This is today’s Art Chansky’s Sports Notebook as heard on 97.9 WCHL. You can listen to previous Sports Notebooks here.
It’s time for East Chapel Hill to drop football or merge its team with another school.
Here we are in July and less than a month away from prep football practice around the state. And East Chapel Hill High School has not officially named its new head coach. Supposedly, it is Ryan Johnson, the defensive coordinator on the Wildcats’ 0-11 team last season that had to forfeit three of its last four games due to a shortage of healthy players.
The team began last season with only 23 kids and was down to 16 when it forfeited the games that it would have lost anyway. Even the 35 who Johnson said showed up for the most recent spring workouts is not enough for a team that competes in the state’s largest-school category, 4-A.
Johnson will be at least the fourth head coach in the last 10 years at the prestigious high school that regularly produces state championships in soccer, tennis, golf, lacrosse and cross country. In fact, there is not another bad sports team practicing on the Weaver Dairy Road fields. Football, because so few kids go out for the team, has always been the exception for Wildcat athletics.
Since Bill Renner, Bryn’s father, coached East to a couple of winning seasons and built a respectable program, it has slid back into gridiron obscurity, where it will remain until more kids go out for football or the sport is dropped altogether. That would be unfair for those kids who want to play and play well. Drew Davis, son of Butch, threw for 4,000 yards on Renner’s teams and there is usually at least one Division 1 prospect on the squad.
Since proportionally fewer kids go out for football at all 3 Chapel Hill high schools, some sort of merger in the sport seems logical. Imagine how good a consolidated team would be, combining players from East, Chapel Hill and Carrboro High Schools. At the very least, if East were to drop football, its players should have the option to transfer to another school or, better yet, just be allowed to play for the Chapel Hill Tigers or Carrboro Jaguars.
That would save some money for the school system and actually improve the chances for the high schools off Homestead and Smith Level roads to post great seasons and go deep into the state playoffs. The traditional way of fielding a football team at East clearly is not working. It’s time for some creative thinking.http://chapelboro.com/sports/chanskys-notebook-east-football-needs-creative-solution
Week one of high school football on WCHL begins with a bang with an exciting matchup pitting two local schools as the Cedar Ridge Red Wolves travel over to Carrboro to take on the Jaguars.
Both squads struggled to find their form a year ago, but armed with new head coaches, the slate is clean and both teams will be hungry to open with a win in the fresh 2014 season.
The game will be broadcast exclusively on Chapelboro.com. Jeff Hamlin will have the call for you Friday at 7 p.m. live from Carrboro High School.
And don’t forget to start your evening off with ‘The Grid with Matt & Matt’, WCHL’s high school football pregame show hosted by Matt Oakes and Matt Paul.
At 6:30 p.m., the stage will be set with interviews from all the area head coaches, analysis and predictions from the night’s biggest games, a selection of The Grid Great of the Week, as well as the unveiling of our WCHL/Chapelboro Super Six rankings.http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/grid-week-1
CHAPEL HILL – Chapelboro and WCHL are excited to announce the Chapelboro Cup, an award to be given annually to the Chapelboro-area high school football team with the best record.
“The competition among our six area schools is at a very high level every year,” says Ran Northam, WCHL’s News and Sports Director. “Each of the last two years, one or more of our teams has made it to the state semifinals after winning their conference tournament. Despite the teams being spread across multiple conferences, the strong cross-town rivalries make for consistently thrilling matchups.”
Chapelboro’s six area teams are the Chapel Hill Tigers, East Chapel Hill Wildcats, Carrboro Jaguars, Orange Panthers, Cedar Ridge Red Wolves, and Northwood Chargers.
The Chapelboro Cup shows WCHL’s and Chapelboro’s continued commitment to coverage of local high school athletics. Last year we created a second broadcast for high school football games each Friday night so that at least two and as many as four of our teams are on the air each week. We also have a page devoted to high school athletics on Chapelboro.com, which will get a makeover next year with the creation of the Chapelboro Cup.
Full details will be released before the kickoff of the 2014 high school football season.http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/wchl-introduces-chapelboro-cup-2014-high-school-football
CHAPEL HILL– What a night of high school football action we had. Week nine had it all as one local titan survived a grueling slugfest and another top-notch area school dropped a shootout.
In our WCHL game of the week, the Chapel Hill fans were treated to an unexpected nail biter. Depleted by injuries, Coach Isaac Marsh’s squad entered their contest against undefeated powerhouse Orange High School with a 3-4 record.
But on this night, the Chapel Hill Tigers played much better than their record suggests, matching the physicality and speed of the Orange “Crush” Panthers every step of the way. In a defensive battle, it wasn’t until two seconds left in the game that lightning struck for the Panthers.
And with the dramatic 55-yard touchdown throw by Garrett Cloer, Coach Pat Moser’s Orange Panthers survived 6-0 over a valiant Chapel Hill team.
