Midtown: Sports

Landis hired as North Raleigh Christian coach

Rich Landis, the head football coach and athletics director at Huntersville Southlake Christian, is the new head football coach at North Raleigh Christian.

Landis succeeds Chris Rivera, who resigned after one season. Rivera had replaced Bob Winstead, who also coached one season.

“We think we’ve got someone for the long haul now,” North Raleigh athletics director Steve Lykins said. “Rich is very impressive and has done a great job at Southlake.”

Landis started the Southlake football program in 2003 and has a 60-41 overall record. His team finished 10-2 in 2011 and reached the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 2A semifinals. He also coached Southlake to the 2011 NCISAA 2A baseball championship.

Landis, 49, is a native of Bucks County, Pa., and played football and baseball at The Hun School of Princeton, N.J. He had opportunities to play major college baseball, but wanted to play both football and baseball. He played both at Catawba College in Salisbury.

“As an athletic director I found myself spending more and more time away from the kids,” he said. “I haven’t taught in the classroom in five years. I still want to coach and I’m excited about the opportunity to be in front of the kids in the classroom every day.”

Landis expects to begin his duties at North Raleigh in June.

Norris honored: Sherry Norris, who has coached at Chapel Hill High, has been named as the Toby Webb Female coach of the year by the N.C. High School Athletic Association.

The annual award is presented to an NCHSAA coach who exemplifies the ideals of coaching

Norris has coached volleyball and girls basketball at the school for 35 years. She has a 686-242 career record in volleyball and a 471-373 record in basketball. She has been her league volleyball coach of the year 10 times and its women’s basketball coach of the year eight times.

Her volleyball teams won NCHSAA volleyball state titles in 1994 and 2003 and her basketball team won in 1980-81.

This year, the Tigers’ volleyball team was 24-5 and the basketball was 27-3.

Near perfection: Brittany Dahle of Wake Forest-Rolesville narrowly missed a perfect game in an 8-0 softball win over Wake Forest Heritage on March 13. Dahle allowed no hits, no walks and the Cougars committed no errors, but she hit a batter in the third inning to ruin the perfect game bid.

This season, Dahle is 5-0 with four shutouts. She struck out 10 against Heritage to bring her total to 45 for the season. She is second in the area in strikeouts behind Holly Springs’ Erica Nunn, who has 63.

The victory was the Cougars’ 123rd consecutive Cap Eight 4A win.

“The team is coming together pretty well,” Wake Forest coach Doug Kinsman said.

“We have one of the best defensive team I have ever had. With seven returning starters, we should all be on the same page on what to do when the ball is in play.

“Our only concern is at the plate. We have some girls who our struggling that we will need if we are to be a team that can make some noise in the post season.”

Fast times: Wakefield runners and Ravenscroft’s Wesley Frazier recorded times in last weekend’s New Balance Indoor Nationals in New York that rank among the 10 fastest times ever run by high school female athletes in the country.

The Wakefield girls 4x200 relay won with a time of 1:36.35, the second fastest time ever, and won the 4x400 with a time of 3:43.01, the eighth fastest ever.

Frazier was fourth in the 5000 meters (16:46.15), but her time was the fourth fastest run in the U.S. this year and the eighth fastest ever.

Bunn nets five: Junior Whitney Bunn of Bunn scored five goals in the Wildcats’ 6-3 soccer win over Franklin County rival Franklinton. She leads the area with 10 goals in three games. She missed some early season games while she was playing with the basketball team.

Near no-hitter: Conner Lawrence of Pittsboro Northwood had a no-hitter for 6 2/3 inning last week and had two strikes on the batter before giving up a single. He struck out the next batter to wrap up a 6-0 victory over Voyager Academy.

Gaffney surgery: Green Hope girls basketball standout Kristen Gaffney has surgery scheduled for Thursday, March 22. The Vanderbilt recruit tore her anterior cruciate ligament in a sectional playoff victory over Durham Hillside.

Bob Wolfe Day: Apex mayor Keith Weatherly proclaimed Saturday as Bob Wolfe Day in honor of the retiring Apex football coach. Wolfe had coached at the school for 18 years.

A reception was held Saturday at Peak United Methodist Church from 2 to 5 p.m. with a special presentation at 3:00 p.m.

Geary retires: Person football coach Lou Geary has retired after 31 years coaching. He had been at Person for two years after spending much of his career at Cedar Ridge.

His teams at Person were 4-7 and 1-10, but he had outstanding teams at Cedar Ridge.