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A few early tidbits — the things you get from the unique at-your-finger-tips/extensive record-keeping of Chris Hobbs, HobbsDailyReport.com’s founder — while he’s hard at work on completing 2016’s high school football statistics (all totals are unofficial):
SOUTHERN DISTRICT 7 ATHLETIC 2A
— Four players in the Southern District 7 Athletic 2A averaged more than 100 rushing yards per game last season – Maiden senior Caleb Farley (206.7), Lincolnton senior Xavier McClain (148.9) and these underclassmen who will return this season – Tylor Stinson of Newton-Conover (147.3) and Jeremy Boyce of West Caldwell (106.5).
— The top two quarterbacks in the Southern District 7 Athletic 2A last season won’t be back at their schools.
Cordel Littlejohn of Lincolnton, who threw for nearly 3,700 yards and 50 scores, will play his senior season at Roswell (Ga.) High, while Marcus Graham of East Lincoln, who threw for a bit more than 2,200 yards and 25 TDs, plans to play at Mallard Creek High.
— The top four receivers in the Southern District 7 Athletic 2A last season combined for 285 catches for 5,142 yards and 59 TDs and three of them were from Lincoln County – Sage Surratt (Lincolnton), Cameron Dollar (East Lincoln) and Langdon Givens (Lincolnton). They’ve all graduated.
— Hickory quarterback Darrien Phillips returns after rushing for 548 yards and six scores and throwing for a league-best 1,713 yards with 22 TDs.
— Patton had four underclassmen last season who combined to rush for 4,357 yards on 536 carries (8.12 yards per carry) and a combined 46 TDs – Joe Eakin, William Brawley, Ty Causby and Traveon Lytle.
FROM THE NEW CONFERENCES FOR 2017…
NORTHWESTERN FOOTHILLS 2A
(Bunker Hill, Draughn, E. Burke, Fred T. Foard, Hibriten, Patton, W. Iredell)
— Best candidate for player in the league with the most appropriate last name – Draughn wide receiver Kimoni Money, who last season had 11 catches for 89 yards.
SOUTH FORK 2A
— Most rushing TDs among returning players from last season – Newton-Conover RB Tylor Stinson (21) and Bandys RB Ethan Howard and Newton-Conover RB-QB Shamar Baker (7 each).
— Skill player to watch: Jaheim Mullen of Newton-Conover, who last season had 42 catches for 448 yars and three TDs… his 42 catches tops returning pass-catchers in the new conference.
(3A: Alexander Central, Freedom, Hickory, St. Stephens, Watauga, W. Caldwell; 4A: McDowell, S. Caldwell)
— The top four rushers, all clearing 1,000 yards, who are back this season are: Bryson Godfrey of Alexander Central (124.7 yards per game), Jeremy Boyce of West Caldwell (106.5), Devon Weiss of Alexander Central (100.0) and C.J. Hayden of Freedom (86.5). Those four combined for 55 rushing TDs.
— The top four passers who are back this season, all having thrown for at least 1,200 yards a year ago are: Darrien Phillips of Hickory, Jason Martin of South Caldwell, Gunnar Anderson of Alexander Central and Ben Ballew of McDowell.
— The top five pass-catchers returning, all of whom averaged at least 44.1 yards per game receiving are: Teavius Henry of St. Stephens (77.0), Jaekwon Staten of Hickory (70.7), Elijah Brooks of West Caldwell (51.4), Kevin Shuford of Hickory (45.9) and Austin Raynor of South Caldwell (44.1). Shuford’s 11 TD catches is best among all returnees.
You’ve just enjoyed a quick-hit look at 2017 high school football — the first of many to come — at HobbsDailyReport.com. Varsity football practices begin on Monday, and the first games are Aug. 18.
Chris Hobbs — with the co-operation of newspapers ranging from those in Forest City, Gastonia, Hendersonville, Lenoir, Lincolnton, Shelby and many others — has kept complete team stats (i.e., team rushing, defense against the run, turnover ratio, etc.) on virtually all of the area high school football teams/conferences for each of the previous 37 seasons.
He started team stats with the Southern District 7 2A in 1980 — which for many, many years was the only conference in the state with such detailed stats — and then expanded that. Hobbs added compiling individual statistics — for all players on all of the teams — in 1995 and plans on doing so for the 23rd consecutive season in 2017.
None of the (unofficial) statistics you will see at HobbsDailyReport.com could be compiled without the help of football coaching staffs for the last three-plus decades and from the newspapers mentioned above (who receive copies of the stats). Without the help of many, many different individuals, stat packages from hundreds of games each year would be an impossible task.