Up & Coming Weekly

June 02, 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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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 16 UCW JUNE 3-9, 2020 EARL VAUGHAN JR., Sports Editor. COMMENTS? EarlUCWSports@gmail. com. 910-364-6638. HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS This time of year, high school football coaches are usually getting ready for a long summer of conditioning workouts with their teams in pre- paration for the start of official practice in North Carolina on August 1. But the COVID-19 pandemic and lingering uncertainty over what kind of, if any, football season we'll have this fall has the Cumberland County Schools senior high school football coa- ches taking a far more cautious look at what a return to the sport could mean. None are more circumspect in their feelings about this fall than veteran Pine Forest coach Bill Sochovka. Like all of his fellow coaches, his main concern is the health and safety of his players and coaches. He'd like to wait and see what goes on in states that are opening up practice faster than North Carolina. "A later date would give us a better understanding,'' he said, adding he'd prefer to have preseason practice no earlier than July 1. "People forget that high school sports, particularly football, is a natural petri dish for germs,'' Sochovka said. "Anytime a kid gets a sniffle or a stomach bug, you're going to have six or seven kids on the team wind up getting it.'' Sochovka said the sport of football is already under the microscope for how it handles injuries because of the recent concern for the treatment of players who suffer concussions. "We've got to think about kids and safety first,'' he said. "We've got to be smart about it.'' Another concern is just what kind of football we'll be playing when the sport first resumes. Jake Thomas, coach at Cape Fear, noted that the preliminary practi- ce guidelines set down by the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations turn practice into more of a case of strength and conditioning than actual game practice. "Screening every athlete and coach every time you meet with them seems not financially feasible,'' Thomas said. "Schools already have limited budgets, and now football games without fans and a band will financially destroy high school athletics and many schools.'' Thomas thinks coaches may need to look for pre- determined risk factors like a respiratory conditi- on and possibly not allow at-risk athletes to come out for the team. "At some point, we have to go back to living life and stop hiding in fear,'' he said. Terry Sanford coach Bruce McClelland said his staff has already worked out a rotation of players to limit numbers in the school's weight room, along with plans to sanitize all areas used by players and team staff. "There are so many different professional opi- nions I have listened to — it's become confusing,'' he said. "I am honestly hoping we get some good news in the near future from the medical field that will help make this an easier decision.'' Seventy-First coach Duran McLaurin would love to be practicing, but he's cognizant of what that could entail. "I'm very concerned with keeping my players safe more than any reward I can think of right now,'' he said. Regardless of what happens, the advice given by new E.E. Smith head coach Andy Karcher is likely the wisest. "The biggest takeaway from this is to be pati- ent, keep everything and everyone as clean as possib- le and don't take any unnecessary risks,'' he said. County football coaches cautious about start of practice by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Westover's Pompey wins NCHSAA scholarship a STAFF REPORT Westover High School's Madison Pompey has been named the Region 4 winner of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association's Willie Bradshaw Memorial Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship, which is worth $750, is presented to winners from each of the state's eight geographic regions, with two statewide winners getting an additional scholarship of $1,000. The winners are chosen from outstanding minority nomi- nees for the award, which is named for Bradshaw, a Durham native who was a star athlete at Hillside High School and a longtime coach and athletic administrator. He is a member of both the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and National High School Halls of Fame. Pompey competed in both cross country and track and field during all four years she was a student at Westover. She was a team captain her junior and senior years and earned second team all-conference, lette- ring in both sports. She also received the Distance Award and the Coach's Award. She is active in her church as a member of the youth group and a participant with the church's liturgical dance team. Pompey volunteers both at her church and with local civic organizations. She plans to pursue a degree in forensic science. Madison Pompey Bill Sochovka Jake Thomas Attention Students: Let Your Voice Be Heard Get published in our award-winning community newspaper Up & Coming Weekly Send in your feature articles, editorials, short stories, movie and music reviews or original poetry and artwork to: highschoolhighlights@upandcomingweekly.com Subject line: High School Highlights Please include your photo and school information.

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