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2017 NCHSAA Realignment

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New Northwestern 3A/4A Conference football predictions

4A Football 3A Football Pickem/Projections WNC

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#1 titanman27

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 09:27 AM

The new conference will feature McDowell (4A), South Caldwell (4A), Alexander Central (3A), Freedom (3A)  Hickory (3A), St. Stephens (3A), Watauga (3A), West Caldwell (3A)

 

I feel as if this conference doesn't have a clear favorite entering the season.

 

Alexander Central can score lots of points quickly with a solid QB, but gives up about just as many.

 

Freedom was way down last season but should improve this year.

 

South Caldwell had a rough season but should also improve.

 

West Caldwell may be the favorite after a 10-3 season in 2016 but I have no idea what they are returning/losing.

 

Watauga could also challenge for the top spot and can score points like Alexander Central

 

Hickory has really fell off the past few seasons but could they rebound?

 

St. Stephens will likely struggle again this year

 

McDowell returns some pieces from a 5-7 team but will likely finish in the bottom half of the conference..

 

 

Thoughts?



#2 cougars'12

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 11:52 AM

1. Watauga

2. Alexander Central

3. Freedom

4. South Caldwell

5. West Caldwell

6. McDowell

7. Hickory

8. St. Stephens



#3 Chris Hughes

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 11:52 AM

I feel Freedom has the best chance to win the league based on talent and coaching but Watauga could have a say as well. Hickory will be much improved and Alexander Central will be explosive. I don't think West Caldwell will be favored, while they'll be solid, it's hard replacing such an important player in quarterback Titus Tucker.

South Caldwell I think will be improved going back to a system they can thrive in, but it could be a year before the results truly show.

I think McDowell can be sold and St. Stephens always plays hard as well and is well coached.

If I were to predict today;

1. Freedom
2. Watauga
3. Alexander Central
4. Hickory
5. South Caldwell
6. West Caldwell
7. McDowel
8. St. Stephens

#4 BlueDevilsBiggestFan

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 12:06 PM

Freedom has one of the best coaches in state so they will be competitive and better than last season

Watagua lost some but they are always tough and does pretty well every year.

AC: They return a solid core n they score a lot but Can they improve their defense?!

Hickory: With their new coaches, I think hickory will at least win 3-6 games this year n will keep improving under the new leadership!

South Caldwell: Don't know much about but I hope they change their scheme bc they spread don't work at SC!

WC: They had a great last yr but they prob lost some of the core guys so they maybe rebuilding.

McDowell: It's a tough place to win but they will prob win at least few games

St Stephens: Tough place to win but they have some players but won't be enough to win much.

My Standings:
1. Freedom
2. AC
3. Watagua
4. Hickory
5.South Caldwell
6. West Caldwell
7.Mcdowell
8. St Stephens

Very Top heavy in my opinion

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#5 GDG

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 12:15 PM

Swap South and West from above and that would be my prediction.

West Caldwell still has some good linemen on both sides that will make some decent back look good.

Alexander has Anderson back and the receivers. They will score a lot. Play defense and they win this conference but they haven't played D in 5 years. Carter may get the that straightened out. That RB is one quick dude.

Freedom finally has someone to lead the Patriots again. Young but coaching will raise the program very fast. Word is next QB has all the skill sets to bring excitement.

St. Stephens has a great band. Should be their highlights on Hudl.

#6 FHS1985

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 02:25 PM

One big advantage for the Patriots this year is that we won't play a game that is more than a 40 minute bus drive from Morganton all season; Shelby, Watauga and Alexander Central will all be home games.

My picks:
FHS
Watauga
AC
WC
Hickory
SC
McDowell
St. Stephens

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

― C.S. Lewis


#7 HHS2003

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 09:48 PM

Freedom
Watauga
Alexander Central
West Caldwell
McDowell
Hickory
South Caldwell
St. Stephens

Half of the conference has new coach's.

#8 allenjd4life

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Posted 23 June 2017 - 09:49 PM

1. Alex Central
2. Freedom
3. Watauga
4. West Caldwell
5. McDowell
6. Hickory
7. South Caldwell
8. St Stephens

#9 Schmo

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 08:27 AM

The league might be a lot better than most suspect.  Freedom will make a giant leap with Bryant on the sidelines and Hickory will be better simply based on Stone taking over. West Caldwell will be good and everyone always overlooks Watauga. 

