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FACES IN THE CROWD
Edited by ALEXANDRA FENWICK
April 09, 2012
DOUG THURMOND
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April 09, 2012

Faces In The Crowd

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DOUG THURMOND

JEFFERSON, GA. > WRESTLING

Thurmond, a 50-year-old phys-ed teacher at Jefferson High, coached the Dragons to a state-record 12th consecutive team title with a 232--88 win over Greater Atlanta Christian, including individual crowns in the 126- and 182-pound weight classes. The team's state title streak, begun in Thurmond's first year as head coach, is the longest for any program in any sport in Georgia history. A 2009 inductee into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, Thurmond is 440--66 in 25 years of coaching.

SHELLY DEARDEN

EWING, N.J. > BASKETBALL

Dearden, 48, a special-ed teacher and 22-year coach at her alma mater, Ewing High, led the Blue Devils to the Group II state title with a 59--50 win over Pascack. The first female to coach a boys' basketball team to a New Jersey title, she was named the state boys' basketball coach of the year. Dearden, who coached Ewing girls' basketball to a championship in 1999 and the girls' soccer team to one in '91, is believed to be the first coach in the country to lead three different teams to state titles.

FREDDY JOHNSON

GREENSBORO, N.C. > BASKETBALL

Johnson, 57, the athletic director and boys' basketball coach at Greensboro Day School, guided the Bengals to an 84--47 victory over Providence Day School in February to become North Carolina's winningest high school boys' basketball coach, with 819 career wins. In 35 years he has led the program to seven Independent Schools Athletic Association state titles and 21 conference championships. At season's end Johnson had an 833--262 career record.

SHAWANDA WEEMS

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