The N&O top dozen is announced on Tuesday in the High School Huddle ... but here's a sneak peak.
Eddie Wadsdell is the new boys soccer coach at Middle Creek.
Tim Stevens went Hollywood as he prepared for the 2008-2009 season.
Wake Forest-Rolesville, which finished 12-1 in 2007, is the area team to beat this year.
Josh Brooks, Garner's exceptional football junior wide receiver, is expected to join the Trojans for practice on Monday. He has not participated in practices so far and is not expected to play in Garner's games against Millbrook (Aug. 22) and at Middle Creek (Aug.29).
The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Brooks is a great jumper and is particularly effective on fade routes. He had 747 yards in receptions in 2007 and scored 14 touchdowns.
The preview of fall high school sports will be in The News & Observer this Sunday, Aug. 17.
The preview will include all fall sports except for football. The football preview will be in Tuesday's High School Huddle.
The fall sports preview has teams and players to watch for the upcoming season, plus some additional information on area boys soccer teams.
Derrick Favors, the top-ranked basketball prospect in the country by scout.com, has N.C. State listed among the 10 schools that he is considering.
South Atlanta High coach Michael Reddick said the 6-foot-9 Favors asked that his list not be made public until the list was cut to six, but confirmed State was one of the 10.
Reddick said he couldn’t break Favors’ confidence by listing the other schools, but Scout.com lists eight of the nine as Georgia, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Memphis, UCLA, Kentucky, Florida and Kansas.
Leesville finished 16-6-1 in boys soccer last year. Three losses were to state champion Broughton, two were to state semifinalist Green Hope and one was to Apex.
"It's tough to be the third or fourth best team in the area and at the same time be the third or fourth best team in the state," said Leesville coach Chip Stone.
The Pride returns 13 lettermen including Appalachian State recruit Ethan Durland, back Elliott Grlj, midfielder Chris Kelleher and keeper Eric Howard. Bo Burns also made all-Cap Seven in 2007.
"Expect great games with area schools," Stone said. "Who gets hot at the right time usually tells the tale for state champion."
Things that caught my eye at the Spartanfest 08 scrimmage tonight at Smithfield-Selma High School. Host SSS welcomed West Johnston, Fuquay-Varina, Middle Creek, Durham Hillside, Southern Durham and Northern Durham for the event. ...
The host Spartans under the direction of Anthony Barbour forced several turnovers on defense. The secondary notched four interceptions that I saw and had a solid hit to force a fumble as well. North Carolina recruits Justin Dixon and D.J. Bunn spent most of their time on the field on the defensive side of the ball. Dixon, looked more physically imposing than ever at the middle linebacker spot, and Bunn's play at safety highlighted an improved group effort by the SSS DBs.
Dixon, who plays fullback on offense, and Bunn, a wing back, both showed flashes on offense with a pair of solid runs but didn't see much time on that side of the ball.
West Johnston, which debuts under new head coach Bennett Jones next week against Athens Drive, showed some flash on offense. Mallie Umphrey had a nice TD run against Northern Durham.
Durham Hillside looked solid on offense. Duke recruit Desmond Scott lined up both at running back and receiver.
I didn't see enough of Middle Creek, Fuquay-Varina or Northern Durham to make any grand judgements. No slight against them, the scrimmages I was watching just didn't line up where I saw much of those teams.
The team that left the biggest impression on me was a 2007 state semifinalist — the Spartans of Southern Durham. Southern, which fell to eventual state champion Wilmington Hoggard in the eastern 4-A championship last December, just seemed to be playing in a different gear, especially on defensive side. Now Southern's offense looked solid too but the Spartans had great defensive pursuit on nearly every play.
Green Hope High has its first Olympian.
Hector Cotto is a 2003 graduate of Green Hope and holds the school record in the 110-meters hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles.
He ran at East Carolina.
He is on the Puerto Rican Olympic squad.