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In my opinion


Providence football coach Justin Hardin has great genes

By Langston Wertz Jr.

Providence principal Tracey Harrill was awfully excited when she announced that Justin Hardin would be her school’s new head football coach last week. She should be.

It gives Providence a young coach with an already outstanding resume and a coach who has already proven himself to be one of the state’s up and coming top minds. He comes to a school with outstanding resources and outstanding fan support. This could really work well.

Hardin is part of North Carolina’s royal high school football family. His brother, Blair, took upstart Porter Ridge to back-to-back N.C. 4A championships the past two seasons before leaving for Morganton’s Freedom High School. His father, Bruce, has led West Charlotte, A.L. Brown and Providence Day to state championship appearances, winning three titles. Bruce Hardin, in my view, is one of the best coaches in any sport to ever work in the Carolinas.

Justin Hardin comes from Rock Hill’s South Pointe High, as strong a program as there is in the Carolinas. He was offensive coordinator there. Before that, he was head coach at Weddington, a team that was 0-11 before he got there in 2008. In two years, Hardin was 14-11. His last team in 2010, went 9-4 and set a school-record for wins.

He comes to Providence, in my view, at a good time. The Panthers haven’t had a winning season since 2009, but always seem to have some talent. Providence is also changing conferences, getting away from national powers Independence and Butler, who have dominated N.C. football for the past 13 seasons.

Hardin will have a chance to win, perhaps right away, and he’s the kind of coach Harrill can keep around awhile. Eventually, he could become one of those type of big-name coaches like former Independence coach Tom Knotts and former Butler Mike Newsome who have left Mecklenburg County and left a bit of a void.

It’ll be interesting to see if Hardin – and Providence – can try to fill it.

Olympic, Charlotte Latin basketball teams commit to big event

N.C. 4A state champion Olympic and N.C. private school power Charlotte Latin have committed to the N.C. Basketball Coaches Association Coaches vs. Cancer shootout Nov. 30 at UNC-Asheville.

Other teams in the 10-team field include N.C. 2A champ Kinston, N.C. 2A power East Rutherford and Davie County.

Now, why can’t we have more events like this in Charlotte?

Metrolina Christian’s Sister Attack

Metrolina Christian’s softball team has three sisters playing on the same team.

Bailey Bjorson is a senior catcher. Macy Bjorson is a freshman shortstop, and Logan Bjorson is a 7th grader who is the pitcher.

N.C. Independent School rules allow 7th graders to play high school sports.

And Logan is pretty good. She’s 8-2 with 77 strikeouts. Her sisters aren’t bad, either.

Bailey, the senior, is going to Campbell. Macy, the freshman, is already being recruited by Elon and UNC Wilmington.

Latin lacrosse star Carter Sheridan wins Legacy Leadership Award

Charlotte Latin lacrosse player Carter Sheridan won the Legacy Lacrosse Leadership Award at the Legacy Lacrosse Cup Tournament in Atlanta, Ga., last week. Sheridan is a junior who has started for two seasons.

The six-year-old tournament has drawn more than 65 teams and 3,000 players from 13 states. One of the its highlights is the selection of the Legacy Leadership Award winner from each team. This award is bestowed upon the player that most personifies the three pillars of the Legacy Lacrosse Cup – Camaraderie, Competitiveness and Character as recognized by their coaches and teammates.

“Carter is an outstanding young man and a very worthy recipient of the Legacy Leadership Award,” Latin coach Dick Sipperly said. “Carter is a tough competitor while at time same time, a caring and friendly teammate. We are proud to have Carter honored with this prestigious leadership award.”

Wertz: 704-612-9716; twitter: @langstonwertzjr
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