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Your in-depth preview of Northern and Northwest Guilford High Schools’ fall 2018 football season

IN THIS ISSUE Meet the football teams and coaches 2018 game schedules 2017 season results Meet the cheerleaders, coaches, band directors and drum majors Get a sneak preview of the marching bands’ halftime performances

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Catch game previews and highlights from previous games in the Northwest Observer and follow the game action with photos and videos on our Facebook page and on Instagram



Sheriff BJ Barnes and the Guilford County Sheriff ’s Office wish Northern and Northwest Guilford High Schools continued success on the football field and in the classroom. May each student have a safe and memorable year!


Northwest Vikings

Northern Nighthawks

Northwest Guilford High School

Northern Guilford High School

5240 Northwest School Road, Greensboro

7101 Spencer Dixon Road, Greensboro



(all games start at 7:30 p.m.)

(all games start at 7:30 p.m.)

DATE OPPONENT LOCATION Aug. 17 ...........Smith................................... Home • 26-19 (W) Aug. 24 ..........Western Guilford ....................Away • 48-21 (W) Aug. 31 ...........Southeast Guilford ............... Home • 28-27 (W) Sept. 7 ............Northern Guilford ................ Home Sept. 14 ..........Southwest Guilford.................Away Sept. 21 ..........Reidsville ............................. Home Sept. 28 ..........West Forsyth ..........................Away Oct. 5 .............High Point Central ............... Home Homecoming Oct. 12 ...........Page......................................Away Oct. 19 ...........Ragsdale ............................. Home Senior night Nov. 2 .............Grimsley ................................Away

DATE OPPONENT LOCATION Aug. 17 ...........Grimsley .............................. Home • 20-15 (W) Aug. 24 ..........Page.................................... Home • 48-0 (L) Aug. 31 ...........Statesville ..............................Away • 34-7 (L) Sept. 7 ............Northwest Guilford.................Away Sept. 21 ..........McMichael ............................Away Sept. 28 ..........Northeast Guilford ............... Home Oct. 5 .............Eastern Alamance ..................Away Oct. 12 ...........Person ................................. Home Homecoming Oct. 19 ...........Rockingham County ............ Home Oct. 26 ...........Morehead..............................Away Nov. 2 .............Western Alamance ............... Home Senior night



DATE OPPONENT SCORE Aug. 18 ...........Smith...................................................... 17-6 (W) Aug. 25 ..........Western Guilford ..................................... 53-26 (W) Aug. 31 ...........Southeast Guilford .................................. 13-28 (L) Sept. 8 ............Northern Guilford ................................... 14-0 (W) Sept. 15 ..........Southwest Guilford.................................. 23-30 (L) Sept. 22 ..........Reidsville ................................................ 3-47 (L) Sept. 29 ..........West Forsyth ........................................... 23-43 (L) Oct. 6 .............High Point Central .................................. 6-21 (L) Oct. 13 ...........Page....................................................... 14-57 (L) Oct. 20 ...........Ragsdale ................................................ 14-56 (L) Nov. 3 .............Grimsley ................................................. 21-28 (L)

DATE OPPONENT SCORE Aug. 18 ...........Grimsley ................................................. 16-15 (W) Aug. 25 ..........Page....................................................... 27-38 (L) Aug. 31 ...........Statesville ............................................... 27-13 (W) Sept. 8 ............Northwest Guilford.................................. 0-14 (L) Sept. 22 ..........McMichael ............................................. 34-13 (W) Sept. 29 ..........Northeast Guilford .................................. 6-10 (L) Oct. 6 .............Eastern Alamance ................................... 49-48 (W) Oct. 13 ...........Person .................................................... 31-10 (W) Oct. 20 ...........Rockingham County ............................... 21-26 (L) Oct. 27 ...........Morehead............................................... 34-12 (W) Nov. 3 .............Western Alamance .................................. 0-33 (L) Nov. 10 ...........D.H. Conley ............................................ 7-59 (L)








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Northwest Vikings 2018 VARSITY FOOTBALL TEAM ROSTER NO. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 28


NAME Cam Cloud Johnny Pagano Ethan Godfrey Shane Mai Victor Washington Robert Dix Andre’ Donnell Dontrey King Walker Ramsey Jo Trevisan Danell Stewart Will Sigmon Gavin Sweeney Andrew Gilliam Bryce Ward Walter Kuhlenkamp Micah Salmon Jacob Hardy Bruno Biller Jacob Harris Landry Garris Ethan Smith Pranav Bruneti Davon Stewart Cam Carter

