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6sports Claim to fame

wingspan • december 16, 2010

1996 graduate, 3-sport athlete joins coaching staff Stanley both had a big impact on me because I looked up to them and respected them,” Capps said. “I knew after they coached me that I wanted to provide the same impact on somebody else.” After high school, Capps got a scholarship to Mars Hill College to play basketball. After graduating, she taught and coached at several schools, including coaching boys’ basketball at River Bend. “I knew from middle school that I wanted to coach,” Capps said. “I always wanted to coach basketball; that was my favorite sport.” When Capps was asked to coach boys’ basketball at River Bend, she noticed that her team needed to work harder in practice and get better at fundamentals. “The team didn’t have a whole lot of discipline,” Capps said. “When I came in, the biggest thing we worked on were the fundamentals of the game, and I think that it helped the boys a lot.” Capps enjoyed working with the team in both their athletics and academics. She appreciated that they had a good work ethic and always would try in practice and games. Under her five years of leadership, the team was able to earn a winning record. “They worked hard; I never had to worry about them slacking off. Coaching the guys was a lot of fun because

Michael Turlington Asst. Sports Editor

A

s the final seconds ticked off the clock, River Bend Middle School basketball Coach Misty Capps watched as her team held on to win. For the first time since Capps had become coach, her group of boys defeated a team that had won the last five meetings between the two. The year before Capps came to coach at River Bend, the boys’ basketball team had been unsuccessful, but in her first year of coaching, Capps’ team won seven games. “When I came in, the team was not doing well. They had won one game the season before, and the coach was retiring so they asked me to coach. The next season we won seven games and the team improved a lot,” Capps said. “Last year, we beat a team that had beat us for the past five years. It was a very close ballgame. It came down to the last second, and to see the excitement on their faces was awesome because they worked really hard for it.” Capps went to West and played volleyball, basketball and softball under coaches Cathy Corliss and Jan Stanley, women who influenced her decision to coach. She graduated in 1996. “When I got to high school, Coach Corliss and Coach

they listened to me. They were good athletes and good kids,” Capps said. “I enjoyed coaching them on the court and helping them through their academics as well.” Capps tries to apply what she learned while coaching basketball to coaching other sports. This year at West, she coached the men’s and women’s cross country teams. “No matter what sport you are coaching or the age of your team, it always goes back to fundamentals and discipline,” Capps said. “If you are teaching those two things, you will be successful no matter what sport you are coaching.” Capps would like the chance to coach men’s basketball in the future. “I would love to coach men’s basketball again at any level,” Capps said. “There was not one thing that I disliked about it.”

Photo used with permission of Lifetouch

Fall sports teams finish with postseason

Home Stretch At a cross country meet at Western Carolina University, freshman Alexis Vidak races to the finish. “We were running in the rain; it was really cold. I was just racing to the finish,” Vidak said. “We did pretty well at Western. A lot of us placed in the top 10. Overall, we did pretty well. I achieved my personal record at Western before breaking it in the next meet.”

Cross Country

Football

Volleyball

Soccer

On the last leg at the Wendy’s Invitational, sophomore Angela Gross sprinted to the finish line with every last ounce of energy that she had. As she crossed the finish line, she sat down and took a minute to regain her breath. Before long, she learned that she had shattered her personal best. “It feels awesome to get a new personal record,” Gross said. “I beat my last personal record by a minute. I felt really accomplished when I had beaten my time that much.” Freshmen runners had an impact on the team that finished sixth at the state meet. Sophomore Hannah Owen said the freshman runners made it possible for the team to qualify for the state meet. “I think the girls competed very well. We improved as a team,” Owen said. “We moved up in the rankings at state, and we got some good freshman runners that helped the team out a lot.” Head Coach Misty Capps was also new to the team, replacing Rodney Proffitt. “Coach Capps is very good at researching what is very effective in helping us prepare for our meets,” Gross said.

Although the Falcon football team pulled off a last second 24-21 win over Franklin on senior night to qualify for the state playoffs, the team lost in the first round of the playoffs to Burns for the second year in a row. Team members said the 38-7 loss was a good learning experience for players who will return. “The playoff game helped out the sophomores that were pulled up. They saw how much faster the varsity game is and how small mistakes hurt the team more than they did on JV,” junior Cody Shipman said. “Burns is a great team, but we will work hard in the off-season to overcome our shortcomings and have a longer stay in the playoffs next year.” The playoff game concluded the team’s first year under new head coach Paul Whitaker. They ended the season with a 4-8 (3-4 AAC) record, fifth place in the conference. “Overall, this was a good year even though we had several new coaches,” Shipman said. “It was a learning season for everyone. The coaches had to learn how the players worked, and we had to learn how to respond.”

The Lady Falcon volleyball team ended the season with a loss to North Iredell in three games in the fifth round of the state playoffs. The Lady Falcons defeated Erwin, Forestview and St. Stephens and won a close game against Enka in the first four rounds of the playoffs. The team ended the season with a record of 22-5, (12-2 AAC). “I thought we did really well, especially after losing seven seniors from last year,” senior captain Hannah Wilson said. “We were able to come together as a team and win another conference and district championship.” The North Iredell game began with a pivotal ankle injury to senior Regan Macomson, causing her to come out of the game. After the injury, North Iredell went on a 15-3 run and won the first game. “I felt that after Regan went down, we became deflated,” Wilson said. “Then we just didn’t play like we had been playing all year.” In the second game, North Iredell jumped out to a 16-2 lead and West could not catch up. This season ended Coach Tiffany Lowrance’s first season as head coach.

As the seconds ticked away, senior Patrick Miller looked up at the scoreboard and saw his soccer season coming to an end in the first round of the state playoffs. The Falcons were the top seed in the playoffs, but suffered a heart-breaking 1-2 loss at the hands of the Asheville Cougars. “It was a tough way to end my senior season,” Miller said, “I thought we would make it deeper into the playoffs after we won conference, but it just didn’t work out that way. Asheville made it far into the playoffs, so it wasn’t a terrible loss, but I still feel we should have won.” The Falcons finished the season 13-6-4 (AAC 9-3-2), capturing the Appalachian Athletic Conference championship. This helped Coach Brian Brewer win yet another coach of the year honor. “Coach Brewer deserved it; he did a lot more with the talent we had than was expected. He is a huge part of this program, and I think he is the best coach around,” Miller said. Next fall the Falcons will return four all-conference players.

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