The Observer’s county-by-county high school football previews began last week. Today, the newspaper continues the previews with a look at schools in Lincoln County
Look for additional previews throughout the week.
Correspondent Jay Edwards has compiled capsules for the Observer’s area schools.
Lincoln County High School Football Capsules
Head Coach: Mike Byus (12th year as East Lincoln head football coach; 199-96 overall)
2015 Record: 14-1 (7-0 Southern District 7 conference champions)
Key Returning Starters: Cameron Dollar, Sr., WR (6-2, 190); Trevor Childers, Sr., LB (6-0, 190); Dalton Salerno, Sr., LB (6-1, 200); Nate Cureton, Sr., DB (5-10, 165); Jalen Frazier, So., DB (5-10, 165); Gage Welborn, Jr., OL (6-4, 230); Devon Rigdon, Jr., OL (5-11, 245); Jonathan Parks, Sr., OL (6-0, 230); Will Mercer, Sr., DE (6-5, 235).
Key Newcomers: Marcus Graham, So., QB (5-10, 170); Peyton Pesevento, So., DB (5-10, 165); Christian Parks, Jr., WR (6-2, 205); Chandler Jones, Jr., RB (5-9, 170); Sydney Dollar, So., WR (6-1, 180); Chazz Williams, So., DT (5-10, 220); Ryan Matz, Jr., DE (6-3, 220); Cade Larson, Sr., C (5-10, 180).
Returning Starters: 10
Returning Lettermen: N/A
Outlook: The Mustangs have gone 30-1 over the past two seasons, playing in two straight 2AA Western Regional championship games. But it won’t be easy to duplicate that level of success without all-American QB, Chazz Surratt (now playing at North Carolina) and his younger brother, Sage Surratt (transferred to Lincolnton). East Lincoln still has the talent to contend for an SD7 title and make a run in the postseason.
Head Coach: Ledford Gibson (2nd year as Lincolnton head coach)
2015 Record: 12-3 (6-1 in the Southern District 7 conference)
Key Returning Starters: Cordell Littlejohn, Jr., QB (6-3, 195); Langdon Givens, Sr., WR/DB (6-2, 175); Xavier McClain, Sr., RB/LB (5-10, 205); Noah Keener, Sr., OL/DL (6-2, 275); Tyreke Hollis, Jr., CB (6-1, 175).
Key Newcomers: Sage Surratt, Sr., WR (6-4, 215/East Lincoln transfer); Jamal Littlejohn, So., RB/LB (6-1, 205).
Returning Starters: 9 (5 offense; 4 defense)
Returning Lettermen: 16
Outlook: The Wolves were one game short of a trip to the 2A state title game in Coach Gibson’s first year at the helm. This year, they will be state contenders again as QB Cordell Littlejohn now has All-American, wide reciver Sage Surratt (East Lincoln transfer), as his main target. That will make a potent offense ever better.
Head Coach: David Maness (5th year as North Lincoln head football coach; 162-91 overall)
2015 Record: 3-8 (2-5 in the North Piedmont conference)
Key Returning Starters: Stephen Jackson, Sr., RB (6-0, 180); Will Hutchinson, Sr., LB (5-10, 175); Donnie Thompson, Sr., DL (6-2, 260); Nathan Powell, Jr., FB/DL (6-2, 235); Matt Moore, Sr., OL (6-2, 245); Cam Keller, Sr., QB (5-10, 170); Reed McCrorie, Jr., QB (6-2, 165); Caleb Sherrill, Sr., DB (6-0, 175).
Key Newcomers: Austin Blackburn, Jr., OL (6-3, 250).
Returning Starters: 15 (6 offense; 9 defense)
Returning Lettermen: 21
Outlook: The Knights have struggled in the North Piedmont conference of late, but have reasons to believe they can move up the league hierarchy this season. They have 15 starters returning. North Lincoln will depend on a strong running game with senior RB Stephen Jackson, and a defensive that gets back nine starters.
Head Coach: Tom Sain (7th year as West Lincoln head football coach; 32-38)
2015 Record: 4-7 (1-7 in the Southern District 7 conference)
Key Returning Starters: Dallas Bridges, Sr., QB/DB (6-0, 185); Julian Brown, Sr., LB/DB (6-0, 180); Brandon Schesny, Sr., LB/RB (5-10, 210); Dalton Brooks, Sr., RB/DB (6-0, 175); C.J. Miller, Sr., OL/DL (6-0, 220); Jeffery Phillips, Sr., OL/DL (6-0, 235); Dawson Warlick, Sr., OL/DL (6-0, 255); Tyler Cunningham, Jr., RB/DB (5-7, 175).
Key Newcomers: N/A
Returning Starters: 11
Returning Lettermen: 22
Outlook: There is no room for error in the loaded Southern District 7 conference, but the Rebels have an experienced team with the talent, led by senior QB Dallas Bridges, to make a move up the league standings.