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Goldsboro News Argus - Fall Sports Preview

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6 — Goldsboro News-Argus Thursday, August 17, 2017 GOLDSBOROHIGHSCHOOL• BOYS' SOCCER FOOTBALL • The biggest news on campus? Elvin James has returned. The journeyman coach,who has spent time on the high school and collegiate scenes,is excited about the upcoming season. There is talent on offense and defense. However,the main factors could be the team's overall attitude, confidence,dedication to the program and determination to succeed on Friday nights. The Cougars haven't experienced a winning season since 2012. VOLLEYBALL • No seniors and seven juniors — most have played in the Eastern Elite Volleyball Club sys- tem — return in 2017. Amber Pfennig cranked out 75 kills last season — the most among any returner. Pfennig and Riley Howell shared the team lead in service aces (54). Dakota Jones ranked first in digs (205) and Pfenning was second with 166. Howell dished out a career-high 416 assists,which could also be a single-season school record. Head coach TJ Lancaster also has one freshmen and one junior on his nine-player roster. GIRLS' TENNIS • Steven Fine,who experienced success on the boys' tennis scene last spring,is the Cougars' new head coach. Goldsboro com- piled a 2-8 record in 2016. Multi-sport stu- dent-athlete Anna Prezbindowski and Marininique Ward are back for their senior campaign. The junior class is comprised of Alexis Crouse,Crystal Golden,Haley Jones, Hannah Williamson and Rachel Johnson. Completing the roster are three sopho- mores — Cailtyn Zawadzki,Grace Boros and Mattingly Churakos. CROSS COUNTRY • Goldsboro has two new coaches — Stephanie Orosco (girls) and varsity boys' basketball assistant Jamaal Croom. Landry Harrell,who attends the Wayne School of Engineering,emerged as one of the Cougars' top runners. Orosco expects Landry "to have an amazing season this year."Basketball standout Tziah Kelly,a multi-sport athlete, earned MVP team honors. On the boys' side, Croom recruited Isaiah Wilder and Jyrei Thompson. He'll also have a pair of WSE competitors — Aaron Miranda and Tyler Annette. Orosco said that between 18 and 20 runners will suit up this season. "That's a huge improvement because we've had a small team the past two years." GIRLS' GOLF • The Cougars return three underclass- men — juniors Caroline Foy and Rylie Hales,and sophomore Rebecca Lanier. Hales emerged as the Cougars' leader in stroke average. According to Maxpreps stats on file,Hales' lowest nine-hole round was 47 in 2016. FALLSPORTSOUTLOOKS Goldsboro High School claimed the 2016 Eastern Carolina 2-A Conference regular-season title outright — the first in program history. The Cougars fell to Graham in opening-round action of the playoffs. News-Argus file photo By RUDY COGGINS rcoggins@newsargus.com Goldsboro made a major stride on the soccer pitch last fall. The Cougars won the Eastern Carolina 2-A title outright — the first in program history — behind the leadership of eight seniors. The odds to repeat that feat? Difficult,at best. Just three starters return and Goldsboro has been realigned into the East Central 2-A league.That includes Wallace-Rose Hill,which has played for the last four 1-A state championships — and won three. James Kenan was the east runner-up to W-RH in 2016. County rival Spring Creek has seven Carolina 1-A titles to its credit. Clinton claimed the last two Four County 1-A/2-A crowns in 2015-16. "Those are four powerhouse teams right there in one conference,"said second-year GHS head coach Chad Lewis."It's going to make us better as a team,by far,but it's going to make it harder for us as far as mak- ing the playoffs with the new seeding process and Maxpreps rankings. "It's going to be a big mountain to climb.That's for sure." Indeed. More than 80 percent of the Cougars' offense is gone. The backbone is senior goalkeeper Chandler Patrick,who won nine games and posted a 1.84 goals- against-average between the pipes a year ago.Davis wants Patrick to dis- play his commanding leadership and communication skills in the midfield, but will have to leave him in the net for now. Also back are junior midfielders Collin Williams and Connor Pate. The remainder of the team is com- posed of either freshmen and sopho- mores.Lewis anticipates starting either four or five freshmen during the early part of Goldsboro's non-con- ference schedule. He also broke out extra condition- ing drills. "I've been trying to get them in shape,"Lewis said."They were so far out of shape,I don't think anybody has gotten off of the couch all sum- mer. "In order to be successful this year, they're going to have to play as a sin- gle unit and know that there can't be any selfishness on the field at all.If so,we're going to get run off the field." Previous Lewis-coached teams have relied on a possession-style attack that uses the width of the field and delivers the ball over the top of the defense to speedy strikers. The possession strategy won't change. But the offense,instead,must build from the back and create scor- ing opportunities.Turnovers and lack of communication could spell trouble for a youthful team that needs to stay within striking distance to have a chance to win at the end of the game. New realignment puts Lewis' squad into powerhouse league ■East Central 2-A is full of strong programs including Wallace-Rose Hill,which won three of last four 1-A state championships. See LEAGUE,Page 18

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