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2017 NCHSAA Realignment

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Hickory names football coach


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#1 Chris Hughes

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 07:49 PM

Hickory HS has named Russell Stone as head football coach. Stone has 262 wins and led Village Christian to a private school runner up spot last season. Previously he led the programs at Douglas Byrd, Purcell Swett, and West Forsyth.

#2 burnstweeter

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 08:08 PM

Hickory HS has named Russell Stone as head football coach. Stone has 262 wins and led Village Christian to a private school runner up spot last season. Previously he led the programs at Douglas Byrd, Purcell Swett, and West Forsyth.


As much as you have endorsed him on here I know you approve.

#3 smashmouth5

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 08:28 PM

Great hire.

#4 BlueDevilsBiggestFan

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Posted 27 February 2017 - 09:21 PM

Home run hire but Will he have support and also how long will Hickory let him led the program

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#5 GDG

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 07:44 AM

Good grief. Hickory hit a home run and more. Stone has been a winner and knows the game. This might be the best hire in the state. Justin Harper will be coming back to Hickory. NFL player Harper will also be an assistant. Hickory got it all in one head coach hire. They knocked it out of the park.

This is the most exciting hire ever in this county. Hope the Hickory community doesn't mess this situation up. I cannot wait to see if the athletes come out for football just like basketball. If they can get kids off the basketball team for football they will have speed and quickness at all the skill positions.

Best of luck to Coach Stone and Justin Harper. If former Hickory head coach and Mooresville assistant John Worley stays on to help they will have lots of experience in coaching to change the program. If these guys can't get them back on track then nobody can. Poster Cheerduck probably had a party last night.

#6 Nipit

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 08:42 AM

Heck yeah.  This will be fun!  Coach Stone is a great choice. 



#7 Schmo

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:49 AM

It's obvious that Stone is expected to groom Justin Harper to eventually take the head Coaching Job.  As I've said many times, Hickory has some issues but this looks like a good hire.  Hickory has gone 4-29 the last 3 seasons and have at times looked bad doing it.  I'm not real sure if Hickory has the kids in the hallways they have had in the past but I suspect they probably do.  If Stone and Harper can get them out and get them rowing in the same direction, things could turn around pretty quickly.  Getting the kids out is first but getting the Community energized will be tougher in my opinion.   

 

The atmosphere at Hickory at times can be less than favorable  but I get the feeling that things are going to get better. 

 

Some big coaching changes in what will be a new Northwestern Conference.  New coaches with good reputations at Freedom, West Caldwell, and now Hickory.  Put that with the coaches already in place like Butch Carter at Alexander Central and Ryan Habich at Watauga, this league is going to be better than some suspect. 



#8 CHEERDUCK

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 03:20 PM

No party, just a relief that the current Administration actually gets it and understands what is needed to turn our football program around.  :D


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#9 Mustang sally

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 03:26 PM

Stone is a great coach Hickory landed a good one 



#10 GDG

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 03:53 PM

No party, just a relief that the current Administration actually gets it and understands what is needed to turn our football program around.  :D


For the first time this one was held close to the chest. Even the usual local insiders had no clue of anything happening. Believe me, I was asking the people who usually can tell you a little bit even if not the whole story and the superintendent must have been totally running this show. Wise decision by the newest super. There hasn't been much to watch in Catawba County in quite some time. I may go watch some Hickory ball this year and drink the ale across the street at Backstreet. Micro beer and football, almost as good as sex. I said almost.

#11 Chris Hughes

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 04:18 PM

For the first time this one was held close to the chest. Even the usual local insiders had no clue of anything happening. Believe me, I was asking the people who usually can tell you a little bit even if not the whole story and the superintendent must have been totally running this show. Wise decision by the newest super. There hasn't been much to watch in Catawba County in quite some time. I may go watch some Hickory ball this year and drink the ale across the street at Backstreet. Micro beer and football, almost as good as sex. I said almost.

 

Yes it was.  Only a very few selected coaches and insiders had been in the know.  I've known about this possibility since early November.  Dr. Adell reached out to Coach Stone back in November but he was still in the playoffs with Village Christian and declined.  They also approached his son Tripp Stone, the defensive coordinator at Mallard Creek but he wasn't ready to leave the Creek program, they once again started to pursue Russell Stone. 

 

I had many conversations with Coach Stone over the last few months about this job including the pros, cons, and everything else.  One thing is certain, I'm 100% positive that Dr. Adell is committed to doing whatever is possible to make Hickory a championship contending program and they made their first step back to relevancy with this hire.  

 

I think it's only a matter of time before the Red Tornades are respected again.  This is a very similar situation to Douglas Byrd back in 2006.  The Eagles who once was a major championship contender had fallen on hard times and hadn't had a winning season in four years.  He immediately changed the culture, notched 6 wins in year one and led the team to a 4A state championship game a year later, all with pretty much the same kids that couldn't win a game the year before. 

