Lady Panthers Sweep Season Championships, Win TRC Tourney!

The Avery Lady Panthers have enjoyed success over the past three seasons, success that had been bittersweet.  Since taking over the Lady Panther program, Head Coach Donnie Johnson has coached the Lady Panthers to three regular season crowns in the Toe River Conference; and heading into this year’s tournament, two championship game appearances, falling in heartbreakers.  This season, the team was determined to get over the hump, and was focused on finally getting the title sweep that has been eluding them.

Johnson has found a way over the past three seasons to develop a talented group of girls to the top of the Toe River Conference, enjoying success along the way; but the one thing he wanted this season was the Tournament Championship.

“We’ve been close the past two seasons,” stated Johnson.  “It’s the one thing we haven’t accomplished in my three seasons as coach.”

The Lady Panthers began their tournament run on Thursday evening facing the Cane River Lady Rebels, who upset Cranberry on Wednesday evening, playing a smothering defense and holding the Lady Wildcats to just 10 points in the contest.  This set up a #1 vs #5 match-up in the semifinal between the Lady Panthers and the Lady Rebels.

Avery’s Ladies entered the contest with a chip on their shoulder, coming off a 29-19 loss at the hands of Cranberry to end the regular season, dropping them to 8-2 entering the tournament.  They came out strong, scoring quickly to build a 9-2 lead, taking a 9-4 lead into the second quarter.  In the second, the Rebels cut into the Lady Panther lead, cutting the lead to 11-9 midway through the quarter.  Avery then closed the quarter on an 8-2 run to take a 19-11 lead into the half.

Cane River then chipped away at the Lady Panther lead through the third quarter, outscoring the Avery Ladies 11-8 in the quarter, cutting the lead to 27-22 entering the final quarter of play.  The Lady Rebels, however, were unable to cut the contest lead any closer, as the Lady Panthers rolled to a 34-29 victory to move into the finals against the Harris Lady Blue Devils.

Leading the way for the Lady Panthers was Haley Woody with a season high 16 points, and Lauren Burleson added 13 to lead Avery past the Lady Rebels.  Harris earned the upset win over East Yancey on Thursday, winning 28-25 sealing their spot in the final.

As the final got underway, the crowd present got the impression early that they were in for a treat.  Avery and Harris split during the regular season, and in the rubber match, the Lady Panthers felt they had a score to settle with the Lady Blue Devils.  Harris jumped out to an early lead over the Lady Panthers and held the advantage throughout the first half, leading 5-4 at the end of one quarter, and 13-12 until late in the second, when Woody grabbed a rebound and put in a score to give Avery the 14-13 lead at the half.

Harris came out of the half on a mission, stepping up on defense and quickly slipping out to a 4 point advantage midway through the quarter.  Breanna Heaton kept it close, cutting the lead to one as the quarter wound down, giving Harris a 23-22 advantage heading into the final quarter of play.

In the final period, Harris’ ladies jumped on the board quickly with five points to push the Lady Devil margin to their biggest lead of the contest, leading 28-22.  The Lady Panthers closed the contest on a 9-2 run, staring with a 3 from the corner from Jodie Poore, and getting 6 points from Burleson, netting the game winner with 19 seconds remaining to put Avery up 31-30.  Shannon Smith then stepped up in a big way, stealing the ball twice in the final 15 seconds to clinch the championship for Avery.  Burleson led the Lady Panthers with 12 points, and Heaton added 6 points to overcome a 14 point output by Kennedi Grindstaff.

On the boys side of the bracket, Cranberry fell to East Yancey in the opening round, watching East Yancey make a 2 point halftime advantage a 49-27 victory.  Avery’s boys opened their weekend facing Harris, following Harris’ defeat of Bowman in the opening round.  The contest was closely contested throughout, and Avery dominated the ball during the first half of play, leading 6-4 after one quarter.

The Panthers continued to push the issue, hitting a basket late to keep it a 2 point advantage at the half.  In the third quarter play would continue to be close, but Harris dominated the boards, and outscored Avery 8-2 in the period to take a 20-16 advantage into the final quarter of play.  Avery tried to cut into the Harris lead, but a late surge from the Devils sealed the 28-23 win for Harris.

Harris then moved into the finals to face Cane River, who had defeated East Yancey in overtime to earn their spot in the finals.  The Rebels jumped on top early, but Harris battled back, and the two teams traded the lead throughout the contest.  In the final quarter of the game, Cane River built an 8 point advantage, but Harris battled their way back, tying the game at 39-39 in the final 20 seconds of the game.  Cane River drove down the floor and the Harris defense stepped in an blocked the shot attempt out of bounds.

