Clinton’s Brad Spell selected as coach in 2016 All-Star game

By: By Mike Carter - Sports Writer

By Mike Carter

Sports Writer

Brad Spell watches intently from the sideline during a game last season. Spell watches intently from the sideline during a game last season.

Clinton High School mens’ soccer coach Brad Spell has been named head coach of the East team for the 2016 NC Coaches Association East/West All Star match next July in Greensboro.

Spell has spent 17 years at the helm of CHS Soccer, developing the Dark Horse program into a perennial contender in the 2-A ranks of North Carolina high school soccer. He took the reins of Dark Horse soccer and immediately showed signs of promise.

“We won the first match I coached and then proceeded to drop 25 straight matches before we got our second win,” said Spell earlier this week. “Those were some lean times.”

Over his 17 years Spell has compiled a 209-133-20 overall record with the Dark Horses, winning conference championships in 2010 and 2012 in the East Central Conference and in 2013 in the Four County Conference. Spell has been honored as Sampson County Coach of the Year five times, Conference Coach of the Year four times, and Region Coach of the Year three times.

Spell was shocked to receive the most recent honor.

“When Phil Weaver called to tell me I had been chosen, I asked him if it was some sort of joke,” the coach said. “This is something that you hope will happen as a coach and I consider it a huge honor to get this opportunity.”

The East-West All Star match is held on Tuesday night during the week coinciding with the NCCA Coaches Clinic held annually in July at UNC Greensboro. The 2016 match will be played on Tuesday, July 19, at the UNC Greensboro soccer stadium.

As part of the duties of the All Star team coach, Spell will be charged with selecting the players for the East team.

“We will be given a pool consisting of players from all four classifications (1-A, 2-A, 3-A and 4-A) in the eastern part of the state that earn all state honors this season to choose the team from, I believe we can select 18 players,” said Spell.

During his time at CHS, Spell has had the privilege of coaching three all-state players, Tyler Strickland, Jose Gallegos and Luis Aguilar, but none of his players have been selected to play in the all star game.

The NCCA added soccer to their All-Star Week lineup in 1992. Since that time the matches have proved to be very entertaining for fans. On six occasions, five or more goals have been scored in the all-star matches. Most player participants have competed in college and several have played soccer professionally.

As with football and basketball, the games serve as a significant showcase for the best players, coaches and officials in the state of North Carolina.