 

There is just something about Coach Stone, it's not really his scheme, his x's and o's, or the players.  It's a genuine love for kids, something that they pick up on and work extra hard for their coaches.  Russell Stone as well as his son Tripp has this unique ability to get kids to play harder, do more, and go the extra 10 miles.  It's not smoke or mirrors, its not false praise, or anything of the sorts, its just a genuine ability to make common kids find a little more in the tank.  

 

I'll be there on Thursday as he meets the team and community for the first time.  They'll get their first chance to see him and his infectious personality, he's always got a smile, he's always extremely funny to be around, and he'll be a dream for the local sportswriters as you'll never know what he's liable to say! 



#12 GDG

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 04:48 PM

Let me know and I'll see if I can get some time and buy you a couple Olde Hickory Brewery Black Ravens or Death By Hopps.

#13 Chris Hughes

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 04:58 PM

Let me know and I'll see if I can get some time and buy you a couple Olde Hickory Brewery Black Ravens or Death By Hopps.


I'll be there Thursday for the booster reception.

#14 CHEERDUCK

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 05:27 PM

Yes it was.  Only a very few selected coaches and insiders had been in the know.  I've known about this possibility since early November.  Dr. Adell reached out to Coach Stone back in November but he was still in the playoffs with Village Christian and declined.  They also approached his son Tripp Stone, the defensive coordinator at Mallard Creek but he wasn't ready to leave the Creek program, they once again started to pursue Russell Stone. 

 

I had many conversations with Coach Stone over the last few months about this job including the pros, cons, and everything else.  One thing is certain, I'm 100% positive that Dr. Adell is committed to doing whatever is possible to make Hickory a championship contending program and they made their first step back to relevancy with this hire.  

 

I think it's only a matter of time before the Red Tornades are respected again.  This is a very similar situation to Douglas Byrd back in 2006.  The Eagles who once was a major championship contender had fallen on hard times and hadn't had a winning season in four years.  He immediately changed the culture, notched 6 wins in year one and led the team to a 4A state championship game a year later, all with pretty much the same kids that couldn't win a game the year before. 

 

There is just something about Coach Stone, it's not really his scheme, his x's and o's, or the players.  It's a genuine love for kids, something that they pick up on and work extra hard for their coaches.  Russell Stone as well as his son Tripp has this unique ability to get kids to play harder, do more, and go the extra 10 miles.  It's not smoke or mirrors, its not false praise, or anything of the sorts, its just a genuine ability to make common kids find a little more in the tank.  

 

I'll be there on Thursday as he meets the team and community for the first time.  They'll get their first chance to see him and his infectious personality, he's always got a smile, he's always extremely funny to be around, and he'll be a dream for the local sportswriters as you'll never know what he's liable to say! 

 

That's one of the problems, we have no local sportswriter. The Hickory Daily Record reassigned the Sports Editor last fall to Assistant Editor of the paper, leaving the paper with no one running the sports section.A few weeks ago, that person was released of his job altogether. We have a full time writer and a few stringers. If a game goes past 9:00 pm, forget it getting coverage in the "local, Daily Record".

 

Maybe a few more advertisers can persuade the HDR to step up their game,but I doubt it.


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#15 Chris Hughes

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 05:51 PM

That's one of the problems, we have no local sportswriter. The Hickory Daily Record reassigned the Sports Editor last fall to Assistant Editor of the paper, leaving the paper with no one running the sports section.A few weeks ago, that person was released of his job altogether. We have a full time writer and a few stringers. If a game goes past 9:00 pm, forget it getting coverage in the "local, Daily Record".

Maybe a few more advertisers can persuade the HDR to step up their game,but I doubt it.


That's a sad but true circumstance playing out more and more across the state and world we live in.

#16 GDG

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 08:32 PM

When the Hickory paper lost Allen Haynes for health reasons (not death) it began an almost complete plummet in sports coverage. The paper is horrible here. The only sports coverage is done by Cody Dalton for the Observer News Enterprise in Newton. Cody does a fantastic job with what he has. The paper only comes out 3 or 4 times a week but has coverage of every team in the county.

Lots was Facebook and Twitter fights about the Hickory paper not reporting on all the Newton championships the last ten years. They have lost the county patrons and its not coming back. I was told by a customer that worked for the Hickory paper 10 years ago that they were more into cost cutting than finding advertisers.

Some papers still do a great job because they understand high school sports drive the circulation. A couple of these are the Gastonia Gazette and the Shelby Star. I have no need to read about anything in the paper on an AP report which is nation wide nor what was on CNN last night. Just tell me if Aunt Bea got Otis his breakfast.

