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Jermaine Harper named WJHS Head Football Coach

Jermaine Harper, formerly the Defensive Coordinator for Seventy-First High School, has been named the head football coach at West Johnston High School.

Coach Harper graduated from Seventy-First where he was a two-sport athlete in football and track. After high school, he played college football at Fayetteville State University where he was a part of two CIAA championship teams and was named to the All-Conference team twice.

After graduating from FSU with a B.S. in Physical Education, Coach Harper started his career at Lewis Chapel Middle School for four year before becoming defensive coordinator at Seventy-First. He had an immediate impact, helping the Falcons to an 11-0 regular season record in his first year and finishing with the third-ranked 4A defense in North Carolina. During Harper’s tenure, Seventy-First made the state playoffs five years in a row, and his defenses finished in the top ten in their classification four times. He also earned a Master’s Degree in Coaching Education from Ohio University in 2018.

“I am excited to be the head coach at West Johnston and want to thank everyone for welcoming me to the Wildcat family,” Coach Harper said. “I can’t wait to meet the players and parents and get to work.”

“I want to maximize the student athletes’ athletic experience by providing a healthy climate that promotes positive characteristics in young men. We are going to create something special here at West Johnston that a lot of people are going to want to be a part of. It is going to be awesome.”

Athletic Director Josh Plisko said, “Coach Harper’s positive energy and proven track record make him a great fit for West. He was part of a lot of quality seasons as a coordinator and knows what it takes culturally to have the kids play hard for four quarters and enjoy doing it. ”

Principal Jennifer Swartz said, “Our players are eager to get to work and we are excited to see Coach Harper’s vision realized for our football program.”

Coach Harper will succeed Rob Senseney, who resigned in April for personal and family reasons.

“I have enjoyed my time at West as head coach and will be happy to help during the transition,” Coach Senseney said.

Coach Harper will be at West Johnston for a meeting with parents and players on Tuesday, June 4 at 5:30 p.m. in the gymnasium.