Cedar Ridge Football

Hinton resigns as Cedar Ridge football coach

Plenty has happened to Torrean Hinton since football season ended in November.

Last month, his North Carolina Central Eagles won the HBCU National Championship in the Celebration Bowl over Jackson State in Atlanta. Hinton, who attended Central and Alabama A&M after graduating from Hillside High School in 1999, proudly wore various Eagles sweaters for three days afterward.

Beside that, his days have been filled with his standard job working as an accreditation manager with the Durham Police Department and taking his daughter for training twice a week to the North Carolina Football Club Academy in Apex.

In a nutshell, it’s life. And that’s why Hinton’s tenure as Cedar Ridge football coach has come to an end.

Hinton formally submitted his resignation as the Cedar Ridge football coach on January 6, three days before his 42nd birthday.

“Life just happened as far as my family,” Hinton said. “My wife got a promotion. I’m a full-time soccer dad. My daughter started playing soccer for the North Carolina Football Club. My wife can’t take her. She has two practices a week. It was just a family decision. I had to put football down for awhile. My wife has been supporting me for 14 years while I coached.”

A job vacancy was posted to the Orange County Schools website last week. Cedar Ridge Athletic Director Andy Simmons says he’s already received several resumes.

Choosing to resign was a tough pill to swallow for Hinton. In the days after the season ended, he looked as his day planner and realized there was only so much he could do with 24 hours in a day.

“I didn’t talk to anyone about it,” Hinton said. “I didn’t discuss it with anyone as far as Cedar Ridge is concerned. After the New Year, I thought I’d just rip the band-aid off and give Cedar Ridge a fresh start with somebody who will have enough time to do what they need to do.”

Hinton emphasized that his decision wasn’t centered on whether the Red Wolves would have enough players to field a team next season. Cedar Ridge didn’t field varsity teams in 2018 and 2021 because of a lack of participation.

“Absolutely not,” Hinton said when asked if participation was a factor in his decision. “I think that we had a lot of juniors on our team. Our senior class is going to be really, really big. The issue with Cedar Ridge is going to be finding rising juniors. We only had three sophomores on the team. That was the issue this year. Just trying to get more guys to come out from that class and get them to participate in spring ball. I don’t think they will have a junior varsity squad. If they do, it will be surprising. But definitely a varsity squad.”

Hinton just completed the second season of his second stint at Cedar Ridge’s head coach. His first stint started suddenly when Antonio King, a former Hillside coach who recently became the head coach at South Garner, gave notice on the first day of August training camp in 2019 in order to become a running backs coach at North Carolina Central.

In an interim role, Hinton coached Cedar Ridge to a 1-10 season in 2019 after they didn’t field a varsity team in 2018. Hinton’s first win as Cedar Ridge coach was memorable. For starters, it was Cedar Ridge’s first varsity win in 785 days. Isaiah McCambry, a freshman who would transfer to Walter Williams, scored two touchdowns, including a score in the fourth quarter that cut Chapel Hill’s lead to 19-18. K.J. Barnes took a handoff from Will Berger and scored on a handoff for a 2-point conversion that put the Red Wolves ahead 20-19 with 4:00 remaining.

Hinton left Cedar Ridge after Corey Lea was hired as head coach during the pandemic-shortened season in 2021. Cedar Ridge went 0-6 and Lea returned to Riverside in July 2021.

Hinton returned as head coach in 2021, but Cedar Ridge didn’t field a varsity team. They played only a junior varsity schedule. Last season upon its return to varsity, the Red Wolves went 1-9. They defeated East Chapel Hill 8-6 in August. James Este Wittinger scored Cedar Ridge’s only touchdown and made a tackle late in the game for the game-winning safety late in the fourth quarter.

Alumni Update: Gill rings the siren for Hurricanes as rookie NFL season ends

Trenton Gill: The first Cedar Ridge player to ever play in the National Football League had his rookie season come to an end on Sunday. The Minnesota Vikings defeated the Chicago Bears 29-13 at Solider Field. In his final game of the season, Gill had three punts for an average of 37 yards. Two of them were downed inside the 20-yard line. His longest punt was 44 yards. To end his rookie season, Gill had 66 punts for an average of 46 yards, which was tied for 23rd in the NFL. His longest punt was 63 yards. 20 of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, which was tied for 24th in the NFL. The Bears will have the #1 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft after they finished 3-14. On Saturday night, Gill came home and spun the siren for the Carolina Hurricanes for the third period of its game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PNC Arena in Raleigh. The Hurricanes held on to win 2-1.

