Earl Smith and Kevin Motsinger both relishing state championship opportunity

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) — In August 376 teams began their quest for a state title. now only 16 teams remain, two of which we’ve been following along with all season long. Championship week is now underway and it all started at the home of the NC State Wolfpack.

The Wallace-Rose Hill Bulldogs and New Hanover Wildcats sit in special positions that more than 300 other teams would love to be in.

For the Bulldogs, it’s almost old hat. This is ninth time since 1994 and their third in a row. But for Coach Kevin Motsinger, this one has an extra special feeling.

“Six months ago I was in an ambulance heading to Chapel Hill to try and save my life and fix my legs and arms,” Coach Motsinger said. “Now we’re getting on two white dragons and heading to Chapel Hill to try and battle again. But this one is for fun, the other one is for real. Great group of kids, as special as I’ve been around. It’s just sad that we don’t get more time together.”

The trip to the state title game is just as special for New Hanover, just for different reasons.

Since the modern era starting in 1972, no Wildcat team has been in this spot until now. New Hanover has the chance to represent their school, their city, their conference and hopefully the state as champions.

“It’s something that doesn’t happen very often,” Coach Earl Smith said. “It’s been a long season. We started back in May and the guys have hung in there. We’ve been through our trials and tribulations and injuries. Here we are and hopefully we show up Saturday and do what we need to do to win it.”

Stay tuned to WWAY Sports all week as we get you ready for the state finals this weekend.

Categories: Sports