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Zach Mayo

Zach Mayo

Zach Mayo is a reporter for HighSchoolOT.com and a student at UNC-Chapel Hill. You can follow Zach on Twitter @ZachMayoHSOT and he can be contacted at zmayo@wral.com.

Quarterback play a strength of the area


Aug 27, 2013

Middle Creek's #9 Brant Grisel drops back top pass as Garner defeats Middle Creek 21 to 16 Friday night August 23, 2013. (Photo by Jack Tarr)

Middle Creek's #9 Brant Grisel drops back top pass as Garner defeats Middle Creek 21 to 16 Friday night August 23, 2013. (Photo by Jack Tarr)

In recent years, central and eastern parts of North Carolina have sent many highly-ranked players to large, Division-1 football programs.

The list includes players of all sizes and positions, from superstar running backs to linemen on both sides of the ball, from linebackers and defensive specialists to kickers and punters.

This year, however, the talent shines bright when looking at a list of the area's starting quarterbacks. Each Friday, without going too far from home, one can see pocket-passers, option-runners, new starters and players who don't even technically play the position but still thrive under center. These are all quarterbacks that coaches should be proud to coach, teammates should be proud to play with and fans should be happy to observe.

Think of it this way: If you were to do a fantasy draft of players in the HighSchoolOT coverage area, you'd probably be able to save your quarterback pick until the fourth or fifth round. That's how deep the pool is.

So

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Time to talk about girls playing football


Aug 19, 2013

Fuquay Varina High School takes advantage of the first day teams are allowed to hit.

Fuquay Varina High School takes advantage of the first day teams are allowed to hit.

The song "Anything You Can Do" from the 1946 musical Annie Get Your Gun is a duet depicting a male and female attempting to outdo each other in simple tasks. The song has become a time-honored trademark of competition between the genders.

In the continuing battle for equality and supremacy,  a real-life "anything you can do" situation has been taking place in the high school sports scene for years.

With more girls playing high school football nationwide than ever before, people should be more open-minded about the concept of female athletes in the sport.

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, 1,804 girls in the United States played football for their high schools in 2012. That number is indicative of steady growth over time.

There are nationally-celebrated stories of girls taking on the task. In 2011, Brianna Amat of Michigan became known as the "Kicking Queen" after splitting the uprights on a game-winning field

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The high school football talk has begun


Jun 13, 2013

NC State hosts high school 7-on-7 competition (June 12, 2013)

NC State hosts high school 7-on-7 competition (June 12, 2013)

Summertime is for 3 things: trips to the beach, eating fresh strawberries and counting down the days until the start of football season.

But as fans continue to count down, high school football teams are already gearing up for months of preparation.

Wednesday evening, N.C. State hosted several area high schools for 7-on-7 scrimmages. Cardinal Gibbons, Cary, Enloe, Green Hope, Heritage, Hillside, Panther Creek, Sanderson and Wake Forest were among the teams in participation.

The event lasted about 3 hours, with each team playing 4 games.

In my mind, it's never too early to start talking football. Here are some of the teams and moments that caught my eye.

Hillside
 

At first glance, Hillside was easily the most athletic team in sight. The monstrous squad boasts several Division-1 prospects, and they showed it by putting on a 3-hour passing clinic.

The format of the scrimmage event allowed for teams to have bye periods between groups

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For Fuquay-Varina, it's 'hammer time'


May 31, 2013

Fuquay Varina defeats Richmond County 8-1 in Game 2 of the 4A Baseball Regional Finals.

Fuquay Varina defeats Richmond County 8-1 in Game 2 of the 4A Baseball Regional Finals.

As the Fuquay-Varina Bengals prepare to take the field against South Mecklenberg Friday night in Game 1 of the 4A state baseball championship series, they hope a certain superstition will be working in their favor.

When Brett Daniels and Nick Yarbrough walked off the field after their 12-0 mercy rule win against Richmond in Game 3 of the eastern regional, they carried a hammer with them.

"It's just a good-luck charm," Yarbrough said. "We take it everywhere."

According to the team, senior James Tudor found an old hammer in the locker room one day. The team now carries the hammer with them to every game. As they start to get hits on the field, they bang the hammer in the dugout and say that it's "hammer time."

The hammer gave a boost to a Bengal team that lost Game 1 of the eastern regional before winning 2 games in a row against Richmond to punch a ticket to the state championship series.

"We just decided we needed to pick up the pace and take care of business,"

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South Granville poised for championship performance


May 30, 2013

South Granville High School logo

South Granville High School logo

When the South Granville High School Vikings (24-1) take the field Friday evening to compete for the 2A state softball championship, balance will be key.

The girls have been nothing short of dominant this season, outscoring their opponents 208-27 since their first and only loss on March 30. The success can be attributed to a healthy balance of offensive firepower and masterful pitching.

Third-year starter Kasey Newcomb takes the mound for the Vikings, and she is a big reason the team has kept opponents in check on the scoreboard. She has 22 wins on the year with 118 strikeouts and a 1.59 ERA.

The Vikings have also proved they can swing for the fences with a balanced batting lineup that shares the scoring responsibility. The team has 7 players with more than 25 hits this season, and 6 players with more than 25 runs.

"You've got to score a lot of runs and give your pitcher some run support," said South Granville coach Jackie Day. "We spend greater than 95 percent

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