Sports Profile

Andy Hepler: Strength and Conditioning Trainer - Gym Owner

THOMASVILLE - Andy Hepler always worked out on his own as an athlete at East Davidson. Little did he know, he would one day make a living helping others work out at his own gym, Hepler Strength and Conditioning, located at 1064 National Highway in Thomasville.  

“When my oldest daughter was in high school, some of her friends were football players,” said Hepler. “When they found out I was lifting and training, they came over and started working out with me in the backyard. They told their friends about it and two or three became six or seven, and then nine or ten. I thought maybe I could get something going with this. I had a full-time job, so I was looking to do something part time.”

Andy Hepler: Strength and Conditioning Trainer - Gym Owner

Dale Odom: Davidson County Legion Post 8 Choppers Softball Head Coach

THOMASVILLE – Davidson County softball is rich in tradition. Softball flourishes in nearly every corner of the county and the list of household names who made an impact locally before going off to a big-time college grows longer with each passing year. 

Unfortunately, the old adage of too much of a good thing never applied to softball. Unlike baseball, where local athletes can showcase their talents in front of home crowds during the summer, softball virtually disappears once school lets out. Girls often gravitate to traveling teams and spend their summer traversing the state with very few, if any at all, stops in the area.

Dale Odom: Davidson County Legion Post 8 Choppers Softball Head Coach

Mary Nebrich: An Elite West Davidson High School High Jumper

TYRO – Mary Nebrich’s high flying track career nearly never got off the ground. Long before the West Davidson High School (WDHS) senior star became the top ranked high jumper in the state, a ninth-grade hip injury left Nebrich wondering if she ever would fly as high as her coach thought she could do. 

Three years after her abbreviated introduction to the sport, Nebrich has cleared both physical and mental hurdles on her way to becoming the person to be beat in the high jump.

“In the moments leading up to the injury, I was really enjoying the high jump,” said Nebrich, “I was having fun until it happened, then I was devastated. I never thought I would get to the point where I am. I never had that confidence but this season has really been exciting. I never saw it in my future.”

Mary Nebrich: An Elite West Davidson High School High Jumper

Rob Shore: Local Legion and High School Baseball Coach

From the time his father introduced him to the sport at a very young age until now, Shore, 41, has played and taught the game with a cool and calm demeanor that masks a burning desire to win and mold young players into community leaders. 

“Ever since I can remember I’ve had a baseball in my hand,” said Shore. “My dad was a baseball player growing up and he just loved the game so it kind of transferred over to me. We were always out throwing, hitting, and watching the [Atlanta] Braves on TV. It was natural for me just to fall in love with the game of baseball. “

Rob Shore: Local Legion and High School Baseball Coach

Doug Robertson: Thomasville High School Varsity Head Football Coach

THOMASVILLE - Doug Robertson hasjoined Thomasville High School (THS) as the bulldog’s new, varsity head football coach. Robertson resides in Reidsville with his wife Erin, daughter Taylor, and son Tate, who will be making the forty-mile trip with dad in the fall to attend Thomasville City Schools. 

Robertson learned what hard work was all about growing up on a farm. Due to his responsibilities on the farm, he was not able to play youth sports. He attended Reidsville High School (RHS) and played football at RHS under Mark Barnes, for one year, and Jimmy Teague, for his final three years. He also was a member of the track team. 

Doug Robertson: Thomasville High School Varsity Head Football Coach

Zane Hepler: Thomasville High School Wrestling State Champion

THOMASVILLE - Trying to explain wrestling to anyone new to the sport often takes time and patience. That’s why trying to draw a comparison to the unde-feated 50-0 season that Thomasville High School junior Zane Hepler just pulled off seems down-right impossible. Hepler is the 2018 NCHSAA 2A 113-pound State Champion, a feat that is difficult enough to achieve on its own. Hepler has done it in a world-class fashion by wrestling 50 straight matches without a loss; that’s like getting into a fight with 50 people whose main objective is to knock you off the top of the mountain and never losing a single one of them. There are high school wrestlers who are considered successful and never reach 50 career wins, and Hepler has accomplished it in a single season. 

Kevin Berkley: North Davidson High School Softball Head Coach

Kevin Berkley is stepping into some pretty big shoes. In the world of sports, being the person who takes over for a legend often is a difficult scenario for any new and aspiring coach. When it comes to North Davidson High School softball, however, being the person who takes over at Mike Lambros Field can feel pretty intimidating. As unfortunate circumstances would have it that is where Berkley finds himself as the Lady Black Knights set out to defend their state championship.

Justin Branham: A Special Olympian With A Gold Medal Heart

When Justin Branham was a young boy, he told his mom, Tonya, she could have his Special Olympic gold medals. When she asked why, he told her they could melt down the medals and sell the gold to help pay the family’s medical bills. This is a window into the gold medal heart this young man has.

“At about age three Justin was diagnosed with atypical delayed ADHD and high functioning autism,” said Tonya. “I wanted Justin to participate in something he could be successful and excel in. All parents want to see their children shine and every person needs to feel wanted and needed. In Special Olympics, through his equestrian involvement, he feels like he belongs.”

Austin Beck: Former North Davidson High School Athlete

WELCOME - Austin Beck had a pretty good idea early on that baseball could possibly take him somewhere. Blessed with rare physical tools, Beck normally stood out from other players, and his age and play on the field only reaffirmed his potential. Ability alone may have been enough to help Beck achieve his boyhood dream of making it to the major leagues, but the North Davidson High School (NDHS) alum wasn’t leaving anything to chance. Beck combined his natural talent with a dedicated focus on hard work, while learning along way that the game he loved was one of failure and perseverance.

Austin Beck: Former North Davidson High School Athlete

Hannah Cranford: South Davidson High School Athlete

DENTON - This past May, Hannah Cranford decided to stop playing AAU basketball to focus on her running. Her events are the 800, 1600 and sometimes the 3200. It may turn out to be the best decision of her young athletic career. Many colleges recruited Cranford. She has decided to run for Campbell University this fall.

Hannah Cranford: South Davidson High School Athlete

Sidney Cecil: Central Davidson High School Director of Athletics

LEXINGTON – Sidney Cecil is passionate about his family, his community, and Central Davidson High School (CDHS) Spartan sports. Cecil landed his position as athletic director at CDHS after coaching stops at South Davidson Middle School (SDMS) and Oak Grove Middle School (OGMS). This is Cecil’s first year at CDHS and working in a high school environment. He acknowledged that he has had many mentors along the way and wants to provide the same support for students at CDHS.

Sidney Cecil: Central Davidson High School Director of Athletics