Conference play gets into full swing on Tuesday night across the area as teams jump back into action after the holiday break.
The Herald-Sun is proud to continue its tradition of honoring excellence on the football field by highlighting the accomplishments of the best high school players in the area. The 26 players chosen for the Herald-Sun All-Area team excelled at their positions. They all were previously lauded for their play by their own coaches and opposing coaches during all-conference deliberations.
Kendall Hinton is a leader on and off the field at Southern and his exploits as the Spartans' quarterback earned him the Herald-Sun Player of the Year honors.
Hinton, a two-year starter for Southern, led the Spartans to a 13-1 mark and to the third round of the 3-A state playoffs. The Spartans also earned back-to-back Big Eight championships under his leadership.
On the field, Hinton passed for 2,818 yards after completing 180 of 295 attempts. He threw 25 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. Hinton also rushed for 933 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Southern coach Darius Robinson said Hinton's reach goes far beyond the football field, though. Hinton is involved in numerous community efforts and is a member of the Durham Youth Council.
2014 HERALD-SUN ALL-AREA FOOTBALL TEAM
The Herald-Sun is proud to continue its tradition of honoring excellence on the football field by highlighting the accomplishments of the best high school players in the area.
The 26 players chosen for the Herald-Sun All-Area team excelled at their positions. They all were previously lauded for their play by their own coaches and opposing coaches during all-conference deliberations.
Each was an all-conference performer at his position and some were selected as the player of the year in their conference. Four players got additional honors as they were selected to play in the Shrine Bowl.
Obviously, there were many, many more players who were considered for the All-Area team. The difference among those chosen and those not was miniscule and the competition was fierce.
Any player who began summer workouts in the blazing heat of August and made it through to the biting cold of November playoff nights should be proud of their accomplishments this season.
-- Joe Johnson
Kendall Hinton, Sr., 6-0, 190, Southern
Jamal Currie-Elliott, Fr., 5-10, 175, Hillside
Ricquaz Brannon, Sr., 5-11, 200, Hillside
Earl Green, Jr., 6-1, 205, South Granville
Arkavius Parks, Sr., 6-2, 180, Chapel Hill
Kadarus Rone, Sr., 6-4, 208, Northwood
Deon Yarborough, Sr., 5-10, 165, Riverside
Emanuel McGirt, Sr., 6-6, 295, Hillside
Marcus Pettiford, Sr., 6-4, 258, Hillside
Logan Tisch, Sr., 6-3, 285, Chapel Hill
Eric Allen, Sr., 6-2, 270, Southern
Zach Waggoner, Sr., 6-2, 280, Orange
Justin Thomas, Jr., 5-10, 230, Riverside
Elijah Washington, Sr., 6-1, 328, Northwood
Byron Stephenson, Sr., 6-3, 286, Orange
Jake Frederick, Sr., 6-1, 320, Orange
Aaron McCullough, Soph., 5-9, 215, Hillside
Bryse Wilson, Jr., 6-2, 205, Orange
Tahj Spivey, Sr., 6-1, 235, Southern
Marvin Tillman, Sr., 6-2, 192, Southern
Jeremy Griffis, Sr., 5-10, 168, Southern
Trevon Tapp, Sr., 5-11, 160, Northern
Andy Gillespie, Sr. 6-1, 165, Chapel Hill
Connor Albrect, Sr., 5-10, 145, Chapel Hill
Austin Wood, Sr., 6-0, 165, Orange
Marcus Krah, Jr., 5-10, 170, Hillside
-- Compiled by Joe Johnson
Southern’s James Taylor put his unique twist on the David and Goliath story of the ultimate underdog overachiever, going into his 220-pound championship match at the Tiger Holiday Classic outsized, not favored by many to win, and battling a fierce fever.
When the dust settled at the rugged 22-team Eagle Invitational wrestling tournament on Saturday, South Granville grappler Nathean Castillo was crowned the 113-pound champion. South Granville, with a 20-1 record one of the big surprises in North Carolina wrestling this season, finished sixth in the team standings. Orange finished third, with Joe Scott clinching the 138-pound title and Byron Stephenson rolling to the 285-pound championship.
Wells Fargo, along with the North Carolina School Athletic Association, on Wednesday announced the final standings in the Wells Fargo Conference Cup competitions for the 2014 fall sports season. Area leaders include Granville Central, Carrboro, N.C. School of Science & Mathematics, and East Chapel Hill.
Jaquon Sowell was one of three champions from Riverside, which finished fifth in the 23-team tournament. Host Orange finished second but all three of the Panthers’ finalists lost. Northern had one champ and finished 12th.
Northern Guilford, winner of three of the last four 3-AA state titles, whipped Orange High School 31-7 at a chilly Auman Stadium. The Nighthawks (13-1) will host Chapel Hill next week with a berth in the state championship game at stake.
In Friday's (Nov. 28) state quarterfinal high school football playoffs, Southern hosts Chapel Hill (3-AA), Orange hosts N. Guilford (3-AA) and Hillside travels to New Bern (4-A). All games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Orange’s 12-1 record is strong. But the Panthers would tell you they should be undefeated heading into the quarterfinals of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-AA playoffs. No. 6 seed Orange hosts No. 7 Northern Guilford (12-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Two touchdowns in 50 seconds at the end of the first half propelled the Panthers of Orange High School (12-1) past the Corinth Holders High Pirates (9-4) and into the state 3-AA quarterfinals 42-13 Friday night.
The area's four remaining high school playoff entries pulled a perfecto Friday night, to move into the state quarterfinals where three members of the Big East 3-A Conference are among the last eight 3-AA programs standing. Southern will host Chapel Hill on Friday in one quarterfinal, Orange will host Northern Guilford in another, and Hillside will travel to No. 1 seed New Bern in 4-A in a rematch of the Hornets' season-opener.
Click on live links below for complete game-by-game reports:
Four area teams remain alive for Friday’s (Nov. 21) 7:30 p.m. second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs, but only one can be considered a favorite. Reigning state 3-AA champion Southern is that favorite, as the No. 1 seed hosts No. 8 Clayton Cleveland. Southern is one of three Big Eight 3-A Conference teams still alive after the first round of the playoffs, joining No. 6 seed Orange and No. 12 Chapel Hill, both of whom play on the road in 3-AA action tonight. In Fayetteville, 4-A No. 5 seed Hillside (8-4) will have its hands more than full when it travels to meet No. 4 Seventy-First (12-0).
Bryse Wilson stopped a potential game-winning two-point conversion try with six seconds left, powering Orange (11-1) over visiting Sanford Lee County 21-20 in the first round of the state 3-AA playoffs Friday night.
Is there another state championship in the offing for our area high school football? We’ll know a little bit more after Friday's 7:30 opening round of 10 state playoff games in five classifications.