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High school notebook: Wake coaches keep their heads up

Wake County Schools head football coaches and certified athletic trainers will be taught the latest techniques and safety procedures Thursday when USA Football’s Heads Up Football program conducts a daylong program at N.C. State’s Wendell Murphy Center.

Deran Coe, the Wake senior administrator for athletics, expects the head coaches of the system’s 21 high schools and 31 middle schools, plus the head athletic trainer from each school, at the clinic.

“Keeping our athletes safe is the top priority always,” Coe said. “This program is nationally recognized and endorsed and we wanted to make sure our coaches and athletic trainers have the opportunity for the most up-to-date techniques.”

The program teaches tackling techniques that reduce helmet contact and addresses proper equipment fit, heat preparedness and hydration, and other elements of player safety. USA Football is the national governing body for the sport.

Wake is the first school district in North Carolina to adopt the program.

Burt signs fast: D.J. Burt’s high school graduation came with a $200,000 pay day last week.

Burt was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the fourth round on Friday, hours after he received his high school diploma from Fuquay-Varina High. He accepted the six-figure signing bonus and flew out Monday for camp in Arizona.

“It’s crazy getting picked so early,” Burt said. “It worked out good, though.”

Burt played shortstop for Fuquay-Varina this spring and hit .423 with four home runs.

He expects to play this summer in Burlington.

“Like my family said, I just got blessed and couldn’t have done it without the Lord,” Burt said. “He just blessed me and my family.”

Also drafted were former Holly Springs pitcher Carlos Rodon of N.C. State, by the Chicago White Six in the first round; former Green Hope pitcher Max Povse of UNC Greensboro, by the Atlanta Braves in the third round; former South Johnston pitcher Logan Jernigan, of N.C. State, in the 15th round by the San Diego Padres; and Wakefield product Vance Vizcaino, who played one year at Tennessee and this past season at Glendale Community College in Arizona, by the Royals in the 29th round.

Reid honored: Cardinal Gibbons graduate Morgan Reid was one of two North Carolina girls named to the National Soccer Coaches of America Association All-America team. Reid was the North Carolina Gatorade player of the year.

She also helped the Crusaders to a 21-2-2 record this spring with both losses to state 3A champion Chapel Hill.

“I think we were really close to Chapel Hill,” Reid said. “They beat us twice, and we beat them once. When we played Chapel Hill in the playoffs, I thought the winner was going to win the state title, and that’s the way it worked out.”

Reid recently participated in the U.S. Soccer U-20 women’s camp.

The other North Carolinian on the all-America team was Cornelius Hough keeper Marnie Merritt, a Mississippi recruit.

The NSCAA All-South team included Reid, Holly Springs’ Dominique Babbitt, Carrboro’s Emma Houser, Millbrook’s Caylin Boch, Chapel Hill’s Alex Kimball and Wakefield’s Kat McDonald.

Love learns: Wake Forest running back Bryce Love said he learned some things and made some friends last weekend during the Rivals 100 Five-Star Challenge in Baltimore.

Love reported for the workouts on Friday morning with 101 other high school football athletes. He was the only senior from North Carolina who was selected to the camp.

“I think I did pretty well,” Love said. “During the 7-on-7s, I scored two or three times.”

Love has more than 20 scholarship offers and is receiving extensive recruiting attention, but he said the attention is not bothering him.

“The recruiting really hasn’t been a problem,” he said. “I am just trying to learn about the schools and make an informed college decision.”

He visited N.C. State and the University of North Carolina recently and plans to visit Tennessee, Florida and Georgia this summer. He may make visits to Maryland and Virginia Tech.

Love hopes to have a small list of schools by the end of the summer and make his decision during the fall. A pulled groin muscle hindered his play at the end of the 2012 season, and he missed much of the 2014 spring track season, although he did run on Wake Forest’s 4×100 relay and ran a 4.3 40 at a workout in Washington, D.C.

He expects to attend Nike’s The Opening in Beaverton, Ore., July 7-10.

J. Mike Blake contributed to this story

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