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Sanford Herald Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010

FOOTBALL 2010

8 TEAMS

Season previews for schools in Lee, Chatham, Harnett and Moore counties

LEADERSHIP Lee County’s Daniel Dillon and Souther n Lee’s Billy Tienken have emerged as senior leaders

Pages 7-8


2 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 / FOOTBALL 2010

With the new season, hope abounds

H

ope. A football season never actually begins when the first game’s opening kickoff is in the air. A more accurate assessment may be that a football season never actually ends. There is no true beginning. Not anymore. The weight rooms are always open, and attendance is never only gently encouraged. Offseason workouts are run the same way, and the programs that make the biggest leaps year-to-year are the ones with this foundation on solid footing. But if there isn’t a set-in-stone Opening Day anymore, there is something else that seems to signal the arrival of a new football season. The emergence of hope. The leaves are still green and the temperatures are still soaring, and it still feels on the outside

Alex Podlogar

Designated Hitter Alex Podlogar can be reached at alexp@sanfordherald.com

that football season is still months away. But it is the feeling on the inside that counts. (The players, no doubt, would probably tell you that it totally feels like football season on the outside. Ask their aches and pains.) And while that feeling may include twinges of nervousness and anxiety to go with plenty of

anticipation, mix it all up and it still won’t come close to the surge of hope that comes on the eve of the first game of the season. At this point, anything can still happen. And there are plenty of different kinds of anythings. It could be the team that envisions itself contending for a state championship. It could be the program that, with a few breaks during the regular season here and a few more breaks during the playoffs there, might find itself on an improbable run. It may be the team finding a couple of unforeseen victories that propels it to a postseason berth, or it might be the program that puts its past away and begins putting together its future. Or it could be a player finally getting his chance, and making it stick on the gridiron. Or perhaps it’s the one moment a single

player gets where it all comes together for him. He may not be a starter, or even third on the depth chart, but in that one game, late in the season, with the score out of hand, he gets the call and plunges into the end zone. How the season will turn out for your favorite team hasn’t been decided yet. And there’s a chance your favorite team’s fate won’t be determined for another couple of months. But right now, with the jackets and sweatshirts still put away on the top shelf in the closet, anything can still happen. And that’s the beauty of today. Tomorrow may be even better, and perhaps greatness is just around the bend. We’re all about to find out. Certainly, though, it could all go the other way. It’s not soccer, and so there won’t be ties. There’s

INSIDE TEAM PREVIEWS SOUTHERN LEE Pg. 3 LEE COUNTY Pg. 5 NORTHWOOD Pg. 9 W. HARNETT Pg. 10 CHATHAM CTL Pg. 12 UNION PINES Pg. 13 JORDAN-MATT. Pg. 14 OVERHILLS Pg. 14 COVER STORY For the love of the Game Billy Tienken Pg. 7 Daniel Dillon Pg. 8

always that flip side to the winning programs. Should that happen, though, fans and players and coaches can rest assured in at least thing. Football season may never truly end, but hope is always renewed. Always.

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Southern Lee

Cavaliers

FOOTBALL 2010 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 /

3

At a glance 2009 Record — 0-11, missed playoffs Returning Starters — Offense: N/A, Defense: N/A Key Players — QB Ashton Gaines: split time under center last season; returns with more poise, confidence and athleticism. RB Ace Chalmers: emerged last season as leading back entering 2010... LB Michael Reives: wows coaches with leadership and determination.

Another new coach, but players are taking the lead By ALEX PODLOGAR alexp@sanfordherald.com

SANFORD — Maybe there really is something to the old adage. The Southern Lee Cavaliers may be proof of it. It’s their third straight year with a new head coach. And while few of the players were around the program going on three-plus ago when the Cavaliers pulled off the biggest upset of the first round in any of the state playoffs — as a 15th seed, Southern Lee knocked off Cape Fear Valley Conference champion and No. 2 seed South Johnston on the road — the shadow of that earlyprogram success still looms over the Orange and Navy. Since the Cavaliers’ initial coach Bryan Lee moved back near his hometown in southern Illinois, the coaching carousel at Southern Lee has yet to stop turning. In 2008, the fresh new face and attitude came in the form of Bill Maczko, and a one-win, one-year tenure followed. Last year at this time, the hopeful surge centered around college coach Eric Puryear, which resulted in a winless one-year tenure.

Now the job is in the hands of Tom Paris, who, unlike his two predecessors, brings prep head coaching experience to the table along with stops as an assistant at standout programs. But around the practice field and locker room, the age-old saying seems to still apply for the Cavaliers. What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger. And when it comes to the mental aspect, Southern Lee is rock solid. “These kids really enjoy being around each other,” Paris says. That may be our biggest strength – the mentality of the kids and the belief they have in what we’re asking them to do. The belief is half the battle.” There’s more than just the belief that their luck — and their fortunes on the gridiron — are going to change. In a program that has had its problems finding a leader it can keep at the top, the players themselves are filling the vacuum. And that’s a beautiful thing for a coach to see — especially when he can already see it in the first week

See Cavs, Page 4

WESLEY BEESON / The Sanford Herald

New Southern Lee coach Tom Paris surveys a drill on the first day of practice earlier in August. Paris is the program’s third new coach in as many years, but comes to the Cavaliers with previous high school head coaching experience.


Southern Lee

4 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 / FOOTBALL 2010 Cavs Continued from Page 3

of practice. “No one person has yet to emerge as the leader,” says Paris. “But that’s a great thing. Everybody is doing a great job at leading.” Will that translate to victories, though? Paris thinks so. “We’re going to win games,” says Paris, “but we’re not thinking about that right now. We want to win first down, win third down, and understand our situations.” It’s a building block mentality. Southern Lee may have heard that talk before in the last couple of years, but perhaps that’s enabled the players to hit the ground running in summer workouts and during the preseason. With the belief installation well beyond complete, Paris and Co. can move forward as the players hold their helmets and chinstraps held high. With that in place, the mindset has progressed back to one that Lee professed, when he would talk of Southern

2010 schedule

WESLEY BEESON / The Sanford Herald

Southern Lee quarterback Ashton Gaines takes a snap during early season practice.Gaines returns after earning valuable experience last season. Lee having players with a “blue collar-type” work ethic. In other words, Paris wants to make sure that no team outworks the Cavaliers. “We’re going to line up against teams that are going to physically outmatch us,” says Paris. “That means we’re going to have to execute great and be sound fundamentally.” “Our goal in practice is that when we’re done, we

Date Aug. 20 Aug. 27 Sept. 3 Sept. 10 Sept. 17 Sept. 24 Oct. 1 Oct. 8 Oct. 15 Oct. 22 Oct. 29 Nov. 5

want them all to feel like they haven’t had enough,” Paris adds. “When practice is over — and we’re going to work them hard — we still want the kids to be jacked up and want some more.” Do that, and a lot of the rest should take care of itself. But it does still come down to players. As usual with a new coach, the number of returning starters on offense and defense says

Opponent SOUTH JOHNSTON at E.E. Smith LEE COUNTY SEVENTY-FIRST at Leesville Road WESTOVER* at Western Harnett* GRAY’S CREEK * at Overhills* UNION PINES* at Douglas Byrd* OPEN

Time 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

Home games in all caps * Conference games

little. Paris’ offense will feature spread and I-formations, and the defense will be a 4-3 set that relies less on blitzing than last season. Several players who emerged last season will be featured in 2010, beginning with quarterback Ashton Gaines and tailback Ace Chalmers. Mitchell Showalter should also see time at quarterback. “Both quarterbacks can do certain things better than the other one,” Paris said. “But they’re both great athletes and they’re both incredibly hard workers and have been great leaders. “And Ace is a gifted kid. He can do things you can’t coach.” The defense will be led by returning linebacker Michael Rieves, who drew rave reviews from the coaching staff in 2009 as well. Blake Brewington as well as Showalter will also be key cogs while Paris also likes what he has seen out of Brad Tipton, Josh Boatwright, Rudy Branch and D.J. Ward on defense. Just as important, though, is the emphasis the coaching staff is placing on special teams, in particular, the punting units. Southern Lee struggled mightily getting punts off last season, and Paris has been known to throw immediate punting fire drills in the middle of an offensive series in practice. Beyond that, the Cavaliers are also focusing on two more things. Football smarts is one.

