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.

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.

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 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,

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

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

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

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, 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

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 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




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.

The Grid: Cedar Ridge

HILLSBOROUGH–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!

In this edition of our high school football preview series, I had a conversation with the Head coach of the Cedar Ridge Red Wolves, Chris Casey.

In our chat, Casey seemed cautiously optimistic about his team’s chances in this coming season. And who can blame him?

For one, his team got off to a poor start in 2012 and never was able to turn things around. And add the fact that the Red Wolves are joining the powerhouse Great 8 conference loaded with tough programs coming off deep runs in the state playoffs, and you would likely be a little more contained with your expectations as well.

“We had a couple injuries right at the first part of the season which caused us to change what we were doing. We lost some close games at the beginning, and I don’t know if we ever really recovered from that,” Casey said about last season.

The primary focus for Cedar Ridge in 2013 will be shoring up the defensive side of the ball, where Casey says his team must be sharper and more mentally focused to compete in the newly formed Great 8 3A conference.

“Defensively, we have a decent amount of guys returning on defense. We have to quit giving up big plays. […] Our focus this year is to keep playing solid, keep playing smart, but to not have those metal lapses and give up the big plays,” Casey said.

Casey outlined some of the keys to success for his squad that is returning numerous starters for their 2013 campaign. Above all, he wants his team to fight for every play on the field while controlling the clock in competitive games.

“We want to be a little more successful in just trying to control the ball and control the game, spread it out, and make teams work to beat us and not give games away,” Casey said.

Cedar Ridge’s Head coach appears to be emphatic in his commitment to rectify the careless mistakes his team was making last season. His mantra seems to be one of making the other team beat you.

One aspect of his team that really has Casey excited is the newly implemented offensive strategy. He says it was designed to keep opponent’s off balance, not knowing which player to hone their attention.

“We’re going to try and get all our skill guys involved in the offense. And that way there is not one guy that they say hey if we stop this guy, we can beat them,” Casey said.

The summer training program has been geared towards a more practical approach, incorporating conditioning and game simulations in order to prepare the Red Wolves for the stress and tempo of games on Friday nights.

“We have been trying to condition their muscles and their muscle memory to be geared that we have to be on the ball and ready to go,” Casey said.

Like other coaches around the league, Casey understands the quality of the conference. In the Great 8, no team can be taken lightly.

“There are no easy games on the schedule. There is not one that you can circle and say that we’re definitely going to win this game,” Casey said.

One thing is for certain: the Great 8 should live up to its name this season.  It will be compelling stuff! And Coach Casey and his Cedar Ridge team can’t wait to be a part of it.