The high school football season is rapidly approaching. With that in mind, here’s the launch of a new preseason series to get you ready for all the exciting game broadcasts this fall that will kick off each Friday night with ‘The Grid with Matt & Matt’ on WCHL, 97.9 FM.
First up comes Chapel Hill High School and Tiger head coach Isaac Marsh.
***Listen to the story***
After a couple superb seasons in 2011 and 2012, the Tigers were never able to find their footing a season ago, stumbling to a 4-8 final mark in 2013.
Coach Marsh says the injuries and inexperience were just too much for Chapel Hill to overcome.
“We were never quite there. We were in several games, but we were never quite able to finish the games out. That comes from injuries and just having a young team,” Coach Marsh says.
But the Tigers were competitive. Most notably, in a 6-0 narrow defeat to then undefeated Orange High School that memorably ended on a last-second touchdown as time expired.
But Coach Marsh is looking for more. He says he’s liked what he’s seen in offseason workouts so far for a couple of positive reasons.
“The offseason has been an interesting one. I think we’ve improved greatly with the numbers of guys that are coming out to play football. That’s a positive. The next thing that we have noticed is the high energy in workouts,” Coach Marsh says.
The Tigers are getting it done on the scoreboard as well. Chapel Hill claimed the title at the 7-on-7 tournament in Pinecrest earlier this summer.
Who are the guys to watch out for in black and gold this season? Coach Marsh says he has two big-time players in mind.
“They have been playing up on varsity for a long time now. Logan Tisch is a top college prospect with offers and Noah Layden as well. Those are our two top guys. We return a strong nucleus of guys up front,” Coach Marsh says.
Speaking of the guys up front, Coach Marsh says the linemen on both sides of the ball will be the strengths of the Tiger team.
“On the offensive line, we return four out of our five starters from last season. On the defensive line, we return all four starters. So definitely, up front for us in the trenches, that’s where our strength lies,” Coach Marsh says.
With such a veteran-laden offensive line, it’s easy to envision some success moving the ball for Chapel Hill this fall. But on the other side of the spectrum, Coach Marsh says he worries about complacency in his team.
He says he wants to impress upon the Tigers to be focused on upping the ante at every practice.
“Our players have to constantly improve on something each day. Don’t just when you come out here, ‘I don’t have anything to work on. I’m just going to go through the normal flow.’ Whatever you improved upon or learned the day before, try to increase it the next day,” Coach Marsh says.
Although the Tigers have even loftier aspirations, Coach Marsh says the team is staying local with its goals first.
“We want to be the top school in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools district. We want to beat Carrboro. We want to beat East [Chapel Hill]. From that goal, we want to win the county. We want to beat Orange and Cedar Ridge. If we’re able to do that, that’s four wins right there,” Coach Marsh says.
If Chapel Hill finds a way to be crowned town and county champions in 2014, given the tough competition in the area, there promises to be more success at the conference, and maybe even state levels, for Coach Marsh and the Tigers.http://chapelboro.com/the-grid/grid-chapel-hill-high-tigers/
The Chapel Hill High boy’s basketball team is introducing a new head coach in the form of Bill Walton. No, he’s not the legendary player from UCLA and the NBA, but this Walton is a 28-year veteran of the game.
***Listen to the story***
Coach Walton, however, recalls a memorable conversation concerning his more famous namesake.
“I reached out to his folks and I said, ‘This is Coach Bill Walton.’ She was like, ‘Really? Coach Bill Walton?’ I said, ‘Really’. She said, ‘Wow. I don’t know about him going over there now. I didn’t know Coach Bill Walton was there at Grimsley.’ I said, ‘Ma’am, I’m not the seven-footer. I’ve got a tan,” Coach Walton says.
But all jokes aside, this Coach Walton is a Virginia boy who grew up in Roanoke and later attended James Madison University. It didn’t take long for Walton to make his way down to North Carolina where he took a job as assistant coach at Greensboro Grimsley in 1989.
In 1992, Walton says a firestorm broke out involving the head coach and a black student in a P.E. class. But Walton is proud of how the team responded from the incident.
“He was accused of choking and assaulting a kid in his P.E. class. He happened to be black. You can only imagine in a city like Greensboro – all the complexities of that case. It was a trying time for everybody. I got the team and community together and had a terrific season,” Coach Walton says.
That was how Walton first assumed a head coaching position. He stayed at Grimsley until 2002, spent a few years at Southwest Guilford and then wound up at Reidsville High, located in the hometown of his wife, where he went 145-72 including a 26-4 season and a run to the NCHSAA 2A East Region Finals in 2012.
