It’s been nine long months since Daily Record football teams have taken the field for official games. But that all changes on Friday.
There will be more than enough football to go around for fans this weeks as six of the seven local teams are at home, headlined by a local rivalry matchup in Erwin between Triton and Overhills.
The Hawks looked strong in the Harnett County Jamboree with a renewed rushing attack and a new quarterback under center, and they’ll hope to continue that in the home opener. The Jaguars will have lots of new faces this season, including first-year head coach Chris McGee, who’s hoping to get off on the right foot on the road.
Harnett Central will host West Johnston in a matchup between two teams that won just one game last season, but are looking like strong candidates for bounceback seasons.
South Johnston will host a Gray’s Creek team that won seven games in a tough Patriot 3A/4A Conference.
Midway will host Union in a rematch of last year’s opener, in which the Raiders won 25-18.
Western Harnett will host Douglas Byrd, hoping to set a strong tone for the rest of the season.
Hobbton, coming off a breakout 2018 campaign, will look to keep their foot on the gas pedal as they kick off 2019 at home against East Chapel Hill.
In these previews, you’ll find all the information you need on Record football teams: schedules, last year’s records, projected starters and players to watch for.
One common theme I found when talking to all of the coaches was the importance of depth. Every single Record team has players going both ways, and will need those players to stay healthy in order to have successful seasons. To keep those players healthy, they’ll need players coming off the bench to be able to at least hold their own and occasionally provide a spark.
That’s something several teams struggled with last year, as only two Record teams made the playoffs (South Johnston and Hobbton). But I genuinely believe that every single team this year has the potential to make the playoffs, provided they get the breaks they need and can stay healthy. And with every single team looking for a year of improvement, the local rivalry games should not only be close, but have potential playoff implications. And that will hopefully make the 2019 season one to remember.