Need a football State Championship? We can get you one, while in days of old, Northern Guilford doesn’t make the playoffs, but with a “Gut-Check”, they WIN again…

Posted by Andy Durham on December 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm under High School | 13 Comments to Read

We were late getting back to town from Raleigh last night, stopped along the way on the Haw River, at the
Sheetz in Mebane, where by the size of the crowd, it looked like the 3-AA Football Championship party was ensuing and after that brief stop at one of the celebration sites, we got into Greensboro sometime after midnight and got home just before 1am and therefore the reason for the “Sunday Afternoon Rewind”….

To me, if you want a high school football State Championship this site is the place to come…We have broadcast the games on GreensboroSports Radio and other affiliates on the AM radio dial and over the past 8 seasons, we have 8 Titles in 8 years….Eight Championships in eight years? Yes and we have been there and you can still hear the replay of Northern Guilford’s 2014 Championship here at the site…This game will run non-stop, at least until next Thursday…

The titles go like this, with Northern Guilford bringing the Gold back home in 2010, 2011, 2012 and now 2014….Dudley got the Gold in 2007, 2008 and last year in 2013, while the Page Pirates brought the 4-AA Title back to town in 2011…..Northern 3-AA all the way, Dudley two titles at the 3-AA level and one on the 4-A grid and Page like we were saying, at 4-AA play….

Not sure what it means and may not mean a thing until maybe 20-30 years down the road when somebody is looking for a piece/nugget of local sports lore/history, but we were there and we called them all, 8 Titles over the past 8 years and we take a team approach to these games, so at times, our game prep and warmups are almost as taxing and wearing as what the teams face…..Well maybe not, but it does make for some good conversation….

Back from the stop last night/Saturday night along the Haw River, at the Sheetz store down in Mebane and did you know that back in the old days, when C.K. Siler(Sumner/Southern Guilford), Bill Slayton(Southeast Guilford) and Doug Henderson(Western Guilford) were coaching; back in the 70’s and the 80’s, the only team that made the high school football playoffs, was the Conference Champion….And that was the 1970’s and the 1980’s and not when our three aforementioned coaches were in their 70’s and 80’s, those men were much younger then….

I remember being around some of those teams as a player and we never got a sniff of the playoffs, because we finished second in the conference every year and only the Conference Champ got to go to the playoffs back then and our Conference Champ(Ragsdale), usually ended up winning the State Title….

Which leads me into modern-day history and that shows/tells us that under the format of the ‘old days’, Northern Guilford does not even make/qualify for the playoffs/post-season this year in 2014….Eastern Alamance won the 2014 Mid-State 3-A Conference Title at (8-0) and Northern finished second at (7-1), so under the old playoff format, the Northern Guilford Nighthawks(15-1) do not get in, in 2014….

But all of these illustrations are used to tell a story and if you have followed us for any length of time at all here at the site, you know how we operate….

“I just said that to say this”, right???

You have to give the Northern Guilford Nighthawks a lot of credit, they didn’t even win their conference and they still won the State Title/Championship…..Not too shabby at all…..

How did Northern grab their fourth Title in five years on Saturday night???

To me, this one was a real “Gut-Check”….

The score at halftime was 14-7 Northern and the score at the end of the game was 14-7 Northern….If you don’t give up/allow points then you win the football games….There was always the answer that the “real” smart guy had for us when you inquired, “Who won the game?”….And the “Smart Guy” would reply/answer, the team with the most points…..Last night the team with the most did win again, and the real story was the team with most points, refused to give up points, when it mattered the most….

Northern Guilford went through a “Gut-Check” when they lost C.J. Freeman to a second quarter leg injury and without their top RB, the Nighthawks had to look toward other sources to lead the way….

Kids like Nick Fryer and Daniel Kelly really stepped up….

Fryer and Kelly didn’t run for huge gains when they filled in for C.J. Freeman in the offensive backfield, but they did eat up key minutes off of the clock and that is just what the doctor ordered, when he told Freeman he could not return….Fryer, Kelly, Cam Harris and Mook Reynolds kept the offense moving just enough to keep that clock rolling and the defense with Fryer, Harris, Quashie, Kelly, Reynolds, Tre Marsh, Hunter Wade, Jeremiah McCoy, Tucker Hord and many more Nighthawks were up to the task and when it came time for a stop, they got that stop and in the end, they stopped Weddington’s upset bid….