#17 BD4443

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:41 PM

Great hire for Hickory. Just curious, did Stone choose Harper or was he told that Harper would be the coach in waiting? Let's all hope it is a smooth union.

With Stone Hickory just got way better. These proven winner older coaches bring something special to the table that can't be bought at any price and that is lots of experience.

#18 Chris Hughes

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 09:55 PM

Can't really answer the question as to whether Stone had a choice on Coach Harper but I do know they've spoken and have already started the process of assembling a staff.

Stone has expressed to me his anticipation of working with Harper and was very excited about his experience in the college coaching ranks as well as pro and major college playing experience.

Without having had the privilege of meeting Harper yet, I do know that he's got ambitions of being a head coach and he'll earn a PHD in high school coaching and networking from Stone. Very few coaches are as popular at clinics because of personality as Stone and his track record of producing top-notch head coaches will serve Harper well, not only on the field but through his associations and networks.

#19 Chris Hughes

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 10:03 PM

Speaking of head coaches who come from the Stone tree;

1. Adrian Snow - West Forsyth
2. Josh McGee - Reagan
3. Clay Lewis - Hibriten
4. Brian Hurlocker - Hopewell
5. Chip Petree - GA head coach; former West Forsyth
6. Ryan Williams - Jreh Prep
7. Brian Randolph - Jack Britt
8. Deron Donald - EE Smith
9. Clayton Banner - Arena / pro scout

#20 BlueDevilsBiggestFan

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Posted 28 February 2017 - 10:38 PM

my only question is How will the Administration/Community Support the new Coaches......i Understand they  have a new Superintend but will the Principles and AD give them the support n let them do what need to be done?

 

Also like stated above the biggest thing is they need to keep their athletes/get more of them out there and also they need better support from the Fans, I personally love Hickory's Football stadium and I think its a shame that, their home side only brings 100-200 people i mean I would love to see that place packed!


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#21 Schmo

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 09:30 AM

This was a crucial hire for Hickory.  I really think that they had to get it right this time or the program was going to fall deeper into the abyss.  It sure looks like they got it right.  Stone will groom Harper for a couple years or so and then he will take over, i know at least that's the most likely way it happens.  Stone is a great coach, great at turning things around but he has a tall task at Hickory.  Somehow, someway, he has to get the kids to buy- in and stay bought in as opposed to buying in and then bailing out when the work starts.  It wouldn't shock me to see Hickory go from 2-9 this past season to 5 or 6 wins this fall provided he gets that buy-in.  



#22 CHEERDUCK

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Posted 01 March 2017 - 02:19 PM

my only question is How will the Administration/Community Support the new Coaches......i Understand they  have a new Superintend but will the Principles and AD give them the support n let them do what need to be done?

 

Also like stated above the biggest thing is they need to keep their athletes/get more of them out there and also they need better support from the Fans, I personally love Hickory's Football stadium and I think its a shame that, their home side only brings 100-200 people i mean I would love to see that place packed!

 

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, but how many times have you been to a HHS game in the last twenty years? There are still fans and fans follow winners, which the last few years have not been there. A big decline in the fan base is due to the economy more so than the results of the games. HHS was just 8 students from dropping to the 2A ranks in the next classification. We have lost a lot of jobs in the last 10-15 years and with it go families and students. Lots of schools go through change,even the mighty Mooresville program, especially after Carter left.

 

I've read quite a bit of crap on message boards, from people who have a different agenda about HHS football than a true fan, and it always grinds on me because if you don't know, don't speak or type. The program has been in decline since David Elder left. Many personal agendas of coaches, boosters, parents and Administrators during that time overrode the needs of the student athletes. I believe the new Superintendent wants the kids to have a chance to prove themselves and has seen the needs through their eyes. We didn't have a football program in 2015 because the booster club, "lost money on it in 2014". Thankfully our AD made an effort to recognize the kids last fall with a small program for the kids to have to look back on.

 

I hope the Superintendent and Principal continue on the path they have chosen to get our football program back up the list of priorities. It will be hard to compete internally with the Lacrosse team, the local Hickory Hawk home school team and every other local school's kids encouraging our better players to "come on over and join us", with their we will win banter.

 

I tell the kids all the time, that there is a great tradition in playing football at HHS and they are making memories that will last a lifetime. Enjoy your years here and play the game for the right reason and join many of the alumni in giving back once you've graduated.


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#23 Schmo

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 09:46 AM

From what I've been told (I did not attend) people were very impressed with Coach Stone at the Meet and Greet Thursday night.



#24 burnstweeter

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 10:56 AM

Hope the Tornadoes get it turned around. When they were in our conference they were a force to be reckoned with.

#25 FB-Trap

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Posted 03 March 2017 - 08:05 PM

It's about time we see Stone get another shot.  No doubt about it, Hickory just got a major upgrade.  I give them 2 years and they're back in the conference title conversation. 






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