Huddle notebook

Notebook: Cap Eight flexes its football muscle

tstevens@newsobserver.comNovember 18, 2013 

Wakefield's Kelton Whitehead (6) runs between Southeast Raleigh's Timarcus Simpson (11) and Jaymerson Lockley (41) during Southeast Raleigh Magnet football game against Wakefield High School Friday, September 13, 2013, in Raleigh.


The Cap Eight flexed its muscles in the first round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4AA football playoffs last week. Wakefield, Millbrook and Wake Forest are among the eight remaining teams.

The biggest show of strength was by Wake Forest, a wild-card selection from the Cap Eight, knocking off Southwest Wake 4A runner-up Panther Creek, 35-15.

Sanderson, another wild card, gave traditional power Fayetteville Britt a close game before falling 35-28.

The only other Cap Eight team to lose in the first round was Leesville Road, which fell 24-21 to Millbrook.

Middle Creek is the only remaining team from the Southwest Wake 4A. Hillside is the only team from the PAC Six 4A that reached the second round. The Greater Neuse River conference’s Knightdale and Garner both advanced.

Happy to be playing: Wake Forest coach Reggie Lucas said he and his team aren’t spending a lot of time thinking about the playoff brackets. Most of the top Cap Eight teams are clumped together in the top of the 4AA East bracket.

“We’re just happy to have the opportunity to play some more football,” Lucas said. “Thinking about the pairings doesn’t accomplish anything. We’re excited that we got in.”

Lucas, a former quarterback and defensive back at Wake Forest-Rolesville, said he remembers a team he played on going 8-2 and not making the playoffs.

The NCHSAA has tried several different ways of aligning the playoffs. Years ago, the association would tweak the brackets to prevent schools from the same conference from playing in the first round.

That practice was dropped because it wasn’t fair to drop or raise a team’s seeding because of a conflict somewhere else in the bracket.

“If you seed, you are going to have teams from the same bracket playing each other,” said Mark Dreibelis, an assistant commissioner of the NCHSAA. “You can’t seed and avoid first-roud conference matches. It’s an either-or proposal. You have predetermined brackets or you seed.”

NCISAA championship: Rocky Mount Academy handed Southampton (Va.) Academy its first loss in N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association eight-man football in two years Friday night with a 42-30 victory in the championship game.

Chris Jenkins led the Rocky Mount rushing attack with 72 yards. Jacob Hunter ran for 67 yards and caught eight passes for 108 yards.

Quarterback Brice Andracchio completed five of seven passes for 123 yards as coach B.W. Holt’s team avenged a 34-9 regular season loss.

Southhampton had won the last two state eight-man titles.

Still learning: Cary coach Kurt Glendenning said he learned a lot in his first season as a varsity coach.

Glendenning has a long background at the school having served as athletics trainer, athletics director and as an assistant football coach.

“But I still had a lot to learn,” Glendenning said. “There are some things I would do differently and will do differently in the future.”

The Imps finished 4-7, but beat Athens Drive 28-23 in the season finale.

Basketball changes: Wake Forest and Garner have reschedued basketball games that had been scheduled for Friday to accomodate each school’s playoff game. Wake Forest will play Rolesville on Dec. 9 and Garner will play Northern Durham on Thursday.

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