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#255488 CarolinaPreps.com moving forward!

Posted by Chris Hughes on 09 August 2016 - 01:51 PM

Hello guys, I hope you are all excited about the upcoming 2016 high school football season, I know I am.  I always get excited when the week of the N.C. Coaches Clinic comes around in late July and I can tell my good friend, Clayton Nance, former assistant coach at Greensboro Page H.S., "Happy New Year", when we customarily meet on the field prior to the East-West All-Star Game. 


Why "Happy New Year" in July?  Because the start of the high school football season is like a new year of sorts.  Similar to Opening Day in Major League Baseball, the start of the high school season, which customarily is celebrated on August 1st with the first days of practice, is a rebirth.  A time when everything is fresh and new again, the uniforms are clean, the grass is at its greenest, and hopes are high for a big season!


As you all have figured out by now, high school football is a major part of my life.  So much so that I created this website for the sole intentions of promoting our great state, this sport in which I love, and creating a platform for our coaches, and athletes to shine.


Starting this website back in 2007, I had no idea how it would change my life.  Some aspects for the good, some aspects great, but others, not so much.  I had no idea the challenges that I would face when it came to technical challenges.  There wasn't really a playbook for things like hackers, database crashes, server crashes, or dealing with pesky and in some cases, damn-right rude patrons who's only mission in life it seemed was to crash the party for everyone else. 


Since starting this site, I have made some good friends, unfortunately a few enemies as well, but more than anything, I have been validated by my peers in the coaching fraternity about how much of an impact this little website has had on our sport. 


As many of you know, this website took a major step back on Saturday, November 7th of 2015.  Jim West and myself were hard at work entering scores into the database in the early morning hours when the website crashed and chaos ensued for the next 48-72 hours.  I didn't know what had happened, or what to do.  I was scurrying calling everyone I knew, trying to talk to support personnel at our server host, and any friends I had in the web design business.  


This was one of the lowest points in my life.  The one thing I loved dear had almost slipped away.  There was a moment in time where I almost threw my arms up and threw in the towel and gave up.  It was heartbreaking and depressing. 


Fortunately after frantically meeting with my close friend Ed Conway, he was able to help find some of the lost data and at least get me back on my feet again.  


It was at that moment that I knew I had to do something to solidify this website.  I contacted my most trusted web design/developer and formulated a plan to build a new Carolina Preps.  It was going to be costly, in fact I haven't even had to make the first payment as of yet, but it was a necessary evil to bring this site that brings so much joy to many people, back to life. 


The first obstacles have been crossed, the team pages are back up to 100% working capacity (minus a header and menu bar, which is coming soon), but at least the schedules are up and the data is faster!


It is my hopes that we can debut a new, more fluid front page in the coming days.  The goal was to get this new front-page out by the first game of the season, but it's possible that it will be a few days/weeks late.  Oh well, delays happen. 


Once the new front page is fixed, I have a plan to completely rebuild the message forums we're using today to a more custom software that will flow more easier with the front page and team pages. When it's all said and done, CarolinaPreps will be back to 100% working order and look fresher, be faster, and be better than ever.  I have a great plan and vision for this site and hope to be able to continue pushing it forward in the many years to come. 


I want to thank you all for your support, patience, but more than anything, thank you for your passion for high school football, and for helping put our state front and center and pushing to make youth sports better in this state. 



#251918 How I got involved with Carolina Preps

Posted by Jim West on 24 May 2016 - 07:12 PM

Back when I was in high school, my favorite sport, believe it or not, was baseball.  I loved everything about watching a baseball game:  the food, the atmosphere, the suicide squeeze, you name it.  However, over the years, I became very disenchanted with the game.  I won't blame it on the 1994 baseball strike...although the cancellation of the World Series did make me sad.  I won't blame it on the steroid era, although being a statistician I can no longer say that baseball statistics are pure.  The integrity of the game will be tarnished due to this era.


No, I blame my dislike for baseball on one issue:  the game takes too long!  Many issues come to play...the 12 man pitching staff (25 years ago a 10 man pitching staff was the norm) which leads to more relief pitchers, the pitchers taking to long to get ready to pitch and the hitters never ready to hit.  I also do not like the fact that the rich clubs have a distinct advantage over the teams with more meager means.


I got married in 1995, and 5 years later, my wife gave birth to my daughter.  As a result, I had less and less time to watch TV.  I had little to no time to go out and do what I used to do.  Throw in the fact that I started a 2nd career (I started working with a CPA firm in 2001 at age 30), I simply had no free time to do anything.


