Early showdowns dot Randolph County prep schedules

Asheboro boys’ soccer players celebrate a goal during a game last year, which turned out to be a good season for the Blue Comets (File photo)

High school sports games and matches for the 2022-23 school year begin next week with competitions that count on the records.

For most sports in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, the first date for competition comes Monday (Aug. 15).

Here are a few notable events on early schedules:

 On Aug. 15, Southwestern Randolph travels to Central Davidson in the first boys’ soccer game with Jimmy Walker back in charge as coach of the Cougars. He founded the program and returned to the coaching role this summer for his third different stint in charge of the program.

 Also on Aug. 15, Trinity visits Asheboro in a matchup of two of the stronger boys’ soccer teams from Randolph County based on the 2021 season.

These teams held a combined record of 26-9-4 last year, but they didn’t meet. A rematch is scheduled for Aug. 24 at Trinity.

 Also in the second week of the boys’ soccer season, Asheboro has a non-conference home game with Western Alamance on Aug. 22. Western Alamance is the reigning Class 3-A state champion. Asheboro won 3-0 last August at Western Alamance.

 On Aug. 17, Southwestern Randolph’s volleyball team opens its season at Asheboro. There are numerous storylines there.

For reigning Class 2-A state champion Southwestern Randolph, it’s the season debut.

It’s supposed to be the third match for Asheboro since the return of Kim Black, who’s also a former Southwestern Randolph coach, as the Blue Comets coach.

That match is at North Asheboro Middle School, where the Blue Comets are playing again this season because of renovations on campus.

Asheboro starts the season Aug. 15 at home vs. Trinity and goes the next night to Randleman.

Southwestern Randolph has its first home match Aug. 23 vs. Oak Grove.

 In girls’ tennis, Wheatmore was unbeaten in Piedmont Athletic Conference play last season. The Warriors open this season Aug. 15 at East Davidson. The PAC slate starts with a visit from neighboring Trinity on Aug. 22.

 The Aug. 19 football openers include just one matchup involving two teams from Randolph County. That’s when Randleman goes to Asheboro.

A year ago, Asheboro secured its only victory by winning its opener at Randleman.

Other Aug. 19 football openers for county teams are: Jordan-Matthews at Southwestern Randolph, East Davidson at Providence Grove, Eastern Randolph at Eastern Alamance, Trinity at Chatham Central, West Davidson at Wheatmore.

By Bob Sutton