SIMPLY PUT, THE FOOTBALL PLAYED IN THE CHARLOTTE Metro Region is the best in the state of North Carolina. It has the most speed, the most talent and accounts for the most championships, especially at the elite 4AA ranks.
High school football in and around the Queen City has produced
countless college football stars, NFL players and some of the best
and brightest coaches in the state.
A dominant program of yesteryear could regain its throne this
season. Independence High School was the standard bearer of
football dominance from 2000-’09 when it was led by head coach
Tom Knotts. The Patriots won 109 consecutive games, claimed
seven-straight state titles and dominated everyone that got in their
But times got tough for Indy after Knotts moved on to Dutch Fork
High School in South Carolina. The Butler Bulldogs took over their
role as king and continued that Charlotte dominance by winning
three of the last four 4AA titles.
However, 2013 should see the Patriots move back up to that No.
1 spot, even with a new head coach. When Bill Geiler retired at the
end of last season, the Patriots made no hesitation in hiring Joe
Evans as the next head coach, and they should reap the benefits of
that hire in year one.
Evans will benefit most from power back Isaiah Robison, the
beast in the backfield who rushed for 1,550 yards and 29 touch-
downs a year ago. Pair him with an electrifying cast of athletes on
the offensive side and the Patriots will be a tough team to stop.
The final game of the regular season will once again be for all
of the marbles as Indy faces off against longtime nemesis Butler.
But don’t forget about the Butler Bulldogs when talking about
the best of the best. Coach Brian Hales may have lost some key
performers off of last year’s state championship team, but the cupboard is not bare by any means and quarterback Anthony Ratliffe
and running back Benny Lemay are among the state’s best players.
Any discussion about the best teams in the Charlotte region
also has to include Mallard Creek. The Mavericks have established
themselves as a yearly contender and they are loaded with college-bound athletes on both sides of the ball. Emiere Scaife is among
the top signal-callers in the state and Jaylen Samuels is a dual-threat athlete who will most definitely play at the next level.
One team that looks to challenge Mallard Creek in the MeCka
Conference is Hough. The Huskies are coming off a 10-win campaign and they could be the next team to establish themselves as
a yearly contender. A.L. Brown in Kannapolis will also look to get in
the title mix with head coach Mike Newsome.
One of the biggest headlines in the Charlotte region has been
Charlotte Catholic’s arrival in the 4A ranks. A yearly championship contender for decades at the 3A level, Catholic has Notre
Dame-bound power back Elijah Hood, who should help the Cougars
steamroll to yet another conference crown.
Several other programs in Charlotte should remain high on the
radar, including West Mecklenburg, Providence and Rocky River.
Outside of the city, pay attention to West Rowan, South Point,
Crest, Sun Valley and Statesville as the teams that will most likely
be playing in the late weeks of November.
A newcomer to the top-tier of the rankings will be coach Donnie
Kiefer’s Central Cabarrus Vikings who will most likely challenge for
the South Piedmont 3A crown.
Isaac Stewart, Butler
QB Will Grier
RB Elijah Hood
RB Isaiah Robinson
RB Shaun Wilson
WR Workpeh Kofa
WR Jamiek Davis
WR Carl Tucker
TE Jeb Blazevich
OL Tony Adams
OL Brian Chaffin
OL Mason Veal
OL Ryan Matson
ATH Van Smith
DL Robert Dinkins
DL Darian Roseboro
DL Ikeem Austin
DL BJ Hill
LB Isaac Stewart
LB Cayson Collins
LB Raphael Montgomery Mooresville
DB Nafees Lyon
DB Mark Fields
DB Amari Henderson
DB Corey Bell
P Corbin Daly
ATH Jaylan Barbour
TOP 5 TEAMS
1MALLARD CREEK: This program has taken a step in each of the past three
seasons. But are the Mavs ready to take that
state championship leap?
2INDEPENDENCE: We could see a return to dominance as the Patriots look
to regain championship form.
3BUTLER: The Bulldogs have won three of the last four state championships, but
will a young core of players be enough to
defend their title?
4HOUGH: The Huskies may be the new kids on the block, but this team could
seriously challenge some of the region’s
5CHARLOTTE CATHOLIC: The Cou- gars move up from 3A to 4A, but don’t
look for the production to drop.
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FRIDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL NORTH CAROLINA 2013