Flash forward to 2009.  I was about to attend my 20th high school reunion.  The reunion entailed three parts, the first of which was a football game between North Stanly and Berry Academy.  Mind you, I haven't been to a North Stanly game since 1992.  I also had not seen the vast majority of my classmates since graduation.  In many ways, I always felt like I abandoned my hometown.  From 1993 to 2009, I had visited Stanly County exactly 4 times.  I had no blood relatives in Stanly County....my parents moved from Stanly to Wake County in 1993.  My wife, who had never lived in Stanly County, grew up 200 miles away in Plymouth.  However, her grandfather was originally from Stanly County.  I found out about 4 years after I graduated high school that one of my classmates was my mother-in-law's first cousin.


Anyway, every July, I always go down to Morganton Road in Southern Pines to visit my Grandfather.  He died in 1999 and was buried in a cemetery on Morganton Road.  While I was at his grave site in July 2009, I kept on thinking about how he used to take me to every Pinecrest game he could when I was a kid.  The man lived and breathed high school football.  When I found out that I would be attending my first North Stanly game in 17 years, something clicked.  I decided to research all of North Stanly's games since they first started playing football in 1962.  I work and live close to UNC-CH, and as such I would visit Wilson library to do my research.  After finishing the North Stanly project, I decided to do the other 3 schools in Stanly County.


I then decided to research all of the scores for the other traditional Rocky River Conference teams.


I then researched the scores for all of the North Piedmont Conference teams (North Stanly was a NPC member from 1966 to 1976).


I then researched the scores for all of the South Piedmont Conference teams (North Stanly was a SPC member from 1977 to 1980).


Somewhere around late 2009 to early 2010, I started posting regularly on Carolina Preps.  There were a few other websites that I visited, but I was naturally drawn to Carolina Preps.  Somehow, Chris Hughes and I developed a connection.


On October 18, 2010, my life changed forever.  My daughter was taking horseback riding lessons at a pasture just outside of Hillsborough.  My daughter had trouble catching a horse, so my wife went in to help her out.  Unfortunately, my wife wasn't wearing the correct shoes.  A horse got spooked, knocked my wife down on the ground, and trampled on her.  My wife suffered a tibia plateau fracture, torn MCL, and skull fracture.  For the next 3 months, she could bear no weight on her left leg.  I felt a certain sense of hopelessness that I hope none of you ever have to encounter.  For those 3 months, my weight dropped from 181 lbs to 160 lbs.  I was stressed out in every way you can imagine, taking care of my wife and my daughter (who still feels a level of guilt that still breaks my heart)  To keep me sane, I started researching more and more scores across the state.  Probably about 75 percent of all the scores I have can be found on the internet, free.  


The good news is that my wife did recover, although she's not fully recovered to this day.  The blunt force trauma is probably why she now has Fibromyalgia.  Her good days outnumber her bad days, so that is one true blessing.


During this period, I reached out to Chris, and Chris offered his ear and his support.  Chris Hughes is known by many as a high school football expert, but I think of Chris as nothing else than a great friend.


Sometime before the 2014 season, I had finished most of my research.  To this day, we are still missing some scores (we have all but about 150 games for all active high school teams for the years 1960 to present).  We also have researched all of the defunct schools that are no longer with us.


The Carolina Preps database is my pride and joy of this site.  Yes, there are some scores that I'm sure are not correct....I can't tell you how many times we have found a score that has been misreported....to this day, we still have this problem.  However, I feel the database is the best high school football database in the state.  In fact, I think our database is among the best in the nation.


I ask all of you to follow your passion....create a mission for yourself that can be passed on for generations to come.  Find a way to use your talents to best serve our coaches, our fans, and our athletes.

#254685 why I love highschool football

Posted by Mitchell county mountie on 24 July 2016 - 10:15 PM

I love football. But my favorite level of play is the highschool game, and here's why:

1. It's local
It's always fun to go to a game, but if you have to drive 3-4 hours to watch your team play, you'll end up watching alot more on tv. Your highschool football team is right there in your town/county, a The short drive for fun!

2. It's inexpensive.
What in this world could you do that is as much fun for less money? $14 for me and my wife's tickets, $2 for coffee and cocoa, $2 more if we want candy bars. That's a Friday night for less than $20 for myself, my wife, and our 3 year old.

3. No alcohol
Don't get me wrong, I have NO qualms about drinking, I just hate trying to watch a ballgame with a bunch of piss-drunk idiots falling into me, puking on me, and being so loud and obnoxious that I can't hear what that flag was thrown for.

