Spring sports practice at West Forsyth underway; seasons start later this month

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 13, 2024

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By Jay Spivey 

For the Clemmons Courier

Many of the winter sports in high school athletics across North Carolina, including West Forsyth, are either completed or heading down the home stretches of their respective seasons.  

That means that, despite it being mid-February, spring sports are here. Practice for spring sports officially began on Wednesday. There are nine teams that compete in spring sports at West Forsyth, and many have been doing workouts since school resumed from Christmas break in early January. 

Baseball is under new Coach Kevin McIntosh, who replaced Brad Bullard, who resigned last summer.  

McIntosh played baseball at West Forsyth with Coach Brian Holt until McIntosh graduated in 1996. McIntosh was then an assistant coach with Coach Randy Pope from 2001-13, where he coached Bullard when he was a player. Pope retired after the 2013 season and McIntosh didn’t pursue the head coaching job, but he became an assistant athletic director there with former Athletic Director T.R. Richards.   

“You know, we’ve been working all offseason and getting after it two, three days a week,” McIntosh said. “I think the guys are excited to get started…We’ve got to get ready real quick because we scrimmage on Saturday the 17th. So, three days in and we’re scrimmaging.” 

McIntosh left West Forsyth in 2015 to become the athletic director at Atkins. He left Atkins in 2019 to become the baseball coach at Mount Tabor, a position he held until 2022 with an overall record of 18-23. He resigned from Mount Tabor in 2022. 

“It’s just good to be back home,” McIntosh said. “Both of my kids are going to school here. It’s just a special place.” 

West Forsyth finished 19-9 last season and 10-4 in the Central Piedmont 4-A, losing in the second round of the NCHSAA Class 4-A tournament against Northwest Guilford. McIntosh said there are six seniors returning.  

“Going into the season, I think the time and effort that the guys have put in, and the coaching staff, assistant coaches have put in throughout the season, they’ve got us where we need to be ready to go in. You know, one thing about the CPC is you just jump right into conference play the second week of the season, and we open up with Davie. So, we better be ready.” 

East Forsyth is scheduled to open the regular season on Feb. 26 at Forbush. The regular season is scheduled to end on April 25 at East Forsyth. 

“(The CPC’s) strong because any given night if you don’t bring your A game you take an L,” McIntosh said.  

The West Forsyth softball team had another stellar season last year under longtime Coach Kevin Baity. 

West Forsyth finished 20-4 overall and 13-1 in the Central Piedmont 4-A, losing just once to East Forsyth.  

“I think the girls are very excited,” Baity said. “I’m excited. I’m ready to get rolling.” 

Much like baseball, there isn’t much time to get ready. They also have a scrimmage on Saturday. They lost pitcher Cate Etchason and outfielder Abby Hunter to graduation. 

“I think it’s exciting,” Baity said. “We’ve got the majority of the team back. We only graduated two, two big ones…So, two that been with the program, two that have been fixtures with the program for a while. But we’ve got a lot or returners and they’re excited.” 

With what West Forsyth has returning, it should once again challenge for the Central Piedmont 4-A championship. It is scheduled to open the regular season on Feb. 28 at Elkin in a nonconference game. The first conference game is scheduled March 7 at home against Mount Tabor, and the regular season is scheduled to be completed on April 25 at East Forsyth. 

“Honestly, there’s about four teams in the conference that, on a given night, could win,” Baity said.  

Much like baseball, West Forsyth has a new girls soccer coach, but he’s a familiar face. Jeffrey Williams has taken over for longtime Coach Scott Bilton, who resigned last summer. Williams has been the boys soccer coach at West Forsyth for the previous nine seasons, but he recently resigned that post and will remain the girls coach.  

Williams assisted with the girls from 2011-20, with the exception of 2016 while being an assistant athletic director. Williams, who assisted Bilton on the 2017 NCHSAA Class 4-A state-champion team, last assisted with the girls in 2020, the season COVID-19 ended the season early.  

“It has been great to be back with girls soccer.  I love boys soccer and will miss it dearly,” Williams said. “Summer workouts and camp with boys soccer would see a high percentage of players attending and improving their skills.  We would have vacations, injuries, and sickness to deal with but still a large number of people were available to attend these workouts. We have a lot of moving pieces with girls soccer.   

Many returning players for the girls are involved with other sports.   

“We have soccer players that are in wrestling, basketball, and indoor track.  We also have girls that have been playing and training with their club teams up until this point,” Williams said. “All of those players combine to be upwards of 7-8 veteran soccer players.  Workouts have seen a lot of the younger athletes out.  I’m looking forward to having everyone assembled and being a group.  We should obtain that in a couple of weeks…” 

According to Williams, the Titans graduated 4 seniors — Kate Schaffer, Raegan Williams, Rosa Gonzalez, and Izzy McQueen.

 The West Forsyth girls finished 19-4-1 overall and 13-1 in the conference last season. They are scheduled to open on Feb. 28 with a nonconference game at Northwest Guilford. The first conference game is scheduled for March 13 against Mount Tabor, and the regular season is scheduled to conclude on May 8 at East Forsyth. 

“I would like to think we are one of the favorites to win the conference this year,” Williams said. “East Forsyth, Reagan and Mount Tabor will be very good, and it’s always possible for some of the other schools to be in the mix to win it as well.” 

The West Forsyth girls lacrosse team had an outstanding season last year and they appear in solid position to do that once again this season under Coach Doug Brawley. West Forsyth finished 19-3 overall and 10-2 in the Central Piedmont 4-A.  

Brawley said he has anywhere from seven to eight returning starters back from last year.  

“Right now, we’re working on filling in those losses and determining what I would call role positions – people who (are) second lines of midfielders and people who give other players relief,” Brawley said. “Obviously, at this point in time, no starting position have been earned. They’re all up for grabs.” 

West Forsyth’s lone two losses in the conference last year were against Reynolds, which finished 18-4 and 12-0. 

“Based on the information I have right now I would say those were the two stronger teams,” Brawley said. “I think Reagan is going to be much improved this year, also, and so will Davie.”  

The West Forsyth boys lacrosse team is improving season under Coach Jacob Able. West Forsyth finished 9-8 overall last season and 7-7 in the Central Piedmont 4-A.   

West Forsyth, which lost to Lake Norman in the second round of the NCHSAA Class 4-A tournament last year, is scheduled to open its season on Feb. 27 at home with a conference game against Mount Tabor. The season is scheduled to conclude on April 19 at East Forsyth. 

Sara Cranford is back as the head coach of the boys tennis team at West Forsyth.  

West Forsyth finished 15-3 overall last year and 14-0 in the Central Piedmont 4-A. According to MaxPreps.com, West Forsyth is scheduled to open at home on March 6 against Glenn. The season is scheduled to conclude April 18 at home against East Forsyth.  

The West Forsyth boys golf, coached by Kevin King is scheduled to start the regular season on March 6 with a conference match.  

Nathan Newsome is back as head coach for both the boys and girls track-and-field teams at West Forsyth. 

The boys lost two exceptional athletes to graduation after last season. Tyson Adams, who won the NCHSAA Class 4-A state long-jump championship two weeks ago for the Titans, was named all-conference in boys track-and-field in three events — long jump, 100-meter dash, and 200-meter dash. Also, in boys track-and field, Jaiden Hubbard received all-conference honors in the triple jump and 400-meter dash.