With the 2018 football season approaching, a bevy of area schools took part in final dress rehearsals before kickoff Friday night.

CRAMERTON - A few days before the start of camp, Hunter Huss football coach Jamar McKoy and sophomore running back Malik Corry sat down for a little chat.

“He and I sat down the other day and he was telling me his goals, and I was giving him my expectations,” McKoy said. “We are truly blessed to have a kid of his talent that is just a 10th grader.”

Entering his first year as a full-time starter, Corry offered a glimpse of what Huskies fans can anticipate this fall.

The sophomore running back rushed for two touchdowns during Hunter Huss’ rout of Garinger in the Gaston County FCA Jamboree on Friday.

His team up 7-0, Corry shouldered the load on his team’s second drive, plunging across the goal line for a score to put the Huskies up two touchdowns. The youngster’s final touch displayed all of his gifts - speed, vision, power and balance - leaping over one of his blockers before bursting past defenders and into the end zone.

Without a doubt, Corry has big shoes to fill following the graduation of last year’s leading rusher Dallas Danner. But if Friday is any indication, he is ready to rock and roll.

 

Who will start at quarterback for Ashbrook and Clover?

If Clover football coach Brian Lane has named a starting quarterback ahead of his team’s opener against rival York, he certainly didn’t tip his hand during Friday’s Gaston County FCA Jamboree.

Each of the four players battling for the job - Cory Adams, Wilton Grice, Markus Nastase and Dominic Campo - saw time during the Blue Eagles’ 34-7 win over North Gaston.

On Clover’s first play from scrimmage, Adams connected with wideout Zion Robbins for a touchdown. Nastase threw for two more scores in the game, finding Jaylin Lane and Chance Mackey.

Ashbrook also lined up multiple players under center, as Jakai Grier and Matt West saw time in the team’s 14-6 win over Berry Academy. The two of them are competing for the job along with Carlos Brooks, who was unable to suit up due to injury.

“Two of them had a chance tonight,” said Ashbrook football coach Brian Andrews. “They had some good plays and some bad plays.”

 

East Lincoln front seven is going to be a problem

If Friday night is any indication, the East Lincoln front seven should be in for a big year.

The Mustangs harassed and frustrated Stuart Cramer in the Gaston County FCA Jamboree finale, sacking quarterback Luke Carpenter several times and making countless other stops in the Storm backfield.

A season ago, East Lincoln gave up just shy of 23 points per game. With Jud Reel, Chazz Williams and Trent Smith back to harass opposing ball carriers, the front seven should have the pieces in place to cut that total down quite a bit - in addition to helping a young secondary round into form.

 

Stuart Cramer's Kendall Karr could be in for a good year

On the few plays Stuart Cramer quarterback Luke Carpenter was allowed to survey the field, it was apparent where he was going with the football.

A 6-foot-4, 230-pound target, Storm tight end Kendall Karr was on the opposite end of a pair of long Carpenter passes, one a 70-yard touchdown against East Lincoln.

A solid summer camping season put the Stuart Cramer tight end on the radar of several colleges, among them North Carolina, Charlotte and Wake Forest. If Friday’s performance is a harbinger of things to come, other schools will certainly be knocking on his door.

 

Heat matters, and (obviously) so do the rules

Not everyone may believe in global warming, but one thing that wasn’t up for debate Friday was whether it was hot outside. Teams - particularly those in the earlier contests - dealt with temperatures above 100 degrees on Stuart Cramer’s field turf playing surface.

As a result, there was pronounced cramping and constant calls for water during the four-game event. Such is to be expected, however, particularly in the early portion of the season where conditioning may help determine the result of games.

Officials also made it apparent they will legislate rules by the book this season.

On several occasions during Friday’s jamboree, players were sent off the field for uniform and equipment violations. Most included players with untucked jerseys, along with them not having knee pads over their knee caps. 

Joe Hughes can be reached at 704-869-1843 or via e-mail at jhughes@gastongazette.com. Find him on Twitter @JoeLHughesII.