Top 25 Teams
Quarterback Emiere Scaife leads Mallard Creek’s high-powered offense
1Mallard Creek (4A): Coach Mike Palmeri’s Mavericks have been on the verge of breaking through for their first state championship each of the past three seasons, and they look poised to take that next step in 2013 as they
return a roster full of veteran leadership and speed at nearly every
position. Watch for quarterback Emiere Scaife to lead the Mavs’
electrifying offense as it figures to score touchdowns in bunches.
2Scotland County (4A): Always one of the toughest teams in the state, Scotland looks
to return to the state championship game after
missing it last year in Richard Bailey’s first year
as head coach. The Fighting Scots are loaded
with speed and skill players on both sides of the
ball, and if the offensive line comes together
this team could be unstoppable.
3Independence (4A): Once the most powerful program in the state, the Patriots
could be poised to regain that crown as first-year coach Joe Evans will lead a powerhouse
team through one of the toughest conferences
in the state. Look for Independence to ride on
the back of Isaiah Robinson, one of the toughest runners in all of North Carolina.
4Butler (4A): Many prognosticators and coaches feel Butler could take a step back
after winning three state championships in a
four-year span, but don’t think that Brian Hales’
team will not be in the mix come late November.
The Bulldogs have a gauntlet of a schedule but
they still could be the last team standing.
5Havelock (3A): If there ever was a 3A program that could compete with the larger
4A schools on a weekly basis, Havelock is that
team. Head coach Jim Bob Bryant has built a
juggernaut of speedy and talented football play-
Derrell Scott is one reason Havelock (3A) finds itself in the preseason Top 25
ers and the Rams look to be the easy pick to
pencil in for their third-straight 3A title.
6Richmond County (4A): Richmond has been the standard for football excellence in
North Carolina for 40 years and you always have
to look out for the Raiders. Paul Hoggard’s squad
will play one of the most grueling schedules in
7Garner (4A): It doesn’t matter that the Trojans will have a new coach, or even new
faces for that matter, because Garner is a team
that will reload and keep punishing opponents.
New coach Thurman Leach has a loaded stable
of runners and players with a chip of their shoul-
8Hough (4A): Call them the new kids on the block, but Hough is a team that is
here and for real. Playing in the tough Meck
4A League, they’ll face an uphill battle against
some of the better teams from the region but
the Huskies have the talent, speed and coach-
the state but if any team is built for that kind of a
ders to make it back to the state finals after
ing to get the job done.
punishing grind, the Raiders are that team.
narrowly missing them last season.