Over in Durham, the 6-1 Northwood Chargers faced 5-2 Southern Durham in our exclusive Chapelboro.com game. And unlike the Orange-Chapel Hill affair, this one kept the scorekeeper busy.
It was a back and forth contest, but ultimately it was the home team, Southern Durham that pulled out the 56-54 win to improve to 6-2 on the season.
In other area action, Carrboro continued its struggles as the Jaguars fell to Cummings 37-20. East Chapel Hill was blown out by Northern Durham 42-6 to drop to 1-7 on the season.
And in the feel good story of the night, the winless Cedar Ridge Red Wolves nabbed their first victory of 2013 with 24-17 home win over Webb.http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/high-school-roundup-orange-survives-chargers-fall-and-red-wolves-rise-up
CHAPEL HILL – Northwood didn’t try to run the score up on Cedar Ridge on Friday night, REALLY it didn’t.
The Chargers utilized their reserves early and often in a 79-28 rout, but even many of those players were more talented than the undermanned and outgunned Red Wolves. Your heart goes out to classy coach Chris Casey and his squad, but credit the Red Wolves for not feeling sorry for themselves and staying positive in tough times.
It doesn’t get any easier for Cedar Ridge, which travels to 6-0 Orange Friday. The Panthers are EVEN better than the Chargers, which they showed in a dominant 41-21 win in Pittsboro the previous week.
WHO’S YOUR PAPPAS? – Everyone likes Jim Pappas, it’s just a matter of how much or how little. Pappas was an interesting figure again Friday night as Cedar Ridge hosted Northwood in what became a Chargers rout. Pappas, a Red Wolves assistant, is not only the father of Cedar Ridge sophomore quarterback Peyton Pappas, but has also had roles as Athletic Director at both schools.
The elder Pappas can be fiery and controversial, for sure, but he’s also a kind and decent man. The latter is my take, as Pappas gave me a shot to serve as his assistant AD for two seasons at Cedar Ridge. Anyone can also feel free to judge him as a father striving for excellence for his children, and it looks like he’s done a superb job in that department.
CARRBORO OUT OF GAS? – The mighty have fallen hard and fast at Carrboro, a state championship runner-up in 2012 that fell to 3-3 this season with three straight devastating defeats. Injuries to stars Trai Sharp and Marlin Johnson hurt the Jaguars cause for sure, but the team’s dearth of talent after the pair is still surprising.
Coach Jason Tudryn was reportedly pleased about how some youngsters played Friday but the result was still a double-digit home loss to Randleman. The Jaguars special teams certainly weren’t special in allowing a blocked punt return for a touchdown, a punt return for a touchdown and mishandling a punt return for a turnover in gifting 21 points to the visitors.
CH TRAMPLED UNDER FEET – Almost any football coach at any level will tell you they want to establish their running game in order to top their opponent. Southern Durham certainly did just that Friday in racking up 387 yards on 31 carries for over 12 yards per attempt in its 59-20 win over Chapel Hill. Despite the lopsided win, Southern didn’t appear to run up the score, either, with eight different players getting touches and no back piling up over 100 yards. It’s probably been a hard week of practice for Chapel Hill defenders, particularly on the D-Line.
SHAMELESS PLUG: Orange is No. 1 in the WCHL/Chapelboro.com ‘Super Six’ High School Football poll, while Northwood is No. 2 and winless Cedar Ridge is at the bottom rung. Be sure to tune in to ‘The Grid with Matt & Matt’ Friday evenings at 6 pm on 97.9 FM as we reveal the new poll, talk to area coaches, analyze and predict games and select our ‘Grid Great of the Week’.
Matt Oakes is 4-0 with his picks the last TWO weeks, which he will hopefully be gracious about?! Perhaps he may even belt out another tune as he did during Friday’s show. Matt Paul is his usual humble, or humbled self, at just 5-3 over the same span. Thankfully for listeners, I have NO plans to sing.http://chapelboro.com/high-school-football/the-whole-nine-yards-3
CHAPEL HILL – Conference matchups kick off in week six of high school football and a pair of undefeated teams highlights the contests.
The Northwood Chargers made the jump to 3A football this season, and have so far shown that the move was not unwarranted. With a 4-0 record, the Chargers have outscored their opponents 158-70. However, this week’s opponent is a heavy hitter. The Orange Panther defense has only allowed 22 points in four contests while scoring 155. In fact, Orange is coming off two shutouts and hasn’t scored fewer than five touchdowns in any of its games.
You can hear the call from Northwood High School Friday night on 97.9 FM WCHL and Chapelboro.com. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.
And, be sure to tune in to The Grid with Matt and Matt at 6:00 p.m. to hear from the area’s coaches about this week’s matchups.
Cedar Ridge also made the jump to 3A football this year, and its conference opener won’t be an easy one. The Red Wolves travel to Raleigh to take on defending conference champion Cardinal Gibbons. Cedar Ridge is winless this season, but in three of its four contests, the average margin of defeat is less than a touchdown.
