Andy Hilton and Nathan Epstein on the Sportswrap set (WAVY Video Still)
In spite of a down year in 2017, Lake Taylor should bounce back this year
by Andy Hilton, recruit757
Nathan Epstein and I ran down the top teams in Class 4 for the 757 on the WAVY/FOX 43 Sportswrap, and it looks like another great year is in store.
Last year, King’s Fork surged while Lake Taylor fell back. Many of the same teams should rise to the top again, but the order could be a little different this year.
5. Heritage – George Massenburg’s squad comes off of a 2017 season where they finished 6-4 and lost in the opening round of the playoffs to Deep Creek. Darius Price is now in his senior season and should more than capably lead the offense. They got off on the wrong foot last Friday night against Warhill, but does that say anything about a decline at Heritage or does it say more about Warhill’s rise?
4. Deep Creek – The Hornets shocked almost everyone last year, seemingly coming from nowhere. Many good players graduated and their opponents know not to take the “New Creek” for granted. Coach Andre Twine had the Hornets clicking on all cylinders in his first year as a head coach. Year two should be no different.
3. Lafayette – Coach Andy Linn always gets the most out of his players. Lafayette may have lost their quarterback to graduation, but it’s not star power that drives the Rams to dominate the Bay Rivers District. Class 4 teams can breathe a sigh of relief after the season because Lafayette drops back down to Class 3 in 2019.
2. King’s Fork – the Bulldogs are another team that has to replace key pieces. They reached an all-time high of success by ending Oscar Smith’s 99-game district winning streak in the season finale last fall, and they also made a playoff run. The defensive line, anchored by Jay’ree Hardy and Treyshaun Mitchell will be their biggest asset.
1. Lake Taylor – you can knock ’em down, but they’re tough to knock out. The Titans uncharacteristically fell in the playoff opener against Smithfield in 2017. Most of the key players are back, and Coach Hank Sawyer runs offensive and defensive schemes that are tough to beat when they’re well executed. Running back Malik Newton picked up close to a dozen college scholarship offers after his freshman season, and should prove to be even more of a beast as his high school career wears on.
– Andy Hilton