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Articles by Victor Hensley
Fresh off of hot start, Heather Brooks insists Bears could make regionals, run table in conference
The Chatham Central women’s tennis team is on a roll. Having won six straight matches, including four against the Mid-Carolina 1A/2A …
Bill focusing on transparency, NCHSAA’s finances passes through Senate, will go to House
RALEIGH — It appears that, for now, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association isn’t going anywhere. But that …
I don’t care about your fantasy team
I don’t care about your fantasy football team. Actually, let me rephrase that. I don’t care about your fantasy football team …
Green credits senior leadership, Smollen’s talent for Wolves’ scalding hot start
Woods Charter is on pace to have one of its best volleyball seasons in school history. After starting the year with a near-perfect 5-1 …
As ACC football kicks off, three Sanford natives reflect on their journeys
SANFORD — Football in the ACC is home to eight national championships, 48 Pro Football Hall of Famers and 95 first-round NFL Draft …
Knights’ challenging non-conference schedule prepares them for competitive postseason
SILER CITY — Early in this young tennis season, the Chatham Charter Knights have already found themselves dealing with plenty of …
Tigers’ 65-yard TD run puts Chargers on ice in back-and-forth 2nd half
PITTSBORO — The Northwood Chargers were on the brink of taking down their former conference rivals, but everything can change in the …
My top moments from Week 1 of college football
Last week, I wrote about the negative impact that the 2017-18 UCF Knights had on my overall college football experience. In that …
Siler City FC’s travel teams to make debut in Greensboro
SILER CITY — Few sports organizations in Chatham have been busier than Siler City Futbol Club this summer. But that was just the …
Northwood’s experience, Seaforth’s youth shines in season’s first Chatham XC meet
PITTSBORO — Last week’s Chatham County Championships were as much about the rise of emerging talent as they were about the …
Despite early-season hole, Walden says league play could be key to Bears’ playoff push
Chatham Central is in the midst of its varsity women’s volleyball season, but has gotten off to a slow start after dropping four …
Northwood scores 10 touchdowns, posts 459 rushing yards in shellacking of Jordan-Matthews
SILER CITY — There are some tasks that simply feel impossible to complete. Using a No. 2 pencil to win a home run derby, staying …
How UCF (and the Selection Committee) ruined college football
The UCF Knights ruined college football for me. Yes, you read that right. The Knights that hail from Orlando’s University of …
With 15 players on roster, Knights’ Chris Callicutt strives to rebuild Chatham Charter’s soccer program
Last season, Chatham Charter was one of many 1A schools in the state to not field a men’s (or women’s) soccer team, citing both a …
Virtual classes, on-demand videos kept Ara’s martial arts studio afloat
As the COVID-19 pandemic raged on last year, most martial arts studios across the country — including Siler City’s A.F.E. …
Heat and overpriced drinks: I missed stadiums
It’d been 618 days since I last attended a major sporting event. On Dec. 12, 2019, I visited Baltimore for the sole purpose of …
Jets’ electrifying second-half performance seals season-opening soccer win over Chargers
SILER CITY — Most flights get canceled when lightning strikes in the area. But the Jets just powered right …
Proposed partnership between CCS, UNC Medicine would bring athletic trainers to J-M, Chatham Central
PITTSBORO — Jordan-Matthews’ and Chatham Central’s athletic departments are slated to benefit from a new proposed partnership …
‘Call us the New Jets’: Under fresh leadership, J-M hopeful for success in team’s new era
SILER CITY — In the couple of weeks since Ryan Johnson took over as the head coach of Jordan-Matthews football, he’s started to …
Coming off of back-to-back 8th place finishes, Isenhour calls Chargers’ 2021-22 state title chances ‘very good’
In the pandemic-shortened, oddly timed 2020-21 season, Northwood cross country was one of the county’s premier programs. The …
Football has a problem. Am I part of it?
