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Football season brings anticipation

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WAKE FOREST — Football season is only one week away for our local high school teams. Everyone is looking for a big year, especially Wake Forest, who is looking to defend their three straight undefeated 4AA state championships.

The Cougars are obviously the team to beat in the state. They haven’t lost a game since 2015 and have not suffered a defeat in the regular season since 2013. Wake Forest lost star players on both sides of the ball, but that hasn’t stopped them in recent years.

The Cougars will look to have another explosive offense this season with returning starter Maquel Haywood at running back and junior running back Chris Moore getting more touches. Rolesville transfer Noah Douglas will take over as starting quarterback in his senior year. He can make plays with both his arm and his feet.

The NAC 6 conference had a three-way tie for second place last year between Heritage, Wakefield and Rolesville. Two of those teams have new head coaches this year. Wallace Clark will return in his second season to coach the Huskies.

Heritage had a little bit of a drop off between 2017 and 2018. Last season, the Huskies lost two more games than they did the previous year. Heritage is returning most of their top players on offense with Walker Harris entering his senior year at quarterback and both Jalen Campbell and Trey Holloway coming in as senior running backs.

The Huskies are also bringing back Josh Crabtree and Whit Kane as two top level receivers. The biggest question mark for Heritage will be their defense after losing superstar linebacker Drake Thomas to graduation.

Wakefield has a new head coach in James Ward. He and the rest of the Wolverines will rely heavily on senior quarterback Trexler Ivey to lead the way. However, Wakefield will have to find balance on offense while cranking up their defense to go up against the rest of the competitive NAC 6 teams.

Rolesville has a new head coach in Martin Samek, who is a veteran in the arena of high school football. He is looking to bring grit and toughness to the Rams, who are still looking for their first 4A state playoff win in school history.

Franklinton is looking to improve in their second season under head coach Jimmy Williams. The Red Rams went from 4-7 in 2017 to 8-5 last year. Franklinton will try to keep up the competition in the tough Big East conference, while also gearing for their first playoff win in the 3A class.

Check out our Fall Sports Preview tab in today’s edition where you will get inside looks at all of these teams mentioned, including preview stories on East Wake and Knightdale High School. Are you ready for some football?

Marty Simpkins is the sports editor of The Wake Weekly. He can be reached at 919-424-1779 or