GASTONIA – One preseason poll released on Monday predicts not much will change this season in South Fork 2A high school football.
The Gaston Gazette’s preseason poll, compiled from responses by the league’s head coaches, predicts the same four teams to finish in the top four spots but does project a different order of finish in second, third and fourth place.
Coaches voted defending conference champion Maiden — 11-1 overall and unbeaten (7-0) in league play in the first year of the South Fork 2A — to repeat as conference champion.
The 2-3-4 teams are Lincolnton, East Lincoln and Newton-Conover. A year ago, Newton-Conover (9-3, 6-1) finished second, East Lincoln (6-6, 5-2) was third and Lincolnton (6-7, 4-3) was fourth.
The newspaper’s poll projected West Lincoln to finish fifth, Bandys and North Lincoln to tie for sixth, and Lake Norman Charter to finish eighth.
Bandys (5-7, 3-4) finished fifth last season, West Lincoln (4-8, 2-5) finished sixth, North Lincoln (2-9, 1-6) took seventh and Lake Norman Charter (3-8, 0-7) finished eighth.
Three South Fork 2A teams have new head coaches this season – Steven Pack left North Lincoln to guide Newton-Conover, Tom Patton moved from Patton to Bandys and Nick Bazzle, former head coach at Newton-Conover and Alexander Central, returns to coaching at North Lincoln.
SOUTH FORK 2A PRESEASON POLL
(as conducted by The Gaston Gazette)
3. E. Lincoln
5. W. Lincoln
6. (tie) Bandys, N. Lincoln
8. Lake Norman Charter
OPENING GAMES FOR SOUTH FORK 2A TEAMS
School-by-school schedules: (https://hobbsdailyreport.com/high-school-football-2018/2018-hs-football-schedules-south-fork-2a-varsity/)
Bandys – Aug. 17, St. Stephens
E. Lincoln – Aug. 17, Forestvew
Lake Norman Charter – Aug. 17, at SouthLake Christian
Lincolnton – Aug. 17, Stuart Cramer
Maiden – Aug. 17, Fred T. Foard
Newton-Conover – Aug. 17, at Bunker Hill
N. Lincoln – Aug. 17, Thomas Jefferson Academy
W. Lincoln – Aug. 17, at Draughn
KEY PLAYING DATES FOR SOUTH FORK 2A TEAMS
Conference week-by-week schedule: https://hobbsdailyreport.com/high-school-football-2018/2018-hs-football-schedules-south-fork-2a-varsity-week-by-week/
Newton-Conover at Lincolnton, Sept. 21
E. Lincoln at Lincolnton, Sept. 28
Maiden at E. Lincoln, Oct. 19
Maiden at Newton-Conover, Oct. 26
Lincolnton at Maiden, Nov. 2
Newton-Conover at E. Lincoln, Nov. 2