CARRBORO— The dog days of summer provide a definite lull in the normal buzzing of sports activity in every other season. With the unfortunate void, minds tend to wander to the end of August, when the glories of football return.
Although on a national scale, the college and professional games garner nearly all the attention, for some purists, there is nothing better than Friday night lights. Yes, high school football reigns supreme in many regions.
And if you can cast your eyes past the giant in the room that is UNC in these neck of the woods, you may just find a palpable mix of passion and performance on the gridiron that has many locals all fired up!
This time on The Grid, I had the opportunity to sit down with Head coach Jason Tudryn at Carrboro High School.
***Listen to the full interview***
State runner-ups in the 2AA division a year ago, the Carrboro Jaguars are rapidly closing in on their 2013 season opener against Cedar Ridge on August 23rd. Coach Tudryn says it is important for his players to move on from last season.
“I think it’s important for our guys to realize that it is no longer 2012. Dwelling in the past isn’t going to benefit anybody. So I think that’s a challenge for them to understand that winning isn’t easy,” Tudryn said.
Tudryn says he believes football to be about more than just physical ability. The intangibles are what make the difference. He shared a little bit of his coaching philosophy with us.
“There’s a mental game involved in this thing. And it’s about physical conditioning, it’s about competition, it’s about courage, and playing with honor and class. If you do that a higher percentage of the time, we are going to have a greater chance of winning on Friday night,” Tudryn said.
When asked about his team’s goals, Tudryn didn’t have to think long. Why you may ask? Well, Carrboro has always had the same four goals. And there is nothing fancy about them.
First, win the Orange County title, then grab the conference championship, snag the regional championship, and finally claim the state championship trophy.
The Jaguars came so close to accomplishing that fourth and final goal last season, but although Tudryn says his squad lost quite a few important seniors, he hopes his players will understand that every team will now be extra motivated to take them down.
“They better be really focused on the fact that they have a giant bulls eye on their chest going into every Friday night. Every team we play has got us circled on their calendar,” Tudryn said.
Ultimately, Tudryn really likes Carrboro’s makeup. He says his team’s determination and love for competition puts them in a solid position to continue their rich vein of form and make some more noise in 2013.
“I like the competitive nature of the crew that we have. I think they have something inside of them that loves to compete. I think that will come out when they get to the time to play on Friday,” Tudryn said.
But how far will this “competitive nature” be able to carry the Jaguars? After all, it is mighty tough to replace all of last season’s Carrboro senior leaders that fell three points shy of a state title.
However, I wouldn’t put it past this “crew” to put the pieces back together and check off some more of those yearly goals. One thing is for sure, Coach Tudryn seems focused and hungry for more. If the players truly buy in as well, look out!
Next up on The Grid, we’ll hear from Coach Pat Moser down at Orange High School as his team puts in the final preparations for the season that gets underway in a couple weeks’ time.http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/the-grid-carrboro/
CARRBORO - The coaches and athletic director at CarrboroHigh School say the school’s Wells Fargo Cup wins are thanks to the community and the people that make up the school.
Carrboro high school won the Wells-Fargo cup for the Carolina-12 conference and the 2A division. Wells Fargo Cup points are based on finishes in state championship events.
The Jaguars received high points for its women’s cross country state championship, a pair of state finals berths for men’s soccer and football, second-place finishes for men’s and women’s swimming, and a few individual championships in track and field, among others.
Athletic director April Ross says she’s proud of the students and coaches that made the wins possible.
“We have tremendous pride in CHS Jaguar athletics and it is not only in the school and the academic arena, but going out onto the playing field, the kids are taking that excellence and success and putting it out on the athletic field” said Ross.
The Wells-Fargo cup includes all sports throughout the year. The track and field team saw individual championships from Grace Morken in the 800 and 1,600 meters races, Scott Peretin in the discus and shot put, and Carrboro’s 4×800 and 4×400 relay teams. Coach Mimi O’Grady says the future of the team wasn’t always known.
