Hello guys, I hope you are all excited about the upcoming 2016 high school football season, I know I am. I always get excited when the week of the N.C. Coaches Clinic comes around in late July and I can tell my good friend, Clayton Nance, former assistant coach at Greensboro Page H.S., "Happy New Year", when we customarily meet on the field prior to the East-West All-Star Game.
Why "Happy New Year" in July? Because the start of the high school football season is like a new year of sorts. Similar to Opening Day in Major League Baseball, the start of the high school season, which customarily is celebrated on August 1st with the first days of practice, is a rebirth. A time when everything is fresh and new again, the uniforms are clean, the grass is at its greenest, and hopes are high for a big season!
As you all have figured out by now, high school football is a major part of my life. So much so that I created this website for the sole intentions of promoting our great state, this sport in which I love, and creating a platform for our coaches, and athletes to shine.
Starting this website back in 2007, I had no idea how it would change my life. Some aspects for the good, some aspects great, but others, not so much. I had no idea the challenges that I would face when it came to technical challenges. There wasn't really a playbook for things like hackers, database crashes, server crashes, or dealing with pesky and in some cases, damn-right rude patrons who's only mission in life it seemed was to crash the party for everyone else.
Since starting this site, I have made some good friends, unfortunately a few enemies as well, but more than anything, I have been validated by my peers in the coaching fraternity about how much of an impact this little website has had on our sport.
As many of you know, this website took a major step back on Saturday, November 7th of 2015. Jim West and myself were hard at work entering scores into the database in the early morning hours when the website crashed and chaos ensued for the next 48-72 hours. I didn't know what had happened, or what to do. I was scurrying calling everyone I knew, trying to talk to support personnel at our server host, and any friends I had in the web design business.
This was one of the lowest points in my life. The one thing I loved dear had almost slipped away. There was a moment in time where I almost threw my arms up and threw in the towel and gave up. It was heartbreaking and depressing.
Fortunately after frantically meeting with my close friend Ed Conway, he was able to help find some of the lost data and at least get me back on my feet again.
It was at that moment that I knew I had to do something to solidify this website. I contacted my most trusted web design/developer and formulated a plan to build a new Carolina Preps. It was going to be costly, in fact I haven't even had to make the first payment as of yet, but it was a necessary evil to bring this site that brings so much joy to many people, back to life.
The first obstacles have been crossed, the team pages are back up to 100% working capacity (minus a header and menu bar, which is coming soon), but at least the schedules are up and the data is faster!
It is my hopes that we can debut a new, more fluid front page in the coming days. The goal was to get this new front-page out by the first game of the season, but it's possible that it will be a few days/weeks late. Oh well, delays happen.
Once the new front page is fixed, I have a plan to completely rebuild the message forums we're using today to a more custom software that will flow more easier with the front page and team pages. When it's all said and done, CarolinaPreps will be back to 100% working order and look fresher, be faster, and be better than ever. I have a great plan and vision for this site and hope to be able to continue pushing it forward in the many years to come.
I want to thank you all for your support, patience, but more than anything, thank you for your passion for high school football, and for helping put our state front and center and pushing to make youth sports better in this state.