Archive for May 31st, 2006

Wall lands Crest job

May 31, 2006

John Wall is the new boys basketball coach at Crest High. He’s a good man who I think will do a great job. Here’s a sneak peek at the article that will appear in Wednesday’s Star.

Randy Capps
It’s a long way from Salisbury, and it’s been a long time since John Wall followed his dad around a basketball court, flicking jumpers at open baskets while Coach Glenn Wall ran practices.

A journey began there, however, and the latest step on that path came Tuesday in the Crest High library where, in front of his parents and other family members, he accepted the boys’ varsity basketball coaching job at Crest High School.

“This is an opportunity I’ve dreamed of since I was a little gym rat running around and following dad’s basketball practices,” he said. “He’s coached ever since I can remember growing up. This is an opportunity I’ve dreamed of and I’m going to do everything I can to make the best of it.”

Wall spent last season guiding the varsity girls’ squad to a 14-12 record, and the seven before that coaching under the man he’s following, Bill Ellis, as an assistant on the varsity level and a head coach on the JV girls and boys’ squads.

“We’ll probably have a few more dunks this year,” Wall joked about the difference between coaching the boys and girls’ teams. “Whether they’re boys or girls, young men or young ladies, I expect them to be on time. I expect them to do the things I ask them to do. I expect them to be good people off the floor and I expect them to produce on the floor.”

Crest High principal Roger Harris, while impressed with Wall’s coaching credentials, is more interested in his background as an educator.

“Sports are important to us at Crest High School, but nothing is more important than instruction in the classroom,” Harris said. “John Wall is an outstanding educator and a strong instructional leader. He’s a determined coach. He demands the best from himself and his players. That’s what we want at Crest High School. We want a team player, we want a man of honor, we want a man of integrity.”

Wall favors an up-tempo style, much like Ellis and former Crest High coach Ed Peeler, and he believes that using that style – and keeping touch with the program’s tradition – will be keys to being successful.

“Our basketball program is rich in tradition, most notably (former N.C. State and professional standout) David Thompson and Coach Ed Peeler,” Wall said. “I hope to be able to continue to build this program and maintain a well-respected and successful program that Crest High School and the community can be proud of.”

Wall, the fourth new varsity boys’ basketball coach in the county in the past two years, also plans to continue the Chargers’ recent success in conference play.

“I’m looking forward to going to battle with those two teams (Big South 4A rivals) Ashbrook and East Gaston),” he said. “Hopefully, it will come down to that last ballgame, where we’re playing to get that automatic bid. The sure way to get into the playoffs is to win the 4A and get that automatic bid, and obviously that’s our goal.”

Toward the end of Tuesday’s press conference, Dion Malachi – David Thompson’s nephew and Charger basketball standout – congratulated Wall on becoming the new head coach and told him that he and his teammates were “ready to work.”

Practice, after all, makes perfect.