HEIGHT 5’9” 5’11” 6’2” 5’10” 6’ 5’10” 5’6” 6’ 5’10” 5’7” 6’1” 5’8” 5’10” 6’ 6’2” 6’3” 6’2” 5’7” 6’1” 5’10” 6’5” 6’1” 5’9” 6’2” 5’9”

WEIGHT 170 170 210 185 175 185 150 155 170 160 200 140 165 170 210 180 185 200 190 175 200 155 160 175 165


GRADE 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 11 10 12 12 12 11 10 11 11 10

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch

NO. NAME HEIGHT WEIGHT POSITION GRADE 30 David Phillips 5’8” 145 WR/K 11 32 Jordan Freshwater 5’5” 150 DB 12 33 Peter Hennigan 5’11” 185 LB/TE 12 34 Witten Joplin 5’10” 190 LB/RB 12 40 Xavier Simmons 6’2” 175 LB/TE 9 41 Jaelen Clarke 5’10” 150 DB 11 45 Mason Houghtby 5’8” 180 LB 12 50 Jacob Scheponik 6’ 225 DL/OL 12 61 David Stasch 6’ 265 OL 12 62 Chasten Kota 5’11” 205 OL/DL 10 68 Stephen Vega 6’3” 230 OL/DL 11 71 Tyler Dabbs 6’1” 235 OL/DL 12 72 Matt Leonard 6’2” 265 OL 12 73 Stanley Cornelius 6’3” 300 OL/DL 12 75 Blake Phipps 6’2” 250 OL/DL 12 79 Alex Distefano 5’7” 175 DL 11 78 Kylar Gilliam 5’8” 255 OL/DL 12 80 Josh Humphrey 6’4” 180 WR 11 81 Brandon Thomas 6’3” 160 WR 11 84 Alex Cecil 6’4” 215 OL/DL 12 85 Kevin Eichlin 5’10” 180 DL 12 90 Logan Thompson 5’11” 215 DL 12 Head Coach: Kevin Wallace Assistant Coaches: Ron Bare, Parker Frazier, Pat Midkiff, Justin Dukes, Jim Scott, Jeremy Andrews, Christian Dix, Ethan Smith, Josh Kogutkiewicz

Northwest on the rebound after disappointing 2017 season by Marc Pruitt



“One of the things I was looking forward to the most coming into this season was having an entire offseason to develop everything,” said Wallace, who accepted the position at Northwest in June of 2017 and had about six weeks to work with his team before practice officially started. “I got started so late last year and didn’t really have the chance to do that. I think that’s been the biggest thing so far – to have an entire year under my belt instead of a month and a half to get going.” Wallace was eager to establish a weight-training program, which he feels will pay dividends as the season winds on. He hopes to have a much stronger, healthier team, instead of one besieged by key injuries on offense and defense – in games going down the stretch last season the Vikings were at times without 10 starters. “The injury bug bit us hard last year, but I really think having all the time I’ve had with everyone since January will

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Three games into this season, the Vikings are 3-0 and especially proud of an exciting overtime win against Southeast on Aug. 31. That gives them plenty of momentum to take into their crosstown rivalry game against Northern Guilford on Sept. 7, a matchup that will once again pit Wallace against his close friend and Northern’s head coach, Erik Westberg.



benefit us,” Wallace said. “Their development in the weight Kevin Wallace is room has been big for us. hopeful his second We’ve had several kids season as head who have really added football coach at some size and that will Northwest Guilford pay dividends. We’ve will have a better been hitting it hard outcome than his since February and first. had our whole ofWith a 3-8 refense installed since r te cord last season and April. That made ea sy of ,h missing the NCHSAA things a lot smoother e L if e c to u c lla h | Kev in W a 4-A state playoffs, the once we got going with Vikings had plenty to work on camp and the beginning of in the offseason. the season.”

You can remove them the old fashioned way, or we can just take out the ones you choose.

With 34 seniors on the roster, Wallace will count on their leadership to bring the program back to its winning traditions. The defense will especially benefit from senior leadership, as 10 of the 11 starters are seniors. The lone exception is Ethan Smith, a sophomore defensive back who started nine games last season. “We’ve switched over to a 3-4 formation this year because I think it better suits our talent,” Wallace said. “It’s a little different look, but they are all buying into it and the execution has been good.” In their first three games of this season – all wins – the new-look Viking defense has given up an average of 22.3 points per game. “We’ve been able to simplify some things and we’re still evolving,” Wallace said. “We’ve got some guys we know we can count on defensively to get it done. Peter Hennigan and Jacob Harris have been solid for us at linebacker. Danell Stewart and Dontray King are also looking good at defensive back. And Jacob Scheponik, who pretty much played wherever we asked him to last year, will hold down the defensive line for us.” Offensively, Wallace returns some key players for his spread offense that will feature varying looks to opposing defenses. Cameron Cloud, a receiver who has

