Wake Forest rising senior linebacker Darius Hodge committed to N.C. State earlier this week, giving the Wolfpack a recruit on both sides of the Wake Forest-Wakefield rivalry. Wakefield quarterback Matt McKay committed earlier this year.
Hodge was an important part of the 12-1 Cougars’ defense, posting 65 tackles, 9 for loss with eight sacks and a whopping five blocked punts.
Ennis resigns at North Johnston: North Johnston coach Ashley Ennis announced he was stepping down as football coach last week after two seasons to spend more time with family. Ennis, who came to North Johnston after a strong run at Triton, went 1-10 his first season but 5-6 in the next.
There are three area football openings as of Thursday: North Johnston, Knightdale and Rolesville.
Daniels, Wilson to sign: Fike’s D.J. Daniels has signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, forgoing a two-sport college career at James Madison in baseball and football, and Orange’s Bryse Wilson will sign with the Atlanta Braves and forgo his college career at North Carolina.
Daniels was taken in the 6th round and Wilson the 4th round.
Eastern Wayne’s Zack Smith is still weighing his options between enrolling at Charlotte and signing with the Cleveland Indians (15th round, 452nd).
Jordan-Matthews coach: Jordan-Matthews has promoted 18-year assistant coach Rodney Wiley to lead the boys basketball, replacing P.J. Lowman after Lowman was hired at Apex Friendship last month. The Jets made it to the third round of the 2A playoffs last year and were No. 15 in the final N&O rankings.
Orange AD retiring: Earnie Price is retiring as athletics director at Orange High, effective July 1. The school is interviewing candidates now.
Reynolds steps down: Lee County girls basketball coach Gabriel Reynolds is moving to Tennessee, ending a tenure that turned around the Yellow Jackets’ program. Lee, 18-8 last year, has gone to the playoffs in both of Reynolds’ seasons and is 29-22 overall. The program had won 12 games in two years preceding Reynolds.
Powerade State Games: The high school Powerade State Games started Wednesday with the opening rounds of the baseball games at the USA Baseball Complex in Cary. Gold and bronze medal games are Sunday at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Unlike the N.C. Coaches Association East-West games that use graduates, these games feature rising seniors and juniors.
Other all-star events and their medal rounds are: softball on Wednesday at N.C. State; girls and boys lacrosse at WakeMed Soccer Park on Thursday; boys and girls soccer Friday at WRAL Soccer Fields; and boys and girls basketball next Sunday at the Raleigh Convention Center.
Lacrosse teams are split East-West, soccer is split East-West-North-South and baseball and softball use regions. “Region 3” has the most area players, encompassing Wake, Orange, Durham, Johnston, Person, Vance, Granville, Warren and Franklin counties. Lee, Moore and Harnett are in Region 4. Pitt, Nash and Wilson are in Region 1. Region 5 includes Chatham and Region 2 includes Wayne.
Basketball uses full varsity teams from schools.