 

1A...  Alexander Central....Cougars will score tons and the defense will be some better.  JV team was 10-0 and most of that team was freshman.  Godfrey is the preseason pick to be player of the year. The Division I offers are starting to get serious and they're  going to be  lot more, Anderson is a prospect at quarterback coming off his injury late last season.  Devon Weiss is a stud a fullback and linebacker.  The defense will determine how well the Cougars do.  Isaac Chapman is a rising junior that shined at NC State and Western Carolina camps this spring.  He is an outright stud on the defensive line joined by another rising junior in Landon Strickland who missed more than half of his sophomore season with a shoulder injury.  The key to the season is how quickly a young offensive line jells and how much better the defense really is

 

1B...  Freedom...They will be better because the culture has changed.  They always have talent and now the trend is up.  They could be the favorite

 

1C....  Watauga...I don't know why everyone always overlooks Watauga but Ryan Habbich is one hell of a coach and he milks every drop out of the team from Boone 

 

4.  West Caldwell...Could be a factor if they can stay healthy.  Based on what I'm told but have not seen, they have limited depth

 

5.  Hickory...Russell Stone will make a big difference but he has a big hill to climb.  The culture has to change and he might be the man that can do it.  They have talent but not to the degree they had in their glory days.  All I hear is positive so far

 

6.  McDowell  The new turf will be nice

 

7.  South Caldwell...The first year without Butch Carter was a disaster

 

8.  St Stephens...They might struggle



#10 BlueDevilsBiggestFan

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Posted 24 June 2017 - 10:05 AM

For AC to have the chance to win Conference is They need more linemen , When AC played SI last yr at SI , Y'all were down 2 linemen from Injuries n Y'all didn't call up any of the Massvie linemen that u had on JV (Some of ur JV linemen look like Varsity Linemen).

Also the Defense got torched in that game and other games as well but the Biggest Key is Gunner , Godfrey , Strickland and Devon Weiss bc Those are your top 4 top studs I mean look at last yr vs SI , Once Godfrey went down that's when the game turn Sour for the Cougars

Your Safety's and DBs are the area for improvement bc Vs SI Pope just slung it all over the place deep and AC didn't stop it one bit!

Also The Scheme needs to change a tad, the pass game was Horrid last yr. the Run game is good only when Devon n Godfrey are healthy but if one of them are not then It's a uphill battle u can't win. I understand AC n Coach Carter are a Run first team but Passing game needs to open up a tad. Within this conference, The run game should do well but if u face Dudley Again or Catholic in the Playoffs then that's where the passing game will need to be used to help relieve some of the pressure of the run game

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#11 titanman27

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Posted 28 June 2017 - 01:31 PM

McDowell is about to enter year 2 under coach Andy Morgan, I believe they will be a tougher out than many think. He is a good coach but has a tough job for sure. If he can continue to get more athletes to come out for football (not just basketball and baseball) the titans could contend in the next few years. This year I think they will be in the 3-5 wins range depending on QB play.



#12 TitanNation79

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 11:36 AM

Less than 24 hours away from the start of the football season...

As a long time supporter of McDowell Titan athletics let me say just how nice it is to come back home...

I don't know exactly where the Titans will match up in the conference race but I'm looking forward to getting back to our roots. The fact that we haven't played Freedom in nearly a decade is a shame.

#13 Chris Hughes

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Posted 30 July 2017 - 12:34 PM

After having seen a lot of these teams over the summer.....

 

1. Freedom is certainly still the leader in my eyes.  The athleticism, coaching, and new scheme will win a lot of games and they'll only get better each week. 

 

2/3.  Watauga and Alexander Central will still be very, very solid.  They'll both score a ton of points but it'll come down to who can step up and play the best defense.  Either could possibly knock off Freedom in a shootout if it comes to that, but neither is even close to be as talented as Freedom. 

 

4.  I still stick with Hickory being on the verge of looking good.  At times they've looked like world beaters during the summer and at other times they've not been able to get out of their own way.  Wide receiver Jaekwon Staten is the real deal, he's put on a show at some college camps and with a 3-year starter coming back at QB, that should be enough for Stone to work with to build a foundation for the future. 

 

5/6. I think South Caldwell is a team that could come back really fast, going back to their old scheme under Coach Kirkpatrick could be just what they need.  I could see them elevated up the rankings if things gel, but last year really set them back a long ways so we'll see.  West Caldwell was the hot-shot team last year but I don't see them in the Top-3, I think they'll struggle more than many realize. 

