New eras, altered schedules greet teams for start of football season in Randolph County

Returning Randleman defenders, here converging on a Southwestern Randolph player last year, include, from left to right, Thomas Dobias, Gregory Price, Bryson Atkins and Tanner Gneiting. (Randolph record file photo)


The high school football season starts Friday night. Here are a few items of note involving Randolph County teams:

** Asheboro, Providence Grove and Trinity play under first-year coaches.

Asheboro’s Calvin Brown came from Providence Grove to take the coaching role.

Asheboro’s non-conference slate has been slightly rearranged, though four of the five non-conference opponents are from within Randolph County. The change from the past couple of years comes because Wheatmore dropped off the schedule and was replaced by Albemarle.

That came at Wheatmore’s request and it was a development prior to Asheboro’s coaching change. Asheboro’s only 2022 victory came against Wheatmore.

** Providence Grove and Trinity start these new eras on the road.

David Hayes is the first-year coach at Providence Grove, where the past two seasons were particularly strong.

Bear Bradley has taken over at Trinity after leaving a similar position at Southern Guilford.

** Randleman begins the season at home against Thomasville. This will be the first meeting between the teams since Randleman won in 2016.

The series is tied at 3-3.

This is the first time since 2010 that the Tigers open a season against an opponent from outside Randolph County.

** Southwestern Randolph began last season 2-0 but neither of those opponents (Jordan-Matthews and South Stanly) are on the Cougars’ schedule this year. Instead, Southwestern Randolph opens with road games against Western Guilford and North Moore before an open week and then a home opener Sept. 8 vs. McMichael.

The Cougars haven’t played Western Guilford, which was winless last year, since 2016 and will take on North Moore for the first time since 2010.

** The most compelling opening-night clash perhaps comes in Ramseur, where Eastern Randolph will face visiting Eastern Alamance.

These teams have split openers the past two years, each winning at home. These teams have combined for a 42-7 record the past two seasons and have held high seeds for the state playoffs.

** Wheatmore has won a total of seven games the past three seasons. Six of those triumphs have come in road games.


Prep football — Week 1

Friday night’s games

Albemarle at Asheboro

Thomasville at Randleman

Eastern Alamance at Eastern Randolph

Providence Grove at East Davidson

Southwestern Randolph at Western Guilford

Trinity at Starmount

Wheatmore at West Davidson

By Bob Sutton