Charlotte vs. Appalachian State sold out

From Charlotte 49ers Athletics

Charlotte, N.C. – Tickets for the Charlotte 49ers home football game vs. Appalachian State, Sept. 8, 2018 have sold out according to the 49ers Athletic Ticket Office.

“What an awesome statement by our fans,” said 49ers Director of Athletics Mike Hill. “Niner Nation really stepped up during our exclusive advance sales windows. This will be our largest home crowd ever as we witness the birth of a new rivalry. It’s truly a gold standard accomplishment for our football program.”

Charlotte opens the 2018 season with three straight home games. The 49ers welcome Fordham to town for the season opener, Sept. 1. Charlotte takes on Appalachian State, Sept. 8 and hosts Old Dominion in the Conference USA opener, Sept. 15. Each of the first three games will start at 6 p.m.

The 49ers face Western Kentucky in the program’s annual Homecoming Game, Oct. 13 at 3:30 p.m. The 49ers final two home games are against Southern Miss, Oct. 27 and FIU, Nov. 17. Both of those games are slated for 2 p.m. starts.

For single-game, mini-plan and season ticket options for the remaining games, visit or call 704-687-4949.

The Charlotte 49ers open preseason practice Friday, Aug. 3 and will hold a Fan Fest at the Barnhardt Student Activity Center, Aug. 18, from 4-6 p.m.

100 day for 49ers AD

mikehill100 resized
New Charlotte 49ers Athletic Director Mike Hill has been on the job for 100 days and has hit the ground running. Here is a letter from Hill to 49ers faithful:
Niner Nation,
What an amazing first 100 days it’s been here at Charlotte — the energy and excitement from Niner Nation has been incredible! Thank you to Chancellor Dubois, the cabinet, and the athletic department staff for helping me during this transition. And a special thank-you to Judy Rose, who has served this wonderful institution for 43 years and has been unbelievably supportive.
We’ve accomplished a lot in the first three months, including hiring one of the nation’s most successful and respected basketball coaches in Ron Sanchez, hiring an absolute superstar in Chris Fuller to oversee external operations, and greeting legions of fans at numerous sporting and special events.
The schedule has been full-throttle, and the reception has been inspiring.
And talk about inspiring – led by our 21-time conference Coach of the Year Bob Olesen, our track and field program is setting the tone for our athletic department, winning C-USA titles at the women’s cross country, men’s indoor, and, most recently, men’s outdoor championships. A school-record four student-athletes earned outdoor track and field all-America honors at the NCAA Championships.
With excitement building for football season, we are adding approximately 2,500 seats to Jerry Richardson Stadium for both the home opener vs. Fordham and the Appalachian State games. We have adjusted ticket sales plans to give our most loyal football fans the first opportunity to purchase high-demand tickets.
After reaching our initial goal of $40 million, we have increased our goal towards the university’s Exponential Capital Campaign to $49 million. To reach that goal we need the support of each and every member! Our fiscal year ends on June 30, so please make a contribution to support our amazing student-athletes by visiting
We have initiated the process to create an athletic facilities master plan, which will allow us to better assess our current facilities, needs for enhancements, and growth. Once complete, this master plan will serve as a road map as we identify our needs and develop a strategy to raise necessary capital. One step we’ve already taken is the replacement of the Hayward Practice Gym court for our basketball and volleyball programs.
As for the vision for our program, I have met with coaches and staff, student-athletes, stakeholders, students, media and fans.  At each step, we have discussed the culture we want to instill in our program.
First and foremost, we are here for our student-athletes and will prioritize their growth and personal development at every turn. We will conduct business the right way and run the program with integrity. We will actively engage our students, alumni and fans, working hard to enhance their game day experience.
And make no mistake, we are not in this to be ordinary – we are in it to be extraordinary. We expect to be highly competitive in every sport – and we expect to compete for conference championships and NCAA post-season births.
We have established “Gold Standard” as a departmental theme – but it is so much more than a motto.  It is an expectation – for our coaches, for our student-athletes, for our staff and for our fans.  Excellence is our goal. To reach it, everyone must be pulling in the same direction.
On a personal note, my wife, Jess, and I were married in April and have successfully moved into our Uptown home.  Living Uptown allows me to engage our fans on a regular basis and easily meet with members of the corporate community.  Professionally, it is important for me to be situated in the heart of our city and personally, Charlotte’s got a lot to love.  It’s very clear that this city wants us to be successful!
I look forward to the next 100 days of working with you and for you so that this fine institution can realize its fullest potential.  It will take all of us, together, to get to where we want to go.  And we will.
Thank you for the wonderful welcome and Go Niners!
Mike Hill, Director of Athletics

