Ravenscroft football coach Ned Gonet and Duke Coach K share the start



Ravenscroft head coach Ned Gonet chats with his players during a timeout during a football game in 2014 at Ravenscroft High School in Raleigh, NC

Ravenscroft head coach Ned Gonet chats with his players during a timeout during a football game in 2014 at Ravenscroft High School in Raleigh, NC

Olen C. Kelley III


In 1981, a year after then-athletic director Tom Butters brought Blue Devils men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski to Durham, Butters made another recommendation that had positive results. long-term: Butters recommended Edward Jay “Ned” Gonet, a recent Blue Devils student football and baseball athlete, to leave Durham for a vacant position in Raleigh – at Ravenscroft.

Forty years later, Krzyzewski is preparing to retire from Duke.

Gonet, meanwhile, continues to thrive in the same capacity for which Butters recommended him to Ravenscroft director Grover Smith. He’s in his fifth decade as the Ravens’ athletic director and football coach, and Saturday Gonet opened his 55th straight season playing or coaching football when Ravenscroft beat visiting Granville Central, 50-6.

“It was a great and rewarding experience, for sure,” said Gonet. “Time flies just a bit fast. I’ve had to adapt over the decades to understand what drives, what the schedules look like, what the family dynamic looks like.

“We didn’t win every Friday night,” added Gonet, “but we did win quite a few.”

From his 41st season, Gonet is on the cusp of matching former Charlotte Catholic coach Jim Oddo (who died earlier this year) as North Carolina’s longest-serving school football head coach. Oddo retired in 2014 after 41 seasons.

“I always like going out there and being energized, having the opportunity to mentor our coaching staff,” said Gonet. “Then just working with the kids in general, watching them go through the process and have some success at different levels. “

Success, for Gonet, was summed up 41 years ago to the same as it is today, summed up by a single tweet from the Ravenscroft account on Saturday night, part of which read: “Everyone played!”

“The value of a successful win is that you can give everyone the opportunity to play in the game,” Gonet said. “They have to really feel a part of the process.

“I’m a teacher and educator trying to give them some sort of in-game value system.”


A high school football game that begins (kick-off) must have an outcome, according to National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) policy.

Thus, schools whose games included weather delays on Friday and Saturday did everything possible to complete their games. Schools cannot agree to declare the game “without competition”.

Win-win for Locklear

Cleveland quarterback Skyler Locklear concluded last week by helping the Rams – the NC 3AA runner-up last spring – to a season opener and announcing his college plans.

Locklear completed 10 of 14 passes for 118 yards and a touchdown in Cleveland’s 52-0 home win over Cary on Friday.

On Saturday, Locklear made a commitment to Austin Peay.



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