Friday night football is here

Published 9:24 am Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ready or not, here it is.

Prep football officially kicks off tomorrow night (Friday) when four local teams will begin their 2009 campaign for a state football championship.

New Hertford County High School coach Scott Privott is looking for his first win as a varsity football coach when his team pays a trip to Gates County High School Friday.

Meanwhile, Matt Biggy enters his third year with the Red Barons, Mike Dail is in year three of his second stint at Lawrence and Collin Sneed is going strong five years into his tenure at Northeast while Tony Hoggard enters year number five with Bertie High as well.

I think most of our football teams will be as good as or better than they were a year ago. A few of them will be in a rebuilding mode, but overall the football in the region should be improved.

Personally, I am looking forward to the season because football is one of my favorite sports we cover. I’ve grown to love some of the others too, but nothing gets your juices going like football on Friday night.

As we begin the season, I think Hertford County High School probably has the best team in the region again. I think Northampton-East and Lawrence will be much improved and I think Northeast Academy will be on par with a season ago.

Gates County’s program continues to make strides, but likely is another year away from where they hope to be and Bertie looks to be headed into a rebuilding mode.

Here’s a quick look at what I expect Friday.

Hertford County at Gates County: The Bears still have a ways to go on offense based on last week’s scrimmage, but their defense looks pretty solid. On the other side, the Red Barons had a tough time moving the football against both HCHS and Southern Vance.

I think it’s too much Antonio Vaughan and company for the Red Barons to handle. Scott Privott will get his first win as the varsity coach at HCHS as the Bears roll, 44-12.

Parrott at Lawrence Academy: It’s hard to have too much of an idea about Parrott. They have a strong program history, but with Bill Rowe having retired, someone new will be at the helm. What kind of adjustment period will that take? Hard to say.

What I do know is that I like Lawrence’s chances of getting better this year and having an opportunity to push for a playoff spot. With that having been said, I’ll take the Warriors, 18-14.

Edenton at Northampton-East: The Aces didn’t have a great year in 2008, but neither did the Rams. Edenton is coming off a 5-7 season and Northampton was 4-8. This is a battle of two teams trying to get back on track.

Northampton coach Greg Watford said his team has backs that are as good as any he has coached. That’s a heck of an endorsement. I also know they’ll be playing at Roy F. Lowry Stadium. That leans me toward East, so I’ll take the home-standing Rams, 24-12.

Thadd White is Sports Editor of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. He can be reached via email at or by telephone at 332-7211.