The Blocked shot would have given the Rebels the ball under their own basket with 3.4 seconds remaining, but a technical foul called on the Rebel bench gave the Devils two shots to put them on top 41-39, and earn the championship for Harris.  Congrats to all the local teams on their season in the Toe River Conference.

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Panthers Dominate Wildcats in TRC play

AVCRAN

Middle School Basketball is in full swing, and the season reached its halfway point on Thursday night when the Avery Panthers and the Cranberry Wildcats faced off in Viking Gymnasium.  The Ladies got things started and the game was relatively close in the first half with the Lady Panthers and Lady ‘Cats going back and forth through the first quarter with Avery holding the 2 point advantage heading into the second stanza.  The Lady Panthers would outscore Cranberry 11-6 in the period to take an 18-11 lead into the half.  In the third quarter the Lady Panthers would pull away behind 10 points from Brianna Heaton in the period to extend their lead to 36-16 entering the 4th quarter.  Cranberry would win the 4th quarter 9-6, but the late surge would not be enough with Heaton’s 16 leading the way for the Lady Panthers in their 42-25 victory over the Lady Wildcats.

Cranberry would take the early lead at 2-1, and that would be the last time they would see the lead, as the Panthers would go on a 1-0 run to end the quarter, and would hold the Wildcats to 3 points in the 2nd to head into the half with a 26-5 advantage.  The Wildcats would keep the contest evenly matched during the second half, but were unable to mount a comeback, outscoring the Panthers 18-15 in the final two stanzas, but falling to Avery 41-23 at Avery High.  Leading the Panthers with 11 points was Chase Buchanan.  Cranberry will take to the road on Monday to face East Yancey, while Avery travels to Bowman, both games begin at 5 PM.

Tuesday 10/6 – News and Notes:

Sports News and Notes FlatVolleyball:

Avery’s Lady Vikings fell to the Hendersonville Lady Bearcats 3-1 (25-12, 25-19, 23-25, 25-13) in Hendersonville.  The conference match-up pitted the Lady Vikings against a perennial conference power, and saw them play tough, battling out a victory in the third game to force the Lady ‘Cats to a 4th game to earn the victory.  The Lady Viking JV’s fell 2-0 to the Lady Bearcats.
The Lady Vikings return home to face off with the Polk Lady Wolverines on Thursday evening with the JV’s beginning at 5 PM.

Tennis:

The Lady Viking tennis team was victorious over Hendersonville, improving their record to 6-2 on the season.  On Senior night the Lady Vikes were able to pull out the 7-2 victory over the Lady Bearcats.  The Lady Vikings are at home on Thursday evening to take on Mountain Heritage in their final home match of the regular season.  They will finish the season traveling to Thomas Jefferson next week before entering Conference tournament play and the state playoffs.

Middle School Football:

The Avery Panthers traveled to East Yancey to take on the Panthers in the first round of the Toe River Conference playoffs.  Avery battled tough, fighting their way to a 22-14 deficit at the half, but the Panthers from East would prove to be too tough to tame in the second half scoring 22 unanswered points and taking the victory to put them in the Tri-County Bowl, winning 44-14.
The Cranberry Wildcats picked up their first victory of the season by taking revenge on the Bulldogs of Bowman by taking the win 32-6 at Bowman.  Cranberry fought tough the entire game and kept the Bulldogs at bay to earn the victory.

Lees-McRae Athletics:
Soccer:

Lees-McRae’s  men’s soccer program moved up one spot to #2 in the National Rankings following the weekend loss of #1 Lynn University over the weekend.  The #2 ranked Bobcats earned another victory on a wet Tuesday night in Banner Elk, defeating the Crusaders of Belmont Abbey 3-0 to improve to 10-0 on the season, 6-0 in conference play (Conference Carolinas).  The Tuesday evening contest saw the Bobcats get leadership from Berin Boracic, who currently is 8th in the NCAA in points per game, as he garnered one goal and two assists in the contest.
The Lady Bobcats fell in a tough match to the Lady Crusaders 4-2 in less than ideal conditions on Tuesday.  The game got underway under an overcast sky that saw the Lady Crusaders jump on the board halfway through the first half to take a 1-0 lead into the break.  As the second half got underway the rain started to fall, making conditions wet and wild for the remainder of the contest.  The loss drops the Lady Bobcats to 6-4 on the season, 4-2 in conference play. Both the Men and Women travel to Anderson, SC to take on Anderson University on Saturday before returning home on the 13th.  The women will take on Trevecca Nazarene University at 1 PM with the men taking on Queens University out of Charlotte at 7:30 PM.

