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Wakefield dedicates outdoor athletic facility to Dexter Cooley

Girls team wins, boys lose in hoops games vs. Northwood

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RALEIGH — Longtime former teacher, coach and athletic director Dexter Cooley was honored at Wakefield High School between the girls and boys basketball game last Friday.

The school presented a sign that will be placed at the entrance of the outdoor athletic facility containing all the outdoor fields and football stadium. They renamed it the Dexter Cooley Athletic Complex.

Cooley’s oldest son, Michael, and Cooley’s wife, Nancy, presented the sign in front of the Wakefield crowd between the two basketball games. Cooley watched the presentation from home with his youngest son, Phillip.

Cooley retired from Wake County Schools in 2015 after he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He was Wakefield’s first athletic director when the school opened in 1999. He also coached boys basketball from 2010-14.

In the girls basketball game right before the presentation, Wakefield defeated Northwood 51-38. The Wolverines never trailed throughout the night, with their best performance coming in the second quarter when they outscored the Chargers 19-10 to go into half up 27-15.

Elise Williams was the only Wakefield player to score double-digits. The junior posted a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. She also led the Wolverines with four assists and five steals.

In the boys game after the presentation, Wakefield lost to Northwood 45-43. It was a close contest all the way until the end, but the Wolverines could not muster up enough points against Northwood’s stingy defense.

Harper Strickland led Wakefield in scoring with 17 points, along with nine rebounds and two assists. Vernon Fraley contributed with 10 points, six rebounds and two assists.

Wakefield’s girls team will play at Ragsdale High School in Jamestown on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The boys team will play right after the girls game.