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area sports briefs

atesville High has a new girls basketball coach two weeks before practice officially starts. Athletic director Bobby Morrison announced that principal Larry Rogers selected Adrienne Long, a math teacher at Statesville High, as the new head coach for the Greyhounds for the 2011-12 season.
The Greyhounds had a rough season last year. Statesville struggled to win both nonconference and conference games and did not qualify for the 3A state playoffs.
ěI do feel it could be a challenge, but coming in as a new coach is always a challenge anyway,î Long said.
Long and Morrison already had a meeting to go over what he expects of the Greyhoundsí new coach. Long met Tuesday with about 40 potential players to talk about the upcoming season. She said the number exceeded what she expected.
The Greyhounds are behind a lot of girls basketball teams in the state right now in terms of offseason workouts. Long said she wishes the Greyhounds could have had open gym sessions. She added they will make the best of it because Statesville is ěstarting over from scratch.î
Long takes over for Todd Jones, who has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation, according to a voicemail message to the R&L sports department by Iredell-Statesville Schools Public Relations Director Dawn Creason. Creason was unavailable for further comment Tuesday.
Morrison said he has not heard anything about a potential midseason return by Jones.
Principal Rogers chose Long from a field of less than five finalists. The field included candidates inside and outside Iredell County. Morrison said one reason Rogers selected Long is that she currently teaches at Statesville.
Long has previous coaching experience. She coached JV girls basketball at Statesville in 2004-05 and did the same the following season at Bunker Hill. Long was also the varsity softball coach at Newton-Conover is 2008. She returned to teach at Statesville in fall 2009.
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