See Cavs, Page 16

2010 Roster

No. Name 1 Quentin Ingram 2 Blake Brewington 3 Robert Richard 4 D.J. Ward 5 Michael Reives 6 Deangelo Watson 7 Joshua Boatwright 8 Shakeer Alston 9 Jerod McKendall 10 Clarence Young 11 Ashton Gaines 12 Billy Terhune 13 George Negron 14 Mitchell Showalter 15 Juan Franco 17 Dre Richmond 18 Dione Barnes 20 Andreas Mosby 22 Aaron Jackson 23 Adolpho Romo 24 Cullen Boyette 26 Jarrel Horton 27 Shawn McLain 28 Ace Chalmers 31 Brad Tipton 32 Michael Jackson 33 Rudy Branch 38 J.R. Bouldin 40 Marquise Wilson 45 Ricky Patterson 50 Matthew Ward 51 Colton Moretz 53 Mark McLean 55 Billy Tienken 57 Gabe Horne 59 Colby Pearson 60 Jason Ciliberto 61 Taylor Truelove 64 Jason Douglas 66 Lance Shoop 68 J.P. Roseman 70 Taylor Cupps 72 J.J. Jackson 73 Raul Manzano 76 David Dorsett 78 Roberto Castro 81 Aaron Turner 88 Daniel Holmes 94 Jamari Harris

Position WR/DB WR/DB WR/DB WR/DB WR/DB TE/DE RB/RB TE/DE WR/DB LB QB LB LB QB/DB K/P DB WR WR/DB DB DB WR/DB DB WR/DB RB/DB LB LB/RB LB/RB LB OL/LB LB OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL LB/OL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL DL/OL OL/LB OL/DL DL/OL WR/DB DL/OL DL/OL

Class 11 12 12 12 11 12 11 12 11 11 12 12 12 11 12 11 11 12 12 12 9 11 11 11 12 10 11 11 11 12 11 11 11 12 11 11 11 11 12 10 10 12 12 10 12 12 11 10 12


Lee County

FOOTBALL 2010 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 /

Yellow Jackets 12 points — Jackets use close calls to motivate team in 2010 By RYAN SARDA

sarda@sanfordherald.com

SANFORD — It still bothers Burton Cates and the Lee County Yellow Jackets to this day. Twelve points kept the Lee County football team from finishing Cates’ first season with the Yellow Jackets with a 7-4 record, which definitely would have qualified them for the postseason. A four-point loss to Apex (17-13), a four-point loss to Holly Springs (10-6), a one-point loss to Athens Drive (26-25) and a three-point loss to Tri-9 Conference champion Middle Creek (38-35) forced the Yellow Jackets to finish the 2009 season with a 3-8 overall record, keeping them out of the playoffs for the third straight season. It bothered the Yellow Jackets so much that the coaching staff even made a T-shirt for spring practice that reads, “12 Points” on the sleeve. On the back, the shirt reads, “You win it on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You prove it on Friday.” All four tough losses were games where the Yellow Jackets either had the lead or were tied in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter. This season, Cates and his coaching staff are looking to keep that from happening again. “We’ve been working on different types of endings to our practices,” said Cates, who is entering his second year as the head coach of the Yellow Jackets after spending 25 years as the coach of Eastern Randolph, where he won a state championship and more than 230 games. “These endings have been primarily focusing on finishing. We want to avoid what happened last year and the

way to do that is by finishing. We won’t really know if it’ll work or not until we get into those situations in the game.” Another problem that plagued the Yellow Jackets in 2009 might have been conditioning. In the fourth quarter, some of the players might have been a little winded. So, this past spring and during the summer workouts, Cates and his staff really hammered the importance of conditioning. “We’re going to be in much better shape this year,” said Cates. “We also know the talent a lot better than we did when we first got here. We’ve got people playing new positions and so that should help fill some holes that were left. We believe we’re a much better football team than we were last year,” said Cates. “We all believe we’re better, we just have to see it.” The Yellow Jackets have not been to the 4-A state playoffs since 2006. This season, Cates is looking to end that trend and get Lee County back into the postseason. “The first goal we have at the beginning of every year is to make the playoffs,” said Cates. “We want to make the playoffs.” Lee County certainly has the talent to make Cates’ dream of making the playoffs a reality. The Yellow Jackets will welcome back eight offensive starters and seven defensive starters. The Yellow Jackets welcome back quarterback Carson Wilson, wide receiver Dequan Swann, fullback Cedric Gray, tight end Daniel Dillon and brothers Isaiah and Israel Williams. Defensively, the

See Jackets, Page 6

5

At a glance 2009 Record — 3-8, missed playoffs Returning Starters — Offense: 8, Defense: 7 Key Players — QB Carson Wilson: Split time with Dakota Hart in 2009 and made several deep passes to keep the Yellow Jackets in games. WR/ DE Dequan Swann: Made several key receptions at WR and big hits at defensive end. Isaiah and Israel Williams: Reliable options through the air and on the ground for the Yellow Jackets

WESLEY BEESON/ The Sanford Herald

Lee County running back Israel Williams makes a move during the team’s 7-on7 scrimmage during the preseason. Williams and his twin Isaiah give the Yellow Jackets a potentially potent one-two punch.


