To be a high school sports journalist, sometimes you have to be a bit of a historian.
Most school records are difficult to track down, even for longtime coaches and ADs.
And there are even some feats that the N.C. High School Athletic Association doesn’t have readily available.
Two things have stumped myself and many others in the last year, but one mystery was solved, and the other could work itself out.
Cary’s top scorer
With a school that’s 100 years old, figuring out an all-time leader in certain Cary High sports categories sure is hard.
And no sport is harder than basketball. Baseball and football are just as old at the school, but innovations like the aluminum bat and the forward pass almost assuredly shattered most records from the black-and-white-TV days.
As Cary senior Cory Gensler approaches the 1,800-point mark in his career, I’ve tried to do a little digging and see who is the Imps’ all-time leading scorer.
The NCHSAA only keeps records of those who top the 2,000-point mark. No Cary players are on there.
Wayne Dillard has the single-game high, 57 points against Selma High School in 1965. He was a big-time scorer, but it’s unclear if he was a four-year starter.
You’d have to play all four years to have a chance to beat Gensler’s total.
Guy Mendenhall, one of the stars from the 1954 title team? Three years.
Jim Ramsey? Mickey Hinnant, who went on to play at N.C. State? Also believed to not be four-year players.
If there is a player who Gensler hasn’t topped, it would have to be the man the Cary gymnasium is now named after: Charlie Adams.
Adams, more noted for being the longtime NCHSAA commissioner, was a four-year starter and only missed one game from 50-54. He was also the leading scorer on some of Cary’s best teams that went 25-1 and 30-1 over his last two years with the 1954 championship.
High school teams today still play about the same number of games. The only thing Adams’ era was lacking was a 3-point line.
Gensler is perhaps the least interested person in all of this. His focus is on winning a conference tournament and a state championship.
But I think we’re close to an answer.
If Gensler isn’t Cary’s all-time leading scorer, he’s at least second. If he can somehow get to 2,000 points, we can go ahead and and move him to first.
“Friendship” state champs
One of the mysteries in the NCHSAA is what “Friendship High” won seven straight boys track and field titles from 1914-1920. Records from that time are spotty.
When Apex Friendship H
igh opened, it was the first time I had heard about the Friendship community here in Wake County, and I began to wonder. I made some calls to residents that were never returned and contacted the NCHSAA, which at the time couldn’t help me figure out what Friendship High School it was.
Modern-day Green Hope High opened in 1999 and could claim the 1940 boys basketball title that the previous incarnation won (original Green Hope School burned in 1963).
But thanks to a fantastic website, ncpreptrack.org, that lists every state champion in state history (missing just a few here and there) I can finally rest at ease.
This Friendship school was in Alamance County.
I double-checked it by looking up the names of some of Friendship’s individual winners and finding their obituaries (they’d be 110 at the youngest if still alive today). Sure enough, all grew up near Burlington.
For some, trying to figure out these parts of school history would be a neat hobby. For me, it’s part of the job.