American Legion Baseball

Concord Post 51 beats Mocksville 10-4 in American Legion Senior Baseball. Note there is no audio in the pregame and play-by-play picks up with the National Anthem and as the action begins. This game was played Friday, June 22, 2018.

Playoffs: And then there were 8

Watch Jesse Carson at Cox Mill on NFHS Network

Former South Piedmont Conference rivals Jesse Carson and Cox Mill battle for the right to play in the Western Regional Finals. Mark Plemmons, Perry Gabriel and Jay Alverson call the action beginning with the pregame at approximately 6:50 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27.

Saturday Cox Mill win over Mt. Tabor

Saturday’s Ardrey Kell win over Hickory Ridge

Complete list of quarterfinals



#1 Rocky Mount Preparatory (24-0) vs. #5 Voyager Academy (21-6)

#3 Pamlico County (20-5) vs. #7 Granville Central (15-11)


#1 Winston-Salem Prep (24-3) vs. #5 North Stanly (24-5)

#2 Lincoln Charter (24-4) vs. #6 Starmount (24-3)



#1 Pamlico County (24-1) vs. #4 Cape Hatteras (25-0)

#3 Northampton County (21-3) vs. #10 Weldon (21-2)


#1 Mount Airy (24-2) vs. #4 East Wilkes (23-4)

#3 Murphy (26-2) vs. #10 Cherokee (19-6)



#9 Greene Central (24-6) vs. #4 Farmville Central (22-3)

#2 Clinton (26-1) vs. #3 Fairmont (29-1)


#1 Mountain Heritage (23-1) vs. #4 Salisbury (26-3)

#2 Forest Hills (27-2) vs. #3 East Lincoln (25-5)



#1 Kinston (28-1) vs. #4 Richlands (26-3)

#2 East Duplin (25-2) vs. #3 North Pitt (23-5)


#1 Mountain Heritage (26-1) vs. #21 Wilkes Central (17-12)

#3 North Wilkes (26-3) vs. #18 Ledford Senior (23-5)



#1 Northside-Jacksonville (27-0) vs. #5 New Hanover (26-4)

#3 Eastern Guilford (26-2) vs. #7 Southern Lee (25-3)


#1 Cox Mill (26-3) vs. #4 Jesse Carson (26-2)

#2 Ben L. Smith (26-3) vs. #3 Hickory (27-2)



#1 Jacksonville (21-3) vs. #4 Hillside (21-7)

#3 E.E. Smith (27-3) vs. #10 Havelock (22-2)


#1 Ashbrook (29-0) vs. #4 North Iredell (24-5)

#2 Northern Guilford (25-4) vs. #11 Rockingham County (25-4)



#1 Garner Magnet (26-1) vs. #4 South Central (26-0)

#2 Broughton (26-2) vs. #3 Heritage (23-4)


#9 Rocky River (22-6) vs. #13 David W. Butler (25-5)

#2 Independence (28-1) vs. #3 Olympic (22-4)



#1 Southeast Raleigh (28-0) vs. #4 Green Hope (24-4)

#2 Heritage (26-2) vs. #3 E.A. Laney (27-2)


#1 Northwest Guilford (26-2) vs.  #4 Ardrey Kell (25-3)

#2 Mallard Creek (27-2) vs. #3 West Forsyth (24-3)

Southern Spring Home and Garden Show this weekend

The show continues at the Park Expo Center in Charlotte. Get great home gardening and decorating ideas as well ideas about home improvements and much more at the annual Southern Spring Home and Garden Show.

