High School Sports

Vance football coach Aaron Brand says injuries have hurt Cougars past 3 weeks

Vance football coach Aaron Brand says injuries have hurt his team the past three weeks.
Vance football coach Aaron Brand says injuries have hurt his team the past three weeks. Marty Price

After a 3-0 start and a win at Virginia power George Washington, Vance has suffered injuries and lost two of its past three football games. Coach Aaron Brand said no one is panicking on IBM Drive.

Vance was upset by A.L. Brown 31-14 Monday. The Cougars played without three defensive starters and three on offense, including tailback Donnavan Spencer (hamstring), who ran for a school-record 405 yards when Vance beat A.L. Brown 48-35 last season. Vance’s roster includes 36 varsity players, Brand said.

“We’re very banged up,” Brand said. “If we see (A.L. Brown coach) Mike (Newsome) again, we’re gonna whup him. We’ve just gotta get healthy. But everybody at this point has some nicks. It could be a result of the schedule. The Virginia trip took a lot of out us, but I was proud of the way we played.”

Vance (4-2, 0-1 MECKA) will play at West Charlotte Friday before a showdown with Mallard Creek (6-1, 2-0) at home Oct. 16.

“All of this puts you back a little bit, especially at a school like where I am where the numbers aren’t great,” Brand said. “Someone once told me that when you don’t really care about regular-season losses is when you’ve made it. I guess I ain’t made it yet. Regular-season losses still kill me, but we’ll get healthy and we’ll be a problem.”


Pine Lake Prep’s Alyssa Marsh, daughter of SwimMAC Carolina coach David Marsh, has committed to Duke. Alyssa Marsh has already qualified for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials. She is the reigning 1A/2A state champion in the 100-yard backstroke and two-time champion in the 100 butterfly.


▪ Weddington’s boys’ track team and boys’ and girls’ lacrosse teams won N.C. High School Athletic Association scholar-athlete team awards. The boys’ track team had a cumulative grade-point average of 3.58. The girls’ lacrosse team was at 3.61 and the boys at 3.36. Community School of Davidson’s girls’ track team (3.84) also won a team award.

▪  Ariana Nance, a 5-foot-8 junior guard on Rocky River’s girls’ basketball team, received an offer from Appalachian State.