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Weather permitting, spring sports begin next week for North Carolina High School Athletic Association member schools with some Wilson County teams playing Wednesday, the earliest date the season can begin.
Varsity baseball teams from Fike and Hunt launch their seasons Wednesday with the Golden Demons visiting Southern Wayne and the Warriors hosting Farmville Central. Southern Nash, a 3-A Big East Conference mate of Hunt and Fike, will also start its season Wednesday with the Firebirds visiting Smithfield-Selma. Beddingfield isn’t scheduled to play until Tuesday, March 5, at Wilson Christian.
Also playing Wednesday are the softball teams at Beddingfield and Southern Nash. The Lady Bruins host Southern Wayne while the Ladybirds are at Smithfield-Selma. Southern Nash opens its girls soccer and boys tennis seasons Wednesday at home with the Ladybirds taking on SouthWest Edgecombe in soccer and the Firebirds facing Cleveland on the court.
Fike is scheduled to host Beddingfield in the boys tennis season opener for both Wednesday.
Hunt softball begins play Thursday at C.B. Aycock while Fike softball visits Southern Wayne on Friday. Hunt boys tennis opens at Eastern Wayne on Thursday and Beddingfield girls soccer will host Goldsboro in Friday’s season debut.
Both Hunt and Fike will participate in the Battle at the Beach season-opening girls soccer showcase in Onslow County. The Lady Demons will take on Southwest Onslow on Friday and Jacksonville on Saturday while the Lady Warriors are up against North Raleigh Christian on Friday and Holly Ridge Dixon on Saturday.
THE BRITTANY XV IS NEAR
Speaking of girls soccer, the The Brittany Willis Memorial Scholarship Soccer Showcase is back for a 15th edition with 51 games scheduled for Friday and Saturday, March 8-9, at Gillette Soccer Complex and Fike High.
There will be two rounds of action Friday at Gillette, starting at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and two games at Fike at 5:15 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Area teams in the first round Friday are Fike vs. West Carteret and North Johnston vs. Parrott Academy of Kinston, both at 5:30 p.m., and Hunt vs. First Flight of Kill Devil Hills at 7:30 p.m.
Four rounds of play Saturday will start at 9:30 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 1:50 p.m. and 4 p.m. One game at Fike will start at 11:15 a.m.
Beddingfield will take on Princeton and Greenfield will meet Durham School of the Arts in the early round of games Saturday at Gillette. At 11:40 a.m., Hunt will take on Hickory Ridge of Harrisburg, Fike will face West Johnston and DASH home school team goes up against Hope Mills South View. The 4 p.m. round pits Community Christian against Roxboro Person, Wilson Christian against South Brunswick and Southern Nash against Camden County.
As always, there will be presentation of Sportsmanship Awards to a player from each team in every game following each round of games both days.
Two other spring staples on the Times sports scene coming up later in April are the Scott Jones Memorial Classic track and field meet and the Golden Leaf Invitational baseball tournament. The Scott Jones is set for Monday, April 15, at Nash Central. Invitations have been extended to Fike, Beddingfield, Hunt, Southern Nash, Wilson Prep, Greenfield, Community Christian, Wilson Christian, Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, Franklinton and C.B. Aycock. The meet will start at noon. The tentative rain date is Friday, April 19, at Nash Central.
The sixth annual Golden Leaf Invitational will start Saturday, April 20, and continue Monday and Tuesday, April 22-23. More information on the participating teams will be available soon.
FOOTBALL SCHEDULES IN PLACE
While spring sports are almost here, it’s never too early to start talking about football and all three Wilson County high schools have finalized their varsity football schedules for the 2019 season.
Beddingfield will open the season Aug. 23, a later start than in recent years, at home against Southern Wayne, the Bruins’ former rival from their days in the 3-A Eastern Carolina Conference a decade ago. Beddingfield is also bringing Northern Nash and Goldsboro back for its non conference schedule after a few years absence. Aside from county rivals Fike and Hunt, Smithfield-Selma is the only nonconference holdover for the Bruins.
Fike has added Greenville Rose, Rolesville and Lee County to its nonconference slate after dropping East Wake, Clayton and Northern Durham. The Golden Demons are keeping Kinston and Triton.
Hunt is also bringing back a former 3-A ECC rival in C.B. Aycock while retaining Eastern Wayne and Hertford County and picking up South Johnston and East Wake. Hunt dropped Havelock, New Bern and Rose.
Outside the county, Southern Nash will have four new nonconference matchups in Warren County, Rose, Jacksonville Northside and South Granville. The Firebirds, who retain Nash Central and Bunn, dropped Cary Green Hope, West Johnston, Jacksonville White Oak and Wake Forest.
SouthWest Edgecombe, which will be idle the first week of the season before playing 11 straight games, has only two changes from its 2018 schedule — adding Corinth Holders and Bertie for Pasquotank County and Currituck County. The Cougars, of course, will face county rivals Tarboro and North Edgecombe in addition to South Central and Northern Nash.
Aycock’s only change is swapping Hunt for Eastern Wayne, the Golden Falcons’ 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference rival they played twice in 2018 with the first in a nonconference role. CBA will keep Rosewood, Greene Central, Goldsboro and North Johnston as its nonconference foes.