I have a love-hate relationship with football. On one hand, it’s a game I grew up adoring. Sorta. I still remember, to this …
Fresh off of stellar 2020-21 campaign, Chargers using offensive experience to make waves in new conference
PITTSBORO — When the Chargers open their football season against the Lee County Yellow Jackets on Friday, it will have been 119 days …
With fall sports less than a week away, Seaforth coaches discuss challenges, excitement levels
The opening of Seaforth High School is upon us, which means that the Hawks are closer than ever to suiting up for the first time, …
Returning home after 21 years, J-M tabs alum Ryan Johnson to lead football program
SILER CITY — Earlier this summer, Ryan Johnson had no plans to be a head coach by summer’s end, much less for his alma mater in …
When an international door closes, a local one opens
If you have any sort of online or news-related presence, you may have already seen this week’s sad headline: the 2020 Summer …
FASD advocate returns from 4,300-mile cross-country research trip
PITTSBORO — An adventurous spirit — a cyclist, runner, backpacker and self-proclaimed explorer — 19-year-old Pittsboro resident …
Wolves’ Hawkins talks first season success, runners to watch in 2021 campaign
The fall athletic season began this week with tryouts starting for seven different sports across the county on Monday ahead of Aug. …
The NCHSAA is in trouble. Or is it?
High school sports in North Carolina are nearing a dramatic change. Or maybe they aren’t. At this point, it’s a toss-up. But …
CCS BOE signs agreement to bring Los Jets mobile exhibit to schools this fall
PITTSBORO — Across select Chatham County Schools this fall, students will have the opportunity to take a look back at an important …
‘I’m hopeful’: As season approaches, Jets look to build off of last year’s PAC 7 title in ‘normal’ 2021
The fall athletic season is just around the corner as practices and official tryouts are slated to begin on Aug. 2, first contests are …
The NFL’s pro-vax stance isn’t political, it’s strictly business
Let me go ahead and clear the air: I rarely defend the NFL. I’ve criticized our country’s most popular — and profitable — …
J-M assisted by Duke, Campbell coaches in ‘encouraging’ joint baseball/softball youth camp
SILER CITY — Jordan-Matthews’ youth summer camps keep getting bigger. The Jets started their summer break by hosting 20 campers …
At 70, Pittsboro’s Chuck Gillis continues cycling journey in 15th NCCX season
PITTSBORO — It began with a race for a $100 prize in Greensboro, circa 1973. Pittsboro’s Chuck Gillis, who was in school at …
A few things to know about the upcoming Olympics
It’s taken five years, a worldwide pandemic and countless trials and tribulations to get here, but this week, the Summer Games are …
‘You don’t realize what you’ve done’: West Chatham 10U Angels win state title, head to World Series this weekend
CHERRYVILLE — Preston Parks didn’t have many expectations for his first season as a Dixie Youth softball manager, much less …
Tommy Peele, Chatham Central’s new AD, brings years of experience to the job
BEAR CREEK — Chatham Central’s athletic department will have new leadership this fall. As fans file into Bears’ sporting …
Baseball is back: Chatham’s Little League All-Stars find success in district, state tourneys
WILSON — Chatham County is wrapping up one of its most exciting summers of baseball yet. In a little over a month, the largest …
Stars, stripes and silence: Olympics’ choice to ban fans is right call
Even though we’re in 2021, the 2020 Summer Olympics may be aptly named. After a recent announcement by Tokyo 2020 president …
NCAA student-athletes are leveling the playing field
When I was 15 years old, I remember hanging out at my friend’s house on a Saturday afternoon, eating a boatload of snacks and …
Popsicles, water breaks and some soccer: J-M kicks off youth summer camps with 4 days on the field
SILER CITY — What do you get when you gather a cohort of elementary and middle schoolers on a soccer field in the sweltering heat …
Here are Chatham County’s 2020-21 all-conference athletes in the school year’s final 4 sports
With the 2020-21 NCHSAA season having come to an end, a number of Chatham County athletes have been selected to all-conference teams …
‘I’ve gained more confidence’: Northwood’s distance star Murrell shines in record-breaking state championship run
GREENSBORO — Caroline Murrell is a lot of things. A rising senior at Northwood High School. A volunteer for local nonprofit …
Serving up sleep deprivation: The return of Wimbledon
I’ve always despised waking up early. Actually, let me rephrase that — I think waking up at the crack of dawn is neat, but my …
‘You have to play through errors’: Knights blanked by Eagles in blunderous first round
ASHEBORO — Defense wins championships, but it can also lose them. As was the case for Chatham County’s lone playoff baseball …
Bears no-hit by Mustangs in emotional end to season
NORTH MOORE 10, CHATHAM CENTRAL 0 BEAR CREEK — Once the final out was recorded, friends and families of the Chatham Central …
Jets’ turbulent season ends with two-game skid to Patriots
In the first game of the series last Tuesday, the Jets had a shot to win after scoring two runs in the top of the seventh to tie the …
Preview: Chatham schools gear up for final postseason push of 2020-21 season
SILER CITY — For the five high schools across Chatham County, postseason play for a variety of sports is taking off this week with …
‘I want a rematch’: Bears sweep doubles matches to take down Knights in regular-season finale
SILER CITY — The inter-county rivalry between the Bears and Knights is fueled by a fun, competitive spirit, regardless of the …
Coach K’s retiring. I’m not sad.
