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West Columbus basketball coach Michael Powell stays put; Ashley football set for take off

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CERRO GORDO, NC (WWAY) -- We have an update on the dean of high school basketball coaches for our region. Michael Powell has been the head boys basketball coach at West Columbus for 27 years. He also served as an assistant principal at West Columbus the last three years. The Columbus County School Board at their July meeting re-assigned Powell to be the assistant principal at arch-rival East Columbus. Needless to say, the new job assignment did not go over well with the veteran coach. Powell petitioned to be re-assigned back to West Columbus. Earlier this week that wish was granted by the board; therefore, Powell gets his former assistant principal job back at West Columbus. It's a bit fuzzy on whether he'll continue coaching at West Columbus, but we anticipate that will likely happen.

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Follow our sports on Twitter at @WWAYSports

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Mike Propst is the new Ashley head football coach, but he's certainly no stranger to being a head coach. Propst has worn a whistle around his neck for 24 years. "This will be my 14th year as a head coach and I've been at Ashley for 3 years," Propst told us on Wednesday morning. Being at Ashley is nothing new, like I told the kids when I got the job a lot of things will be the same, a lot will be different because football is still football, blocking and tackling and getting in shape and that's what we'll focus on."

In a way Mike Propst and the Screaming Eagles will be fighting history and an uphill battle. In 12 years of varsity football, there's only been one winning season at Ashley. That was 10 years ago, and it's been 7 years since a post-season berth. Senior Alex Highsmith says post-season play is definitely within reach. "Playoffs definitely, winning season too," Highsmith said., "I'd love to see it. It would be good for the school, good for the community to see us make the playoffs. What will it take to get in? Hard work, we have a limited number of people, but hard work."

The Screaming Eagles will try to unveil a brand new offense and a new defensive scheme this season. As much as the players and head coach Mike Propst want everything to click overnight, they know it'll take time.

"it's a process. It's a journey, not a destination," Propst added. "We keep talking about that. We're very inexperienced, we know that as far kids who have played on a Friday night, but I look at that in a positive way because I have a blank slate. We're trying to create in an image in a way we'd like for it to be done, and again that's tough, hard-nosed good old fashioned football."

Ashley face Wallace-Rose Hill on August 15th at Legion Stadium at the BB&T Jamboree. Ashley will open the regular season on the road on August 22nd against Hoke County.

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Dixie Youth Belles Softball World Series

Burgaw, NC vs. Louisiana

Wednesday's championship game was rained out. It'll be played on Thursday instead.

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Follow our sports on Twitter at @WWAYSports

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