Saturday 28 Mar 2020

Tim Ray Named Head Football Coach At GHS (AUDIO)


Just weeks prior to the start of the 2018 high school football season, Tim Ray suddenly found himself following in the footsteps of a legendary head coach at a program that is annually surrounded by expectations.

Health concerns forced Elvin James to step down as Goldsboro High School’s head football coach in late July of 2018. Ray was named the interim head coach less than a month before the season started. He guided the Cougars to a 6-6 record and a trip to the second round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2-A state playoffs.

Ray was officially named the head football coach of the Cougars on Wednesday afternoon.

“I never really thought about it as far as the title and everything,” Ray said. “When they approached me last year with Coach James’ situation, I just went ahead and stepped in, and I haven’t really looked back sense. We’ve been moving forward and trying to do everything we could as a program. We have a great coaching staff, and a great support system here at Goldsboro.”

An assistant coach on Goldsboro’s staff in 2017, Ray used his initial experience as a head coach to grow and learn both through success and adversity. The Cougars lost four games by a combined 38 points, including a 19-18 thriller at home to rival Eastern Wayne.

A four game losing streak in October, that included losses to Eastern Plains 2-A Conference powers East Duplin and Wallace-Rose Hill, put Goldsboro’s playoff hopes in jeopardy. The Cougars responded with back-to-back victories and finished the regular season with a record of 5-5.

Goldsboro knocked off South Granville on the road in the first round of the 2-A state playoffs, before running into Wallace-Rose Hill and a loss that ultimately ended the season.

“The biggest thing I think is you can’t teach experience,” Ray said. “The first big game of my head coaching career was the big Eastern Wayne game, where you’re in a tight situation in the last two minutes of the game, and we ended up losing. Those experiences are what I’m building off of. My biggest thing is getting better every day.”

The Cougars lost numerous key pieces off the 2018 roster to graduation. Gone are senior quarterback Brody Morton, standout running back and linebacker Xzavior Bowden, the multidimensional Terrell Valentine and offensive/defensive lineman Jay Watson.

Morton threw for more than 1,700 yards with 15 touchdowns last season. Bowden ran for 1,659 yards with 17 touchdowns. He also finished with 89 tackles and three interceptions.

The good news for Ray and Goldsboro is there’s plenty of returning talent this upcoming season. Rising junior quarterback Jamin Jacobs, who shined on the junior varisty level a year ago, is expected to step in for Morton. Running backs J.B. Rhodes and Isaiah Gray are back for their senior seasons.

Jykeis McLean, a defensive back and receiver that led the team with eight interceptions and 74 solo tackles last season, returns to a defense looking to improve upon the 24 points a game it allowed in 2018. Defensive end Daius Rodgers is expected to anchor the defensive line.

“This third year together as a coaching staff I feel like the expectation is to win,” Ray said. “I believe a lot of our guys are ready. Last year we put the ball into the hands of a lot of juniors. We’re returning a lot of juniors and sophomores, and we have a lot of talent. We have a very coachable group, and a great coaching staff, these guys are ready to work.”

Goldsboro opens the 2019 season on August 23rd at New Bern.

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