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2022 High School Football – Big South 3A Conference

By Richard Walker

Expect one of the most competitive races in history this season in the Big South 3A Conference.

How competitive?

Three of the eight teams received first-place votes from rival coaches and four teams received second-place votes from rival coaches.

Defending champion Crest, with new head coach Jim Sosebee, is picked to finished third in the league behind preseason favorite South Point and preseason No. 2 pick Kings Mountain.

South Point finished third in the league last season before knocking off Crest in the playoffs before losing to eventual state champion Greensboro Dudley in the Western 3A championship game.

Here is the preseason coaches’ poll:

1. South Point
2. Kings Mountain
3. Crest
4. Ashbrook
5. Forestview
6. Cramer
7. North Gaston
8. Huss

Ashbrook
Coach: Darius James (3rd year, 6-9)
Coaching staff: Zeek Bigger, Trey Brice, Shaunte Southern, Zac Deaton, AJ Monthony, Eddie Glenn, Greg Hayes, Henry Coggins, Dameion Smith, Jeff Padgett
Returning starters: 17
Starters lost: 4
2021 record: 2-6, 2-5
Top returning players: QB Carmelo Bess, LB Elijah Haynes, LB Zo Tate, OL Trent Mitchell, DL Devon Biggers, DB Sincere Sanders Moss, QB Will Miller
Top newcomers: C Jayden Smith
Season outlook: With 17 returning starters, Ashbrook seeks its first winning season since 2013. The Green Wave will be counting on a big year from dual-threat quarterback Bess.
All-time record: 336-236-9 (since 1970)
Schedule:
Aug. 19 at Concord
Aug. 26 Roberson
Sept. 2 at West Meck
Sept. 9 OFF
Sept. 16 at CREST
Sept. 23 FORESTVIEW
Sept. 30 at NORTH GASTON
Oct. 7 CRAMER
Oct. 14 SOUTH POINT
Oct. 21 at KINGS MOUNTAIN
Oct. 28 HUSS

Cramer
Coach: Ben McMillan (9th year, 37-51)
Coaching staff: Andrew Bradley, Carson Ginn, Dylan Green, Sam Julen, Matthew Padgett, Mike Patton, Jon Putnam, Dalton Smith, Ryan Ward, Shawn Watson
Returning starters: 10
Starters lost: 12
2021 record: 6-5, 3-4 (1st round playoffs)
Top returning players: QB Justin Rocquemore, LB Daimean Fernandez, WR Tyler Ward, FS John Hill, WS Ethan Ward, WR Isaiah Johnson, OT John Adams McClendon, OG Jacob Brindle
Top newcomers: DB Cameron Scott, LB Chris Wurster, ATH Letrasky Pressly
Season outlook: QB Justin Rocquemore is a senior leader and could lead the Storm into conference title contention with another big season with a group of what coach McMillan considers some of the best skill players in school history.
All-time record: 38-50 (since 2014)
Schedule:
Aug. 19 Bunker Hill
Aug. 26 at Bessemer City
Sept. 2 at East Gaston
Sept. 9 OFF
Sept. 16 SOUTH POINT
Sept. 23 CREST
Sept. 30 at HUSS
Oct. 7 at ASHBROOK
Oct. 14 KINGS MOUNTAIN
Oct. 21 NORTH GASTON
Oct. 28 at FORESTVIEW

Crest
Coach: Jim Sosebee (1st year)
Coaching staff: Quinnon Isom, Skip Young, Marquiet Pettis, Omar Porter, Caros Wray, Brad LeVine, Toney Nalley, Patrick Bowman, Willie Green, Dennis Milne, Tyrese Gossett, Alan Wacaster, Chad Diehl
Returning starters: 10
Starters lost: 12
2021 record: 10-3, 7-0 (3rd round state playoffs)
Top returning players: DE Davonyae Pettis, QB Ny┬┤tavious Huskey, OLB/WR Brandon McCall, WR Javarius Green, LB Dezmun Porter, LB Derek Mitchell, OL Montgomery Edwards, WR Malachi Addison, RB Aiden Carson, WR/DB A.J. Adams, DaVaughn Norris
Top newcomers: Lyrik Pettis, D’Various Surrat
Season outlook: After guiding the Chargers to their 20th conference title last season, Nick Eddins left for the head coaching job at Pinecrest High School. Veteran coach Jim Sosebee comes in from Hendersonville and looks to build on Crest’s long winning tradition. He has 10 returning starters, including returning QB Huskey.
All-time record: 442-216-6 (since 1967)
Schedule:
Aug. 19 at Freedom
Aug. 26 Burns
Sept. 2 Shelby
Sept. 9 OFF
Sept. 16 ASHBROOK
Sept. 23 at CRAMER
Sept. 30 at SOUTH POINT
Oct. 7 NORTH GASTON
Oct. 14 at FORESTVIEW
Oct. 21 at HUSS
Oct. 28 KINGS MOUNTAIN

Forestview
Coach: Chris Medlin (16th year, 94-85)
Coaching staff: Rod Abrams, Steven Bartlett, Brian Horne, Moe Neal, Coty Phillips, Jack Price, Chris Rayfield, Justin Williams
Returning starters: 11
Starters lost: 11
2021 record: 7-6, 4-3 (3rd round state playoffs)
Top returning players: OL/DL Myles Jackson, OL/DL Ken Odugba, RB Christian Holland, LB/DL Noah Comer, OL/DL Christian Mixter, WR Nate Aguilar
Top newcomers: none listed
Season outlook: An experienced offensive line is a team strength as the Jaguars look to build on last year’s third-round state playoff run. Replacing six defensive starters will be critical to this year’s success.
All-time record: 145-137 (since 1998)
Schedule:
Aug. 19 at Burns
Aug. 26 at East Lincoln
Sept. 2 Freedom
Sept. 9 OFF
Sept. 16 NORTH GASTON
Sept. 23 at ASHBROOK
Sept. 30 KINGS MOUNTAIN
Oct. 7 at HUSS
Oct. 14 CREST
Oct. 21 at SOUTH POINT
Oct. 28 CRAMER

