North Buncombe rising senior Carson Jones hopes that Apex Middle Creek baseball players know what they are getting.
The shortstop sure knows what the Black Hawks are losing.
Fourth-year coach Wesley King informed the three-time reigning Mountain Athletic Conference 3-A champions on Tuesday morning that he is resigning to take a job in the Raleigh area.
King compiled a 76-36 record during his time at North Buncombe, including a 22-4 mark this spring. The Black Hawks went 11-1 in MAC regular-season games, and King was named the MAC Coach of the Year.
“We knew from Day One that there was not a coach out there who could care more about us,” said Jones, an All-MAC selection who has committed to Appalachian State.
“He lived at that field and spent so many hours on it. He did everything for us. Of course, it’s frustrating to lose someone like coach King, but I feel like he is going to be a winner wherever he goes.”
Middle Creek won the NCHSAA 4-A championship in 2012, and its former coach, Jeremy Thompson, is now the school’s athletic director.
“I haven’t slept much,” King said.
“I have been dreading this talk (to the North Buncombe players). It’s very difficult to leave here. But this is an opportunity I’ve always dreamed about, to coach at the 4-A level, and it fell into my lap. The next coach here is going to walk into a great situation with 13 players coming back. The cupboard is not bare at all.”
King’s first team at North Buncombe (2010) went 12-14, but former Black Hawks standout Cody Geyer set a NCHSAA record for career home runs (45) that year.
Geyer is now a minor-league player in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization.
North Buncombe’s MAC 3-A baseball title in 2011 was its first in the sport since 1996. A year later, the Black Hawks were swept in the best-of-three 3-A Western Regional series by eventual state champion Weddington.
In addition to the product on the field, King oversaw numerous enhancements to the Black Hawks’ stadium, ranging from the press box to the outfield wall.
North Buncombe athletic director Barry Owens said that his school is advertising the vacancy and that candidates may contact him at either 645-4221 or email@example.com.
“(King) has done a great job of building up the baseball program here at North Buncombe and generating interest in the community,” Owens said.
The Black Hawks will have at least two college-bound seniors on their roster in 2014. In addition to Jones, pitcher/outfielder/infielder Alex Destino has committed to South Carolina.
As for King, he is also scheduled to be the head coach for the Region VIII State Games team from Western North Carolina later this month. King said he does not yet know how his resignation at North Buncombe will affect his status for the State Games.
King is a West Henderson graduate who got his start in coaching at his alma mater in 2003.