Smith: The Possible End of a Wild Era
The weirdest regular season of my career ends sometime this week — maybe.
There's no telling if the final games are going to be played Thursday, Friday, Saturday or even Monday. Usually, this column would be posted on the usual game days, but there's no point. The threat of rain has dictated football to the point where I'm mentally prepared to cover something at any time. Then, the rain hits even harder on Thursday, Nov. 1 — the day every contest was moved — yet the skies and fields were clearer the following day.
I completely understand why schools are quicker to switch dates. It's easier to convince someone to catch a game under better conditions and the gate matters. Whatever needs to be done, we have to plan accordingly. The schedule changes have never been this wild to me in the 11 years I've been blessed to patrol sidelines, chill in press boxes and run on the fields to conduct postgame interviews.
Well, maybe the playoffs will have a bit of consistency. If not, basketball season is on the horizon and unless there's a natural disaster the games will be played as scheduled.
Kinston (9-0) at Greene Central (6-4)
This is not just a rivalry on the basketball court. It’s fitting the Rams are the last wall of resistance toward the Vikings’ second undefeated regular season, especially after Greene Central’s 28-6 win in the first round of the playoffs over Kinston last year. The last time these teams played in Snow Hill, Kinston had a 33-25 first round playoff win in 2016, one week after Greene Central won 19-0. This is easily the game of the week and should be amazing.
Washington (3-6) at North Lenoir (0-10)
This hasn't been the ideal campaign for the Hawks, but there is a chance to do something every team desires: win the last contest of the season. North Lenoir has showcased potential here and there and had six two-possession losses, including three within seven. The Pam Pack have been an interesting team throughout and have been winless on the road, but do have a quartet of two-possession losses.
Ayden-Grifton (6-4) at South Lenoir (3-6)
The Blue Devils have been on a tear over the last two games, outscoring North Lenoir and Spring Creek by a combined 98-14 and have turned Senior Night into a chance to sneak into the playoffs. The task certainly isn't easy as the Chargers are coming off a convincing road victory over Greene Central and want momentum for their 17th consecutive postseason appearance. This has the potential to be a good one.
Pamlico County (9-1) at Jones Senior (0-9)
I'm still trying to figure out how Jones Senior pulled it off. This will be the Trojans' fifth game since Oct. 23 and props have to be given. The area team with the fewest bodies went out and played without excuse, even though this wasn't the best of seasons. Pamlico County is another Coastal Plains Conference heavyweight and is ranked No. 6 in the NCHSAA 1A according to Maxpreps, as its only loss is to No. 1 Tarboro.