Continued on page 14


Get your wisdom teeth out on purpose. 9

Northern Nighthawks 2018 VARSITY FOOTBALL TEAM ROSTER NO. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 30 31 32 33 34


NAME Ramar Thomas Jakob Lenard Chuck Conaway Asa Mcmillian Jalen Graves Tyler Flippen Bryce Johnson Brady Mercer Evan Klick Slater Ward Christian Bass Micheal Becker Jackson Clark Michael Frogge Will Lenard Braden Bluitt Teddy Forde Austin Lambeth DJ Anderson Andrew Mcgowan Nyles Mosley Hayden Parker Jake Wagoner Trevor Lott Walker Harris Jordan Mcinnis

HEIGHT 6’0” 5’11” 6’0” 5’8” 5’10” 6’1” 5’10” 5’11” 5’10” 6’1” 6’1” 6’2” 5’11” 6’4” 5’11” 5’11” 5’10” 5’8” 6’0” 5’8” 5’10” 5’8” 5’9” 5’7” 6’3” 5’9”

WEIGHT 155 180 175 160 170 190 150 155 140 160 200 166 170 215 170 150 180 155 155 160 180 125 170 125 220 170


GRADE 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 10 11 10 12 11 10 11 10 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 12 9

NO. 40 41 42 43 44 45 50 52 53 54 55 61 62 64 71 72 74 81 82

NAME HEIGHT Caleb Leach 5’8” Brandon Winrow 5’10” Micheal Coady 5’10” Tyler Anderson 5’10” Jaxon Hughes 6’5” Rakeem Murchison 5’9” Jacob Barlow 6’0” Blake Lucas 6’6” Paul Kluttz 5’10” Trey Ruff 5’10” Justin Franklin 5’10” Ethan Ryan 6’3” Devon Ryals 5’8” Carleton Coleman 5’10” Toby Fowale 5’8” Matthew Andrijov 5’11” Jalen Brooks 5’6” Johnathan Hogentoren 5’9” Brandon Johnson 5’11”

Photo courtesy of Strawbridge Studios

WEIGHT 170 170 170 195 240 160 215 220 270 205 185 210 240 200 285 190 165 170 160


GRADE 10 11 11 11 12 10 11 12 12 11 11 11 11 11 11 9 11 10 11

Head Coach: Erik Westberg Assistant Coaches: Mart Grinton, Tripp Honeycutt, Covie Mitchell, Jordan Keitt, Will Billingsley, Oscar Malone, Corbin Barwick, Quientin Chavis, Justin Davis, Sam Marsh, Greg Westberg, Taurean Lynch Athletic Trainer: Justin Swenson

Northern Guilford ready to step it up

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Westberg will count on quarterbacks Tyler Flippen and Jakob Lenard to cultivate the new weapons in the offense, including receivers Chuck Conway,


Northern finished 6-6 overall and 4-3 in the league last year and got the No. 5 seed from the conference for the playoffs, which meant traveling a long distance for the second straight year to play in the first round of the playoffs. The Nighthawks


With last year’s Mid-State 3A conference race so tightly contested, teams with similar records were shifted around in the standings from week to week. Playoff seedings – and home games – often came down to a matter of yards, or untimely penalties, or costly turnovers.

“Our league is better across the board,” Westberg said. “Northeast is really good. Morehead is improving, and Rockingham had a heck of a year last year. Every game will be a dogfight and they are all games we will have to win to get to where we want to be. Eastern Alamance and Western Alamance will probably still be the two top teams in the league and they are where we are trying to get to as a program. Every game is a chance to compete, and I think we are a more improved team this year.”

r id g

Westberg and the Nighthawks are eager to go much farther this year and not only win playoff games, but win them on their home field.

hawks suffered losses to Page and Statesville the following two weeks. They will match up against Northwest on Sept. 7, and then have a bye week before beginning Mid-State 3A conference play at McMichael in a quest to work their way up in the standings.

t o c o u r t e y o f St r a w b s

The first two years of Erik Westberg’s tenure as Northern Guilford’s head football coach have been marked by making the NCHSAA 3-A state playoffs and losing road games in the first round.