Lee County

6 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 / FOOTBALL 2010

2010 Roster No. Name 2 Trei Chalmers 4 Josh Brinkley 5 T. J. Lett 6 Chase Arrington 7 Isaiah Williams 8 Israel Williams 10 Mitchell Coggins 11 Ulyess Upchurch 12 Cory Thomas 14 Russell Clark 15 Dequon Swann 16 Carson Wilson 21 William Hardy 23 James Foushee 25 David Upchurch 31 Neal O’Quinn 32 Harris Ray 34 Kashawn McDougald 37 Dillon Frye 38 Cedric Gray 40 Shaquille Stepney 42 Lakuan McKoy 44 Dillon Holder 46 DustinBanks 50 Anthony Davis 54 B. J. Bland 56 Reese Setzer 57 Seth Thomas 58 Ernesto Cervantes 61 Elijah West 63 C. J. Schreckengost 64 Tyler Smith 65 Cody Lanier 68 Reggie Cox 72 Phillip Burns 74 Victor Ingram 75 Peter West 76 Jalen Woods 77 Brian Stryffeler 80 Thomas Johnson 84 Richard Wicker 85 Daniel Dillon 86 Carter Forbes 88 Micah Lee

Position RB/LB RB/DB DL/TE QB/DB WR/DB FB/LB LB FS/RB LB QB WR/DE QB DL/TE RB/DB RB/DS DB/WR RB/LB FB/LB P RB/LB WR/DB DL/TE LB LB LB OL/LB OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL OL/DL TE DB/WR TE WR/DB DE/TE

Head coach: Burton Cates Athletic Director: Steve Womack

Jackets Class 10 11 10 10 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 10 11 12 10 11 12 12 11 11 11 10 12 12 10 11 11 10 11 12 10 12 11 11 11 12 10 12 11 12 11 12

Continued from Page 5

Yellow Jackets bring back players like Ulysses Upchurch and Jalen Wood. “We’ve got some good players coming back,” said Cates. “One thing I’ve been really pleased with is our work habits. Our work habits have gotten significanty better. Are they great? No. But they are better. These guys have worked extremely hard this summer and they want to get better.” One thing that does concern Cates is the team’s overall depth. The team is very light in different spots on the field, especially at the linebacker position. “We’ve got to stay injury-free,” said Cates. “It’s going to be tough, but we must stay healthy throughout the season because we’re light in some areas.” The Yellow Jackets will also be playing with heavy hearts this season as they will be without Josh Britt, who was tragically killed in a car accident in May. Britt, who

2010 schedule

WESLEY BEESON / The Sanford Herald

Lee County football coach Burton Cates instructs players on tackling shields during a recent football practice. Cates enters his second season as the coach of the Yellow Jackets after 25 successful seasons at Eastern Randolph. was just 17 when he was will play this season in killed, played football for memory of Britt. They will the Yellow Jackets under take his No. 9 jersey to evCates and former coach ery game, both home and Jody Stouffer. away. Several players will The Yellow Jackets also put a No. 9 sticker on

Date Opponent Aug. 20 at Western Harnett Aug. 27 RICHMOND COUNTY Sept. 3 at Southern Lee Sept. 10 at Apex* Sept. 17 HOLLY SPRINGS* Sept. 24 at Green Hope* Oct. 1 ATHENS DRIVE* Oct. 8 at Middle Creek* Oct. 15 OPEN Oct. 22 CARY* Oct. 29 at Panther Creek* Nov. 5 FUQUAY-VARINA* Home games in all caps * Conference games

Time 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

their helmets in memory of their teammate. “We all have a big hole in our hearts and we have a big hole in our football team,” said Cates. “Just because you’re on the team doesn’t mean you’re getting to wear his number on your helmet. We’re giving them to players who have shown up to every practice in the spring, summer and now because that’s the kind of player and person Josh was. He never once missed a single day of practice, so the players that do the same will get the special honor of wearing his number on their helmets.” After some 7-on-7 scrimmages and a 49-0 victory over Union Pines in a preseason jamboree, Lee County will officially open the season on Aug. 20 at Western Harnett. The Eagles spoiled the coaching debut of Cates in 2009 with a 20-0 win over the Yellow Jackets in the season opener. The Yellow Jackets will also host Richmond County, who won the 2008 4-A state championship and will travel to cross-town rival Southern Lee before opening up Tri-9 Conference play with Apex on Sept. 10. “Western Harnett beat us 20-0 last year and that’s all we know right now,” said Cates. “We were not a good football team then. We are a better football team now than we were when we played them last year. That’s the most important game on our schedule because it’s the first game. We’re not looking ahead to anyone else.”


COVER STORY

FOOTBALL 2010 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 /

7

Southern Lee: billy tienken

Shy no more, Tienken is Cavs’ leader By ALEX PODLOGAR alexp@sanfordherald.com

SANFORD — Billy Tienken didn’t hesitate. When asked for his favorite subject in school, the Southern Lee Cavaliers offensive and defensive lineman needed no extra time for his answer. Well, his first answer anyway. “Weightlifting,” he said with a chuckle. No surprise there. What else do you expect a burly self-made lineman to say? Well, how about this? “Actually, in school, I’d have to say history,” he says. Not your average jock. Tienken has never been a star player. Few lineman, especially on the offensive side of the line of scrimmage, ever are. But the senior has emerged as one of the Cavaliers’ primary leaders on and off the field, having transformed himself from a shy, smallish freshman to a positive-message spewing workout machine that isn’t afraid to push his teammates when it’s warranted. “He radiates all the qualities of success,” says first-year Southern Lee

coach Tom Paris. “He has all the characteristics needed for somebody to be successful. “He’s an incredibly hard-worker with one of the most solid work ethics I’ve been around.” Cletis Gore, who has been at Southern Lee since the school’s inaugural season, remembers Tienken from the early days. “He came in very timid and unsure of himself,” says Gore, who has served in a variety of roles on the Cavaliers’ football staff. “We always hoped he could emerge, but he wasn’t very fast and he wasn’t very strong. “But over the years, he has gotten faster. He has gotten stronger. He’s turned himself into the football player we all hoped he could be. And he’s the epitome of a student-athlete.” Tienken may not have known at the time he would one day become one of the Cavaliers’ go-to players, but he always knew he had in him the effort he needed to have to make it. “It’s something that I’ve always had,” he says. “I was the kind of kid that no matter what I had to

Getting to know Billy Tienken School: Southern Lee Position: OL/DL Best football memory: My first varsity game in my junior year — because of the excitement I felt to be under the lights on Friday night. Favorite subject in school: History Favorite Movie: “Remember The Titans” Favorite Song: Don’t really have one. Role Model: My parents Favorite Player: Darrell Revis, New York Jets Person you’d most like to meet: The real life coaches from “Remember The Titans” Favorite quote: “Commitment and involvement are two different things. In order to be champions and to win, you must be committed completely. Just being involved doesn’t get you anywhere.”

do, I was going to do it. It was never enough, and I knew I had to put in the work if I wanted a chance to improve.”

See Tienken, Page 17

“I was the kind of kid that no matter what I had to do, I was going to do it. It was never enough, and I knew I had to put in the work if I wanted a chance to improve.”

— BILLY TIENKEN — Southern Lee

WESLEY BEESON/The Sanford Herald

Southern Lee offensive lineman Billy Tienken has emerged as one of the Cavaliers’ vocal leaders this season. The senior has displayed the qualities of a leader despite playing for four different coaches in as many seasons at Southern Lee.


