Although some high school football teams began to scrimmage Thursday, the majority of Observer-area teams kicked off the preseason Saturday.
Those teams included nationally ranked Myers Park, which beat Asheville 31-0 at East Rutherford High School. The Mustangs were supposed to play a high-level preseason game with reigning N.C. 3AA champion Weddington, but that event didn’t come off.
“They called me last week and said they had an issue come up and they needed to get a fundraiser done (Saturday),” Myers Park coach Scott Chadwick said, “and they couldn’t do it. We were supposed to have a joint practice/scrimmage.”
Reached by phone, Weddington coach Andy Capone confirmed that his school had to move its fundraiser to Saturday.
So Chadwick said, after learning of the schedule change, he sent out a flurry of emails and text messages to try to find a scrimmage.
“I appreciate East Rutherford and Asheville accommodating us and giving us a chance to go against somebody else,” Chadwick said. “I thought we were pretty efficient on both sides of the ball, but there were some typical scrimmage things we have to clean up.”
The Mustangs’ key players didn’t play much past the first quarter, but Myers Park seemed to be on track for what Chadwick hopes can be a special season.
Nationally ranked receiver Porter Rooks, for example, caught three touchdown passes from nationally ranked quarterback Drake Maye in one quarter and one play.
“I don’t know how much you can draw into a scrimmage like that,” Chadwick said, “but I certainly feel like the guys we’re counting on looked like guys we can count on.”
Myers Park returns to practice Monday at 7 and will scrimmage Friday night at 9:30 p.m. at Mooresville.
▪ At Charlotte Country Day, the reigning N.C. Independent Schools Division II state champions scrimmaged East Lincoln.
Despite having just six starters and 30 total players back -- down four players from last season -- Bucs coach Drew Witman likes his team’s chance to win another state title in 2019.
“I think they’re hungry for more,” Witman said. “We’ve got a good crew and a good talent base back.”
That talent includes 6-foot-1, 280-pound senior lineman Julian Swann, the son of former Arizona Cardinals’ first round draft pick Eric Swann, and 6-4, 285-pound senior Jack Stajos. Stajos has a 32 ACT score and Swann can bench press 415 pounds and squat 600, Witman said, noting he is surprised neither senior has college offers yet.
Country Day also returns senior running back Quentin Cooper and promising junior QB Russell Tabor, who jumped into a major role late last season.
“Very much our goal is the same as last year,” Witman said. “We’ve got a lot of kids that grew a lot last year. I’ve (not been) so excited about a quarterback in a long time. (Tabor is) a phenomenal talent. He’s very heady and just really pro-active in his approach and it’s really good to have.”
Sights and Sounds
Updated area practice schedule
Here are preseason schedules for Observer-area high school football teams. Regular-season play kicks off Aug. 16 for some teams. The majority begin Friday, Aug. 23.
Be sure to check back as we will be updating this list.
MONDAY, AUG. 12
McBee, Heathwood Hall at Chester, 5
North Surry, Montgomery Central at Salisbury, 6
TUESDAY, AUG. 13
Avery County Jamboree, 6 (Avery County, Patton, Happy Valley, Enka, Rosman)
Burns at Stuart Cramer, 5 p.m.
Draughn at Chase, 7 p.m.
Forest Hills vs Weddington, WCWAA Optimist Park, 9 a.m.
Kings Mountain at Parkwood, 9:30 a.m.
North Wilkes at East Burke, 6 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 14
South Point at Charlotte Country Day, 6 p.m.
THURSDAY, AUG. 15
Alexander Central at Maiden, 6:30 p.m.
Monroe at Providence Day, 7 p.m.
FRIDAY AUG. 16
Burke County Jamboree at East Burke (Draughn vs. Bandys. 5 p.m.; Patton vs. Madison, 6:05; Freedom vs. Lake Norman, 7:10; East Burke vs. R-S Central, 8:15)
Carolina Preps Jamboree at Mooresville High (Charlotte Christian vs. South Meck, 6:30 p.m.; South Iredell vs. Hickory, 7:30; North Meck vs. Statesville, 8:30; Mooresville vs. Myers Park, 9:30
Cleveland County Jamboree at Burns (Shelby vs. Lincolnton, 6; Kings Mountain vs. Newton-Conover, 7; Crest vs. AC Reynolds, 8; Burns vs. Independence, 9)
Charlotte Catholic vs. Olympic at Hopewell, 6 p.m.
Chase at Chesnee, 7 p.m.
Chester, SC, Jamboree, time TBD
Forest Hills at Albemarle, 6 p.m.
Gaston County FCA Jamboree at Stuart Cramer High (Highland Tech vs. Catawba Ridge, 5 p.m.; North Gaston vs. Bessemer City, 6; Hunter Huss vs. Clover, 7; Stuart Cramer vs. East Lincoln, 8)
Hibriten at South Point, 10 a.m.
Independence at Burns, 9 p.m.
Lewisville at Chester, 6 p.m.
Mallard Creek vs. East Forsyth at BB&T Stadium, 7 p.m.
Olympic Jamboree (CATA vs. Olympic JV, 5; Charlotte Catholic vs. NW Cabarrus, 6; Blythewood vs. Olympic, 7; Dudley vs. Vance, 8)
Piedmont at South Stanly, 6:30 p.m.
Providence at Northwestern, 8:30 p.m.
Richmond Senior vs. Southview at Gray’s Creek, time TBD
Rocky River Jamboree (East Meck, Hopewell, Rocky River, Sun Valley), 5 p.m.
Rowan County Jamboree at North Rowan High (West Stanly vs. Carson, 6 p.m.; West Iredell vs. East Rowan, 7; Salisbury vs. West Rowan, 8; South Rowan vs. North Rowan, 9)
West Caldwell at West Lincoln, 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, AUG. 17
Andrew Jackson Kick-Off Classic (Monroe vs. Indian Land, 6; West Meck vs. Lancaster, 7; McBee vs. Buford, 8; Anson Senior vs. Andrew Jackson, 9)
Cuthbertson at Ardrey Kell, time TBD
Porter Ridge at Ardrey Kell, 5:30
South Iredell Jamboree (South Iredell vs. Mooresville, 6; Statesville vs. Northwest Cabarrus, 6; South Iredell vs. Northwest Cabarrus, 7; Statesville vs. Mooresville, 7)