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  1. Open enrollment has tremendously affected the landscape of high school football in North Carolina. How would that factor change if larger counties like Guilford and Wake County adopted that same concept as Mecklenburg and Forsyth County have?
  2. This has been the question of late, can a Wake County 4A football team, specifically (4AA), compete with and win a football state championship against a Charlotte area team? I think we've seen some great advancement in some of the Wake County teams in recent years, and I think we'll see a few other really good squads burst onto the scene and try and make a name for themselves on a statewide level, but can a team rise up and compete with the likes of a Mallard Creek, Butler, or other Western teams on a consistent basis? In recent years, we've seen Wake Forest (formerly Wake Forest-Rolesville) make it to three 4AA championship games and Garner to one, but other than those two, it's been a struggle for Wake County teams to advance very far in the playoffs, especially when it comes to playing non Wake County teams. Last year we saw Apex Middle Creek dominate their schedule only to be hammered by Greensboro Page, a Western team (playing in East bracket) 49-23. A few years back (2005), it was Wakefield that seemingly lapped the field when facing Raleigh competition only to be blistered 28-7 by New Bern in the 4th round, and the list goes on and on. For the most part, Garner has been one of the few exceptions when it comes to being able to handle their own against non-Wake teams. For years, it was Fayetteville area teams that brought a different level of physicality to the Raleigh schools that they didn't handle well, but usually Garner was able to hold their own. I think we'll see some really good Raleigh area teams this season. I think Middle Creek once again will be very dominant, at least in the regular season games, and I think Garner and Wake Forest will also be pretty stout. I think the biggest surprise team that could burst onto the scene and look really good could be Holly Springs. They've really done well under Robert Furth and I don't see that changing. I think there are a multitude of reasons why Wake County schools have struggled. Several of them could be the addition of numerous new high schools, which has diluted the talent at several up and coming schools. Other reasons, especially in comparison to Charlotte, is that the Queen City is more of a football town, has more of a blue collar feel, and has a multitude of former professional players ready and willing to help train high school athletes. Since the Carolina Panthers began play in 1995, we've seen a large number of NFL players retire to Mecklenburg County, many of which live in the Highland Creek area that feeds Mallard Creek. While Raleigh dominates in Basketball and Soccer, I think Raleigh has more of a northern feel with somewhat of a transient population as northern families have relocated for some tech jobs in the Cary / RTP area. I anxiously await your input and discussion on this topic, as I think it's a very good one, especially as we begin to ramp up our 2016 football discussions.
  3. 4AA East Top Bracket: #1 Middle Creek vs. #16 Leesville Road. #8 Wakefield vs. #9 Millbrook -- #5 Fuquay-Varina vs. #12 Green Hope #4 Garner vs. #13 Northwest Guilford Bottom Bracket: #3 Wake Forest vs. #14 Laney #6 Page vs. #11 Lumberton -- #7 Richmond vs. #10 Holly Springs #2 Jack Britt vs. #15 Heritage My opinion: I think the Leesville Rd. vs. Middle Creek game will be very exciting and could see 75 points put up between the two teams. In the end though, I think Middle Creek has the offensive firepower to persevere its way to the Regional Round. Millbrook could be a roadblock though to Randy Ragland's Mustangs, I feel in my gut that the Millbrook has more defensive playmakers in the tank than Wakefield and they could pose a threat to Middle Creek if they advance. Even with the 10-1 record, Fuquay-Varina will struggle a bit with Green Hope, and I actually give the Falcons a fair chance to pull the upset against their close-by conference foe. Garner is the toughest team physically and I see Thurman Leach pounding the rock and most likely facing Middle Creek in the third round. However in recent years, Middle Creek's just been too much for the Trojans. The bottom bracket is where the fun is. Wake Forest will take Laney I feel but that should setup a great game between Page in round two. I've seen Page and I know the athleticism they possess and this has a very high potential of being the first major upset of the 4AA bracket. Richmond and Jack Britt should be on a collision course for the second round and I feel we'll see a Richmond vs. Page game in the third round. (However, Britt or Wake are both just was likely to advance. Not trying to sell either short.) This should setup a fun Regional Round matchup between Middle Creek and Richmond. Obviously the storylines will be great as Mike Castellano takes his new team on the road to face his old team. If they meet, I certainly will give the advantage to the Raiders. I feel Richmond comes out of the bracket.
  4. Middle Creek grabs the #1 seed out of the East in the 4AA playoffs. They come into this game averaging just under 37 points a game and giving up just over 14. Leesville has played some good teams, and has given up a lot of points to those teams. Do they have anything for Middle Creek?
  5. Holly Springs HS in Wake County (4A) has coaching positions open. Teaching positions available include PE and CTE. Contact head football coach Robert Furth at Rfurth@wcpss.net for more information.