Up & Coming Weekly

May 12, 2020

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 19 of 28

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MAY 13-19, 2020 UCW 19 HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS A number of Cumberland County high school athletes recently received statewide recognition by being honored as all-stars and were given the chance to compete in all-star competition, sub- ject to the lifting of COVID-19 shelter-in-place restrictions later this summer. Most of the athletes were chosen to take part in this summer's North Carolina Coaches Association East-West All-Star games in Greensboro this summer. Here's a brief look at each of the honorees: Football Cape Fear head coach Jake Thomas was pre- viously chosen as an assistant coach for the East team in this summer's East-West game at Grimsley High School in Greensboro on Wednesday, July 22. Four Cumberland County football players were named to the East roster, linebackers Mark Burks of Cape Fear and Jackson Deaver of Terry Sanford, running back Matthew Pemberton of South View and wide receiver Anthony Fiffie of Jack Britt. Thomas will coach the linebackers in the game. He said Deaver was a four-year starter with the Bulldogs who plays like a coach on the field. "He's very smart and will come up and hit you,'' Thomas said. Deaver was the defensive player of the year in the Patriot Athletic Conference. He finished second in Cumberland County in tackles with 162. Burks is a versatile player who can also double as a safety. "That's a plus when you're coaching in an all-star game,'' Thomas said. A three-year captain for Cape Fear, Thomas called Burks an outstanding teammate and leader. Burks had 70 tackles and 4.5 sacks. He was first team All-Patriot Athletic Conference at linebacker. Fiffie is the only one of the four county players that Thomas didn't actually see in a game this season since Cape Fear and Britt don't play each other. "I've heard offensive coaches talking about him, his size as a receiver and his hands,'' Thomas said. "He does a great job of running routes and being precise.'' Fiffie was a first team All-Sandhills Athletic Conference wide receiver. He led Cumberland County in receiving with 81 catches for 1,156 yards and 17 touchdowns. Thomas called Pemberton a versatile playmaker who can do all kinds of things to help a team win. "He's just a tremendous athlete,'' Thomas said. Pemberton was Athlete of the Year in the Patriot Athletic Conference. He rushed 230 times for 1,919 yards and 31 touchdowns. He caught 20 passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns. Girls soccer Terry Sanford's Maiya Parrous was the lone coun- ty player selected to the East girls soccer team. Previously announced as head coach of the team was Pine Forest's Isaac Rancour. Like the rest of the soccer players in the state, Parrous had her senior season stripped from her when the spring sports season was halted on March 16. Before play was halted this season, Parrous was one of the leading scorers in Cumberland County. She had eight goals and two assists. Last season she scored 19 goals. Parrous, who will attend the College of Charleston in the fall, said she's excited about what she hopes will be one more chance to put on the uniform and compete as a high school player. "Everyone hopes it happens,'' she said of the soccer all-star game, which is scheduled for Tuesday, July 21, at Greensboro's MacPherson Stadium. Rancour said he plans to play Parrous at a wing position. "I think she has good technical ability and fits in well with the other players,'' Rancour said. "I hope she can score a few goals.'' Rancour said all-star game officials indicated they would make a final decision on whether they will be able to play this summer around mid-June. "A lot of it revolves around the coaches clinic and what's going on there,'' he said. The East-West games are annually held in conjunction with the North Carolina Coaches Association Clinic, which takes place at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Girls golf Although not connected to the East-West com- petition in Greensboro, Cape Fear High School golf standout Toni Blackwell was chosen to take part in the fifth annual Tarheel Cup as a member of the East team. The competition, which has been canceled because of COVID-19, was scheduled May 15-17 at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary. The event would have pitted six girls and six boys from the eastern part of the state against six boys and six girls from the western part of the state using a Ryder Cup-style format. Blackwell won the NCHSAA East Regional cham- pionship this year and placed third in the 3-A state tournament with a two-day total of 80-69-149. She plans to join the golf team at UNC-Pembroke in the fall. County athletes chosen for East-West games by EARL VAUGHAN JR. County schools lead nation in NFHS coaches education by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Vernon Aldridge, student activities director for the Cumberland County Schools, has long stressed the importance of the county's coaches taking courses to make them better at their jobs. That commitment recently earned the county national recognition as the National Federation of State High School Associations listed three county schools as first in the nation to reach Level I status on the NFHS School Honor Roll program. The three schools are Gray's Creek High School, John Griffin Middle School and Pine Forest Middle School. Since the initial three schools were announced, five more have been added to the list. They are Pine Forest High School, South View Middle School, Hope Mills Middle School, Spring Lake Middle School and Anne Chesnutt Middle School. To make the list, a school must have at least 90% of the full-time coaches on its staff complete four courses offered online by the NFHS. The courses are Fundamentals of Coaching, Concussion in Sports, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, and Protecting Students from Abuse. There are two more levels schools can achieve by completing additional NFHS courses. Because all the county schools have been taking part in the NFHS initiative, Aldridge is optimistic it won't be long before every county school is recogni- zed for at least reaching Level I. "The more we take these courses, the higher qua- lity our coaches are,'' Aldridge said. "I think it enhan- ces the experience for the student-athletes.'' He added all coaches in Cumberland County Schools have been required to take the four NFHS courses before the School Honor Roll program was started last December. In addition, all county schools coaches must recei- ve training in performing cardiopulmonary resuscita- tion and using an automated external defibrillator. "My goal is to have all our schools to be Level 3 in two years,'' Aldridge said. The participation of Cumberland County Schools in the NFHS initiative earned three local schools a national recognition. Mark Burks Jackson Deaver Matthew Pemberton Maiya Parrous Toni Blackwell Anthony Fiffie EARL VAUGHAN JR., Sports Editor. COMMENTS? EarlUCWSports@gmail. com. 910-364-6638.

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