The Student Voice of The Crusaders

The Gibbons Globe

The Gibbons Globe

The Gibbons Globe

Gibbons Welcomes Three New Sports: Girls Wrestling, Boys Volleyball, and Girls Flag Football


Even though club teams and other organized leagues outside of school offer many athletic opportunities for students, the benefit of playing on your high school’s team cannot be understated.

The North Carolina High School Athletics Association (NCHSAA) is the governing body over high school athletics for many of the schools in our state, including Cardinal Gibbons.

For a sport to be sanctioned, which means regulated with an official state championship, it must have a certain level of interest. 

Gibbons is in the process of offering three new sports that are gaining interest: girls wrestling, which was recently sanctioned by the NCHSAA, as well as girls flag football and boys volleyball.

Girls Wrestling

The first NCHSAA girls wrestling state championships are this season. Gibbons has had a few female wrestlers, including a conference champion. We’ll have more on her and the growth of this sport in an article at a later date.

Boys Volleyball 

According to and, boys volleyball is the fastest-growing high school sport in the country and even goes as far as to say that boys’ high school volleyball numbers have increased by 40 percent since 2017. Currently, in North Carolina, there are over 47 schools that have a boys volleyball team, and in the Triangle alone there are close to 20 schools with a roster for this upcoming season. 

Ben Coley, senior boys volleyball team member at Cary Academy, stated that the boys volleyball tournaments in the Wake County area are very competitive and have some of the best players across the state. 

The North Carolina Boys Volleyball Association (NCBVA) currently operates as the host for all the volleyball teams in the state. The association has been around since 2016 and will be in its seventh season this upcoming spring. So far, they have crowned five state champions in each of their three divisions: gold, silver, and bronze. The state tournament is held each year in May and the top 16 teams across the state are invited to participate. 

According to athletic director Tonya Holmes, the idea of a boys volleyball team here at Gibbons is a recent development. 

“It will be a club sport at first…we are hoping as volleyball for boys grows in North Carolina we will have an official team in the near future,” Holmes said. 

Tryouts for the boys volleyball team will begin mid-February and the expectation is that Gibbons will be able to host boys volleyball events against other schools in our area to grow interest. Holmes expects the team to participate in weekend tournaments throughout the spring season and hopefully have the opportunity to participate in the state tournament. 

The varsity women’s head coach, Logan Barber, will be leading this team.

The team already had its first interest meeting earlier this past November and so far 25 boys are interested in playing. This came as a surprise for Coach Holmes, as she did not expect there to be this high of an attraction this soon. Gavin Banez (Class of 2025), who attended the meeting noticed that there were a lot of people who had previously played the sport.

“Everyone seemed very passionate about the sport and invested in the team,” said Banez.

Girls Flag Football

In addition to boys volleyball, Gibbons is introducing girls flag football as one of the many sports offered to participate in this year. The team will be coached by Nick Drew, a member of the boys football coaching staff, and Porschia Holmes, a girls junior varsity basketball coach.Gibbons is the 20th team in Wake County expected to participate in this league along with schools such as Athens Drive, Panther Creek, Willow Springs, Green Hope, and many more. 

Even though the fundamentals of the sport are relatively the same, girls flag football has some very differing rules from gridiron football that individualize the sport from the other in some interesting ways. Rushing the quarterback in gridiron football is not heavily regulated. As long as players do not commit a penalty against the offensive linemen or the quarterback, they are free to rush anytime they want. Rushing the quarterback in flag football however is heavily restricted and there is only one permitted rusher that is not allowed to move beyond a specified seven-yard barrier. In gridiron football, players are allowed to use their hands and arms to create separation or avoid a tackle from a defender. In flag football, players are not permitted to use their arms or hands to get away from a defender or to guard their flags. 

Along with the rules, the structure of the Gibbons girls flag football season will look completely different compared to the traditional football schedule that most are probably accustomed to. Instead of playing a single game every week for an extended time, the girls will participate in two separate weekends of regular season play located at Athens Drive High School, where they will face off against multiple teams from across the area.

The girls played their first three games of the season on Jan. 27 against Rolesville, Heritage, and East Wake High School, going 3-0. The following weekend on Saturday, Feb. 3, they will play against another three teams from around the area to officially close out their regular season.

In the final weekend of the season, all Wake County teams will play for the championship title nicknamed the “SupHERbowl.” This event will take place on Saturday, Feb. 10. 

Coach Drew, Coach Holmes, and the entire team are excited to start their inaugural season and compete against other teams throughout the state. Both Drew and Holmes have high expectations for the team this season – an undefeated season and championship title at the top of their list.

According to Drew, pretty much every sport is represented on the team, including basketball, field hockey, lacrosse, track, soccer, tennis, cross country, and many others. 

This new opportunity for female athletes was partially made possible by the Carolina Panthers, who donated a $50,000 grant to Wake County Schools in hopes of creating more sports-related options for female student-athletes to participate in. Flag football has already been introduced in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County school system, Cabarrus County school system, and Union County school system, where participation has grown exponentially since it was first implemented. With the addition of Wake County, the total number of schools participating in the sport across the state will have well exceeded 50 schools. The sport is expected to reach the overall number of schools needed to officially sanction the sport into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. 

“I am most excited about the girls being able to play a different sport that they have not been able to play in years past and seeing them winning the whole thing because I know they are going to win the whole thing,” Coach Drew said.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Blair Mitchell
Blair Mitchell, Reporter
Hey, my name is Blair Mitchell. I am a Junior and this is my first year working with the Gibbons Globe. As a freelance sports reporter for the Chatham News and Record, I have been involved in writing and journalism for quite some time and it has always been an interest of mine. I am excited to help share stories about our Gibbons community this year.