Bryse Wilson: After being designated for assignment, Wilson was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Milwaukee Brewers last week. He was traded for cash considerations. It will be Wilson’s third Major League Baseball organization. Last season, Wilson went 3-9 with an 5.52 ERA with Pittsburgh. He had 79 strikeouts and 32 walks. Wilson’s son, Levi, was born last month. Wilson will report to spring training next month looking to take a spot in the Brewers’ starting rotation.

Connor Crabtree: On January 4, the Richmond Spiders men’s basketball team held off George Washington 73-63 at the Robins Center. Crabtree played one minutes. He has not played in Richmond’s subsequent three games: a 75-73 win over Duquesne; a 61-57 win at Davidson and  71-63 loss against St. Bonaventure.

Joey McMullin: The Sandhills Community College men’s basketball team has won three in a row. On Saturday, the Flyers defeated New Hope Collegiate 122-87. McMullin came off the bench to lead Sandhills with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field. He sank both of his 3-point attempts. McMullin also had five rebounds. On Wednesday, Sandhills defeated Johnston Community College 98-77 at Harrison Gymnasium in Smithfield. McMullin scored 16 points in 18 minutes. He finished 7-of-12 from the field and knocked down his only shot from downfield. McMullin also had four rebounds. On January 5, Sandhills rolled past Brunswick Community College 101-87. McMullin scored 14 points and grabbed four rebounds. Sandhills is 15-3 overall, 1-1 in Region 10 of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Aaliyah Harris: The Division III Randolph-Macon women’s basketball team rolled by Lynchburg 56-30 on January 11 at Crenshaw Gymnasium in Lynchburg, VA. Harris played 15 minutes and shot 1-of-6 from the field. She scored three points and grabbed one rebound. On January 5, Randolph-Macon defeated Eastern Mennonite 65-30 in Ashland, VA. Harris scored three points off 1-of-6 shooting from the field. She had three rebounds. The Yellow Jackets are 10-5 overall, 7-2 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

Braden Homsey: The Division III Ferrum College wrestling team split a pair of dual matches at the Budd Whitehill Duals at Lycoming Wrestling Center in Williamsport, PA on Saturday. The Panthers defeated Pennsylvania Tech 27-21. Wilkes defeated Ferrum 28-17. Homsey won both of his matches by technical fall at 197 pounds. Against Wilkes, Homsey defeated Hunter Lowe 16-1. Against Penn Tech, Homsey rolled past Gabriel Kennedy-Citeroni 17-2. On Friday, Ferrum dropped three matches at Lycoming College. #21 Ithaca defeated the Panthers 30-12. Chibueze Chukwuezi defeated Homsey by technical fall 18-2 at 197 pounds. Williams defeated Ferrum 20-13. Homsey earned a major decision over Thomas Goodwin 14-1. York College of Pennsylvania edged Ferrum 25-17. 25-17. Homsey won another technical fall over Devon O’Dell 16-0. Ferrum is 3-7 overall on the season, 1-1 in the ODAC. They will return to action against Averett in a dual match on Thursday in Ferrum. On January 27, Ferrum will compete in the Pete Wilson Invitational.

Middle School Review: Gravelly Hill football defeats Culbreth 34-8, and a message about middle school coverage

Football: The Gravelly Hill Middle School football team won its first game of the season last Wednesday, defeating Culbreth 34-8 in Efland.

Kayden Bradsher rushed for over 150 yards and four touchdowns as the Grizzlies improved to 1-0. Kamaal Smith had a receiving touchdown and a rushing touchdown. Gravelly Hill is scheduled to host Southern Roxboro on Wednesday afternoon in Efland. They will travel to Orange Middle School on October 5.

Boy’s Soccer: Orange Middle 6, Northern Middle 0: Lachlan McPherson scored five goals as the Chargers earned a victory in Roxboro. Nikola Henry added another goal. Eunko Newell earned the clean sheet in net. Orange Middle will return to action at Stanback on Thursday in the Orange-Person Athletic Conference.

To all coaches, parents and students at middle schools, we want to increase our coverage of middle school athletics here on Hillsboroughsports.com. In 2019, our coverage was starting to pick up with consistent response from coaches–then the pandemic hit.

My contact information is hamlin37@hotmail.com.

What we’re looking for is pretty simple.

  1. The final score of a game, meet or cross country event.
  2. The names of the players who scored touchdowns, rushing yards, receiving yards, goals, points, assists, kills, blocks, etc.
  3. Any other performers who stood out in a particular game or meet.

