- Thursday, 10 October 2019
- Written by Earl Vaughan Jr.
Now that we’re seven weeks into the high school football season with five left in the regular season, here is how things stack up according to the statewide MaxPreps.com football rankings.
We’ll start with the rankings for all classes, public and private, in North Carolina.
The top Fayetteville school is Jack Britt, which comes in at No. 24. Next is Trinity Christian at No. 44.
South View is No. 57 with Terry Sanford No. 63. Seventy-First is No. 81, Cape Fear No. 85.
Gray’s Creek is No. 156, E.E. Smith No. 161 and Pine Forest No. 196.
Completing the list are Westover at No. 248 and Douglas Byrd at 284.
Fayetteville Christian, which plays eight-man football, is ranked only in North Carolina, and is No. 7 among the 8-man teams.
Moving to the specific rankings for classifications, among 4-A schools, Jack Britt is No. 15, South View No. 24, Seventy-First No. 31 and Pine Forest No. 63.
Among the 3-A schools, Terry Sanford is No. 23, Cape Fear No. 31, Gray’s Creek No. 54, E.E. Smith No. 56, Westover No. 83 and Douglas Byrd No. 94.
In the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association Class II 11-man rankings, Trinity Christian is No. 1 in the state.
While I respect the work of those who try to forecast who’s going to be in or out of the playoffs, there are too many directions things could go at this point for me to try and make that projection.
We’ll have the answer for sure when the state playoff brackets are announced the second Saturday in November.
The record: 40-14
I was 5-2 for the week, putting the season total to 40-14, 74.1 percent.
• Douglas Byrd at Cape Fear - Cape Fear finally has a winning streak going and is looking to make it three in a row this week.
Cape Fear 28, Douglas Byrd 7.
• Westover at E.E. Smith - The Golden Bulls continue their rebound from a rough start to the season.
E.E. Smith 21, Westover 14.
• Gray’s Creek at Terry Sanford - This is a dangerous game for the Bulldogs, who control their own fate in the Patriot Athletic Conference but have played inconsistently in recent games. Gray’s Creek has also had its share of problems, but the Bears are a potent offensive team and the Bulldogs need to take them seriously.
Terry Sanford 28, Gray’s Creek 14.
• Richmond Senior at Jack Britt - I’d love to keep drinking the Kool-Aid with the Buccaneers this week, but Richmond looks like one of the best teams in the state this season.
Richmond Senior 32, Jack Britt 18.
• South View at Pine Forest - Despite a rugged start, Pine Forest still can control its fate in the Patriot Athletic Conference. But in order to maintain that control, a win against South View is a must this week. I’m not sure the Trojans can make that happen.
South View 29, Pine Forest 12.
• Lumberton at Seventy-First - I think the Falcons will snap their surprising three-game slide this week.
Seventy-First 35, Lumberton 8.
Other games: Trinity Christian 30, North Raleigh Christian 8; St. David’s 30, Fayetteville Christian 12.
- Tuesday, 08 October 2019
- Written by Earl Vaughan Jr.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association estimates there are over 200,000 student-athletes playing for high school teams across the state.
Every year, 16 students are chosen to represent their peers on the Student Athlete Advisory Council.
This elite group of sophomores and juniors represents every region of the state and serves as the voice for all the state’s athletes, reporting directly to the NCHSAA at both a regional and state level.
This year’s SAAC includes two students from Jack Britt High School, E.J. McArthur and Colin Baumgartner. McArthur plays basketball and is the son of Britt girls’ basketball coach Nattlie McArthur.
Baumgartner competes in indoor and outdoor track, cross country and swimming.
Both are looking forward to serving on the committee and are ready to come to the table with ideas to make things better for their fellow athletes.
McArthur has already had a taste of what the SAAC does. This summer the NCHSAA sent him and some other SAAC members to a national meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, home of the headquarters of the National Federation of State High School Associations.
They learned about problem-solving, leadership and the Unified Sports program that is designed to increase interscholastic sports opportunities for special needs students.
“One of my main goals is to get Unified Sports in all schools, not just Cumberland County, but all of North Carolina,’’ McArthur said.
While in Indianapolis the SAAC members worked with special needs children. McArthur was moved by the looks on their faces when they got the opportunity to participate in sports.
Another concern for McArthur is sportsmanship. He and Baumgartner attended the recent Region 4 meeting of the NCHSAA held in Fayetteville. During the meeting they learned that no Cumberland County School managed to avoid having a player or coach ejected from an athletic contest during the 2018-19 school year.
“We want to form an initiative to get that (the number of ejections) down,’’ McArthur said. “Respect the refs, respect the rules. Do what you have to do as an athlete, but do it accordingly.’’
He thinks it’s important that the NCHSAA is open to getting input from student-athletes. “Adults don’t really understand what students want the way students understand what we want,’’ McArthur said. “Having this committee is better because they have a direct outlet to student-athletes.’’
Baumgartner agrees. “I feel like there’s a lot of situations where we might see things going on that might not be seen at a higher level,’’ he said.
Baumgartner wants more attention to sports not often in the spotlight. One where he has a personal interest is swimming.
He is concerned about access county swimmers have to indoor pools, noting they practice at times in outdoor pools covered by an inflatable dome that sometimes collapses and causes problems.
He also has a concern about alcohol abuse by his fellow students and thinks more needs to be done by students to curb the problem.
“We shouldn’t go to a party one day and a funeral the next,’’ he said. “Having a peer tell you something I think gives it a deeper meaning and a different perspective.’’
L-R: Jack Britt students and SAAC members E.J. McArthur and Colin Baumgartner