had few answers to questions about losing to D.H. Conley, but had plenty of time to analyze the game – and the season – on the return trip home from Greenville. “We’ve come a long way going into Year 3 and it takes time to build expectations,” Westberg said. “We lost two games last year right at the end of the game, and if those go our way, we’re looking at eight wins instead of six and probably a home playoff game or two, depending on how things go. “We want to expand our record in the conference and get to play at home in the playoffs, because it makes a huge difference,” he continued. “We’ve had to travel a long way the last two years – to West Brunswick in my first year and Conley last year. We’ve basically had to go to the coast both times to play in the playoffs, so we need to position ourselves better in the conference this season to avoid that.” After winning their season-opener against Grimsley on Aug. 17, the Night-


by Marc Pruitt

| E rik

W e st b g, he ad co er


Michael Frogge, Ramar Thomas and Jackson Clark. Lenard filled in more than capably when Flippen was injured last season, throwing for 1,971 yards and 23 touchdowns. Flippen was solid when he was healthy, throwing for 654 yards and five touchdowns in five games. Both running backs are moving up from the junior varsity ranks after posting solid seasons last year. Sophomore

Continued on page 14

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Northern football ...continued from p. 11

Rakeem Murchison and junior Niles Mosely should bring balance to the passing game, and the offensive line will also have several new faces. “We have a lot of interchangeable parts, especially on the line, and we need to really focus on controlling the line of scrimmage and running the football,” Westberg said. “I don’t have many true road-graders, but I have guys who know how to be physical like Ethan Ryan, Trey Ruff, Jacob Barlow, Blake Lucas and Paul Kluttz.” Christian Bass, who led the team in tackles last season, will anchor the defense at one of the linebacker positions. Frogge, Barlow, Ruff, Lucas and Walker Harris will also give the Nighthawks plenty of pop in their 3-4 alignment. “Christian is just so good in space and really turns it on during games,” Westberg said. “He always finds a way to make plays. Frogge will be all over the field for us this

Northwest football ...continued from p. 9 Two convenient locations

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committed to Richmond, has already gotten off to a fast start this season with two rushing touchdowns and two receiving, and had 121 receiving yards against Southeast Aug. 31. Johnny Pagano, who started two games at quarterback last season, has looked solid through the first three games as a dual-threat quarterback. Pagano has thrown six touchdown passes and has rushed for three more during the Vikings’ first three wins this season. “Johnny runs the ball really well and has a great arm,” Wallace said. “We’ll continue to see what we can do, what we can handle, and see him develop as a quarterback after being one of our receivers last season. We’ve got a good group of receivers and backs who can make plays – Brandon Thomas, Robert Dix, Jacob Hardy, Caleb Andrews and Andre Donell. We’re not really tied to anything offensively, but we’ll spread the other team out and make them

year after missing most of last year with an injury. Our returning front seven is really good, and I feel really confident in that group. In our secondary, Bryce Johnson is coming back from a broken collarbone and I’m expecting big things from him again. We’ll have a lot of moving parts and it’s just a matter of finding the right spots for our guys. The key for us will be to continue developing in all areas, but I really like how things have been coming along.” Coach: Erik Westberg (third season) Breakout players: Walker Harris (DL/LB), Chuck Conway (WR) Key players: Tyler Flippen (QB), Christian Bass (LB), Michael Frogge (TE/LB), Bryce Johnson (DB) Most anticipated conference game: vs. Northeast Guilford, at home Sept. 28 Offense: Multiple, spread Offensive coordinator: Tripp Honeycutt Defense: 3-4 Defensive coordinator: Mart Grinton

cover us and then try to put the ball in the hands of our best players.” On the offensive line, Wallace will rely on three returning starters, including Ethan Godfrey at tight end. “We’re just trying to be better each week,” Wallace said. “We want to be better in Week 10 than we are in Week 1 and just respect the process of the season. We can’t take anything or anyone for granted, which we learned the hard way last year, especially with all our injuries. This year will be better and we’re looking forward to it.” Coach: Kevin Wallace (second season) Breakout players: Johnny Pagano (QB), Peter Hennigan (LB) Key players: Cameron Cloud (WR), Ethan Godfrey (TE), Jacob Scheponik (DL), Ethan Smith (DB) Most anticipated conference game: vs. Page (at Page on Oct. 12) Offense: Spread (multiple) Offensive coordinator: Wallace Defense: 3-4 Defensive coordinator: Wallace

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NWHS band performs ‘Voices of the Amazon’ by Marc Pruitt Despite some of the wicked storms that rolled through northwest Guilford County in late July and early August, the area would probably never be confused with the Amazon jungle or rain forest. However, if you catch the halftime performances of Northwest Guilford High School’s marching band during home football games this season, your imagination might just take you there. It’s the kind of performance Brian McMath, now in his 15th year as the school’s band director, is known for. About 150 members of the marching band have been rehearsing their performance of “The Voices of the Amazon” since late July; to add visual effect, there are a dozen 30-foot sections of scaffolding screen printed with artwork as well as a working waterfall.


