East-West: Bryant, Vanhoose in all-star games

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 6, 2023

Staff report

SALISBURY — Salisbury graduate Kyla Bryant (basketball) and West Rowan graduate Brittany Vanhoose (soccer) are preparing to play in the NCHSAA East-West All-Star Games that have been a summer tradition since 1949.

The games were begun that year to help finance the North Carolina Coaches Association coaching clinic.

The games had an exciting concept, the best graduating seniors from the eastern half of North Carolina competing against their counterparts from the west in boys basketball (at Guilford College) and in football (at Jamieson Stadium).

The football game has never left 11,000-seat Jamieson Stadium at Grimsley High, but the basketball game has moved a few times. In 1954, it moved to the new gym at Greensboro High. In 1960, it headed to the Greensboro Coliseum and found a permanent home.

In 1965, Broughton’s Pete Maravich scored 42 points in the East-West basketball game and elevated the amount of attention the game received. He teamed with UNC recruits Rusty Clark and Bill Bunting as that East team became the first to break 100 points in the game.

In 1966, Catawba College recruit Garland Davis helped integrate the East-West basketball game and was the standout.

In 1975, girls basketball was added to East-West week.

In 1992, girls and boys soccer games were added to the menu. They played first at the UNC Greensboro soccer stadium, but moved to MacPherson Stadium at Bryan Park, in Browns Summit, north of Greensboro, in 2015.

This summer’s games will include 176 players, 24 coaches, eight athletic trainers, 17 officials and a number of cheerleaders.

Monday’s basketball doubleheader starts with the girls game at 6 p.m.

Bryant will be in that one and will team with former opponents such as Shelby’s Ally Hollyfield and Forest Hills’ Jamyah Blakeney on the West squad.

Jennifer Baker, a former A.L. Brown coach, now coaches North Meck and is the assistant coach for the West team.

The East squad includes two players from the Rocky Mount team that West Rowan beat in the 3A state championship game.

In the boys basketball game, Jaiden Thompson will be in action. He played for the undefeated Central Cabarrus team that won the 3A championship and was coached by Jim Baker.

Baker, a North Rowan and Catawba graduate, recently was named as Male Coach of the Year for North Carolina high school athletics by High School OT.

The soccer doubleheader is set for Tuesday, July 18, at MacPherson Stadium. The girls game is at 6:30 p.m.

The West girls roster includes Vanhoose, Concord’s Sophia Guerrerio and Davie’s Avery Yount.

East Davidson’s Luis Lopez will play for the West in the boys all-star game, scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

The all-star football game will be played on Wednesday, July 19. Kickoff is at 8 p.m.

No Rowan players are in the game, which is unusual. Area players include A.L. Brown’s Christian Hopper, Northwest Cabarrus’ Khamani White-Carr and Davie’s William Purvis and Brodie Smith.

This will be the last July East-West football game for the foreseeable future.

The game will be shifting to December this year for the seniors in the Class of 2024, with the game being played the weekend following the state championships.

The hope is that more of the top players will be available before they enroll in college.

Players are nominated to participate by their high school coaches and are selected for the  games by the head coaches of the all-star teams.