High School Highlights

Back to Picking

The 2018 high school football season in Cumberland County is going to have a lot to do with that famous line from the movie Forrest Gump.
Life, and football, are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.
That’s especially true as local teams return to the field this week after the prolonged delay caused by Hurricane Florence, the slowest storm in history.
When it finally departed the state some days ago it left a ton of devastation and uprooted lives behind.
Now our local coaches are trying to restore some degree of order after schedules have been disrupted and in some cases players and their families forced to relocate because of storm-related damage.
Here’s hoping everyone can return to normal life as quickly as possible. The biggest problem for the coaches and the players will be getting back into football shape and sync after the long delay. Don’t be surprised if execution isn’t razor sharp and conditioning a little suspect in the early games on the revised schedule.
That said, here’s a look at the Tuesday games this week. I’ll hold off on picking the next round of makeup games until these contests have been played.
The record: 23-13
The week before the hurricane arrived I had a terrible record, 5-4, putting the season total at 28-13. We’ll see if I can improve on that debacle.
Cape Fear at Overhills - The folks at Overhills have been complaining about being ignored after a 3-0 start. Yes, the Jaguars are unbeaten, but they’ve failed to mention they have wins over three winless teams and Brian Simmons of simmonsratings.com ranks the Overhills schedule as the weakest among all 77 4-A teams in North Carolina.
I think the Jaguars are going to get a rude awakening against Cape Fear.
Cape Fear 28, Overhills 14.
Pine Forest at Douglas Byrd - The Trojans got a big win over a much-improved Gray’s Creek team and should continue their success against a Douglas Byrd squad still trying to put things together.
Pine Forest 30, Douglas Byrd 14.
E.E. Smith at Gray’s Creek - I look for the Bears to rebound against a Smith team that is still seeking its first win.
Gray’s Creek 22, E.E. Smith 12.
South View at Westover - The unbeaten Tigers should remain that way against a Westover team that is playing pretty well.
South View 32, Westover 8.

Scholar Athletes of the Week

12 XaveaCrumpXavea Crump


• Cheerleading • Junior

Crump has a 4.0 grade point average. In addition to being a varsity cheerleader, she participates in Student Government 

Association, National Honor Society and Delta Gems.

12 TroyMilesTroy Miles


• Cross country/basketball • Senior

Miles has a 3.2 grade point average while splitting his time between cross country in the fall and varsity basketball in the winter. 

Scholar Athletes of the Week

17 student athlete


Kayden Antonson 

E.E. Smith • Volleyball • Senior 

Atonson has a 4.26 grade point average and is currently ranked No. 1 in her graduating class. She’s a two-year captain and a four-year starter on the E.E. Smith volley­ball team. She’s also vice president and historian of the National Honor Society. She’s a member of the E.E. Smith Math and Science Academy, Academy of Scholars, Science Olympiad and was part of the Fire Science and Technology Academy at E.E. Smith.




17 student athlete 2


David Platt 

E.E. Smith • Soccer/ wrestling • Sophomore 

Platt has a 3.75 grade point average. He is a two-year starter for the Golden Bull soccer team. He is a member of the E.E. Smith Gaming Club. 


Cape Fear, Terry Sanford students aid hurricane relief

11 cape fear sport The winds and rain from Hurricane Florence hadn’t even arrived before some students and athletes from Cumberland County Schools began mobilizing to reach out to displaced victims of the horrific storm.

At Cape Fear High School, students in the classes of assistant foot-ball coach Joe Grates came up with the idea of doing something to help hurricane victims quickly after the storm passed.

“We first started talking about it late last Monday (Sept. 10) when real information about the strength of the hurricane was com-ing to us,’’ said Ben Elliott, a senior on the Cape Fear soccer team. “We decided to make relief kits we could get to people who had been displaced, then we made a list of items that could be donated.’’

With donations they were able to gather, a group of about 20 student volunteers from Cape Fear quickly assembled almost 40 boxes of food and personal hygiene items they could share with those who needed them most.

