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BYH Zoning Commission. Take your chairs and sit in the field by Bostic Sugg in morning or afternoon and tell the...

Chargers aim to improve from 6-6 2017 campaign

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Ayden-Grifton players run drills during practice on August 1, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Friday, August 3, 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 will terrorize opponents. Other names, such as running back Corey Crossen, will provide an air of experience for the Chargers. 

McLawhorn comes off an offseason in which he was crowned champion at a University of North Carolina passing camp in Chapel Hill. Cornwell cited McLawhorn’s consistency as the key to his success. With his passing camp title, fans may see an increase in throw attempts from McLawhorn this season. 

Darden makes his impact with strength and quickness in the middle of the field. As the leader of the defense, he will be critical to the success of the Chargers.

Others have also shown they are looking to make an immediate impact through hard work and grit.

“I think (RB/DB) Michael Webb is going to have a good season, we hope on both sides of the ball and in the return game,” Cornwell said. “He’s going to be a junior and got some playing time last year as a sophomore and had a good season. He’s had a really good offseason as well, so we’re looking forward to him doing some really big things this year.”

While notable players are returning and others are stepping up, the team is dealing with a shortage of depth on its roster. 

“We've worked hard, but the numbers are still a concern,” Cornwell said. “This group here has been working hard, and I think we’re ready to get started.”

The disappointment of a 6-6 regular season, followed by a first-round exit in the playoffs at the hands of Wallace-Rose Hill, 42-3, seems to have evaporated as the sense of a fresh start arrives. 

Experienced seniors and youthful sophomores and juniors will need to mesh for the Chargers to get off on the right foot Aug. 17 when Southside visits Ayden-Grifton. The Chargers’ 2017 season also began with a match-up with Southside, a game in which A-G lost 26-0.

Contact Jake Keator at 252-329-9594 or jkeator@reflector.com and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.

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High Schools

February 16, 2019

GREENSBORO — After two days of intense competition leading up to Saturday night, Ayden-Grifton senior wrestler Ray Darden brought home the state championship crown at 195 pounds during 2-A action at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Darden defeated Will Frady of Smoky Mountain via a 3-2…

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February 16, 2019

With 5:30 left in the fourth quarter on Friday, Ayden-Grifton looked to capitalize on its furious second-half comeback and take its first lead of the night against Greene Central on senior night. 

A quick bucket in transition from Josh Wright tied the game at 46, but a pass between the legs of…

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February 14, 2019

South Central boys’ basketball coach Chris Cherry picked up his 450th career win and the Falcons finished their regular season strong, winning 71-26 on senior night against D.H. Conley. The Falcons got off to a hot start, led by North Carolina commit Day’Ron Sharpe getting a putback…

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February 14, 2019

Farmville Central senior big man Dyquavis Wilkins is nearing the end of his high school basketball career, with just a trip to the playoffs left between him and graduation. Wilkins spoke with preps beat writer Jake Keator about his time with the Jaguars and his future.

Q: How did you get started in…

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February 13, 2019

South Central cruised to its 12th straight victory in front of a packed crowd, and North Carolina head coach Roy Williams, defeating C.B. Aycock, 56-25.

Williams visited Winterville to check in on commit and Falcons superstar forward Day’Ron Sharpe. 

“Coach Williams is a great man,…

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February 13, 2019

College signings continued at J.H. Rose on Tuesday morning, as four more athletes across three sports confirmed where they will be heading to play at the next level.

Former Rose football captain David Sawyer Jr. announced he would sign with Columbia University (N.Y.). The prestigious Ivy League…

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February 10, 2019

Multiple Pitt County high school wrestling teams competed in regional competitions Friday and Saturday. 

North Pitt led the way in the 2-A East Regional, held at Croatan High School, finishing third out of 25 schools with 118 points.

Raheem Jones finished first at 182 pounds after defeating…

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February 09, 2019

D.H. Conley and J.H. Rose swimming teams wrapped up the 2018-19 season at the 3-A state championship finals held at Triangle Aquatics Center in Cary Friday night.

JHR’s girls squad finished 11th with 78 points, highlighted by Madeline Smith winning the title in the 100 freestyle, finishing…

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February 08, 2019

D.H. Conley’s boys basketball team completed a three-game season sweep of crosstown rival J.H. Rose Friday night, defeating the Rampants 76-56.

The Vikings (13-8, 6-4) saw top production from a trio of seniors, including Jahmois Barnhill (18 points) and CJ Johnson (17 points). Gavin Russell…

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February 08, 2019

Friends and family of four South Central athletes packed the school’s media center Thursday afternoon to watch as they announced their college choices.

Falcons football players Markell Gibbs and Myles White, softball and basketball teammates Amaya Evans and Marissa Roach and volleyball…

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