Friday, March 2, 2018               10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 3, 2018          10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday, March 4, 2018
             10:00 am – 5:00 pm

We are thanking teachers for all they do for our kids and community. On Friday, March 2nd, educators and staff who present a valid school ID at the Box office get free admission. All day!

Basketball, officials needed

Broadcasts are expected to begin at approximately 5:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2. The games will also be available for replay later.

Central Cabarrus at Concord

Forest Hills at Mt. Pleasant

Butler at Hickory Ridge is on the NFHS Network



By Bob Gardner, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations and Que Tucker, Commissioner of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

They don’t make the headlines, their names are not in the box scores and they don’t make the all-star teams, but perhaps the most important individuals in high school sports are the contest officials.

These individuals are so important that, in fact, there would be no organized competitive sports at the high school level without the men and women who officiate these contests every day across the country. Subtract the dedicated men and women who officiate high school sports and competitive sports would no longer be organized; they would be chaotic.

In some areas, high school officials are retiring faster than new licenses are being issued. And junior varsity, freshmen and middle school games are being postponed – or even cancelled – because there are not enough men and women to officiate them.

Anyone looking for a unique way to contribute to the local community should consider becoming a licensed high school official. For individuals who played sports in high school, officiating is a great way to stay close to the sport after their playing days have ended. Officiating helps people stay in shape, expands their social and professional network and offers part-time work that is flexible, yet pays. In fact, officiating is a form of community service, but with compensation.

Another benefit of officiating is that individuals become role models so that teenagers in the community can learn the life lessons that high school sports teach. Students learn to respect their opponents and the rules of the game and the importance of practicing good sportsmanship thanks, in part, to those men and women who officiate. And the objectivity and integrity that high school officials display is an example that every young person needs to observe firsthand. In short, communities around the country will be stronger because of the life lessons that high school officials help teach the next generation.

Officiating is a great way to stay connected to sports and to give back to the local high school and community. We need dedicated men and women to become involved so that high school sports can continue to prosper for years to come.

Individuals interested in learning more about becoming a high school official, and even begin the application process, can do so at


Bob Gardner Picture

#HoopsvilleNC action live

A.L. Brown at Cox Mill

Also check out Radio Free Cabarrus’ Facebook page. We sometimes broadcast on Facebook Live, such as Wednesday, Jan. 10, when we had technical issues on The Cube.

Post game scratch pad

Southern Spring Home & Garden Show


Friday, February 23, 2018       10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday, February 24, 2018  10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday, February 25, 2018    10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Friday, March 2, 2018               10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 3, 2018          10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sunday, March 4, 2018             10:00 am – 5:00 pm


Adults  $12.00
Adults (Online)  $10.00
Seniors (55+) with ID  $9.00 
Children Ages 12 & Under  FREE


Friday night basketball

Join us for South Piedmont Conference basketball live on the NFHS Network. The broadcast begins at approximately 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5.

Cox Mill at Jay M. Robinson

Also playing tonight:

Hickory Ridge at Butler

 From earlier this week

A.L. Brown at Northwest Cabarrus


South Piedmont basketball

A.L. Brown at Northwest Cabarrus

A.L. Brown visits Northwest Cabarrus Wednesday, Jan. 3, for a South Piedmont Conference basketball match-up. The broadcast will include both girls and boys varsity games.

Our 2017 plan for basketball

This season Radio Free Cabarrus will be splitting games between and the NFHS Network.

Broadcasts on The Cube will be free and live, while NFHS Network games are subscription based. NFHS Network games are free after 72 hours.

Our new NFHS Network game will be Friday, Jan. 5, with Cox Mill at Jay M. Robinson.

Southern Spring Home & Garden Show coming up

The Southern Spring Home & Garden Show at the Park Expo Center in Charlotte is set for Feb. 23-25 and March 2-4.

Football odds and ends

Shaked’s take on Panthers win over Tampa Bay

Sportscaster Shaked Bar-Tal gives you his take on the Panthers 22-19 win over Tampa Bay. For more of Shaked’s takes visit his YouTube channel. It’s mostly sports with an occasional food segment.

