CarolinaPreps.com editor Chris Hughes provides insight into high school football across the state of North Carolina for HighSchoolOT.com. See his weekly column every Tuesday on HighSchoolOT.com.
Jul 21, 2012
9-year old Jasper Duke was on the sidelines of the game when in an instant she was caught up in the tackle of Sha'Quann Johnson, a Thomasville running back who was being forced out of bounds by an East defender. (Photo Credit: Keith Coward - CarolinaPreps.com)
The game of football is a dangerous one. There is no other sport that pits fully equipped players in a protective suit of armor running at full speed to tackle another player carrying a ball. Injuries are frequent in this game that sometime resembles gladiator battles.
While the ferocity of the game is extreme on the field of battle, the sideline at a football game is an equally dangerous place, and should always be treated with respect and an always on-guard mentality.
In my 25 years of being on football fields I’ve seen many collisions on a sideline. I’ve seen players, coaches, equipment managers, trainers, band members, cheerleaders, and a few tables taken out by the momentum of a sideline tackle.
Former Penn State coach Joe Paterno suffered a broken leg on the sidelines during a game against Wisconsin, and NFL chain-crew member Al Natasi Jr. suffered a head injury during a game in New Orleans. Both of those men were doing a job and knew the inherent risk…
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Feb 6, 2012
Garner vs Jack Britt high school football playoff game November 25, 2011. Photo by Andrew Craft - The Fayetteville Observer
Head football coaches from across the state met on Friday at the annual N.C. Football Coaches Association Winter Meeting held in Greensboro.
Two items dominated the business meeting and were a hot topic of conversation among coaches throughout the clinic, The pod system and going back to a 12-week regular season schedule.
When the pod system topic came up, the chatter in the room picked up as coaches started expressing their opinions and desire for change. When the vote was conducted, every head coach in the room voted against the pod system and some spoke out very much against the system.
Capps-HalIn a surprising twist, even 1A coaches who in some cases are forced to travel hundreds of miles in the playoffs were very much against the current system that keeps schools from traveling as far in the early rounds and in many cases plays a current conference member in the first round.
“I understand the premise behind it (pod system)”, said Wes Mattera, the head…
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Oct 27, 2011
The final week of any regular season always has the potential for excitement. In some cases teams with no playoff hopes try to go out on a winning note to set the tone for next year, in other cases the final game has much more serious implications.
Conferences will be won and playoffs spots will be settled but in a few cases we’ll not only find out who takes home the conference hardware, but bragging rights and rivalry trophies are on the line.
The final Friday of the season could be called Rivalry Week with all of the rivalry games being played. In a few instances, these rivalry games will settle conference championships and even number-one seeds in playoff brackets.
Other rival games are much more serious than titles, instead it is town vs. town and in some cases pits family against family.
Inside the Triangle, there are several key matchups that fans have looked forward to for weeks, but none more important than Leesville Road vs. Wake Forest-Rolesville.…
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Oct 18, 2011
Media coverage of high school football has grown by a considerable amount over the past decade, and with that have been the addition of multiple polls and rankings. If your question is who is number-one or the top teams in the state, your answer could be very different depending on what poll or outlet you follow.
Ranking high school football teams is a ritual that has been going on nearly 100 years since the NCHSAA sanctioned football in 1912.
It started with major newspapers and eventually the Associated Press. Now you can find rankings or polls on a few major websites and most newspapers across the state. A few national outlets have even got in on the practice and publish computer rankings on every team in the country.
With all the polls out there, one may ask which is the best, or more importantly, which is more accurate?
The Associated Press poll has long been considered the gold standard of rankings but could it be the least accurate of them all? In…
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Sep 28, 2011
What part of North Carolina has the best high school football? That is one of the most asked questions I get when meeting with football fans across the state. The debate could be endless depending on part of the state you’re from or what teams’ you pull for.
A lot of times those debates turn into East vs. West, or Charlotte vs. Raleigh, but after doing some research and relying on my twenty-plus years of experience of being around the game, I’ve come up with a different way to answer the question.
Instead of crowning a city or an entire half of the state the best, I’ve broke it down into different corridors. To be exact, I’ve used major highways.
And the winner is?
Well it is still not that simple. But it makes for fun discussion. Since I don’t have an endless amount of space, I’ll list the top three.
N.C. Hwy 87
Highway 87 is one of the longest state highways in North Carolina and is packed with football tradition.…
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