Weddington High boys basketball head coach Gary Ellington was named the 2021 Boys Coach of the Year by the North Carolina Basketball Coaches Association on Monday. Ellington is the first Union County coach to earn a coach of the year award from the NCBCA since they started the honor back in 2008. This past season, Ellington led the Weddington boys basketball team to a perfect 18-0 record and the program’s first ever state championship. The Warriors were only three years removed from going 9-17 back in 2017-18 when they made their title run last winter.

Ellington has amassed an overall record of 199-127 since the start of the 2007 season. The Warriors have won at least 15 games in three straight seasons and looked poised for another deep playoff run in 2021-22.

This upcoming season, Weddington will once again be led by 6-foot-5 guard Chase Lowe, a two-time Union County Player of the Year who will play his final season for the Warriors in 2021-22. Lowe has averaged 15.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game in 75 games since the start of the 2018-19 season.

Other notable Weddington players returning for the 2021-21 season are seniors A.J. Cook and Kyle Frazier. Cook averaged 13.8 points while knocking down 57 threes on 129 attempts (44%), while Frazier averaged 9.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. This season, the Warriors will move to the 4A classification, where they will join a new conference featuring five other Union County schools — Porter Ridge, Marvin Ridge, Piedmont, Sun Valley and Cuthbertson.

Since 2007, Weddington has a 39-64 record against 4A opponents. The Warriors will kick off the 2021-22 season Nov. 23 with a matchup against Freedom High. Weddington plays several non-conference games before opening up the conference slate in the new year. Among the opponents the Warriors will face in the non-conference portion of their schedule are Myers Park, South Mecklenburg, Ardrey Kell, Cox Mill, Forest Hills and Monroe.