For health reasons, citing tension headaches, Coach Walton says he was advised to step aside by the Reidsville principal. He reluctantly obliged, but says he is not taking any medications for the headaches.
“When you’ve been around as long as I have, you just stick with it. You tell your kids that. You finish what you start. I talked about it with my family. I didn’t want to be a distraction to the kids. So reluctantly, I stepped aside,” Coach Walton says.
Coach Walton says the Chapel Hill job was at the top of his prospect list due to the attractive community and the plethora of basketball camps and facilities located in the region known nationwide for its high level basketball at all levels.
Former Chapel Hill High head coach Lason Perkins was surprisingly let go from his interim position. It was an unpopular decision by many players and assistant coaches.
Coach Walton says he understands the situation, empathizes with Coach Perkins and his staff, but is ready to do his job.
“I have no idea what happened in the process. There was an opening. I applied, interviewed and was offered the job,” Coach Walton says.
In addition, Coach Walton says he’s been reaching out to members of the previous staff to forge friendly relationships.
When asked about the added pressures and expectations of the Chapel Hill job, Coach Walton says he relishes the opportunity ahead and thrives in those situations. In fact, he says he expects a breakout season next year.
“Looking at the roster and the people coming back, I’m looking forward to a really good year – perhaps maybe the best year they’ve had here in five or six years,” Coach Walton says.
And for Tar Heel fans, there’s another perk to having Coach Walton in town stalking the sidelines for the Tigers. He says he plays Carolina-style basketball.
“We’re a lot like Carolina. We run Carolina fast break and we try to diagonally kick the ball up just like you see them do. We do that very well. That’s something we did very well at all the schools I’ve been at. We run the Carolina secondary break – both phases of it. We come to the floor and we’re running ‘Carolina’,” Coach Walton says.
It looks like Coach Walton has come to the right place. If he ever needs any advice on running the “Carolina”, UNC Head Coach Roy Williams will be just down the street.http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/bill-walton-excited-chapel-hill-basketball-head-coaching-job/
Chapel Hill High School may have a new boys’ basketball head coach by next week.
After athletic director and head coach Tod Morgan’s departure, Chapel Hill High was left without a coach and without an AD in the middle of the 2013-2014 school year.
Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Executive Director for Community Relations, Jeff Nash says that left the administration in need of swift action.
“When this vacancy came open, there was not much time before the start of the season, and there was no athletic director to really lead a coaching search,” Nash says. “So an interim coach was named with the intention of guiding the team through the season, and, while that was happening, a new athletic director would be hired. Upon completion of the season, there would be a more thorough search for a more permanent coach.”
Lason Perkins served as assistant coach under Morgan for four years. He was named interim head coach before the start of the ’13-’14 season. He says he was aware that the position was only an interim role and that a search was going to be conducted.
Nash says being named interim head coach didn’t have any effect on the length of the contract Perkins was given.
“In our district, all of our coaches are hired for only one season at a time,” Nash says. “They are not ongoing contracts; each year is a new contract.”
Nash says the job was posted on the district’s website as well as the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) website, and he says it received many applicants.
Perkins says he applied for the head coach position and made it to the second interview. However, he says he has been informed that he was not offered the position.
Nash says a candidate may be selected in time for the Board of Education to review the new hire by next Thursday’s board meeting.http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/chhs-seeks-new-boys-basketball-coach/
All three of Chapel Hill-Carrboro City’s high schools, East Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill High School, and Carrboro High School, will be graduating throughout the day on June 14th at the Dean Smith Center.
East Chapel Hill High’s ceremony begins at 9 a.m., Chapel Hill High’s ceremony begins at 1 p.m., and Carrboro High’s ceremony begins at 5 p.m.
East Chapel Hill will also be streaming their graduation event live on their website beginning at 8:30 a.m. until noon.http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/chccs-high-schools-graduation-preview/
Chapel Hill High School has selected 20-year college volleyball veteran, Jody Brown to replace North Carolina’s winningest high school volleyball coach, Sherry Norris.
Brown coached at Florida Atlantic University for 18 years, during which he received A-Sun Coach of the Year honors, Brown and his family moved to Chapel Hill, when his wife, Michelle, was hired as UNC’s Director of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes.
Following the successful legacy of Norris, Brown has now been brought on and says he is confident about the atmosphere of entering into the volleyball program.
“When somebody does something right, going into their gym is a little bit easier,” says Brown. “They have things in place; they have a winning attitude; they have a winning spirit with the school.”
Brown also says he admires Norris and the impact that she has left on the program and the athletes.
“I have such great deal of respect for what she has done here, and so do the athletes, and so do the parents,” says Brown. “I am just in support to be a part of that.”