We’re looking for results after games for Orange Middle, Stanback and Gravelly Hill. If coaches, parents or students could reach out to us after games, we can get our coverage back to where it was before COVID-19. That helps everyone because it accomplishes the goal of this website, which is complete coverage of Hillsborough sports across the entire northern Orange County area.

Again, our email is hamlin37@hotmail.com. If we could hear from coaches after every game with the information above, that would meet our goal.

Good to see the local middle schools off to a good start for this academic year. Let’s make Middle School Review a regular thing again.

The Magnificent 7, Week 2: A busy time in the final days of summer

Editor’s note–(We’re a little behind in posting The Magnificent 7. We try to write this column weekly. So for this edition, we’re going to focus on the week of August 21-27. We’ll play catch up for the next few weeks).

Summer isn’t over yet.

Of course, the prevalent line of thinking is that Labor Day marks “the unofficial end of summer,” as the television anchors like to put it. However, the official end isn’t until September 21 (look it up on your calendar).

The week of August 21-27 will be remembered locally for the Cedar Ridge football team ending its 11-game losing streak against East Chapel Hill in a game that had more coincidences than humanly believable. The Cedar Ridge marching band performed “Master of Puppets,” the Metallica-classic, at halftime as part of its season-long tribute to “Stranger Things.” Naturally, the losing streak ended at eleven, which happens to be the name of the title character of the show.

Cedar Ridge’s football win was a wonderful note on a season that started with some promise. Just the fact that the Red Wolves are fielding a team will bring the wonderful amenities that this Cedar Ridge senior class deserves. It’s the things that past Red Wolves classes lacked. There will be a Homecoming game, with a King and Queen crowned on a Friday night. Two of the past four classes have had Homecoming night on Thursdays during junior varsity games. There will be a Senior Night in late October. Regardless of what the Red Wolves record is once fall rolls around (it starts September 22), this senior class of football players deserve full credit for making sure those things that other schools take for granted will be front and center this year in the western part of Hillsborough.

So here it is, our seven standout performers from the second week of the high school sports season from August 21-27.

  1. Matt Turner, Sr. Cedar Ridge–Had a critical fumble recovery late in Cedar Ridge’s win over East Chapel Hill that set up the game-winning safety as the Red Wolves won 9-7. Turner returned to playing football last year when Cedar Ridge fielded only a junior varsity team and his presence helped the Red Wolves to its first varsity win since October 2019.
  2. Darius Corbett, Sr. Orange–Scored on a penalty kick for the Orange men’s soccer team for its first win of the season over Knightdale 1-0 at WakeMed Soccer Park. Corbett has been a reliable centerback for Orange. He also scored Orange’s first goal of the season against Northern Durham on August 15. Was named the Orange Panther of the Week for the second week of the year.
  3. Roman Morrell, Sr. Cedar Ridge–Won the Ronald Horton Cross Country Classic at Northwood High School on August 27. Morrell finished with a time of 17:23.7, beating his nearest competitor by 49 seconds. Morrell opened the year with a second-place finish in the Early Bird Challenge at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary on August 20. Qualified for the 3A State Championships last year.
  4. Cameron Lanier, Sr. Cedar Ridge–Had eleven kills in Cedar Ridge’s win over Green Level, the defending 4A State Champions, on August 27. During the second week of the season, Lanier had nine kills in a win at D.H. Conley (the 2021 3A State Champions) and four kills against Carrboro (the 2016 2A State Champions). Lanier has committed to play volleyball at Elon.
  5. Chris Mendez, Sr. Cedar Ridge–Scored the game-winning goal against South Garner in the Red Wolves’ first win of the season on August 26 at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. The following day, Mendez scored a goal in a 2-1 loss to Wallace-Rose Hill. Mendez was the leading scorer for Cedar Ridge last season with 13 goals and 29 points.
  6. Allie Wilkerson, Sr. Orange–Had a strong week for the Orange volleyball team as the Lady Panthers defeated East Chapel Hill and swept Roxboro Community School. Wilkerson has announced that she will play volleyball at Averett University in Danville, VA. She is in her third-year as a varsity player for the Lady Panthers.
  7. Erin Sollars, Jr. Orange–Sollars won two matches for the Orange women’s tennis team against Roxboro Community School on August 24. Sollars won her #1 singles match 6-0, 6-1. Later in the day, she teamed with her younger sister Shannon to win at #1 doubles 8-0. The Lady Panthers opened the season 3-1 with wins over the Bulldogs, Southern Alamance and Voyager Academy.

