Week one of the high school football season kicks off across the state tonight and we’ll have scores, stats and highlights from each of the games through Brunswick and New Hanover counties.
There have been a ton of changes across the gridiron heading into the year, with new coaches at Ashley, Hoggard, New Hanover, North Brunswick and West Brunswick.
Following two straight conference championships, the Vikings of Hoggard have new leadership for the first time in nearly two decades as Craig Underwood takes over for longtime coach Scott Braswell. Underwood is a former player for Hoggard and served as an assistant under Braswell. Click here to read more about keeping the tradition of Hoggard football alive under a former player, coach.
New Hanover has nearly all of its pieces back on the offensive side of the ball as University of Georgia commit Garrett Walston serves as one of the key components for the Wildcats. Burke Estes also finally gets a chance to shine under center after waiting in the wings as back-up quarterback for the past couple of seasons. Earl Smith has come out of retirement to lead New Hanover after coaching in Wilmington in the early 2000s.
Coach Ashaad Yeoman serves as the longest tenured coach in New Hanover County and feels much more comfortable heading into his second season as head of the Laney High School program. Imeek Watkins is a standout running back for the Bucs, while Yeoman continues to try and push Laney to develop a winning mindset.
After a winless season one year ago, Jeff Turner brings a fresh face to the sidelines at Ashley High School and the former longtime defensive coordinator at Hoggard is eager to bring stability and excitement to the Screaming Eagles.
Daniel Finn is a second year head coach at South Brunswick and has started to change the culture in Cougar Country after keeping his team competitive throughout much of last year.
North Brunswick has a new coach for the first time in more than 20 years following the departure of Garry Bishop. Larry Brock is excited about coming home to Brunswick County after serving as head coach at Western Harnett High School. He’s a graduate of South Brunswick and has a ton of talent at the skill positions, including a pair of state track champions.
Consistency week in and week out is a key for new West Brunswick Coach Kelly Williamson. Rising junior Anthony “Bubba” Mcray was a 1,200-yard rusher from one year ago and the Trojans have been working on keeping a sharp focus on the practice field leading up to opening kickoff.
Topsail is led by third year coach Wayne Inman, who is excited about a senior class that has hung with the program despite some tough times over the last few seasons. Captain Joe Sculthorpe is an N.C. State commit and talented offensive lineman.
Week one high school football schedule
Hoggard vs. Holly Springs
Laney @ Wallace-Rose Hill
North Brunswick @ Whiteville
Topsail @ Trask
Ashley vs. White Oak
New Hanover @ Hoke County
South Brunswick @ West Columbus
West Brunswick @ Socastee