The Nighthawk defense kept Weddington off of the scoreboard in the second half and in true “Gut-Check” fashion that is what it took to get the job done on Saturday night in Raleigh and Northern Guilford was able to bring home their fourth 3-AA State Title….

Loads of State Titles, a look back at the days when you were lucky to even get into the playoffs and a “Gut-Check” leads to a win in 2014……

Not a bad way to share our “Sunday Afternoon Rewind”……….


  • NWGHS fan said,

    Are you sure that only conference champs made the playoffs back in the 70’s/80’s? Surely not as many teams made the playoffs as these days, but I think there had to be teams that were not conference champs, so that the brackets would be filled; I don’t recall any teams receiving 1st round byes.

  • Andy Durham said,

    Positive, the Conference Champs got in and that was it….Not sure how many teams total were in, but they only had four rounds and not five as they do today….

    Henderson, Siler and Slayton would confirm and maybe Kirby too…

  • Andy Durham said,

    Around 1985 would have been the end-all year when only the Conference Champ got to go to the playoffs….

    from Rick Strunk with the NCHSAA:

    I believe the answer to your question is 1985. For four years (81-84) the NCHSAA experimented with what was called “Division II” playoffs, for conference runners up, and they didn’t even all end with a culminating championship game but they played some postseason games.

    After that, starting in 1985, there was no more Division II and the playoff field was expanded, as i understand it, allowing teams other than just the conference champions to go to the playoffs in football.

    *****Research courtesy of Bill Ahrens*****

  • TimHolleman said,

    Andy that is correct in 1981 was the first year of the Division ll playoffs. Eastern Guilford finished tied with Ragsdale for the Mid State 3A conference championship. Ragsdale got the spot in Division l by virtue of beating EG head to head. Ragsdale faced Burlington Williams in the first round of Division l and lost. Williams went on to win the State championship. EG, coached by Tommy Grayson, went on to win the Division ll East title, beating Burlington Cummings, West Brunswick, and Bertie County and finishing with a 12-1 record. I believe a couple of seasons later SE Guilford also won a Division ll title.

  • Nighthawk Mom said,

    Hey Andy, I have now listened to the radio broadcast. How can I get a copy of the audio? Is this the same one that will be on the TV replay also? I am DVRing that on channel 323 Tuesday at 5 PM. Thanks for all your good work in our sports community! Go Nighthawks!

  • Andy Durham said,

    I am going to have to connect you with out Tech Man Don Moore for the audio copy of the game….The audio on the TV game will be the Time Warner crew….

    We will work to get you that audio copy and thanks for listening….

  • Andy Durham said,

    Good info on Eastern Guilford on to the DII Title and SEG must have been coached by Richard Kemp when they took their DII Crown…Hard to get in the playoffs back then and I still lay awake at night sometimes just thinking back to those days and what might have been, if we could have just got in….Hey maybe that keeps us dreaming about the past, while trying to cope with the present and preparing for/awaiting the future….

  • State champs said,

    Here’s a shout out to all the young men who put in the sweat and work at northern to be state champs. Great job. You have memories for a lifetime!!!! Great season!!!

  • State champs said,

    opps. SWEAT….. technology challenged.

  • Andy Durham said,

    We got that “t” in there for you for technology and for the sweat….

  • State champs said,

    Thanks Andy. And looking back I remember being a starter on a 9-1 team that didn’t make the playoffs. Only one went and that was 1979 and Southern went 10-0 and goes on to win state. Still wonder today what if because we were a very talented team. I think 5 or 6 played division 1. In the end it’s all about memories and fellowship you can never get back.

  • Update Says said,

    Not sure which Southern you are talking about –just to clarify — if you are talking about SG — they did not win a state championship in 1979, but they were very good!

  • 77 Hornet said,

    Southern lost the East in 1971.