Leesville Road High boys and girls soccer coach Paul Dinkenor took the humble route when asked about his induction into the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association Field of Honor.
“Well, if you stay around long enough,” he said.
He could have completed the thought by adding that if you coach long enough and you are outstanding sometimes people will notice.
Dinkenor has a 725-287-82 combined boys and girls record in 26 years on the sidelines. That excludes his six years as a head coach in his native United Kingdom.
His clubs have won five N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A championships – 1997 and 1999 in boys and 2008, 2009 and 2011 in girls.
He has been the state coach of the year three times and has been his conference’s coach of the year 13 times.
McDonald excited: Wakefield’s Kat McDonald, who was named the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association girls player of the year, said she never feels stressed when playing.
“I love the game,” she said. “It is just fun.”
She has played since she was four years old and was a four-year starter for the Wolverines.
“I really enjoyed playing for the high school team,” she said. “It was fun to play with my school friends. The team changed every year and it was good to get to know other people.”
McDonald will play at Duke next season.
Softball scoring: The NCHSAA softball championships usually are low-scoring games, but South Granville (23-2) and East Bend Forbush (27-1) have some lofty offensive numbers.
Granville is batting .467 as a team and averages 12.08 runs per game. Senior Erin Boone is hitting .598 and freshman Megan White has a .571 average and 10 home runs. Sophomore pitcher Miranda Barker helps offensively, too. She is hitting .534.
Forbush’s Logan Wood has a .534 batting average and has hit 14 home runs and driven in 54. Forbush averages 8.9 runs per game.
Junior Sydney Miller, who is committed to Lenoir Rhyne, is the Falcons’ pitcher. She has a 1.20 ERA.
Vikings and Forbush begin their best-of-three 2A state championship series on Friday at 6 p.m., at N.C. State’s Dail Softball Stadium.
No favorite: The Charlotte Providence baseball team is 29-3 and is ranked No. 21 in the country by MaxPreps, but coach Danny Hignight said his Panthers’ aren’t the favorites in the 4A championship series that begins Friday at the Carolina Mudcats’ Five County Stadium.
Hignight told the Charlotte Observer that Millbrook’s Alex Royalty is one of the best pitchers in the state and the Wildcats’ staff is one of the best.
Royalty is 9-2 this season with a 2.28 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 61 innings.
“He’s averaging about 120 strikeouts per year, and he’s thrown seven complete games,” Hignight said. “He’s throwing in the high 80s and low 90s. I mean, this is the one sport where you can put a guy 60 feet, 6 inches away and he can dominate you. They’ve got three guys who are the real deal and we’ll match them up with our three. We’re no favorites.”
National track: The New Balance Nationals Outdoor track and field championships will be held June 19-21 at N.C. A&T University in Greensboro. The meet is the high school national championship.
Three national records were set at last year’s championships.