4. It's a common goal for the community
No community agrees on everything. One half wants something, and the other half wants something else, and one small group wants nothing at all. No one wants their football team to lose. I have found myself sitting close to someone I don't like at a ballgame, but while there, we are both Mountaineers. The community rallies around a team for 3 hours a week, regardless of what happens the other 165 hours.

6. The players are home town heros
They can't go anywhere without people asking "how're you boys looking this year?" Or "going to win conference?" And in those rare seasons, they'll get a deep playoff run and March in the Christmas parade, and get cheers for a mile.

7. The weather
Nothing beats a frosty fall Friday night in the mountains. Coats, hoodies, blankets, your breath, and just that crispness in the air. Crowds cheer louder, clap harder. Air horns and cowbells can be heard for miles. And if your lucky, you'll get a snow game in November at Mitchell or Avery.

8. You know everyone
Crowds are much more manageable for me when It's friendly faces. People you went to school with, family, former players, everyone know everyone.

9. Rivalries are more fierce
A rivalry is much more fun when it's on a local level. Beating those punks the next town over is alot more fun than beating some from a place you've never heard of.

10. It keeps the tradition alive.
Taking your kids to a ballgame gets them interested in the sport. Sons want to be on the field, daughters want to be cheerleaders. My son is taking swimming lessons hosted by the county. Former running back Cy Thomas is is swim instructor. My boy came in the other night and asked me when football started. He also informed me that he was going to be a running back. I nearly teared up right there.

So get those t shirts and hoodies ready! Get out those cowbells and stadium seats! And get out there and support your local team!


#196710 NC Football takes a step back in time.

Posted by dkj on 04 December 2014 - 12:29 PM

I understand that some see it as a progressive move that the NCHSAA has adopted a proposal for allowing 10 days of skill development at the end of the year for HS Football. 


In essence what this has done is to eliminate ANY and ALL forms of of working with our players throughout the Spring. Nothing at all. You can't take anyone out and do anything. No OL fundamentals, no QB's and Receivers throwing and catching, nothing.


For those who do not remember, that is how it was "back in the day". No one got any better from one season to the next because it was illegal to do any football specific work.


All this is is a big step backwards. How much "skill development" will actually take place in a short 10 day period? Very little. How much better is a player going to get at the fundamentals of his position in a week and 3 days. Get real.


This will be nothing more than a team practice with teams installing their offensive and defensive schemes with less emphasis on actually getting better individually.


Everyone knows that this is merely an attempt to get full bore Spring Practice in NC. If it were the real deal Spring Practice I would be all for it. But what we are doing is taking 3 months of individual work and turning it into 10 days. We cut our own throats in my opinion.


No wonder the NCHSAA voted this in, they are not stupid. They realize that it is STILL just skill development and not full gear/contact Spring Practice. I am sure they are getting a good laugh.

#239098 Happy Thanksgiving everyone

Posted by Paul Graham on 26 November 2015 - 01:27 PM

First let me say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the carolinapreps family, from Chris and the gang down to the newest member. We are so thankful that you chose us as your source of high school football.
Also, let's all remember that we have so much to be thankful for. We have the ability to actually choose to watch football on Friday night, go out to eat and do so many things without being controlled.
Please remember that many fine young men and women died and many will forever carry the scars of keeping us safe and free.
We as a people are the luckiest people on the planet. Plenty to eat, safe places to live and freedom to choose.

#236260 Carolina Preps vs. NC Preps

Posted by footballforever on 17 November 2015 - 12:34 PM

Just a shout out to Jim West, Chris Hughes, and the rest of the staff at Carolina Preps. Just wanted to say that these message boards and discussions are so much better than the ones I used to frequent at NC Preps.  People over here actually talk and debate about football intelligently where as at NC Preps its a bunch of name calling and berating of people who don't agree with other people's opinion.


Good job guys and I have thoroughly enjoyed the conversations and topics! Way to keep it civil!

#210672 RIP K63

Posted by K63 - Lane Stribling on 25 May 2015 - 11:34 AM

Hello all, This is one of Lane's sons, Jeff.  I borrowed Dad's logon so I could post to say thank you for all the kind thoughts, words, and prayers that were extended to Dad and the family during his illness and at his passing.  Dad loved the Wonders and I know he truly enjoyed all the time spent on his website and the forums like this one talking football with his friends.  I'm not sure if he understood the impact he had, but your statements in this post verify that Dad touched many lives.  I hope you will remember K63 as the avid football/sports fan he was, and cherish the kindness, humor, and dedication that he showed in everything he did.  We will miss him greatly.



Jeff and the rest of the family of Lane Stribling



#190966 Dudley's second appeal denied

Posted by Brian Casteen on 13 November 2014 - 12:03 PM

It's part of the job to report the positive along with the negative.