“I coach the men’s and women’s distance athletes on the team, and I showed up not exactly sure how we were going to perform by May, but one day at a time we ended up having the strongest state finish we’ve ever had” said O’Grady.
The Carrboro Track & Field team had many senior this year that helped to bring the Wells-Fargo Cup home. O’Grady says despite the graduation, she is not concerned about the team’s performance in the upcoming year. She says she looks forward to seeing the new athletes perform.
“On the girl’s side I did lose quite a bit of heavy hitters, six seniors all together, four that were big score keepers, on the men’s side though less of a loss. I lost two senior guys and the men’s team is going to have a good cross country season with a whole crop of very strong rising seniors” O’Grady comments.
With a strong track team, Coach Melvin Griffin comments on where it improved this year to pull in extra points for the cup.
“Realized that we are able in the past two years, even though we have been successful, to score points in the hurdles, sprints, and the throws which helped us out. And then obviously this year with the boys who did finish third, only had five boys in the state meet and finished third; and an individual Scott Peretin win shot and disk” said Griffin.
CHAPEL HILL - Carrboro High School is the newest in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro district. But the 2013 student government president, Kristen Lee says looking back on where she ended up going to school, she wouldn’t change it for the world.
“When I first stepped foot in Carrboro High School, I thought to myself, ‘why am I not at Chapel Hill High’, a school with rich history and murals, or perhaps East, a school with an impressively wide range of courses” Lee says. “But only a few weeks in, I realized what made Carrboro, Carrboro: it’s people, its mentality, its location, its beauty, its potential.”
East Chapel Hill started Commencement Saturday with 350 graduates and 19 valedictorians. Carrboro added 176 people to its alumni and while it only had three valedictorians, they too had powerful messages.
LaVerne Mattocks marked the end of her first year as principal at Carrboro High School on Saturday. She says looking back on her first year she has many accolades for which to be proud of the school, including state recognition.
“You know that the countless hours of studious endeavors, missed social events for studying, and accumulated days, hours, (and) months of standardized testing actually leads to your school being ranked No. 2 in the state of North Carolina, according to U.S. News and World Reports,” Mattocks says.
Check back soon to hear all the comments and a gallery of photos from Carrboro’s commencement.http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/chs-graduates-sixth-class-176-seniors/
CHAPEL HILL – Throughout Saturday, more than 850 high school seniors will turn their tassels and set their courses for the next adventure.
At 9:00 a.m., East Chapel Hill will send the largest class this year down the aisles of the Dean Smith Center as 350 Wildcats ceremoniously complete their primary education. Chapel Hill will follow at 1:00 p.m. with 325 graduates while Carrboro concludes its seventh year with 176 graduates.
Phoenix Academy started off the graduation season in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro district with four graduates Friday night.
Saturday night, the 21st celebration of Project Graduation will host the then-former attendees of all four schools from 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. Sunday. The event is designed to keep the graduates safe and supervised in a substance-free environment while enjoying the momentous occasion with their peers.
Scholarships totaling $19,000 and prizes totaling $20,000 will also be given away Saturday night.http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/chccs-seniors-to-turn-tassles-saturday/
The saga of teacher Anne Thompson is coming to an end. She will be leaving Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in a few weeks, several months shy of her planned retirement.
If you’ve followed her saga, you know Thompson is not ending her career where she spent much of it, having been involuntarily transferred from Chapel Hill High School to Carrboro High School in time for the beginning of this school year. She fought the transfer, along with colleague Bert Wartski, all the way to the courthouse and lost.
I heard from Ms. Thompson’s attorney, Trey Tanner, since I posted this who offered the following clarification: ”Ms. Thompson actually did not fight the transfer all the way to the courthouse and lose … she fought the transfer into the courhouse, had an unfavorable ruling at a preliminary stage and then dismissed her appeal, essentially withdrawing it from court before it was ever heard … in other words, it was more of a forfeit than a loss.