I’ll go ahead and say it: I’ve never liked Coach K. There hasn’t been a single moment in my 23 years of life that I’ve felt …
Chargers’ offense runs dry in three-hit loss to Hench, Panthers
PITTSBORO — Sometimes body language says it best. When asked what went wrong offensively for his team against Orange’s …
Cape Fear Museum to host virtual ‘Los Jets’ event for team’s 20th anniversary
WILMINGTON — Wilmington is giving you a chance relive a piece of Chatham sports history. The Cape Fear Museum in Wilmington is …
The NBA’s fan problem illustrates why athletes deserve respect
As the number of vaccinated Americans continues to increase, so has capacity at many sports venues across the country. For the NBA …
Chatham high schools announce variety of summer youth camps
SILER CITY — As the school year comes to an end and summer approaches quickly, high schools across Chatham County are gearing up for …
‘Everybody has fun’: J-M, Chatham Charter track programs thriving under first-year coaches
SILER CITY — As far as passion goes, high school track & field coaches — and parents — are rarely lacking. Spending hours in …
Chatham Central’s Moore leads Team East to win in Blue-Grey All-American Bowl at AT&T Stadium
ARLINGTON, Texas — If someone came up to you and asked who was the most recent player to throw a touchdown pass in the Dallas …
Striking Gold(en): Chatham Charter’s ace powers Knights past Clover Garden with 14 Ks
SILER CITY — They may not be precious metal experts, but if you ask the Chatham Charter dugout, they’ll likely tell you that gold …
Efficient hitting, powerful pitching leads Chatham Central to rivalry win over J-M
BEAR CREEK — The pitch sped through the air on its way from the mound. It crossed into the batter’s box, where the bat of …
Northwood sets a number of personal records in first home meet since 2018
PITTSBORO — Over the last few years, Northwood’s football field has been the primary vessel for Chargers competition. In the …
Jets stumble in two-game series with top-ranked Randleman
SILER CITY — The Jets hadn’t seen a team quite like Randleman. And it showed. Its offense is built like a high-powered machine, …
Moore throws no-hitter, hits walk-off grand slam to cap off career night in Bears blowout
BEAR CREEK — Naturally, most no-hitters end with the pitcher recording the final out Chatham Central’s Michael Moore …
Siler City FC shifts plans, will offer travel soccer in 2021
SILER CITY — If you live in West Chatham and are interested in travel club soccer this fall, you won’t have to look very …
‘A little chip on our shoulder’: Jets avenge loss, pummel Eastern Randolph in 6 innings
SILER CITY — With every passing inning last Thursday, hit after hit, Jordan-Matthews continued to put cracks into Eastern …
Knights score 19 in historic first inning, wallop NCLA to stay undefeated
SILER CITY — If you were in attendance for Chatham Charter’s homecoming festivities, you might have caught a glimpse of baseball …
Bears overcome storm to blank Union Academy, fall to South Stanly in second round
BEAR CREEK — A couple of hours prior to first pitch, the idea that last Tuesday’s first-round playoff softball matchup between …
Cox, Gilliland, Williamson qualify for regionals as Bears earn first conference title
BEAR CREEK — Chatham Central men’s tennis continues to add to its growing list of firsts. On April 20, the Bears won …
Jets drop crucial game to Providence Grove in PAC 7 finale
SILER CITY — The pandemic-shortened season didn’t end the way the Jets hoped. Instead of punching a ticket to the postseason, …
Chargers' inexperience on display in season-opening loss to Cedar Ridge
PITTSBORO — As the Chargers learned on Tuesday, a perfect opening day atmosphere doesn’t automatically ensure a perfect …
Moving parts: Northwood’s Jason Amy named Seaforth athletic director
PITTSBORO — A familiar face is set to lead Seaforth High School athletics this fall. After 15 years at Northwood High School — …
‘We just can’t finish’: Havelock overcomes early struggles to eliminate Northwood
PITTSBORO — It was 18 months ago, on a partly cloudy, 34-degree night in Durham, when members of the Northwood Chargers’ football …
Chatham Central continues dominant reign in comfortable win over J-M
SILER CITY — If there’s any team peaking at the right time, it’s Chatham Central softball. Boasting both dominant pitching …
‘It was so frustrating’: Jets’ offense flames out in loss to Southwestern Randolph
