The Grid: Cedar Ridge

We continue our weekly preseason high school football series with a return hop over to Hillsborough to check in on Cedar Ridge. The Red Wolves struggled through a 2-9 season in their first foray into 3A competition, but with freshly minted interim head coach Clay Jones now at the helm, will fortunes improve in 2014?

***Listen to the story***

Coach Jones received an unexpected call a few weeks ago from the Cedar Ridge principal and athletic director.

Now, he is knee deep in preparations for the 2014 season after stepping into his new role as the skipper of the Red Wolves. Last season, he served as the quarterbacks coach under head football coach Chris Casey and also fills a dual role as Cedar Ridge’s head basketball coach.

But his resume doesn’t stop there. In addition, down in Yanceyville, N.C., Coach Jones led the offense for two years at Bartlett Yancey High School and performed the duties of athletic director for another year all while serving as the head coach for the area middle school. He’s no stranger to the game.

Coach Jones (Newsoforange.com)

Coach Jones (Newsoforange.com)

Coach Jones says he’s looking forward to the opportunity that’s been afforded him with the Cedar Ridge football program.

“I’m very grateful to be here and am enjoying every minute of it so far,” Coach Jones says.

As far as the differences in coaching philosophy between himself and his predecessor, Coach Casey, Coach Jones says they are quite similar, but he tends to run practice on the gridiron much like he runs practice on the hardwood.

“I treat a lot of it like a timed practice in basketball. It’s very similar to how I’m doing it in football. It’s been pretty successful these last few weeks, and I think the kids are responding well. But there aren’t a lot of differences, just a few little changes,” Coach Jones says.

Coach Jones says summer workouts have been productive thus far with good turnouts for both morning and afternoon sessions.

But as most high school coaches can attest, Coach Jones says he faces an uphill battle with garnering optimal attendance. He says he wishes he could make the offseason practices mandatory.

“It’s not mandatory. That’s a battle that any high school program faces this time of year. You’d love to have fifty or sixty varsity guys all there, but kids have commitments on their time. That’s something I chose not to fight,” Coach Jones says.

The strength of the Red Wolves squad may rest in their dynamic duo of wide receivers. Coach Jones says he plans to distribute the ball early and often to returning playmakers Chris McCoy and Julius Walton.

“We have our two returning skill kids on offense. They are going to be big parts of our offense. They are going to touch the ball multiple times in multiple positions. They are going to be big in our return game – punt or kickoff. They are going to be two weapons we are going to try to utilize in several areas,” Coach Jones says.

Cedar Ridge football team (flickr.com)

Cedar Ridge football team (flickr.com)

The guy who will be throwing the football to McCoy and Walton is talented signal caller Peyton Pappas. Coach Jones says he’s expecting big things from his quarterback in 2014.

“It’s very good to have Pappas back under center. I think he’s matured a lot and understands a lot better what he needs to do as a quarterback. He’s grown a lot and got a little stronger. We’re looking for big things out of him,” Coach Jones says.

But although the offense appears to harness adequate firepower, Coach Jones says the biggest question mark may be the performance of the offensive line. He says the inability to get all five guys together over the summer worries him heading into the fall.

“Our biggest question mark right now is our offensive line. We haven’t had a consistent turnout of linemen on a daily basis, where they can all eat, sleep and breathe blocking,” Coach Jones says.

cedar ridge red wolf smaller

Now that the Red Wolves have a taste of what life in the 3A Big 8 conference is all about, Coach Jones says his kids are extra motivated to be up to the challenge this time around.

“We know the skill level of the teams in this area. We got a pretty good dose of it last year moving up to 3A football. It’s definitely a different animal,” Coach Jones says.

But for now, Coach Jones says Cedar Ridge’s state championship game is scheduled for Aug. 22 – the season opener at Carrboro.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/grid-cedar-ridge/

New Principal Hired at Cedar Ridge High School

Heather Blackmon has been hired as the new principal at Cedar Ridge High School.

