Up & Coming Weekly

June 18, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 25 of 32

JUNE 19-25, 2019 UCW 25 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM The Hope Mills Boosters American Legion baseball team solved a nagging problem while also paying tribute to a beloved supporter who recently died. Getting to road baseball games each summer was a chal- lenge for the boosters as coaches and team members had to find their own transportation to and from games. That problem was solved thanks to the support of the Massey Hill Lions Club and one of its members, Fred McFayden. With their help, the Boosters bought an old Cumberland County school bus and converted it into an activity bus. They used it for the first time last month. "The bus was bought for safety reasons at the conclusion of last season,'' said Mark Kahlenberg, coach of the Boosters team. "The Massey Hill Lions Club has been a great support system for our program. Fred was the biggest reason the bus was purchased, and he's always been there for us.'' Tragically, McFayden died unexpectedly this April, at the age of 64, before the 2019 American Legion baseball season began. "The club thought it would be fitting to name (the bus) in honor of Fred as an enduring testament to his love for Legion baseball and his dedication to keep it alive in Hope Mills,'' Kahlenberg said. Editor's note: This is part of a series on Cumberland County high school spring foot- ball workouts. Brian Randolph was an assistant coach under former Jack Britt football head coach Richard Bailey during the period when Buccaneer foot- ball enjoyed consistent success. Randolph has been working hard to return the Buccaneer pro- gram to that same level of winning. Last year's 5-7 record, which included a trip to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A state playoffs, was a step in that direction. Randolph hopes to keep the march to cham- pionship contention going in the season ahead. "I want to set a standard of excellence that's been here since the school was open,'' Randolph said. "Nobody is going to be perfect, but we can all reach for that higher level in whatever we're doing, whether it's football or academics. That's what restoring order is all about this year.'' Britt rebounded from a 0-3 start last season to go 4-3 in the Sandhills Conference, including a win against 4-A Eastern finalist Seventy-First. "We were within one game of finishing second in the conference,'' Randolph said. "The mantra last year was don't quit, regardless of what happens. They did not quit.'' But the Buccaneers did suffer substantial graduation losses on both sides of the football, especially defensively, where the entire linebacker corps was wiped out. The good news on offense is almost the entire line will return, but Randolph will have to replace veteran quarterback Brennan Shortridge. "I think there are pieces in place to be success- ful,'' Randolph said. "But as you know, the confer- ence we play in is difficult.'' The Buccaneers open with a brutal non-confer- ence slate that includes South View, Pine Forest and Terry Sanford. Pine Forest was the Patriot Athletic Conference regular season title. That trio combined for 31 wins in 2018, and all reached the third round of the state playoffs. Pass defense will be critical for the Buccaneers as Randolph hopes his team can play a lot of man-to-man coverage. "That frees us up to do more things up front, especially with the loss of linebackers and defensive line,'' he said. He said Britt needs to find ways to put pressure on the ball and create what he calls havoc plays. A player who figures to be central in mak- ing that happen is cornerback Josh Townsend, who will be a senior this fall. Townsend said last season the Buccaneers weren't entirely in the same flow. The focus so far for 2019 is to get everyone doing their job and knowing what that job is on the field. "Younger guys have got to step up,'' Townsend said. "Older people have to lead them there, teach them to do it the right way.'' Townsend expects some familiar teams to be in the hunt for this year's Sandhills Athletic Conference championship. "Seventy-First always gives us a good run,'' he said. "Richmond Senior was really good last year. They had a great team.'' Randolph is working to get Jack Britt included in the discussion when the subject is conference championship. "People in this building understand there's a standard of excellence you have to attain to,'' he said. "We're following that same mantra on the football field.'' Jack Britt seeks return to football glory days by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Boosters dedicate bus to memory of McFayden by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Brian Randolph Fred McFayden died unexpect- edly this April. Josh Townsend Cape Fear Pine Forest Douglas Byrd Seventy First E.E. Smith South View Gray's Creek Terry Sanford Jack Britt Westover BRINGING YOU THE BEST IN CUMBERLAND COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS Check NCPrepSports.net for playoff details. & 6-8pm MONDAY Congratulations to all NCHSAA 2019 GRADUATES

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