High School Sports

Harding High sticking in Observer Sweet 16, will host S.C. power Friday night

Harding coach Sam Greiner has led his team to a 3-0 record and a date Friday with a traditional S.C. power
Harding coach Sam Greiner has led his team to a 3-0 record and a date Friday with a traditional S.C. power dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

There are two things that feel a little different in this week’s Charlotte Observer Sweet 16 high school football poll:

▪ Harding is unbeaten and ranked No. 11.

▪ Harding will host traditional S.C. power Gaffney on Friday night.

The Rams haven’t started 3-0 since 2013. Only once in the previous nine seasons did Harding win more than three games in the entire year. So this is new. Friday night, the Rams will play the type of opponent you’d expect to see coming to Charlotte to play Butler or Mallard Creek.

Gaffney (1-1) has won 16 S.C. state championships, including five in the past 20 years. After finishing 8-5 in 2016 and making the S.C. 5A state quarterfinals, the Indians are 1-1 this season, losing to unbeaten T.L. Hanna (3-0). Gaffney ranks No. 10 in the latest S.C. 5A statewide poll.

▪ There were no new teams in this week’s Sweet 16. Rock Hill South Pointe, a nationally ranked reigning state champion, sits atop the poll ahead of unbeaten Mecklenburg County teams Mallard Creek, Charlotte Catholic and West Mecklenburg.

Charlotte Observer Sweet 16 Poll

Rk.

School (Class)

Rec.

Prvs.

1.

Rock Hill South Pointe (4A)

3-0

1

2.

Mallard Creek (4A)

2-0

2

3.

Charlotte Catholic (4A)

3-0

3

4.

West Mecklenburg (4A)

3-0

5

5.

Charlotte Christian (IND)

2-1

6

6.

Butler (4A)

0-1

7

7.

Myers Park (4A)

3-0

4

8.

Richmond Senior (4A)

2-1

8

9.

Shelby (4A)

3-0

9

10.

Vance (4A)

2-1

10

11.

Harding (4A)

3-0

11

12.

A.L. Brown (3A)

2-1

12

13.

Hickory Ridge (4A)

3-0

13

14.

Belmont South Point (2A)

3-0

14

15.

Lenoir Hibriten (2A)

3-0

15

16.

Weddington (3A)

2-0

16

Dropped out: None. Others receiving votes: Marvin Ridge (3A, 3-0); Kings Mountain (3A, 3-0); Providence (4A, 2-1); Porter Ridge (4A, 2-1); Clover (5A, 3-0); Rock Hill Northwestern (5A, 2-1)

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