All-Mecklenburg football player and Clemson recruit Van Smith has transferred from West Mecklenburg to Hough, his father told the Observer.
Van Smith Sr., who was defensive coordinator at West Meck for three seasons, said his family has moved into the Hough district. He said the family wanted to live near the lake. Smith Sr. said his son was looking forward to the challenge of joining a team that was 10-2 last season and is expected to challenge Mallard Creek for a MECKA 4A championship this fall.
ESPN ranks Smith as the No. 16 player in the class of 2015 in North Carolina. Smith is a 5-foot-11, 172-pound junior who plays multiple positions. He had scholarship offers from Duke, Kansas State, N.C. State, Penn State and Vanderbilt.
Van Smith Sr. said he would continue to work at West Mecklenburg but would not return as a coach.
West Mecklenburg coach Jeff Caldwell said losing the player would hurt.
“It’s a big loss,” said Caldwell. “It’s a big change to lose a kid like Van. That’s the kind of kid that doesn’t come along but every so often. He’s always positive, never a problem. He’s got a great personality. He’s a role model. He gets along great with kids here, there’s no tension (about the move). He still loves his teammates. It was a family decision.”
Caldwell said his team would return five offensive starters and three on defense from last year’s 9-3 team. He graduated two major college recruits in quarterback Jalan McLendon (N.C. State) and Shaun Wilson (Duke). Eight other West Mecklenburg seniors have signed with colleges.
• Caldwell has hired former Providence Day assistant Ben McGarrity to be his defensive coordinator. Another former Providence Day assistant, Andy Kiker, will join the staff to coach the defensive line. Former Olympic assistant Zach Griffin will coach offensive and defensive lines.
• Showmars and the East Mecklenburg athletic boosters are sponsoring a football camp June 23-36 for ages 6-13. The first 100 applicants will get free admission. Information: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Forestview’s Moe Neal, a rising junior, picked up an offer from Wake Forest Saturday. He also has offers from Boston College, Syracuse, Mississippi State, Akron and Charlotte, coach Chris Medlin told the Observer.
Charlotte Latin boys’ coach Dick Sipperly is the U.S. Lacrosse 2014 N.C. private schools coach of the year. Assistant Phil Song was assistant of the year. Three area players earned All-American honors: Providence Day’s Jake Chandler and Charlotte Latin’s Jackson Monnin and Carson Song.
Two former Charlotte Christian stars made the 2014 Louisville Slugger freshman All-American team: pitcher Bailey Ober (College of Charleston) and designated hitter Matt Simmons (Garder-Webb). Both graduated in 2013.
• Lincoln Charter’s Zach Hollar, a pitcher/middle infielder, has committed to Carson-Newman. He had a 1.45 ERA this season and earned all-conference honors.
Harding’s Darryl White, a frequent 20-point scorer last season, has signed with Queens. Rams coach Walter Aikens is in the Queens Hall of Fame.
• Harding and Mallard Creek are seeking athletics directors, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ system athletics director Sue Doran told the Observer. Harding AD Michael McCrae and Mallard Creek’s Karen McKaig have resigned. Doran said both schools were in the process of finding successors.
• Providence Day won its third straight Wachovia Cup among 3A private schools for overall athletic excellence. Mooresville AD Barclay Marsh has retired after working as a teacher for 32 years. He was at Mooresville for 29 years.