High School Sports

PrepsNow best of the week: An early, early look at preseason football rankings

Middle Creek quarterback Dominique Shoffner (10) carries on a short run down to the goal line as Millbrook's Montavius Baker(24) tries to make the tackle during Millbrook's playoff football game at Middle Creek on Friday, November 20, 2015. Middle Creek won the game 35-14.
Middle Creek quarterback Dominique Shoffner (10) carries on a short run down to the goal line as Millbrook's Montavius Baker(24) tries to make the tackle during Millbrook's playoff football game at Middle Creek on Friday, November 20, 2015. Middle Creek won the game 35-14. newsobserver.com

Is it too early to look ahead to the high school football season? Not if you’re Chris Hughes at CarolinaPreps.com.

Hughes already has preseason top 25s for all four N.C. High School Athletic Association classifications. Charlotte’s Mallard Creek (4A), Havelock (3A), Shelby (2A) and Wallace-Rose Hill (1A) are ranked No. 1, respectively.

In 4A, Middle Creek (ninth), J.H. Rose (14th), Wake Forest (17th), Garner (18th), Millbrook (20th) and D.H. Conley (21st) are all ranked.

Rocky Mount is third in 3A followed by Southern Durham (fifth), Cleveland (eighth), South Johnston (21st) and Hunt (23rd). Bunn is seventh in 2A and Ayden-Grifton is 20th. No area 1A teams made the list.

Knightdale, Dargan part ways: Knightdale will need a new football coach after Cedric Dargan and the school agreed to part ways last week.

“After several discussions, Cedric Dargan and I have mutually agreed that we will reopen the position of head football coach at Knightdale High School of Collaborative Design,” the school’s principal, Jim Argent, said in a statement. “We will search for the best person to lead the team into the future.”

Dargan was 9-14 in two seasons with the Knights and reached the playoffs last season.

NCHSAA Conference Cup: Garner, Leesville Road, Green Hope and Cardinal Gibbons were among the area winners of yearlong NCHSAA Conference Cup competitions. Conferences determine their own points system, but the Wells Fargo Conference Cup is based on regular-season conference standing.

Other area winners were D.H. Conley (Eastern Carolina 4A/3A), Chapel Hill (Big 8 3A), Rocky Mount (Big East 3A), Cleveland (Two Rivers 3A), Carrboro (Mid-State 2A), N.C. School of Science and Math (Northern Carolina 2A), Rosewood (Carolina 1A), North Moore (Central Tar Heel 1A), Louisburg (Tar-Roanoke 1A) and Franklin Academy (North Central 1A).

Brickhouse average: Bunn senior Spencer Brickhouse, an East Carolina recruit and likely early round MLB Draft pick this week, will officially finish second in the NCHSAA history books in career batting average.

Brickhouse hit .548 in his career, behind only Alex Hill (of West Charlotte and Z.B. Vance), who hit .561.

Hester earns honor: Former Granville Central star Tevin Hester was named the Southeast Outdoor Male Track Athlete of the Year by U.S. Track and Field. Hester, now at Clemson, was also the Indoor Male Track Athlete of the Year. He is a former NCHSAA male athlete of the year award winner.

Stackpole commits: Overhills rising junior Haleigh Stackpole, who broke a Harnett County record with 63 soccer goals last season, has committed to Ole Miss.

N&O All-Metro: The N&O All-Metro spring sports teams will run on June 19 and the N&O players of the year will be released on June 26.

Performers of the week

Baseball: South Granville’s Holden Laws went 3-for-10 with a home run and two RBIs in a loss to East Rutherford in the NCHSAA 2A title series. He also went a complete game with 10 strikeouts in Game 2. Teammate Clay Waters went 5-for-11 from the plate with a homer, a double and three RBIs.

Green Hope senior Trevor Losito was 2-of-5 with two triples and an RBI in a 4A series against eventual champion North Davidson.

Softball: South Granville’s Megan White and Princeton’s Hailey Wood were named MVP of their respective NCHSAA championship series.

White went 6-of-11 with two homers and three extra base hits as the Vikings topped West Lincoln for the 2A title.

Wood pitched 18 innings in the Bulldogs’ three-game series and struck out 16. She allowed just five runs and also went 5-of-11 from the plate with two doubles.

In a 3A series loss to Enka, C.B. Aycock’s Connor Vinson went 4-of-8 at the plate with one RBI.

J. Mike Blake: 919-460-2606, @JMBpreps

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