“It’s really a journey into the sights and sounds of the Amazon rain forest,” McMath (right) said. “It took me a while to find the production I wanted to do this year. Once I found this one and heard the score, I was sold. I started to visualize all we could do with our different sections, both visually and with sound effects. “I knew it would challenge us,” he added, “but it’s not as technically challenging as it was last year. So far, the kids have been buying into it and seem to be enjoying it.” McMath came upon the production last December and the band members’ parents were busy making props and sets all summer. They were challenged by having a lot of moving parts to

NWHS Alumnus ‘79

squeeze into about a 7 ½- to 8-minute performance window on Friday nights. “There are three different movements in the production,” McMath explained. “The first one focuses on the mammal sounds, like the jaguars and the monkeys – sounds you hear in the Amazon. The second movement focuses on the macaw birds in the rain forest and the waterfall. And the third movement focuses on the indigenous people of the Amazon, which is very percussion-heavy with some tribal looks and tribal sounds. There are also a couple of surprises toward the end of the show which are conveyed on the band members’ uniforms.” This year the Vikings will also be performing at the Hollywood Christmas

parade in Los Angeles, which will be filmed on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, as well as the Disneyland Parade the next day. “We’ve got about 70 members signed up for those right now, and both of them will be aired in the weeks leading up to Christmas,” McMath said. “We’ll have a lot going on the first half of the (school) year.” That will also include several competitions the band will perform in leading up to National Regionals, which will be held in Gaffney, South Carolina, Oct. 13. “Our first competition will be in Danville, Virginia, on Sept. 22,” McMath said. “The whole production needs to be ready to go by then. “We’re looking forward to a busy but exciting year.”


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Nighthawks paying tribute to ‘King of Pop’ by Marc Pruitt Kiyoshi Carter (right) may be new to Northern Guilford, but he’s not new to marching bands. After being named as Northern’s new band director in the spring, Carter hit the ground running and met with the drum majors and then the section leaders and other members of the band to lay out his vision. Carter wanted a bold theme for his first year with the Nighthawks, so why not pay tribute to one of the biggest musical acts in history? “We’re calling it ‘Beat It’ and it’s our salute to Michael Jackson, the man himself,” Carter said. “We’ll be performing ‘Beat It,’ ‘Bad,’ ‘Smooth Criminal’ and ‘Billie Jean,’ and it should be

a lot of fun. We may eventually incorporate some dance moves and break out the sequin gloves and red zipper jackets – all the hallmarks of Michael Jackson. “I wanted to pick something that would resonate with a lot of people,” he continued. “It’s Friday night, everybody’s having a good time, and I wanted something that people would recognize and like. I love Michael Jackson. I think most people like Michael Jackson, so I think it will put them into the mood of having a good time. You hear a Michael Jackson song come on the radio and everyone’s smiling. I wanted to pick something that will engage the audience and that they can sing along to.” Carter has spent the last seven years as the band director at Western Guil-

ford and also had a four-year tenure at Southwest Guilford. He was a drum major in his high school band, Hope Mills South View just outside of Fayetteville, where he said he played the trombone and fell in love with music. “It was a huge school and we had a huge band with lots of community support,” Carter said. “That also put me on a path to being a high school music educator.” Carter got his degree in musical education and his master’s in conducting at UNC Greensboro. While at his previous schools, he led the All-County band in 2009 and 2017 and was recognized by School Band and Orchestra Magazine in 2015 as one of the “50 band directors that makes a difference.” “I knew from the first time I played

music that it was something special, and then playing with other people made it even more special,” Carter said. “I wanted to be sure I figured out a way to make it a part of my life and making music education my focus was definitely the right path for me.” Carter said his plans for the marching band go beyond the Friday night performances at football games. “We will do some local parades around the holidays and we are planning a trip with our school’s entire music department, though nothing is official,” Carter said. “We will perform concerts, but I want to get a feel for what the community wants and needs from our music program so we can try to fulfill that need. I’m very excited to be here and looking forward to how we grow.”

