Up & Coming Weekly

August 29, 2017

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

AUGUST 30 - SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 UCW 25 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM There's something new to Cumberland County high school athletics this season. For the first time since anyone involved with local sports can remember, most of the teams from the county will be playing in a new 4-A/3-A combination league, the Patriot Athletic Conference. The N.C. High School Athletic Association tries to avoid putting teams into combination leagues for various reasons, but there are times when the need to preserve natural rivalries and avoid excessive travel force putting schools of different sizes together. Patty Evers is familiar with the experience. A member of the NCHSAA Board of Directors, she's the athletic director and girls' basketball coach at East Bladen High School and has been in a combination league as long as she can remember. "Some coaches think you should crown a 1-A conference champion and a 2-A con- ference champion, but we've never done that,'' she said of her school's 2-A/1-A combi- nation league. The league title goes to the regular-season winner in sports like football. But for deciding playoff berths, both the top finisher in one class and the top finisher in the other class get No. 1 berths in the postseason. In the Patriot Athletic, Overhills, South View and Pine Forest are the only 4-A teams, while Westover, Cape Fear, E.E. Smith, Douglas Byrd, Terry Sanford and Gray's Creek are all 3-A. With nine teams, the Patriot will get three automatic playoff berths. Two are guaran- teed to the top finisher in each class. If the second place team in the overall standings isn't one of the top classification finishers, it gets the third automatic berth. The remaining wild card berths will be decided by best overall records against the entire state. But that could get tricky since the MaxPreps state rankings will help to break ties and determine playoff berths. The formula MaxPreps will use to determine rankings will apparently involve a number of things, and the classification of the schools you are playing will figure into it. "There's no perfect way,'' Evers said. "If you finish fourth in your conference but you're the first 2-A school, you get the No. 1 seed (for 2-A). I don't think that's fair to everybody.'' With most of the schools in the Patriot Conference being 3-A, the 4-A schools will likely have to contend with their visitors bringing smaller crowds to home games. Evers said that's a headache for athletic administrators concerned about ticket sales and paying bills. But it's the lesser of two evils as the goal of combination leagues, as stated earlier, is to cut down on travel. "I hear more about travel than I hear anything,'' Evers said. "Most of the talk is geographics.'' Combination conference or not, Evers said the main concerns for athletes, fans, coaches and school officials stay the same. "You promote as much as you can,'' she said. "Get your clubs involved and try to get more people to go to your games.'' As for coaches, Evers said they shouldn't change anything. "We've got to coach and just look past it,'' she said. Cumberland County's New 4-A/3-A Combination League by EARL VAUGHAN JR. 2017 Jungle Run by EARL VAUGHAN JR. South View's annual Jungle Run night cross country meet is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 2 on the school campus. The traditional course winds through the Tiger baseball, softball and football fields and ranges all the way over to the neigh- boring campus at Baldwin Elementary School. "We'll have to bring in the light towers, but for the most part, the course is the same,'' said veteran South View cross country coach Jesse Autry, who is in his 21st year. Autry said the Jungle Run presents two major tests for his teams. "It's an early sea- son test of where we are,'' he said. "You also want to defend the home ground.'' But Autry said he doesn't stress winning the meet to his runners. "We talk about being the best we can be,'' he said. "We really want to win at the end of the year.'' One of the biggest changes this year is that traditional meet power, Pinecrest, won't be running because one of its coaches has a family commitment this weekend. But there will be some familiar names, like Raleigh Broughton, the defending 4-A boys' champion and a highly-ranked team this year. It will also be a homecoming for Fish Solomon, who was a member of Autry's 2003 state championship team at South View and is now an assistant coach with Broughton. Another strong contender will be the boys and girls from Chapel Hill, who Autry said have consistently dominated the Jungle Run. "Even though they are 3-A, they are one of the best teams,'' Autry said. Another successful program entered are the boys and girls from Wilmington Hoggard. A number of familiar programs from Cumberland County will take part, including Pine Forest, Jack Britt, E.E. Smith and Terry Sanford. Westover has not officially signed up as of the week prior to the race, but Autry said the Wolverines indicated they plan to participate. Also taking part will be private schools Fayetteville Academy and Fayetteville Christian. As of this writing, Autry said 50 teams have signed up with a maximum of 60 expect- ed. He's ordered 2,000 bibs for the runners. "That's pretty much our limit,'' he said. Developmental races for junior varsity boys and girls begin at 6:15 p.m., followed at 7:40 p.m. by the invitational races for boys and girls. The championship races for boys and girls begin at 9 p.m., and awards will be pre- sented in the South View football stadium, Randy Ledford Field, at 10:15 p.m. For further information, go to ncrunners.com and search for 2017 Jungle Run. Patty Evers The South View cross country team is ready for the Jungle Run. & PRESENT OUR WEEKLY LINE UP 6-8pm WCLN 107.3 CAPE FEAR HIGH SCHOOL COACH'S SHOW 7-8pm @ 301 Wingz, 407 Eastern Blvd Airing on WGQR 105.7 Bill Boyette w/ Coach Jacob Thomas TERRY SANFORD HIGH SCHOOL COACH'S SHOW 8-9pm @ Spinners, 2805 Raeford Rd Airing on WCLN 107.3 Trey Edge w/ Coach Bruce McClellan Coaches Corner w/ Don Koonce 105.7 starting @ 5:30pm 107.3 starting @ 6:00pm Followed by LIVE to The Fields Cape Fear HS @ New Hanover HS on 105.7 Kick off at 7:00pm Terry Sanford HS @ Cleveland HS on 107.3 Kick off at 7:30pm Ending with Scoreboard w/ Sonny Jones MONDAY 10 20 30 40 40 30 20 10 50 10 20 30 40 40 30 20 10 50 10 20 30 40 40 30 20 10 50 10 20 30 40 40 30 20 10 50 10 20 30 40 40 30 20 10 50 10 20 30 40 40 30 20 10 50 FRIDAY 10 20 30 40 40 30 20 10 50 10 20 30 40 40 30 20 10 50 WEDNESDAY

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