Charlotte 49ers 2018 signees 

charlotte 49ers

Charlotte, N.C. – Charlotte 49ers head coach Brad Lambert has announced the first eighteen members of the 49ers 2018 recruiting class who signed national letters of intent on the first day of the Dec. 20-Dec. 22 signing period. A second signing period will begin Feb. 7.
Nine members of the 49ers’ seventh recruiting class will enroll in January and join the team for the Spring 2018 semester. The 18-member class includes 11 three- and two-star prospects, four junior college transfers and two prep school players.
“This is a fun day for us,” said Lambert. “To bring new guys in to infuse your program. Our staff did a tremendous job – worked extremely hard on the road and did a fantastic job finding the right student-athletes to come to Charlotte. We’re excited about the length we’ve added to our team. Good students, good kids who are going to be good players for us so were excited about that. I really like the early signing day and getting guys on board. This class is most mid-year guys (9) we’ve brought in.”
The 2018 class is highlighted by three-star recruits Justin Jeffery, a 6-1 receiver from Richmond Hill, Ga. and Terrick Smalls Jr., a 5-9 running back from Savannah, Ga., as well as Coffeyville C.C. offensive lineman Jon Timmons, a former three-star recruit out of Memphis Southwind High. Four in-state recruits are among the signee class, including Charlotte area products Matt Martinez, a 6-2 defensive back from Mooresville, N.C./Mooresville Senior, Brady Pope, a 6-3 two-star quarterback from Statesville, N.C./South Iredell and Emmanuel White, a 6-7 defensive lineman from Huntersville, N.C./Victory Christian who attended Georgia Prep Sports Academy this past year. Linebacker Markees Watts, of nearby Lancaster, S.C. and offensive lineman Malik Harkness (Lugoff, S.C.) are a pair of two-star prospects from South Carolina.
The class includes seven offensive and defensive linemen, five receivers/tight ends, three defensive backs, and a linebacker, quarterback and running back.
DECEMBER 20, 2017 Signees:
Name Ht. Wt. Pos. Hometown Previous School(s)
Daymon (DJ) Anderson^ 6-0 195 DB Silver Spring, Md. Montgomery Blair/Lackawanna College
**Rico Arnold^ 6-1 168 WR Athens, Ga. Clarke Central
**Malik Harkness^ 6-5 280 OL Lugoff, S.C. Lugoff-Elgin
**Jacob Hunt 6-4 255 TE Rome, Ga. The Darlington School
***Justin Jeffery 6-1 170 WR Richmond Hill, Ga. Richmond Hill
Matt Martinez 6-2 175 DB Mooresville, N.C. Mooresville Senior
**Jonnie Pitman 5-11 175 DB Oxon Hill, Md. Potomac
**Brady Pope 6-3 182 QB Statesville, N.C. South Iredell
Moss Saccomanno^ 6-5 235 TE Smiths Station, Ala. Smiths Station/Dodge City C.C.
***Terrick Smalls Jr. 5-9 199 RB Savannah, Ga. Benedictine Military
Dominic Taylor^ 6-5 280 OL Snellville, Ga. Shiloh/Hutchinson C.C.
(***)Jon Timmons^ 6-5 335 OL Memphis, Tenn. Southwind/Coffeyville C.C.
Bryan Wallace 6-5 260 DL Berryville, Va.  Clarke County
**Markees Watts 6-2 205 LB Lancaster, S.C. Lancaster
Damon Weldon^ 6-5 235 DL Roanoke, Va. William Fleming/Fork Union Military
Emmanuel White^ 6-7 235 DL Huntersville, N.C. Victory Christian/Georgia Prep Sports
**Dalton Widner 6-4 280 OL Corryton, Tenn. Gibbs
**Chris Wiggins^ 6-2 190 WR Greensboro, N.C. Grimsley
^ – to enroll in January, 2018
Daymon (DJ) Anderson
6-0; 195; DB
Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair/Lackawanna College
A first-team Northeast Football all-conference defensive back … among the Falcons’ leaders with three interceptions and three pass break-ups as a sophomore … Falcons went 7-2 and were ranked 19th in the final NJCAA rankings … had 25 tackles (3.1/game) in eight games played … Falcons went 10-1 in his freshman season, winning the NEFC Championship with a perfect 10-0 record … advanced to the 2016 Valley of the Sun Bowl (L, 48-41 to Mesa Community College) … averaged 3.2 tackles and had one INT … led Blair High to a 9-4 record as a senior — the Blazers second eight-win season since 1994 … earned the Blazers their first-ever post-season bid … reached Class 4A Regional Semifinals under head coach Dr. Andrew Fields.
