2020 High School Football Previews: Cabarrus County

·13 min read



A.L. BROWN

Head Coach: Mike Newsome (10th year).

2019 Record: 8-4

Conference: South Piedmont 3A

Returning Starters: 14 (8 offense; 6 defense).

Returning Lettermen: 29

Key Returning Starters: Isaiah Black, Sr., WR (6-0, 170); Torren Wright, Jr., OLB (6-3, 220); Cam Kromah, Jr., QB (6-4, 190); Jaden Johnson, Jr., HB (6-1, 210); Jamison Flowe, Sr., RB (5-10, 180); Todd Kennedy, Jr., RB/LB (5-10, 185); Aiden Schenck, Jr., DE (6-2, 230); Brycen Schenck, Sr., LB (5-10, 190); Luke Stone, Sr., OL (6-3, 270); Terry Williams, Sr., DL (6-3, 285); Omarion Moody, Sr., LB (6-2, 200).

Key Returnees: N/A.

Key Newcomers: Antarron Turner, Jr., LB (6-3, 220); Ty Woods, So., K/P (5-10, 160); C.J. Wilson, Jr., RB/LB (6-0, 185); Teddy Russell, So., RB/ATH (6-2, 170); Jamare Robinson, So., RB/ATH (6-0, 180); Trent Thompson, Jr., OLB (6-0, 170).

Outlook: The Wonders have been consistent winners, averaging nine wins per season over the last five years. This year, Brown has a chance to be even better with 14 starters back. Junior quarterback Cam Kromah (1,685 yards, 14 touchdown passes last year), senior running back Todd Kennedy, Jr. (531 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns) and senior wideout Isaiah Black (548 yards receiving) will power an offense on the verge of big things. Meanwhile, linebackers Brycen Schenck (83 tackles last year) Torren Wright (84 tackles) lead an experienced defense.

CABARRUS WARRIORS

Head Coach: Jamie Bolton (1st year).

2019 Record: 2-8

Conference: NCISAA Piedmont Athletic

Returning Starters: 8

Returning Lettermen: 20

Key Returning Starters: Michael Dickens, Sr., QB (5-11, 170); Alex Rodriguez, Sr., OL (6-1, 250); Jack Schultz, So., OL/DL (5-11, 190); Zack Kellman, Sr., DB/WR (5-11, 170); Trey Anderson, Jr., DB/WR (5-11, 170); Myles Stradford, Jr., DL/OL (6-0, 240).

Key Returnees: Evan Dudonis, Sr., WR/DB (5-10, 160); Todd Pelino, Jr., K (6-1, 150); Tucker Kelly, So., RB/DB (5-10, 160).

Key Newcomers: Tyler Green, Fr., QB (6-2, 160); Hayes Galloway, So., OL/DL (6-4, 285); Will Jones, Fr., RB/LB/DE (5-11, 185).

Outlook: The Cabarrus Warriors (Cannon School/Concord First Assembly merger) struggled last year, finishing 2-8. This year, new head coach Jamie Bolton (former York assistant) will try to help the Warriors improve, but the team only returns only eight starters. The Warriors will need senior quarterback Michael Dickens and an experienced offensive line to help carry the load early, while a younger team develops.

CENTRAL CABARRUS

Head Coach: Zach Bevilacqua (1st year).

2019 Record: 7-5

Conference: South Piedmont Conference/3AA.

Returning Starters: 12

Returning Lettermen: 25

Key Returning Starters: DeAndre Boykins, Sr., DB/LB/WR/RB (6-0, 200); Elijah Horton, Sr., SS/WR (5-11, 200); Mekhi Dunn, Sr., CB/WR/KR (5-10, 175); Kevin Clerge, Sr., CB/WR (5-11, 170); Gabe Talahumbu, Sr., OL/DL (6-2, 240); Jaiden Hastings, Sr., OL (6-3, 245); Lane Ratzloff, Sr., TE/DE (6-3, 220); Te’Veon Glover, Sr., LB (6-3, 170).

Key Returnees: Blue Monroe, Jr., QB/LB (6-0, 205); Guillermo Benitez, Sr., DE (6-1,215); Noah Coley, Sr., FS/RB (5-8, 165); Jacob Brooks, Sr., OL/DL (6-2, 240); Michael Elguero, Sr., OL (6-0, 245); Austin Himes, Sr., QB/LB (5-11, 210).

Key Newcomers: Emerson Baker, Jr., OL (6-3, 260); Jayden Kibler, So., LB (5-9, 170).

