The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local Sports

March 14, 2013

Former North Stanly basketball coach goes for state title

Thursday, March 14, 2013 — When you have been in the media as long as I have, you tend to measure the years by the number of good people that cross your paths, and I have been very fortunate to have known a great deal of quality people in my time as sports editor and as an announcer.

One of those people called me this week and asked if I could deliver a message to a special section of fans here in our county.

He is the former boys’ basketball coach at North Stanly, Leo Brunelli, and his current squad, the J.F. Webb Warriors, will take on Statesville at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday night at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh for the 2013 NCHSAA 3A boys’ championship.

Brunelli wanted me to tell the members of the North Stanly basketball family how important his six years at North were in helping to make him the coach he is today.

“The Comet Crazies are as important to me as Warrior Nation; we had a good base of fans through the good and the bad [at North]” he said.

“I think about all the players that wore Comet blue; those six years are a big part of who I am as a coach today.”

Brunelli also talked about the town of Oxford and its similarities to the North Stanly community, saying that both groups of fans are “hard-working, blue-collar people.”

Coach Brunelli is a coach that for whom professionally and personally I have a great deal of admiration and respect. He does things the right way, and now he has a chance to reach the pinnacle of success for any high school coach: a state championship.

I was proud to associate myself with him calling the games at North, and I am proud to make the trip down to Raleigh on Saturday to show my support for him, along with several other former North assistant coaches and players that are going as well.

Brunelli said that he would love to see a large contingent of North Stanly fans at the game.

So would I.

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