Carolina Varsity recently took a trip over to Mint Hill to check out the 7 time state champion Independence Patriots in action on their Green & Gold Night for a nice group of fans in attendance. The Patriots are led by Head Coach Mike Natoli, who has been working hard along with OC Brad Van Horn on restoring the tradition of this school along with trying to provide some stability from the multiple coaching changes the Patriots have been through previously.
The Patriots are having an open quarterback competition, and the two we met with - Luke McPhail and Davyne Simpson - are both big, strong, tall QBs with strong arms that differ in their style. McPhail is the more pocket type of QB while Simpson is a dual threat that can be dynamic with the ball in his hands in the open field. We saw good things from both of them.
We also met with a few other players that are expected to stand out for Independence - DB Zach Repak should some really good range in the secondary, LB Taejuan Smith is really quick with good hands at the LB Position, and OL/DL TJ James is a stout kid with a quick first step.
I would expect the Patriots to be better than they were last season and their goal this year is to make the playoffs, which I think can definitely be in reach with this group. Once again Carolina Varsity thanks the players, coaches, and fans at Independence for their hospitality and gratuity to us during our visit!