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Lincoln County schools to start drug testing

By Langston Wertz Jr.
lwertz@charlotteobserver.com

Notes from around the region:

• Lincoln County Schools last week announced a new drug testing policy for student-athletes that will begin in the fall. The test will also look for performance-enhancing drugs. A handful of counties around the state currently drug test, according to N.C. High School Athletic Association spokesperson Rick Strunk.

“A couple more had started but didn’t have the funding,” Strunk said. “The challenge is what do you test for? In Beaufort County, they do random testing. But (testing) is not the norm. We leave it up (to individual school systems to approach testing). Our approach at the state level has been more to the education side as opposed to mandatory testing at the championships.”

Strunk said the NCHSAA concentrates on educating student-athletes about the dangers of drugs.

“Alcohol is the drug of choice for teens” Strunk said, “and we try to emphasize that in our education, but we haven’t mandated (testing) for school systems, but only a few have done it and that would be true nationally as well.”

Sue Doran, system athletics director for Mecklenburg County Schools, said drug testing is not likely in the immediate future for CMS.

“Currently,” she said, “we do not drug test, and that would be a decision of the (CMS) Board (or directors). It would require a change in board policy before that could happen. But right now we don’t do it, and I don’t know in the immediate future if there are plans to do it.”

• The top three scorers in North Carolina are all playing in Charlotte or within an hour of Charlotte. Shelby’s Gabe DeVoe (33.4) is first, followed by Marvin Ridge’s John Emezie (31.1) and the Fletcher School’s Brandon Campbell (30.9). Fletcher School is in Charlotte.

DeVoe, signed to play for Clemson, is No. 9 nationally in scoring.

Three other area players are in the top 10: No. 7 Terrance Durham of Mallard Creek (26.0), No. 9 Che’ Bob of Kennedy Charter (24.9) and No. 10 Charles Minlend of Concord First Assembly (24.5).

• Providence’s Scott Taylor, a former college coach, seems to be getting the Panthers on the right track in his first season. Providence hasn’t had a winning season since going 18-10 in 2010-11. Over the next three seasons, the Panthers were 9-66. This year, Providence is 3-14 and upset rival South Mecklenburg 70-67. The Panthers – led by junior point guard Dalen Dotson (17.1 ppg, 2.6 apg) – have been consistently competitive this season and are beginning to show promise.

•  Local schools seem to be getting done – for the most part – much earlier than in past years. The county still should look at girls and boys at opposite sites or opposite nights, because we still hear about late starts and late finishes, too often on weeknight games. Quadruple headers are fine for Friday and Saturday.

• This is out of the Observer’s coverage area, but it’s pretty amazing. North Forsyth’s Kedrick Flomo scored his team’s first 43 points in a 54-43 win over Asheboro earlier this month. He scored 48 points and was 12-of-17 from the field. His teammates were 0-for-27. Flomo made 17-of-20 free throws. Flomo, a 6-foot-1 guard, has signed with Appalachian State.

Wertz: lwertz@charlotteobserver.com; Twitter: @langstonwertzjr
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