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Nick Stevens

Nick Stevens

Nick Stevens, a Raleigh native, is the senior editor of Nick has covered high school sports for WRAL since 2006, and helped create what is now In his blog, Nick provides insight and analysis on area high school sports teams, players and topics. He also provides his opinion on numerous issues surrounding high school sports. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStevensHSOT. You can contact Nick by clicking here or by sending an e-mail to

Lack of Numbers Keeps One Team Off The Gridiron

Jul 29, 2007

Patton High School will not field a varsity football team this season as they had planned.

Patton is the newest member of the Catawba Valley Athletic 2A/3A Conference, and they have caused the latest headache. Because the school couldn't get enough players to field a varsity team, everyone they were supposed to play will have a hole in their schedule.

So far, some schools have been able to fill the canceled game, but four schools have not. Bandys (9/14 or 10/15), Freedom (8/17 or 9/7), St. Stephens (8/31 or 10/19), and Hickory (10/12) have all suffered.

The following schools have made changes to their schedules:

  • Newton Conover will play at Providence Day on 8/24 and will have an open date on 9/28.
  • West Caldwell will host Hope Christian on 8/17.
  • Maiden and East Burke were both stranded by Patton, and they will play each other on 8/17 at East Burke.
  • East Burke will also

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How To Get Your HS Football Fix

Jul 28, 2007

If you're a big high school football fan, you probably already know that WRAL is the place you need to be. Just a few reminders:

  • Football Friday begins on August 24th after the 11:00 News on WRAL.
  • From July 30-August 16, we will be hosting the WRALHigh School Football Tour on this blog. You can get a schedule of schools by clicking on the link to the right.
  • On August 10, I will be at Wake Forest-Rolesville High School watching the Pigskin Kickoff from 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. I will have a recap here on the blog.
  • August 17 is when teams can play their first games - Endowment Friday. will be featuring the Millbrook-Garner game here on the blog.

I also want to tell you about some other things I will be doing during this high school football season. On my web site,, I will be hosting a weekly Internet Radio Show each Sunday evening at 8 p.m. beginning August 26th. You can download the player by clicking the link at the right

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Freshmen Features: Kameron Bryant, Green Hope

Jul 27, 2007

Over a month ago WRAL announced that we would be doing Freshmen Features this summer - a place where we will profile standout freshmen in the Triangle and surrounding areas. We received lots of names at first, but no one ever provided us extra information to write an article. If you know a rising freshman that deserves some attention, please send me an e-mail with as much information as possible to

Today we are going to focus on a quarterback headed to Green Hope High School in Cary. Kameron Bryant has seven years experience on the football field and was West Cary Middle School's MVP for football in 2006. Bryant has attended the Wake Forest University team camp and the Prep All-Stars camp.

Football isn't the only sport Bryant plays, though. Bryant is also a very talented basketball player at the guard position. Bryant's AAU Basketball coach, Rob Orton, told WRAL that "[Kameron] is one of the most explosive players I have ever

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Reaction From Robeson County

Jul 26, 2007

How often do you turn on WRAL News and hear that a local high school student was killed in a drunk driving accident? All too often.

Drunk driving is a major problem among high school students, and it doesn't help the situation when people they are supposed to look up to get arrested for DWI. This is what happened to Purnell Swett head football coach Mark Heil - and it isn't the first time it has happened. is reporting that the school board is scheduled to meet tonight, but there is no word if they will discuss the issue. If they don't, it will be a disgrace. I am one for justice and the presumption of innocence, but this isn't the first time this has happened, and he registered a .13 on the Breathalyzer after his single car wreck in Robeson County.

Football practice starts on Monday, scrimmages begin on August 9th, and Purnell Swett's first game is August 17th against Ashley. Heil's court date is August 21st.

If Heil is found guilty of DWI and reckless

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Purnell Swett Coach Faces Drunk Driving Charges

Jul 25, 2007

When you are a coach, you are supposed to set an example for your athletes and help to teach them life lessons. Purnell Swett head football coach Mark Heil was arrested for driving while impaired on June 27, 2007, after a one car accident on secondary road 2238.

According to a police report filed by a highway patrolman, Heil lost control of his car while going around a curve and flipped it twice. Heil registered a .13 on the Breathalyzer - .08 is legally impaired in North Carolina.

Heil faces charges for DWI and reckless driving, his license has also been revoked.

As if those charges aren't bad enough, Heil pleaded guilty to a DWI charge in 1991 while he was in his first tenure as head football coach at Purnell Swett. Heil coached at Purnell Swett from 1988 to 1994, then moved to Cape Fear until last season.

Greg Killingsworth, the assistant superintendent of human resources for Robeson County Schools, told the Fayetteville Observer that any action against previous

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