Preseason scrimmages start today
By RYAN HERMAN
The regular season is almost here.
After eight official days of practice, high school football teams can hold their first scrimmage beginning today. North Lincoln and West Lincoln have scheduled their first of two scrimmages today, while Lincolnton holds its first scrimmage on Tuesday. East Lincoln will again take part in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Kickoff Jamboree at Wingate University on Saturday.
The Knights host East Gaston this evening beginning at 6, and the Rebels travel to Avery County for a junior varsity/varsity doubleheader that begins at 4 p.m. Cherryville hosts the Wolves at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, and the Mustangs will play both of their scrimmage games on Saturday against China Grove Carson and Monroe –– the team that eliminated them last season in the third round of the state 2AA playoffs.
West Lincoln will take part in the Rutherford County Jamboree at Forest City Chase on Thursday, and Lincolnton will host Huntersville SouthLake Christian, East Surry and Ashe County in a four-team scrimmage on Friday. North Lincoln will hold its final scrimmage on Friday at Bunker Hill.
As teams prepare to become game-ready come Aug. 22, here is a look at a player to watch on both sides of the ball for each of the county’s four varsity teams. Be sure to check out the Lincoln Times-News’ annual high school football season preview, which hits newsstands on Aug. 20.
Chazz Surratt, QB, junior: Surratt, a Division-I recruit with offers from Clemson, North Carolina and N.C. State, returns after a record-setting sophomore season in which he set an individual Lincoln County record with 62 total touchdowns –– 34 rushing and 28 passing. He completed 65 percent of his passes (178 of 273) for 2,590 yards, and rushed 208 times for 1,624 yards. Surratt has amassed 6,036 total yards in two seasons –– 2,865 yards passing, 2,061 yards rushing and 1,110 yards receiving –– and has 101 total TDs.
Damarius Valentine, DB, senior: As a junior Valentine led a Mustangs defense that finished first in the league in total yards allowed (3,420) and total points allowed (228) with nine interceptions.
Jordon Easter, QB, junior: Easter thrived in the Wolves’ new power running game, rushing for 693 yards and six TDs and throwing for 1,047 yards and 11 TDs, as he and Surratt were the only two quarterbacks to rush for 600 or more yards and throw for 1,000 or more yards in the Southern District 7 Athletic 2A Conference last season.
Darian Roseboro, DE, senior: Roseboro enters his senior season with a guaranteed full ride to the school of his choosing between Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, North Carolina, N.C. State and Tennessee. He had 124 total tackles, 10 sacks, 21 tackles for loss and seven pass deflections as a junior. Roseboro has said he’ll make his college choice public on Aug. 29, hours before his team travels to Belmont South Point.
Ethan Gram, RB, senior: Gram returns after leading the Knights in rushing in 2013 with 641 total yards –– nearly 200 more yards than the next highest back. He is also the only back that had at least one carry in each of his team’s 11 games last season.
Jimmy Scott, LB, junior: Scott moved to linebacker four games into the season last year, and finished with a team-high 35 total tackles.
Charles Mack George, FB, senior: George, a 2A state champion wrestler in the 195-pound weight class last winter, is the Rebels’ top returning rusher at 361 total rushing yards in 2013. He enters his senior year with a 6 yards-per-carry average last season, which was second on the team behind graduated quarterback Miguel Corella’s average of 7.6.
Todric Anderson, DB, senior: Anderson is just one of three defensive starters returning for the Rebels this season, joining George at linebacker and Daniel Schesny at defensive back. Anderson had 51 tackles and an interception as a junior. His 51 tackles led the team in the secondary.