WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– The New Hanover County 5th quarter season preview starts with the defending Mideastern Conference champions the Hoggard Vikings.
Hoggard went 10-2 last season before falling to Pinecrest in the 3rd round of the Class 4A State Playoffs. The Vikings will look a bit different in 2019, as they lost their leading rusher and top three receivers to graduation. They aren’t worried though, their head coach has challenged the senior class to keep the tradition alive.
“I told them they need to make this team their own and start us off strong,”said Hoggard head coach Craig Underwood. “We have a really tough schedule to start the season and I’m excited to see how those guys handle those early tough games.”
Hoggard will begin their 2019 regular season on the road at Scotland County on August 30th.
The New Hanover Wildcats will be under a brand new head coach in 2019, with Dylan Dimock taking over the Wildcats after spending time at Hoggard.
The Wildcats are coming off yet another successful season, where they finished with a 9-4 record, but they do lose the counties All-Time leading passer in Blake Walston. You can expect to see some changes in the New Hanover offense in 2019. One thing you can count on is them running the football with Jabez Howard returning and the transfer of Ashley High School standout Mikai Stanley.
“We will probably run the football a little bit more, I feel like we’ve got a stable of pretty good running backs,”said New Hanover head coach Dylan Dimock. “If we can throw it we will and if they let us run a soft box we will run it.”
New Hanover will open up their 2019 regular season on the road at West Carteret on August 23rd.
The Laney Buccaneers were the first team to hit the practice field this fall for their annual Midnight Madness and they are hoping it pays off this season. The Bucs are coming off a season where they ended the year 4-7 and 5th in the Mideastern Conference.
Laney lost a talented group of senior from 2018, which was lead by quarterback Sherod Sidbury. So, they will have to rely a lot on younger players in key situations headed into the fall. Their confident if they stick together on and off the grid iron good things will follow.
“I think our seniors have been doing a good job of trying to instill a certain mentality in a lot of our kids because it is a test every single week,”said Laney head coach Ashaad Yeoman. “If we stick together and we trust the process I think we’ll be fine.”
Laney will open up their 2019 season on the road as well taking on Northside-Jacksonville on August 23rd.
Their will be a new head coach taking over the Ashley High School football program in 2019. Wilson Helms takes over for Jeff Turner after the Eagles went 3-7 in 2018. Ashley will have some new players taking meaningful snaps this fall with 19 seniors graduating last season.
The Eagles return starting quarterback Joshua Ward for his senior season after his started in every game last season, but do lose 1,000 yard running back Mikai Stanley to transfer. Their new head coach knows it’s a process anytime you take over a new program, but he’s ready to put his team to work.
“We are going to go out there focused on what we can control and not worry about those things that you cant,”said Ashley head coach Wilson Helms. “Our goal is to get these kids in the right mindset and making sure we are practicing the right way in every rep that we do.”
Ashley begins their 2019 season on the road at Three Rivers powerhouse South Columbus on August 23rd.