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2023 High School Football – Big South 3A Conference

WWW.CAROLINASSPORTSHUB.COM High School Football Previews

This is the schedule for 2023 preview story and team capsules:

Aug. 13 – Catawba Valley 2A, Western Foothills 3A conferences
Aug. 14 – Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference, Mountain Island Charter
Aug. 15 – Big South 3A Conference

 

By Richard Walker

Another highly competitive race is expected in the Big South 3A Conference this season.

While Crest is the unanimous pick of rival coaches to win the conference, many forecast Three of the eight teams received first-place votes from rival coaches and four teams received second-place votes from rival coaches.

Crest is the pick in large part because it has 19 starters returning from a team that advanced to the third round of the state playoffs before losing at league rival South Point.

South Point ended up making the farthest playoff advance last season as the Red Raiders advanced to the Western N.C. 3A finals against eventual state champion East Lincoln.

And East Lincoln had won at 2022 Big South champion Kings Mountain in the Western N.C. 3A semifinals the week before.

Here is the preseason coaches’ poll:

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

And here is a look at the teams in the league:

Ashbrook
Coach: Darius James (4th year, 10-16)
Coaching staff: no information submitted
Returning starters: no information submitted
Starters lost: no information submitted
2022 record: 4-7, 3-4 (1st round state playoffs)
Top returning players: RB Jamir Fox, OT Trent Mitchell, WR Preston Torrence, DB Tresean Holland, DB Camron Mayfield
Top newcomers: LB Latresky Pressley, LB/TE Caleb Gordon, DB/WR J.J. Gordon
Season outlook: With lost of experience back from a state playoff team, expectations are high for the Green Wave to record the school’s second winning season since 2013; Ashbrook went 4-3 in the abbreviated 2021 spring season and 9-4 in 2013.
All-time record: 340-243-9 (since 1970)
Schedule:
Aug. 18 Forest Hills
Aug. 25 OFF
Sept. 1 West Meck
Sept. 8 at East Gaston
Sept. 15 CREST
Sept. 22 at FORESTVIEW
Sept. 29 NORTH GASTON
Oct. 6 at CRAMER
Oct. 13 at SOUTH POINT
Oct. 20 KINGS MOUNTAIN
Oct. 27 at HUSS

Cramer
Coach: Ben McMillan (10th year, 41-58)
Coaching staff: Andrew Bradley, Carson Ginn, Matthew Padgett, Mo Perez, Mike Patton, Jon Putnam, Dalton Smith, Chris Stowe, Ryan Ward, Shawn Watson
Returning starters: 12
Starters lost: 10
2022 record: 4-7, 2-5 (1st round playoffs)
Top returning players: WR Isaiah Thomas, DL Eli Simonds, OL Landon Mosley, LB Chris Wurster, ATH Javien Robbs, LB/H-Back Omarrus Holland, DB Cameron Scott, DL Justin Wilson, RB/OLB Chris Stowe
Top newcomers: DB Kaleb Mason, DB Nic Stutzman, LB/TE Aydan Bradley
Season outlook: Already having to replace record-setting QB Justin Rocquemore (now at Gardner-Webb), the Storm recently received bad news that returning 6-foot-3, 280-pound offensive lineman Jacob Brindle would miss the season with a leukemia diagnosis. Whomever the new QB is will have all-conference Johnson (68 catches for 847 yards and 7 TDs) as a top target.
All-time record: 42-57 (since 2014)
Schedule:
Aug. 18 East Lincoln
Aug. 25 at Chase
Sept. 1 East Gaston
Sept. 8 OFF
Sept. 15 at SOUTH POINT
Sept. 22 at CREST
Sept. 29 HUSS
Oct. 6 ASHBROOK
Oct. 13 at KINGS MOUNTAIN
Oct. 20 at NORTH GASTON
Oct. 27 FORESTVIEW

