|Myers Park High opens season as team to beat in Magnificent Seven|
|Mallard Creek second, Vance third in football poll|
|Published Monday, August 12, 2019 10:50 am|
|Myers Park High football opens the season as the top-ranked team in the Magnificent Seven poll.|
Mecklenburg County’s public high schools are two weeks away from the start of football season, and for the first time, Myers Park is atop the rankings.
The Mustangs, who won the Southwestern 4A title in 2018, return a potent offense that can strike from anywhere.
Last year’s top team, Vance, has a new coach in Glenwood Ferebee, who built powerful programs in Virginia’s Tidewater area. While the Cougars are breaking in a new quarterback, the defense is good enough to keep them in the hunt while the offense is sorted.
Mallard Creek took a step back from the county’s dominant team in 2018 and faded with a loss to Vance in the 4AA playoffs. The Mavericks still have a championship coach in Mike Palmieri, but can they get back to that level?
The preseason rankings:
1. Myers Park: The Mustangs have the county’s best quarterback in Drake Maye and a top-shelf receiver in Muhsin Muhammad III. If the defense plays to the offense’s capability, Myers Park is in the hunt for a state championship.
2. Mallard Creek: The Mavericks are a perennial entry in the Magnificent Seven, and still a state power. Falling short of the championship round should be all the inspiration coach Mike Palmieri’s crew should need in 2019.
3. Vance: Glenwood Ferebee, who built competitive programs in Virginia’s Tidewater area, should be right at home in the I-Meck 4A, North Carolina’s toughest league.
Senior linebacker Power Echols, aside from having the coolest name in high school football, is also one of the area’s best players.
4. Hough: We’ll find out how good Matthew Jenkins’ team when the Huskies square off against Butler in the season opener on Aug. 23. It won’t get much easier once the I-Meck slate kicks in.
5. Butler: Brian Hales’ squad has one of the better backs in the county in 6-1, 210-pound senior Jamal Worthy, who will be key to the offense.
6. Ardrey Kell: With 15 starters returning from a team that went 5-2 down the stretch last year, new coach Greg Jachym has the building blocks to succeed in his maiden campaign.
7. West Charlotte: Second-year coach Joshua Harris led the Lions to a surprising 7-6 record and a win in the 4A playoffs.
Tailback Iwuan Jackson, who rushed for 1,174 yards on 156 yards as a junior, is a dynamic runner.
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