The N.C. High School Athletic Association football championship weekend begins Friday at North Carolina’s Kenan Stadium, where New Bern plays Indian Trail Porter Ridge in the 4A finals.
Play continues on Saturday at Kenan (4AA), N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium (2AA, 1A and 1AA) and at Wake Forest’s BB&T Field (3AA, 3A, 2A).
The various championships rotate among the three college facilities on a yearly basis. New Bern’s game was moved to Friday because North Carolina has a home basketball game on Saturday.
New Bern coach Bobby Curlings is glad his undefeated club gets to play on Friday, though.
“Playing on Friday night is part of the routine for our guys,” said Curlings, who led the Bears to the state 4AA title in 2007. “When you play on Saturday, it’s another adjustment you need to make because you’ve got another day of practice.
“I like to keep to the routine as much as possible.”
The Bears defeated 2011 4A state champion Scotland 23-6 in last week’s semifinals as quarterback Josh Taylor rushed for 114 yards and scored two touchdowns.
Porter Ridge lost to Scotland 42-16 in the 2011 4A finals.
Carrboro excited: Carrboro football coach Jason Tudryn let his excitement show Monday during the NCHSAA football championship news conference at Carter-Finley.
He talked a lot about how the football state championship appearance was good for the school and the community. He recalled the school’s first season in 2007 when the Jaguars absorbed an 89-0 loss to Burlington Cummings, an 80-19 loss to Orange, an 82-0 loss to Pittsboro Northwood and a 77-0 loss to Charlotte Latin.
After losing their first 21 games, the Jaguars went 4-8 in 2009, 10-4 in in 2010 and 8-4 in 2011.
“Carrboro was like the punchline in a joke,” Tudryn said. “But we had a bunch of guys who bought in to what we were trying to do.”
He recalled in the early years that players would sometimes tap the top of their helmets, a signal they were tired and wanted to leave the game.
“We stopped that pretty quickly,” he said.
The Jaguars played the regular season with 26 players and many start on offense and defense. The Jags will dress more than 40 players for the championships because Tudryn wants to give the championship experience to as many students as possible, but the core of 26 will do the playing.
Orange wrestling: The 32nd annual Jim King Invitational wrestling tournament begins Friday at Orange High at 3:45 p.m. The championships are scheduled for 4 p.m., on Saturday.
The field is loaded with Apex, Athens Drive, Burlington Williams, Cary, Chatham Central, Cedar Ridge, Clayton, Durham Arts, East Chapel Hill, Eastern Alamance, Granville Central, Jordan, Leesville Road, Millbrook, Northern Durham, Northwest Guilford, Pittsboro Northwood, Orange, Riverside, Person, Smithfield-Selma and Southern Alamance.