Junious Smith III: My dream public-private school local matchups
Well, at least I got to see one dream public-private school matchup this year.
At the Jessica Ramsey Memorial volleyball tournament on Aug. 17 at Lenoir Community College, Arendell Parrott defeated Ayden-Grifton in a matchup of the top teams in the region. The Chargers had the Patriots on the ropes at times, but APA prevailed and maintained its five-year undefeated streak against public schools since David Barnes took over as head coach.
Watching the Patriots sweep West Johnston Wednesday, I started thinking more about the local matchups I’d love to see between local public and private schools. I’ve lobbied for a couple for years, most notably a North Lenoir-APA basketball game — albeit, this is when the student sections for both schools were absolutely phenomenal and it would’ve been entertainment just to see them go at it.
Scheduling conflicts prevented it from happening, but if I had it my way, these are five matchups I’d love to watch this year.
Side note: I went with matchups I felt would be the most competitive. If there are any matchups, you’d like to see, post them in the comments.
Parrott vs. Greene Central girls’ tennis
Tennis isn’t the easiest match to cover, but this would be a very interesting duel. The Patriots are coming off consecutive NCISAA championship appearances and are looking to win their first state championship since 2011. On the other side, the Rams have won an unprecedented 25 straight conference championships and are located in one of the best tennis towns in the nation, Snow Hill.
Bethel vs. Jones Senior football
This all-Trojans matchup would need to be played in an 8-man format, but would be extremely interesting. Both teams have 21 players on their roster (according to Maxpreps.com), the players are relatively the same size and it could showcase the athleticism when it comes to the skill players.
Parrott vs. North Lenoir baseball
The Patriots have a murderer’s row led by Trey McLawhorn and Jonah Beaman. The Hawks have spectacular pitching with Trevor Sears and Jamir Jones-Gatling among the hurlers. Both teams have a strong history in baseball, and this matchup could do nothing but help each other in the playoffs.
Bethel vs. Kinston volleyball
After seeing both teams play this season, this would be a sneaky-good matchup. The Vikings ended a 46-game skid against Southwest Onslow Wednesday and have looked good in spurts in matches with Havelock and Southern Wayne. The Trojans have some strong hitters on their side and other intangibles for a strong season.
Parrott vs. Jones Senior basketball
The guards in this game would have me sold immediately — the Patriots have Tomir Moore and Nick Harrison while the Trojans counter with Djimon Jones and Josh Richardson. Both teams look to be on the upswing in 2019-20 and this would end up being another fun matchup.