High school football: Rowan Jamboree at Carson on Friday

Published 5:45 pm Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Staff report

CHINA GROVE — Carson is the host team for the Rowan County Football Jamboree on Friday.

This is the fifth year for it. It’s a rotating event among the Rowan schools. All of them participate.

The Jamboree has a fan-friendly concept. A diehard can watch all six Rowan schools scrimmage on one field on the same night, as well as A.L. Brown and Albemarle.

The resilient event has survived COVID, monster traffic jams and never-ending lightning delays to become a popular kickoff point for every Rowan high school football season.

West Rowan hosted the original Jamboree in 2018. North Rowan was the site in 2019. After COVID knocked out the 2020 Jamboree, it returned successfully in 2021 at Salisbury.

South hosted in 2022. Now it’s Carson’s turn. That means East Rowan will gets its chance in 2024 to complete the first cycle.

The Jamboree will be a little shorter this time, with four scrimmages instead of five. That’s because there are two Rowan vs. Rowan matchups. Action will start at 6 p.m., instead of 5 p.m. It still will be a late night with the final scrimmage starting at 9 p.m.

Rowan teams only scrimmage each other if they don’t meet in the regular season. The Jamboree scrimmage will be the only time this season that West Rowan and Salisbury will square off. Ditto for North Rowan and South Rowan.

Except for limited special teams play, each scrimmage is basically two halves of serious football, but there’s a running clock for most of the action.

Some high-profile offensive players with staggering stats are back in the county, including the North Rowan duo of quarterback Jeremiah Alford and back Jaemias Morrow and the Salisbury pair of quarterback Mike Geter and receiver Deuce Walker.

West Rowan returns exciting runner/receiver/returner Evan Kennedy and defensive ends Hunter Miller and Kevin Toomer and will unveil new QB Brant Graham.

Carson offensive lineman Tristen McBride will be a player to watch, along with South quarterback Brooks Overcash and East Rowan received AJ Goodman.

North fans will get a chance to see how the Cavaliers look under new head coach Josh Sophia, while A.L. Brown fans can get a preview of the Wonders, who are now coached by Justin Hardin.

The regular season will start on Aug. 18.

Admission for the Jamboree is $8.

The schedule:

East Rowan vs. A.L. Brown, 6 p.m.

North Rowan vs. South Rowan, 7 p.m

Salisbury vs. West Rowan, 8 p.m.

Albemarle vs. Carson, 9 p.m.