HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL IN THE FAYETTEVILLE REGION is like nowhere else in the state. It’s not just a game played on Friday nights, it’s an exhibition of toughness and hard-hitting, nose-to-the-grindstone football that
separates the men from the boys.
Over the past several decades, football in the region has been
shaped by coaches who believed in that smash-mouth philosophy,
coaches like Bob Paroli, Ed Emory and Bobby Poss.
While the times have changed and the offensive systems have
grown more complex, the term “Fayetteville Football” is still widely
used to describe the ferociousness of the competition and the
physical nature in which the games are played.
Of course any time one previews a team or league in the Fayetteville Region, it has to begin with the Southeastern 4A Conference
and the first question has to be does anyone have anything for
Scotland County or Richmond County. Normally the answer would
be no with a period, but we could see a new team emerge as a
contender this season.
Both Scotland and Richmond are perennial state title contend-
ers, but the Hoke County Bucks, led by Milton Butts, could be the
team to knock off one of the giants.
Coming off one of their best seasons in decades, the Bucks are
explosive on both sides of the football and possibly have the most
team speed in the league. Add dual-threat quarterback Geoffrey
Thompson and the Bucks are for real.
The Mid-South Athletic Conference could also have some new
faces in the title race, and one face in new colors.
Jack Britt High School has essentially owned the Mid-South
since the last realignment but times could be changing in Fayetteville. Coach Duran McLaurin has moved over from defending league
champion E.E. Smith to his alma mater Seventy-First, and it’s possible we could see the Falcons go from worst-to-first in one year.
Pine Forest is the other team that could stake claim to the league
crown behind the efforts of Division I bound recruits Lamont Gail-
lard and Harold Landry.
Now don’t expect Britt to just roll over and let another team take
its spot atop the conference contenders list as there is still a lot of
pride and talent for the Buccaneers. Fresh off of a state title game
appearance, Brian Rimpf’s squad is certain to impose its will on
A new face to the Mid-South could also make some noise in
its first year of 4A competition. Overhills has a new coach and a
new attitude, and the Jaguars could have the talent to win several
Staying with the Fayetteville Region, don’t overlook Douglas
Byrd or the talent the Eagles possess. Under veteran head coach
Russell Stone, the Eagles have soared and should be the leading
contender to win the Cape Fear Valley 3A, but Gray’s Creek has
been a consistent challenger and one can never count out a David
Lovette coached team. Pair his scheme with players like Dontavious McNeil, Jeff Gibson and Eric Bugdanavage, and the Bears will
be very strong.
Another team to watch in the Cape Fear Valley will be Terry San-
ford, which moves down from the 4A ranks. Coach Bryan Till has
taken over and the talent is there for the Bulldogs to make a move.
One of the biggest stories in the Fayetteville Region could be
that of Red Springs quarterback Blake Greene. The Red Devils are
coming off back-to-back 10-win seasons and Greene is the reigning 1A Player of the Year and most likely will end up second in all-time touchdown accountability in the state.
Kyle Erickson, Jack Britt
TOP 5 TEAMS
1SCOTLAND COUNTY: Year two of the Richard Bailey system should produce
QB Blake Greene
DL Lee Autry
exceptional results for the Fighting Scots.
QB Jaylend Ratliffe
DL Arthur Williams
RB Jahmaal Daniels
DL Lamont Gaillard
2RICHMOND COUNTY: Expect the Raiders to be rejuvenated after their
RB Josh McPhatter
DL Josh Armstrong
bitter loss in the 2012 playoffs.
WR C.J. McGeachey
LB Montez Samuels
3HOKE COUNT Y: Milton Butts is no stranger to the Fayetteville region
WR Raheem Bowden
LB Jamal Darden
and his Bucks could be ready to do some
WR Jose Sanchez
LB Harold Landry
OL Tobias Edge-Campbell Hoke County
LB Nick McClure
OL Joe Legg
DB Jeff Gibson
4JACK BRITT: The Buccaneers made it 4AA title game last season and the
OL Kyle Erickson
DB Trejon Monley
expectations remain the same.
OL Garrett Best
DB Robert McKoy
5PINE FOREST: Ready for a breakout season Bill Sochovka hopes to lead the
K Jackson Maples
ATH Caleb Drake
Trojans on a championship run.
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FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL NORTH CAROLINA 2013