Powerhouse teams Randleman and Whiteville will meet in the best-of-3 state finals for Class 2-A at Burlington Athletic Stadium. (Bob Sutton/Randolph Record)
This Randleman-Whiteville championship matchup, beginning at 8 p.m. Friday at Burlington Athletic Stadium, is ripe with historical overtones.
Randleman is in the finals for the sixth time in a 11-season span in which the postseason was conducted. The COVID-19 pandemic wiped out most of the 2020 season, including the playoffs.
The Tigers won the 2011 title and then lost in the 2012 finals to Whiteville, were beaten by South Granville in 2015 and fell to North Lincoln in 2019 before claiming last year’s championship against Rutherfordton-Spindale Central.
Whiteville is a regular on the final weekend of the states as well. Since that 2012 meeting with Randleman, the Wolfpack won the 2014, 2015 and 2017 championships in Class 1-A and was the runner-up in 2016. Whiteville returned to Class 2-A to capture the 2018 title.
Whiteville swept Randleman in the 1985 and 2012 finals. Whiteville also won the 2018 state title, beating Ledford.
In 2019, Randleman won at Whiteville in a third-round game when both schools were in the East Region.
There hasn’t been a repeat champion in Class 2-A since North Lenoir in 2005 and 2006.
Randleman fans know their way to Burlington Athletic Stadium, going there last June.
“It’s just a great environment,” coach Jake Smith said. “Our fans, we know how loyal and committed they are.”
Also in Burlington, the Class 4-A series between Charlotte Providence and Pinecrest will be contested beginning at 5 p.m. Friday and again at 11 a.m. Saturday (and maybe Game 3 at 5 p.m. Saturday).
Last year, Class 4-A teams from Reagan and Fuquay-Varina also competed in Burlington. Among the four teams at the site, Randleman fans represented the largest turnout.