 

7/8.  I always hate to project teams near the back of the pack but I think McDowell and St. Stephens are probably going to round up the rear but I could see McDowell be able to fight and claw with the two Caldwell schools. 



#14 heelyeah22

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 01:06 PM

1) Freedom

2) Watauga

3) AC

4) SC

5) Hickory

6) WC

7) St. Stephens

8) McDowell

 

Freedom has a great coach to go along with great talent. Not a good sign for the surrounding area as long as he is there. Watauga is a well coached team with a scheme that is tough to prepare for so I give them an edge over AC. AC is going to be what they are. A running team that will only throw when forced to and because of this won't be great at it. Get up on them and they will get really uncomfortable. Also, if they didn't make any staff adjustments on their defense then I wouldn't anticipate their D being much better. They had talent on that side of the ball but something isn't clicking and most of the time that means you need to bring in a new face on that side.

 

At SC, all the talent seems to be very young. I anticipate a big jump in the standings because they will do what suits them. Not enough talent to run the spread there. I think Hickory makes a jump finally with a coach who is fully invested. West Caldwell will take a dip with a new coach and losing Tucker. I know they have some talented backs but people seem to be underestimating how big of a loss he will be. He was their best player on both sides of the ball.

 

Then I believe that Saint and McDowell battle it out for 7 and 8.



#15 titanman27

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Posted 03 August 2017 - 02:22 PM

Less than 24 hours away from the start of the football season...

As a long time supporter of McDowell Titan athletics let me say just how nice it is to come back home...

I don't know exactly where the Titans will match up in the conference race but I'm looking forward to getting back to our roots. The fact that we haven't played Freedom in nearly a decade is a shame.

 

The JV team was dreadful last season, this is an important season for coach Morgan if he wants to start showing real signs of a culture change and improvement. The new stadium will be great to see when i come back to visit for the first home game. I expect 3-5 wins anything more is a pleasant surprise, less than that a disappointment



#16 allenjd4life

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 02:06 PM

Bad news out of hickory Justin Harper out
http://www.hickoryre...5301934e98.html

#17 Chris Hughes

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 03:08 PM

Bad news out of hickory Justin Harper out
http://www.hickoryre...5301934e98.html


I'm not sure this is bad news.

#18 GDG

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Posted 04 August 2017 - 04:22 PM

Has Justin Harper stayed more than a year anywhere?

#19 TitanNation79

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 12:36 PM

The JV team was dreadful last season, this is an important season for coach Morgan if he wants to start showing real signs of a culture change and improvement. The new stadium will be great to see when i come back to visit for the first home game. I expect 3-5 wins anything more is a pleasant surprise, less than that a disappointment

 

I would agree that it would be important to see progress in year two. Last night the team held midnight madness and went full contact for the first time. You could see with some of the players participating that they are ahead of the game compared to this time a year ago...especially in respect to strength. The kids have really bought into the weight program that Coach has implemented.

 

In regards to the jayvees struggling last year, some of that is also a product of the change in philosophy. About 7 or 8 kids last year played significant time varsity, some of that was by necessity. Some of those kids also would have been playing Thursday night's in previous regimes at McDowell.



#20 allenjd4life

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 06:49 PM

Has Justin Harper stayed more than a year anywhere?

nope

#21 Chris Hughes

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 06:51 PM

Justin Harper took a step to follow his dream of landing a role on a D1 college coaching staff.  I personally think this well suit his strengths very well.  I met with the staff at Hickory today, they have a pretty good group of men and I think they're all in with what Coach Stone wants to accomplish. 



#22 allenjd4life

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 07:48 PM

Hope to see them this Friday at the jamboree at Lenoir rhyne if it's not raining. I'm assuming it will be maiden and West Lincoln scrimmaging Alex central and hickory.

#23 npcfan

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 08:19 PM

In very first post the titanman had AC as a 3a school...Last year they were 4a, did they go down a class? Just curious.

#24 stizz49

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 09:17 PM

Yes Ac is 3a now

#25 allenjd4life

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 10:43 PM

McDowell and South Caldwell are the 4A schools. So the Titans should win enough games to get the automatic berth in 4a. Seen Chris's video I haven't seen a Hickory coach so motivated in a few years. Any McDowell fans should also be very proud of thier stadium one of the nicest older facilities I've seen in the foothills area.





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