SILER CITY — For the second time in nine days, the Jordan-Matthews women’s soccer team fell to non-conference opponent …
Knights, Bears participate in 2nd annual Grady Lawson Memorial Baseball Tournament
RAMSEUR — With high school baseball season just around the corner, fans got an early look at a couple of Chatham teams on …
‘We’ve got their backs’: GoFundMe for Northwood’s Troy Ennis raises over $60K
PITTSBORO — The Northwood community is rallying around one of its own. Over the last week, donations, messages of support and …
Chargers shut out West Carteret in first home playoff game in 11 years, advance to second round
PITTSBORO — As the West Carteret Patriots pushed forward in the first half, fighting for every inch on a third-down play in …
Knights give up first run in 22 days, drop road contest to Forsyth Country Day
LEWISVILLE — Sometimes, you need a wake-up call to bring you back down to earth. Just ask the Knights. The Chatham Charter …
‘There’s something special happening here’: Bears sweep North Moore to remain unbeaten
BEAR CREEK — There’s one sport at Chatham Central that’s flying under the radar this year. And if you’re in Bear Creek, …
Woods Charter Wolves’ record-holder Isabel Pearce wraps up collegiate career at UNCG
GREENSBORO — A little less than four years ago, on the pitch at Woods Charter, the NCHSAA record for most career goals was …
Hot bats in hand, Northwood cruises past East Chapel Hill
PITTSBORO — If you didn’t receive an invite to the Chargers’ hit parade, hosted last Thursday at 310 Northwood High School Road, …
Woods Charter shakes off rust, stifles Cornerstone attack in win
CHAPEL HILL — For student-athletes, returning from spring break isn’t always easy. Players transitioning from relaxing on the …
Banners and sport coats: The end of an era
What most of us hoped was just an April Fools’ joke gone too far turned out to be authentic. After 18 years of memorable moments, …
Chargers’ running game stalls in three-score loss to Panther Creek
PITTSBORO — Lined up in the backfield, Northwood’s Hue Jacobs took the handoff and darted to his left, searching for even the …
Bears recover from walk-off loss, thrash North Rowan on senior night
BEAR CREEK — If you’re going to bounce back from a tough loss, you might as well do it with a bang. Chatham …
Academic ineligibility significantly cuts some CCS team rosters
From working out virtually in the offseason to wearing masks while competing in front of mostly empty bleachers, high school sports …
Northwood prevails against Orange in defensive standoff
PITTSBORO — The Chargers aren’t pretty. They aren’t shooting for style points when they lace up their cleats and take the …
Jets run out of fuel early as Randleman’s Rice collects 10 strikeouts
SILER CITY — It was all fun and games until Sarah Rice showed up on the mound. From there, it was all missed swings, empty bases …
After travel teams’ early success, Siler City Futbol Club planning for fall youth leagues this year
SILER CITY — Local soccer is kicking off in Siler City. Siler City Futbol Club — a non-profit soccer club aiming to “create …
Pollard girls, Horton boys crowned 2020-21 middle school basketball champions
MONCURE — On one side, there was excitement and relief from finishing the inevitable. On the other, pure joy from finally getting …
Jets eliminated in second round on road against Washington
SILER CITY — The Jets’ awe-inspiring year officially came to an anti-climatic end over the weekend. A season that featured …
The Madness of March
I feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t watch college basketball. Every year around this time, that same thought creeps into my …
The struggle to score: Jets shut down Northeastern’s offense, advance to second round
SILER CITY — Many people claim Fort Knox is the most impenetrable place on earth. Northeastern might say it’s whatever goal …
Former Bear finishes as national runner-up in NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships
ST. LOUIS — A former Chatham Central Bear state champion showed out in St. Louis this past weekend. Nick Daggett, a 2017 graduate …
Northwood switches style, trounces Swansboro in first round
PITTSBORO — The Northwood men are moving on to the second round of the playoffs. That’s a sentence you probably could have …
Preview: What Chatham-area teams have a shot at a state soccer title?
