High School Sports

High School Football kicks off Friday, and here’s what you need to know

New coach, same goal: Vance High football hunting state title

Despite losing star coach Aaron Brand to South Carolina, Vance High returns 13 starters all bent on returning to the NCHSAA 4AA state finals. Vance lost 9-7 to Wake Forest last December in its first appearance. In 2019, it desperately wants another.
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Despite losing star coach Aaron Brand to South Carolina, Vance High returns 13 starters all bent on returning to the NCHSAA 4AA state finals. Vance lost 9-7 to Wake Forest last December in its first appearance. In 2019, it desperately wants another.

Believe it not, the 2019 high school football season begins Friday. No, not scrimmages — real games.

Most schools, including those in the NC High School Athletic Association, will start next week, beginning with a Thursday doubleheader at the Matthews Sportsplex. )Charlotte Christian vs. Sun Valley at 5 p.m., followed by Butler vs. Hough — a pair of N.C. 4AA state championship contenders.)

But a few private schools kick off Friday, a week earlier than their public counterparts.

Here is a preview of Friday’s area games, a full schedule as well as a schedule of preseason games for area public schools.

Friday’s regular-season previews

Covenant Day at Charlotte Latin, 7 p.m. -- Covenant Day was a surprising 6-5 last year but struggled against 4A foes like Charlotte Latin. The visiting Lions will hope their defense, anchored by 250-pound end David Billiard, can slow down a Latin attack featuring quarterback Jake Helfrich and running backs Ja’Varis Bufford and Carter Stockwell.

Cabarrus Warriors at North Raleigh Christian, 7 p.m. -- History will be made here, as Concord First Assembly and Concord Cannon School play for the first time as a combined team, the Warriors. Coach Brad Hoover (the former Carolina Panthers’ running back) has 15 returning starters. North Raleigh Christian lost most of its playmakers from a 1-9 team of a year ago.

Indian Trail Metrolina Christian at Southlake Christian, 7 p.m. -- Metrolina Christian scored a 33-8 victory when these teams met a year ago. The host Eagles will be tested by Metrolina quarterback Angel Gonzalez, who threw for 833 yards in a backup role last season. The Warriors’ ground game is rebuilding, with 1,000-yard rusher Jack Crump now playing at Monroe.

-- Steve Lyttle

Friday’s regular-season schedule

(all kickoffs at 7:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted)

(last year’s records in parentheses)


N.C. Nonconference

Cabarrus Warriors (0-0) at North Raleigh Christian (1-9)

Carolina Bearcats (4-6) vs. Statesville Christian (3-4), at Weddington Optimist Park

Covenant Day (6-5) at Charlotte Latin (6-5), 7

Indian Trail Metrolina Christian (8-4) at Southlake Christian (7-5), 7


Rock Hill Carolina Crusaders (1-8) at Asheville Saints (6-4), 7


N.C. nonconference

Cabarrus Stallions (6-5) at Chapel Hill AHOP Christian (0-5), 1

This weekend’s scrimmage schedule


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)

Cabarrus County Jamboree at Central Cabarrus (Cox Mill vs. Ashbrook, 9 a.m.; Hickory Ridge vs JM Robinson, 10 a.m.; Concord vs. Garinger, 4; AL Brown vs. Nation Ford, 5; Mt Pleasant vs Harding, 6; Central Cabarrus vs. Berry, 7; Central Cabarrus vs. Porter Ridge 8)

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 p.m.; 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.


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, TBD

Porter Ridge at Ardrey Kell, 5:30 p.m.

South Iredell Jamboree (South Iredell vs. Mooresville, 6 p.m.; Statesville vs. Northwest Cabarrus, 6; South Iredell vs. Northwest Cabarrus, 7; Statesville vs. Mooresville, 7)