Rico Arnold
6-1; 168; WR
Athens, Ga./Clarke Central HS
A two-star 2016 recruit (247Sports) … three-year letterwinner … over 1,500 career receiving yards … AAAAA Region 8 First Team all-Region … had 47 catches for 766 yards (16.3/rec.) and 7 touchdowns as a senior … named GITV Offensive Player of the Year … helped the Gladiators to a 7-5 record under coach David Perno … Clarke Central lost in the second round of the 2016 AAAAA Georgia state playoffs … AAAAA state runner-up in track and field (4×100 relay).
Malik Harkness
6-5; 280; OL
Lugoff, S.C./Lugoff-Elgin HS
A two-star recruit (247Sports) … participated in South Carolina’s North-South All-Star game … named all-Region 4A at Offensive Tackle … graded out at 85% in 2017 with 30 knockdowns and five demon blocks (driving defender back 10+ yards) … only alowed one sack as a senior … Demons’ Offensive Lineman of the Year … team captain as a senior … three-year letterwinner … led the Demons to an 8-6 mark that included a trip to the second round of the Class AAAA state playoffs … A-B Honor Roll.
Jacob Hunt
6-4; 255; TE
Rome, Ga./The Darlington School
A two-star recruit (247Sports) … three-year starter for coach Tommy Atha … two-time team captain … preseason all-state selection for 2017 … had 19 catches for 231 yards and four TDs … added 70 tackles, 15 TFLs, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 INT and 2 PBU’s on defensive side of the ball … Tigers reached the quarterfinals of the state A Private playoffs … finished season with an 8-5 record … several collegiate offers including Georgia Southern, Tulane and Ball State.
Justin Jeffery
6-1; 170; WR
Richmond Hill, Ga./Richmond Hill HS
A three-star recruit (247Sports) … had 10-plus collegiate offers, including FAU, Cincinnati and Central Michigan … saw time on varsity all four years with standout seasons in 2016 and 2017 … Wildcats went 7-3 in his senior season under head coach Matt LeZotte … had 27 catches for 341 yards and one touchdown … averaged 12.6 yards per catch and 34.1 yards per game … Wildcats advanced to the AAAAAA GHSA State playoffs … reached  GHSA state playoffs as a junior as well, with a 6-4 record … 22 receptions for 300 yards and four TDs … averaged 13.6 yards per catch and 30.0 yards per game.
Matt Martinez
6-2; 175; DB
Mooresville, N.C./Mooresville Senior HS
A 2016 North Piedmont 3A/4A all-conference selection (Charlotte Observer) … team captain for head coach Marty Paxton … averaged 7.3 tackles with two interceptions and 4 pass breakups as a senior … three-year varsity player … had 6.0 tackles with 1 INT as a junior … helped Blue Devils to an 8-4 record as a junior … North Piedmont runner-up with a 6-1 conference record … advanced to a 4AA state playoffs … 4 career interceptions.
Jonnie Pitman
5-11; 175; DB
Oxon Hill, Md./Potomac HS
A two-star recruit (247Sports) … had over 20 collegiate offers, including Army and Navy … 2017 Maryland Crab Bowl participant … two-time all-conference defensive back … averaged 2.3 tackles with 3 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery, 6 passes deflected and a blocked field goal for coach Ronnie Crump … played on varsity all four years … career stats: 61 tackles, 5 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, 21 passes deflected … Wolverines reached Maryland 3A state playoffs all four years with back-to-back state semifinal trips in his sophomore and junior seasons … had 25 tackles and 8 passes deflected as a junior with one interception returned for a touchdown and one fumble recovery … went 7-4, winning 7 of 8 to reach the semifinals … Wolverines went 10-3 to reach state semifinals in his sophomore season … 10-2 as a freshman, reaching the 3A Regional finals.