Exclusively on Chapelboro.com Friday, tune in to Cedar Ridge at Cardinal Gibbons; kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
The Carrboro Jaguars have the week off, and Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill are on the road this week. The Tigers are coming off their first win of the year over the in-town rival Wildcats. Friday night, Chapel Hill opens conference play against Oxford Webb. East Chapel Hill has this week and a bye week before conference play begins. Friday, the Wildcats take on the Ragsdale Tigers.http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/conference-play-kicks-off-in-week-six
CHAPEL HILL – The Chapel Hill Tigers retained the Hodgin Cup scoring 26 unanswered points Friday night in Battle Chapel Hill.
The Tigers took the 26-7 win on the road against the East Chapel Hill Wildcats.
The Hodgin Cup has stayed at Chapel Hill High School since 2004. More importantly for the Tigers, Friday’s win marked just the first of the season taking their record to 1-3. The Wildcats fell to 1-4 on the season.
Chapel Hill travels to Oxford Webb next week for the conference opener; East Chapel Hill is also on the road against Ragsdale for its final non-conference game of the season.
In Creedmoor Friday night, the Carrboro Jaguars were handed something it hasn’t seen in a while: a shutout by the hands of South Granville, 43-0.
The loss marks the second of the season for the Jaguars and comes just before their bye week. Head Coach Jason Tudryn will join Paul Connell on the broadcast of WCHL’s High School Football Game of the Week between Orange and Northwood in Hillsborough for the teams’ conference kickoff.
The other game, which will be heard exclusively on Chapelboro.com, features Cedar Ridge on the road against Cardinal Gibbons in another newly-formed conference matchup.http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/chapel-hill-tops-east-26-7-carrboro-shut-out
CHAPEL HILL – Week three of high school football kicks off featuring two local head-to-head matchups, both taking place in Chapel Hill.
On 97.9 FM WCHL and Chapelboro.com tune in to the Carrboro Jaguars at Chapel Hill Tigers. The Jaguars are rolling again with a 2-0 start this season. Most recently Carrboro took down East Chapel Hill, 34-21.
Chapel Hill has not had the same luck this year as the Tigers have dropped their openers, home in overtime against Riverside, 17-14, and on the road against South Granville 23-7.
Tune in to pregame coverage at 7:00 p.m. with Paul Connell to hear the interviews with Carrboro’s Jason Tudryn and Chapel Hill’s Isaac Marsh.
Exclusively on Chapelboro.com, tune in for the Cedar Ridge Red Wolves at the East Chapel Hill Wildcats. Both teams are in search of their first win of the season: Cedar Ridge had the tough task of opening the season against Carrboro and then followed that 36-19 loss with a 24-19 loss to Southern Vance. East Chapel Hill, under the new leadership of John Sherman, also fell to Carrboro last week 34-21 after its season-opening loss on the road against Northwood 39-14.
Tune in to pregame coverage at 7:00 p.m. with Jeff Hamlin and Walter Storholt to hear the interviews with Cedar Ridge’s Chris Casey and East Chapel Hill John’s Sherman.
Pat Moser’s Orange Panthers have scored 82 points in just two contests while only giving up 22. With a 2-0 record, the Pathers hit the road to take on another 4A team, the Durham Riverside Pirates.
In this week’s online-exclusive edition of The Grid, WCHL’s Matt Oakes speaks with Moser about last week’s win and what’s in store for his team against the Pirates in Durham this week.
***Listen to the Interview***
The Northwood Chargers made the move to 3A football this year and took down the 3A Southern Lee Cavaliers last week in Pittsboro 56-31 after opening the season with a 39-14 win over East Chapel Hill.
Conference play begins September 27 against Orange, but there’s still two weeks left to fine-tune the game plan.
In this week’s online-exclusive edition of The Grid, WCHL’s Matt Paul speaks with Northwood head coach, Bill Hall, about the season so far and Friday night’s matchup against Jordan-Matthews.
***Listen to the Interview***http://chapelboro.com/high-school-football/the-grid-week-3
CHAPEL HILL – Cross-division matchups highlight WCHL and Chapelboro.com’s second week of high school football broadcasts Friday night.
Tune it to live play-by-play coverage of two local high school football games as the Carrboro Jaguars host the East Chapel Hill Wildcats and the Orange Panthers host the Northern Durham Knights.
In Carrboro, Paul Connell will have the call alongside Anthony Wellman. In Hillsborough, Orange alumnus, Jeff Hamlin, will have the call with Walter Storholt.
Tune in to WCHL and Chapelboro.com beginning at 6:30 p.m. for The Grid with Ran Northam to preview Friday night’s matchups. At 7:00 p.m., you can choose which game to listen to by visiting our website, Chapelboro.com, and clicking the respective game’s link.
Kickoff for both games this week is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.http://chapelboro.com/sports/high-school/week-2-east-chapel-hill-at-carrboro-no-durham-at-orange