Prep Insider Blog

Cleveland County high school football previews

akormann@charlotteobserver.com

Here are high school football previews for teams in Cleveland County, compiled by Observer correspondent Jay Edwards

PREVIEW LINKS

Preseason All-State Team Released

Observer-area County previews

2017 high school football schedules

BURNS

Head Coach: David Devine (2nd year as Burns football coach).

2016 Record (Conference): 10-3 (6-2 in the South Mountain Athletic conference).

2017 Conference: Big South conference/3A.

Returning Starters: 6

Returning Lettermen: 24

Key Returning Starters: Stormy Mosteller, Sr., DL (6-4, 222); T.J. Roberts, Sr., LB (6-1, 240); Levi Bowman, Sr., OL (5-10, 190); Kujuan Pryor, So, WR/DB (5-8, 150); Skylar Mosteller, Sr., TE (6-4, 205).

Key Newcomers: C.J. Hopper, So., RB (5-10, 185); Jack Willis, Jr., LB (5-10, 180); Jahari Mitchell, So., WR (5-11, 165); Spencer Devine, Sr., QB (6-1, 175).

Outlook: After winning just seven games in the previous two seasons, the Bulldogs were one of the improved teams in the state at 10-3. This year, Burns moves into the Big South conference, where they believe they can be in thick of the league/playoff race with all-state senior DL, Stormy Mosteller (76 tackles, 18 sacks, 14 tackles for loss) leading a younger team that will have to grow up on the fly to compete against a tough schedule.

--JAY EDWARDS

CREST

Head Coach: Nick Eddins (1st year as Crest football coach/71-15 overall)

2016 Record (Conference): 9-4 (6-2 in the South Mountain Athletic conference)

2017 Conference: Big South 3A

Returning Starters: 14

Returning Lettermen: 30

Key Returning Starters: Jamaud Geter, Jr., DB/WR (5-10, 175); Max Cudd, Sr., OL/DL (6-2, 265); T.Y. Hosch, Sr., WR (6-2, 190); Jeremiah Boykins, Jr., NG (5-10, 265); Sanchez Spikes, Sr., LB (6-0, 205); Rae-Kwon Young-Turner, Jr., RB/DE (6-1, 225); Luke Bowen, Sr., OL (6-0, 260); Demorreay Surratt, Jr., LB (6-2, 200).

Key Newcomers: Jalin Graham, So., RB (6-0, 175); O.D. Ross, Jr., WR/DB (5-10, 165); Chris Richardson, So., OL/DL (6-2, 215).

Outlook: After winning 32 straight games and two straight, 3AA state championships in 2014 and 2015 seasons, Crest came back to earth last season going 9-4. Now, Coach Nick Eddins (former West Montgomery football coach) looks to get the Chargers back in championship form, and will have to rely on experienced offensive and defensive fronts, while younger skill players emerge. The Chargers will lean on their defense – led by senior LB, Sanchez Spikes (66 tackles), Jeremiah Boykins (65 tackles) and DB Jamaud Geter (53 tackles) – as they look to contend for a Big South conference title and be a major player in the playoffs.

--JAY EDWARDS

KINGS MOUNTAIN

Head Coach: Greg Lloyd (11th year as Kings Mountain football coach/66-58 at Kings Mountain; 82-67 overall).

2016 Record (Conference): 8-4 (6-2 in South Mountain Athletic conference).

2017 Conference: Big South conference/3A.

Returning Starters: 12

Returning Lettermen: 30

Key Returning Starters: J.T. Cash, Sr., LB; Jordan Pressley, Sr., DE; Kayon Wade, Jr., QB (6-1, 165); Ricaylen Mack, So., RB (5-9, 195); Collin Franks, Sr., OL (6-2, 250); Jonathan Rickard, Sr., OL (5-11, 250).

Key Newcomers: Xavier Brown, So., OL (5-11, 240); James Ussery, So., DB (5-9, 155); James Parsons, Jr., OL (6-5, 280).

Outlook: The Mountaineers have 20 games in the past two seasons, and have a new challenge as they move into the competitive, Big South conference. Kings Mountain has the pieces on both sides of the ball – with senior, three-year starters in J.T. Cash and Jordan Pressley on defense, junior QB Kayon Wade and sophomore RB, Ricaylen Mack on offense as well as an experience offensive line – that will give them a chance to compete for a conference title and more into the postseason.

--JAY EDWARDS

SHELBY

Head Coach: Lance Ware (7th year as Shelby football coach/74-19 at Shelby).

2016 Record (Conference): 16-0 (8-0 in the South Mountain Athletic conference), 2AA state champions.

2017 Conference: Southwestern 2A (SW2A).

Returning Starters: 8 (4 offense; 4 defense).

Returning Lettermen: 35

Key Returning Starters: Dax Hollifield, Sr., LB (6-2, 230); Malik Sarratt, Sr., QB (6-0, 195); Jaylon Scott, Jr., LB (6-2, 225); Turner Smith, Sr., DB (6-1, 175); Will Stites, Sr., LB (5-10, 195); Josh Smith, Sr., DB (6-1, 175).

Key Newcomers: Shaimez Poston, Sr., DB (6-2, 190); Tre Jolly, Jr., DE (6-1, 215); Fabian Pettis, Jr., WR (5-11, 170).

Outlook: The Golden Lions are 59-7 in the past four years, with four straight state championships. Coach Lance Ware has plenty of talent to make it five in a row with senior QB, Malik Sarratt (3,500 yards passing, 44 touchdown passes) leading an offense that averaged 41 point per game, while a trio of LB’s in Dax Hollifield (154 tackles, 18 sacks), Jaylon Scott and Will Stites, lead a defense that allowed less than 10 points per contest.

--JAY EDWARDS

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