By: Chris Long and Joel Bryant
After too many months without Heritage Football, tomorrow marks the return of the Huskies. For the first time since opening, Heritage will not be led by Jason McGeorge (@retiredballcoac), who moved on from teaching and coaching into the private sector. Towards the end of last school year, it was announced that former NFL player and NC State grad Dewayne Washington would take the reigns of Husky Football in Coach McGeorge’s place. Washington brings with him a new-look offense and bolstered defense. Add to that a completely revamped starting 22, and you have a dramatically different football team.
The changes in coaches and players have many believing the program will take a big step back this year, while others think the Huskies may be a darkhorse in the Cap 8. So really, no one has any idea of how this season will shape out. Perhaps we will know the answer sooner rather than later as the defending SWAC co-champs Green Hope come to town.
About Green Hope
Green Hope High School, located in Cary, is an unequivocal athletic powerhouse. Their football team is no exception. The Falcons tied Panther Creek for first in the loaded Southwest Wake Athletic Conference last season. Many expect Green Hope to be right back up at the top of the SWAC, as they have not lost many seniors; however, the Falcons did lose rising senior and star cornerback Ridge Ford to Hillside High School in Durham, weakening their secondary.
History vs. Green Hope
Heritage and Green Hope have never faced off.
The following is the discussion segment, where Joel and Chris will debate key aspects of tomorrow’s game.
Chris: Will sophomore quarterback Gunnar Holmberg live up to the hype? Holmberg has never had any in-game varsity experience, but, in his freshman season, he performed extremely well with the junior varsity team that finished the season with an 8-2 record. Many young quarterbacks often start their first varsity season very slowly and progress as the season moves along. Will Holberg start out slowly? Or will he burst out of the gates and have a strong varsity campaign that will lead the team to a winning record?
Joel: The biggest question about this football team is easily how our new offensive and defensive lines will fare against a solid Green Hope team. Honestly, both lines have never been a strength of our football team, and it will be hard to change that this season with the lack of experience of the younger players.
Player Who Will Have Biggest Impact
C: Parker George. As a kicker last year on varsity, George was not perfect, but he showed lots of promise. Being that this game is the first of the year, the offense will most likely not be scoring loads of touchdowns, and the three points from field goals could be the difference in the game.
J: Jalen Pittman. The wide receiver and special teams ace is set to have a huge junior year after turning heads at the JV level. Pittman is a top-notch athlete and a bona-fide playmaker who could have a huge day against Green Hope’s secondary.
C: Green Hope 23, Heritage 17. First year coach + young team + defending SWAC champions ≠ win.
J: Heritage 34, Green Hope 20. The Huskies prove that they are a viable contender in the Cap 8 and do so with authority.
Location: Heritage High School
Tailgate: 4:30 in student parking lot