Smith: Don’t get too high or low -- Week 2 prep football previews
The outlook of a season isn’t determined in the first week.
Of the six local teams who played last Friday, only Kinston and Ayden-Grifton went 1-0 to start while Arendell Parrott Academy, Greene Central, Jones Senior and North Lenoir all fell in their season-openers. Bethel Christian Academy and South Lenoir will start the season in Week 2, but the concept remains the same: focus at the task at hand.
The biggest coaching cliché is "we're just taking it one game at a time" but it's a vital one. Enjoy the victory or mourn defeat, then get ready for the next opponent. There's way too many games to give up on ultimate dreams.
Now, let's take a look at Friday's action:
Kinston (1-0) at North Pitt (0-1)
On paper, this looks like a mismatch but the Vikings can’t get complacent against the Panthers. North Pitt may be on an 11-game losing streak after falling to Robersonville South Creek 30-25 last week, but was competitive with Kinston in 2017, falling 19-12.
The Vikings have never lost to North Pitt in a series that dates back to 2003; Kinston is 9-0 all-time against the Panthers. The Vikings should improve to 2-0 for the second consecutive season with a win in Bethel.
Farmville Central (0-1) at North Lenoir (0-1)
The Jaguars might as well be the eighth team in the Eastern Carolina 2A as the team will play the second of four ECC opponents in five weeks. The Hawks lost last year’s meeting on the road 41-16 and after falling to Bunn last week, will look to avoid an 0-2 start for the ninth consecutive season.
The Hawks are 1-18 all-time against Farmville Central in a series that dates back to 1971. North Lenoir's only win against FC came in a 35-24 decision on Oct. 10, 2005; they've lost eight in a row to the Jaguars since that game.
This game will also be broadcast on WRNS 960-AM "The Bull" by Bryan Hanks and Jimmy Smith as the Davis Wholesale Tires Game of the Week. However, due to a commitment to the Down East Wood Ducks, the game will be broadcast in a tape-delayed manner Saturday morning at 9 beginning with the King's Restaurant Pregame Show, hosted by Hanks and Jon Dawson.
Jones Senior (0-1) at South Lenoir (0-0)
The Blue Devils will start the year against a team looking to end a 13-game skid and which lost to South Lenoir 49-6 in 2017. Jones Senior dropped its season-opener to Jacksonville Northside last week, but will look to garner revenge as the “home” team due to electrical issues at its field. The Trojans did win 55-36 over the Blue Devils in 2016.
The Blue Devils and Trojans are 7-7 all-time against each other, dating back to a series that started in 1969.
The game will be broadcast live on Facebook by Graham Hill and I; just visit the Neuse News page and click on the game.
Bethel Christian (0-0) at Halifax Academy (0-0)
The Trojans will be on the road for their season-opener against the NCISAA 1A runner-up Vikings, who won both of last year’s meetings, including 46-20 in the state playoffs. Although Bethel Christian was a very young team in 2017, a year of experience should work wonders for a team looking to bounce back from a 1-8 campaign.
Pamlico County (0-0) at Ayden-Grifton (1-0)
The Chargers certainly made their presence felt last week with a 61-0 thrashing of Chocowinity Southside. Ayden-Grifton will face another Coastal Plains 1A foe in Pamlico County, who made it to the third round of the NCHSAA 1A playoffs last year and fell 34-26 to the Chargers in 2017.
Greene Central (0-1) at C.B. Aycock (1-0)
Last week, the Rams let one slip away against Winterville South Central, losing a 14-0 halftime lead to fall 18-14, but have done well against the Golden Falcons in recent years. C.B. Aycock defeated Goldsboro Rosewood 12-0 last week, but have been beaten by Greene Central in the past four meetings, including a 40-10 contest in 2017.
The Rams and Golden Falcons have played every year since 1964, with GC holding a 38-15-1 advantage. GC's 38 wins vs. Aycock is tied for the most it has against any opponent -- the Rams have also won 38 against North Lenoir.
Open: Arendell Parrott
Neuse News Editor Bryan Hanks contributed to this report.