Been having a number of people asking: When is Carolina Varsity going to start breaking down Charlotte Football In 2018?
My simple answer: It's too early because we still will see some new faces in different places. But, we can look at some storylines for now to satiate the thirst until late July, when we will really jump into it:
1. The IMECK is LOADED - This conference was loaded last year with 3 teams in the state semifinals, and you quite possibly see the same thing this year. We all know how good Mallard Creek is, year in and year out they have grown to be the gold standard here in Charlotte.
A lot has been made about Hough and what they have returning, along with some new faces on the roster. However in talking with Matt Jenkins, their head coach, they have a plan in place to maximize the makeup of their roster and try to get over the hump in the playoffs and get to the championship.
Vance once again will be strong under Aaron Brand and with a returning QB that offense will be running with high octane gas as usual.
In visiting recently with North Meck, head coach Eric Morman and the Vikings have the pieces to make noise once again in the conference and the state, and a returning QB along with some key pieces make them a team to watch once again.
West Charlotte should have a stronger team this season after last year's playoff visit, and there is a ton of excitement in Mooresville with a very good JV team moving up along with a new head coach in tow.
2. Transfers/Relocations are happening in a lot of places. Some so far have been high profile, some you have not heard about or noticed just yet. A number of people are concerned the movement is too much and allegations are being thrown around. Valid or not, my personal opinion is that some movement will be investigated sooner than later. Longtime Charlotteans remember the mid 2000s where a lot of things came to a head and movement became more challenging. Parents more and more are learning what needs to be done legally and putting kids in what they feel is the best situation for them.
The only thing that I would say is do not fault the kids in any of this, they are only kids and have no hand in being able to put themselves where they are.
3. Does Butler run the Southwest again? The Bulldogs look VERY good and that not only comes from myself but several coaches around the city. However, there are other very good teams that have some say in this.
The two Ridges - Hickory and Porter - will have some talent. Everyone knows Sam Greiner coming over from Harding to the Bulls will have them ready to go, and Porter Ridge was by far the best 8 seed in the state playoffs last year and has a LOT back along with a championship JV team moving up.
Myers Park is coming off of a great season under head coach Scott Chadwick and has the horses on both sides of the ball to make some noise in the city and state once again.
You can also expect Rocky River and Independence to be improved with another year of stability under their coaching staffs as well.
4. New Coaches in New places - As usual, there has been movement within the city and we have some new faces, and one job - Berry - does have finalists but no one has been announced yet as the new head coach.
Hickory Ridge - Sam Greiner
Harding - Robert Cross
East Meck - Robert Forshee
Hopewell - Jamelle Byrd
Mooresville - Thad Wells
Lake Norman - Jonathan Oliphant
Each one of these situations is a little different, but it will be interesting to see how these men establish themselves in the best city for high school football in North Carolina.
5. Who's going to win the South Meck 7? Harding as the defending 4A state champs return some good talent, but graduated a LOT of key guys as well.
Providence has been making progress and opened a lot of eyes last year with some big wins under head coach Brad Bowles who has quietly done an excellent job here.
Even more quietly, West Meck has turned into a program where you can expect 8-9 wins as the standard under head coach Jarvis Davis who is one of the better younger coaches in the area.
Expect Olympic to be stronger under Jason Fowler with a full offseason to get stronger and establish the program as a whole.
South Meck played a ton of young guys last year amid injuries and a freshman qb which should pay some dividends this season for sure.
Ardrey Kell finished last year strong under first year head coach Kyle Brey and looks to repeat their playoff visit again this year.
6. The Privates - Whats the word? Private school football is as strong as I can remember right now here in the city. Charlotte Christian led by Jason Estep is putting out legit D1 recruits and Providence Day under Adam Hastings has grown that program leaps and bounds with last year being a big jump.
Witman at Country Day made the Division 2 championship game last year, a nice sign of progress, and Latin won that Division 2 title under Hardin, who you know has always been a great schematic mind and motivator.
Charlotte Catholic though has been the brand standard for private school football for decades and Mike Brodowicz and his staff have continued a tradition and culture that has been unmatched for so many years, and they will be strong once again.
This is ONLY a snapshot of what's to come as once things settle down in late July, you will get what you all have come to expect from Carolina Varsity: In depth analysis, highlight the players to watch, support of ALL head coaches and programs, and the most comprehensive coverage of Charlotte High School Football around.
Leave the JV's and join the varsity, Carolina Varsity!