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Northern Nighthawk cheerleaders Front row, L-R: Kaitlyn Baker, Nicole Dinallo, Malaki Obie, Caroline Connelly (captain), Taylor Morgan (captain); middle row, L-R: Katie Krueger, Susanna Allred, Kathryn Waite, Georgi Rideout, Kate Eldredge, Jadon Lee; back row, L-R: Hope Purcell, Adi Ames, Sami Ray, Kennedi Tolliver, Anna Grace Rogers, Anna Grace Starkey, Carly Herndon Photo courtesy of Strawbridge Studios Not pictured: Maddie Edwards (captain), Maci Hudson and Coach Elizabeth Truong See story on p. 20

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Northwest Viking cheerleaders

Photo courtesy of Lifetouch | Front row, L-R: Layton Howard (junior), Kayleigh Young (sophomore), Jona Tillman (senior), Kayla Hancock (junior), Jalisa Williams (senior), Shaylee Johnstun (senior), Cassidy Davis (senior), Brooke Wade (junior), Isabella Joyner (sophomore); middle row, L-R: Claire Riffle (senior), McKensey Chavis (senior), Avery Leggett (junior), Melody Wheeler (senior), Kamryn Sprague (sophomore), Madison Headen (senior), Carley Pope (sophomore), May Hulse (junior); back row, L-R: Coach Jennifer Loveday-Donovan, Claire Surette (junior), Elizabeth George (sophomore), Maya Scott (senior), Ava Berry (junior), Kaitlyn Crews (senior), Alivia Hicks (senior), Payton Rolland (junior), Naudia Thompson (senior), Mackenna Myers (junior) and Coach Autumn Pennington See story on p. 20


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Northern Guilford cheerleaders by Marc Pruitt

In her second year as Northern Guilford’s cheerleader coach, Beth Truong is expecting even bigger things from her group. “We are planning on doing more stunts this year,” Truong said. “We have a great group to work with and they have already shown plenty of enthusiasm. They are all excited about performing at the games!” Ten seniors and 10 juniors are up to the task of keeping the fans engaged during football and basketball season and they have several special things planned for games as well as community involvement. “We will again be hosting some of the cheerleaders from the Northern Guilford Youth Football League at one game and they will be cheering with us,” Truong said. “We will do the same during basketball season with the Summerfield Recreation League. That’s always a fun time to see the interaction between our kids and the younger kids.” The Northern Nighthawk varsity cheerleaders had 28 participants in a junior cheer camp they hosted this summer.

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“It turned out really well and was a lot of fun,” Truong said. “We worked

on stunting, different cheers and put together a dance routine. Everyone got a T-shirt and we made pom-pom picture frames. On the last day of camp, all the kids performed the dance routine in front of their parents. That’s something we definitely plan to continue in the future.” Truong is also looking for a state competition for the cheerleaders to participate in, and they will most likely perform again at the pre-game celebration at the ACC Football Championship game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. “We got to do that last year and we had the best time,” Truong said. “A lot of our parents went with us and we had a little tailgate party and then the cheerleaders got to go and perform on the field.” Truong also hopes to reach out into the community more and to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital during a football game. “We are still working to get that set up, but I always like to do something to raise money for a great cause,” Truong said. “It’s important to focus on giving back when we can.”

Northwest Guilford cheerleaders by Marc Pruitt

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While spending the last year and a half as an administrative intern in an effort to become an assistant principal, Jennifer Loveday-Donovan is back coaching the Northwest Guilford varsity cheerleaders during football season. Autumn Pennington will take the reins during basketball season, and the two coaches have plenty of fun things planned for their cheerleading squad of 26. “Since we got started we’ve been focused on making homecoming a huge event again,” Loveday-Donovan said. “We really want to bring the community back into the school while enhancing our school spirit. There are lots of fun plans for homecoming week – the Powder Puff game, a bonfire, a parade with floats, a dance, and a big pep rally. We will have a big role in bringing that to life again, especially for our students … we want to bring that school spirit back.”

Northwest will also host a group of younger girls who will cheer with the team during a Friday night football game, and then attend a cheer camp the next morning. “That’s a great way for us to bring the community in as well,” Loveday-Donovan said. “We’ll do that during basketball season, too. It’s always a fun night for our girls.” Loveday-Donovan said the cheerleaders and parents are interested in performing in a competition this year as well. “We are still working out all the details and we’ll have to have it approved, but I know it would be a lot of fun and a great experience for us,” she said. The coach said she also would like to participate as a group in some charity events. “So many of our girls are already involved in service learning programs, but it would be great if we could all participate together,” she said, adding, “I’m looking forward to a great season and great year!”