#281564 Plymouth vs Murphy 1A Championship

Posted by Chris Hughes on 19 December 2016 - 12:50 PM

I rank them about 6th or 7th out of Murphy state championship teams.


Ranking Murphy's titles are like ranking Brad Pitt's wives and girlfriends.  Even the bad ones were pretty damn good.  I'd take a low ranked state championship against no championship any year!  Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Demi Moore, Gwyneth Paltrow....86, 87, 91, and 96, 2016....they all would work for me! 

#229246 1A schools vs. 2A, 3A, and 4A schools in 2014

Posted by Jim West on 27 October 2015 - 02:08 PM

In 2014, there were 77 1A football schools in the NCHSAA.  As many of you know, these 1A schools tend to be located in rural areas.  Over half of the 1A schools are east of I-95 whereby you have only a handful of large population areas.  As such, these 1A schools tend to play in large geographical conferences. In addition, 15 of these 77 schools currently play in a 1A/2A conference, guaranteeing more games against a higher classification team.


Finding non-conference opponents in rural areas can be an adventure.  In 2014, these 77 1A schools would play 227 2A, 3A, and 4A NCHSAA schools during the year.  Here is how the 1A schools fared in 2014 against  each classification:


2A:  70 wins, 117 losses

3A:  11 wins, 26 losses

4A:  2 wins, 1 loss


1A records against higher NCHSAA classification schools, 2014:  83-144


1A vs. 4A Data


Before anyone jumps to a conclusion, the two wins against 4A schools in 2014 were both against McDowell County (Avery and Mitchell were the victors).  3 games is simply not enough data to draw any form of conclusion.


1A vs. 3A Data


Regarding 1A vs. 3A schools, the following 1A teams came home victorious (number of 3A wins in 2014 in parenthesis):


Swain (3)

Robbinsville (2)

West Montgomery (2)

Tarboro (2)

Wallace-Rose Hill (1)

James Kenan (1)


At this point, let's look at the attributes that these 6 teams share.  Here's the 2014 final regular season power rankings for these schools:


Wallace Rose Hill--1st

James Kenan--2nd


West Montgomery--5th




In order for a 1A school to beat any 3A school, the 1A school will most likely be a very strong program.  Some interesting facts regarding 1A-3A match-ups:


  • the accumulative record of top 25 1A schools against 3A schools was 11-6.  Among the other 1A schools, the overall record was 0-20.  
  • the average score between a top 25 1A school and a 3A school was 28 to 18.  The average score between a 1A team not in the top 25 vs. a 3A school was 12 to 34.

1A vs. 2A Data


We have much more data regarding how 1A teams fared against 2A teams since there were 187 such games played in 2014.  Here's some facts for these games


  • the accumulative record of top 25 1A schools against 2A schools was 50-25.  Among the other 1A schools, the overall record was 20-92.
  • the average score between a top 25 1A school and a 2A school was 29 to 18.  The average score between a 1A  team not in the top 25 vs. a 2A school was 14 to 36.
  • the accumulative record of top 25 2A school against 1A schools was 32-4.  The accumulative record of a 2A team not in the top 25 against a 1A school was 85-66.


I added the last bullet point because I think this is a critical piece of information.  Overall a Top 25 2A program in 2014 won about 9 out of 10 games against any 1A school.  However, teams outside of the 2A top 25 last year were not nearly as successful, winning only 56% of the time.





A quality 1A program can compete with higher classification schools.  However, as shown above, the level of success against the higher classification schools also depends on the quality of the higher classification schools.  A 1A school outside of the top 25 that plays a higher classification school will lose to the higher classification school, on average, by 22 points.  A 1A school in the top 25 that plays a higher classification school will defeat the higher classification school, on average, by 10-11 points.


I also believe this information also shows that for a team to be a premier 1A football team, that team should have several higher classification schools on its schedule.  




#191830 The future of Kannapolis football

Posted by Chris Hughes on 14 November 2014 - 10:39 PM

I agree about discipline, but I'm not going to say it's a Kannapolis or Mike Newsome thing.  It's sad and unfortunate but it's a staple of our society.  Kids don't act like we did years ago, we were yes-sir, no-sir kind of kids that did what our coach said to do.


Kids feel entitled in today's society.  The problem in my opinion is because they've taking whippings out of school and parents feel they can't spank and discipline their kids.  if the parents won't discipline them, the coach isn't going to be able to either.


We see it more and more, you try to discipline a kid, he quits. 