Crest
Coach: Jim Sosebee (2nd year, 9-4)
Coaching staff: no information submitted
Returning starters: 19
Starters lost: 3
2022 record: 9-4, 5-2 (3rd round state playoffs)
Top returning players: QB Ny’Tavious Huskey, WR Vari Green, WR Malachi Addison, WR A.J. Adams, OL Montgomery Edwards, LB Dez Porter, DL Derek Mitchell, DB Lyric Pettus, DL Tj’jai Johnson, DB Various Surratt
Top newcomers: none listed
Season outlook: Crest has plenty of returning experience and Huskey (4,338 yards passing) and Green (1,814 yards receiving) have a chance to finish their careers at or neat the top of Cleveland County’s all-time leaders. The non-league schedule is incredibly challenging, then the Chargers take a week off before getting into Big South play.
All-time record: 451-220-6 (since 1967)
Schedule:
Aug. 18 Gaffney, S.C.
Aug. 25 at Burns
Sept. 1 at Shelby
Sept. 8 OFF
Sept. 15 at Ashbrook
Sept. 22 Cramer
Sept. 29 South Point
Oct. 6 at North Gaston
Oct. 13 Forestview
Oct. 20 Huss
Oct. 27 at Kings Mountain

Forestview
Coach: Chris Medlin (17th year, 98-92)
Coaching staff: Rod Abrams, Steven Bartlett, Brian Horne, Madison Mathis, Moe Neal, Coty Phillips, Jack Price, Chris Rayfield, Kameron
Timmons
Returning starters: 13
Starters lost: 9
2022 record: 4-7, 3-4 (1st round state playoffs)
Top returning players: QB Jaxson Hill, OL/DL Cass Phillips, RB Christian Holland, ATH Tylique Aldridge, LB/H Back Noah Comer, OL/DL Tripp Dow, WR Nicolas Aguilar, Slot/DB David Howard, OL/LB-DL Tyreese Thames, LB/H Back Drizton Dunlap, DB De’Shawn Bey, DB Paul Love
Top newcomers: OL/DL Griffin Sutherland, WR Tanner Zill, DB Josh Howard, OLB Troy Hansel, OLB J’kwon Wilson, OLB Elijah Wilson, RB/Slot Triston Holt
Season outlook: In a league filled with talented teams, the Jaguars qualify as a darkhorse candidate to compete for a spot near the top of Big South standings. Like many of their league rivals, they also play quite a challenging non-league schedule.
All-time record: 149-144 (since 1998)
Schedule:
Aug. 18 Burns
Aug. 25 East Lincoln
Sept. 1 at Freedom
Sept. 8 OFF
Sept. 15 at NORTH GASTON
Sept. 22 ASHBROOK
Sept. 29 at KINGS MOUNTAIN
Oct. 6 HUSS
Oct. 13 at CREST
Oct. 20 SOUTH POINT
Oct. 27 at CRAMER

Huss
Coach: Randy Thompson (4th year, 5-19)
Coaching staff: Chris Robinson, Perry Floyd, Antonio Cole, Terry Floyd, Tommy Bolin, DeMire Woodson, Lovelle Gillispie, Ben Bolin, Rikki Murriell, DeCarlos Caldwell
Returning starters: 11
Starters lost: 11
2022 record: 3-7, 2-5
Top returning players: RB/LB Darius Headley, OL/DL Cam Elliott, OL/DL Saron Floyd, QB Javarion Brown, ATH Gene Neely, WR/DB Damontia Duff, WB/DB Talik Chambers, ATH ZaMarius Gladden, ATH Anthony Tate
Top newcomers: LB Wesley Gunn, ATH Tylik Griggs
Season outlook: Huskies have lots of skill players but will have to develop lines on both sides of the ball. Another potential darkhorse candidate, Huss plays a challenging non-league schedule before wading into Big South play.
All-time record: 324-331-14 (since 1962)
Schedule:
Aug. 18 Draughn
Aug. 25 at Hibriten
Sept. 1 Providence
Sept. 8 OFF
Sept. 15 KINGS MOUNTAIN
Sept. 22 SOUTH POINT
Sept. 29 at CRAMER
Oct. 6 at FORESTVIEW
Oct. 13 NORTH GASTON
Oct. 20 at CREST
Oct. 27 ASHBROOK

