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Southern romps to first-round state playoff victory just hours after head football coach Fritz Hessenthaler fired by superintendent  

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Balanced offense: Logan Foust, Josiah Tysinger, and Jackson Parrish each contribute two touchdowns

By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

Southern Alamance football coach Fritz Hessenthaler was fired from his school system jobs just hours before the team’s first-round victory in the Class 3-A state playoffs Friday night.

Alamance-Burlington School System superintendent Dr. Dain Butler made the announcement Friday afternoon, with information made public about 2½ hours prior to the Patriots smacking visiting Orange 44-0.

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“While we cannot provide details due to privacy and legal considerations, we want to assure our school community that this decision was made carefully after a thorough review process,” a statement from ABSS said. “… We understand this news may raise questions. However, we hope you understand the importance of keeping personnel matters confidential. We want to reassure you that we remain dedicated to serving our school community with the highest standards.”

Longtime assistant coach Chris Miller was named acting coach for Friday night’s game.

Hessenthaler, also a social studies teacher, was placed on leave earlier in the week. Les Atkins, public information officer for ABSS, said the leave took effect Wednesday. No other members of Southern’s coaching staff are on leave, Atkins said.

Hessenthaler, 53, was nearing the end of his sixth season as head coach of the Patriots. His teams have compiled a combined 48-18 record.

Hessenthaler previously was an assistant coach (1999-2002) with the Patriots before time as Southeast Guilford’s coach and one season as an assistant coach at Providence Grove.

Central 3-A Conference champion Southern did all its scoring in the first half of Friday night’s game.

Logan Foust, Josiah Tysinger and Jackson Parrish each scored two touchdowns.

Foust had scoring runs of 26 and 7 yards on the way to 154 rushing yards on 10 carries.

Josiah Tysinger posted a 66-yard touchdown run and caught a 21-yard scoring pass from quarterback Landon Dodson.

Jackson Parrish scored on runs of 1 and 21 yards.

Southern Alamance has defeated Orange (3-8) twice this season, also winning 49-0 on October 13 in the Central 3-A Conference.

The Patriots (10-1), the No. 3 seed in the Class 3-A East Region, will be home for the second round Friday night against No. 14 seed Jacksonville (9-1), a 55-21 winner against Pikeville Aycock.

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