#191025 Showing some compassion for Southeast Guilford students and fans

Posted by Chris Hughes on 13 November 2014 - 02:44 PM

I will be the first to admit that when this story first broke earlier this week, I was less than nice in some statements I made on Twitter towards Southeast Guilford head football coach Fritz Hessenthaler.  


I said it was "Bush League" to wait for the brackets to be locked to bring about these claims about Dudley's eligibility in an attempt to banish them from the playoffs.  Obviously some of what I said was made before I took the time to educate myself on the whole picture and I'm man enough to take responsibility for what I said and apologize. 


However some people really  need to get off of the backs of Southeast Guilford High, their coaching staff, their students, and their fan base. 


I've witnessed some of the name calling, harassment, and threats on twitter from Dudley supporters towards Southeast and this my friends is completely uncalled for.  I've also seen where Southeast has been the target of harassment on 102.1 FM.


You know this isn't a victory for Southeast, just because technically they're the Metro champs, this isn't something they'll proudly boast about.


Unfortunately, this is a situation where nobody wins.  The  only silver lining may be that this is the start of an investigation that brings to light any wrong doing and corrects that action, and educates coaches on avoiding this in the future. 

#184308 Show Your Face People!!!!

Posted by mustangmom on 15 October 2014 - 06:38 PM

If I show my face, I don't want any Marriage Proposals.!..

#179845 83-0 dang

Posted by ASUQB1 on 21 September 2014 - 09:41 PM

I have been reading the posts here and on other boards across the state this weekend. Since my game this past Friday has been one of the conversation / argument starters; I thought I would share my thoughts and perspective.  So I hope you will indulge me.


After my college playing days were over I spent many years doing play-by-play and color on television and radio. I have seen my fair share of blowouts from the press box.  Then, with the desire to make an impact on the lives of young men I made the move to the sidelines and fortunately had the opportunity to at championship caliber programs.  There I had the opportunity to be on the sideline of the team with the upper hand for a few of these games and saw how some top caliber coaches handled the situation. Now, as a head coach, I have experienced a lifetime's worth of being on the wrong end of the scoreboard as we try to build a program from a worse position than scratch...    

This weekend, I have thought a lot about Coach Jackson and I's conversation at mid-field after our game Friday.  We talked about Williams being in the game for the third quarter, about his having at least 6 or 7 starters in at any given time during the third and most of the fourth quarter.  We were not arguing with each other by any means, I have the utmost respect for Coach Jackson and what he has accomplished at North Stanly.  We are friends and competitors and always will be.  We talked about potential injuries, player mentalities, and the challenges our kids faced the rest of the season.  I've thought about my coaches and players reactions during the game.  About my response to Coach Jackson after Williams last touchdown in the third quarter.  I've thought a great deal about the expectations and excitement experienced being apart of a team experiencing that kind of win and the expectations and torment experienced as the losing team. Here are a few thoughts...


First and foremost as a coach you want to instill a sense of pride and strength of character in your players. You want them to learn lessons that will not only serve them on the football field each Friday night, but serve them 20 years from now when they are battling to stay ahead in the game of life.  That strength of character was the greatest gift the game ever gave me and is what I want for my players. 


Depending on the score and situation there are some variables to the "unwritten rules" of handling a blowout with class on both sides of the equation.  As I have thought about it this weekend I have found that only a select few of the "expectations" seem provoke the most outrage and if broken cross the line of character and "class".


Keeping starters in the game past the first series of the third quarter.  If you have a 42 point plus lead on a team at halftime it is more than reasonable to assume the other team isn't coming back... hints the running clock after halftime with a 43 point margin.  These are the games where your backups should get full speed reps.  Are they going to possibly give up some yards, maybe even some points... yes probably.  But you have film running and have the ability to coach up some young men with actual game experience.  They aren't getting this with mental reps on the sideline and your first unit is running ISO.  In our case, every coach we play knows we are a JV team playing Varsity football right now.  The bulk of our program are freshman and sophomores and of our upper classman only 7 have played football in high school.  Over half are playing football for the first time in their lives.  Example: last season we started 6 freshman on offense.  This year the offensive line was 4 sophomores and a junior, now due to injury we are three sophomores, a junior, and a freshman who just turned 14 two weeks ago.  


This leads to the next major frustration for me, and most coaches I know who have suffered through one of these games. When the opposing team has started substituting players and you finally get age on age with their twos or threes.  Your offense starts actually moving the football or your defense forces a three and out.  Your kids are experiencing a small bit of success only to have the opposing coach bring the starters back to get a stop and force a punt or move the football again.  Happened on more than one occasion to us...


