Excitement surrounds new football season

Here are the final five Cumberland County High School football previews for the 2021 season.

A reminder of the two new conferences the teams will be broken into beginning this fall. Both are combination conferences of 3-A and 4-A schools.

United 8 – Douglas Byrd (3-A), Cape Fear (3-A), Seventy-First (3-A), Jack Britt (4-A), Lumberton (4-A), Purnell Swett (4-A), South View (4-A).

All-American – E.E. Smith (3-A), Harnett Central (3-A), Terry Sanford (3-A), Triton (3-A), Western Harnett (3-A), Westover (3-A), Overhills (4-A), Pine Forest (4-A).

Earlier, a poll of the 10 Cumberland County senior high school coaches predicted these top three teams in each conference:

United 8 – South View, Jack Britt, Seventy-First.

All-American – Pine Forest, Terry Sanford, Westover.

Terry Sanford 

Coach: Bruce McClelland

Spring record: 6-2

Top returning players: Jre Jackson, RB, Jr.; Jonathon Higgins-Simmons, RB, So.; Christian Deaver, OL, Jr.; Jaylon McDuffie, OL, Sr.; Christian Olivas, OL, Jr.; Dante Garcia, QB, Jr.; Patrick Shook, WR, Jr.; Cruise Herz, FS, Sr.; Barnes Smith, MLB, Sr.; Jesus Hernandez, LB, Jr.; Trevon Wactor, DE, Jr.; Adaran Riggins, CB, Jr.; Dion Elliott, LB, Sr.; Nic Lane, CB, Jr.

Promising newcomers: Mykel McGill, LB/QB/WR, So; Rashad Jones, WR/DB, So.; Will Carstens, TE, So.; Sean Giles-Jones, DE, So.

Coach’s comment: “We are excited to see new guys step up in leadership roles and always have the same three goals, the standard, conference champs, home playoff games, state championship.’’

Conference outlook: “We look forward to our first year with new teams in our area.’’

Seventy-First

Coach: Duran McLaurin

Spring record: 2-4

Top returning players: Julius Riley, ATH/WR, Sr.; Mendez Lucas, DB, Sr.; Jamieson Alston, LB/FB, Sr.; Ashton Williams, OL/DL, Jr.; Anthony Quinn, RB, So.; Jayden Shotwell, RB, Jr.; Jordan Young, WR, Sr.; Omar Houston, DB/WR, Jr.; Lynn Richardson, DB/QB, Sr.; Josiah Boyd, K/P, Sr.; Isaac Lewis, ATH/SS, Sr.; Tyson Shropshire, DL/OL, Sr.; Rahman Williams, OL/DL, Sr.; Kristina Cotton, DL, So.; Amire Drummond, WR, So.

Jaysiah Harper, DL/OL, Jr.

Promising newcomers: Deandre Nance, QB, Fr.; Nicholas Bailey, OL, Jr.; Christian Collins, DB, Jr.; Zayvion Hill, FB, So.; Aaron Downing, WR, Jr.; Donovan Davis, DB, Jr.; Dakari Johnson, Douglas Byrd, Jr.

Coach’s comment: “I am excited about the upcoming season. Having the opportunity to have somewhat of a normal off-season and preparing fully. I think we have the chance to be special as a team if the work is put in this summer.’’

Conference outlook: “I think we will compete at a high level in the new conference. No matter what conference we play in the expectations don’t change. We look forward to competing for a conference championship on the way to representing the conference in the state playoff.’’

E.E. Smith

Coach: Andy Karcher

Spring record: 1-5

Top returning players: Cyrus Ingram, LB, Jr.; Malachi Griddine, DB, Jr.; Malik Brunson, RB/S, Jr.; Khamari Crumpler, RB/S, Sr.

Promising newcomers: Micah Crumpler, QB, So; David Adams, LB, So.; Melvin McDougle, OL/DL, So.

Coach’s comment: “We are excited to have fall football back. Our team is young but most of them got to experience varsity football here in the spring, so we are optimistic. As long as we can stay safe and healthy, I feel that we will have an exciting fall season.”

South View

Coach: Rodney Brewington

Spring record: 7-2

Top returning players: Cedavion Wimbley, QB, Sr.; Bryan Brewington, OL/DL, Sr.; Davion Jackson, OL/DL, Sr.; Jay’Mareese Ray, R, Sr.; Jarod Brown, R, Sr.; Michael Breedlove, RB/LB, Sr.; Blake Crawford, LB, Sr.; Isaac Evans, RB/LB, Sr.; Justin Avery, OL/DL, Sr.

Promising newcomers: Jabori Lee, SS, So.; Keyon Slaughter-Keen, RB, So.; Jakori Hood, OL/DL, So.; Cory Barr, RB, Sr.; Jay Huggins, K, Sr.

Coach’s comment: “Looking forward to this year’s group. Every year is different. We’ve got several returning starters; however, we have several kids in new positions. It’s really trying to get them gelled in their new roles this year.’’

Conference outlook: “Very tough conference. I think it’s wide open. I don’t think there are any clear-cut favorites. I think every Friday you’re going to have to compete to get a win.’’

Westover

Coach: Ernest King

Spring record: 1-5

Top returning players: Josh Jones, QB, Jr.; Jamari Stallions, WR, Sr.; Joel McLaurin, RB/WR, Jr.; Remington Workman, LB, Sr.; Twan Anderson, LB, Sr.; Kaivaughn Spence, WR, Sr.; Justin Frazier-Tomlin, WR, Jr.

Promising newcomers: Floyd Wall, LB, Jr.; Damodrick Foster, LB, Jr.; Jaden Johnson, WR, Jr.; Iyrek Wakely, DB/WR, Jr.

Coach’s comment: “Very excited about this season and I want to see if our youth has grown up.’’

Conference outlook: “I feel good about the new conference.’’