Alumni Update: Gill makes NFL debut as Bears win in the rain vs. San Francisco

Photo courtesy of NBC Sports

Trenton Gill: On Sunday, Gill became the first Cedar Ridge Red Wolf to play in the National Football League. It was certainly a memorable debut as the Bears defeated the San Francisco 49ers 19-10 in the midst of dreadful conditions at Soldier Field. Heavy rain floods the field and Gill actually received a bizarre 15-yard personal foul penalty for bringing out a towel to dry a small area of the field prior to holding for a field goal attempt by Cairo Santos. Despite playing in a quagmire, Gill still averaged 46.2 yards over six punts. One was downed inside the 20-yard line and another went for a touchback. It was the Bears first win under new head coach Matt Eberflus.

Keshawn Thompson: William & Mary, ranked #20 in FCS, defeated Campbell 37-21 in Watler Zable Stadium in Willamsburg, VA. Thompson had three tackles for the Camels, who fell to 1-1. Campbell will travel to East Carolina on Saturday.

Darius Satterfield: Satterfield was all too busy for Elizabeth City State in the Down East Viking Classic on Saturday in Rocky Mount. The Blue Bears defeated the Vikings 19-0. Satterfield had nine punts for an average of 35.3 yards. His longest was 49 yard. He had only one kickoff for 55 yards. The Vikings are now 0-2 and will face Winston-Salem State in its CIAA opener next Saturday in Elizabeth City.

Braxton Mergenthal: Mergenthal got the most extensive playing time in his Hampden-Sydney career as the Tigers dropped a heartbreaker to Widener College 31-27 in Lewis Everett Stadium in Hampden Sydney, VA on Saturday. Mergenthal had a career-high four tackles. Hampden-Sydney, now 0-2, will host Greensboro College this Saturday.

Bryse Wilson: Wilson came out of the bullpen to throw six innings of middle relief as the Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the New York Mets 5-1 at PNC Park last Wednesday. Wilson surrendered four runs off seven hits with three strikeouts. He did not factor into the decision. Wilson will start for the Pirates against Cincinnati in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday.

Mia-Davidson Smith: After her first professional softball season with Athletes Unlimited, Davidson-Smith has joined the Mississippi State coaching staff as a graduate student coach. Davidson-Smith, the all-time leading home run hitter in Southeastern Conference history, is in graduate school at Mississippi State.

Kayla Hodges: The VCU women’s soccer team held Virginia, ranked #5 in the country, to a scoreless tie on Sunday at Klockner Stadium in Charlottesville. Hodges came off the bench to play 24 minutes. The Rams defeated Pitt 3-2 in its prior game. VCU is 2-1-5 and will face Massachusetts in its Atlantic 10 opener on Thursday.

Emerson Talley: The Division II Lenoir-Rhyne women’s soccer team had two wins last week. The Bears defeated Lincoln Memorial 1-0 at LMU Soccer Field in Harrogate, TN last Wednesday. Talley came off the bench to play 30 minutes for the Bears. On Saturday, the Bears improved to 2-0 in the South Atlantic Conference with a 2-0 win over Tusculum at Pioneer Field in Greenville, TN. Talley played 23 minutes as a reserve. Lenoir-Rhyne is 2-1-1 and will host UNC Pembroke in Hickory on Wednesday.

Lottie Scully: The Binghamton Bearcats volleyball team finished 2-1 in the Georgetown Invitational over the weekend. The Bearcats started with a 3-0 sweep of George Washington at the Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, D.C. Scully finished with four kills, 30 assists, two aces and nine digs. The following day, the Bearcats suffered its only loss of the weekend. Georgetown defeated Binghamton 3-2 on scores of 16-25, 25-22, 28-30, 25-23 and 15-13. Scully had three kills, 45 assists, one ace and 16 digs. Later on Saturday, the Bearcats swept Rider 25-16, 25-20 and 25-15. Scully registered two kills, 26 assists and six digs. Binghamton is 7-2 overall and will start play in the West Virginia Tournament on Thursday. They open with Delaware State on Thursday at the WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, WV.

Avery Miller: The Pitt Community College volleyball team won both of its matches at Davidson-Davie Community College in Thomasville on Saturday. The Bulldogs opened with a 3-0 win over USC-Salkehathie on scores of 25-17, 25-14 and 25-14. Miller started for PCC and finished with two kills, one ace and six digs. Later in the day, Pitt defeated Davidson-Davie Community College 3-0 (25-22, 26-24 and 25-19). Miller started and finished with two digs. Pitt CC is 6-2, 0-2 in Region X of the National Junior College Athletic Association.