Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Health concerns forces former RM assistant to step down as Central Davidson's head coach

Former Rocky Mount assistant Mark Hoover during his days as Chatham Central's head coach. A heart ailment has forced him to step down as head coach at Central Davidson. 
LEXINGTON - Mark Hoover has relinquished his post as Central Davidson head football coach effective immediately due to heart-related health concerns. He will remain at the school as a physical education teacher. 
“It was a decision I had to make,” Hoover said Wednesday evening. “It’s been progressively getting worse.” 

Assistant coach Brad Morton will step in as head coach. 

Hoover took over the Spartans in 2009 after head coaching jobs at Chatham Central and West Lincoln and a defensive coordinator position at West Forsyth. The Spartans were 4-7 in 2009 and 7-5 in 2010, and they have begun 2011 0-3 while playing a more difficult non-conference schedule. 

Under Hoover, the Spartans have developed into a prolific running team with a disciplined commitment to offseason strength and conditioning programs.
“He’s been a lot to our kids, to our community,” athletic director Gene Poindexter said. “He came in and did everything that we asked him to do, and he did it with passion and with enthusiasm.”

Hoover said his doctors had suggested he step down before the season began, but he wanted to see the campaign through. When his health situation became worse, he, Poindexter and Central Davidson principal Tabitha Broadway agreed that the time had come to put down the whistle.

“It absolutely kills me to step away in the middle of the season,” Hoover said. “But my wife is the most important person in my life, and if I go out and have a heart attack over high school football, it’s just not fair to her.

“Central Davidson football is my life and a huge part of my world. It’s not life and death.”

Morton has coached the game for four decades — most of it over 29 years in Covington, Va. — including 10 seasons as a head coach.

“You don’t like to step into these situations. Mark, over the last two years, has done a real good job of building the program,” Morton said. “To not be able to finish what you started is I’m sure weighing heavily on him. But he has to think about his health before anything else.

“The kids are I’m sure a little apprehensive about what the future holds right now. … We have to be positive for them, let them understand that this is one of those changes in life that happens. You’ve got to learn to overcome those bumps in life.”

Hoover will not coach for the foreseeable future. He did not rule out becoming an assistant coach after at least one or two years away from the game.

“I’m going to get myself back in physical shape the best I can,” Hoover said. “I will not be a head coach in the near future. I promised that to my wife.

“I’ll still see the kids during the day. I’ll still have my PE class.

“My message to them and their parents is: Thank you. They’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do.”

- Lexington Dispatch

Welcome aboard Golden East Crossing Chick-Fil-A!

David Langston was once a high school football player during his days at Northern Durham. 

And as a reserve, he and his teammates hosted Rocky Mount at the Durham County Stadium his junior season and posted a 24-0 shutout over the Gryphons during the 1999 season - the infamous Hurricane Floyd campaign.

He played RMHS at the RMAC during his senior year and also shutout the Gryphons.

Now for an about face, he's now supporting the Gryphons.

As owner and operator of the Golden East Crossing Chick-Fil-A, his business is this year's scoreboard sponsor and he is providing food for the press box this season.

We'd like to thank Langston and his staff for all their support.

And he had one more thing in common with the Gryphons. His alma mater's colors were also navy blue and gold.

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