Outlook: Central Cabarrus’ new head coach, Zach Bevilacqua, inherits a veteran team that is 15-9 in the last two years. The Vikings need two-way playmakers like seniors DeAndre Boykins (603 yards rushing, 680 yards receiving, 48 tackles, three interceptions), Elijah Horton (79 tackles, five sacks) and Te’veon Glover (94 tackles) to excel if they are going to stay in the upper half of the South Piedmont conference.

CONCORD

Head Coach: Marty Paxton (3rd year).

2019 Record: 1-10 (1-4 in the South Piedmont Conference).

Conference: South Piedmont Conference/3A.

Returning Starters: 17

Returning Lettermen: 27

Key Returning Starters: Jerry Earl, Sr., DE/TE (6-0, 235); Tre Wilson, Sr., RB/LB/DE (6-2, 215); Jacob Melton, Sr., DB/WR (6-1, 160); Jameson Hackett, Jr., DL/OL (5-11, 245); Elijah Smith, Jr., OL/DL (5-11, 260); Kadin Presutti, Jr., WR/DB (5-11, 160); Caius Hartsell, Jr., OL (6-2, 275); Zach Jenkins, Jr., QB (6-0, 150).

Key Returnees: N/A.

Key Newcomers: N/A.

Outlook: Concord has struggled mightily in the last two years with back-to-back 1-10 records. However, the Spiders have 17 starters returning. The Concord offense has to score more points and will look to junior quarterback Zach Jenkins and senior running back Tre Wilson to help accomplish that goal. The Spiders’ defense should also be improved with senior deflensive end, Jerry Earl (41 tackles, three sacks) and defensive backs in senior, Jacob Melton, and junior, Kadin Presutti, leading the charge.

COX MILL

Head Coach: Craig Stewart (8th year).

2019 Record: 7-5

Conference: South Piedmont 3A

Returning Starters: 11 (5 offense; 6 defense).

Returning Lettermen: 25

Key Returning Starters: Varney Farhnbullah, Sr., QB (6-2, 185); Jelynn Barnett, Sr., RB (6-1, 205); Ty Roberson, Sr., LB (5-10, 190); Sekou Roland, Sr., LB (6-1, 215); Jacob Hagy, Sr., OL (5-11, 235); Austyn Krok, Sr., OL (6-3, 245); Grant Hemric, Sr., OL (5-10, 230); Reid Mitchell, Sr., DL (6-4, 200); Jaylin Coleman, Sr., DL (6-0, 220); Kirk Hall, Sr., DL (6-0, 220); Prince Ford, Sr., DB (5-10, 165).

Key Returnees: Kendall Ward, Sr., DB (5-11, 170); Tyshon Bullock, Jr., LB (6-0, 180); Balenga Kabassu, Sr., DE (6-3, 240).

Key Newcomers: Malachi Grier, Jr., DB (6-1, 170).

Outlook: Cox Mill has been much improved in the past two seasons, going 15-9 after winning eight games combined the previous three years (2015-17). The Chargers have plenty of firepower to contend in the South Piedmont conference with a potent one-two punch on offense with senior quarterback Varney Farhbullah (2,670 yards passing, 27 touchdowns) and senior running back Jelynn Barnett (1,008 yards rushing, 12 touchdowns) leading the unit. Meanwhile, the Cox Mill defense will depend on an experience line with seniors Jaylin Coleman, Kirk Hall and Reid Mitchell headlining the group.

HICKORY RIDGE

Head Coach: Jupiter Wilson (2nd year).

2019 Record: 8-4

Conference: Southwestern 4A

Returning Starters: 11

Returning Lettermen: 30

Key Returning Starters: Tyrell Davis, Sr., Safety (6-1, 180); Alex Smith, Sr., Safety (6-1, 185); Cade Goldman, Jr., OT (6-4, 270); Christian Hamilton, So., WR (6-0, 180); Isaiah Bullerdick, Jr., C/OG (6-2, 275); Derrick Brinton, Sr., WR (6-1, 180); Jekari Williams, Sr., DT (6-3, 330); Carlton Hunt, Sr., CB/S (5-8, 170).

Key Returnees: Malik Thompson, Sr., OL/DL (6-4, 295); Chris Redfern, Sr., DE (6-1, 195); Neal Hunt, Sr., DE/OLB (6-0, 210); Donnie Stone, Sr., DB/SB (5-8, 155); Ick Cirino, Sr., QB/LB (6-0, 200).

Key Newcomers: Alex Bentley, Jr., QB (5-11, 170); Sabin McLaughlin, Jr., RB/DB (5-10, 180); Cannon Turner, Jr., OL (6-3, 260); Colin Seets, Jr., OL (6-5, 275).

