The 2013 News & Observer All-Metro team was picked with versatility in mind.
Not all of the 13 players selected played offense and defense, but all were capable of playing both ways.
The unit may be personified by Middle Creek junior tackle Terry Patterson, who was an all-Southwest Wake 4A pick on offense and defense.
Runners Johnny Frasier of Princeton, Patrick Pettiford of Orange and Nyheim Hines of Garner also were all-star caliber defensive backs. Wakefield quarterback Evan Brabrand started at linebacker as a junior.
Many of the players lined up at various positions. Hines, for example, played tailback, fullback, wide receiver, slot back, quarterback, linebacker, cornerback and safety at various times.
Versatility was one of many factors writes of The News & Observer and community papers considered in selecting the squad. Team success was another criteria. Eight of the nine teams represented by the players won at least 10 games. Princeton won nine.
Southern Durham, which won the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3AA title, has three players on the unit. Wake Forest, a 4AA finalist, has two as does 4AA semifinalists Middle Creek.
Injuries kept off some players, such as the only returning 2012 All-Metro players Braxton Berrios of Leesville Road and Trai Sharp of Carrboro.
Six of the 13 players are underclassmen – Hines, Frasier, Patterson, Wake Forest runner Bryce Love and Southern Durham quarterback Kendall Hinton are juniors. Wake Forest tackle Dexter Lawrence is a 6-foot-5, 300-pound sophomore and is the biggest player on the team.
“Sam is a great kid who makes people around him better,” Millbrook coach Clarence Inscore said. “He has an awesome attitude and work ethic. He is a leader by example and is a true team leader.”
“Evan is a remarkable young man,” Wakefield coach Rod Sink said. “He was able to move from middle linebacker to quarterback in only six months and helped to lead our team to a conference championship. He is a playmaker and one of our strongest leaders. He’s the type of young man every coach dreams of coaching.”
“Noah was the beef of the offensive line,” Southern coach Adrian Jones said. “He is a very mobile kid with great strength.”
“Johnny had an outstanding season,” Princeton coach Derrick Minor said. “His commitment to the weight room and his leadership on this team has shown on the field. It's been amazing watching him run the ball this year. We are blessed to have him.”
“Nyheim plays extremely hard and has a tremendous work ethic,” Garner coach Thurman Leach said. “He has the speed to make big plays and the power to get tough yardage inside. He also is very versatile. He is a great receiver and kick returner.”
“Kendall is a great kid,” Southern Durham coach Adrian Jones said. “He is smart and is a leader on the field. He is a true gun-slinger.”
“He was the defensive leader,” Middle Creek coach Mike Castellano said. “He called the defenses and got us in the right sets and then made adjustments. He was a game changer.”
“Marquavious is a driven competitor who is explosive with football in his hands. That is why we put him at quarterback,” Knightdale coach Robert Senseney said.
“Dexter is a dominate defensive tackle,” Wake Forest coach Reggie Lucas said. “He is only a sophomore but has played outstanding on the defensive line since he entered high school. He is very athletic and can move pretty good for his size. Dexter enjoys competing and is more motivated the better the competition. I am very happy to have him for two more years.”
“Bryce is a very fast and is an explosive runner,” said Wake Forest coach Reggie Lucas. “He ran for nearly 2,000 yards during the regular season and was limited in the playoffs do to injuries. Bryce is one of the best all-around running backs that I've had the opportunity to coach.”
“Terry is the first player in school history to be all-conference on both sides of the ball,” said Middle Creek coach Mike Castellano. “He almost never came off of the field. He is a definite Division I talent.”
Orange coach Pat Moser said Pettiford helped to make other players perform better. “He’s a leader and hard worker,” Moser said.
“Maurice is Mr. Electric,” said Southern Durham coach Adrian Jones. “He is great route runner and a great football player.”