LAURINBURG — Summer is in full swing, but fall sports are on deck … set to begin Monday.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association deems the last Monday in July as the opening day for the state’s fall sports. Scotland High School has six fall sports — football, girls tennis, volleyball, boys soccer, cross country and girls golf.
The Fighting Scots finished 12-2 in 2017 and won their seventh straight conference championship, going undefeated in the SEC.
The Scots advanced to the 4A East Regional Championship game, beating Hoggard in overtime, 47-46, before falling to Harding University in the 4A state championship, 30-22.
After losing 32 seniors the Scots will be young this season with a handful of returning players — including Bruce Wall, Tyshoun Thomas, Shyheam “Smiley” McQueen, Joseph “Poppa” McKoy, Travon McLean, Nick Callahan, Josh McKenzie, Jason Romero and Tymere Graham.
The football team will hold its first official practice Monday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Players must have a physical and concussion form on file in order to participate.
The Lady Scots finished 15-11 overall and 8-6 to finish third in the conference. The Lady Scots advanced to the first round of the 4A state playoffs, falling to Myers Park.
Graduation hit the team hard losing five starters. The Lady Scots will return starters Carleigh Carter, Sarah Eury, Skyler York, Clair Carter, Abby Quick along with Nakiya Locklear, Beatrice Eddy, Nikki Strickland and Jenna Byrd.
Assistant coach Mallarie Snow will assume the role of interim head coach for the 2018 season and will hold tryouts Monday through Friday, Aug. 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.
Scotland’s boys and girls cross-country teams will return its top two runners — Tony Strickland and Madison Williams.
The duo represented Scotland at the 4A state meet last season. Strickland finished 144th out of 159 runners in the men’s race in his second trip to state while Williams made her first trip and finished 64th out of 141 runners.
Both teams finished third in the Sandhills Athletic Conference standings behind Pinecrest and Jack Britt.
The Fighting Scots also return Jackson Sellers, Seth English, Tra’von Campbell, Grayson Smith and Jennings Dean. The Lady Scots will see Madylin McMillan, Audrey Lance and Destiny Adams return.
Head coach Greg Wrap will hold tryouts starting July 30-Aug. 3 from 7:30 to 9 a.m.
The Lady Scots finished the 2017 season 8-6 overall and finished fifth in the conference standings. Head coach Atondra Ellis returns three starters rising seniors Liza McIntyre and Courtney Carter and rising junior Samantha Bowen. Rising sophomore D’averia Johnson and rising junior Denisha Hill along with rising senior Terrie Douglas all saw some playing time last season and could return.
The girls tennis team will hold workouts/lessons Monday through Thursday at 9 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. each day.
“I’m trying to increase the number of girls coming out to play, so we’re holding two separate times,” Ellis said. “We’re hoping for ninth and tenth graders, even if they haven’t played tennis before.”
The Fighting Scots soccer team posted a 4-17-2 overall record in 2017 and finished sixth in the conference. The team missed the 4A playoffs for the second consecutive year. The Scots have a new head coach in Blake Dickerson, who takes the helm from former head coach Danny Gallagher.
Gallagher decided to step back from coaching to focus on his family.
The soccer team will hold tryouts starting Monday from 8 to 10:30 a.m. each day. Tryouts will run through Aug. 3.
The Lady Scots golf team has a new head coach in Leigh Carter.
Carter assisted with the girl’s soccer team in the spring and will take over the golf team from boy’s basketball coach Matt Justin. The team had four members last season — Abigail Gibson, Makena Mitchell, Ashlyn Soles and Cassidy McIntrye.
The girls golf team will hold practices/tryouts July 30-Aug. 2 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Carter will have evening practices Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]