Next: Throwing the ball vertical... if your up big, even with the twos or threes, don't run 4 verticals.  Now this is where I am sure some of you are thinking I am going to say the second or third unit shouldn't score and you'd be wrong.  As I mentioned earlier, this is where the backups have the opportunity to get full speed, Friday night reps.  I don't begrudge a coach utilizing the game plan, within reason, with his FULL second unit.  Those kids deserve a chance to compete and learn.  But if your up big, letting the back up stretch out his arm, may not be the best play call when a flood concept or read concept at the markers would suffice and give the QB good experience making his reads.  If you continue to score with the twos and threes and your not "stretching" the playbook then your kids are competing and it may be time to go to the extreme and back them off.  But as young as we are, when a coach has went to a TRUE, FULL second unit either last year or this year we have been able to make it competitive from that point on and I believe most teams have that ability. If they don't, then the coach needs to realize that and find a way to throttle back some without embarrassing the kids on the other side of the field.    Example: Last year verse Union Academy.  Brad had gone to a full second unit in the third quarter.  It was third and eight.  His backup QB ran a read route and our corner didn't just bite, but swallowed the hook.  The QB and WR receiver read it and the WR released vertical.  The QB made an excellent throw under the safety and the young man went 60 plus yards.  My coaches were screaming about the vertical stretch, but it was two second unit guys making a play and that's what I told our coaches and kids. 


The only other taboo I can think of would be reaching into the "trick" play bag when you're up big.  That feels like you're trying to embarrass the opposing team...  So work on the fake punt, pooch kicks, reverse QB throw backs in practice and pull them out if you need a win.      


On a side note: I can say that after watching the film today Albemarle did as much as they could including having the team quit fielding punts.  Three of Albemarle's scores were punt returns for touchdowns...


It is never fun to be a part of one of these games.  In my position it makes what we are trying to do with our program even more difficult.  It takes the joy out of the game for the kids, parents, and coaches.  I love this game, it has been part of my life since my parents signed a waiver for me to start tackle football in the third grade.  It is my goal to help build a foundation for a program at South Davidson that allows my players and the players in the future to have the same fond memories of the game when they are my age. 



Joe Cullen

Head Football Coach

South Davidson High School

#278567 Gebbia out as HC at Rockingham County

Posted by Chris Hughes on 05 December 2016 - 03:58 PM

Once the administration allows parents to be a part of the decision making processes, everything goes down hill from there. 

#249513 Andrews looking for head coach

Posted by Knights on 30 March 2016 - 06:41 PM

6-7 and played Murphy to a close game. I think that's about as good as a coach can do at Andrews.
Not enough kids at Andrews.

#234222 Prayers for RD28327

Posted by Jim West on 11 November 2015 - 12:05 PM

Last night I found out via Facebook that a good friend and fellow Carolina Preps poster, RD28327 had a stroke  .RD28327 gave me permission to disclose a brief synopsis of what has transpired on our Forums, so here you go.


A few moments ago, I called RD28327 at the hospital over in Pinehurst.  He advised me that he had a light stroke and that he's having some difficulty with his speech and that he's very weak on the left side of his body, especially his left arm and left leg.  


The good news is that he should regain his speech and that the left side of his body will improve over time.  From talking to RD28327, he was in good spirits, and truthfully, I couldn't notice much problem with his speech except he might be speaking just a tad slower than usual.  I could tell that he's fatigued which is very normal for someone that had a stroke.  


RD28327 has been a major asset to Carolina Preps for many years, and he's also a personal friend of mine, so I ask everyone to send thoughts and prayers his way.

#205624 Finances, Volunteerism, and Football

Posted by Jim West on 19 March 2015 - 08:26 AM

Life is always about compromise...


The vast majority of us are not independently wealthy.  We make sacrifices for others each and every day so we can make ends meet.  Just ask anyone who has ever had kids:  who do you want to provide the basic necessities for first, you or your kid.  If you have no kids, ask someone who loves their kids about what they want their kids to have.  Most of the time, these parents want their kids to have peace and freedom to live a good life.


At a very young age, my grandfather, Gene Blackwelder, instilled in me basic principles about money that I practice each and every day.  Ever heard of a materialist, someone that has to have everything immediately?  Well, my grandfather was a true non-materialist.  He and my grandmother lived very meagerly, running their hardware store, integrating downtown Southern Pines, and giving my mother everything that they could afford without breaking the bank.  He lived without so he could give something extra to his grandchildren.  


My grandparents never made much money.  Competing with the Wal-Marts of the world was the beginning of the end for a lot of local hardware stores.  My grandmother was a teacher, and teachers just did not make a lot of money then (or now).  However, my grandparents were able to save money so they could give something extra to someone that had a need.  They saved what they could so they could put their money to good use within the community.  The two main areas they gave money to was their church....and to high school football.


