HighSchoolOT Editor-in-Chief Nick Stevens appeared on The Adam Gold Show Wednesday to talk about North Carolina’s upcoming high school football season, including top players, teams and conferences.
You know what starts, my goodness, what two weeks of high school football starts with practice starts this week. My kids start soccer practice on Monday. Uh, but he’s in eighth grade, so no big deal. Or maybe it’s Nick Stevens. Speaking of big deals, a huge deal joins us from high school ot dot com. You can subscribe to their newsletter. And when you’re watching on TV, he’s there. Nick, what’s up? How is he? By the way: Tryouts are always a big deal. It doesn’t matter what, uh, that’s true, in eighth grade there’s a lot of pressure on these kids to make the team. So their parents can plan scholarship visits and all that. Um, alright, let’s get straight to the point. Give me a sense of the level of football. North Carolina state high school football today compared to, I don’t know, five or ten years ago. I would say North Carolina high school football has grown exponentially over the past decade. Um, you look at the amount of talent that’s coming out of our state. Uh, and uh, you know, we used to talk about how all the talent left the state, and that’s not necessarily the case anymore. I mean, NC State and Carolina have both done a really good job recruiting in the state lately. Um, there are other schools that have done the same thing, but you know, we see a lot of our top talent staying. Um, and then you look at how they go through college and get into the NFL, um, we see a lot of them succeeding at that level, um, and I think that speaks volumes for where football is at is, in the state of North Carolina. Definitely today. Nick Stevens joins us here. Good. So if we had something, what was that in a week, tomorrow in two weeks is the start of the season? Is that what we’re talking about? So the season has started. Um, we haven’t had any games yet, have we? The first week is not of games in two weeks. OK. It’ll be the first high school football Friday you live. Um, there’s going to be a couple of games this Thursday night. Um, but we, um, you know, we’ve got a lot to do before then. Uh, we’ve been in practice all week this week, just kind of doing the rounds and, and of course we’re going to be at scrimmage in the summer when we’re seven-a-side next week. So, um, it’s getting more and more real when we talk about football. Good. Uh Roosevelt uh Roosevelt High School which is a little bit north of town just north of Wake Forest, um, I mean I know they have some good players including the number one in the state who managed to escape the fence , built around the borders of North Carolina and leading to the state of Ohio. Do you think they are the best team or did they just have some great players? They will be one of the best teams for sure. They’ll have a case for preseason first place when the preseason leaderboard is released next week. Uh, no, Rogers is the guy you’re talking about. Six to wide receivers. He is a four star player. number one in the state. Um, number six in the nation’s wide receiver. On the way to the state of Ohio. Um, and he’s very, very good. I mean, he makes Dennis Cox Cox can tell you he’s seen some of those Roseville games, and he makes some of the most incredible catches I’ve ever seen high school kids. In fact, I spoke to a senior football coach at another school here in Wake County who had to train against him, and he said that was his coach for a long time. He said that’s the first kid he’s ever looked at and said the kid will play on Sunday. He was in high school. I mean, some of the hooks he pulls are really, really amazing. Rozelle also has to play Marcus Cooley, who plays both sides of the ball and plays on special teams. He’s a repatriation specialist, uh, he signed NC State. Um, so you know they have a real talent for roles up there. In fact, today Marcus is on the TJ Thorpe show that took place at the high school this morning. It’s a good interview where he talks nonsense with UNC guy TJ Thorpe. NC State fans might want to check this out. We spoke to TJ Thorpe two months ago? Uh look, TJ is a sharp guy I think this whole thing is just for fun. I hope the show continues to grow. Nick Stevens High School. The editor in chief of Ot is here at the Adam Gold Show. Uh, give me a few teams to watch and then we’ll get into conferences and players too. Well, you know your way around the triangle realm. I think a lot of people will see Rolls the same way they see Cardinal Gibbons. The defender of a state champion will be angry with Cardinal Gibbons. We always know people are always mad at Cardinal, but again they should be very good. Um, Mil Brooks has talent too, Nathan Leacock, a wide receiver for Millbrook, signed Tennessee just a few weeks ago. Um, he’s a very good receiver for the Wildcats. Um, and I think they’re going to be very strong again this season. Um, you know you look at Charlotte and um, I think Chambers will get a lot of attention. To Kevin conception. The wide receiver there is back, they lost their running back Dalen Smothers which he traded from Chambers but they will be back in talks to make it back to the state championship, I think that would be the third or fourth time one Series that the covid season throws me off course. I forgot how to count I lost to Covid Brain, I had Covid a few weeks ago and I just think it’s not all that far