Outlook: Hickory Ridge has been a consistent winner, averaging nine victories per season over the last five years. This year, the Ragin’ Bulls return 11 starters with an experienced secondary in senior safeties Tyrell Davis, Alex Smith and cornerback Carlton Hunt. The Hickory Ridge offense will have to reload a bit but has a strong one-two punch at receiver with senior Derrick Brinton and sophomore Christian Hamilton (30 catches for 638 yards last year, has 10 Division I offers). The Ragin’ Bulls also have a strong offensive line, featuring juniors Isaiah Bullerdick and Cade Goldman.

JAY M. ROBINSON

Head Coach: Darius Robinson (1st year).

2019 Record: 1-10

Conference: South Piedmont Conference/3A.

Returning Starters: 17

Returning Lettermen: 20

Key Returning Starters: Carson Beane, Sr., OL/DL (6-3, 225); Terrance Chapman, Sr., ATH (6-0, 175); Cortlin Curney, Sr., WR (6-1, 185); Joshua Grant, Sr., QB/ATH (5-8, 165); Mason Gregory, Sr., OL (6-2, 265); Josiah Jackson, Sr., RB/DB (5-11, 185); Memphis Jones, Sr., LB/TE (6-1, 205); Bryson Mason, Sr., ATH/WR (5-11, 165); Bryan Stewart, Sr., ATH (6-2, 195)

Key Returnees: D’Marion Bell, Jr., ATH (6-0, 190); Daevin Hobbs, So. ATH (6-4, 215); Simarion Hughes, Jr., DB (5-11).

Key Newcomers: N/A.

Outlook: Jay M. Robinson suffered through a 1-10 season last year after averaging nine wins per season the previous four years. New head coach Darius Robinson believes the Bulldogs can get right back into contention in the South Piedmont conference. Jay M. Robinson has multiple weapons on offense with senior quarterback/athlete Joshua Grant and running backs Terrance Chapman, Josiah Jackson and Northwest Cabarrus transfer Bryson Mason all sharing the ball. Meanwhile, all-conference linebacker Memphis Jones (90 tackles) and Mason will lead a defense that must be more stingy.

MOUNT PLEASANT

Head Coach: Michael Johns (22nd year).

2019 Record: 4-8

Conference: Rocky River 2A.

Returning Starters: 17

Returning Lettermen: 35

Key Returning Starters: Ryan Tyson, Sr., QB/LB (6-1, 215); Dalton Miller, Sr., RB/OLB (5-7, 165); Sawyer Osborne, Sr., FS/WR (6-1, 180); Carson Furr, Sr. OL/DL (6-2, 245); Maxwell White, Sr., WR/CB (6-1, 175); Bryce Parker, Sr., WR/CB (6-2, 185); Jacob Suggs, Jr., OL/DL (6-2, 265); Jakob Craver, Jr., LB/RB (6-0, 200); Brennan Jones, Jr., LB/WR (6-0, 185).

Key Returnees: N/A.

Key Newcomers: N/A.

Outlook: The Tigers suffered through their first losing season last year (4-8) since 2013. But with 17 starters returning, Mount Pleasant’s offense is filled with playmakers led by seniors in quarterback Ryan Tyson (785 yards passing last year), running back Dalton Miller (1,187 yards rushing, 13 touchdowns) wide receiver Sawyer Osborne (326 yards receiving, three touchdowns) and all-conference offensive lineman Carson Furr. The Tigers’ defense will have to be more stout, led by junior linebacker, Jakob Craver (61 tackles) and Osborne leading the way.

NORTHWEST CABARRUS

Head Coach: Eric Morman (1st year).

2019 Record: 12-2

Conference: South Piedmont 3A

Returning Starters: 8

Returning Lettermen: N/A.

Key Returning Starters: Marquan Williams, Sr., WR/DB (6-1, 185); Tristan Sorrow, Sr., OG (OL) (6-3, 275); Caden Parker, Sr., DB (5-10, 175); Sam Aldorasi, Sr., LB/FB (5-9, 215); Shaun Browne, Sr., WR (6-0, 175); Ryan Armstrong, Sr., OL (6-0, 245); Dylan Mayfield, Sr., OL (6-2, 255); Julian Gwynn, Jr., DT (6-0, 275).

Key Returnees: N/A.

Key Newcomers: Tru Sierra, Jr., WR (5-9, 150); Brandon York, So., DL (6-0, 270); De’andre Dulin, Jr., DL (5-10, 270).

Outlook: Northwest Cabarrus is 25-3 in the last two years, including a 12-2 record last year when it advanced to the 3AA state quarterfinals. New head coach Eric Morman will have a new challenge as the Trojans return only eight starters. The Northwest Cabarrus offense will look to senior wide receiver Marquan Williams (33 catches for 609 yards last year) to make big plays with a veteran offensive line including Ryan Armstrong, Dylan Mayfield and Tristian Sorrow also playing key roles for a unit that averaged 38 points per game last season. Meanwhile, the Trojans’ defense will depend on seniors Sam Aldorasi, Caden Parker and junior Julian Gwynn to lead their unit.