Volleyball:

The LMC Lady Bobcat Volleyball team improved their record to 14-4 on the season and have now won 10 of their last 11 matches with their Tuesday evening victory over Tusculum College, 3-1.  The Lady Bobcats got 18 kills from Whitney Justice to lead the team to victory over the Lady Pioneers in 4 games – 25-23, 25-20, 13-25, 25-16.  LMC will take on Converse at home on Thursday evening at 7 PM in Williams Gymnasium.

Brad King Bowl 2009: Panthers, Wildcats Battle in Classic

BKBowl copyNeighbors mean a lot to the people of Avery County; that is exemplified in the Brad King Bowl.  An annual event started in 1983 as an event to raise money for a young man who was hanging on for life, with a game that meant so much to him – Football.  The meeting between two teams, one from Cranberry and the other from Newland, became the game in which the people of Avery County put aside their differences to join together and raise money for a family that could use the assistance.

Fast Forward to 2009, the teams – the Avery Panthers and the Cranberry Wildcats; the cause – The Chris Laws Family, more specifically, the Trust Fund set up in his memory for his two daughters, Ciara and Carrie Laws.  Thanks to the people of Avery County that showed up for the contest, the Laws girls now have almost $2,500 added to their college fund; and as usual, thanks to the two teams, the crowd that showed up was treated to a classic game in the series.

Over the years, you can probably count on one hand how many times there has been a blow-out.  Last season these two teams met in a shoot-out that saw 102 points put on the board…this season, a far different game in which the two teams only combined for 28 points, but the game was just as good.

Avery opened the game with a sky kick that found its way to the turf and was covered by Chase Buchanan, giving the Panthers possession at the Wildcat 38 yard line.  The Panthers would then put together a 3 minute 21 second drive that was capped with a 13 yard scamper from Buchanan to get the Panthers on the board.  After a failed 2-point conversion the Panthers held a 6-0 lead on the ‘Cats.  The defense for each team would then step in and take over the first half with neither team seeming willing to give in.  Neither team would allow the other to eclipse the 100 yard mark in the first half – leaving it at a 6-0 Avery advantage entering the break.

The Panthers would then take the opening kick of the second half and open with a drive covering 46 yards in nearly 6 minutes of clock that finished with Ty Polsgrove, replacing the injured Chance Watson, sneaking in from 1 yard out to put the Panthers up 12-0.  Avery would add the 2-point conversion with Polsgrove finding WR Wade Smith on a screen to get in for the score.

After kicking, then forcing a turnover near midfield, the Panthers would find the end zone once again as Buchanan would find paydirt on a 48 yard run, getting in with 6.3 seconds remaining in the 3rd quarter.  Polsgrove would then find WR Daniel Childress for the 2-point conversion making it a 22-0 Avery score heading into the 4th and final stanza.

The Wildcats wouldn’t give in, however, as they would battle tough eventually finding the end zone on the legs of RB Jonah Tenge, who scampered in from 11 yards out to cut the Panther lead to 22-6.  That would be as close as the ‘Cats would get, as the Panther defense would stand firm, keeping Cranberry from getting any offense going after the score.

Named as the Most Outstanding Player for each team were Chase Buchanan (Avery), who accumulated 158 total yards (98 rushing and 60 receiving) and 2 TD for the Panthers, and Jonah Tenge who netted 77 yards on 10 carries and scored the lone Wildcat TD.  Congrats to both teams on a great game, and good luck to each team as they open playoff’s next week.  A full story will be available in the October 7 edition of the Avery Post, with more information about the playoffs here online as it becomes available.

Avery may have won the game, but the real winners tonight were Ciara and Carrie Laws, thank you Avery County for making that possible!

