15DonationsCumberland County high school football games will return to 7:30 p.m. kickoffs beginning this fall.

The matter was recently reviewed by the county’s senior high school principals and football coaches, and the overwhelming consensus was to drop the 7 p.m. kickoffs for a return to 7:30 p.m.

Vernon Aldridge, student activities director for the county, said there were a number of reasons the change
was made. 

Parents of athletes complained it was difficult to make away games and even home games on time when they got off work at 5:30 and 6 p.m. Concession stand volunteers also found it difficult to get in place and get set up in time.

The coaches also said they felt rushed in preparing teams for games on Friday with the earlier kickoff.

Cole Humphrey’s Legacy

The Cole Humphrey Endowment continues to reap financial benefits for the Cape Fear High School athletic program. The fund, established in memory of the standout Cape Fear athlete, who died in a 2013 automobile accident, recently gave $2,000 to the Colts’ athletic program.

Larry Ellis, Humphrey’s grandfather, said the family has been reasonably pleased with the success of the fund but is hopeful that it can do even better.

“You’d like to see it grow as fast as it can so the payout could be higher,’’ he said.

Ellis said he expects this year’s annual Cole Humphrey run to generate another $5,000 to the endowment after all expenses are taken care of.

The concern is to keep the fund in the eyes of the community. “Cole’s class graduated in 2014,’’ Ellis said. “The 2017 class graduating this year were freshmen when Cole was a junior.

“Every time a year goes by, the proximity of kids and their families (to Cole’s memory) gets stretched more. We’ve got to do a good job to make sure we keep it in front of everybody.’’

Ellis said Humphrey’s family has discussed with Cape Fear Principal Lee Spruill and athletic director Matt McLean plans for promoting the fund at a football game this year.

“Your child may not have gone to school with Cole, but they will benefit because of the proceeds that help the athletic program,’’ he said.

Photo: (Left to right) Jana Humphrey, McCrae Humphrey, Wendell Smith, Jake Thomas, Larry Ellis, Ann Ellis. Smith and Thomas coach baseball and softball respectively at Cape Fear. They are receiving a check from the Cole Humphrey Endowment. 

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