Sunday, July 31, 2011

The 2011 Preseason Sweet 16 Football Poll: No. 16

NOTE: Each day, the Observer will unveil a team ranked in its Sweet 16 football poll. We begin today with No. 16, Albemarle. Monday (Aug. 1) at 3 p.m, the No. 15 team will be unveiled and each day at 3 p.m. a new team will follow.

By Brett Honeycutt

Despite a team that returns less than half of its starters, Albemarle should still be in the hunt to win its sixth state title in 11 seasons and opens this year as No. 16 in the Observer's Sweet 16.

"We're going to be a lot younger and inexperienced," said Albemarle coach Danny Akins, whose team won its second straight 1AA state championship last season but will be without quarterback Nat Dunlap, who was the MVP of the state championship game after passing for three touchdowns.

Graduation left only six returnees on offense and four on defense, but those returning are quality players, including several who missed portions of last season because of injury.

Returning are Desi Dockery, who led the team in receiving and had two touchdown catches in the state championship game, fullback Trenton Stanback, and outside linebacker Freddie Parker, the defensive MVP of the N.C. 1AA championship game and winner of the 100 meters at the N.C. 1A track championships, will lead the Bulldogs.

Also returning are Hunter Williams and Yakeem Carpenter, who missed most of last season with injuries.

Williams, a wide receiver, missed most of the season with a broken collarbone, and Carpenter, a senior defensive tackle, is back after getting hurt early in the season and returning the last game of the regular season.

ALBEMARLE: A quick look
Last year: 12-4, 5-2 Yadkin Valley (N.C. 1AA state champions)
What's new: Coach Danny Akins will have to replace more than half the defense, but the key is the offense, which has six returning from a team that averaged 39.3 points per game in its last nine games.
Three to watch:
WR Desi Dockery (5-8, 160), Sr. Leading receiver for an explosive offense.
OLB Freddie Parker (6-0, 190), Sr. Was defensive MVP in state championship game and won the 100 meters at 1A state track championships in May.
FB Trenton Stanback (5-11, 190), Sr. Stanback will be looked at to help lead a stout running attack.
Bet you didn't know: Parker was the first ever boy from the school to win the 100 meters at the state championships and only eighth ever to win a state championship in track.
Preview analysis: Forfeited three games last season, but ended with a nine-game winning streak including the Bulldogs' second straight 1AA state title. Despite the adversity, the resilience shown last season should help Albemarle challenge again. 
Schedule: Aug.: 19, West Stokes; 26, West Stanly; Sept. 2, at North Stanly; Sept.: 9, at Mt. Pleasant; 16, at Chatham Central; 23, West Montgomery; 30 at South Davidson; Oct.: 7, North Rowan; 14, at East Montgomery; 21, North Moore; 28, South Stanly.


Anonymous said...

Does Langston still write for the paper? Is Christian going to be picked 1 in the Sweet 16, but as always, end up 3rd in the CISAA?

chris said...

its past 3pm!! who is # 15?

Anonymous said...

it's 5pm and still no #15