1. Superintendent Forcella decided to invluntarily transfer [sic] –the decision was appealed to the School Board
2. The School Board upheld the decision of the Superintendent –this decision was appealed by Petition to the Superior Court
3. A Motion to Stay the transfer was filed to keep Ms. Thompson and Mr. Wartski at CHHS while the appeal was pending … there was a hearing on this Motion but it was not a hearing on the appeal itself
4. The Motion to Stay was denied –this was not a decision on the merits of the appeal itself and the fact that the Motion was denied has no impact on the ultimate determination of the appeal
5. Ms. Thompson elected to withdraw her appeal –thus the merits of the appeal were never heard
The point of this column is not to again question the transfer, nor to again wonder why so little has been heard from the administration or the elected members of the school board, but to look at what happened to a long-serving and, by all accounts, dedicated teacher during her last year in the classroom.
Anne Thompson says she was transferred to a position that did not include a classroom. We all know schools have to be strategic in managing space so a “floating” teacher with a cart full of materials is not unusual. But to do that to a teacher with more than 2-dozen years of experience and one year from retirement seems to be at best unthinking and at worst, vengeful.
Is anyone in charge of this debacle thinking of the lesson given to the students who are watching from within two high schools, not to mention the legion of alumni who have spoken out on Thompson’s behalf? Here’s the lesson I see from the sidelines, having no child near any of those categories:
Work hard, give lots of years, be admired, speak up for yourself and you will be punished.
Is that the education our high taxes want to help provide?
During the throes of her struggle to not leave CHHS when the school board rejected her appeal and withheld any explanation due to personnel issues, Thompson wrote to me and offered to waive her right to the confidentiality in her personnel file. While I always believe there is more than one side to every story and usually more than two, in this case, we’ve all yet to hear even the second one.
Even worse, as this teacher’s career is forced to an ignominious end, we’ve all yet to hear even a “thank you.”
What do you think? At this point, can any of this be un-done? Leave your thoughts below or write to me at Donnabeth@Chapelboro.comhttp://chapelboro.com/columns/savvy-spender/thompsons-exit/
This column will add to a main problem with what is frequently written online: I’m about to write my opinion of something about which I have almost no firsthand knowledge. Kind of makes you want to click something else, doesn’t it?
I’m writing about the apparently pending transfer of Chapel Hill High School English teacher Anne Thompson. I don’t know the teacher, I don’t have a child at the school, nor at her intended destination of Carrboro High. I am not a member of any group that has fought the transfer nor have I been affiliated with the school board or administration in any way.
Now that we’re clear on the many reasons I have absolutely no standing to have an opinion, here’s why I do: I have a heart and compassion.
From what I read on Chapelboro.com, this teacher is one year away from retirement and is still recovering from the death of her husband this past year. Thompson has taught at CHHS for 26 years and to not be able to finish her career there seems as if it was decided by machines, not people. If there were any reason to think we were talking about a teacher who was phoning it in, a lame duck, I certainly wouldn’t want any child at any school to receive less than the best but that doesn’t appear to be anyone’s concern about Anne Thompson.
There are differing opinions/claims over whether this transfer has to do with some negative interactions Thompson may have had with the now-retired principal of CHHS. Maybe it does. Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe she did. Maybe she didn’t. He’s not there anymore. She has one more year to teach. Students seem to love her. She’s being asked to learn new systems and a new curriculum in a place where she has no support system. No one is at his/her most effective when new; it’s a trade-off that’s worth it when the change is one that’s going to build and vest over years. That’s clearly not the case here.
So what’s the business case for this transfer? If there is a business case for this, or an educational case, I’ve not heard it. If there is a human case for it, I can’t find it. Are our schools teaching children to be kind, to consider all circumstances, to look beyond the obvious? Or are we teaching them to be rigid and punitive? In my uneducated view of this case, there’s a beautiful opportunity for school system leadership to show the strength inherent in flexibility. That would be some savvy spending of power!
Agree, disagree? Leave a comment below or write to me at Donnabeth@Chapelboro.comhttp://chapelboro.com/columns/savvy-spender/teaching-beyond-the-classroom/