10/15/11 — MOC Meet the Coaches scheduled for Monday

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MOC Meet the Coaches scheduled for Monday

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on October 15, 2011 11:25 PM

Where can you find good food, good conversation and meet All-Americans in one evening?

Give up?

Mount Olive College, of course.

The inaugural "Meet the Coaches Night" dinner, sponsored by Southern Bank, is Monday on the MOC campus. Activities begin at 5 p.m. and those who attend are encouraged to hang around for the annual Green-White basketball scrimmages inside Kornegay Arena.

The dinner is $10, but free to Trojan Club members.

During the past couple of years, school officials used organized luncheons as a chance to introduce club members and the media to the players and coaches. Those in attendance got the opportunity to learn the "inside scoop" about the teams, but Bill Clingan felt something was missing.

However, word about those players' achievements in the classroom and in competition just wasn't getting around.

Clingan, who serves as the Trojan Club executive director, brainstormed and generated support from individuals and businesses within the community to inform the public about MOC -- a "best-kept secret in eastern North Carolina" that's enjoyed success on the national stage in numerous sports.

Thus, the banquet was formed.

Fans can dine with one of 18 intercollegiate varsity teams Monday and meet the people who handle duties behind the scenes. You can register for prizes, talk with any player and coach and get autographs from four All-Americans -- Carter Capps, Michael Knox, Jacob Rogers and Sarah Porter.

Capps, Knox and Rogers helped lead MOC to a third-place tie in the 2011 NCAA Division II College World Series last June. Porter, who hails from Havelock, is busy re-writing the record books in the women's soccer program.

Once you've gotten your belly full, head inside to see two premier basketball teams.

The men's squad is led by a pair of preseason All-American honorable mention recipients -- Derek Staton and Craig Hayes. Staton is a flashy guard who can score from anywhere on the floor. Hayes received a medical redshirt last season, but is ready to bang bodies with the best that other Conference Carolinas teams put on the court this season.

The Trojan women endured key losses to graduation, but signed several quality recruits to hopefully fill those voids. Expect Coach Wendy Lee's team to once again to crash the boards and create an up-tempo pace that will leave opponents gasping for breath.

Come on out, folks.

It's a great opportunity to learn more about MOC athletics -- the players, the coaches and the behind-the-scenes personnel who are not always in the spotlight.