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  Northwest Cabarrus head coach Mike Helms turned in his resignation Tuesday afternoon ending his six year tenure as the Trojans head coach.... Full Story
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It's been a great run but the days of Coach Andy Poplin leading the Spiders are over at Concord High School.  After four highly successful years at the helm, Coach Poplin has stepped down.

There's been a lot of speculation about what led to this sudden resignation, but Coach Poplin simply said "I broke the rules, I have to be accountable for my actions."

The rule he broke was practicing with his team during a state mandated dead period.  "It was a misunderstanding of the rules," Coach Poplin said.  "But I broke them and that's that." 

The team was working out at Concord Middle School on July 31st, a group of four in one gym, and a group of four in another, but a volleyball practice led to both groups practicing at the same time in the same gym, which is more than the state rule that only allows four players and a coach to be working out at the same time.

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New Thomasville Coach, Allen Brown (L.White)


Lexington Dispatch - Mike Duprez

While it doesn’t exactly happen every day, high school football coaches are sometimes succeeded by their sons.

It’s rare when the father succeeds the son.

It’s an even scarcer event — maybe even unprecedented — when both scenarios are played out by the same father and son with each other at different points in their careers.

In a stunning development, Benjie Brown announced Friday that he is stepping down as football coach at Thomasville High School to accept the job as assistant principal at Liberty Drive Elementary School. He is being replaced by his father, Allen Brown, who coached Thomasville to 263 wins and three state championships in 27 seasons. Allen Brown retired in 1999 and was succeeded by his son.

Benjie Brown is leaving the Thomasville program at a time when the Bulldogs are on a streak of three straight state 1-A championships and 37 consecutive wins.

“I’ve been working on my administrative degree,” said Benjie Brown. “It’s something I have been thinking about doing, and it’s time to try something different. I had the privilege of coaching some great football players at Thomasville.”

Benjie Brown, who played quarterback for his father at Thomasville, had a career record of 118-33 as a high school coach, including 87-14 in seven seasons at Thomasville. He was 19-8 in two years at Davie County and 11-11 in two seasons at Asheboro before returning home.

The 61-year-old Allen Brown, who retired in order to become an assistant coach at Newberry College, felt the urge to take over the reins once again of a program he built into one of the state’s best.

“I just felt like I wanted to do it,” Allen Brown said. “I can’t tell you exactly why. They asked me, and I decided I was going to do it. I’m going to miss seeing Benjie on the sidelines. That’s going to be different.”

Allen Brown worked four years at Newberry, the first two as an offensive line coach, the last two as defensive coordinator. But when head coach Mike Taylor was fired, the staff all lost their jobs. Allen Brown returned home and was asked by his son to serve as defensive coordinator for the Bulldogs, a role he played the last four years — beginning in 2003 with the season before Thomasville’s current championship streak.

Because of Allen Brown’s continuing ties to the program, the search for a new head coach was quick and easy.

“This is a great situation to be in as an athletic director,” said Thomasville athletic director Woody Huneycutt “It couldn’t have worked out any better. You hate to lose a coach like Benjie, but to have somebody like his dad to replace him is just fantastic. I expect an easy transition.”

Benjie Brown will begin his duties at Liberty Drive on Monday.

Going out on top wasn’t a factor for Benjie Brown, who would have had star quarterback E.J. Abrams-Ward leading the charge for a fourth straight state championship. He also said he would be making the same decision even if he had not won any state titles.

“I don’t think that has anything to do with it,” Benjie Brown said. “I look at each year as a new challenge. When we’re successful is when we helped players get better and fulfill their goals. The state championships and conference championships are nice, but it’s helping the kids that matters the most. I hope to do the same for the kids at Liberty Drive.”

Benjie Brown admits football is his first love, and he could still help the program in some capacity.

“It’s hard to give up,” he said. “I’m sure my dad and I will talk football a lot. But my main focus now is Liberty Drive.”

Allen Brown, whose career record is 263-72-2, served as an assistant coach for four years under the late George Cushwa before ascending to the top job. The Bulldogs won 2-A state championships in 1988, 1991 and 1995 under his direction. The 1991 team was undefeated. Allen Brown announced his retirement after the Bulldogs fell to Robbinsville in the third round of the 1-A state playoffs in 1999.

Between them, the Browns have won 350 games and six state championships at Thomasville.

Thomasville became a 1-A school in 1997 and a member of the Yadkin Valley 1-A Conference following a North Carolina High School Athletic Association realignment. The Bulldogs were expected to dominate that classification. The Bulldogs did win 56 consecutive conference games — a streak stretching back to their days in the Central Carolina Conference — but Albemarle stood in the way of a state championship run by winning three straight titles from 2001-03.

The Bulldogs ended Albemarle’s 50-game winning streak in the third round of the playoffs in 2004, the first year of Thomasville’s current reign.

Thomasville could have a different look, especially on offense, when the season begins next month. While the tailback was still the focal point of the offense, Benjie Brown used shotgun and spread formations with some frequency the last four seasons. Allen Brown favors a more ground-oriented attack.

“I am a little more conservative on offense,” Allen Brown said. “That is true.”

While he is putting all his efforts into being an assistant principal, Benjie Brown did not rule out a return to coaching.

“I’m going to see how this goes and give it everything I’ve got,” he said. “You never know what may happen.”

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AP NCHSAA Women's Championships
Sophomore Amber Calvin scored 14 of her 17 points in the second half Saturday in Chapel Hill to help undefeated Hope Mills South View defeat Greensboro Grimsley 69-64 and win its first N.C. High School Athletic Association girls 4-A championship.

Calvin scored her last 10 points at the line, and she hit four straight free throws in the final 29 seconds to put South View (32-0) ahead for good.

