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Charlotte Observer Sweet 16 poll welcomes Charlotte Christian and York

Charlotte Christian coach Jason Estep intentionally front-loaded his team’s football schedule this season.

The Knights had a young group and Estep wanted to give them some experience against strong competition, even if it meant a slow start. Christian started the season 2-3, but now Estep’s strategy looks like it may be beginning to pay off.

Charlotte Christian beat reigning state champion Providence Day at home Friday to win the Charlotte Independent Schools’ conference championship. The Knights also handed private state power Charlotte Country Day its only loss of the season.

Both of those wins were on the road.

For its work, the Knights won the conference and also won the No. 1 seed for the N.C. Independent Schools Division I state championship tournament, which begins Friday. Christian, which will host Charlotte Latin, also moved into the Sweet 16 at No. 16 this week.

Also moving into the poll was York, which rejoined after a few weeks out. York upset previous No. 2 Rock Hill South Pointe 31-17 Friday.

Rk. School (No. 1 votes) Cl    Rec    Pts    Prv 1. Butler (3)    4A    10-0    48    1 2. Mallard Creek    4A    9-1    45    3 T3. Charlotte Catholic    3A    9-1    39    5 T3. South Point    3A    10-0    39    T6 5. Rock Hill Northwestern    4A    8-2    35    T6 6. Rock Hill South Pointe    4A    9-1    33    2 7. Statesville    3A    10-1    32    8 8. Porter Ridge    4A    9-1    27    T9 9. Crest    3A    9-2    24    4 10. Independence    4A    9-2    21    T9 11. Hickory Ridge    3A    10-1    17    12 12. South Caldwell    4A    11-0    15    13 13. East Lincoln    2A    10-0    12    T14 14. Hough    4A    9-2    8    11 15. York, SC    4A    8-2    7    NR 16. Charlotte Christian    IND    7-3    2    NR

Dropped Out: A.L. Brown (3A, 8-3), Charlotte Country Day (IND, 9-1). Also receiving votes: Albemarle (1A, 10-1), Charlotte Country Day. For rules on the poll and eligible teams, visit charlotteobserver.com/preps; a three-man panel of Observer sportswriters voted.

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