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NORTHWEST GUILFORD: Meet the drum majors by Marc Pruitt

Dominic Deardorff, senior Towards the end of his freshman year, Dominic Deardorff presented a plan to Northwest Guilford Band Director Brian McMath. “I went up to him (McMath) and said ‘here’s my four-year plan. By my junior year, I at least want to be on the LT (leadership team), and my senior year I want to be a drum major.’ Nathan Adams, who was a drum major when I was a freshman, had several very impactful moments with me and I looked up to him throughout my freshman year. I said to myself, ‘that’s what I want to do when I’m a senior.’”

‘‘Go Vikings!’’

After auditioning for the role, Deardorff was one of three drum majors selected by a vote of his peers for the 2018-19 school year. Deardorff started with the band by playing trumpet, an instrument he began playing in fifth grade. His father also played trumpet and was in the marching band in high school and at Iowa State University. “I’m a fourth-generation trumpet player on my dad’s side,” Deardorff said. “He handed me his trumpet and I fell in love with it. That’s where my inspiration came from. My dad made me the person I am today.” Deardorff, who has also been playing piano for the last couple of years, plans to follow in his father’s footsteps and attend Iowa State next year. “I do plan to continue to play music, especially jazz and classical, through college,” he said. “I’d love to eventually perform with the DCI Blue Devils (a world-class marching band based in Concord, California). Besides participating in band, Deardorff is in National German Honor Society and also plays golf at Northwest. He used to race motocross, which he started when he was 8, but gave it up about five years ago to concentrate on music.

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“For me, a drum major is someone for the band to look up to and someone who the band should always be able to count on,” he said. “You should have the ability to lead the band through anything.”

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Q: What’s your favorite piece of music to perform? A: “Carnival in Venice” Q: Who’s the best teacher you’ve had?

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Conner Tucker, senior Conner Tucker has long admired the role of a drum major. This year, she will have the opportunity to be one. “Some of the previous drum majors were people I really looked up to and I wanted to be one of those people this year,” Tucker said. “I know how important it is for everyone to feel included and to know what’s going on. I want to help provide that.” For the last three years in the band Tucker has played the clarinet, an instrument she started playing in sixth grade. “My mom played the clarinet when she was younger, so it just kind of happened for me that way too,” Tucker said. “I had a few friends join the marching band when they got to high school, so I decided I wanted to try it as well.” Last year Tucker was the section leader for the clarinets and gained some perspective on the challenges of being the drum major this year. “I was in charge of about 20 people in our section last year,” she said. “This year I’m responsible for about 150 people. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. I’m getting so much out of it. There’s a lot more that goes into being a drum major than everyone realizes. We help with some administrative stuff in addition to making sure everyone knows their music and how to march. I’m loving it.” It was in fourth grade that Tucker learned to play her first instrument, the piano. She has also played the vibraphone in the winter percussion ensemble.

Q: Do you have any pre-performance rituals?

Besides participating in band, Tucker is in the Key Club, National Honor Society and 12 Club.

A: “My section always did the hokey pokey.”

She is still mulling over her college options and is interested in attending either

UNC Chapel Hill or N.C. State. “I probably won’t pursue music, at least not in a group setting, and definitely not as a major,” Tucker said. “I’ll probably still play in my spare time.”

On a side note... Q: Where would you go on your dream vacation? A: “France” Q: Who’s your favorite musical artist? A: “Panic! at the Disco” Q: Do you have any pre-performance rituals? A: “With the clarinets, we got together and said ‘good luck, don’t suck,’ then we kissed our hands and slapped each other on the face.”

Grady Gonzalez, junior Grady Gonzalez lives, eats and breathes marching bands. The high school junior loves watching clips of marching bands on YouTube and admits he prefers watching the clips to practicing his instrument, the baritone saxophone. “I love to look up other bands and see what they are doing, what they are playing,” he said. “You see a lot of great stuff on the internet and it gives me ideas as to what to strive for.” Gonzalez said he is honored to be the only junior among the Vikings’ three drum majors this year. “I took on a secondary leadership role in my section last year, which I think helped show some of my leadership skills,” he said. “I decided I wanted to audition for drum major and got selected. It was pretty exciting.” Gonzalez started playing instruments in the sixth grade, beginning with the alto saxophone and later the clarinet. In

seventh grade, he discovered the baritone sax.