She has nearly 22 years of experience in the field of education, including 15 years as a high school social studies teacher. She’s also worked as an administrator for Alamance-Burlington and Guilford Public Schools.

For the past two-and-a-half years, she’s been principal at the Career and Technical Education Center for the Alamance-Burlington School System.

Located in Burlington, it was the first high school built in Alamance County in 40 years.

“We offer nothing but CTE courses,” Blackmon told WCHL. “And we’ve built a great rapport and a great group of students that come over here two periods out of the day from their home schools, and take specialized career and technical education courses that are not offered at their home schools.”

The school takes two sets of students – one in the morning, and another in the afternoon. Blackmon says that, this past year, the school served around 800 students.

Blackmon handed in her resignation letter at The CTE Center on Tuesday.

She says that while her experience there has been fulfilling, her dream has always been to retire as a principal at a school like Cedar Ridge High.

“I miss so much of the traditional school,” she says. “The athletics, the extracurricular activities, the core courses, working with a large number of teachers. And I’ve really wanted that for a long time.”

Blackmon has done her research, of course, and she says the reputation of Cedar Ridge High was a big draw for her.

“It’s got an excellent faculty,” she says. “They have a fantastic reputation. I’m excited about working with the International Baccalaureate Program.”

Cedar Ridge High School Principal John Wheeler announced his resignation in early June, after four years in the position. He’s taking a job as principal of Atlee High School in Hanover County.

http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/principal/

Orange County High Schools Graduation Preview

Orange High School and Cedar Ridge High School with both be participating in this year’s Orange County Project Graduation following the schools’ graduations.

Orange High School seniors turn their tassels Thursday at 4:30 p.m.; Cedar Ridge seniors do so at 7:30 p.m. Both ceremonies take place at the Dean Smith Center.

The event will be held on Thursday, June 12, at the Triangle Sportsplex in Hillsborough, from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

This will be Project Graduation’s 19th consecutive year celebrating the graduates of these Orange County high schools. The event serves as a chance to celebrate the graduation of these students in a family-oriented environment, among friends, and safe from risks of alcohol, drugs, and violence.

http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/orange-county-high-schools-graduation-preview/

Orange, Chapel Hill Boys To Meet In NCHSAA Second Round

Originally posted February 24, 2014, 10:10 p.m.

Five area teams made it past the first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association basketball playoffs, and one giant round-two meeting waits in the wings.

In 3A boys’ play, No. 1 seed Orange cruised to a 75-51 victory against No. 32 seed South Brunswick. The Panthers host the No. 16-seeded Chapel Hill Tigers Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The Tigers defeated the Western Guilford Hornets, 55-53 with a buzzer-beater by Josh Hennen.

**The Chapel Hill-Orange game will be broadcast exclusively on Chapelboro.com. Pregame coverage beings at 6:30 p.m.; tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

The Cardinal Gibbons boys’ season came to a close with a 68-55 decision against Havelock.

The Chapel Hill girls put on yet another dominant performance with their 77-17 defeat of Topsail. The No. 1-seeded Tigers host the No. 16-seeded Swansboro Pirates Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. The Pirates took down Orange County’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolves 47-28.

Also in 3A girls basketball, the Northwood Chargers season came to an end after an overtime defeat by the hands of Fayetteville’s Terry Sanford. The Bulldogs took down the Chargers 44-40.

No. 10 seed Cardinal Gibbons snuck past No. 23 seed Eastern Guilford, 60-56. On Wednesday, the Crusaders hit the road to take on the No. 7 seeded Eastern Wayne Warriors in Goldsboro.

In 2A girls’ play, the No. 24-seeded Carrboro Jaguars pulled off a big upset against the No. 9-seeded Red Springs Red Devils, 48-38. The Jaguars face another tough opponent in the second round, the No. 8-seeded Beddingfield Bruins in Wilson Wednesday night.

The Carrboro boys didn’t fare as well, falling 62-50 as the No. 22 seed to No. 11 seed Warren County.

