Locals begin hunt for state title

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

CHAPEL HILL – Friday night will begin the quest for a state championship for 256 high school football squads.

Four of those institutions reside here in the Roanoke-Chowan area as Bertie, Gates County, Hertford County and Northampton County High School – West each made the field in their respective divisions.

Bertie and Hertford County will start their bid for a state title in the same division as they are both seeded in the 3-A state playoffs.

The Bears, who finished the season 9-2, grabbed the number two seed in the division for first-year coach Dealton Cotton. HCHS will host an opening-round playoff game against West Carteret.

Hertford County, who was the top 3-A seed from the Northeastern Coastal Conference, will square off against the 15th seeded Patriots (4-6). West Carteret finished sixth in the Eastern Carolina 3-A conference.

The Falcons, who will look for Roy Bond’s third state title in his 12-year tenure at the school, are 5-5 and seeded in the sixth position in the 3-A playoffs.

Bertie will host an opening-round game against 11th seeded Northeast Guilford (7-3), a team that claimed a fourth-place finish in the rugged Piedmont Triad league.

It is West Craven (10-0) that claimed the top seed in the 3-A’s post-season party, while Fike, a former conference foe for the Bears and Falcons, was seeded third followed by White Oak (8-2) and Kinston (8-2).

After Bertie in the 3-A division are West Brunswick (4-5), Beddingfield (8-2), Manteo (9-2), Southern Wayne (5-5), Northeast Guilford, Southern Nash (4-6), Goldsboro (6-4), C.B. Aycock (6-4), West Carteret and Orange (5-5).

In the division 1-A, Northampton-West (7-3) finds themselves as a number 11 seed and heading to sixth-seeded Jamesville (6-13) who is the second seed from the Atlantic 7 Conference.

If the Hurricanes can get by Bullets, they could have a second-round rematch with Weldon. The Chargers (4-5) are seeded 14th and will be traveling to third-rated Southside (8-2).

The top seed in the 1-A ranks is Tar-Roanoke Conference champion North Edgecombe (10-0) with Camden (8-2) as the number two seed. Seeded after Southside is Rosewood (8-2) who will host 13th ranked Williamston (4-6).

Rounding out the top five will be Roanoke (5-1-1), who is coached by former Gates County skipper Donnie Kiefer. The Redskins will play host to 12th seeded Columbia.

Other notables in the 1-A ranks include Four Rivers Conference member Plymouth (eighth seed) who will host Lejeune.

Rounding out the area’s post-season invitees will be Gates County, who is set to participate in the 1-AA playoffs. The Red Barons are seeded 14th and 4-5 and will travel to third-seeded Farmville Central (10-0) on Friday evening.

The Jaguars are the top seed out of the Carolina 1-A Conference.

Farmville was one of three teams that finished with a 10-0 mark in the 1-AA division as top-seeded Pamlico and second-seeded Wallace-Rose Hill also finished with perfect regular-season marks.

Louisburg grabbed the fourth seed in the bracket followed by Topsail (5-5), Franklinton (7-3), James Kenan (4-6), Heide Trask (6-4), Ayden-Grifton (5-5), North Brunswick (4-6), Midway (4-5), North Johnston (3-7), Dixon (5-5), Gates, Spring Creek (4-6) and Perquimans (2-8).

In the 2-A bracket, Northeastern Coastal Conference co-champion Edenton drew a number five seed and will host 12th rated Southeast Halifax (6-4).

The number one seed in the 2-A ranks went to undefeated Southwest Onslow who will host Roanoke Rapids (4-6) while the second seed went to East Bladen (10-0), who will meet 5-5 Croatan on Friday.

Greene Central was seeded third followed by Bunn.

In the 2-AA ranks, the Northeastern Coastal Conference placed a pair of teams in the brackets as Currituck (3-7) drew a number six seed while Northeastern (4-6) came in at number 12.

Currituck will host 7-3 Northwood who finished fourth in the Mid-State 2-A league, while Northeastern will travel to fifth-seeded Southern Vance (6-4), a team that managed a second place finish in the Northern Carolina 2-A conference.

Another school of interest in the Roanoke-Chowan area included in the 2-AA was SouthWest Edgecombe, a former member of the Big Eight Conference, who is seeded 15th and will travel to number two St. Pauls. Reidsville (10-0) drew the number one seed.

Highlighting the 3-AA bracket is Eastern Randolph (10-0), who grabbed the top seed followed by fellow undefeated Southern Durham. Clayton (9-1) grabbed the third seed followed by Ragsdale and Southern Alamance.

Former Big Eight Conference foe Hunt (6-4) is seeded eighth in the 3-AA playoffs and will host number nine Williams.

In the 4-A ranks, a loss last week to New Bern cost J.H. Rose any hope at a number one seed, dropping the Rampants (9-1) to fourth where they will host 13-seeded Ashley (4-6).

Wilmington’s Hoggard High School (10-0) took the number one seed followed by Northern Durham (9-1) and EE Smith (9-1).

Other area notables were Rocky Mount at the sixth seed, Douglas Byrd at seven and their opponent, Northern Nash, at 10.

Former Bertie skipper Chip Williams has his New Bern Bears as the top seed in the 4-AA playoffs as they will host Seventy First of Fayetteville in the first round. Raleigh’s Broughton High School is seeded second and will face neighbor Cary (5-5) on Friday night. Rounding out the top five are Garner (9-1), Green Hope (8-2) and South View (7-2).