg (for two) – but he is well versed in area high school football.

Buck played for three head coaches at Chapel Hill High – Bill Hodgin, Tom Merritt and Ron Pendergraft – and began his coaching career at the school under Joe Wolfe

Buck later was an assistant at Jacksonville White Oak for Robbie Ellis, at East Wake under Jimmy Williams and at Cary under Ben Kolstad.

The Rams coach said he learned from each of the coaches, but said Williams taught him a lot about coaching administration, particularly things that aren’t covered in coaching preparation courses.

“He’d pull me aside and tell me what had happened in school that day and talk about how he had handled it,” Buck said.

East Mecklenburg was 0-10 in 2011 but was expected to return 20 starters. Buck used a freshman quarterback and had five sophomores in the starting offensive lineup.

Ravens leave: Marcus Bryan and Isaac Copeland, a pair of junior big men who helped Ravenscroft to the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association 3A basketball title in 2012, have enrolled at the Miller School of Albemarle in Charlottesville, Va.

Bryan, 6 feet 6 inches, started for the Ravens while the 6-foot-9 Copeland’s playing time was limited by injuries.

Both will be reclassified as juniors at the boarding private school that was founded in 1878.

“Coming here allows them to focus,” said Miller coach Scott Willard. “They will be up and in the gym by 6 a.m. The coaching staff lives on campus and is available for hours of work.

“And they are able to reclassify. It is like having a prep school year without going to prep school.”

Willard said the formula worked well last season for Kansas recruit Andrew White, who wasn’t on the national recruiting radar when he transferred to Miller two seasons ago.

“You have to work very hard, but things are in place to help the kids improve,” Willard said. “Academically, the classes are very small and you get a lot of individual attention.”

The school has 170 students in grades eight through 12.

Ravenscroft junior Anton Gill, a Louisville commitment, is transferring to Chatham (Va.) Hargrave School.

Leesville Road grad: Brian Rimpf, the new football coach at Fayetteville Britt, expects high expectations this fall. The former Leesville Road High and East Carolina offensive lineman was an assistant coach at Harnett Central for two years before joining former Britt coach Richard Bailey’s staff last April.

He was named as the head coach at Britt, his first head-coaching job, when Bailey left to become coach at Scotland County. Bailey’s 12 Britt teams won 119 games and played in the Eastern Regional final last fall before losing to Garner.

“I know that we’re going to get everybody’s best shot,” said Rimpf, who played with the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens for three seasons. “I talked to a lot of my former coaches as I pursued this job and (former East Carolina) coach (Steve) Logan said sometimes it’s harder to maintain rather than build from ashes.

“But many times a new coach has to change the culture, correct attitudes and build a winning attitude. We’ve got those things already. I’m really looking forward to building on the foundation that we have here.”

Rimpf said he had looked forward to working with Bailey.

“He took that opportunity and I decided to go for this job,” Rimpf said. “I knew I wanted to be a high school head coach sooner or later. Sooner came sooner than I expected.”

All-star banquet: Former N.C. Coaches Association all-star coaches, players and athletic trainers from select years are invited to this year’s basketball, soccer and football games and to a pregame meal.

The NCCA is recognizing soccer players from 1992 and 2002, plus football and basketball participants from before 1962, plus 1972, 1982, 1992 and 2002.

Contact eastwestallstars.com.

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