Model and actress Brooklyn Decker is listed as one of the outstanding graduates of Butler High School in Matthews, NC. What’s also getting recognition recently is the performance of the football team – Butler is currently ranked #6 in the nation in the weekly USA Today Prep Poll with an 11-0 record.
After the 2009 season, then Coach Mike Newsome was named the National Coach of the Year. The Bulldogs won a State Championship, finishing 15-0. But after winning a second state championship in 2010, Newsome decided to leave Butler and become head coach at nearby Kannapolis High School. Butler Athletic Director Courtney Paschal then announced that Offensive Coordinator Brian Hales would be the school’s head coach.
With Hales running the offense, Butler scored 726 points in 15 games in 2009, an average of 48 per contest. The Bulldogs also set a school passing mark that fall with 3,506 passing yards. In 2011, Hales first season as head coach, Butler finished 11-2 but lost a disappointing playoff game to eventual state champion Greensboro Page. Butler had a 26-6 halftime lead but Page scored 34 unanswered points in the second half and won the contest, 40-26.
Butler had all winter, spring and summer to think about it. This season they are undefeated, averaging 44 points per game, and ranked #1 in the state. “We thought about that game every day during the off-season,” said Hales. “I think the kids put in the extra work necessary to be ready for 2012.”
Hales is a Scranton, (PA) native and former offensive lineman at Kent State. In addition to being the OC at Butler, he was the JV coach for seven seasons, posting a 60-9 record. When he became head coach, Butler had a 31-game winning streak and Hales was asked about pressure directly on him because of the winning streak. “I think there would be a lot more pressure if I was coming into a situation with 31 losses in a row,” he responded.