To see all the brackets of the NCHSAA tournaments, you can read this story on our website, Chapelboro.com.

2014 NCHSAA State Championships
3A Girls’ Bracket
3A Boys’ Bracket
2A Girls’ Bracket
2A Boys’ Bracket

http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/orange-chapel-hill-boys-meet-nchsaa-second-round/

NCHSAA Basketball Tournaments Tip Monday Night

The 2014 North Carolina High School Athletic Association basketball championships tip off Monday night with seven Chapelboro teams set to do battle.

The Chapel Hill girls extended their winning streak to 26 and added the Big Eight tournament championship to their resume with a 48-38 win against Cardinal Gibbons. With that, the Tigers took the No. 1 seed in the east regional of the 3A playoffs and host the Topsail Pirates Monday at 6:00 p.m.

The Chapel Hill boys were knocked out of the Big Eight tournament in the semifinals, 52-48 to Southern. The 16th-seeded Tigers host their first-round game against the 17th-seeded Western Guilford Hornets Monday at 7:30 p.m.

With a win, the Tigers could meet the conference- and county-foe Orange Panthers in round two. The Panthers received the No. 1 seed in the east regional and host the 32nd-seeded South Brunswick Cougars. The Panthers were unset in the Big Eight tournament championship by the Southern Spartans, 67-53.

The Carrboro boys took the No. 22 seed in the 2A east regional and travel to Havelock to take on the Rams Monday night at 7:00 p.m.

***Correction: Carrboro faces No. 11 Warren County in round one.

The 24th-seeded Jaguar girls are also on the road Monday night in Red Springs to take on the ninth-seeded Red Devils.

Cedar Ridge and Northwood both made the journey up to 3A this season, and in their first year, both schools’ girls’ teams made it to the postseason. The 17th-seeded Red Wolves travel to Swansboro to battle the 16th-seeded Pirates; the 22nd-seeded Chargers are on the road against the 11th-seeded Bulldogs of Terry Sanford in Fayetteville.

Other teams with local ties making into the state playoffs are the Cardinal Gibbons boys with a No. 27 seed, the Cardinal Gibbons girls with a No. 10 seed, and the Sothern girls with a No. 29 seed.

2014 NCHSAA State Championships
3A Girls’ Bracket
3A Boys’ Bracket
2A Girls’ Bracket
2A Boys’ Bracket

http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/nchsaa-basketball-tournaments-tip-monday-night/

Big Eight Basketball: Top Seeds Move To Round Two

Top seeds advanced from the first round of the 3A Big Eight conference tournament Wednesday night on their home courts whittling the field down to four boys’ and four girls’ teams.

The undefeated Chapel Hill girls limited county-foe Orange to just a single point in each of the first two quarters. The Panthers scored eight in the third and eight in the fourth, but the outcome of the 69-18 decision was never in question. The Tigers host the Southern Spartans Thursday at 5:30 p.m. Southern knocked Northwood out of the postseason.

The Cardinal Gibbons girls cruised to a 71-17 victory against Northern Vance. The Crusaders face either Cedar Ridge or Webb in round two Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. in Raleigh.

The Chapel Hill boys held off Northwood 53-49 to advance to round two where the Tigers face the Southern Spartans Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Freshman sensation David Caraher blocked a shot by a Charger with just seconds remaining that kept the game from going to overtime and set up a double header between Chapel Hill and Southern. The Spartans took down the Webb Warriors 72-66.

The No. 1 seeded Orange Panther boys advanced with a 73-65 win against Northern Vance Wednesday. Senior J.D. Brooks led the Panthers with a double-double, 22 points and 12 rebounds. Cardinal Gibbons travels to Hillsborough Thursday for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff to see which team advances to the championship game. The Crusaders took down the Cedar Ridge Red Wolves, 64-48.

