The 2014 North Carolina high school football season will open up tonight in Charlotte. The Queen City will feature 2 games in the annual CharlottePrepsTV Kickoff Classic.
NCPreps.com staff analyst Kevin Utz highlights the match-ups here:
Hough at (3A) Sun Valley (Thursday 5:30 Memorial Stadium) - These teams will be the first to take the field to open the new season. Many eyes will focus on the new faces around Hough highlighted by new Head Coach Miles Aldridge with his 30 years of coaching experience throughout the High School, College, and NFL levels. Joining the program include standout running backs Van Smith (Clemson) and Bishop Ford. They add to a strong returning core in defensive backs Mark Fields (South Carolina), Corey Bell (UNC) and WR Carl Tucker (UNC). Sun Valley turns to RB Albert Funderburk who carried for over 2,000 yards and 16 touchdowns last season.
Mallard Creek at Charlotte Christian (Thursday 8:00 Memorial Stadium) - Big time matchup with two defending State Champions going at it to open their seasons. A lot of talent will be present even with both teams losing multiple key players from last season. Mallard Creek will turn the reigns over to QB James Smith a junior who filled in nicely last season during injuries. He will be leading a strong group with multiple weapons in receivers Vernon Grier and Kyle Horton. The defense this season turns to stellar defensive end Josh Brown and defensive backs Amari Henderson and Nafees Lyon (Charlotte). Charlotte Christian has a dominant offensive line led by (Stanford) Brian Chaffin and (NC State) Phillip Walton. They will look to open holes for their star running back Elijah Deveaux.
Follow the NCPreps.com staff for updates from tonight's action.
Deana King - @NCPreps
Patrick O'Brien - PatOBrienTHI
Kevin Utz - @KevinUtz1
Brian Barnes - @NCGridironNews