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Camden names Josh Sophia head football coach

Previously served as an assistant coach at North Rowan

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JON C. LAKEY / SALISBURY POST North Rowan High School's assistant football coach Josh Sophia makes adjustments to the special teams of the Cavalier football team during a rain shortened first day of practice of the 2014 season at the school. Sophia coaches the linebackers and the special teams. Sophia was announced as the head football coach at Camden County High School, Friday, April 12, 2019.

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By Malcolm Shields
Sports Editor

Saturday, April 13, 2019

CAMDEN — Camden County High School will have a new head football coach for the 2019 season.

The Camden County Schools System announced in a news release Friday morning that Joshua Sophia has been named head football coach at Camden County High School for the 2019-2020 school year.

According to the release, coach Sophia is currently serving as a teacher and coach at North Rowan High School in Spencer, N.C. and has been employed with the Rowan-Salisbury School System since 1998.

Coach Sophia is a graduate of Chowan University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education.

While at Chowan, Sophia was a four-year starter and was named Offensive Lineman of the Year during the 1995-1996 season.

Camden athletic director Mark Harnly said in a statement that “Josh Sophia is the coach we need to rebuild our football program. He brings a wealth of experience from Rowan County and has a passion and energy for improving our athletes in the weight room, on the field, and in the classroom. We are excited to have him as our coach!”

Sophia also released the following statement through the Camden Schools System expressing his enthusiasm for the new role: “I am very honored and humbled for the opportunity to lead the Camden County High School football program. I thank Dr. Ferrell, Ms. Davis and the administrative staff at Camden County Schools for this wonderful opportunity. I would like to thank everyone from former players, coaches, and coworkers who have helped me along the way. My family and I are very excited to start the next chapter in our lives! Go Bruins!”

Sophia will replace Joshua Blood, who served as the Bruins’ head coach for two seasons.

“I’m proud to have had the opportunity to coach some amazing kids and I truly believe they’re going to be extremely successful in the coming years,” Blood said in a statement to The Daily Advance Friday afternoon. “My departure from the program had nothing to do with football, and everyone at Camden was amazing in my tenure. I resigned due to the birth of my daughter and moving closer to home in Pennsylvania. The new coach will do great things at Camden and I can say for sure that the players he’s going to have are excited to rebound from last year.”

According to Camden County Schools chief human resources officer Billie Berry, Blood resigned as football coach weeks after the end of the 2018 season.

Berry confirmed that Blood is currently a social studies teacher in the Camden County Schools System.

The head coach position has been listed on the Camden County Schools employment website since Feb. 14.

Berry said that the applicant pool for the position was deep.

During his two seasons at the helm of Camden football, Blood compiled a 1-21 overall record with an 0-10 mark in the Class 1A Albemarle Athletic Conference.

Camden posted an 0-11 overall record during the 2018 season.

The Bruins’ only win during Blood’s two seasons was an 18-8 victory against Weldon on opening night of the 2017 season at Camden County High School.

Sophia will become the fourth head coach of the Camden football program since the 2015 season.

Berry said that the goal is to have Sophia in place working with the team this summer.

Berry noted if Sophia is given an early release from his position as a PE teacher in the Rowan-Salisbury School System, the coach may start in Camden sooner than the scheduled July 1 start date and Camden Schools will work with Sophia to get him to Camden sooner rather than later.

Harnly told The Daily Advance Friday afternoon that football players that are not participating in a spring sport are lifting weights and working out.

North Rowan — a Class 1A program — posted a 9-3 overall record with a 6-1 record in the Yadkin Valley Conference during the 2018 season.

North Rowan lost in the first round of the NCHSAA Class 1AA state playoffs last fall.

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