 

Huss
Coach: Randy Thompson (3rd year, 2-12)
Coaching staff: Ben Bolin, Tommy Bolin, DeCarlos Caldwell, Perry Floyd, Rikki Murriell, Chris Robinson, Tyree Taylor, DeMre Woodson
Returning starters: 14
Starters lost: 8
2021 record: 0-8, 0-7
Top returning players: DB Gene Neely, QB Javarion Brown, ATH Jayden Gash, DE/TE James Taylor, RB/LB Darius Headley
Top newcomers: DB/WR Eric Weathers, ATH ZaMarius Gladden
Season outlook: A youthful team in a talented conference was a terrible combination for Huss last season. But the Huskies have 14 returning starters this season in hopes of a turnaround led by Neely (70 tackles) and Brown (226 passing yards).
All-time record: 321-324-14 (since 1962)
Schedule:
Aug. 19 Hickory Ridge
Aug. 26 Hibriten
Sept. 2 at Central Cabarrus
Sept. 9 OFF
Sept. 16 at KINGS MOUNTAIN
Sept. 23 at SOUTH POINT
Sept. 30 CRAMER
Oct. 7 FORESTVIEW
Oct. 14 at NORTH GASTON
Oct. 21 CREST
Oct. 28 at ASHBROOK

 

Kings Mountain
Coach: Greg Lloyd (16th year, 120-70)
Coaching staff: Kevin Cruise, Darrel Wilson, Mike Harris, Michael Kennedy, Diron Bell, Matt Bridges, James Brown, Ted Trahan, Rick Fortner, Jeff Williams, Wilder Clark, Jeff Cloninger, Shane Cole, Jacob Lineberger
Returning starters: 15
Starters lost: 5
2021 record: 10-3, 6-1 (3rd round state playoffs)
Top returning players: DB Andre Willis, DB/WR Zavian Wilson, RB Caleb Holland, SS/WR Jake Lloyd, DB/RB Robert Kendrick, DE Curtis Simpson, QB Lamont Littlejohn, LB/DE/FB A.J. Richardson, DE Jai Currie, OL Michael Lubas, OL Alex Jackson, OL Isaiah Eskridge, LB Micah Ward, DB/WR Bryson Brown
Top newcomers: DL Thomas Fair, DL/TE Antonio Armstrong, OL Treston Spikes, K/P Max Thompson, DB/WR Kameron Adams
Season outlook: The Mountaineers return 15 starters in hopes of returning to the top of the Big South. Among the top returnees are 3-year starters Caleb Holland, Jake Lloyd and Robert Kendrick, with Holland returning after missing 10 games with injury.
All-time record: 523-443-40 (since 1922)
Schedule:
Aug. 19 at Shelby
Aug. 26 Asheville
Sept. 2 Burns
Sept. 9 OFF
Sept. 16 HUSS
Sept. 23 at NORTH GASTON
Sept. 30 at FORESTVIEW
Oct. 7 SOUTH POINT
Oct. 14 at CRAMER
Oct. 21 ASHBROOK
Oct. 28 at CREST

North Gaston
Coach: Dan Rothwell (1st year)
Coaching staff: no information submitted
Returning starters: no information submitted
Starters lost: no information submitted
2021 record: 1-9, 1-6
Top returning players: no information submitted
Top newcomers: no information submitted
Season outlook: North Gaston won its first conference game since 2015 and has a new head coach this season.
All-time record: 162-370-4 (since 1971)
Schedule:
Aug. 19 at East Gaston
Aug. 26 at Alexander Central
Sept. 2 Chase
Sept. 9 OFF
Sept. 16 at FORESTVIEW
Sept. 23 KINGS MOUNTAIN
Sept. 30 ASHBROOK
Oct. 7 at CREST
Oct. 14 HUSS
Oct. 21 at CRAMER
Oct. 28 SOUTH POINT

South Point
Coach: Adam Hodge (6th year, 43-18)
Coaching staff: Josh Justice, James Justice, Kent Hyde, Brian Andrews, Kirk Crawford, Hunter Armstrong, Jerry Auten, Mitch Painter, Matt Mellette, Ian Gibson
Returning starters: 12
Starters lost: 10
2021 record: 11-4, 5-2 (Western N.C. 3A runner-up)
Top returning players: FB Cam Medlock, QB Elijah Phiffer, OL Sullivan Absher, TE Jackson Blee, FS Will Ross, SS Jaquis Rumph, DE Aiden Ramirez
Top newcomers: none listed
Season outlook: After a third-place finish in the Big South, South Point advanced all the way to the Western N.C. 3A finals last season. What can they do for an encore? Having Notre Dame commitment Absher leading their offensive line is a good start.
All-time record: 431-192-9 (since 1969)
Schedule:
Aug. 19 at Lincolnton
Aug. 26 East Gaston
Sept. 2 R-S Central
Sept. 9 OFF
Sept. 16 at CRAMER
Sept. 23 HUSS
Sept. 30 CREST
Oct. 7 at KINGS MOUNTAIN
Oct. 14 at ASHBROOK
Oct. 21 FORESTVIEW
Oct. 28 at NORTH GASTON