High School Sports

Prep notebook: Athens Drive hires Jeremy Fullbright as next football coach

Athens Drive has hired former Leesville Road, Heritage and Knightdale assistant coach Jeremy Fullbright as its new football coach. The Jaguars are coming off an 0-11 season that started with Chris Martin as head coach and ended with coordinators Jimmy Ray and Chris Martin (no relation) serving as co-head coaches.

Fullbright started his coaching career at Leesville and was also the Pride’s first boys lacrosse coach. He was the offensive coordinator before leaving Leesville Road in 2013. He spent a year at Heritage and another at Knightdale as an assistant.

Shrine Bowl roster changed: There have been a few changes to this Saturday’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas, a North Carolina versus South Carolina all-star high school football game played at Wofford College at 1 p.m in Spartanburg, S.C.

Wake Forest’s Dexter Lawrence and Hillside’s Abdul Adams will not play, but Heritage offensive lineman Jack Doyle and Southeast Raleigh quarterback Dylan Parham have been added to the team.

Hillside’s Najee Reams and Southern Durham’s Jordon Brown are the only other Triangle players.

Hillside coach Antonio King is the North Carolina defensive line coach while Cleveland’s Tanner Costine is a sports medicine trainer.

First televised game coming Thursday: The first live-televised high school basketball game in North Carolina will be Thursday as Panther Creek’s boys and girls basketball teams host Apex.

The games will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel. This is the first year where live televised games have been allowed by the N.C. High School Athletic Association, and TWC is the corporate partner.

TWC also broadcasted 12 high school football games this year, another first.

The girls game tips off at 6 p.m. with the boys scheduled for 8 p.m.

Banks is a CFL All-Star again: Garner High graduate Brandon Banks has been raking in honors ever since the 2015 Canadian Football League season ended last month. Banks was named the winner of the 2015 John Agro Award as the league’s most outstanding special teams player and has also been named to the CFL All-Star team. He is the lone special teams player listed on the All-Star roster.

The 5-foot-7, 153-pound Garner resident had four punt returns for touchdowns this season, one shy of the CFL single-season record. He scored six total touchdowns and ranked third in the CFL in all-purpose yards with 2,073. He also returned a missed extra point attempt 127 yards on Nov. 7 against Ottawa. It was the first such return in the history of the CFL

Former South Granville player goes for title: South Granville graduate Cole Parrish will be lining up for NCAA Division III football power Mount Union (Ohio) in the national championship on Friday in Salem, Va.

Mount Union, ranked No. 1, will play No. 4. St. Thomas (Minn.). Parrish, a sophomore, is a backup offensive lineman.

Big wrestling matches on Wednesday: Though it’s still early in the high school wrestling season, some conference championship races may be decided as early as Wednesday.

In the Cap-8 4A, N&O No. 14 Sanderson will play No. 6 Leesville Road at Millbrook High at 6 p.m. The Spartans and Pride tied with Millbrook for last year’s league title.

No. 12 Northwood hosts No. 2 Orange in the Big 8 3A, but the winner will still have to face Chapel Hill later this year.

In the Two Rivers 3A, No. 11 Western Harnett visits Cleveland at 6 p.m. Western already owns a win against last year’s champ Corinth Holders.

McGhee leads nation: According to MaxPreps.com, Roxboro Community junior Darius McGhee is leading the nation with 38.4 points per game. The 5-foot-9 guard is shooting 51 percent from 3 and 89 percent from the free throw line for the 4-4 Bulldogs.

J. Mike Blake: 919-460-2606, @JMBpreps