Brady Pope
6-3; 182; QB
Statesville, N.C./South Iredell HS
A two-star recruit (247Sports) … threw for over 10,000 (10,624) yards with 112 passing touchdowns … both numbers rank in NCHSAA all-time Top 10 … four-year varsity player and three-year starter … led Vikings to an 11-3 record as a senior with 4,052 passing yards, 43 touchdowns and a .645 completion pct. … added 315 rushing yards and six TDs … North Piedmont 3A Conference Champions … first team all-conference QB was named the Conference Offensive Player of the Year … head coach Scott Miller led Vikings to 3AA state quarterfinals … threw for 3,624 yards as a junior with 40 touchdown passes and a .672 completion pct … named all-North Piedmont Conference … 9-4 Vikings reached second round of the 3AA state playoffs … 2,425 passing yards and 25 TDs as a sophomore with a .624 completion pct … added 523 passing yards and four TDs as a freshman … had a career QBR of 115.1 and a .641 completion pct.
Moss Saccomanno
6-5; 235; TE
Smiths Station, Ala./Smiths Station HS/Dodge City CC
Spent 2017 season with the Conquistadors at Dodge City Community College under coach Gary Thomas … started 11 games … received offers from Southern Miss, Kansas and Bowling Green … started eight games as Tight End at Alabama Prep of Birmingham in 2016 … four-year letterwinner at Smiths Station … went 6-4 as a senior at Smiths Station for head coach Jason Dukes in 2015 … Panthers were 5-5 in his junior year … three-year letterwinner in track and field.
Terrick Smalls Jr.
5-9; 199; RB
Savannah, Ga./Benedictine Military HS
A three-star recruit (ESPN, Scout, 247Sports) … 2016  AA GHSA State Champs … four-year varsity player; two-year starter for the two-time Region 2-AA Champs … owns a 4.57 40 … had 1,687 career rushing yards with 27 rushing touchdowns … had 821 rushing yards (74.6/game) and 10 TDs as a senior to lead Cadets to a 12-1 record, including a 7-0 Region 2-AA Championship … Reached third round of AA GHSA state playoffs … 729 rushing yards and 15 TDs as a junior … Cadets posted best record in school history with a perfect 15-0 record and a state and Region 2-AA title.
Dominic Taylor
6-5; 280; OL
Snellville, Ga./Shiloh/Hutchinson CC
2017 KJCCC Honorable Mention all-conference center … team captain as a sophomore for the Blue Dragons … helped Hutchinson C.C. to a 7-5 record as a sophomore … started 15 games at tackle and six at center for Hutchinson … starred on the O-Line and D-Line for Ryan Andrews-coached Shiloh Generals … three-year varsity player … started 28 games … named Shiloh Male Athlete of the Year as a senior … graduated with honors … recipient Kevin Maloof Leadership Award.
Jon Timmons
6-5; 335; OL
Memphis, Tenn./Southwind/Memphis/Coffeyville CC
2017 KJCCC Second Team all-conference tackle for the Red Ravens … served a red-shirt season at Memphis in 2016 … selected to play for the 2016 US Under 19 National Team … rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports and two-star by Rivals out of Southwind High … three-year varsity player led Jaguars to an 8-3 record and a 5A Region 8 runner-up finish as a senior in 2015 … Jaguars reached the Division I Class 5A state playoffs under head coach Rahnmann Slocum in 2015.
Bryan Wallace
6-5; 260; DL
Berryville, Va./Clarke County HS