Despite soreness lingering from a late shoulder injury, Calvin repeatedly split Whirlies defenders and had seven assists. She was named the MVP of the game.

"It affected my [shooting] arc some," Calvin said. "I didn't feel it at all in the second half."

Calvin made just 1-of-11 from the field but was 15-for-17 at the line.

Trumae Lucas led Grimsley (30-2) with a game-high 33 points.

South View trailed by 12 at halftime and still was down 47-34 after Lucas hit from the lane with 11:14 to play.

"We thought we had the game in hand, and then they made a great run," Grimsley coach Phil Weaver said.

South View used a 10-2 run midway through the fourth to pull even.  


WINSTON-SALEM CARVER 58, SOUTHWEST EDGECOMBE 49: Game MVP Brittany Strachan, who has committed to play at N.C. State, scored 29 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Carver beat SouthWest Edgecombe in Raleigh.

Danielle Hardy added 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets (29-3), who held off a second-half rally by the Cougars to win their second state title and first since 2001.

Monique Hudson scored 14 points for SouthWest Edgecombe (25-3), which had its 21-game winning streak snapped.


SYLVA SMOKY MOUNTAIN 85, GRAHAM 62: Cetera DeGraffenreid scored 42 points -- 36 in the second half -- to lead Smoky Mountain (30-2) in Chapel Hill.

DeGraffenreid, who has committed to play at UNC, scored 16 straight points midway through the second half to help Smoky Mountain break away from a 33-33 halftime tie and take the lead for good.

Simone Robinson had 18 points and 15 boards for Graham (31-2).

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AP NCHSAA Men's State Championships


NEW HANOVER 39, CHARLOTTE VANCE 35: Seven-footer Ty Walker scored a game-high 12 points to go with his eight blocks, leading New Hanover (29-4) over Charlotte Vance (28-4) in the 4-A title game.

Vance led 35-34 with 1:38 to play, helped by a technical called on David Pellom for grabbing the rim and an ensuing four-point swing.

James Beatty answered with a pull-up jumper with 52 seconds left to put New Hanover up for good. Cedric Baker connected on a one-and-one down the stretch, then Pellom made a free throw with 1.6 seconds left to redeem himself and seal the win.



THOMASVILLE 86, NORTH EDGECOMBE 76: Chris Woods scored 17 of his 23 points in the second half as Thomasville won the 1-A title.

Woods, named the championship game's most valuable player, also pulled down 17 rebounds for the Bulldogs (24-2), who won their fifth state title in men's basketball since 1998.

Jerby Cooper and Terrell Davis scored 26 points each for the Warriors (22-7), who were in the state final for the first time in 43 years.

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Posted in: NCHSAA
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Cummings wins second straight title
Dwight Jones had 23 points and 16 rebounds to help Burlington Cummings take its second straight Class 2-A N.C. High School Athletic Association championship Saturday with a 52-49 win over Boonville Starmount in Chapel Hill.

James Terrell added 12 points for Cummings (30-2). He fed Antonio Ferguson a half-court, inbounds pass for the game's last basket, a breakaway dunk that put Cummings up 51-47 with 13 seconds left.

Victor Davila led Starmount (25-6) with 18 points. Ferdinand Morales added 13.

Jones, a North Carolina signee for football, was named the championship game's MVP for the second straight year. He went 8-for-19 from the field and 6-for-11 at the line, where he hit three free throws in the game's final 29 seconds to help Cummings hold on after it squandered an 11-point lead in the final two minutes.

"I didn't come in here to be MVP," he said. "I was looking to do a little of everything, score, pass, and most importantly, get rebounds."

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Photo by Lamont White (

RALEIGH-  It's possible that the Kinston fans and players will have nightmares about Dee Bost and Lance Lewis for weeks to come.  Just when it seemed that Kinston had pulled ahead and was taking control of the NCHSAA 3A State Championship Game, the dynamic duo took over the game and elevated their play to ensure the Spiders would take home the hardware.

The Spiders defeated the Kinston Vikings 85-79 before an estimated crowd of 9,000 at N.C. State's Reynolds Coliseum,  a game that Dee Bost was named MVP for his 27 points.

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By Chris Hughes

RALEIGH -  The Lady Eagles from East Bladen High will have nightmares for weeks to come when thinking about the performance sophomore center Erinn Thompson put on them in the 36th Annual Women's Final at Reynolds Coliseum.

Bishop McGuinness jumped out to an 11-4 lead early and never looked back as they  crushed East Bladen 79-42.

Senior guards Sarah Foroudi and Katheryn Lyons added 19 points from the backcourt, and junior Maggie Ronan added another 15 in the winning effort.

JaToya Kemp was all over the court for the Eagles, but her 30 point effort was not enough.

Thompson was a unanimous choice for game MVP, while Kemp was named the East MVP and Katheryn Lyons was the West MVP.

The Villains finshed the season 32-1.

Bishop McGuinness Erin Thompson blocking a JaToya Kemp Shot
Photo By Dave Maney
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EAST BLADEN  42                   

MVP:  Erinn Thompson, 20 pts, 16 rebs, 5 blocks



GRAHAM 62                          

MVP:  Cetera DeGraffenreid, 42 pts, 7 ast.




MVP:  Chris Woods,  23 pts, 17 rebs.







MVP:  Brittany Strachan  29 Pts, 13 Rebs, 4 Blks, & 2 Steals 




MVP:  Amber Calvin 17 points





MVP:  Dee Bost  27 Points







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The Fayetteville Observer is reporting that Haney Catchings has been named the new head coach at E.E. Smith High School in Fayetteville.  Principal Rene Corders made the announcement at a press conference in the school library.

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