Local Notes

Four Johnston County schools have new softball coaches for 2014

February 24, 2014 

Samantha Coats new Cleveland softball coach


Four Johnston County softball teams will have new head coaches when the season begins this week. Cleveland, Clayton, Smithfield-Selma and Corinth Holders are all under new leadership.

Former Clayton High School standout Samantha (Godwin) Coats is the new head coach at Cleveland High School. She teaches health and physical education at Cleveland Middle.

Coats is a 2004 Clayton graduate and wants to see her team, which made the playoffs the past two seasons under coach John Wood, develop a sibling kind of relationship.

“I would like to see my team develop a sister-like bond with one another on and off the field because I know from experience that with that, a team will be able to reach their full potential,” Coats said. “Of course, I want my team to be great softball players too, but I believe you need more than that to be successful.”

Clayton will be led by James Westbrook, who came to Clayton with head football coach Randy Pinkowski from C.B. Aycock before the start of this school year.

Sanderson High School grad Jessica Potter takes over for Don Andrews at Corinth Holders after serving as an assistant coach with the Pirates the past three seasons.

Wes Hill, another assistant football coach like Westbrook, is the new head coach at Smithfeild-Selma.

Soccer tourney begins Thursday: The 2014 Four Oaks Bank Cup, the girls soccer championship for Johnston County, begins Thursday at four sites across the county. The tournament continues at Corinth Holders next week with semifinal matches on Monday, beginning at 5 p.m., consolation matches on Tuesday (5 p.m. start) and the championship match on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

West Johnston is the defending tournament champion.

Thursday’s first-round matches are Corinth Holders at Clayton, Cleveland at Princeton, North Johnston at South Johnston and Smithfield-Selma at West Johnston.

Johnston County Track Championships: Corinth Holders High School will host the Johnston County Track and Field Championships on Wednesday, March 5. The event will begin at 3 p.m. and feature up to three entries in every event from each school.

The championship teams and individual meet MVPs, the entrants scoring the most points, will receive awards.

Casey second in CGA tournament: Ray Casey of Garner finished second in the gross division of the 50-54 age division of the Carolinas Golf Association Mid-Amateur/Senior/Super Senior One-Day Tournament played at Mid Pines Golf Resort and Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club Feb. 18-19. The tournament is a 36-hole stroke play event using both gross and net scores open to any male golfer older than 30. The field was broken into flights based upon ages.

Casey finished at 162 for the two days, six shots behind division winner Chuck Tickle of Raleigh. More than 100 players competed in the tournament.

Best: 919-524-8895 or cbest@newsobserver.com; Twitter: @dclaybest

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