Week four of the high school football season is in the books and as area teams turn their attention to Friday night, with three games in Wilmington, our latest edition of Sports Round Table focuses on the four programs across New Hanover County.
While New Hanover and Ashley came off bye weeks, with no footage from the week prior, players from each team joined the show, in addition to Laney Coach Aashad Yeoman and Hoggard Coach Craig Underwood.
Click the link below for the complete edition of Sports Round Table, with week four game highlights, along with player and coach interviews. Sports Round Table airs at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays on Time Warner Cable Channel 5 and Charter Cable Channel 191.
This week’s Throwback Sunday showcase features the cross-town rivalry game between Hoggard and Laney in 2000. Throwback Sundays air at 7 p.m. on Time Warner Cable Channel 5 and Charter Cable Channel 191.
Hoggard (1-3) vs. Clinton (2-0)
Looking to build off a strong second half performance at Charlotte Christian, the Hoggard Vikings aim to bounce back at home against Clinton after dropping two straight games. First-year Coach Craig Underwood was proud of his team’s fight in the final 24 minutes after going down 20-0 at halftime, but Hoggard is still looking to finish off drives in the red zone.
The Vikings have been able to move the chains downfield thanks to the efforts of Josh Jones and Bryant Sasser at quarterback. Mathew Eakins serves as the leading receiver with team-high 10 catches for 112 yards. Hunter Louthan and Patrick Morrison remain a viable threat in the passing game at tight end, while Keon Bradley has two touchdown receptions through four games.
Tony Allen and Rashad Wallace continue to serve as a dual threat at running back and Underwood has been impressed with the offensive line as of late, led by senior center Kris Scales.
Hoggard is also getting healthy up front on the defensive end of the ball, while Caleb Kuhne provides strength in the kicking game. He is 3-for-4 in attempts this season after splitting the uprights on a 40-yard field goal against Charlotte Christian.
Laney (1-3) at East Bladen (3-0)
The Bucs grabbed their first win of the season at Northern Nash on Friday after dominating the second half. Jamius Beckett took a punt return to the house and Imeek Watkins continues to provide stability at the running back position. The junior has 44 carries through four games, with two touchdowns.
Second-year Coach Aashad Yeoman believes Travon Greene is starting to get comfortable behind center in his first season at quarterback. Ryan Williams and Justin Billingslea are emerging as his top receivers, combining for three touchdown receptions and 164 yards receiving.
Yeoman has also been impressed with the progression on defense and special teams as Ryan Daborowski provides Laney with a viable pass rusher. He has one sack and two quarterback hurries, while Elijawuan Boone and Troy Cruse share the team lead in tackles.
New Hanover (2-1) vs. Scotland County (4-0)
Coming off the bye week, quarterback Burke Estes and safety Ronnie Beatty joined Sports Round Table as the Wildcats have a tall task in facing the 4-0 Scots at Legion Stadium on Friday night.
Estes talked about the potential of New Hanover’s offense and what it’s like taking over the starting quarterback position from the school’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes. The senior standout has completed nearly 70 percent of his passes this season, while playmakers Garrett Walston, Trequan Age, Wiz Vaughn and Freddie Taylor give the Wildcats a wealth of talent at the skill positions.
Beatty commented on his maturity level and growth as a young man since being kicked off the football team during his freshman year. During the past three years, Beatty has developed into one of the leading defensive standouts for New Hanover and serves as the team’s leading tackler.
Both senior football players, Estes and Beatty also shared thoughts on the transition process from former coach Kevin Motsinger to new front man Earl Smith. Keeping focus during practice this week is one of the many focal points being addressed during training as game day gets closer.
Ashley (0-3) vs. Westover (2-2)
Quarterback Caleb Parker and defensive end/tight end D.C. Russ were among guests to join Sports Round Table this week as the Screaming Eagles get back on the field after the bye.
Parker has been working his way back to form after an ankle injury sidelined the junior back in week one. He’s been proud of the offensive line and the work they’ve put in at practice, while Bradley Plyler gives Ashley an edge with his hard running style in the backfield.
Russ is one of many to play on both sides of the ball for Coach Jeff Turner. The six-foot, four-inch senior gives Ashley mobility to rush the edge on defense, while also providing an important role in the running game at tight end.
The Screaming Eagles have been beleaguered by injuries so far this season and Turner has been enthusiastic about his team’s development and work ethic through three games. He’s looking for a few things to fall their way and a solid effort against Westover in hopes of their first win on Friday.