Ned Gonet completed his 41st regular season as Ravenscroft football coach last Friday. Since 1981, Gonet (also the school’s sports director for the same length of time) has seen seven US presidents, six NC governors and six Ravenscroft school principals – Grover Smith, Jim Hendrix, Paul Long, Jim Ledyard, Ned Fox and the incumbent Doreen. Kelly.
Gonet is tied with former Catholic Charlotte coach Jim Oddo (who died earlier this year after several seasons in retirement) for the state’s longest term as a high school head coach.
Ravenscroft will travel to Cabarrus for the first round of the NC Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) Division II playoffs on Friday. Cabarrus won the schools regular season reunion Sept. 3, 24-14.
Three months and more
Less than 100 days ago, in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, Middle Creek coach Andrae Jacobs accepted the Mustangs head coach job – his first ever. Three months later, Jacobs is the coach of a conference championship team (Southwest Wake 4A).
Middle Creek beat Cary 30-2 last Friday. The Mustangs host Knightdale in the first round of the NCHSAA 4A playoffs on Friday.
Northern Athletic 4A power supply
The six schools in the Northern Athletic 4A conference have won at least four regular season games and advanced to the state playoffs. Wakefield has gone winless in five conference games. Those setbacks, however, included Friday’s seven-point loss (49-42) to Knightdale and a 27-24 overtime loss to three-time league champion Millbrook.
Wakefield, Knightdale and Rolesville will travel to the first round games on Friday. Millbrook, Heritage and Wake Forest will host the playoff opener.
The Wake Forest-Hoke County match will be played in Knightdale. (Wake Forest’s Trentini Stadium has been closed for renovations throughout this season.)
Grimes a wonder
How good was Millbrook’s Wesley Grimes (a Wake Forest entry) this regular season?
Grimes’ 17.9 yards per reception and 18 touchdowns in his high school league topped 2020 Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith (Alabama) in 10 college games.
Last fall, Smith averaged 16 yards per reception and caught 15 touchdowns in the Crimson Tide’s first 10 games. Grimes’s 1,270 receiving yards are 57 short of Smith’s total over the same span.
Grimes and Smith both helped their teams win the conference championships.