COVER STORY

8 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 / FOOTBALL 2010 lee county: Daniel Dillon

Dillon provides senior leadership for Jackets By RYAN SARDA

sarda@sanfordherald.com

SANFORD — A tight end is usually a quarterback’s best friend on the football field. He can block. He can tackle. He can run. More importantly, he can catch. Whenever big yards are needed or when a team is in drastic need of a big play, the tight end is one position that the quarterback can count on. That’s how the Lee County Yellow Jackets feel about senior Daniel Dillon. Although he’s not exactly a star on the gridiron, the Yellow Jackets can count on their burly WESLEY BEESON/The Sanford Herald senior to go the extra mile and make the big play Lee County tight end and long snapper Daniel Dillon has all the qualities that Yellow when his name is called. Jacket head coach Burton Cates loves. He shows up to every practice, he is in the “He’s a big playmaker weight room every day and he wants to get better. Dillon, a senior, is a true leader for for us,” said Lee County the Yellow Jackets. head coach Burton Cates about his tight end and long snapper. “He works hard for us on the field and in the classroom. He comes to every practice and makes himself better. He does everything he’s asked and more. You want more players like Daniel Dillon on your team.” The reason why Dillon works so hard for Cates and the Yellow Jackets is really quite simple. He just wants to win and will do everything in his power to make it happen. “Personally, I just want to win,” said Dillon. “That’s all I want. I have my individual goals for

“Personally, I just want to win. That’s all I want. I have my individual goals for this season, but if those aren’t met and we still win, I’m going to be happy.” —DANIEL DILLON — Lee County

this season, but if those aren’t met and we still win, I’m going to be happy.” Some of those personal goals include getting a scholarship to play football at the next level. So far Dillon is looking at Campbell University and has sent film to Elon and N.C. State and is planning on getting his name over to North Carolina and Appalachian State. As long as the Yellow Jackets can get to the 4-A state playoffs, which is a team goal this year, where Dillon plays next season will be a moot point. He’s got the coaching staff to make his goal of winning reachable. Prior to arriving at Lee County in 2009, Cates spent 25 years at Eastern Randolph and won a 3-A state championship and nine conference crowns while racking up a 236-81 record. “I feel like we’ve really come together more as a team since coach Cates got here,” said Dillon. “I

Getting to know Daniel Dillon School: Lee County Position: TE/Long snapper Best football memory: Scoring my first touchdown two seasons ago against Cary. Favorite subject in school: Science Favorite Movie: “Rudy” Favorite Song: “Joyful Noise” by Lecrae Role Model: My parents Favorite Player: Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts Favorite Book: The Bible Favorite quote: “You win it on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. You prove it on Friday.”

think we’re capable of having a deep playoff run this year. That’s all I really want during my senior year. I want us to get a taste of the playoffs.” Dillon has racked up some big accomplishments in his two previous seasons on the varsity level. As a sophomore in 2008, Dillon was the recipient of a deep pass for his first touchdown reception in a 34-20 loss at Cary. In 2009, he caught two touchdown passes. Dillon also caught a crucial 2-point conver-

See Dillon, Page 17


Northwood

FOOTBALL 2010 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 /

CHARGERS

At a glance 2009 Record — 12-2, lost in third round of playoffs Returning Starters — Offense: 7, Defense: 8 Key Players — DEs Jamal Baines and Terrance Gordon: return as bookend defensive ends that should apply constant pressure on opponents... WR/FS A.J. Famer: athletic player who can break long plays while also anchoring defense as a star safety... Offensive line: Northwood has five players return who shared starting duties among four line positions. With trio of unproven quarterbacks, solid line play should help Chargers learn on the fly..

Defense to lead the Chargers this time By ALEX PODLOGAR alexp@sanfordherald.com

PITTSBORO — Give him players, and Bill Hall will figure out the offense. That’s how it’s always worked at Northwood, and it’s worked well. For the fourth straight season, the Chargers contended for a conference championship and played their way to the third round of the state playoffs. What’s remarkable is how Hall’s teams have done it. A couple of years ago, the Chargers rode Tobias Palmer out of the backfield to a doubledigit victory season. A year later, as quarterback Sam Griffin emerged, Hall, a tried and true clock-control tactician, decided to throw caution — and several footballs — to the wind and allow Griffin and the stable of skill position players to pitch and catch their way to a league title. Another year later, it was back to following a running back, with Shane Peppers leading the way to a 12-2 season in 2009. This year? Another change. But not one that Chargers’ faithful might be

2010 schedule

Date Aug. 20 Aug. 27 Sept. 3 Sept. 10 Sept. 17 Sept. 24 Oct. 1 Oct. 8 Oct. 15 Oct. 22 Oct. 29 Nov. 5

Opponent at East Chapel Hill WESTERN HARNETT JORDAN-MATTHEWS at Chapel Hill PROVIDENCE GROVE at Triton SOUTHERN VANCE at Granville Central* CARRBORO* at South Granville* OPEN CEDAR RIDGE*

Home games in all caps * Conference games all games 7:30 pm

HERALD FILE PHOTO

Northwood’s Tra Chandler, shown in this file photo from the 2009 state playoffs, will be one of the key skill position players the Chargers have returning in 2010. expecting. For the first time in a decade, when the Chargers hit the practice field for their first official workout of the season, Hall went with defense first. “I’ve never done that, not in 10 years that I’ve

been here,” Hall says. “We always do offense on the first day. We did defense this year, though. We’re going to stress defense this year. It’s going to be a vocal point.” With a wide open

See Chargers, Page 20

9

sanfordherald.com


10 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 / FOOTBALL 2010

Eagles

Expectations rise after late-season run to playoffs in 2009 By ALEX PODLOGAR alexp@sanfordherald.com

LILLINGTON — Shhhhhh. The team nobody wanted to play at the end of the 2009 season enters the new season with hope that the best is yet to come. Of course, you won’t necessarily hear it from the source, i.e. Western Harnett coach George Coltharp. Give the second-year Eagles coach credit — he’s not about to put the cart in front of the horse. But there is a tangible optimism surrounding Western Harnett as the 2010 football season approaches. And much of it has to do with the way 2009 ended. While the Eagles finished the

2010 schedule

Western Harnett

At a glance

2009 Record — 4-8, lost in first round of playoffs Returning Starters — Offense: 6, Defense: 5 Key Players — RB Will Overton: Came into 2009 season with high hopes before an ankle injury sidelined him for much of season; is league’s 100-meter track champion... RBs Montreze Hooker, Lloyd Burrell, Jordan Trapp: Backs will share duties and can line up in offensive in a variety of roles... QB J.T. Howington: Playing football for the first time since middle school; is one of the conference’s top baseball pitchers... WR Paul Duggan: Team’s leading receiver returns after 35-plus catches in 2009.

season with just enough victories to qualify for the state playoffs — the second straight year Western Harnett has punched its ticket to the postseason — it was how the season went along that has hopes soaring like, well, like eagles. After a series of close losses in the first half of the season, Western Harnett picked up steam once Cape Fear Valley Conference play got under way. By the regular season finale, the Eagles were playing for a shot at second place in the league standings. Western Harnett lost, but only by a field goal. Even after falling a second time to Gray’s Creek the following week

See Eagles, Page 18 Date Aug. 20 Aug. 27 Sept. 3 Sept. 10 Sept. 17 Sept. 24 Oct. 1 Oct. 8 Oct. 15 Oct. 22 Oct. 29 Nov. 5

Opponent LEE COUNTY at Northwood HARNETT CENTRAL TRITON PINECREST OPEN SOUTHERN LEE* at Union Pines* DOUGLAS BYRD* at GRAY’S CREEK* OVERHILLS* at Westover* Home games in all caps * Conference games

WESLEY BEESON / The Sanford Herald

Western Harnett’s Jordan Deese goes deep and prepares to make a catch during a recentpractice in Lillington. The Eagles will open the 2010 season at home against Lee County, a team they beat 20-0 in the 2009 season opener.


