10 Players To Watch
At 6-5, 245, will provide big target for QB Sam Howell.
Had 25 tackles for a loss, six sacks last season
Rushed for 1,233 yards, 19 TDs for state quarterfinalist in ‘16
Had 85 tackles and 13 sacks last season
All-American has 7,200 yards passing, 91 TDs in first two seasons
Had 97 tackles and 10 sacks last season
Had more than 1,500 all purpose yards, 19 TDs last season; one of 14 starters back
Posted 179 tackles, 11 sacks in 2016
One of seven returning starters counted on heavily to continue success of 2016 (13-3 record)
Rushed for 1,244 yards, 18 TDs for state power in ‘16
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▪ Former Sun Valley defensive coordinator Jeff Edwards takes over at Central Academy...Cuthbertson was in the 2014 N.C. 3AA semifinals but is 13-12 in two seasons since. Fifth-year coach David Johnson has 13 starters and 38 lettermen back from a 6-6 team in an attempt to get back on track.
▪ A pair of state powers, and recent state champions, join the Union County-based Southern Carolina conference this year -- Monroe and Charlotte Catholic. Marvin Ridge coach Aubrey Carter feels with the changes, you can make an argument for this being the state’s toughest league.
▪ Metrolina Christian, 6-4 last year, has never had a losing season. Coach Thomas Langley starts his eighth season with 14 starters back, including QB Myles Saxton (1,400 yards passing, 15 TDs in ‘16). Sun Valley transfer Ishod Finger (1,200 all purpose yards in ‘16) moves over, too. The streak seems in good shape.
3 Can’t Miss Games
Ardrey Kell at Weddington, Aug. 18: This cross-county rivalry is building into quite a series: big crowds, good players, great games
Monroe at Charlotte Catholic, Sept. 22: The teams used to be rivals in the old Rocky River conference and this one, while early, could have a lot to do with who wins the Southern Carolina title in 2017.
Marvin Ridge at Sun Valley, Oct. 27: county rivals meet in a game that features two of the region’s best: Sun Valley QB Sam Howell; Marvin Ridge RB Caleb Deveaux.