After back to back 9 win season, North Stanly is poised to be even better in 2015 and it won't be all because of running back Antonio Williams.
I spent a little time with the Comets this morning and on the surface, this team has the look of one that could make some noise this season even with a coaching transition as Scott Crisco takes over as head coach for Ralph Jackson who is now at Anson Senior.
Coach Crisco will have 8 starters back on offense.
Of course, everything starts with Antonio Williams who has verbally committed to Wisconsin. Last season, he rushed for 22 hundred yards and 27 TD. In his career, Williams has rushed for over 58 hundred yards and 58 TD. This is his last chance to accomplish one big goal which I will get to later.
While the game plan for most opponents is to stop Williams, this team is now really equipped to be more balanced.
You can start with returning quarterback Noah Crisco. This is his 3rd season of varsity QB experience and the senior is ready to make a mark. Last season, he passed for only 650 yards and 7 TD. That will have to be much better to keep the pressure off Williams.
He has his favorite target back in wide receiver Tyler Reynolds. Last year, he averaged 23 yards per catch and came up with 9 receiving TD.
They have tremendous size up front on the offensive line and will be led by Chad Dennis and Logan Chandler.
Coach Crisco's defense will have 7 starters back and the hope is that experience will make this unit better as they gave up 22 points per game in 2014.
The defensive line will be anchored by the return of Austin Parker and Taylor Chandler. Parker had 33 tackles last season with 4 sacks. Chandler had 39 tackles as a freshman.
Linebacker will be a strength with the return of middle linebacker C.J. Harris. Last season, he racked up 83 tackles. Harris will also be a force on the offensive side of the ball at tight end.
One thing the Comets have never been afraid to do is play freshman and they will do it again with guys like defensive lineman C.J. Clark and defensive back Cameron Davis. Another newcomer to look out for is linebacker/ fullback Will Moore.
Now back to that goal that North wants to accomplish in 2015.
The Comets have lost 21 straight games to rival Albemarle. The Bulldogs had to forfeit last year's win, but on the field, 1993 was the last time North celebrated a win over Albemarle in a 20-0 victory. Could the streak end this year? Albemarle is going thru a coaching change themselves and lost 20 seniors off last year's team so they may be ripe for the pickings.
That is not the only goal this team has, but it is one they want to scratch off the list.
The race for the Yadkin Valley Conference title will be tight with the 2 time defending champs West Montgomery looking like the favorites to win it again, but North Stanly will be right in the thick of the race. They could even be 7-0 or 6-1 by the time the game with the Warriors comes on October 16th.
One thing is for sure, this Comet team is one to watch in 2015.