High School Sports

Prep Football Preview: Caldwell County

Riding with Recruits: Trent Simpson of Mallard Creek High

Mallard Creek High's Trent Simpson talks about the transition from running back to linebacker on Riding with Recruits. Recorded on Tuesday, March 19, 2019.
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Mallard Creek High's Trent Simpson talks about the transition from running back to linebacker on Riding with Recruits. Recorded on Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

Preseason All-County team

Offense

QB – Daren Perry, Hibriten, 6-0, 165, Jr.

RB – Spencer Piercy, South Caldwell, 5-11, 172, Sr.

RB – Noah Isbell, Hibriten, 6-1, 235, Jr.

RB – Isaiah Kirby, South Caldwell, 5-11, 176, Jr.

WR – Austin Raynor, South Caldwell, 6-2, 203, Sr.

WR – David Urbina, West Caldwell, 5-9, 165, Sr.

WR – Marcus Jones, Hibriten, 5-9, 150, Jr.

OL – Jacob Clark, Hibriten, 6-3, 270, Sr.

OL – Jahova Corpening, Hibriten, 6-2, 290, Sr.

OL – Trevor Johnson, South Caldwell, 6-2, 267, Sr.

OL – Caleb Herman, South Caldwell, 5-10, 220, Sr.

OL – Isaiah Cornell, West Caldwell, 6-2, 230, Jr.

Specialists

ATH – Avery Raynor, South Caldwell, 6-0, 185, Jr.

ATH – Faizon Dickson, West Caldwell, 6-0, 170, Jr.

K/P- Alex Reaves, South Caldwell, 6-1, 190, Sr.

Defense

DL – Ryan Hawkins, South Caldwell, 6-0, 225, Sr.

DL – C.W. Saunders, South Caldwell, 6-2, 295, Sr.

DL – Jacob Clark, Hibriten, 6-3, 270, Sr.

DL – Isaiah Cornell, West Caldwell, 6-2, 230, Jr.

LB – Trey Piercy, Hibriten, 5-11, 197, Sr.

LB – Noah Isbell, Hibriten, 6-1, 235, Jr.

LB – Cameron Beaver, West Caldwell, 6-0, 175, So.

DB – Marcus Jones, Hibriten, 5-9, 150, Jr.

DB – David Urbina, West Caldwell, 5-9, 160, Sr.

DB – Austin Raynor, South Caldwell, 6-2, 203, Sr.

DB – Malakei Sumner, South Caldwell, 6-0, 190, Sr.

Caldwell County Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Daren Perry, Hibriten, QB, Jr. and Spencer Piercy, South Caldwell, RB, Sr.

Caldwell County Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Trey Piercy, Hibriten, LB, Sr.

Caldwell County Preseason Coach of the Year: Sam Mackey, Hibriten.

Team Previews

HIBRITEN

Head Coach: Sam Mackey (1st year as Hibriten head coach; four years as Hibriten defensive coordinator (2015-2018)).

2018 Record: 14-1 (6-0 in the Northwest Foothills’ 2A conference)).

2019 Conference: Northwest Foothills’ Conference/2AA.

Returning Starters: 8 (3 offense; 5 defense).

Returning Letterman: 37

Key Returning Starters: Jacob Clark, Sr., RG/LT/DT (6-3, 270); Jahova Corpening, Sr., LG/DT (6-2, 290); Trey Piercy, Sr., MLB (5-11, 197); Noah Isbell, Jr., LB/RB (6-1, 235); Marcus Jones, Jr., FS/WR (5-9, 150); Daren Perry, Jr., QB/RB/CB (6-0, 165).

Key Newcomers: Nodre Battle, Jr., OLB/RB (6-1, 180); Taylib Howell, Jr., OLB/RB (5-11, 175); Quaidyn “Duder” Tugman, So., RB/SS (5-11, 165).

Outlook: The Panthers’ dream season came to a halt with their only loss of the year to Shelby in the 2AA state semifinals. Now, Hibriten must reload with eight starters back and defensive coordinator Sam Mackey taking over as head coach. The Panthers have several players who are ready to step into bigger roles, including two-way standouts QB/CB Daren Perry (QB/CB), Marcus Jones (FS/WR) and Noah Isbell (LB/RB). Hibriten will need an experienced offensive and defensive front to dominate, led by the all-conference seniors Jacob Clark (45 pancake blocks last year) and Jahova Corpening (51 pancake blocks)

SOUTH CALDWELL

Head Coach: Marc Kirkpatrick (3rd year as South Caldwell football coach; 20th year overall).

2018 Record: 3-8 (2-5 in the Northwestern 3A/4A (NW3A/4A)).

2019 Conference: NW3A/4A (4A).

Returning Starters: 15

Returning Letterman: 32

Key Returning Starters: Austin Raynor, Sr., WR/FS (6-2, 203); Spencer Piercy, Sr., RB/DB (5-11, 172); Trevor Johnson, Sr., OL/DL (6-2, 267); C.W. Saunders, Sr., OL/DL (6-2, 295); Malakei Sumner, Sr., RB/DB (6-0, 190); Avery Raynor, Jr., QB/DB (5-11, 192); Isaiah Kirby, Jr., RB/DB (5-11, 176); Steven Reid, Jr., OL/LB (6-1, 213); Alex Reaves, Sr., P/RB/DB (6-0, 187).

Key Newcomers: N/A.

Outlook: The Spartans are 4-20 in the last two seasons, but have a lot of reasons to believe they can be much improved with 15 starters back this year. South Caldwell will look to run the ball with senior Spencer Piercy (1,005 yards rushing, 10 touchdowns last year) and junior Isaiah Kirby (565 yards rushing, seven touchdowns). WR Austin Raynor (683 yards receiving) also returns.

WEST CALDWELL

Head Coach: Mike Biggerstaff (2nd stint as West Caldwell head coach (first 1979-87); 75-21 at West Caldwell; 144 career wins in 21 years).

2018 Record: 0-11 (0-7 in the Northwestern 3A/4A (NW3A/4A) Conference).

2019 Conference: Northwest Foothills’ 2A Conference/2AA.

Returning Starters: 12

Returning Letterman: 23

Key Returning Starters: Faizon Dickson, Jr., QB/DB (6-0, 170); Cameron Beaver, So., FB/LB (6-0, 175); Isaiah Cornell, Jr., OL/DL (6-2, 230); Devonte Davenport, Sr., WR/DB (6-0, 160); David Urbina, Sr., WR/DB (5-9, 160); Makyis Dula, So., RB/DB; Eric Andrews, So., OL/DL.

Key Newcomers: N/A.

Outlook: The Warriors averaged eight wins per season from 2015-17 before falling to 0-11 last year. This year, head coach Mike Biggerstaff returns to a school where he won 75 games from 1979-1987. Biggerstaff is the school’s all-time winningest coach. Biggerstaff will work with 12 returning starters led by junior QB Faizon Dickson. West will need to improve its offense,w hich averaged five points per game last season.

Caldwell County Conference Predictions

Northwestern 3A/4A

  1. Watauga; 2 (tie). Alexander Central; 2 (tie). Freedom; 4. Hickory; 5. St. Stephens; 6. South Caldwell; 7. McDowell.

Northwestern Foothills’ 2A

  1. Hibriten; 2. Fred T. Foard; 3. West Iredell; 4. Patton; 5. Bunker Hill; 6. Draughn; 7. East Burke; 8. West Caldwell.
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