Final Statistics – Brad King Bowl
September 29, 2009 – 6:30 PM
MacDonald Stadium – Newland, NC

.                                 |           1          2          3          4          |           F
Cranberry         |           0          0          0          6          |           6
Avery                   |           6          0         16         0           |          22

Passing:
Cranberry:
#7 Stetson Stafford (CMS) – 3 completions   8 attempts   28 yards

Avery:
#4 Ty Polsgrove (AMS) – 4 completions   6 attempts   61 yards

Rushing:
Cranberry:
#2 J. Tenge (CMS) – 10 carries  77 yards  1 TD
#80 C. Clawson (CMS) – 5 carries  34 yards
#12 T. Pittman (CMS) – 7 carries  28 yards

Avery:
#23 C. Buchanan (AMS) – 9 carries  98 yards  2 TD
#4 T. Polsgrove (AMS) – 13 carries  25 yards  1 TD

Receiving:

Cranberry:
#12 T. Pittman (CMS) – 3 receptions  28 yards

Avery:
#23 C. Buchanan (AMS) – 3 receptions  60 yards

Penalties:
Cranberry – 5 penalties  30 yards
Avery – 1 penalty  5 yards

Totals:
Cranberry – 35 plays  180 yards 1 TD
Avery – 34 plays  199 yards  3 TD

Smith and Banner Help Lead Avalanche to Great Finish in Raleigh

Avery junior Emily Banner fights for ball (Photo Courtesy HCSA)

Avery junior Emily Banner fights for ball (Photo Courtesy HCSA)

High Country Soccer Association sent 4 teams to the 2009 CASL Labor Day Shootout in Raleigh on September 4 and 5.  The U17 and U16 Girls teams had to finish in first or second after the weekend competition to gain automatic invites to the November College Showcase – one of the premier college recruiting tournaments in the country.  In addition, the U14 Girls and the U14 Boys teams were using this tournament to prepare for upcoming league play.

The HCSA U17 Girls team was up to the challenge, finishing the weekend with 3 wins and 1 loss.  Captained by Bethany Miller of Boone and Mary Chesnut Smith of Banner Elk, the ladies fought through heat and a shortened bench to get the result they needed.  Finishing second on tiebreaker rules, their only loss came in overtime penalty kicks to a nationally ranked team from Maryland.  Made up of players representing Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Watauga and Wilkes counties, this team will be representing the region in North Carolina state competition.

U16 Girls Finalists at CASL Labor Day Shootout 2009 (Photo Courtesy HCSA)

U16 Girls Finalists at CASL Labor Day Shootout 2009 (Photo Courtesy HCSA)

The U16 Girls were next to finish their weekend campaign and also got the result they needed.  Dominating wins in their first three games showed that they have the talent to score and score often with a total of 13 goals during the weekend.  Captains Katelyn Mullenix and Kendyl Baird, both of Boone, led the team to a 3-1 record.  Their only loss was a 1-0 score in the final game.  The U16 Girls team is made up of players from Avery, Caldwell, and Watauga counties and will also be competing in North Carolina state competition.

HCSA U14 Girls Champions at CASL Labor Day Shootout 2009 (Photo Courtesy of HCSA)

HCSA U14 Girls Champions at CASL Labor Day Shootout 2009 (Photo Courtesy of HCSA)

The U14 Girls team was the big winner on the weekend, coming away with a first place finish.  Two of their four wins came in overtime penalty kicks.   Goalkeeper Brooklin Carroll was the unquestioned tournament MVP for the Avalanche coming up big when it mattered most, saving an unbelievable 7 penalty kicks during the 2 shootouts.  Marcie Mahoney led the scoring tally with 2 goals and 1 assist and Lynde Wangler had a strong performance controlling the midfield all weekend.

The U14 Boys were the only team to come away without any hardware.  Opening the weekend with a 1-0 win, the Avalanche were unable to duplicate their performance in the next two games, losing both games by scores of 1-0.  However, they did manage to get things sorted out coming away with a convincing 3-1 win in their final game and an overall 2-2 match record.

HCSA opens its regular season schedule this weekend with the following schedule:

September 12

U14 Boys at CVYSA (Hickory)

U12 Girls Red vs CVYSA on Field 1A at TMSC  in Boone at 9:00am

U12 Girls Navy vs KSA (Kernersville) on Field 1A at TMSC in Boone at 10:30am

U16 Girls at Highland Football Club (Asheville)

U17 Girls at Highland Football Club (Asheville)

September 13

U14 Girls vs SGCSA (S. Gaston County) on the Stadium Field at TMSC at 1:00pm

Panthers Rally Late, Fall to Wolverines in Thriller

Avery Middle opened their season against Watauga Tuesday night at Avery High (Phillip Greene Photo)

Avery Middle opened their season against Watauga Tuesday night at Avery High (Phillip Greene Photo)

Avery Middle Opened their regular season with a thriller on Tuesday, August 25.  The Panthers came into this season with high expectations, returning 10 starters on offense and defense.  The Panthers came into the game hoping to continue the success they were able to find against Happy Valley in their August 14 meeting during the Highlander Jamboree.