Brown says that desires to keep the passion for volleyball alive in these athletes long after their high school careers.
“My ultimate goal is to get these kids to fall in love with volleyball,” says Brown, “so that they keep playing it until they are 60, 70 years old.”
***Listen to the full interview with Brown***http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/chapel-hill-high-school-selects-new-volleyball-coach/
The Coy Maddry Memorial Scholarship Award has selected a Carrboro High School student-athlete as its 2014 recipient.
Katie Wilson, a two-time all-state girls’ field hockey athlete, was selected among a host of nominations from teachers and coaches.
The scholarship award is funded through Orange United Methodist Church and given to varsity student-athletes in Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools in memory of one of the church’s members, Avery “Coy” Maddry. Maddry graduated from Chapel Hill High School in 1990 and died the following year as a freshman at North Carolina State University.
Wilson played a total of three sports with the Jaguars, including two years of both swimming and lacrosse. She is attending Sewanee: The University of the South to continue her field hockey career.
“Katie has all the qualifications for the award,” said Rick Strunk, a member of Orange United Methodist. “She integrates all of the traits that we look for in a very positive way.”
In its 24 years of existence, the Coy Maddry Memorial Scholarship has provided almost $40,000 to students in pursuit of a continued education.
Wilson will receive a grant of $1,000 and be recognized during the church’s worship service on Sunday, June 1.http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/carrboro-student-athlete-honored-scholarship/
Chapel Hill High School soccer head coach Ron Benson says he’ll coach his final game Saturday, win or lose.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association State Championship appearance is the first in CHHS womens’ soccer program history. The Tigers enter the title game as a No. 9 seed. So far Chapel Hill has taken down No. 1 seed Cardinal Gibbons, No. 2 seed Fike, and No. 5 seed Swansboro in the Regional Final. The Championship pits CHHS against West Regional Champion and No. 6 seed Weddington.
The Tigers have only lost one game this year: a 1-0 decision to Cardinal Gibbons in the regular season.
Coach Benson joined Ron Stutts on the WCHL Friday Morning News to discuss Saturday’s matchup and the remarkable season the Tigers have already seen.
***Listen to the Interview***
If the UNC baseball team wins in the NCAA Regionals Friday, Saturday’s NCHSAA State Championship game will be broadcast live on 97.9 FM, 1360 AM, and here at 2:00 p.m. If Carolina loses Friday, Saturday’s soccer game can be heard here.http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/tigers-seek-first-womens-soccer-state-title/
The Chapel Hill High School girls’ soccer team appears in its first state title game in program history Saturday after defeating Fike High School of Wilson Tuesday, 2-0 in the East Regional Championship.
The Tigers have made the run through the postseason as the No. 9 seed in the East Region defeating the No. 1, No. 2, and No. 5 seeds along the way.
Tune in Friday morning to hear from Tiger head coach, Ron Benson, live on the WCHL Morning News.
Last weekend, Chapel Hillians gave nearly $7,000 to support programs at Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill High Schools – two dollars at a time.
The occasion: a weekend-long promotion sponsored by Jersey Mike’s to celebrate the grand opening of their new location at Chapel Hill North. Customers received a free sub if they presented a coupon (printable on Chapelboro.com) and donated at least $2 to either school.
Students, teachers and administrators from both schools competed all weekend long to raise the most money. (There was an incentive: Jersey Mike’s pledged to donate an additional $1000 to the winning school; the second-place school got an additional $500.)
In the end, Chapel Hill High emerged victorious, raising a total of $3,980.13. East Chapel Hill finished in second, with $2,992.76 raised.
Charlie Farris of Jersey Mike’s joined WCHL’s Aaron Keck on the Monday Afternoon News to reveal the winner.
With the departure of veteran PE teacher, Sherry Norris, a hole will undoubtedly be left, but the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system says it’s already got a plan in motion for finding her replacement.
CHCCS Human Resources Director Arasi Adkins says a fully-licensed interim PE teacher has been hired to fill the role for the remainder of the school year, once Norris retires on April 30. When the school year comes to an end, Adkins says that position–as well as other vacancies–will be posted for the upcoming school year.
Norris is finishing her 37th as a PE teacher in the CHCCS system. She has also held the position of head coach for the volleyball and girls’ basketball teams during that time.
When a teacher retires, if he or she wants to return to a coaching duty, a period of six months away from that role must be taken, according to state rules. By retiring at the end of April, Norris has made it possible to return in time for the start of basketball season next year, but she won’t be available for the volleyball season.http://chapelboro.com/news/pre-k-12-education/chccs-place-interim-pe-teacher-seawell-finish-school-year/