For the first time in four years, Carrboro is devoid of any players who stepped foot on the field during a state playoff game.
The Jaguars have suffered through two, injury-filled seasons since they appeared in the 2012 NCHSAA 2AA championship final in 2012. They missed the playoffs in 2013 and 2014, winning just one conference game each year.
“None of our seniors who were freshmen in 2012 played in that state championship game,” Carrboro head coach Melvin Griffin noted. “We’re really rebuilding from the ground up and hope to begin a new tradition of winning.”
Carrboro does have plenty of starters back from last year’s 3-8 team — most of them linemen. The Jaguars will be without running back Trai Sharp, who was getting Division I offers from his sophomore year on before settling on James Madison, and quarterbacks Adam Bussian (Furman) and Rowe Mellott (East Carolina).
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“It’s rare to have your entire offensive and defensive line back,” Griffin said. “What we’re lacking is leadership at the skilled positions.
“We need to find a No. 1 receiver and we need to find leaders in general who can take the places of those players who graduated.”
Rising senior Greyson McGee is a notable returning running back. He earned honorable mention for the Mid-State 2A all-conference team last year after filling in several games for Sharpe, who was hobbled by an ankle injury.
Returning starters (offense): 7
Returning starters (defense): 6
Who’s most missed: RB Trai Sharp (James Madison), FS/QB Rowe Mellott (East Carolina), QB Adam Bussian (Furman); LB Sam Blobe.
Expected team strength: The line. All 2014 OL and DL starters return.
Contributors: OL/DL Ted Bilden; OL/DL John Peretin; RB Greyson McGee; OL Keegan Schmoock; OL Matthew Junker; OL John Peretin; OL Jordan Riggsbee; DL Nate Oquaye.
Question mark: Quarterback. Sophomore Samuel Walker is likely to get his first start.
Game to watch: Oct. 9 vs Cummings. “It’s our conference opener,” Griffin said. “We’ll have played six nonconference games, and I’d hope our sophomores and juniors would have made some strides by then.”
Quotable: Griffin: “We moved the ball between the 20s last year, but then had trouble getting those last yards. You’ve got to score to win.”
2014: 3-8 (1-4)
2013: 4-7 (1-4)
2012: 15-1 (4-0)
2011: 8-4 (2-2)
2010: 10-4 (2-2)