Three Wilmington teams set for high school football postseason
Updated: Updated 11/04/2011 03:08 PM
By: Jason Lucas
WILMINGTON -- The first round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4-A State Playoffs will feature a rematch of a Port City rivalry as New Hanover High School hosts Hoggard High School at Legion Stadium Friday Night.
"We were excited to get another shot at them. We won the first game but I feel like we can play a little bit better," remarked Bates Taylor, quarterback for the New Hanover Wildcats
Both Hoggard and New Hanover look to advance past the first round in the 4-A state playoffs for the first time since 2009. Last week, New Hanover Wildcats beat the Hoggard Vikings for the first time in 17 years.
"To me, it's a shot of redemption, a chance to prove ourselves," exclaimed William Johnson IV, a guard for the Hoggard Vikings
The matchup between New Hanover and Hoggard will be great for football fans in Wilmington, but the teams' head coaches feel the NCHSAA's pod system, which is in place to reduce travel, is causing the two teams to play too early in the postseason.
"I'd prefer to see us have us have the opportunity to play people out of conference, advance and get some playoff wins," said Scott Braswell, head coach of the Hoggard Vikings. "I hate it for Wilmington athletics, New Hanover County Schools because that's two very good football teams and one of them is going home a lot sooner than you would expect," explained Kevin Motsinger, head coach of the New Hanover Wildcats
On the 4-AA side Laney High School will travel to face Wakefield High School in its first round matchup.
"I was pretty excited to see their name on the list and I was even more excited it was up at their house. We'll see if we could give them a little payback." said Mike Sheehan, quarterback for the Laney Buccaneers
It's the second year in row Wakefield and the Laney Buccaneers will face each other in the first round. Last year the Buccaneers lost to Wakefield at home 31-28 but they are using their performance against the Wolverines for inspiration.
"I think the motivation is more that we know we can play with them, we're actually pretty excited about going on the road." explained Greg Ditz, head coach of the Laney Buccaneers
Laney is looking to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since it won a state championship in 2001.
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