Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mertes to come back as Wildcats' boys' soccer coach

After deciding to step down as Lake Norman's boys' soccer coach in May, Jon Mertes has changed his mind.

Mertes, who had renounced his coaching duties because he didn't feel he could give the team adequate time, said he reconsidered after he was persuaded by Lake Norman athletic director Steve Rankin as well as many of his players.

"The boys were so excited about the upcoming season and that had a big influence on me coming back," said Mertes, who is also the Wildcats' girls' soccer coach. "These kids deserve to have the best coaching they can get."

Mertes will be in his fifth season as the head coach of the boys' team, and 11th overall with the program. The Wildcats, who were 17-3-4 last year, return seven starters for the 2011 season.

- Freelance writer Jay Edwards contributed.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

David Johnson is new Hopewell football coach

Hopewell announced the hiring of David Johnson as its new head football coach. Johnson comes to Hopewell from Phillip O. Berry Academy, where he has served as the offensive coordinator for the past three years. Johnson graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport, where he played college football. He has experience working as an assistant coach in New York for the Central New York Express of the New York Amateur Football League, where in 2004 Johnson was part of the coaching staff that won the Harvest Bowl National Championship.

Johnson replaces Chris Rust, who retired this past winter, at the helm of the Titan program.