Up & Coming Weekly

July 09, 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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24 UCW JULY 10-16, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM Ernest King The rubberized track will replace an asphalt one South View has had since 2002. Taurienne Freeman HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS EARL VAUGHAN JR., Sports Editor. COMMENTS? EarlUCWSports@gmail. com. 910-364-6638. Editor's note: This is part of a series on Cumberland County high school spring football workouts. Ernest King took over as Westover head football coach late in the off- season development period last year, making his challenge to field a competitive football team even more difficult. He responded by guiding the Wolverines to a 4-7 record. Now, with more than a year working on the program behind him, he's opti- mistic about this fall's outlook. "The biggest thing is we've got the majority of our offensive line back,'' he said. "We've got our running backs back, and our receiving corps is back.'' There is one big hole to fill on offense with talented quarterback Xavier Marsh departed. "Our receiver corps has to make our quarterback look good this year,'' King said. "When the ball is in the air, we've got to attack it.'' Most of the defense returns, highlighted by line- backer Taurienne Freeman. "He's our leader on defense,'' King said. "He fin- ished last year with 169 tackles. We expect him to do the same thing this year, lead us even more and hopefully get us to the playoffs.'' Freeman said the focus for Westover this season is being more disciplined and knowing assign- ments on the field along with getting in the weight room every day. He said things are already ahead of last year. "Everybody is finally developing as a team,'' he said. "Everything is starting to fit in. We're building a brotherhood and build- ing a bond with the coaches, too, so we're pretty good with that.'' When it comes to returning the Wolverines to winning football, Freeman said the job for the team is obvious. "Playing hard football,'' he said. "That's the only way we're going to get it back. We've got to come out here, play everybody hard and win. That's how we are going to get our respect back.'' King is expecting another tight battle for the Patriot Athletic Conference title and hopes the Wolverines will have a chance to be in the picture. "Everybody is learning the system so when we go into summer all we are doing is getting repetitions instead of doing a lot of teaching,'' he said. "We've got our coaching staff, and a majority of the kids have shown up for spring ball. We won't lack experience.'' South View track and cross coun- try coach Jesse Autry got a phone call recently that nearly brought him to tears. One of his assistant coaches told him work had finally begun on installing a rubberized track at the South View football field. It was a successful completion of an arduous process Autry has been chasing for years, culmi- nating in a fundraising effort he championed on Facebook. Autry wanted to praise everyone who helped. "I can't say enough at what Dr. (Tonjai) Robertson, Chad Barbour and Vernon Aldridge and everyone has done,'' he said. Robertson is the South View prin- cipal, Barbour the school's athletic director and Aldridge the student activities director for Cumberland County Schools. "People have pitched in from our community, and alumni from our teams,'' Autry said. "It's really been something.'' There is still going to be a little more money needed to finish the project com- pletely. What's been raised so far only covers the track. To be able to host meets at South View, the school will need to upgrade the jumping pits for events like the long jump and high jump. "I know that the powers that be are working to make it a complete facility,'' Autry said. "I can tell the effort is there, and they are trying to make sure the money is there.'' The rubberized track will replace an asphalt one South View has had since 2002. While asphalt is better than the dirt tracks still used at some Cumberland County schools, Autry said it was rough on the legs of his runners. "We've had to run in the zero lane, as we call it, which means in the grass on the inside (of the track),'' Autry said. "You begin to realize rubber is a safer surface. Rubber is also faster. On asphalt, when kids try to wear spikes, they slip.'' Autry said the new track will pay for itself because South View can host major meets and get teams to travel to run there. "People aren't going to drive three hours to race on an asphalt track,'' he said. "Hosting big meets means making money." Athletic director Barbour said the company installing the track has a 90-day contract that started June 10. The plan is to have the new track finished by Aug. 23, before South View's first home football game. Barbour said the installation won't interfere with South View's fall sports prac- tices. Both the South View football and soccer teams have practice fields independent from the football field where work on the new track will be taking place. Experienced Westover ready to be in Patriot title chase by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Arduous process ends as South View gets rubberized track by EARL VAUGHAN JR.

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