Here is a look at Mecklenburg County public school football for 2017.
10 Players To Watch
Part of a huge defensive front for Mavericks, 9-3 last season
Top 2-way star had 12 rushing touchdowns, 85 tackles last season
National recruit caught 68 passes for 1,180 yards in ’16
UNC commit is generally considered state’s best receiver
Ranked as the nation’s No. 1 recruit in 2019 at his position
A top 10 N.C. recruit in junior class; had 7 rush TDs, 2 INTs in ’16
Threw for 2,158 yards, 24 TDs last season
2-time Southwestern 4A player of the year at East Meck
Latest in long line of star RBs at school; rushed for 1,351 yards, 28 TDs in ’16
Big back (6-0, 205) rushed for 1,450 yards, 14 TDs in ’16
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▪ First-year Ardrey Kell coach Kyle Brey is the son of Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey. He takes over a 6-6 team that returns 10 starters and 30 lettermen. The Knights, however, have a very tough schedule with games against state powers such as Weddington and Charlotte Catholic among its first seven.
▪ Butler and Mallard Creek have been the county’s longstanding powers for several years, but are rebuilding. Butler returns eight starters; Mallard Creek just five. Another regional power, Vance, returns six starters, including star linebacker Gerald Nathan.
▪ Transfers will play a big role in county football this season. Among them: Myers Park RB Howard and QB Brayden Hawkins. Hough has all-state wide receiver Nolan Groulx (108 catches, 1,853 yards, 24 TDs in ’16).
3 Can’t Miss Games
Mallard Creek at Scotland County, Thursday: The Mavericks, known for size and defense, will try to stop Scotland County’s Zamir White, the nation’s No. 1 senior running back. White has committed to Georgia.
Butler at Richmond Sr., Sept. 8: Two traditional powers have produced some memorable games over the years. The past few have often been high scoring.
Mallard Creek at Vance, Sept. 22: Schools are close to each other and kids know each other. This is fast-becoming one of the county’s top rivalry games.