J. Mike Blake

Blake: The wins, support and pride in local sports stands test of time

July 31, 2013 

Sports Editor J. Mike Blake.

The first state championship by a local high school was in 1939 by the Cary High White Imps boys’ basketball team.

Since then, western Wake County has grown in sports stature.

Since then, of course, Cary has changed. Western Wake has changed.

But the success in athletics that helped form the small-town pride of Apex, Cary and Fuquay-Varina has continued.

And that’s what bridges the old glory days of athletics – limited to just a few high schools – to now, where we’ll have 10 public high schools before we know it to join our three private schools, professional soccer team, semiprofessional basketball team and likely two summer collegiate baseball teams.

The support, more fragmented than before, stands firm.

The wins continue. The pride remains. And there are a lot more people partaking of it all.

Happy 50th: The 50th anniversary of The Cary News takes place the same year the N.C. High School Athletic Association is celebrating its 100th anniversary. If you have stories from any of our area’s state championship teams that you want to share, please contact me at 919-460-2606 or email mblake@newsobserver.com.

Here’s a breakdown of the NCHSAA state championships won at each school: Cary has 27; Green Hope has 16 (including one from 1940 won by the original school); Apex has eight; Athens Drive and Fuquay-Varina each has seven; Middle Creek and Holly Springs each has one.

Those numbers count wrestling tournament and dual-team titles separately and don’t reflect championships won by non-NCHSAA sanctioned sports or seasons – like gymnastics, cheerleading and lacrosse before 2009.

Volleyball player commitments: Abby Findley of Fuquay-Varina and Moriah Smith of Cary Academy, both rising seniors, have made their college commitments. Findley has committed to Campbell, while Smith has pledged to The Citadel.

Rising junior Hailey Brooke McFadden of Wake Christian committed to Wake Forest.

Brady shines in new sport: Eric Brady, a former baseball standout at Green Hope, switched to golf when he transferred from Duke University, where he played baseball, to East Carolina. He led the Pirates’ regulars this year with a 74.16 stroke average.

Brady had top-25 finishes in nine of ECU’s 11 tournaments.

Brady was runner-up in the 35th annual Cardinal Amateur at Sedgefield Country Club. He shot a 3-under 67 on the last day.

Wood bat baseball: Stephen Scott, a rising junior at Cardinal Gibbons High, helped the Evoshield Canes 16U National Team to the Perfect Game 16U World Wood Bat baseball title in Marietta, Ga.

Scott hit .321 in the eight-day event and tied for the team lead in RBIs with nine.

Staff Reporter Tim Stevens contributed to this report.

Blake: 919-460-2606; On Twitter: @JMBpreps

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