Friday night’s championship games, hosted by Chapel Hill High School, will be broadcast on WCHL and here beginning at 5:00 p.m. with tipoffs at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Boys' Bracket - Click to enlarge

Boys’ Bracket – Click to enlarge

Girls' Bracket - Click to enlarge

Girls’ Bracket – Click to enlarge

http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/big-eight-basketball-top-seeds-move-round-two/

WCHL To Broadcast Big Eight Title Games Friday Night

Chapel Hill High School hosts the Big Eight Conference tournament championship games Friday night, and WCHL will broadcast both the girls’ and boys’ matchups.

“With four of our six area teams in the Big Eight, we’re ready to bring you the final games before the state playoffs,” says Ran Northam, WCHL’s News and Sports Director and the play-by-play announcer for high school basketball. “Orange County is home to some of the best teams in the state, and we’re excited to follow them along their journey.”

The undefeated girls’ basketball team of Chapel Hill High School—the top seed in the tournament—is a favorite to breeze right through to the championship game. Monday night’s victory against Cardinal Gibbons, 46-28, which was broadcast live on Chapelboro.com, was evidence of the Tigers’ dominance. The Crusaders are the No. 2 seed in the Big Eight tournament.

The Orange Panthers and Chapel Hill Tigers boys’ teams tied for the regular season title and are likely to meet up Friday night. However, nearby teams like Southern and Cardinal Gibbons have given both teams some trouble this season and will be in the hunt for an upset.

The girls’ game tips off at 5:30 p.m.; Paul Connell will have the call. The boys’ game is scheduled to tip at 7:00 p.m.; Ran Northam will have the call.

It all begins Friday night at 5:00 p.m. with WCHL Gameday live from Chapel Hill High School. Tune in on 97.9 FM and streaming live online at Chapelboro.com.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/wchl-broadcast-big-eight-title-games-friday-night/

3A Big-Eight Conference Basketball Brackets Announced

CHAPEL HILL – Five local high school basketball teams are taking top seeds into the 3A Big-Eight conference tournament, which tips off Wednesday night.

The undefeated Chapel Hill High School girls host county-rival Orange in the opening round. Cedar Ridge plays host in the three-versus-five matchup, while Northwood hosts Southern Durham in the four-five contest.

On the boys’ side, the Orange Panthers and Chapel Hill Tigers split the regular season championship with 12-2 records in Big-Eight play. The Panthers took both games against the Tigers and, as the No. 1 seed, host Northern Vance Wednesday in the opening round. Chapel Hill plays host to Northwood.

Chapel Hill is the host of this year’s tournament championship for the girls and the boys, and Friday night’s contests tip at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.. You can hear them live on WCHL and Chapelboro.com with pregame coverage beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Girls' Bracket - Click to enlarge

Girls’ Bracket – Click to enlarge

Boys' Bracket - Click to enlarge

Boys’ Bracket – Click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/3a-big-eight-conference-basketball-brackets-announced/

HS Boys Basketball: Chapel Hill 54, Cedar Ridge 43

http://chapelboro.com/high-school-basketball/hs-boys-basketball-chapel-hill-54-cedar-ridge-43/

Chapel Hill Boys Basketball Hosts Cedar Ridge Friday Night

CHAPEL HILL – Despite delays in the local school systems Friday morning, WCHL’s High School Basketball Game of the Week is still on between Cedar Ridge and Chapel Hill.

Both teams had to postpone their midweek games due to Winter Storm Leon and the resulting school closures. The Tigers will make up their game with the Webb Warriors Saturday; the Red Wolves will make up their game with the Southern Spartans Monday.

With just six games remaining, Chapel Hill is back in the hunt for the conference title after Orange dropped its first conference game of the season last week to Cardinal Gibbons, but Cedar Ridge will try to play the role of spoiler as it sits in the middle of pack.

Tune in to WCHL at 6:30 p.m. for pregame coverage of Cedar Ridge at Chapel Hill; tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. You can also hear the game by clicking here.

http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/chapel-hill-boys-basketball-hosts-cedar-ridge-friday-night/