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High schools in The Wilson Times readership area typically send several athletes each summer to the North Carolina Coaches Association East-West All-Star Games for football, girls and boys basketball and girls and boys basketball.
That won’t be the case this summer. Southern Nash senior Lamont Williams will play for the East in football and Greene Central senior Imajae Dodd is on the East boys basketball roster and that’s it. Southern Nash boys basketball head coach and athletic director Robbie Kennedy will be the head coach for the East boys basketball team but no other athletes were selected for all-star duty in July.
All-star week starts Monday, July 15, with girls and boys basketball games at the Greensboro Coliseum. This will be the 61st boys basketball all-star game and the 38th for the girls. Soccer takes center stage on Tuesday, July 16, with the 28th girls and boys all-star games at MacPherson Stadium at Bryan Park outside Greensboro. The 61st annual football game is set for Wednesday, July 17, at Jamieson Stadium on the campus of Grimsley High in Greensboro.
Williams is the 22nd Firebird chosen to play in the East-West football game, following former teammate Abe Rodriguez from last summer. The 5-foot-11, 290-pound Williams started on the offensive and defensive lines for three seasons with the Firebirds, helping them win 3-A Big East Conference championships in unbeaten fashion each year. However, he will play defense at NCAA Division II Wingate University.
Williams will see some familiar faces in Greensboro with Kendall Harris and Davonte Wiggins of Big East teams Franklinton and Northern Nash, respectively, on the East roster. Also, Keon Caudle and Melik Ward of Tabor were picked for the East squad, which will be coached by Sport Sawyer of Manteo and formerly the head coach at Washington. Assisting Sawyer on the East team will be Andy Downing (Edenton Holmes), Duran McLaughlin (Fayetteville Seventy-First), Kenneth Neal (Southern Lee), Van Smith (Orange County) and Craig Underwood (Wilmington Hoggard).
Dodd, the 2018-19 Wilson Times Player of the Year, left Greene Central as one of the greatest players to wear the blue and red. Dodd helped the Rams to three straight North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A East Region finals. The 6-7 center, who has signed with UNC Wilmington, averaged 14.9 points, 8.2 rebounds and 5.1 blocks this season. Dodd also played for North Carolina in the Carolinas Classic All-Star Game in March.
Per the NCCA website, Dodd is just the sixth Greene Central player chosen to play in an East-West All-Star game and the first Ram picked for boys basketball.
Kennedy, making his East-West debut, will be assisted by Pamlico County’s Earl Sadler.
The East soccer coaches are Allison Vetterl of Corinth Holders for the girls and Eddie Maldonado of Rosewood for the boys.
FOOTBALL SCHEDULES SET
Varsity football schedules for several area schools have been posted on their MaxPreps.com pages, including Beddingfield, Hunt, Fike and Southern Nash. While the conference slate doesn’t change from year to year, most teams will be seeing a few different non conference opponents this season.
The Warriors, in the first season under head coach Ryan Sulkowski, will add C.B. Aycock, East Wake and South Johnston to replace Greenville Rose, New Bern and Havelock from the previous non conference list. This will be the first time Hunt and Aycock have played since 2012.
Hunt will also play Eastern Wayne, Hertford County and, of course, Beddingfield.
The Bruins list Southern Wayne, Northern Nash and Goldsboro as new to the 2019 non conference schedule, although all three teams have played Beddingfield in recent seasons. Renewed from 2018 are Smithfield-Selma, Fike and Hunt but there could be another game added that hasn’t been posted.
Fike’s new non conference foes are Rose, Rolesville and Lee County while continuing the series with Kinston, Triton and, of course, Beddingfield
Southern Nash has added Warren County, South Granville, Rose and Jacksonville Northside while retaining Nash Central and Bunn. South Granville was once a yearly opponent for the Firebirds until 2012.
Elsewhere, SouthWest Edgecombe has kept most of its non conference run intact with renewals with North Edgecombe, South Central, Bertie, Northern Nash and archrival Tarboro but the Cougars have added Corinth Holders.
North Johnston has added Red Springs, James Kenan and nearby rival Smithfield-Selma while holding onto traditional foes Rosewood and Princeton and continuing the series with C.B. Aycock.
Aycock, with the exception of adding Hunt, and Greene Central have kept their same non conference schedule, including playing each other Aug. 29 in Snow Hill.
NEW FACES ON SIDELINES
Beddingfield is expected to announce its new football coach once the hire is approved by the Wilson County Board of Education at its next meeting Monday, June 10. The new coach will be the 10th in the school’s 42-year history, including two terms by Tyrone Johnson.
Also in their first seasons in 2019 will be Sulkowski at Hunt, Jay Wilson at Greene Central and Michael Barnett at North Johnston.
Meanwhile at Southern Nash, Brian Foster will be starting his 22nd season as head coach and 30th overall at the school. Tom Nelson will be in his ninth season as Fike head coach and Steve Brooks at Aycock and Jonathan Cobb at SouthWest will both be in their seventh seasons as head coach.