behind. Um, but you know, they’re going to be a team that I think a lot of people are watching from the western part of the state. Around Reagan Grimsley, those two teams in the triad will also be what I think a lot of people are watching there very talentedly, I think. Um, and I’m telling you, one of the games I’ve been looking forward to the most in the first week is Rocky Mountain in Tarboro, which is part of the state. I think this is going to be some real fun between two traditional powerhouses as you essentially touched on one of those early season games before we get into conference play. What are some of the other battles outside of the conference that might interest us? So, as we mentioned Cardinal Gibbons, they will play Chambers on the first Saturday of the season, the 20th. This is a replay of the Four a State Championship Game that Cardinal Gibbons won 14-2 in the rain at Carter Finley Stadium last year. Uh, and they also opened the season together at Cardinal Gibbons last August? Uh, in a game that ended at one in the morning. I know Dennis remembers it very well too. Um and um were both great games. So I’m assuming that’s going to be a really big one. It is a national game played at Rock Hill on Saturday. This is going to be real fun that I know a lot of people have circled. Um, I’m interested to see that some of these roles will play games outside of the conference. They need to replace their quarterback from last season. Byron Brown, who’s really, really good for the Rams, is in South Florida now. Um, and you know, they have talent, but that quarterback position is obviously really critical when you’re talking about talented wide receivers. So I’m interested to see them and they have some tough early games outside of the conference at Pine Crest, East Forsyth, a few of them even I recognize those names. So you’re telling me that Gibbons and Chambers from Charlotte are going to play in South Carolina, they’re going to play in South Carolina. You know, I don’t know if Tepper had anything to do with this or not. There is nothing. David Temperament is no longer interested in South Carolina. So we can’t even build a wall to hold the games in Nick Stevens’ ST. In order. Which conferences do you think rank among the best teams that will be the most competitive? The Nac Six conference in northern Wake County is the one everyone will be talking about first. Um, Millbrook, as we mentioned, have some very talented players. They’ve got Rollsville, they’ve got a legacy that’s got NC State recruits like Thomas at quarterback. They’ve got Wake Forest to his Wake Forest, they’ve got Wakefield, they’ve got Night Dale, both of which are bringing back very talented quarterbacks with some offensive experience. So this conference is going to be really fun. It was a three-way tie for the conference championship last season. Uh, and we can definitely see something like that again this year because there’s been a lot of parody. In order. Uh 33 short questions. Uh, you can go with this as long as you want. Uh, give me the best team or two on the beach. Oh, best team or two on the beach. Um, that’s a tough question. I think New Hanover will be back, a little bit better than last year. I think that they will have some of that experience that they have back will be beneficial. Um, we were down in Craven County not long ago. Umm right when I caught Covid talking to New Bern and Havelock, they have some really good players on those two teams, obviously with perpetual powers too. Uh Javonte Marine is a tight end in Havelock. He comes to the state of NC. KJ Sampson, um, is the defense attorney at New Bern, he comes to Florida State. Um, so, you know, I think both teams will also have a lot to say about what’s happening this season. Same question about the triad. I know you mentioned East Forsyth before, but who else? East Forsyth will always be in that conversation. You got a great program. Um, I think I think Reagan is a team that has a lot of talent this year from Forsyth County and Grimsley, definitely a team that will have a chance. Er, Jamal Jarrett, a very talented player, er, and Dudley is a defending champion, er, and a perpetual force as well. I think it’s a different team now, lastly we have mountains, we have beaches, we have mountains, we have everything. What’s up in the hills? To be honest I haven’t gotten up like that this season so I haven’t seen anything up there with my own eyes. Um, you know, but there are also some traditional forces in the mountains, I think we’re going to hear about one of the stories I think we’re going to be hearing a lot from the mountains this year is Pisgah. Um, I don’t know if the audience remembers, but last year there was a really bad flood in Pisgah. Last fall. Um, and it destroyed the stadium, the soccer stadium at Pisgah High School. Um, and they had to rebuild it. Um and everything since, they might not be able to play at home at all this year. Um, this will be the second year in a row. They’ve played every game on the street. Um, and we’re actually planning a trip there soon to do this story here, but I think it’s going to be something. We’ll be hearing a lot about this year in the western part of the state. In order. Subscribe to the newsletter. Also follow Nick Stevens on Twitter and yes download the app get it all because and watch the TJ Thorpe show. Uh Nick Stevens, Editor-in-Chief, High School OT Dot com. You’re a machine. Thanks man. Many Thanks