Two-time defending N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 4A boys soccer champion Green Hope has its third coach in as many years.
Michael Hoy, who coached with CASL for two years following a professional playing career with the Real Maryland Monarchs of U.S. Soccers third division, will take over a program that is 49-3 over the past two seasons and finished this past season ranked No. 49 in the nation by EliteSoccerReport.com.
In a good way, its overwhelming, Hoy said. There is obviously so much talent and its super rich in recent tradition. And of course the expectations are through the roof. For a coach, its an incredible challenge and incredible situation to come in to.
Hoy replaces Richard Huxford, who went 24-2 and won the state title in his only season.
Huxford and the Falcons won the title despite having all new starters from the previous year, when Andrew Chadwick retired after winning the title in his 10th season with the school.
Hoy met most of his new team in a morning workout Thursday.
Meeting everyone today just reinforced what everyone had told me prior to it that this is an incredible group of kids, Hoy said. Its really easy to tell that (winning the state title) has only made them more hungry to do it again, and theyre very, very grounded. Even at a summer session at 8 a.m., these guys were flying and busting their butts.
The Falcons return a number of players from last years team, including captain Sam Rauf, Hoys cousin.
Taiwo out for regular season: Last years N.C. Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year, Cardinal Gibbons Ade Taiwo, will miss his upcoming senior season with a torn ACL. Taiwo, who helped Gibbons win the 2011 3A boys soccer state title, is committed to N.C. State and is ranked the 10th-best forward in his class by TopDrawerSoccer.com.
Donovan suits up for USMNT: Conor Donovan, a Fuquay-Varina resident and Cardinal Gibbons student who has been in the U.S. Soccer Federations Residency program for the last four semesters, will be traveling with the U.S. Mens National U17 Soccer team to Japan.
The team will play Japan and Croatias U17 team Saturday and Sunday, as well as an all-star team from the city of Niigata, Japan, on Monday. Donovan, a rising senior who has committed to N.C. State, has 27 international caps playing outside back.
Catamounts coaches: Panther Creek announced Danielle Moore as its girls basketball coach and Lindsey OConnell as its volleyball coach Thursday.
Moore played in college at Emory & Henry (Va.) and most recently was the volleyball coach at St. Pauls High School.
OConnell, the 2009 Tri-9 Conference Player of the Year at Green Hope, was Panther Creeks JV coach last year. She has been coaching at the Triangle Volleyball Club for four years.
Both Moore and OConnell will replace coaches (Geoff Bowman and Bonnie OConnor, respectively) who took the Catamounts to the playoffs in three of the last four seasons and are responsible for the schools only winning and playoff seasons in school history.
Ray added to all-star game: Middle Creeks Quinton Ray was added to the N.C. Coaches Athletic Association boys basketball all-star game. Ray, who will play at Campbell next year, replaces Rian Holland of Hope Mills South View on the East squad.
The game will be July 22 at the Greensboro Coliseum.
Battle plays in new USA tournament: Middle Creek graduate Ashley Battle played in the U.S. Womens National Volleyball A2 Program Tournament in Dallas, where 47 college players and prospective future members of Team USA were divided into four teams.
Battle, who graduated in the fall semester to enroll at Virginia Tech early, had one kill and one block in the championship game as her team claimed the title.
Morrison to Marist: Cardinal Gibbons boys lacrosse player Gannon Morrison, a rising senior, has verbally committed to Marist. Morrison led the Crusaders (18-2) with 129 points last season and was a News & Observer All-Metro selection.
Beckman pledges to Georgia Tech: Apex rising junior Allison Beckman has verbally committed to Georgia Tech for volleyball. Beckman, a setter, had 436 assists for the 18-5 Cougars last season.
Gibbons named MVP: Last Saturday, Cardinal Gibbons graduate Christina Gibbons was named North Carolina MVP of the Clash of the Carolinas girls soccer match that ended in a 3-3 tie in the event at Blackbaud Stadium in Daniel Island, S.C.
Gibbons, a Duke recruit, scored two goals and one assist for the North Carolina team.
The North Carolina boys, co-coached by Cardinal Gibbons Tim Healy, topped South Carolina 2-0.
Staff Writer Caryn Grant contributed to this report.
Blake: 919-460-2606 or twitter.com/JMBpreps.