NORTHERN GUILFORD: Meet the drum majors

“It sounded so phenomenal once I started playing it and I just kind of took off with it from there,” he said. “My teacher told me I should look into joining the band, so that’s what I did.”

by Marc Pruitt

Gonzalez has continued along his musical journey with little formal training or private lessons. “I did those (lessons) for one day when I was 15, but I stopped after my first one. I discovered I didn’t really like to practice,” he said with a laugh. That’s not to say he doesn’t ever practice, especially since he is now responsible for helping about 150 other band members. “I enjoy helping out with everything and I’m looking forward to our performances,” Gonzalez said. He also marches with the cymbals during winter percussion and plans to pursue music in college. “I love music because you can interpret in your own way and make it beautiful,” he said. “It feels so rewarding when you start from the beginning of a piece and reach that point when you just go ‘wow, this piece is so amazing.’ It’s the connection with it when you are performing.”

On a side note... Q: What’s your favorite musical piece to perform? A: “‘In the Mood’ by Glenn Miller” Q: What’s the best book you’ve read? A: “‘One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish’ by Dr. Seuss” Q: What’s your favorite movie? A: “The Bee Movie”

Catherine Camp, senior After three years in the middle school marching band and three years in the high school marching band, Catherine Camp was ready for more. Camp, who has played the mellophone since sixth grade, was chosen last spring as one of the two drum majors for the Nighthawks marching band this year. “To be the image of the band is a lot of responsibility and I think I was ready for that,” said Camp, who was also the drum major at Northern Middle School in eighth grade. “I care about everybody in this band and want to do what’s best for them. It is so much fun to help bring the band together and perform. Friday nights are going to be a lot of fun.” This football season the band is performing hit songs by Michael Jackson. “The songs we are doing are so much fun to play,” she said. “We’ve been learning them since late July when we started up. It’s really a cool show and I’m so proud of what we’ve done.” Camp said she learned a lot the last three years from previous drum majors and will use that knowledge to help guide her. “I’ve learned that not everyone will agree with you,” she said. “It takes a lot of maturity to become a leader, especially with a group this size. You have to make sure to look out for everyone and make decisions based on what’s best for the group.” Besides participating in the marching band, Camp plays the French horn in the concert band wind ensemble and is in Beta Club and Tri-M Music Honor Society; she also has been on the student council since her freshman year, helped organize the prom last year and was a member of the swim team. Outside of school, Camp enjoys dancing – she has danced since age 4 – and is involved with her church, Christ United Methodist.

“Being a part of the band has always been special to me and my family,” Camp said. “My parents were in band in high school and I had a brother and a sister in the band here before me, so I’m the last of the Camps. I know we are going to have fun this year.”

On a side note... Q: Who’s the best teacher you’ve had? A: “Mr. Jason Cheek (math)” Q: Do you have a nickname? A: “Yes, it’s ‘Ruby.’”

Josh Genwright, junior Josh Genwright liked the way “Hot Cross Buns” sounded on the recorder enough when he began playing music in the fifth grade that he wanted to keep it up. “It’s the first song everyone learns to play on any instrument,” Genwright said. “There are just three notes. Three happy, little notes.”

year,” he said. “I even designed the logo for the T-shirts we are wearing. We might get to break out in some dance moves, too. We’ll see.” Besides being in the marching band, Genwright is involved with Skills USA and the Tri-M Music Honor Society. He also volunteers to build tiny homes for families in need and plans to be inducted into National Honor Society during the school year. “I’m very interested in architecture too, which also lends to my creativity,” he said. “It’s great to have different creative outlets.”

On a side note... Q: Who’s the best teacher you’ve had? A: “Ms. Raye Beitzell (second grade, Northern Elementary)” Q: What’s the best book you’ve read? A: “‘The Saint of Dragons’ by Jason Hightman” Q: What’s your favorite video game? A: “Monster Hunter World”

Genwright progressed to the alto saxophone in sixth grade. “About halfway through seventh grade, I started playing the tenor sax,” he said. “I discovered that I kind of hated the alto sax because the sound just wasn’t deep enough. When I picked up the tenor sax, I just fell in love. I also now play the baritone sax in the jazz band. I’m kind of everywhere.” It was the band director in middle school who encouraged Genwright to join the band. “And it’s been a love affair for me since,” Genwright said. “It’s all about the love. Being in the band represents our love for music and love of one another. Performing songs together, coming together to learn those songs and then showing them to everyone is a real thrill.”

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Genwright is enjoying performing the songs of Michael Jackson this year during halftime of the Northern Nighthawks’ football games. “I’m very happy about our theme this


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Countdown to kickoff 2018  

Your in-depth preview of Northern and Northwest Guilford High Schools' fall 2018 football season.

Countdown to kickoff 2018  

Your in-depth preview of Northern and Northwest Guilford High Schools' fall 2018 football season.