06/20/09 — Brad Matthews named softball Coach of the Year

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Brad Matthews named softball Coach of the Year

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on June 20, 2009 11:16 PM

Brad Matthews does not see himself as a hands-on manager who orchestrated wins through his decision making.

Instead, he sees himself as a conductor who merely presided over a band of excellent musicians.

In his second season with Charles B. Aycock, Matthews led the Golden Falcons to the N.C. High School Athletic Association eastern regional championship and a berth in the final four. For his efforts, Matthews has been named the 2009 News-Argus All-Area Softball Coach of the Year.

"No coach ever wins without a great team," said Matthews. "And the same is true for me. The players deserve all the credit."

The Golden Falcons accumulated a 26-4 overall record that included an Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference regular-season title. Assigned the top seed in the conference tournament, C.B. Aycock suffered a semifinal-round loss to county rival Southern Wayne.

The defeat forced the Golden Falcons to refocus and prepare for the playoffs.

"You never want to lose, but honestly that may have been the best thing for us," said Matthews. "We ran into a team that was hot at the time and we didn't hit a ball hard all night."

Once the postseason began, Aycock dispatched each opponent on the way to Walnut Creek. The Golden Falcons blanked Dudley 6-0, eliminated 2008 state champion South Central, outlasted Washington 1-0 and bumped No. 1-ranked D.H. Conley in the east semifinals.

Aycock dominated Triton 4-1 in the regional final behind a strong pitching effort from all-ECC performer Cynthia Burroughs. The Golden Falcons fell to eventual state champion Southwestern Randolph and had their season end with a loss to T.C. Roberson.

"We had a great run and the girls really did a great job of coming together as a team," said Matthews. "The team chemistry was great this season."

C.B. Aycock's chemistry almost resembles a family atmosphere. Coaching with his father Lavon, Brad Mathews stressed the team concept above individuality.

"Having my dad around as an assistant was really fun this season," said Matthews. "My dad never had any daughters, but this spring it was like he had 14 of them. I know that both my dad and I are already looking forward to next season."