This is always a special week in the Carolinas for high school football. Not only are we finally experiencing true football weather and seeing some exciting conference races, but we now know the players selected to represent North Carolina in the 76th Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.
The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas is the oldest high school all-star game in the nation and always marks the end of the season. The North Carolina roster consists of 44 of the top players in the state, many of which will be playing at the highest levels of college football next season.
Many of those players have been household names for several years at the local level and a few may even have the opportunity to advance beyond the collegiate ranks to play professionally.
As we take a look at this week’s top games, several of the players selected to the Shrine Bowl will have a chance to make an impact on some conference championship chases.
Knightdale at Garner
We all know about Garner, at (8-0) they’re a Top-10 ranked team and were the state 4AA runner-ups from a year ago. What you may not have realized though is that Knightdale is coming into this game at (7-1) and this game should settle the Greater Neuse River 4A championship.
Garner linebacker Tim Thorb was selected this week to be a member of this year’s Shrine Bowl team as a tight end and fullback.
Asheville at T.C. Roberson
In Western NC, traditional power Asheville will travel down Interstate 26 to Skyland where they will take on the undefeated Roberson Rams. Robeson has been receiving Top-10 votes all season and are led by two Shrine Bowl bound players, quarterback Noah Suber and offensive linemen Jeff DeLeon.
The Rams have had a magical season thus far and have been able to shed off challengers, but the battle against the Cougars could be their toughest challenge yet.
North Davidson at West Forsyth
The West Forsyth Titans put a kink in the Central Piedmont Conference title hopes of Davie County last week and they hope to be the first team to knock off North Davidson this week. North has steam-rolled everyone on in their path to advance to an (8-0) record.
While West Forsyth only has a (4-3) record, the three losses they have suffered were to three teams with a combined 20-2 record. (Reagan, Richmond County, East Forsyth)
Pine Forest at Douglas Byrd
While this is a non-conference game, it could still have playoff seeding implications as these two (6-2) teams collide in Fayetteville.
Byrd is a perennial 3A contender but Pine Forest has emerged on the scene after posting a (1-10) season last year. Byrd is led by Shrine Bowl bound running back Garry Lewis.
North Carolina Shrine Bowl Roster
|1||T.J. Logan||RB||Northern Guilford|
|2||Khris Francis||RB||Durham Hillside|
|4||Noah Suber||QB||Asheville Roberson|
|6 ||Matt Wogan||K||Indian Trail Porter Ridge|
|7 ||Chris Blair||DB||East Forsyth|
|9|| Malik Diggs||DB||Scotland County|
|10||Dequaivs Mann||DB||Northern Nash|
|15||Korrin Wiggins||DB||Durham Hillside|
|20||Larenz Bryant||LB||Charlotte Vance|
|26||Garry Lewis||RB||Fayetteville Byrd|
|28||Brian Walker||DB||Charlotte Mallard Creek|
|30||Keeon Johnson||WR||Kannapolis Brown|
|32||Kalif Phillips||RB||Kannapolis Brown|
|33||Jack Tocho||DB||Charlotte Independence|
|35||Sean Wiggins||LB||Matthews Butler|
|37||Quinton Patterson||LB||Shelby Crest|
|40||Nazair Jones||DE||Roanoke Rapids|
|42||Dane Rogers Jr.||DL||Shelby Crest|
|44||Artemis Robinson||LB||Scotland County|
|48||Lachasten Smith||LB||South Iredell|
|51||Blake Dueitt||DL||Cornelius Hough|
|62||Tyrone Crowder||OL||Richmond County|
|64||Cole Blakenship||OL||Davie County|
|70||Ryan Gould||OL||West Forsyth|
|72||Eric McCauley||OL||Shelby |
|73||Christian Matau||OL||New Bern|
|74||Patrick Roane||OL||Gray's Creek|
|79||Jeff Deleon||OL||Asheville Roberson|
|82||Aaron Clay||WR/RB||Eastern Alamance|
|83||Lewis Neal||DE||Wilson Hunt|
|85||Kirk Donaldson||TE||Charlotte Vance|
|89||Devante Covington||DL||Richmond County|
|90||Jordan Starnes||LB||South Stanly|
|99||Greg Gilmore||DL||Hope Mills South View|
Head Coach: Nelson Smith (Garner)
Assistant Coaches: Russell Stone (Fayetteville Byrd), Doug Illing (Davie County), Adrian Snow (West Forsyth), Mike Byus (East Lincoln), Dave Grant (Burlington Williams), B.J. Laughter (Hendersonville).