Despite heavy graduation losses and a coaching change since making it all the way to the NCHSAA 1AA state championship game last year, Mount Airy’s football team is still getting considerable attention in the preseason.
On Tuesday, NCPreps.com, a media source which has covered North Carolina high school football since the early 1990’s, announced its preseason 2018 All-State team, and named the Granite Bears’ Donavon Greene as one of the 13 members of the offensive squad. Greene, one of only three players from a 1A team to make the team on either side of the ball, caught 46 passes for 1,138 yards and 16 touchdowns last season in helping Mount Airy to a 14-1 season that ended with a loss to Tarboro in the state finals.
The rosters for the offense and the defense were both dominated by players from large schools in the metro Raleigh and Charlotte areas. The only other representatives of a 1A team were long-snapper Drew Little and defensive lineman C.J. Clark, both of North Stanly High School.
Greene is rated as a four-star college recruit by most national scouting services, and has received numerous college scholarship offers from nationally prominent universities, including all six Division I FCS teams in North Carolina, traditional college powers Notre Dame and Tennessee, and Georgia Tech and South Carolina as well. Greene made a soft commitment to Duke on March 3, but decommitted on May 22 and reopened his recruitment. On June 24, he chose Wake Forest. Greene has said he will likely choose to graduate from MAHS early, and join the Demon Deacons in January of 2019.
However, before he does, he will play one final season at Wallace Shelton Stadium, and another high school football news agency, Carolina Gridiron.com, thinks Greene can help the new-look Bears be as good as they were a year ago.
On Wednesday morning, the site released its preseason top 15 polls for each classification, and while they chose Tarboro as the state’s top 1A team, they selected Mount Airy at No. 2. The Bears’ Northwest 1A Conference rivals from East Surry came in 13th.
The Bears and Cardinals are both embarking on their 2018 seasons under the tutelage of new head coaches, but prognosticators don’t expect either to miss a beat. At Mount Airy, longtime head coach Kelly Holder retired and was replaced by East Wilkes head coach Jasson Adkins, who had built a strong program at that school. East Surry’s David Diamont stepped down in Pilot Mountain with 293 career wins and was replaced by Trent Lowman, who had been the head coach at Bandys High School in Catawba for many years.
Mount Airy, East Surry, East Wilkes (14th in 1A), and East Forsyth (13th in 4A) were the only teams in the region to rank in the preseason.
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