BYH to the members of the 514 for going to guard and support our country's illegal international prison at Gitmo in...

Ahlers, Falcons top prep stories

1 of 3

D.H. Conley quarterback Holton Ahlers holds up his Letter of Intent to play at ECU at Tie Breakers Sports Bar on Dec. 20, 2017. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


The Daily Reflector

Monday, December 25, 2017

The prep sports landscape in Pitt County was dominated in 2017 by some big performances — both individually and collectively — on the football field. There were plenty of headlines left to go around, though, for one team’s run to the verge of a state basketball championship and one school’s search for a head football coach.

Here are some of the top stories from the year:

Ahlers ascends: D.H. Conley quarterback Holton Ahlers kicked off the year by committing to East Carolina over N.C. State in January. It turned out he was just getting started putting his name all over 2017.

Once his senior season started, Ahlers helped guide Conley to a 10-1 regular season and its third straight Eastern Carolina 3-A/4-A Conference title. Though the Vikings’ playoff run ended in the second round of the 3-A playoffs, Ahlers constructed a masterful final high school season, tossing a state-leading 61 touchdown passes and producing more than 4,500 total yards passing and rushing.

He was named The Daily Reflector’s all-county offensive player of the year for the second straight season, and was the Associated Press offensive player of the year. He capped the year by signing to play for the Pirates on the first day of the early signing period last week.

Falcons fly: Ahlers and the Vikings commanded their fair share of attention during the season, but across town, another team in the ECC 3-A/4-A was busy earning some attention of its own.

South Central returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2014, breaking multiple program records in the best season in school history. Coach Andy Tew, who won Daily Reflector all-county coach of the year honors, led the Falcons to a 10-3 record to set a new mark for wins in a season. SC also made its first appearance in the third round of the playoffs.

The Falcons boasted the highest-scoring offense in 4-A football, fronted by quarterback Dexter McDuffie, running back Nazir Monroe-Smith and wide receiver Emannuel Lewis, all of whom were all-county selections.

Oh, so close: While South Central’s football team enjoyed a resurgence in the fall, its boys’ basketball team was its same old dangerous self as it made a run at a state championship in the spring.

Coach Chris Cherry’s club spent the early part of 2017 carving its way through conference play en route to an undefeated league record and another conference crown. The Falcons then sliced their way through the first four rounds of the postseason, earning a trip to Fayetteville for the East Regional finals.

SC was cut down by underdog Leesville Road, falling in crushing fashion as the Pride slipped by with a 44-43 win that denied Cherry’s squad a spot in the state finals. The Falcons finished 27-2.

Musical chairs: North Pitt spent part of 2017 doing the same thing it did in 2016: searching for a head football coach.

Former athletic director and head coach Brent Wooten, who led the Panthers in the 2016 season, resigned in June to take a job at Havelock. That led NP to name offensive coordinator Garrett Wingate as interim head coach for a season in which the team went 1-10.

Wingate was the third head coach in as many seasons for the Panthers, and the school is again in search of someone to lead the program as the calendar prepares to turn to 2018.

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

August 16, 2018

Hayes Mahoney’s reputation reached his new high school before he did. Mahoney’s skills on the golf course have provided excitement in the Rose golf program prior to his arrival this school year as a freshman. Preps beat writer Jake Keator spoke with Mahoney about his expectations for…

081618-Hayes Mahoney

August 05, 2018

The J.H. Rose football program is one known for winning conference championships and other titles alike. 

Rose ended with a 3-8 record in 2017 for a serious downturn from the Rampants’ usual winning ways.

With the end of the season came the departure of one senior class and the rise…


August 04, 2018

An early morning at D.H Conley features the light mist of dew on fresh cut grass, birds chirping and the violent sounds of pads crashing together. 

The work ethic of the Vikings is a key piece as to why they remain one of the most feared teams in the 3-A/4-A Eastern Carolina Conference. Their…


August 03, 2018

After ending their 2017 season in the dead center of the 2-A Eastern Carolina Conference, the Ayden-Grifton Chargers look to improve in 2018 with several key returning pieces.

On offense, senior quarterback Blake McLawhorn will continue under center. On defense, senior middle linebacker Ray Darden…


August 02, 2018

A Farmville Central football team that has seen its state title hopes ended in the first round of the playoffs in the past is hopeful to make the leap for a deep playoff run in the immediate future.

The Jaguars ended 2017 with a 5-7 record, and a loss in the opening round of the postseason.…


August 01, 2018

The South Central Falcons ended their 2017 campaign with a 10-3 record, a loss in the third round of the state playoffs to Scotland and a desire to to even more this year.

Like many other squads, SC went back to work Tuesday as the opening week of the 2018 season continued. 

The Falcons and…


July 31, 2018

High school football teams across North Carolina were back in action Monday, as the day marked the first official day of the 2018 football season.

The North Pitt Panthers are ready to open a new chapter on their program, as they look to improve from a 1-10 record in 2017. At the helm of the…


July 26, 2018

In a game that requires concentration and determination, J.H. Rose senior golfer Carter Rains strives to push himself and his game to its full potential every time he steps in the tee box. Preps writer Jake Keator spoke with Rains between rounds at the Carolina’s Golf Association Boys…

072618-Carter Rains

July 19, 2018

If you’re watching a local baseball game, odds are you’ll see Drew Nichols right up front in the batting order. The talented leadoff batter and defensive specialist is no stranger to the pressure of the game. Preps writer Jake Keator spoke with Nichols about growing up playing baseball…


July 12, 2018

Grant Charles Jarman is a multifaceted athlete with a knack for leading a team. He will take the reigns of the Rampants football team as the starting quarterback this season and be a pivotal piece on the baseball diamond as a senior. High School preps writer Jake Keator spoke with Jarman about his…

76 stories in High Schools. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 8
        Next Page»   Last Page»