Four-year varsity standout for three-time Region Champs and 2015 2A VHSL State runner-up … three-time First Team 2A all-State defensive end … 2017 first team 2A all-State Offensive Lineman … two-time second team all-state offensive lineman (2015, 2016) … two-time Winchester Star Athlete of the Year (2015, 2016) and Winchester Star Defensive Player of the Year (2016, 2017) … four-time First team all-Bull Run District Defensive End and three-time First team all-Bull Run District Offensive Lineman … Eagles’ Golden Helmet Award winner (Team MVP) in 2016 and 2017 … Clarke County’s leading tackler in 2017 and all-time sack leader with 45.5 sacks … helped Eagles to 2A VHSL State playoffs in each of his four years … Eagles went 10-3 under head coach Chris Parker to reach the 2017 2A state playoffs second round … In 2016, Eagles went 10-3 and were Bull Run District co-champs with a 5-1 mark … reached 2A state quarterfinals … posted a 12-2 record his sophomore season, winning the 2A Conference 35 Region title with a 4-0 record … defense allowed just six points in first three playoff games to reach the 2A VHSL State title game … Region co-champs (4-0) as a freshman with an 11-2 record … three-time 2A state wrestling champ: 2014, 182; 2015, 195; 2016, 220 … competing at 285 as a senior.
Markees Watts
6-2; 215; LB
Lancaster, S.C./Lancaster HS
Two-star recruit (247Sports) … two-time Region III Defensive Player of the Year after winning award as a sophomore and junior … amassed a total of 42 Tackles for Loss (TFL) and 27 sacks in sophomore and junior seasons … Tri-Country Coaches Association Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 … first team all-Area … season-ending injury on opening kickoff of 2017 season … led Bruins to a 6-5 record as a junior to reach the Class AAAA SCHSL state playoffs … 2016 Region III (AAAA) Defensive Player of the Year … had 95 tackles, 20 TFL and 19 sacks … one forced fumble for a scoop and score … 14 QB hurries, 7 passes knocked down … 2 blocked kicks (punt; PAT) … 8-3 as a sophomore … Region III runner-up … 2015 Region III (AAA) Defensive Player of the Year … 8-4 as a freshman … reached Class AAA SCHSL State playoffs first two seasons.
Damon Weldon
6-5; 235; DE
Roanoke, Va./William Fleming HS/Fork Union Military Academy
Versatile athlete who has played defensive end, tight end and offensive line … attended Fork Union Military Academy this past year … had 22 tackles (9 solo), 12 sacks, nine QB hurries and two blocked passes for coach John Shuman … had 38 tackles with 4.5 sacks and 2.5 TFL at Fleming High for coach Bobby Martin … 2016 First Team all-Conference 24 … played in the VHSL All Star Game.
Emmanuel White
6-7; 235; DE/DL
Huntersville, N.C./Victory Christian/Georgia Prep Sports Academy (Decatur, Ga.)
Originally from Africa … played locally at Victory Christian … spent 2017 season at Georgia Prep Sports Academy … had 39 tackles with 19 sacks in nine games at Georgia Prep … added 19 tackles for loss … four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries and one blocked kick … two-sport athlete played both football and basketball … Honor roll student as a junior and senior at Victory Christian.
Dalton Widner
6-4; 280; OL
Corryton, Tenn./Gibbs HS
Two-star recruit ( 247Sports) … three-time all-Region 2-5A … selected for the Toyota East-West All-Star Classic … team captain as a senior … played both O-Line and D-Line during his career … four-year varsity player … Eagles went 5-5 in his senior season under head coach Brad Conley … 8-4 as a junior … reach second round of the Div. I Class 5A playoffs … 3.5 GPA in NCAA required courses.
Chris Wiggins
6-2; 190; WR
Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley HS
Two-star recruit ( 247Sports) … two-time Metro 4A all-Conference (2016, 2017) … won Whirlies’ Bob Jamieson Team MVP Award as a senior … Whirlies’ Offensive Player of the Year as a junior … Greensboro News & Record all-Area in 2017 … Honorable Mention all-Area in 2016 … had 47 catches for 567 receiving yards (63.0/game) with five touchdowns as a senior … added 10.5 tackles, 1 TFL, 4 PBU and 1 INT … had 426 receiving yards as a junior with three TDs … career totals of 74 catches, 993 receiving yards and 11 TDs.