10 Players To Watch
All-state as a sophomore after a 104-tackle season for NCISAA D1 state champs
All-state star is a major ACC target
Rushed for 1,080 yards, 12 touchdowns last season; LB Chase Foley (155 tackles), SS Brian Jacobs (135) also back
Independent All-American led team to an NACA national title last season
Charlotte Country Day
One of three freshmen to start at his school in 35 years; rushed for 800 yards
Like teammate Jacolby Cowan, a sophomore lineman, Rooks is a preseason All-American with more than a dozen D1 offers
National recruit threw for 2,564 yards, 29 TDs last season
Led team to NCISAA DIII title last season; 2,451 pass/rush yards, 32 total touchdowns
One of stars of 2016 state champs; had 1,488 yards rushing, 18 touchdowns
Stanford recruit had more than 1,000 yards total offense, 18 scores in injury-shortened junior year
▪ Former Carolina Panthers fullback Brad Hoover begins his third season at Cannon after taking his team to back-to-back NCISAA Division II state semifinals. He returns 14 starters, including all-state WR/DB Will Exson.
▪ Statesville Christian, the reigning NCISAA Division III state champion, lost all-state running back Canaan Cox, who moved to Iowa, but the team returns 12 starters, including quarterback Seth Sturdivant (1,800 yards passing, 20 TDs) and nine on defense, including safety Cole Cameli (133 tackles in ’16).
▪ Metrolina Christian was 6-4 last season and returns 14 starters and 25 lettermen. The school has never had a losing season. ...Northside Christian won six games in 2016 after winning one in 2015 behind junior QB Elijah Johnson (1,758 yards, 21 TDs). Johnson has four linemen returning.
▪ Charlotte Catholic plays in a Union County public school league, the Southern Carolina 3A. The Cougars, moving down from 4A, have 11 starters and 32 lettermen back and should be among the 3A state title favorites.
3 Can’t-miss games
Charlotte Christian at Charlotte Catholic, Aug. 18: Two heavyweight state title contenders meet to open the season. Talk about not dodging competition.
Charlotte Country Day at Charlotte Catholic, Sept. 1: The battle for the John Cook Cup is annually one of the most emotional rivalry games of the season.
Providence Day at Charlotte Latin, Sept. 28: Special Thursday night game between arch rivals should be a standing-room only sellout.