Here’s more information on Elder and Craft:
David ElderAfter a coaching career spanning more than 35 years, including 561 victories and four state championships, Elder was inducted into the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2017.
Elder was chosen to serve as the head coach of the Red Tornadoes football team in 1994 after 13 years as an assistant. He racked up 85 wins over the next nine years, the second in program history behind Frank Barger.
Elder is well remembered in the community and statewide for his 1996 season in Hickory, when the Red Tornadoes finished 16-0 and won the state championship with a 42-0 victory over Ragsdale. Additionally, Hickory won 28 straight games in the 1996 and 97 seasons.
“In 1994, with three seniors, nine juniors, 12 sophomores and four freshmen, we basically played this season with a JV team playing a college calendar,” Elder said. “After a 4-7 season that year, we went 10-3 in 1995, then in 1996 we won it all with a 16-0 record and a state championship in just three years. Continuing in 1997, we started the year with a 12-0 record before losing in the state playoffs, but only after setting an academic record of 28 straight wins.
“My wife, Cindy, has always been the mother of the team because I was the father of the team if a player needed us away from the field or the court,” he added. “We were there then, and we’re here now if they ever need us. “