Kings Mountain
Coach: Strait Herron (1st year)
Coaching staff: Offense- OC Jamie Bolton, RB Rick Fortner, OL Kevin Cruise, OL Wilder Clark, WR Jacob Lineberger, Defense- DC Bobby Carroll, LB Nate Blanton, DL Riko Feemster, DL Jeff Williams, DB Diron Bell, DB Spencer Devine, Strength- Ted Trahan
Returning starters: 17
Starters lost: 6
2022 record: 13-1, 7-0 (4th round state playoffs)
Top returning players: DE Curtis Simpson, DB Robert Kendrick, LB Rodney Unnasch, OL Alex Jackson, RB Teddy Jeffries, WR Qua Sanders
Top newcomers: WR Jayden Gash, DB Kamari Houze, QB Kandan Zollo
Season outlook: The Mountaineers have a new coach with state championship pedigree and return 17 starters that include University of North Carolina commitment Simpson. Kings Mountain also faces a challenging schedule but could duplicate its success of last year..
All-time record: 536-444-40 (since 1922)
Schedule:
Aug. 18 Shelby
Aug. 25 at Cox Mill
Sept. 1 at Burns
Sept. 8 OFF
Sept. 15 at HUSS
Sept. 22 NORTH GASTON
Sept. 29 FORESTVIEW
Oct. 6 at SOUTH POINT
Oct. 13 CRAMER
Oct. 20 at ASHBROOK
Oct. 27 CREST

North Gaston
Coach: Daniel Rothwell (2nd year, 0-10)
Coaching staff: Terry Young, Mark Paun, Bobby Watson, Jabari Brewer, Jesse Powell, Toney Powell, Woody Erickson, Christian Cox
Returning starters: 10
Starters lost: 9
2022 record: 0-10, 0-7
Top returning players: WR/DB Jurnee Lattimore, RB/LB Jayvain Knox, RB/DB Trevon Boone, RB/DL Ethan Christenbury, OL/DL Esau Robinson, OL/DL Gage Phalin, OL/DL Desmond Simmons, OL/DL Peyton Fairbanks, OL/DL Nic Friday, RB/LB Dewayne Davis, RB/LB Jacob Powell
Top newcomers: RB/LB Kaden Brown, DL/TE Micheal Nix, RB/DB Keldon Williams, WR/DB Donnavyn Thorne
Season outlook: North Gaston has some youthful talent and plays a manageable non-league slate. The Wildcats will try to build momentum off that early season schedule before facing the rigorous Big South.
All-time record: 162-380-4 (since 1971)
Schedule:
Aug. 18 at East Gaston
Aug. 25 Bessemer City
Sept. 1 OFF
Sept. 8 Cherryville
Sept. 15 FORESTVIEW
Sept. 22 at KINGS MOUNTAIN
Sept. 29 at ASHBROOK
Oct. 6 CREST
Oct. 13 at HUSS
Oct. 20 CRAMER
Oct. 27 at SOUTH POINT

South Point
Coach: Adam Hodge (7th year, 56-20)
Coaching staff: Josh Justice, Brian Andrews, Kent Hyde, Mitch Painter, Kirk Crawford, Hunter Armstrong, Cam Medlock, Matt Mellette, Jeff Patterson
Returning starters: 9
Starters lost: 13
2022 record: 13-2, 6-1 (Western N.C. 3A runner-up)
Top returning players: FB Chaynce Ford, QB Patrick Blee, LB Winter Kincaid, OL Hudson Spargo, K/P Charlie Birtwhistle
Top newcomers: DB Zeke Pruitt, DB Gavin Smith, OL Andrew Wright, OL Blake Hartness
Season outlook: After back-to-back Western N.C. 3A finals appearances, the Red Raiders return 9 starters but will again face high expectations against a challening schedule. Blee took over early last season aas a rare freshman starting quarterbacka and is back to run the run-heavy “Red Bone” offense.
All-time record: 444-194-9 (since 1969)
Schedule:
Aug. 18 at Lincolnton
Aug. 25 OFF
Sept. 1 at Charlotte Christian
Sept. 8 at Hibriten
Sept. 15 CRAMER
Sept. 22 at HUSS
Sept. 29 at CREST
Oct. 6 KINGS MOUNTAIN
Oct. 13 ASHBROOK
Oct. 20 at FORESTVIEW
Oct. 27 NORTH GASTON