Lake Norman & Mooresville

Game of the week: Wadell at Hough

It should be quite the sight Friday night when the Hough Huskies (1-0) take the field to host their first home game against Waddell (1-1).

Both teams will be looking to make a statement as the Raiders come in under a new regime to play the Huskies at the newly built school on Bailey Road.

Hough and Waddell are set to ring in a new era around Lake Norman.

While the chemistry and results both coaches desire may take some time to develop, there's no doubt Hough is the place to be this Friday night.

Hough (1-0)

The Huskies kicked off their new program last week with a 25-6 win under head coach Bobby Collins.

They'll be looking to pump some energy into the crowd by grabbing another victory on what should be a celebratory night in Cornelius.

"This is a big one," said Collins. "It's exciting to start a football program from the ground up."

While Collins doesn't boast a senior class on his squad, he has players who have the potential to become great leaders.

Ryan Lemke, a sophomore linebacker who led North Mecklenburg in tackles last year as a freshman, will be key to what the Huskies are trying to do on defense.

"Ryan has great leadership ability and brings enthusiasm to every practice," said Collins. "I expect him to be an all-conference player."

While his coach expects big things from him, Lemke expects more from himself.

"I'm just trying to go out there and compete," he said.

"I always set my expectations high."

Lemke was just as excited about the possibilities that come with helping to start a new program.

"I wanted to come over here to help build something," he said. "It's going to be fun. I think we're going to surprise some people this year."

Perhaps the biggest question in every fan's mind is what kind of atmosphere this new crowd will provide.

North Meck has one of the more raucous crowds in the Charlotte area, but Lemke thinks his new classmates will be able to provide just as much of a spark.

"It should be a wonderful experience," he said. "Everybody's going to be here. We have a lot of North and Hopewell kids here, and I think that's going to make for a pretty good 'Dog Pound.'"

Waddell (1-1)

On the other side of the ball, the Raiders come into Hough under a new coach, former Carolina Panther Deveron Harper.

After getting his team off on the right foot by winning their first game and matching last year's one-win team, Waddell stumbled against South Mecklenburg 55-7 Friday.

But things still seem to be looking up for the Raiders.

"I just want my kids to work hard and it'll pay off in the end," said Harper. "(Getting that first win) was big. They've developed a little confidence, but we know we've got a long road ahead."

The Raiders will be led by running back Ryan Herbin, who had 43- and 63-yard touchdown runs in the team's opening game.

While the crowd is not Harper's biggest worry, he knows the Huskies will be ready to play.

"I expect (Collins) to have them excited," he said. "They want to develop a lot of pride around the school, so I imagine it will be a great atmosphere to play in."