To the BYH still confused about why voter ID is discriminatory: here is one of many situations: you're 85, spouse and...

'Next man up' for banged-up Jags

South Central to be without starting QB again this week

1 of 2

Farmville Central's Jay Leavelle, left, runs the ball while being defended by Ayden-Grifton's Harrison Paramore during their game at Farmville Friday night. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


The Daily Reflector

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Farmville Central’s football team hits the road for the first time Friday night, making the trip to Greene Central.

That much, head coach Scott Gardner can tell you for sure. What the Jaguars look like when they get there will be anyone’s guess.

The injury bug, which seems to never be looming too far from Gardner’s squad, decided to bite during last week’s 21-7 home loss to Ayden-Grifton. A couple of key injuries out of that game, paired with some lingering nicks and scrapes, has left Gardner scratching his head when it comes to what his lineup will be against the Rams. 

“I don’t know. We’ll find out,” he said before practice Monday. “We’re going to get out here today and piecemeal something together, but I’m not exactly sure what we’re going to do. We’ll get out on the field and compete and move on.”

Starting quarterback Jay Leavelle suffered a broken left hand on the Jaguars’ first drive against A-G and is out indefinitely, though Gardner said it’s possible he could return before the season is over. The QB position likely will be manned by the combination of senior Zach Brady and junior Jaden Johnson for the foreseeable future.

Wide receiver Kam McNeill suffered an ankle against the Chargers and his status is up in the air, as well. Running back Bryan Reid, linebacker Malik Perkins and defensive end Brandon Simmons — all starters — are all either questionable or out for Friday’s game with injuries.

The rash of maladies puts the 2017 season right in line with the last two years in Farmville, where an inability to stay healthy hampered the Jaguars and led to records of 5-7 and 6-6. The last time the Jags made it through a season relatively intact, they went 11-3 in 2014.

“We’re at a small school, and we’ve got top-tier athletes at some positions ... but when you take them off the field, we drop down to a below-average team,” Gardner said. “We’ve got some really good players, but not a whole lot of them, and then you drop down to your next group which is sophomores and freshmen, and the numbers in our school are just not conducive to having injuries. Unfortunately, the last couple of years, we’ve been plagued with them.

“We’ve got the mindset of next man up. We’re going to find somebody to go out there and go play.”

SC’s QBs

Gardner isn’t the only coach in the county with a quarterback that’s on the shelf, but South Central head coach Andy Tew has a much better picture of what his offense looks like without senior Dexter McDuffie.

Junior Caleb Woodley threw for 248 yards and four touchdowns in last week’s 40-7 victory over North Pitt in relief of McDuffie, who is nursing a strained right shoulder. Tew said Monday that McDuffie will also likely miss this week’s contest against Hertford County.

Where the Falcons’ offense is tailored to take advantage of McDuffie’s running ability, it had to be shifted against the Panthers to be more conducive to Woodley’s ability as a pocket passer. That will continue with this week’s preparation for the Bears (2-1).

“Caleb has been the backup all summer and all that kind of stuff, so we know what his strengths are and what Dexter’s strengths are, so it wasn’t a real big mystery once he got in the game and once we knew we were going to have to go with him,” said Tew, whose team is 3-1. “The one thing I really liked to see was in practice all week, the guys really rallied behind him and really believed he could lead them on the field and get them a victory, so the transition and putting him out there (Friday night) was fairly easy.”

Still searching

J.H. Rose, Pitt County’s only winless football team, returned to practice Monday after taking a 54-0 loss Friday night at Havelock.

The Rampants (0-4) struggled mightily against the Rams, falling behind 33-0 at halftime and being shut out for the first time in head coach Dave Wojtecki’s four-plus years at the helm.

Next up is a trip to Franklinton (3-1) for Rose’s final nonconference game of the season, where Wojtecki said he thought his team could begin to right the ship.

“I think we can get a win on Friday and that will boost confidence a little bit, then hopefully go play well against South Central and try to get a streak started after that,” he said Monday night. “I think they know that we have a lot of talent. At some point, we’re going to break through and we’re going to get really good.” 

Contact Jordan Anders at janders@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 or follow @ReflectorJordan on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

High Schools

June 17, 2018

The D.H. Conley football team is known for its spectacular athletes. Fast, physical and athletic are all adjectives often used to describe the Vikings players.

The Vikes finished with an 11-2 record in 2017, led by a perfect 6-0 mark in Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A play. With star quarterback…


June 17, 2018

Ayden-Grifton sophomore Jackson Upchurch knows what it means to work hard and grind to improve at the plate.

Upchurch batted for a .418 batting average, 24 runs, 23 hits and 11 RBIs, which earned him hitter of the year honors for The Daily Reflector’s All-County Baseball Team.…

061018-All County Baseball

June 17, 2018

J.H. Rose senior Hunter Christopher knows how to retire batters.

Christopher had an ERA of just 0.72 in his final season with the Rampants, helping to earn him the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference player of the year honor and The Daily Reflector’s All-County pitcher of the year accolade.…

061018-All County Baseball

June 17, 2018


Zach Byrum, D.H. Conley: Byrum knew how to punish pitchers from the plate in his senior season. He tallied a team-best .378 batting average, and also led the Vikings in runs (35) and hits (31). He also earned 11 RBIs.

Drew Nichols, South Central: The senior once again improved…

061018-All county baseball

June 17, 2018

D.H. Conley baseball coach Jason Mills has shown that he knows how to get the best out of his players, both on and off the field.

The Vikings posted a 21-6 record, along with a 9-3 record in the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference. They spent the season consistently ranked in high regard by…

061018-All County Baseball

June 16, 2018

North Pitt football is ready to turn the corner in 2018.

After a 1-10 season in 2017, the Panthers have a new coach in Greg Watford and they are eager to post a bigger number in the win column.

“It’s been tough out here, especially last year, but we are ready to go out and turn…


June 15, 2018

WINTERVILLE — Pitt County Post 39 put in yet another strong showing Friday night to open the American Legion Showcase Baseball Tournament at Pitt Community College. Post 39 defeated Post 256 of Jacksonville 10-3 to improve to 14-0 this season.

“We had smaller numbers tonight than normal…


June 15, 2018

The J.H. Rose Rampants are used to success. They are accustomed to winning conference titles and playoff games, but after a 3-8 season in 2017, the Rampants are looking to get back to those winning ways. 

The Rampants’ 2018 roster is filled with seniors, ones who head coach Dave Wojtecki…


June 15, 2018

South Central football and track and field athletes Dexter McDuffie and Emannuel Lewis both signed letters of intent to attend The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, respectively, on Thursday afternoon. 

“Obviously they are great…


June 14, 2018

The South Central Falcons are ready to take the next step, the step to a state title.

The Falcons finished with an impressive 10-3 record in 2017, going 5-1 in the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference. 

With the team’s only losses coming at the hands of Southwest Edgecombe on Aug. 31, 28-…

106 stories in High Schools. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 11
        Next Page»   Last Page»