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Southern Nash is wasting no time launching many of its spring sports seasons as the varsity baseball, softball, girls soccer and boys tennis teams are in action Wednesday, the first day North Carolina High School Athletic Association member schools can begin their seasons.
Southern Nash baseball and softball teams visit Smithfield-Selma with starting times of 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively, while the Ladybirds host SouthWest Edgecombe in soccer at 4:30 p.m. and the Firebirds welcome Cleveland to the tennis courts at 4 p.m.
The Firebirds of head coach Todd Brewer will host Smithfield-Selma in their home opener Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. Southern Nash is coming off a 14-11 season in 2018 as the Firebirds finished third in the 3-A Big East Conference with a 6-4 mark.
The Ladybirds softball team of head coach Scott Collie head to Bunn on Thursday for a 4:30 p.m. start before welcoming SSS in the home opener Friday at 5 p.m.
Southern Nash won the Big East regular-season and tournament championships last spring in Collie’s second season at the helm. The Ladybirds exited in the second round of the state playoffs with a 22-5 mark and return starting players Carrigan Ewers, Elisabeth Collie, Taylor Bailey, Alissa Bailey, Kierstin Cooper and Caroline Winstead.
The girls soccer team only has one match this week but will play three times next week, including an appearance at The Brittany XV at Gillette Soccer Complex in Wilson. Southern Nash is scheduled to face Camden County at 4 p.m. on Field No. 7 in the final round of action Saturday, March 9.
The Ladybirds have nonconference matches Monday and Tuesday at home against Louisburg and Cleveland, respectively.
As always, there will be presentation of Sportsmanship Awards to a player from each team in every game following each round of games both days.
The Firebirds of longtime head coach Brad Joyner also get the week off after Wednesday’s opener but Southern Nash returns with three matches next week, starting with a home match Monday, March 4, against North Johnston. The Firebirds visit Cleveland on Tuesday, March 5, and Nash Central on Thursday, March 7.
The track and field teams will hold their first meet Monday, March 4, at East Wake High in Wendell. The Firebirds and Ladybirds will compete in the Scott Jones Memorial Classic as presented by The Wilson Times on Monday, April 15, at Nash Central High.
Finally, the Firebirds golf team tees off its season Monday, March 11, in a Big East match at Willow Springs Country Club in Wilson.
FOOTBALL SCHEDULES IN PLACE
Southern Nash athletic director Robbie Kennedy confirmed the Firebirds will have four new nonconference football matchups in 2019 against Warren County, Greenville Rose, Jacksonville Northside and South Granville.
The Firebirds, who retain Nash Central and Bunn, dropped Cary Green Hope, West Johnston, Jacksonville White Oak and Wake Forest.
Southern Nash will kick off its season Aug. 23 at home against Warren County of the 1-A/2-A Northern Carolina Conference with home games against Nash Central on Aug. 29 and Bunn on Sept. 6 to follow. The Firebirds will visit South Granville on Sept. 13 before coming back home to play Rose on Sept. 20. The final nonconference game is Sept. 27 at Northside of the 3-A Coastal Conference.
After a week off, Big East play begins Oct. 11 at Fike, followed by games against Northern Nash (home), Hunt (away), Rocky Mount (away) and Franklinton (home).