CHATHAM COUNTY — The playoffs for men’s soccer — along with men’s and women’s lacrosse — are back this week and two of …
Jets experience turbulent week, lose big to conference powerhouses
SILER CITY — Saying it’s been a rough week for Jets football may be putting it lightly. After a fairly positive start …
Howarth stars in five-goal performance as Wolves handle Southern Wake, 6-2
CHAPEL HILL — If Wednesday night’s soccer game at The Park at Briar Chapel were a television program, it’d be titled …
Northwood blows out Carrboro, loses to Apex ahead of postseason
PITTSBORO — If you’re interested in attending a skills clinic on ball movement, you’d be hard-pressed to find a …
The day sports stood still: March 11, 2020
If you’re a sports fan — and even if you’re not — you remember March 11, 2020. A year ago, sports changed. And it all …
Jets sweep Eastern Randolph with 4-2 victory, eye final PAC 7 title
SILER CITY — Jordan-Matthews is one win away from escaping the PAC 7 2A conference as its final champion. The Jets earned a …
Northwood Chargers fall to unbeaten Weddington in 3A state championship game
CLIMAX — It isn’t time to dust off the key to Northwood’s trophy case just yet. It’ll have to wait another year. The …
Chargers’ women stopped short of title game by unbeaten Asheboro
PITTSBORO — The greatest season for a Northwood women’s sports team has come to an end. For the Chargers, that end felt …
Don’t go toward the Shining Light
If there was ever a near-perfect embodiment of life pre-pandemic versus life mid-pandemic, my Saturday was just that. I got the …
Thunder overcome 7-point deficit to down South Wake in NCHEAC state title game
GREENSBORO — It’s easy to gloss over a league that gets little publicity; one that’s often overshadowed by its …
Final Four bound: Chargers punch first-ever ticket to state semifinals
PITTSBORO — The Chargers continue to add to their historic resume. Northwood punched its ticket to the NCHSAA Women’s 3A Final …
Jets’ comeback falls short against T.W. Andrews in ‘crazy’ season opener
SILER CITY — After a disappointing 2-9 season in 2019, Jordan-Matthews’ main goal for this year was simply to be competitive. …
Chargers’ energy, passion wills them past E.E. Smith and into second round
PITTSBORO — Never underestimate the power of passionate parents. During Northwood’s first-round playoff win, 58-51, over …
‘This is a new era’: Bears navigate challenges, aim to put 1-10 season in rear view mirror
Torn-up turf. Mud-soaked cleats. Bundled-up coaches. Stiff-handed quarterbacks. These are the signs of February football in North …
Chargers relying on talent, depth and team-building to fuel 2020 success
Last season, the Chargers were able to string together an impressive four-game winning streak in the middle of the season, showing …
Jets hope to build on 2019 momentum, improve on 2-9 record in Spencer’s second year
It may not have been the most ideal first season at 2-9, but for Jordan-Matthews’ head coach Sam Spencer, 2019 wasn’t all bad.
Northwood earns commanding win in East Chapel Hill revenge game; playoffs still up in air
PITTSBORO — When you’ve got revenge and a playoff spot on the line, it’s easy to feel motivated. Northwood’s a prime …
Chargers inch closer to perfect regular season with 13-point win over East Chapel Hill
PITTSBORO — It isn’t every year that your team goes undefeated in the regular season. And for Northwood women’s basketball, …
Governors Club’s Bejgrowicz-Lewallen one of 15 selected for PGA leadership path
CHAPEL HILL — Governors Club is well-known for its sprawling 1,600-acre property, its gorgeous landscape and its Jack …
J-M’s Jennah Fadely secures state swimming title with record-breaking performance
CARY — A Chatham County swimmer made history in Cary last week, etching her name into record books and sewing her name onto a …
THRILLER: Chatham Central downs Jordan-Matthews in final seconds during 16-point comeback
BEAR CREEK — The stands may not have been at full capacity, but the energy, excitement and tension of an old Chatham County rivalry …
Jordan-Matthews plans to use first-loss shutout as learning opportunity
SILER CITY — The Jets’ confidence may have been through the roof, but their offense remained trapped beneath …
From South Africa to Miami: Northwood’s Laros commits to FIU
PITTSBORO — His journey took him nearly 8,000 miles from South Africa to Pittsboro. Now, he’s headed an extra 800 to …
Northwood’s Jake Mann, the nation’s top long snapper, commits to Oklahoma
PITTSBORO — The College Football Playoff may soon be adding a little bit of Northwood flair. Charger long snapper and …
Woods Charter practices resilience, earns first win of season against Southern Wake
Sometimes, all it takes is a little practice. Allen Iverson might not care to talk about it, but Taij Cotten doesn’t shy …
Chatham Charter’s offensive prowess, suffocating defense stifles Woods Charter, 87-37
SILER CITY — If the clock continues to run while free throws are being shot, it means one team’s having a good night. The other? …