Many of you think I'm a big high school football fan, but my grandfather was a much bigger fan of the sport.  For the first 15 years of Pinecrest football, my grandfather never missed a game.  It didn't matter where Pinecrest was traveling, nor did it matter if they won or lost.  He wanted to be part of the game, to feel the kid's excitement and to share their pains and burdens.  Although I always knew he was a big football fan, I never knew to what extent until he died.


My grandfather passed away in July 1999 at the age of 83.  I was 28 years old at the time, and his death hit me so very hard.  I just adored my grandfather, and I found out that complete strangers who had not seen my grandfather for many years loved him too.  One guy came up to me, introduced himself to me, and then hugged me.  He was also crying.  When the guy played, his father didn't own a car and couldn't get to the games.  Granddad found out about this, hired the father to work at his hardware store, and then after the day was over would drive to wherever Pinecrest was playing.  This occurred in the early 1970's when times we were rough for many.  I had two other guys tell me that my grandfather really looked after them from a distance, always trying to help out behind the scenes.


Ask your favorite high school coach if they make money from coaching high school football.  Most will tell you that they spend much more money out of pocket than they ever will receive for compensation on the football field.  Who pays for the bananas so the kids won't cramp up?  If you don't know, ask Nipit.  Who helps get the kids to and from practice?  Ask our own Paul Graham.


Almost all of high school sports are constrained by budgets.  It's a cold fact, but it's very true, just like all of us are constrained by what we spend.  When budgets are maxed out, where does the money come from?  


I've met many generous people while taking on the high school football history project.  Folks that were willing to sacrifice their time, sweat, and efforts to help me out and provide me encouragement.  There are many folks that have helped me out, so I'm only going to mention two guys.  The first guy is our own beloved Cheerduck.  Cheerduck has to be one of the most generous guys I have ever met.  When I was having trouble finding scores in the Catawba County area, Cheerduck went out and found the scores.  Cheerduck...he's a good man.


The other guy I'll mention for generosity is Chris Hughes.  The quality of our team pages, web design, and all of the pictures taken for the stadium project would not have happened if it wasn't for Chris.  Chris has left his imprint on high school football.  


With limited funds, coaches living off of teacher salaries to support a family, and kids that come from socioeconomically disadvantaged homes, what can we do to make a difference?  Do each one of you have an idea on how you can make a bigger difference than you do now?


In parting, I'll leave you with one of my favorite websites, Friday Nights in K-Town.  This is a perfect example on how we can all give back to the sport we love.





#181139 The 1969-1983 Robbinsville Black Knights: A true 1A dynasty

Posted by Jim West on 29 September 2014 - 09:00 PM

Ever been to Graham County, NC?  Tucked nicely around Tennessee, Cherokee County, and Swain County, it's just about as far west as you can go (only Cherokee County is further west in the state).  When you think of Graham County, you may think of the beautiful scenery, how the leaves change colors during the fall, or you may think about a nice little hideaway for a weekend.


When I think of Graham County, I think of the Robbinsville Black Knights' football team. 


Starting in 1969, Robbinsville would win 11 1A state championships in a span of 15 years.  How did the Black Knights dominate 1A football for so long?  And better yet, will we ever see a team dominate a classification as much as Robbinsville did in 15 years?


From 1960 to 1968, Robbinsville had some pretty good teams, some average teams, and some not so good teams.  In 1960, the Black Knights would meet the NC School for the Deaf in the semi-finals of the 1A playoffs.  Sporting a good 9-2 record,  the Black Knights would lose to the team from Morganton by a score of 13-12.  In 1961, 1962, and 1963, Robbinsville struggled, going 3-5-2, 1-8-1, and 3-5-2.  By 1964, Robbinsville achieved some success, going 8-2 and losing only to a good Andrews team twice (21-19 and 33-26).  This Andrews team would eventually win the Region 3 1A state championship.  


The next year (1965), the Black Knights were champs.  Back in these years, the 1A ranks had four regional champions.  Robbinsville would win the Region 4 championship, defeating a stout Spruce Pine Harris squad by a score of 34-7.  However, the Black Knights dropped a bit in the next three years, sporting records of 4-6, 4-6, and 6-4.  Who would know that the next 15 years would result in 11 championships?


The 1969 squad was stout, losing only to 2A squads of Sylva-Webster (30-12) and Swain (26-12).  After beating Angier (24-0) and St. Pauls (33-26), the Black Knights defeated Manteo 14 to 8 to bring the 1A championship home to Graham County.


