I really feel concern over Wayne Inman and his Topsail High School football team.
If you haven’t been keeping up, Inman, the former head coach at Terry Sanford, is having a good season down at the coast, currently with a 6-1 record.
But like with other communities in that part of the state that have been pounded first by Hurricane Florence and then Hurricane Michael, Inman and company have had to deal with a brutal schedule.
On Oct. 12, Topsail got a last-second field goal to beat Wilmington Laney 22-20. Tuesday night, Topsail returned to action against Wilmington Hoggard and lost 49-12.
Saturday, they play West Brunswick. Six days later, they’ll play Wilmington Ashley.
That’s four varsity football games in 15 calendar days.
I understand you can’t do anything about natural disasters but I know enough about football to know recovery time is critical to staying healthy. That short a span of time between playing that many games isn’t safe.
It’s time for the N.C. High School Athletic Association to set some firm rules about the minimum number of days that need to pass before playing a football game again.
Extending the season was a great move and solved some problems, but having to deal with two hurricanes is taxing the system and it needs to be fixed.
Football is important, but safety is paramount. It’s time to give serious thought to shortening the playoff schedule or cutting back on the number of regular-season games. To fit the time we have left, conference tournaments have been cut back in some non-revenue sports. There’s no reason we can’t apply the same philosophy to the football playoffs.
The record: 56-15
The record last week was 8-1, improving the season total to 56-15, 78.9 percent.
Pine Forest at Cape Fear - After last week’s loss to South View, Cape Fear is backed into a corner, and that’s bad news for Pine Forest. The Colts are a game behind 3-A Patriot Conference rivals Gray’s Creek and Terry Sanford and can’t afford to lose anymore ground to either of them.
Meanwhile, Pine Forest is unbeaten in the conference, but finds itself having to keep pace with fellow 4-A team South View that has yet to lose.
This game looks like a coin flip but I’m going to give Cape Fear a slight edge for home field and the fact the Colts have played a somewhat tougher schedule so far than the Trojans.
Cape Fear 22, Pine Forest 18.
Douglas Byrd at Gray’s Creek - Although Byrd is much-improved from last season, the host Bears shouldn’t have a problem winning this one.
Gray’s Creek 28, Douglas Byrd 14.
Jack Britt at Hoke County - Britt picks up a Sandhills Conference win against a Hoke County team that is having another tough season.
Jack Britt 29, Hoke County 8.
Seventy-First at Purnell Swett - Looking ahead will be the biggest problem for the Falcons as they could be playing for the Sandhills Conference championship next week at home against Richmond Senior.
Seventy-First 30, Purnell Swett 12.
South View at Terry Sanford - Both teams have offenses that can put a lot of points on the board quickly, but at the same time both have defensive shortcomings. This is literally a case where the last team with the ball could be the winner. At the end of the day, I think South View has a little more offensive firepower than the Bulldogs so I give the Tigers the edge.
South View 35, Terry Sanford 33.
Westover at Overhills - Both teams have had their share of disappointment this season. I’m taking a slight lean toward Westover because I think the Wolverines have played tougher competition so far.
Westover 14, Overhills 12.
Other games: Village Christian 20, Raleigh Ravenscroft 7; Trinity Christian 35, Fayetteville Christian 6, E.E. Smith open.