Chris Edwards, a graduate of Garner High School, pioneered the Trojan Sports Network at his alma mater, providing play-by-play coverage of different sports at the school. Chris is a regular contributor to HighSchoolOT.com. He is a co-host of HighSchoolOT Round Table each Wednesday on HighSchoolOT.com. You can follow Chris on Twitter @Chris__Edwards (with two underscores).
Nov 13, 2013
Over the last several years, we have gone on ad nauseam about the playoff system we use for high school football in the state of North Carolina. The pod system was finally dissolved after last season, except in the 1-A and 1-AA playoffs.
While I still believe that using the pod system in the 1-A classification is the right move – it limits excessive travel which can be extreme in 1-A football – it doesn’t mean the system is fixed. In fact, it’s still broken.
Take a look at the 1-A Mideast pod, Lejeune High School (10-1) is the number one seed in the pod and they’re hosting Northwest Halifax – a club that went 1-10 on the season and was outscored 572-132 during the course of the season.
I’m not picking on the Vikings, I’m just saying that it makes no sense for a 1-10 football team to be awarded a berth to the state playoffs.
I’d argue that for these young men at Northwest Halifax to get on a bus and go almost three hours to play a football game…
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Oct 22, 2013
Knightdale's #23 Marquavious Johnson celebrates a touchdown as Knightdale defeats Clayton 52 to 27 Friday night October 4, 2013. (photo by Jack Tarr 2013)
Since the formation of the Greater Neuse River Conference in 2005, no school has won more conference championships than the Garner Trojans. But this week there's a new threat to the Trojans’ kingdom, as the Knightdale Knights look to start a new tradition of their own.
Since Saturday morning, several people have asked me to handicap what shapes up to be the equivalent of the Greater Neuse River Championship game. Respectfully, I have declined to pick a winner due to the fact that I’ll be calling the game for television (check it out on Time Warner Cable channel 520 on Friday night or channel 199 over the weekend).
But what I will do is give you what I think are some key points to look for over the course of the week and during the game on Friday night.
Garner’s Offense vs. Knightdale’s Defense
We all know about Garner’s offense, mainly Nyheim Hines who has accounted for 39 total touchdowns this season for the Trojans. I don’t…
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Oct 8, 2013
As I’ve traveled around the eastern part of our state the last several years to call various high school football games I sometimes wonder, "What made some of these programs so consistent?"
For example, year after year Garner is at the top of its conference, and while it starts with a solid coaching staff and other various aspects, I think a lot of what makes a program successful year in and year out is a solid feeder program, and I’m not talking about the junior varsity team.
I’m talking about Pop Warner and other youth football leagues.
Don’t misconstrue what I am saying; junior varsity football is a tremendous tool and an excellent way to build a program. What I am saying is that in order to be a successful program you need kids who learn the game at a young age where they can begin to craft their skill set to compete when they reach the middle school and high school level.
We at HighSchoolOT.com have talked at length about Knightdale and how they…
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Oct 1, 2013
There is an old saying in the world of sports that records and streaks are made to be broken. That is probably a pretty accurate statement, but we all know some of those lofty marks will probably never be touched.
For example, Cal Ripken Jr.’s consecutive games played streak in baseball.
When you flip the pages of the N.C. High School Athletic Association record books, many outstanding achievements can be found in a wide array of athletic events.
But there is one streak that ended last week that you probably have not heard about. The Garner volleyball team reeled off 60-consecutive Greater Neuse River Conference matches before the streak ended with a 3-2 loss to Clayton last Thursday night.
This is a streak that began on Aug. 24, 2010, with a victory over West Johnston and lasted until last Thursday when the Comets ended the streak on Garner’s home court.
What’s impressive to me isn't so much the fact Garner won 60-straight conference matches, but…
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Sep 24, 2013
Last Friday night, for the first time in my eight plus years covering high school sports, I had a chance to visit Richmond County and see a varsity football game at Raider Stadium.
What struck me after the game was how consistent the Raiders football program is. The program does not rebuild, they just reload year after year.
After doing some checking, I realized that Richmond usually fields a fairly competitive team in most every sport they offer. I began to wonder, what are the key elements to having a successful athletic program?
Let’s be clear what I mean by a consistent athletic program. I’m not talking about winning a state championship in every sport you field, or even winning the Wells Fargo Cup each season. I am basically looking for a program that finishes in the top three or four of each sport and puts a quality product on the field of play.
Here are some of my key elements (in no particular order) to what you need to find a consistent, relevant…
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