WEST CABARRUS

Head Coach: Brandon Gentry (1st year).

2019 Record: 1st year school and team.

Conference: South Piedmont 3A.

Returning Starters: 1st year team.

Returning Lettermen: 1st year team.

Key Players: Ross Vazquez, Jr., RB/LB (6-0, 190); Brandon Jones, Jr., QB/DB (5-11, 185); Keenan Pierce, Jr., OL/DL (6-3, 280); Christian Hopper, So., WR/DB (5-9, 170); Ryan Saunders, Jr., OL/DL (5-11, 275); Chris Coates, Jr., RB/LB (5-10, 190).

Key Returnees: 1st year team.

Outlook: West Cabarrus will have to endure a lot of usual growing pains associated with a first-year varsity team. But Coach Brandon Gentry (former Northwest Cabarrus head coach) has a lot of familiar faces from the Northwest Cabarrus like juniors Chris Coates, Christian Hopper, Keenan Pierce and Ross Vazquez that should make the transition a bit smoother. Gentry and company believe they can jump right into the middle of the South Piedmont conference race and maybe even get in the playoff picture in year one of the program.

NOTE: The Charlotte Observer did not receive information from the Cabarrus Stallions.

Cabarrus County Conference Predictions

NCISAA Piedmont Athletic Conference

  1. Metrolina Christian; 2. High Point Christian; 3. SouthLake Christian; 4. Covenant Day; 5. Cabarrus Warriors.

Rocky River Conference

1. West Stanly; 2. Mount Pleasant; 3. Anson County; 4. Forest Hills; 5. Montgomery Central; 6. Central Academy.

South Piedmont Conference

  1. A.L. Brown; 2. Cox Mill; 3. Central Cabarrus; 4. Northwest Cabarrus; 5. Jay M. Robinson; 6. West Cabarrus; 7. Concord.

Preseason all-county team

Offense

QB – Varney Farhnbullah, Cox Mill, 6-2, 185, Sr.

RB – Dalton Miller, Mount Pleasant, 5-7, 165, Sr.

RB – Jeylnn Barnett, Cox Mill, 6-1, 205, Sr.

RB – Todd Kennedy, A.L. Brown, 5-10, 185, Sr.

WR – Christian Hamilton, Hickory Ridge, 6-0, 180, So.

WR – Marquan Williams, Northwest Cabarrus, 6-1, 185, Sr.

WR – Isaiah Black, A.L. Brown, 6-0, 170, Sr.

OL – Tristan Sorrow, Northwest Cabarrus, 6-3, 275, Sr.

OL – Carson Furr, Mount Pleasant, 6-2, 245, Sr.

OL – Cade Goldman, Hickory Ridge, 6-4, 270, Sr.

OL – Luke Stone, A.L. Brown, 6-3, 270, Sr.

OL – Jacob Hagy, Cox Mill, 5-11, 235, Sr.

Specialists

ATH – Josh Grant, Jay M. Robinson, 5-8, 165, Sr.

ATH – Bryson Mason, Jay M. Robinson, 5-11, 165, Sr.

ATH – Cam Kromah, A.L. Brown, 6-4, 190, Jr.

K/P – Todd Pelino, Cabarrus Warriors, 6-1, 150, Jr.

Defense

DL – Jerry Earl, Concord, 6-0, 235, Sr.

DL – Kirk Hall, Cox Mill, 6-0, 220, Sr.

DL – Reid Mitchell, Cox Mill, 6-4, 200, Sr.

DL – Keenan Pierce, West Cabarrus, 6-3, 280, Jr.

LB – Jakob Craver, Mount Pleasant, 6-0, 200, Jr.

LB – Memphis Jones, Jay M. Robinson, 6-1, 205, Sr.

LB – Te’Veon Glover, Central Cabarrus, 6-3, 170, Sr.

LB – Torren Wright, A.L. Brown, 6-3, 220, Jr.

LB – Ross Vazquez, West Cabarrus, 6-0, 190, Jr.

DB – DeAndre Boykins, Central Cabarrus, 6-0, 200, Sr.

DB – Tyrell Davis, Hickory Ridge, 6-1, 180, Sr.

DB – Sawyer Osborne, Mount Pleasant, 6-1, 180, Sr.

DB – Elijah Horton, Central Cabarrus, 5-11, 200, Sr.

Cabarrus Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Varney Farhnbullah, Cox Mill, QB, Sr.

Cabarrus County Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: DeAndre Boykins, Central Cabarrus, SS/RB/WR, Sr.