Two local schools are still alive in the 1A state playoffs for football, but for everyone else, the winter sports schedule is under way.
The continued presence of Mount Airy and East Surry on the gridiron means those teams’ basketball and wrestling campaigns are on hold until the season is completed. However, Surry Central and North Surry have completed their football seasons and are already well into preparations for winter sports.
North Surry’s girls, who are hoping to improve on last year’s 26-6 season by winning one more game and claiming the 2A state championship in March, begin their season on Friday in the 29th annual Mary Garber Classic against Mount Tabor. The Classic, which consists of 16 teams in two eight-team brackets, will be contested on Nov. 18, 20 and 22 at various sites around Winston-Salem. The Lady Hounds will then be right back in action on Nov. 24-25 at the Headliner’s Challenge in High Point.
The North boys will also compete in that High Point event, opening their season on the 24th against Westchester Country Day and then playing Glenn the next evening.
Surry Central, which didn’t make the football playoffs this season, has been on schedule for practice with all hands available since day one. On Saturday, the Golden Eagles will host a Tip-Off Jamboree opening at 4 p.m. The Central JV boys, JV girls, and varsity boys will all compete in scrimmage games against alumni teams.
Surry Central boys and girls players will participate in Hot Shot and NBA Skills Challenge competitions for bragging rights.
The games begin at 4, with the JV boys playing a team of alumni. The Hot Shot Challenge will take place at 5, followed by the NBA Skills Challenge at 5:30. At 6:15, two teams of Lady Eagles’ alumni will play. The current year’s teams will be introduced at 7:30, and at 8, the varsity boys will play an alumni team.
Central plays its first official game on Tuesday at Trinity High School, but won’t play again until after Thanksgiving.
Admission to this event is free, but donations will be accepted for the Foothills Food Pantry.
As is often the case, Mount Airy anticipates an extended run in the state 1A football playoffs and will not begin its basketball season in earnest until the Bears complete their gridiron campaign. Several key members of Coach Levi Goins’ team, including second-leading scorer and top rebounder Donavon Greene, are not currently available to even practice due to their football commitments.
However, Mount Airy has already completed two scrimmages, one for the boys at High Point Westchester on Nov. 7, and the annual Lady Bear Jamboree four days later, where fans got their first look at the defending state champions. On Nov. 21, the boys will scrimmage at home against Starmount.
If the football season is over by then, the Bears will play their first real games on Dec. 1 at Surry Central.
East Surry, which has a new boys’ coach this season in David Johnson, is tentatively slated to begin its 2017-18 season on Nov. 27 at East Wilkes. Interestingly, the outcome of a Friday night football game between the two schools might impact this; they are playing each other in a playoff game, and for the Nov. 27 date to come off, the winner will have to lose in the following round.
Schedules for these sports are not nearly as affected by football as the basketball schedules are; many wrestlers on the teams play football, but early-season matches usually go off shorthanded rather than be postponed.
East Surry, which has the state’s premier traditional 1A girls swimming program, will host Elkin and Starmount this evening at 6 p.m. at the Armfield Center, opening its 2017-18 season. On Monday, the Cardinals will host South Stokes. The East wrestling team will hit the mats for the first time next Tuesday, against Elkin and North Stokes at Elkin.
Mount Airy’s swim team held a scrimmage on Monday and will begin its season this coming Monday at home against Bishop McGuinness, but then won’t swim again until Dec. 1. The Bears’ wrestling team, which could be one of the top contenders for the 1A dual-team title, has scheduled aggressively. The team will open up with a tri-meet at Wilkes Central tonight, then wrestles in the Perry Lloyd Invitational, an individual tournament at Elkin, on Saturday, and travels to Winston-Salem on Tuesday for a tri-meet with R.J. Reynolds and Voyager Academy.
Surry Central opens its wrestling season on Saturday at the Perry Lloyd Invitational, then competes in the Davidson/Surry Duals at North Surry on Tuesday. The team actually started its swim campaign on Wednesday against North Surry, but won’t swim again until the 29th, when Central hosts Walkertown and West Stokes at Armfield.
The Greyhounds’ next swim meet after Wednesday will take place on Dec. 2 against South Stokes at the Stokes YMCA. North Surry wrestling, which has won or shared several conference titles in a row, began its season on Tuesday against North Wilkes, and competes again on Saturday at the Perry Lloyd in Elkin.
Reach John via Twitter at @johncate73.