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12 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 / FOOTBALL 2010

Chatham Central At a glance

2009 Record — 1-11, missed playoffs Returning Starters — Offense: 7, Defense: 6 Key Players — RB Wesley Degraffenreid: Returns after All-Conference season in 2009; rushed for 915 yards in vaulted Yadkin Valley Conference... QB Josh Edwards: starter under center in 2009 has progressed... SS Brooks Childress: Anchor for the defense is back after earning All-Conference selection

2010 schedule

Bears

Stronger and healthier, Bears hope to make run at playoffs By ALEX PODLOGAR alexp@sanfordherald.com

Date Aug. 20 Aug. 27 Sept. 3 Sept. 10 Sept. 17 Sept. 24 Oct. 1 Oct. 8 Oct. 15 Oct. 22 Oct. 29 Nov. 5

Opponent SW RANDOLPH at Jordan-Matthews UNION PINES KESTREL HEIGHTS at Wake Christian at Albemarle* SOUTH STANLY* W. MONGOMERY* at South Davidon* NORTH ROWAN* at E. Mongomery* at North Moore*

Home games in all caps * Conference games All games kick off at 7:30 p.m.

BEAR CREEK — Seven. Seven times Chatham Central coach Bob Pegram watched it happen. Seven times a Bears player left the field not under his own power. Seven times a Bears player left the stadium only under the power of an ambulance. For a small 1-A program like Chatham Central, the odds of competing with established programs like Thomasville on an annual basis are already like enough. But to have seven players leave games with injuries so significant that it warranted ambulance service? That makes things darn near impossible. “We had seven kids leave the field

WESLEY BEESON / The Sanford Herald

Chatham Central’s Brendan Robinson (32) runs the ball as K-Shawn Brower (right) moves in for the tackle during a recent practice at Chatham Central High School. The Bears will open the 2010 season at home against Southwest Randolph. in an ambulance,” says Pegram a year later. “”Can you believe that? I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life.” Pegram hopes to never see it again, but at least with 60 players at the start of official team practice on Aug. 2, the Bears might be better equipped to handle the dings and dents of a given season. “At the 1-A level, numbers are im-

portant,” says Pegram. “Last year we kept getting hurt, but this year we’re stronger. We’ve worked extra hard in the weight room.” But while there are plenty more warm bodies to add some depth, there’s a lot of experience coming back as well. Chatham Central returns seven offensive starters, including Yadkin

See Bears, Page 19


Union Pines

FOOTBALL 2010 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 /

Vikings

13

At a glance 2009 Record — 4-7, missed playoffs Returning Starters — Offense: 4, Defense: 4 Key Players — WR Dareeus White: Snagged down four receptions, including a 46-yard touchdown catch, in a preseason scrimmage. DB Frankie Stoney: A hard-hitting, run-stuffing defensive back that had a team high six tackles in a recent scrimmage.

A wiser staff, team seeking improvement By RYAN SARDA

sarda@sanfordherald.com

CAMERON — Ryan Riggan learned a lot during his first season as the head coach of the Union Pines Vikings. At the end of the Vikings’ 2009 season, Riggan and his staff sat and watched a ton of film studying what went wrong and little things that they could have done differently as a coaching staff. Live and learn. “We looked at it and realized there were several times where we made calls where we shouldn’t have,” said Riggan. “That comes with your first year of experience. It’s always good to get that first year under year belt and get it

2010 schedule

out of the way. I definitely learned a lot in that first season. There were things I was pleased with and there were, of course, a lot of areas where we all could have improved.” Entering his second season with the Vikings, Riggan has a ton of confidence that this season will be miles better than last year’s. “We’ve really grown a lot as a staff this offseason,” said Riggan. “You definitely learn a lot during that first year as a coach. It’s always good to have that first year under your belt. We’ve gotten that first year out of the way and now we’re more experienced. I think it’s going to benefit us on the football field this year.” Riggan has added a new Date Aug. 20 Aug. 27 Sept. 3 Sept. 10 Sept. 17 Sept. 24 Oct. 1 Oct. 8 Oct. 15 Oct. 22 Oct. 29 Nov. 5

defensive coordinator to help spruce up his staff and bring some experience to the table. The Vikings have Terry Gittens as their new defensive coordinator. Gittens, originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., has spent the last few seasons at Pinecrest. “We’re really excited about having Coach Gittens on our staff,” said Riggan. “He brings a lot to our defense and we know that he’s going to make us better on the defensive side. He’s a great addition to this staff.” Headed into his second season, Riggan has a feeling that 2010 can be a pretty solid year for the Vikings. “I’m feeling pretty good about this season,” said

See Vikings, Page 18

Opponent RED SPRINGS at Pinecrest at Chatham Central NORTH MOORE CARDINAL GIBBONS at Overhills* at Gray’s Creek* WESTERN HARNETT* WESTOVER* at Southern Lee* OPEN DOUGLAS BYRD*

Time 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

Home games in all caps * Conference games

Union Pines Devyn Adams (right) runs the ball for extra yardage during a recent preseason scrimmage against Lee County. The Vikings will kick off the 2010 season with Red Springs.

WESLEY BEESON / The Sanford Herald


14 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 / FOOTBALL 2010 jordan-matthews jets

Jets looking to make deeper run By RYAN SARDA sarda@sanfordherald.com SILER CITY — Six points and one play ended JordanMatthews’ hopes of getting deeper into the 2-A state football playoffs in 2009. The Jets fell to East Bladen 14-8 in the third round of the NCHSAA 2-A playoffs finishing their first season in 2-A with an 11-3 record. “It’s not like we were blown out,” said JordanMatthews head coach Marty Scotten. “It was just six points. Six points is just one play. If we could have just done one more play right, we would’ve been

able to go further.” That’s all in the past now, though. Scotten and the Jets are moving on to 2010, using the final game of 2009 as extra motivation to do better. This season, with several All-Conference defensive players returning, Scotten believes that his team can get back to the postseason and possibly make it even further. But first thing’s first. There’s still a season to be played. “We definitely have the goal of getting back there and getting deeper into the playoffs,” said Scotten. “But that seems so far ahead.

Right now, we’ve just got to focus on each game and take things one step at a time.” The Jets welcome back defensive tackle Clifton Brooks, who was the Mid-State 2-A Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. They also bring back the majority of their defensive secondary and the main bulk of their lineman. With the returning talent, Scotten expects the Jets to remain competitive in the conference and would like the Jets to close out the season as conference champions. Playing conference

teams like Burlington Cummings, Graham, Reidsville, Providence Grove, Eastern Randolph and Bartlett Yancey on the schedule, Scotten knows that the road to the postseason won’t be handed to his Jets. “We’d like to host a few playoff games this year,” said Scotten. “One way to do that would be to win the conference. We feel more comfortable playing at home. It’s not going to be easy. We’ve got some tough competition this year. We just have to bring our best every week.” Some voids that need to be filled for the Jets come on the offensive side of the

2010 Schedule Date Aug. 20 Aug. 27 Sept. 3 Sept. 10 Sept. 17 Sept. 24 Oct. 1 Oct. 8 Oct. 15 Oct. 22 Oct. 29 Nov. 5

Opponent at Morehead CHATHAM CENTRAL at Northwood WEST MONTGOMERY NORTH MOORE at Cummings* GRAHAM* REIDSVILLE* at Providence Grove* BARTLETT YANCEY* OPEN at Eastern Randolph*

