2008 Prep Football: CCC preview
By Mike London
Central Carolina Conference coaches probably aren’t going to believe Dario Hamilton is still around, but he’s ready for his fourth circuit around the league, and that’s a decent reason to pick Salisbury one more time.
Hamilton has rushed for 2,616 yards in his career and figures to shatter Tyris Davidson’s all-time school mark of 3,107, a record that is only four years old.
Another Salisbury back, A.J. Ford, just missed 1,000 yards last season, and DB Martin Hosch-Cathcart should be in the running for CCC Defensive Player of the Year.
Coach Joe Pinyan has piloted the Hornets to five straight CCC crowns, but four of them have been shared, which testifies to the parity in the league. Salisbury is 27-7 in CCC contests over the past five seasons, but it hasn’t been able to run the table yet.
Lexington was 3-8 last season and finished dead last, but this squad has worst-to-first possibilities. Coach Chris Deal returns 16 starters, including all the DBs, three linebackers and 80 percent of the offensive line.
Running back Chris Bush (920 rushing yards), QB Teland Todd (1,720 passing yards) and linebacker Ty Holmes lead a scary team
The Yellow Jackets will find out what they have right away. They open with Thomasville.
Salisbury has handled Lexington five straight times, and that’s been a key to winning so many CCC titles.
Co-champion West Davidson returns 14 starters from a 9-4 team that won a playoff game, and the Green Dragons don’t have any fear of Salisbury.
The Green Dragons have beaten SHS three straight times and spoiled perfect CCC seasons for the Hornets in 2005 (in overtime) and 2006.
Coach Dale Barnes has receivers Jordan Hudson and Jon Jarvis back, along with running backs Alex Grubb and Patrick Phelps, but breaking in a new QB will take time.
Coming off a snakebit 5-7 season in which it lost three games to the league co-champions by a total of four points, North Rowan is the X-factor.
North lost to Salisbury (14-12), West Davidson (21-20) and East Davidson (13-12). Had the Cavaliers won any of those three, they would have shared the CCC crown.
The Cavs have the talent to surprise under new coach Tasker Fleming, and they’d love to end a four-year losing streak to Salisbury.
Like Lexington, Ledford is a spread team capable of scoring in bunches behind QB Cody Williams and a line that features All-CCC Chris Martin and Mitch Saintsing.
Coach Chuck Henderson’s Panthers were 7-6 overall in 2007 but roller-coastered their way to sixth place in the league. Not long after being upset by Central Davidson, Ledford rocked Salisbury 28-7, the Hornets’ first loss to Ledford since 2002.
Central Davidson won five games last season, including three CCC contests.
Coach Eugene Everhart needs huge seasons from junior QB Kirk Brown and senior receiver Reggie McBride to keep moving up.
Inexperience at quarterback and on both lines could bring co-champion East Davidson down a few notches from last season’s 7-5 showing.
New school Providence Grove is located in the unincorporated town of Climax, which sits just north of the Randolph line in Guilford County and is located 50 miles from Salisbury.
Todd Shuping, who coached at Grimsley and East Forsyth, leads the Patriots. They will model white, silver and navy uniforms when they debut at Randleman on Friday.