High-SchoolNorth-Carolina: Jordan

Longtime Durham Jordan coach resigns

January, 14, 2012
After 23 seasons with the Jordan (Durham) program and three state title, Steve Turner is stepping down as head coach, according to a story in the Durham Herald-Sun. Jordan finished No.2 in the 2010 POWERADE FAB 50 following a 25-0 season. Jordan won state titles in 1990, 2001 and 2010.

Green Hope, Myers Park to face off in Class 4A soccer final

November, 17, 2011
Three of the last four Class 4A state title games have featured Myers Park, but just as was the case last year when the Mustangs faced Jordan, they enter this weekend's final as the high-scoring underdog.

Myers Park has averaged more than four goals per game this year, thanks to Erick Suarez (35 goals, 15 assists) and Hussein Ali (25 goals, seven assists), and after beating Roberson 1-0 on Wednesday, has outscored its last seven opponents by a count of 39-5. The five goals surrendered is just as impressive as the 39 when you consider the Mustangs graduated its entire defense from last year's state runner-up squad.

Still, the push to win their first title since 2008 will be far from easy, as Green Hope stands in the way. The Falcons are the state's top-ranked and nation's seventh-best squad in the POWERADE FAB 50 after downing defending champ Jordan earlier this season, rallying for a 4-3 win against Fuquay-Varina in the quarterfinals and downing Pinecrest 4-0 behind Will Moore's two goals in the semis.

Green Hope has been downright impressive this year, outscoring opponents 111-24 while riding the motivation of winning the state title in coach Andrew Chadwick's final season. Along with Moore, the Falcons possess a solid playmaker in Ryan Thompson (12 goals, 17 assists) and Drew Altman (team-high 17 goals). Myers Park's defense will certainly be tested, but so will Green Hope's, as the Mustangs known for racking up shots on goal until they find the back of the net.

In Class 3A action, defending state champ Cardinal Gibbons is also headed back to the final for a bout with Charlotte Catholic. Between the Crusaders' title last year and the Cougars four crowns in the last decade, tradition is rich between these two. The Cougars boast a scoring machine in Roland Minogue, but the Crusaders have been lighting up the scoreboard all season in hopes of a repeat title.

State championship matches for all four classes will take place this Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.
How's this for an all-in-the-family connection? East Chapel Hill High's Bill Renner coaches quarterback Drew Davis, whose father, Butch, used to coach at UNC, where Bryn Renner (Bill's son) is now the starting quarterback for the Tar Heels.

Got all that?

If you didn't, no worries because here's all you really need to know: Drew Davis is a passing machine.

The East Chapel Hill senior has put up insane numbers through five games this season, setting several state and school records along the way. Two weeks ago, Davis set the state mark for completions in a game, going 43-for-60 for 362 yards and five touchdowns. But last week's outcome was even sweeter. The senior led the Wildcats to their first victory of the season, a 62-49 win against Jordan. The Wildcats' 62 points were a school record and Davis' 486 yards (to go with five more scores) ranks eighth all time in the state record book.

As this insightful feature written by the News & Observer points out, Davis' big numbers are a byproduct of Renner's system, which he used at Virginia's West Springfield to help his son Bryn throw for more than 6,000 yards in two seasons. (If you want to connect some more dots, West Springfield was actually one of my high school rivals during my Northern Virginia days. Big ups to W.T. Woodson!)

But a system doesn't always make a great quarterback, which is where Davis' athleticism comes in. I won't spoil the whole feature (which also touches on Davis' involvement in the UNC football scandal), but let's just say his 1,902 yards and 17 scores this season are no fluke.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Stock is rising for Hood, Newsome

September, 15, 2011
It's time for our weekly North Carolina All-State Football Stock Watch. This time around, we look at a sophomore tailback who plays like anything but an underclassman and another running back who kills opponents with his speed.

UP — Elijah Hood, Charlotte Catholic RB
The Cougars are surging up the state rankings and Hood is big reason why. The sophomore running back needed just six carries to rack up 145 rushing yards and three touchdowns in last Friday's 49-14 rout of Charlotte Latin.

DOWN — Phillip Williamson, Jordan LB
It's been a rough season for the Falcons' defense, which has given up an average of 33 points per contest during a 1-3 start. Some of that onus falls on Williamson, the unquestioned leader of the Jordan D. Should the Falcons turn things around, it will start with the UNC commit and his defensive teammates. But in fairness, Jordan's schedule has been tough, taking on No. 7 WF-Rolesville and a tough Leesville Road squad.

UP — Detrez Newsome, Hoke County RB
A stomach bug slowed Newsome in the Bucks' lone loss of the season, but since then, it's the Bucks' opponents who have had a hard time stomaching Newsome. The junior exploded in last week's 42-12 win against Sanderson, rushing for 210 yards and four touchdowns. Newsome showed his speed with two scores of 70 yards or more, boosting the Bucks to their 3-1 start.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Green Hope rises, South Meck falls in new POWERADE soccer rankings

September, 13, 2011
Don't be fooled by its name — Green Hope has given very little hope to its opponents this season.

The Falcons breezed through their non-conference schedule, compiling a 6-0 record, consecutively downing power programs Jordan and Sanderson and outscoring opponents by a count of 24-4. Midfielders Tyler Carroll (team-high six goals) and Ryan Thompson (five assists) have anchored this fast start, pushing the Falcons up to No. 16 in the new POWERADE FAB 50 rankings.

South Mecklenburg made its debut in the national list this week, earning the No. 44 spot. But this accomplishment could be short-lived for the Sabres. Ben Berdon's hat trick helped rival Providence pull off the 4-0 upset against South Meck on Monday, sending the Sabres to their first loss on the season.

Find out which three other local programs made the rankings by clicking here.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Big soccer weekend for Myers Park, Greensboro Day

August, 26, 2011
Hurricane Irene is bearing down on the East Coast, threatening to postpone what was shaking up to be a weekend filled with intriguing soccer matchups. Should the weather cooperate, here's what local soccer fans are in store for:

On Friday, Green Hope, which is fresh off a 5-0 shutout win against defending Class 4A champ Jordan, will look to continue its momentum against a tough T.C. Roberson team that is adjusting well to its new home in the 4A ranks.

Also on slate are two Saturday clashes between private and public school powerhouses. No. 18-ranked Myers Park and senior sensation Erick Suarez visit a storied Charlotte Latin program, while No. 28-ranked Greensboro Day School, led by Jonathan Campbell, takes on Greensboro Page.

Click here to read more about these matchups, courtesy of our soccer expert Sheldon Shealer. And more importantly, be careful out there!

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

North Carolina soccer preview

August, 24, 2011
The rare East Coast earthquake happened Tuesday, but as we've chronicled here and here, the rumblings throughout North Carolina high school sports have been happening since last Friday.

The local soccer scene was no exception, as Green Hope blanked defending state champ Jordan, 5-0, last week. Ryan Thompson tallied one goal and two assists while Drew Altman netted two scores to pace Green Hope. The win avenges last year's loss to Jordan, which went 25-0, but it does little to determine who is this year's favorite. Remember, two years ago, Jordan beat Green Hope 4-1, only to see Green Hope hand Jordan its lone loss a few months later in the playoff semifinals.

Such storylines should make the futbol season an exciting one. Two local teams enter the season ranked in the POWERADE FAB 50, with the Erick Suarez-led Myers Park checking in at No. 18. Want more soccer news? Our resident aficionado Sheldon Shealer has got you covered with an in-depth region preview as well as state preseason rankings.

Brandon Parker covers North Carolina for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter (@brandoncparker) or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.