Austin Hunt, a member of the Cape Fear football team, said the students distributed the boxes to the shelter at Mac Williams Middle School, as well as to the shelter at Pine Forest High School.

They met a second day to make more boxes and were going to deliver them to the shelter at South View High School.

“This shows the school system is willing to help,’’ Hunt said. “After a hurricane, everybody is going to need each other.’’

Rev. Mark Knight, pastor at Fayetteville’s Epicenter Church, had the same feeling some years ago after parts of the community were devastated by Hurricane Matthew. Knight came up with the idea for a ministry called Ways2LoveFayetteville. The goal, Knight said, was to get people across the community to vol-unteer hours to perform random acts of kindness and work with other agencies and ministries to find ways to serve the community, find needs and fill them.

Following Hurricane Florence, members of the Terry Sanford football team decided to partner with the Epicenter ministry to help in cleanup from the storm locally.

Terry Sanford football coach Bruce McClelland felt it was important for his players to have firsthand experience of the damage the storm did locally and not just experience it by watching on television.

“Being a part of helping has always made me feel good,’’ McClelland said. “To have that feel-ing to help somebody else when they support you, I think it’s a very important part of life and growing up.’’

McClelland said the Bulldog football players had already been to neighborhoods in the area, cutting down trees and cleaning up yards. They also donated meals to the emergency shelter at South View High School.

“We’re just trying to plug holes,’’ McClelland said. “We owe it to go back into the community to give back to these people.’’

Raines’ memory lives through annual scholarship competition

18 scholarshipThis year marked the fifth anniversary of the death of Seventy-First football player Evan Raines. But his memory lives on in the form of the Evan Raines Dream Foundation, an organiza­tion put together by family members that awards a $1,000 scholarship to a local high school athlete each year. 

This year’s winner was Jonathan Everett, a basketball and cross country participant from Pine Forest High School who currently is studying computers at UNC-Charlotte. 

Rodney Raines, father of Evan Raines, said the purpose of the scholarship is to encourage a student-athlete, male or female, to continue their educational pursuits and dreams with the help of the scholarship in his son’s memory. 

“It’s been driving itself,’’ Raines said of the $1,000 figure. “We have a few benefactors who make sure they send contributions. We do want to expand it at some point in time.’’ 

The scholarship is available to both male and female athletes, but Raines said, so far, no females have applied for it. 

Most of the promotion for the scholarship has come from word of mouth and through posts on the Facebook page for the Evan Raines Dream Foundation. 

Part of the problem with growing the scholar­ship and getting news to a wider audience is that the sudden passing of Evans remains an emotional subject for all of his family that are involved with the scholarship. 

“It’s taxing to revisit it,” Raines said. “All the meetings become a tear fest, talking about what we lost. It reminds us and keeps it real fresh.’’ 

Any athlete from a public or private school within a 25-mile radius of Cumberland County is eligible to apply for the scholarship, Raines said. 

The requirements are the student must be committed to attend a specific col­lege and must be involved in athlet­ics and community activities. They also must have a minimum unweighted grade point average of 2.5. 

The student does not have to be a member of a school team to qualify as an athlete, Raines said. Participation in recreation league athletics or church league athletics also qualifies. 

Raines said he’s been moved by the young men who have applied for and won the scholarship. 

“I get to see Evan in some of them,’’ he said. “I see them fulfilling some of their dreams. For a couple of the boys, this was the first generation of their family going to college.’’ 

Everett, this year’s winner, said he learned of the scholarship from a friend. He wrote a 1,000-word essay describing how sports had affected his life. 

“I feel this will allow me to be more success­ful and show what Fayetteville people can do,’’ Everett said. 

He added it’s important to keep Evan’s memo­ry alive. “The family is doing something positive, to help others that need money to go to college,’’ he said.

Everett will apply the scholarship to his tuition at UNC-Charlotte. His goal is to get a job in the internet technology field and to remain in the Charlotte area to work. 

For further information on the scholarship, email evanrainesdreamfoundation@gmail.com.

Photo: Rodney Raines, right, presents the check for this year’s Evan Raines Dream Foundation $1,000 scholarship to Jonathan Everett.

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