1. Hough’s debut: The Huskies are No. 1 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 preseason poll and are loaded with talent. They face perhaps the nation’s best high school player in Harding’s Quavaris Crouch. Between the teams, more than 20 Division I college prospects will play in this game.
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2. #PrayForFlash: Several area teams, including Northside Christian, are planning to honor Independence quarterback Davyne Simpson, who is in a medically-induced coma. Northside players will wear Simpson’s No. 9 on the back of their helmets Friday.
3. North Stanly RB Cameron Davis: One of 17 returning starters aiming to top last year’s seven-win season, Davis ran for 1,573 yards and 24 touchdowns. Could it be more in 2018?
4. Debut of Drake Maye at Myers Park: Maye is the son of former Independence High star Mark Maye and brother of UNC All-America basketball player Luke Maye. There’s plenty of buzz surrounding the 6-foot-3 sophomore quarterback. Myers Park plays at Olympic.
5. Charlotte Country Day in South Carolina: The Bucs, a N.C. Division II state finalist in 2017, are playing at S.C. 3A private school champion Columbia Hammond School. Hammond’s QB, Jackson Muschamp, is the son of South Carolina coach Will Muschamp. Hammond defensive tackle Alex Huntley is ranked No. 12 nationally at his position and plans visits to Oklahoma, Texas, South Carolina, Georgia and Ohio State. Sophomore defensive lineman Jordan Burch has offers from Clemson, North Caroliina, Georgia and Michigan.