Life has changed a lot in the last several months for Mike Serefine.
Mooresville High School's head track and cross-country coach not only guided his three boys' teams to state titles – indoor, outdoor and cross country in the same school year – but he has also been named the high school's assistant principal.
“There have been a ton of changes in my life just this summer,” said Serefine, who has also been taking graduate classes at Gardner-Webb University this summer. “I am even busier than I usually am, which is pretty busy.”
While his official job title may have changed, Serefine will be up to his old tricks this fall when he attempts to lead his Blue Devil cross-country team to its third consecutive 3A state championship. Back to help are senior co-captains Joseph Newman and Graham Sledge. Juniors Josh Cox, Chase Martin and Graham's brother, Jordan Sledge, are also back after all having competed in the top seven a season ago.
The Blue Devils will, however, have to replace their No. 1 runner Patrick Campbell, who moved on to run at N.C. State. Meanwhile, Nathan Craig, who will run at Brigham Young University (BYU), will also be missed.
“We've got some holes to fill,” Serefine said, speaking of Campbell and Craig. “But our whole team has a different mentality now. Success breeds success. Now, we expect to win a championship.”
Mooresville got off to a good start last Saturday when the Blue Devils finished second to 4A power Chapel Hill High School in the Western N.C. Cross Country Carnival in Henderson. The Blue Devils were by far the best 3A team in the event.
“We didn't put a lot of stock in the first race,” Serefine said, talking about the second place. “But we're using it as a measuring stick to see where we are right now. I'm not worried about what happens in August and September. I'm think more about what happens in October and November.”
Two of the top runners in the area this year are in the same family. Kimberly and Bethany Spano are sisters and two of the better runners in the Lake Norman area. Kimberly, a senior at North Meck, has won numerous conference, regional and state titles in her career. Bethany is just getting started as a freshman at SouthLake Christian.
The Lake Norman boys' soccer team's quest to break a 38-year-old record for consecutive wins is still alive.
The Wildcats, No.1 in the state, have now won 59 in a row. Lake Norman beat West Iredell 1-0 and Carson 2-1 this week to move to a perfect 3-0 this year. The Wildcats have several big obstacles in the way of breaking the record. The first comes Sept. 8 when they host archrival Mooresville. Another is when they will attempt to tie the record when they play North Iredell Sept. 17. Lake Norman would have a chance to break the record against the state's 14th-ranked team, Northwest Cabarrus, on Sept. 22.
Mooresville may soon also be ranked in the state's top 10 if they keep their strong play up. The Blue Devils (3-0-1) won the Freedom Invitational Tournament last week with a 1-0 victory over Shelby in the championship game. Mooresville's Billy Nantz was the tournament's most valuable player while Josh Skidmore (best defender), Max Henry and Danner McCulloh were named to the all-tournament team. The Blue Devils have a tough week stretch ahead as they host No. 14 Northwest Cabarrus Wednesday before traveling to No. 1 Lake Norman Sept. 8.
Lake Norman transfer
The Lake Norman basketball team got good news earlier this month when 6-foot-3 guard Reggie Price transferred from Garinger to Lake Norman High. Price, who averaged 20 points per game in his freshman and sophomore years with Garinger, will go nicely for head coach Brandon Jolly alongside all-everything forward Paul Larsen.
Former North Iredell center Andrew Kyles has made a huge transformation with his body and his basketball ability at Veritas Christian Academy in Fletcher near Asheville. Kyles, who lived in Iredell County, transferred after his sophomore season with the Raiders.
Kyles, now a senior at VCA, has dropped around 40 pounds and is playing a lot better at 6-foot-10, 230 pounds, according to VCA basketball coach (and former Statesville Christian coach ) John Jordan. Kyles has been offered a scholarship to play for the University of Denver. He has also taken unofficial visits to Colorado State, East Tennessee State and Northern Colorado.
Staff writer Cliff Mehrtens contributed to this article.