Time 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

Home games in CAPS. * Denotes conference game

ball. “We lost a lot of our offensive lineman,” said Scotten. “We’ve got some

new guys coming in and filling those spots. We’ve got

See Jets, Page 19

overhills jaguars

Young Jags still have playoffs in mind By RYAN SARDA sarda@sanfordherald.com SPRING LAKE — After going 2-9 in 2009, Tim Karrs has noticed something different about the attitude of the Overhills Jaguars this offseason. His players have worked hard, the mood is positive and the coaching staff and players all believe that the 2010 football season should be successful for the Jaguars. “This is the best attitude we’ve ever had here,” said Karrs. “I like the desire these kids have shown this offseason. I like the attitude and work ethic that these kids have shown. They want to get better and they keep showing that every time we step onto the

field.” Despite being very young, Karrs feels that the Jaguars should have enough to at least double their win total from a year ago and get into the playoffs in 2010. It’s not going to be an easy road to get there, though. The Jaguars only return a handful of players from last year’s 2-9 team. They will have a core of sophomores in the starting lineup and they open the season with West Johnston on Aug. 20 in Spring Lake. Following that, the Jaguars will play three straight on the road at 4-A programs like Lumberton, Pinecrest and Harnett Central. “We’ve got to keep it pretty realistic,” said Karrs. “We should be right around the middle of

the pack in our conference, but we should make the playoffs. We have a tough schedule this year and by the time our conference season gets here, we’re going to be pretty beaten up. As the season moves along, our young players will develop and continue to get better. I think it’s a definite possibility.” With a lot of underclassmen on the roster, Karrs is going to be counting on his seniors to help carry the load on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Back for his last hurrah is the school’s all-time leading scorer, Tyree Massey. Massey is a twoyear starter at tailback that has gained more than 1,000 yards on the ground in each of the last two

2010 Schedule

Date Opponent Time Aug. 20 WEST JOHNSTON 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at Lumberton 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3 at Pinecrest 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at Harnett Central 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17 TRITON 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 UNION PINES* 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1 at Douglas Byrd* 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 OPEN Oct. 15 SOUTHERN LEE 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at Westover* 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Western Harnett* 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 GRAY’S CREEK* 7:30 p.m. Home games in CAPS. * Denotes conference game

seasons. “Tyree’s going to be big for us,” said Karrs. “He’s a solid athlete and this season could be special

for him. We’re going to be counting on him a lot.”

See Jags, Page 19


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16 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 / FOOTBALL 2010

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WESLEY BEESON / The Sanford Herald

Southern Lee’s Ace Chalmers runs the ball for a first down during a preseason scrimmage against Hoke County in last week’s Tramway Road Showcase at Cavalier Stadium. The Cavaliers will open the 2010 season at home against South Johnston.

Cavs Continued from Page 4

2715 Lee Ave., Ext, Sanford, NC

“High school kids these days are losing their football savvy,” Paris says. “They play football with their thumbs playing all these video games. We need to be constantly wary of what needs to happen in every situation.”

And one more, which may be the impetus of any success the Cavaliers have in 2010. Looking back to move forward. “We’re not going to be forgetting the past, and we’ll be remembering the reasons and the actions that brought about 0-11.” Paris says. “I’ve never been around 0-11, so I don’t know what that feels like, and I don’t want

to know. “But we won’t forget the things that brought that about. We have to do things differently, do things better in order to break that cycle. If you’re constantly mindful of the cycle you need to break, that’s how you establish a new cycle.” No program should know that better than Southern Lee.


FOOTBALL 2010 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 /

Dillon Continued from Page 8

sion that lifted the Yellow Jackets to a 21-20 win over Panther Creek. Dillon doesn’t show up to every practice in the blistering heat and isn’t in the weight room every single day for the publicity or for the fame or even the stats. He does it because he simply loves the game. That and he likes to hit people, which is the reason why he decided to don the helmet and pads and play football to begin with. “I just wanted to hit somebody,” said Dillon. “You can’t hit people in a lot of other sports. I wanted to play a contact sport when I got here. I’ve loved it ever since.” Being a coach with 25plus years of experience and a state championWESLEY BEESON/The Sanford Herald ship, Cates knows what it Lee County’s Daniel Dillon (left) and Southern Lee’s Billy Tienken stare each other down as a way of promoting the takes to build a successful annual Brick City Bowl between the crosstown rivals. Dillon and Tienken have emerged as leaders for their respecprogram. tive teams thanks to their hard work, dedication and commitment to their programs. It takes a sense of dedi-

Tienken Continued from Page 7

Not that Tienken didn’t have roadblocks to overcome. Paris is Tienken’s fourth head coach in the time he’s been at Southern Lee. And yet he’s become a better player each and every season. “Four coaches in four years — that’s been tough,” Tienken says. “But I think it’s kind of helped me in a way. I thought we lacked leader-

ship last year, and so I felt like it was up to me to provide some of that leadership.” He’s done that. And then some. “He’s a leader by action when he’s not doing it vocally,” Paris says. “He does so with his effort and intensity and the way he practices.” Says Gore: “Even when we’ve been down, Billy’s always been positive. Coming into this year, he’s been saying, ‘It’s going to turn around. We’re

going to do it. Things are going to be better.’ And that mentality has taken off and is being spread around by all the players. But Billy started it.” Now he hopes to finish his football career with a solid season. “I just always wanted to play under the lights on Friday nights,” he says. “I feel good about what we have going on here now. I know we’ve had a couple of bad years, but this is going to be a good year.”

sanfordherald.com

17

cation and commitment from the players. He has that in his starting tight end and longsnapper. “Daniel is so loyal to this program,” said Cates. “He’s in the weight room every single day. He works so hard. He also does extremely well in the classroom, which is the most important thing. He’s the kind of player you want on your football program. Cates feels that Dillon can be one of Lee County’s go-to guys this season. “He’s definitely going to be one of our key guys this year,” said Cates. “He’s already shown us how hard he’s willing to work to make himself and this football team better.” Dillon is optimistic about the Yellow Jackets 2010 season. “I think we’re going to have a big year this year,” said Dillon. “I really do.” One thing is for sure, Dillon will do everything he can to make sure that his dream of winning in his final season becomes a reality.

