Prep Notebook: Local stars grab statewide football honors
Preseason accolades are flowing in for area high school football stars.
Latest to chime in is the two-year-old Friday Night Football North Carolina magazine, which has named Hillside senior wide receiver Trevion Thompson (6-3, 185) and senior defensive back Kalen McCain (6-1, 175) to its all-star first team.
Thompson reportedly has scholarship offers from many of the nation’s top programs, and McCain has verbally committed to N.C. State.
On the FNCNC second team are another pair of seniors, Southern wide receiver Maurice Trowell (5-11, 170) and Hillside running back Donté Thomas-Williams (6-1, 220).
Trowell, like McCain, has committed to N.C. State. Thomas-Williams, who has seen limited playing time behind current North Carolina freshman Khris Francis, has the athletic ability, strength and speed that intrigues college recruiters and he, like teammate Thompson, holds scholarship offers from some of the nation’s most elite programs.
The lone area player on the third team is Carrboro junior running back Trai Sharp (5-9, 180), who has already received scholarship offers from N.C. State and Purdue.
FNCNC also ranks the top 100 seniors in the state. Thompson comes in at No. 8, Thomas-Williams at 14, McCain at 24, Trowell at 36, Carrboro senior wide receiver Marlin Johnson (6-2, 204) at 52, Orange defensive back J.D. Brooks (6-3, 190) at 66 and East Chapel Hill defensive tackle Chris Alston (6-0, 325) at 91.
Sharp and Southern quarterback Kendall Hinton (6-1, 180) were listed among the top 35 juniors in the state — in no particular numerical order. Hinton picked up a Duke scholarship offer as a sophomore.
Statewide, Hillside is the only area school ranked in the all-classifications top 25 by FNCNC, Coach Antonio King’s squad ranked No. 22. In regional rankings, Hillside is No. 4 and Carrboro No. 5 in the “Raleigh” region. Garner, Leesville Road and Apex Middle Creek are ranked 1-2-3 respectively.
The “All-Raleigh” Team includes Thomas-Williams, Thompson, Trowell and linemen Ezavian Dunn of Carrboro and Logan Tisch of Chapel Hill on offense and Alston, McCain, Brooks and Marlin Johnson on defense.
Johnson has been primarily a receiver for Carrboro, but did play sparingly at defensive back for the state 2-A runners-up last fall.
CarolinaPreps.com lists two area teams in its top 10 statewide preseason rankings — by classification. Carrboro is No. 7 in 2-A, Southern No. 10 in 3-A (the Spartans drop down from 4-A this fall. Hillside is listed as “on the bubble” in the 4-A ranks as is Orange in 3-A.
NCPreps.com ranks Trevion Thompson the No. 9 prospect in the state for the Class of 2014, Thomas-Williams No. 11 and Kalen McCain 27th. NCPreps limits its list to the top 35.
In its top 20 preseason statewide rankings by classification, NCPreps picks Carrboro No. 5 in 2-A, Southern No. 18 in 3-A and Hillside No. 14 in 4-A.
New coaches for Tigers
Chapel Hill High School recently replaced retired boys’ and girls’ cross country and track and field coach Ron Olsen with a pair of coaches including former UNC and Olympic long-distance star Joan Nesbit Mabe.
Mabe will coach both cross country teams.
Kevin Swain, a top aide to Olsen the past four seasons, will coach both track and field teams.
Olsen’s teams won nine state championships during his tenure at Chapel Hill and was voted “Coach of the Year” forty-two (42) times during a hall of fame prep career.