The game started with the Panthers taking the ball, looking to drive, but were forced to punt giving the ball to the Wolverines in decent field position.  The Wolverines would open with a pass, breaking a big play to open scoring with a beautiful pass putting 6 on the board.  The Panthers would try to claw their way back in during the first half, but another score from the Wolverines would put Avery in a 12-0 hole; which is where it would stand entering the second half.

“I jumped them pretty hard at half time about taking plays off,” remarked Head Coach Donnie Johnson after the game, “I don’t know if that was a factor or not. [Coach] Beach helped the OL out with some adjustments that really helped, while [Coach] Phillips and [Coach] Jackson really did some tweaking on the Defensive side. I think it was just a matter of all the coaches and players coming together.”

And come together they did; as the second half got underway you could see a different team on the Avery sidelines.  The Panthers would battle tough, but were unable to get their offense moving during the third quarter, as Watauga would break their second big play of the night on an end around by 7th grade QB, Zeb Speir, who took it 53 yards for the third Wolverine TD of the night, putting Watauga up 18-0 heading into the final stanza of the evening.

Avery’s never-say-die attitude would have its day in the 4th quarter, as they continued to pound the Wolverines.  8th grader, Ty Polsgrove, who replaced starting QB Chance Watson in the third quarter, would lead the Panthers down the field, finding Chase Buchanan for a 18-yard strike, putting the Panthers on the board with just over 4 minutes remaining in the contest.

The Panther defense would stand firm, holding the Wolverines to a three and out, earning another offensive set with just under 2 minutes to go.  Polsgrove would again step back and find Buchanan for another strike, pulling the Panthers to an 18-12 score.  They would add the 2-point conversion to make the score 18-14 with just over 1 minute remaining.

Ty Polsgrove took over for the injured Watson in the second half, leading the Panthers to a near 4th quarter comeback against the Wolverines (Phillip Greene Photo)

Ty Polsgrove took over for the injured Watson in the second half, leading the Panthers to a near 4th quarter comeback against the Wolverines (Phillip Greene Photo)

Panther kicker Tre Jackson would attempt an onside kick that would just squirm across the sideline with two Panthers about to pounce on it, giving the Wolverines the ball at their own 35 yard line.  The Panther defense would again stand strong and hold the Wolverines to another three-and-out, forcing a punt.  The Wolverine center would put the snap just above their punter’s grasp, and the Panther defense would take advantage, sacking him for a loss, and take over possession at the Wolverine 27 with 54.8 seconds remaining. Polsgrove would then take the snap, step back and fire a pass, but the Wolverine defense would come up big with an interception to close out the contest.

“[Ty] was trying to make a play,” explained Johnson, “He’d been making them, we were there because of him. They weren’t really covering the inside receivers all night; their players would line up off of our inside receivers so far we could get it in to any of them-that one time it just didn’t work out. He made a good decision based on what they had done the whole game, they just made the play.

Chase Buchanan caught 2 TD passes from Polsgrove during the 4th quarter Tuesday Evening. (Phillip Greene Photo)

Chase Buchanan caught 2 TD passes from Polsgrove during the 4th quarter Tuesday Evening. (Phillip Greene Photo)

“I thought Ty put us in position to win, he’s that type of athlete. I was really proud of his heart and determination. Chance hurt his finger, don’t know the extent. Controversy, not so much, I still like to throw the ball to Ty, he needs his touches and we can accomplish that anywhere he plays.

“Defense wins games and we gave up two big plays. We always talk about consistency on D, one play can lose a game; the boys learned tonight that is the case. I was really proud of the way the D played. They played hit’em in the mouth Defense, and they didn’t quit. We gave up 6 points in the 2nd half and got stronger as the game went on. The D really stepped up.”

The Panthers will take their 0-1 record into conference play on Tuesday, September 1, when they host East Yancey on the turf at MacDonald Stadium.  Gametime will be 6:30 PM.