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18 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 / FOOTBALL 2010 Eagles Continued from Page 10

in the first round of the state playoffs, the confidence of the Eagles had already taken off. And so now, here they are. Hopeful. But it’s a kind of expectant hope. “Our expectations are high,” Coltharp allows himself to say. “We’ve worked hard, but we know we’re not at the program level of a Douglas Byrd or somebody like that. We know it’s going to be a fight every year for us. “Honestly, though, we feel like we should return to the playoffs, but we obviously want to take the next step — maybe host a playoff game or get into the ‘real’ tournament. Because, really, the first round isn’t the real tournament. We want to move up a rung, and think about getting into the field of 16.” But there’s a catch, of course. After their late-season dash up the league

Vikings Continued from Page 13

Riggan. “Right now, our defense is a little ahead of our offense but that should be

standings, there’s little chance anybody will allow Western Harnett to sneak up on them in 2010. The Eagles have a target on their backs now, and Coltharp knows it. That’s why he’s going the route of quiet optimism. “I’ll say this — we have a chance to be decent,” the coach says flatly. Decent, maybe. Fast? Oh, yes. While the Eagles will lack experience at quarterback, it may not matter so much. Not if Western Harnett’s stable of running backs stays healthy and fresh. The Eagles feature two of the conference’s top track sprinters in their backfield — 100-meter dash champion Will Overton and Montreze Hooker. Overton came into camp in 2009 with great expectations, only to suffer an ankle injury during a jamboree scrimmage. He rejoined the team late in the season to bolster a backfield depleted by the loss of Sean McLean, but is back and healthy for 2010. And all Hooker did was once break

expected at this time of year because our defense only really has one job. Overall, though, I feel good about where we are as a team.” Now that his first year is out of the way and some stability is being brought

back to the Vikings program, Riggan says there is one thing that he wants to do. Win. “We want to turn this school into a place where winning is an expectation,”

five tackles and reverse the field in a 50yard touchdown run against Southern Lee last year — all after losing a shoe behind the line of scrimmage. Add senior Lloyd Burrell and Jordan Trapp, and the Eagles have plenty of weapons in skill positions that can each be used in a variety of ways. “Any one of them could get 20-to25 carries a game, but we’re not going to ask them to do that,” Coltharp said. “And they’re four guys who are really good team players. They’re all cool about it.” Whatever Coltharp’s Four Horsemen can do — as well as one of the league’s top receivers, Paul Duggan — should take some of the burden off of senior quarterback J.T. Howington, who returns to football for the first time since middle school. But Howington, one of the conference’s top baseball pitchers, has a canon of an arm and a tremendous work ethic. Howington himself called a quarterback-and-coaches meeting during the preseason to go

said Riggan. “We’ve got guys on this team that have played under three different head coaches in their four years here. We’re a lot better now than where we were at this time last year and we want to keep getting better as the season progresses.” The Vikings will be looking to start the season off right with a victory over Red Springs in the season opener on Aug. 20. Opening the season with a win could help build the confidence of Riggan’s squad and would be the first step in helping the team accomplish its initial goal of winning more games this year. “We want to win and we want to compete and get better every week,” said Riggan. “Those are our goals. We don’t really want to put a number on how many wins we’re supposed to have because then that means there are games where I expect us to lose. We want to be competitive in every

over the offense and tape. “Hopefully it will be a situation where J.T. doesn’t have to do that much,” Coltharp says. “We don’t want to make J.T. do too much.” And expect the Eagles’ defense to help pick up any slack as well. All those running backs can help in the linebacking corps and the secondary. “We’re going to be fast,” Coltharp says. “What we do on defense is no secret — we’re going to attack and blitz and try to dictate to the offense rather than have the offense dictate to us.” Should everything come together, it could be a special kind of season for the Eagles. “These kids deserve it,” Coltharp says. “I’m the first coach these seniors have had for two years in a row. For them to have an opportunity to be good is a testament to them. As good football players they are, they’re even better people.” Now that’s a notion George Coltharp won’t mind talking up.

game we’re in.” To help him accomplish his goal, Riggan will be counting on offensive weapons like quarterback Taylor O’Neal. They also have a dual threat at tailback with A.J. Ritters and John McMillan leading the way. Defensively, the Vikings are calling upon linebacker Josh Huskey and Rashad Green to carry the load for the young team. “We’re pretty young as far as varsity experience is concerned,” said Riggan. “We’ve got a lot of guys that are upperclassmen but just have been on junior varsity the last few years. We’re going to be counting on the guys that are back to do a lot for us. Hopefully our inexperienced players will get better as the season moves along.” With programs like Douglas Byrd, Westover and Gray’s Creek making a ton of noise in the Cape Fear

Valley Conference, Riggan doesn’t really know what to expect from his young team when it comes to the stacked league. “I think Douglas Byrd is going to compete for a state championship this year,” said Riggan. “Westover is stacked. Gray’s Creek is the defending conference champions. Western Harnett is a program on the rise. So, it’s going to be a tough year in our conference. It’s really hard to tell how well we’re going to do. As long as we can remain competitive and play four full quarters of football, we should be OK.” In his second full season as a head coach, Riggan just wants the Vikings to make strides in the right direction to be a successful program for the future. “We’re excited about this season, we really are,” said Riggan. “We’re excited about what we have to come here at Union Pines.”


FOOTBALL 2010 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 /

Bears

Jags

Continued from Page 12

Continued from Page 14

Valley All-Conference running back Wesley Degraffenreid, to go with six returning defensive starters. Degraffenreid brings the most potential firepower for the Bears, who finished 2009 1-11 and out of the 1-A playoffs. Despite shaking off injuries here and there, Degraffenreid finished with 915 yards rushing to earn the postseason honor. “To be All-Conference in this conference, that really says something,” Pegram says. “This is the toughest 1-A conference in the state.” Joining Degraffenreid in the backfield is returning starting quarterback Josh Edwards, who Pegram says blossomed as the year progressed last season. “His learning curve was steep last year, and by the end of the season, I think he figured out his role,” the coach says. “He’s worked really hard since January, and all summer.” Brooks Childress, an All-Conference strong safety, will anchor the defense and provide some depth at tailback in the Bears’ I-formation

WESLEY BEESON / The Sanford Herald

Chatham Central’s Josh Edwards runs a quarterback sneak during the Bears’ practice on Wednesday evening. The Bears open the 2010 season with Southwest Randolph making the trek to Bear Creek on Aug. 20. set. He’ll be helped out by third-year starting linebacker Tashaun Brower. No doubt, there is more hope in the Bears’ camp this season than there has been in the past. “We’d like to win at least half of our games this year,” says Pegram, who is in his fifth season at Chatham Central. “Last year I thought we had a chance to win five ballgames, but we’ve got to learn how to finish. We not only have to get ourselves into the position

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to do well, but we’ve got to actually go out and get the results we’re looking for from our efforts.” It won’t be an easy task, by any stretch of the imagination. While traditional powerhouse Thomasville is no longer a member of the Yadkin Valley Conference, the league still boasts Albemarle. And others. “The 1-A state champion has come out of our conference in nine of the last 10 years,” Pegram says. “And West Montgomery played for the

state championship last year and got beat. “There are no slouches. They all can play, and it can be a struggle for a small 1-A program.” Especially one that has to fight the ambulance for playing time. Chatham Central is hoping to at least win the injury game in 2010, and take things from there. “I think this team has come together quite a bit. I think we’re stronger than we’ve been in the past,” says Pegram.