The 1970 Black Knights didn't wait long to prove that the 1969 team was no fluke.  Losing only to Swain (34-20) and Murphy (28-14), the Black Knights would defeat Apex (36-15) and North Duplin (8-6) in the first two rounds of the playoffs.  Waiting ahead was Saratoga, a school from Wilson County.  Robbinsville would prevail, winning their 2nd straight championship by a score of 28 to 6.


Robbinsville did not "three-peat" in 1971, but still made the playoffs before eventually losing to Robersonville in the state championship by a score of 30-18.  1972 was a good, but not great team, this time losing to Red Springs 42-20 in the first round of the playoffs.


The 1973 squad didn't score more than 30 points in the regular season. In addition, the Black Knights were defeated by Sylva-Webster (39-0) and Murphy (42-14).  In the regular season, the Black Knights would score less than 16 points/game.  However, both teams the Black Knights lost to were 2A squads, so the team was once again in the playoffs.  After deposing of Stoneville (24-0), Robbinsville would face a strong Maxton team from Robeson County.  Robbinsville would score more points in this game than any other game to-date in 1973, winning 38-12.  Proving that defeating Maxton was no fluke, Robbinsville would then score 50 points against Rosewood in a shutout.  Hard to believe that the most points scored in the Black Knights season were in the last two games.  This should a testament on how strong the Western NC teams were in those days (not to mention in the present).


1974was another championship squad, and like the year before, the Black Knights would lose to Sylva-Webster (44-26) and Murphy (42-14).  The 1974 squad would defeat Manteo 27-0 to win the 1A state championship. 


1975 was another good year for the Black Knights.  Going undefeated in the regular season, the Black Knights would lose to Maxton in the semi-finals (36-14).  The following year (1976), Robbinsville would once again go undefeated in regular season play.  In the second round of the playoffs, the Black Knights would obtain redemption for the 1975 squad, defeating Maxton by a score of 42 to 8.  The state championship would be a fairly easy game for the Black Knights, defeating Princeton 34-6.  1977 would be the third straight season whereby the Black Knights were undefeated in regular season play.  This time, the Black Knights would defeat Rock Ridge of Wilson County by a score of 42-6.


1978 would be a relative struggle for the Black Knights, losing to Franklin (31-14), Swain (49-16), and Murphy (22-6).  Although Robbinsville would make the playoffs, they were dumped by Cherokee, losing 27 to 6. However, the Black Knights were merely reloading for the future.


The 1979 season included three losses against Swain (21-12), Murphy (20-13), and Sylva-Webster (35-14).  However, the playoffs were a different story.  Robbinsville avenged its 1978 loss to Cherokee by taking out the Braves by a score of 18-7.  After sliding by a stout North Duplin squad, the Black Knights would once again play Princeton for the 1979 title.  Once again, the Black Knights were victorious, winning 46-8.  


1980 was a great year for the Black Knights.  Averaging almost 38 points/game and allowing less than 13 points/game, the Black Knights would go a perfect 13-0, this time defeating Rosewood (40-0), the same team they defeated in 1973 for the state championship.


 1981 started out bumpy for Robbinsville, getting shutout by Swain (31-0).  After that stunning defeat, the Black Knights would win 12 straight games, including the state championship.  This time their victim was Wilkinson of Belhaven by a score of 68-0.


1982 would be the fourth straight championship in a row for Robbinsville.  Although losing in the regular season to Hayesville (8-7) and Franklin (10-7), the Black Knights would once again be crowned 1A state champions.  Their opponent was Bath, and the Black Knight came out on top by a score of 21 to 6.


The 1983 Black Knights would take their fifth 1A state championship in a row, this time defeating Creswell for the 1A state championship.  


From 1984 to 1990, the Black Knights would struggle.  In fact during these season, Robbinsville would win no more than 6 games in any season.  The 1991 season produced a 11-2 record and a third round playoff defeat.  1992 would be Robbinsville last state championship, defeating Lakewood by a score of 35-0.


No team has ever dominated a classification like Robbinsville did during the 1969 to 1983 years.  Independence would win seven straight 4A championships, but never won championships before or since.  During those 15 years, Robbinsville's accumulative record was 160-29-1.  


So the next time you visit Graham County, consider the strong football tradition of the Robbinsville Black Knights!







#269571 This board about to get much more crowded!

Posted by Chris Hughes on 03 November 2016 - 07:50 AM

As long as Chris doesn't follow suit and chase the Benjamin's. (For the record I don't think he will.  He's a football guy and this gives us a place to talk football) 



Once the new front page is finished, there is a chance I could have a premium tier for some extra front page content, but I would never charge for posting on the forums.