2009 prep football season kicks off tonight|Six area teams will be in action

Published 1:22 pm Friday, August 21, 2009

Sports Editor

All three Beaufort County teams will be hosting games as the 2009 prep football season kicks off tonight.
The Washington Pam Pack plays host to the North Pitt Panthers in a 7 p.m. start.
Southside welcomes North Duplin into town, while Northside takes on the Creswell Tigers. The Seahawks and Panthers will kick off their games at 7:30 p.m.
In other games involving area teams, Williamston is home against Ayden-Grifton, while Plymouth takes on Farmville Central at home.
Pam Pack sixth-year coach Sport Sawyer led his team to a 33-12 win over the Panthers last year.
North Pitt, which enjoyed its first winning season in eight years last year and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs, is led by head coach Dave Boal.
Senior Wesley Warren and junior Matthew Rankin will likely split duty at quarterback. They can throw to talented receivers Chris Grimes and Darrian Jones.
“They improved a lot last year,” Sawyer said. “They’re going to spread it out. They have some good athletes.
“I think they’re going to get after it. It’s going to be a good ballgame.”
Washington is 4-4 all-time against the Panthers. North Pitt’s last victory was a 20-13 nod in 2002.
Coach David Hines, in his third year at the helm of the Seahawks, watched his team end a 21-game losing streak with a 34-33 victory over Northside in last year’s season finale.
Hines is hoping Southside, 1-10 last year, can get off to a solid start against the North Duplin Rebels. The Rebels, 6-7 a year ago after going 14-1 the previous season, posted a 35-12 win over Southside last year.
“It’s stiff competition again early,” Hines said. “North Duplin is always tough and they’re going to be well-coached and they’ll have good athletes. It will be a good test for us.
“After that, as I told the guys, we go one week at a time.”
Coach Keith Boyd, entering his fourth year as the Northside head coach, is hoping his team can notch a few more victories this season. The Panthers haven’t had a winning season since 2004 (12-3).
Northside, 2-9 last year, opens the season at home against the Creswell Tigers.
“It’s going to be a tough game,” Boyd said. “They had a really good year last year. We’re definitely not taking them lightly.”
Creswell, led by veteran coach Wayne Rodgers, went 10-2 last year and advanced to the third round of the state playoffs.
The Williamston Tigers, led by 2008 WDN Coach of the Year Asim McGill, would love to pick up where they left off last year. The Tigers rolled to an Atlantic Conference championship, and were the Class 1-A state runners-up.
Williamston, 10-6 last year, opens the season at home against the Ayden-Grifton Chargers.
It’s a good early battle as the Chargers were also successful in the playoffs last year, advancing to the 1-AA Eastern Conference finals and finishing with an 11-4 record.
Veteran coach Robert Cody looks like he’ll have another strong team in this year’s Plymouth Vikings.
Plymouth, which went 9-4 and won its first playoff game last year, opens the season at home against the Farmville Central Jaguars. The Vikings posted a 13-6 win in last year’s meeting.
The Jaguars went 1-10 last year.
Tonight’s Games
North Pitt at Washington
North Duplin at Southside
Creswell at Northside
Ayden-Grifton at Williamston
Farmville Central at Plymouth