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Another offensive starter returning is lineman Michael De’Witt, who is making the move to center this season. Defensively, the Jaguars welcome back cornerback Jawan Counsil, who had seven interceptions in 2009. Darien Clayton is another returning defensive starter, having started every game at linebacker last year. With just a few seniors, the young Jaguars may face a lot of adversity in 2010. However, the Overhills junior varsity program went

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a group of good players that I think will continue to get better as the season goes on.” The Jets open the season on Aug. 20 with Eden Morehead coming to Siler City. In the 2009 season opener, the Jets cruised to a 38-20 victory over Morehead. “We’re looking to do the same thing this year,” said Scotten. “We want to start off with a win to give us a good feeling at the beginning of the season.” The Jets will also be looking to avenge a 42-8 2009

19

undefeated in 2009 and a lot of those players have made the next step to the varsity level. Therefore, Karrs remains confident that the Jaguars can get back to the postseason. “One of our goals this year is to make the playoffs,” said Karrs. “We want to be realistic with our goals and with how young we are, it’s going to be tough to win our league. But getting to the playoffs is doable. We’ve got a positive attitude in our locker room and these guys have worked hard this offseason. I am 100 percent confident that that hard work will start to show on the football field.”

loss to reigning conference champion Reidsville. It was the only loss of the conference season for Jordan-Matthews. “Every game we play in is going to be tough,” said Scotten. “We can’t worry about that game right now until we get there. We’ve got a long way to go before that game.” With a ton of talent returning to a stable program with a head coach that has a history of winning, the Jets definitely have what it takes to make their goal of hosting several playoff games possible. “We just have to believe,” said Scotten.

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20 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 / FOOTBALL 2010 Chargers Continued from Page 9

Herald File Photo

Northwood’s Tra Chandler (20) is one of seven offensive starters returning for coach Bill Hall and the Chargers. The senior brings speed, quickness and toughness to the tailback position. Northwood opens up the 2010 season at East Chapel Hill.

race among three players for the starting quarterback position, no doubt the Chargers will be back trying to run the clock and protect the football with another vaulted rushing attack. And with four starting offensive linemen returning — five linemen are actually back; players who shared starting duties in four positions last year — and skilled athletes like Tra Chandler and Dylan Davis in the offensive backfield mix, that seems like a solid plan. But because of the added inexperience under center, Hall is hoping to put together a dominant defense to take pressure off of the offense. “We’re very excited about the defense,” says Hall. “They have to carry us, and I think we can be a pretty good football team if it does.”

And with eight returning starters on defense, it’s no wonder Hall is focusing on the group. Jamal Baines and Terrance Gordon return as bookend defensive ends while Davis and Seth Spach anchor the linebacking corps that includes Dion Snipes and Brendan DiBernard. A.J. Farmer has the athleticism to be a standout strong safety and Chandler has the wheels to be a lockdown cornerback. Jay Williams, a freshman, may be the next in a long line of Northwood defensive line stars at noseguard. “We’re expecting great things out of him,” Hall says. Still, you have to score. And in any system, no matter where the focus lies, quarterback is a position that needs to be figured out. Hall has three passers to choose from, including freshman Larry Harrington, whom Hall says he is not afraid to throw out there as the starter should he outperform junior Mark Goods or senior Trevor

Alchuio. “It’s a wide open race,” says Hall. The experience in the trenches should help speed the learning curve of any of the three quarterbacks. Preston Roberson, Caleb Morris, Doug Horton, Dalton Brown and Keith Berger give the Chargers a stable and cohesive unit on the offensive line. “I do want to run the football and control the ballgame, but our big question mark is at quarterback,” Hall says. “We don’t have anybody with varsity experience. “But we are excited about our offensive line. Three of the five guys really worked hard in the offseason. By the third or fourth ballgame, we should really be in sync and be able to take advantage of our big guys.” They will have too. The expectations are high every season at Northwood now. It doesn’t matter how the Chargers get the job done, as long as it gets done.

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FOOTBALL 2010 / Thursday, August 19, 2010 /

23

ACC Preview

No shortage of chances for ACC to improve image By JOEDY McCREARY AP Sports Writer

The ACCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s reputation has taken plenty of hits since it expanded to 12 teams. The league certainly has plenty of chances this year to shut those critics up. A conference best known for its basketball can prove it belongs among college footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s big boys with a few victories in a lineup of early intersectional games that could go a long way toward reshaping its battered perception. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pride in your school, pride in your league and pride in your fraternity of (coaches),â&#x20AC;? Boston Collegeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Frank Spaziani said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tough league, and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think we hold a back seat to anybody.â&#x20AC;? Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll have several chances to prove that, all in the first month of the season: North Carolina opens with LSU, and two nights later, Virginia Tech plays Boise State. Miami visits Ohio State. Virginia travels to Southern California. Clemson is at Auburn. Florida State takes on Oklahoma. A capsule look at teams in predicted order of finish: Coastal Division VIRGINIA TECH â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Virginia Tech and Texas the only teams with at least 10 wins in each of last six seasons. ... Traditionally stout Tech defense must find replacements for six starters, including LB Cody Grimm and DE Jason Worilds. NORTH CAROLINA â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Tar Heels have an ACC-best 21 returning starters, including both specialists. ... They return the bulk of the ACCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top defense in 2009, but season could hinge on how well they handle the distraction of an NCAA probe. ... North Carolina looking for third straight bowl berth, which hasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t happened since Tar Heels went bowling every year from 1993-98. MIAMI â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Hurricanes hope to regain RB Graig Cooper, coming off a major knee injury from Champs Sports Bowl loss to Wisconsin. GEORGIA TECH â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Defending ACC champs are looking for replacements for their leading rusher (Jonathan Dwyer) and receiver (Demaryius Thomas). ... QB Josh Nesbitt is 692 yards shy of Woody Dantzlerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

league record for yards rushing by a QB. DUKE â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Three returning Blue Devils had at least 50 receptions last year, giving new QB Sean Renfree several options as he gets comfortable replacing four-year starter Thad Lewis. ... Dukeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s five wins last year were its most since 1994. VIRGINIA â&#x20AC;&#x201D; New coach Mike London served two stints as an assistant coach in Charlottesville. ... Cavaliersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; last-place finish in 2009 was their first since the ACC split into divisions in â&#x20AC;&#x2122;05. Atlantic Division FLORIDA STATE â&#x20AC;&#x201D; New coach Jimbo Fisher looking to lead Seminoles to NCAAbest 29th straight bowl appearance. ... QB Christian Ponder averaged nearly 322 total yards in his nine starts last season. BOSTON COLLEGE â&#x20AC;&#x201D; RB Montrell Harris is on pace to break Derrick Knightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s school career rushing record this season. ... LB Mark Herzlich, the ACCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s defensive player of the year in 2008, returns after missing last season to fight a rare form of cancer. CLEMSON â&#x20AC;&#x201D; RB Andre Ellington and RB Jamie Harper have one of college footballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s toughest jobs: replacing do-everything threat C.J. Spiller, the 2009 ACC offensive player of the year. N.C. STATE â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Wolfpack have two of the leagueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top receivers, with Spencer averaging a FBS-best 25.5 yards per catch and WR Jarvis Williams leading the ACC with 11 touchdown receptions. ... The Rockies also drafted QB Russell Wilson, who spent the summer playing minor-league ball. ... N.C. State must find some stability in the secondary, which was a revolving door last season in allowing opponents to complete nearly 63 percent of their passes. WAKE FOREST â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Demon Deacons hope theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve found a replacement for fouryear starter Riley Skinner in Skylar Jones, who is considered more of a running threat. ... Five of Wake Forestâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seven losses were by a combined 13 points, while two wins came by a touchdown or less. MARYLAND â&#x20AC;&#x201D; RB Daâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Rel Scott looking to regain his form after finishing with just 425 yards rushing during an injury-plagued junior season.

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2010 Football edition