Are You Ready for Some Football? Vikes and Panthers Kick Off with Highlander Jamboree

055The Avery Vikings and the Avery Middle School Panthers both traveled to Roan Mountain on Friday evening to take part in the Highlander Jamboree.  The Jamboree kicked-off at 7 PM with the Middle Schools taking park in the Skills Competitions, testing to see who had the best arm, leg, and was the fastest among the linemen and the backs.  The Panthers had no one to take part in the Competition, but when the action got started the 2009 Panthers laced up the cleats and took the field against a noticeably larger Happy Valley team.

“I was a little worried going in about our defense,” stated Head Coach Donnie Johnson, “but they showed me quite a bit in our first real action on the field.  The Offense also put together a few good plays, giving me a good look at the players that I have on the roster.”

Johnson wasn’t the only one singing the praises of the Panthers, who were coming off a tough season from 2008, but seem to have the parts in place to make a run at a conference title in ’09.

“I think we can compete with every team in our conference,” continued Johnson, “we’ve practiced hard, and depending on how the players progress over the next couple of weeks; we stand a good chance to beat anyone in the conference on any given day, it all depends on the teams that show up.”

The Panthers battled tough with the Warriors throughout the quarter of play.

The Middle Schools wrapped up around 8:30 and the High School squads prepared for action with the Vikings taking the field against former Avery Assistant, and current Head Coach of Hampton, Mike Lunsford.  Lunsford and Viking Head Coach Darrell Brewer have a good friendship off the field, and it was evident at the opening snap that neither coach was willing to reveal a lot of their plans, but were also not afraid to pull out the trick plays to try and gain the advantage.

Lunsford opened the game with a HB pass to try and catch the defense napping, but an overthrown pass left the Bulldogs with a 2nd and 10.  The Viking defense would step up on the next play, but it was evident that size would leave them unable to stop the running attack of Hampton.  The Bulldogs would effectively eat away at the clock and use five minutes of the 12 minute quarter to mount a TD drive that was capped with a short 2 yard run.  They would miss the point after attempt, and take a 6-0 lead.

The Vikings would come to the line showing a Wing-back set and run from under center twice before a lost fumble caused a momentum shift and saw the Bulldogs take advantage of the turnover, putting one in the end zone for 6 more taking the lead to 12-0.  When the Vikings got the ball back the crowd sat and cheered them on as they took to the spread attack on their next drive.  The Drive would start that the Viking 30 yard line, and three plays and 10 yards later the Vikings would unleash a 60 yard touchdown from Alex Villanueva to Andy Gonzalez to put 6 on the board for the Vikings.

The next play from scrimmage the Vikings forced a fumble when LB Kenny Hicks knocked the ball loose around the 30 yard line, and MLB Dylan Aldridge scooped up the loose ball and took it to the house for 6 more.  The Vikings added the point after off the foot of Dustin Clark and putting Avery on top 14-12 in a matter of 12 seconds, with just 4 minutes remaining in the quarter.

The Bulldogs would then manufacture a three and a half minute scoring drive to go on top 20-14 after a 2-point conversion.  The Vikings looked good for a team who only had a couple of weeks practice under their belt.

“You can tell the difference between North Carolina and Tennessee,” stated Brewer. “It was obvious that they are farther along than we are, they were in practice in pads 10 days before we were.  I felt good about how we fared, most of the mistakes that we made are correctable in practice.”

“We’ve got a good team,” continued Brewer, “I felt good about how we played; it was our first real contact of the season.  It’s hard for us to get a look at a starting defense in practice, so it was the first time I’ve had that defense on the field as a unit this season in a game type situation.”

The Vikings open their season on Friday evening at Robbinsville against the Black Knights.  The Knights are coming off a productive season, but Avery is confident heading into the contest.  The Knights enter the contest without one of their key contributors in starting QB, Luke Perkins, who is out following knee surgery for two to four weeks.  It looks to be a tough contest for the Vikings, but Coach Brewer is optimistic heading into the contest.

“Hampton’s offense is a lot like Robbinsville’s,” added Brewer.  “I think that we fared well against Hampton considering their size.”

Robbinsville doesn’t have the size of Hampton, but are returning a good team from last year.  Friday’s contest will start at 7:30 PM in Robbinsville.  Avery will be on the road next week as well; traveling to Wilkes County to take on West Wilkes.  The Vikings will hold their home opener on Friday, September 4, when they take on the Watauga Pioneers.

The Panthers open their season at home next Tuesday evening against the Watauga Wolverines at 6:30 PM on the turf at MacDonald Stadium.  Good luck to both teams this season!