It could be the best season in Metrolina Christian’s football program’s four-year history, said coach Thomas Langley.The team has had back-to-back 5-4 seasons in their first two years of varsity competition and missed the NCISAA playoffs by one game both years.“Making the playoffs has been a goal each of the past two years and we’ve come up just short,” Langley said. “If that happens this year, it would be major disappointment. So, I remind our guys everyday what our goals are.”Metrolina players agree.“We believe that we should have made the playoffs,” Metrolina Christian senior center Travis Shore said. “So now it is our job to step up and get the job done.”With nine starters back and several transfers, along with JV standouts, Langley says this is the best overall team the school has had.The strength of the offense will be again be the offensive line, lead by Shore (5-foot, 9-inch, 260 pounds), a three-year starter, and Jordan Penegar (6-foot, 1-inch, 245 pounds), a four-year starter. Brad Laborg (5-foot, 11-inch, 230 pounds) and Marcus Abraham (6-foot, 230 pound) also will see time on the line.That group should make life easier for sophomore quarterback Rud Yearick (6-foot, 3-inch, 170 pounds) who is a transfer from Blue Ridge High in South Carolina.Yearick will look to running backs junior Caleb Sustar, who was expected to miss the first game because of a hernia. Sustar rushed for 500 yards last year, despite missing four games due to an ankle injury. Last year’s JV starter, sophomore Christian Yarborough will also play.The team’s top receiver in the spread attack is senior Aaron Stokey (6-foot, 160 pounds), who had 20 catches for 300 yards last season. Stokey also will be a big weapon as a kick and punt returner.The Warrior defense has five returning starters led by senior all-state safety Jacob Hannah and fellow all-state pick Abraham at middle linebacker.Hannah (5-foot, 11-inch, 165 pounds) will lead the secondary, with his opportunistic style of play, while junior Jonathan Braswell (5-foot, 11-inch, 160) returns to start at one cornerback slot.Abraham, who also is an all-state discus and shot put performer, is back to lead the linebacking corps. He had 101 tackles as a sophomore. Senior Kent Carpenter (6-foot, 175 pounds) is back as an outside linebacker.The defensive line has the most to replace, but will have Laborg at one defensive tackle.“We are bigger, faster and stronger than we’ve ever been,” Langley said.This year there are 30 players on the varsity team and 48 on JV.“You can tell just by the way that we practice that we have a much more physical mindset. Hopefully, that will pay big dividends,” the coach said.Last year, Metrolina Christian was on track to be in the postseason before losing a heartbreaker to Trinity Christian. That loss has provided motivation.A tough schedule, with likes of Central Academy, Davidson Day, Victory Christian won’t make it easy.“We’re going to have to come to play every week,” Langley said. “If we can have that kind of focus, we have a great chance to have the best season we’ve ever had here.”
Friday, Aug. 23, 2013
Metrolina looking to make state playoffs
Metrolina Christian Coach: Thomas Langley, fourth season, (15-10 overall). 2012 record: 5-4 Starters Returning: Nine (four offense, five defense) Key players C Travis Shore, 5-foot, 9-inch, 260, Sr.: Three-year starter back to anchor the offensive front. QB Rud Yearick, 6-foot, 3-inch, 170, So.: Blue Ridge High (S.C.) transfer will jump right in and run the show. MLB Marcus Abraham, 6-foot, 230, Jr.: All-state pick had 101 tackles as sophomore. SS Jacob Hannah, 5-foot, 11-inch, 165, Sr.: Two-time all-state selection had 80 tackles, two interceptions last season. Can’t miss games: Central Academy, Sept. 13; Victory Christian, Oct. 11; Davidson Day, Oct. 18; Trinity Christian, Oct. 25. 2013 football schedule • Aug. 23 at Hickory Grove • Aug. 30 Open • Sept. 6 Community School of Davidson • Sept. 13 Central Academy • Sept. 20 at Westminster Catawba • Sept. 27 Village Christian • Oct. 4 at High Point Christian • Oct. 11 Victory Christian • Oct. 18 at Davidson Day • Oct. 25 Trinity Christian • Nov. 1 Kestrel Heights
Jay Edwards is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Jay? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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