Looking Back at ‘Where We Were in the HS Football Playoffs’, 25 years ago!!!!!

The year was 1997, and our high schools that remained in the NCHSAA Football hunt, as we hit Thanksgiving Week that year, included Northeast Guilford, Dudley and Western Guilford…

We had Dudley at Western Guilford on Thanksgiving Weekend, and on that Friday in November of 1997, just 25 years ago, Dudley led by their prized running back, Braxton Williams, came over to the higher seeded Western Guilford Hornets, and knocked off the favored WG team…

Western was coached by Charlie Griffin back then, and Dudley was led by their head coach, Michael Ferguson…With Dudley getting the upset win, the Panthers had stolen away the higher-seeded team’s spot in the brackets, and now would be hosting the Northeast Guilford Rams, coached by Tommy Pursley…

NEG would travel over to Tarpley Stadium on that first Friday night in December of 1997…The week before, over at Western Guilford HS, and on Thanksgiving Friday, it was warm and very pleasant to be out-of-doors, and watching a very competitive high school football playoff game…But, on that first Friday night in December of 1997, it was bitter cold over at James B. Dudley High School, and we all nearly froze our rear ends off…

The home team fell again on that special Friday night, and this made it all come full-circle…This became the “Year of the Rams”, and their stoic leader, Tommy Pursley, would direct the Blue and White of Northeast Guilford High School to the 1997 NCHSAA 3-A State Championship Game, where they would face A.L. Brown/Kannapolis Brown…

A.L Brown/Kannapolis Brown had a running back named Nick Maddox, and Maddox ran all over the NEG Rams, and when the ‘Little Wonders’ from Kannapolis raised the trophy to celebrate their State Championship Victory/Glory, Nick Maddox was also raising his fist, and pumping it into the air, declaring that he would be taking the Full Ride to Florida State in Tallahassee, Florida, where he would play college football for the FSU Seminoles….Maddox would take that Full Ride, and utilize the college football scholarship that Bobby Bowden and his Seminoles were offering up, but Maddox would never again see daylight, like he did that Friday night in Chapel Hill, N.C., as his A.L. Brown boys took down the NEG Rams…

Kannapolis Brown won the 3-A State Football State Championship, but the Northeast Guilford Rams, the Dudley Panthers, and the Western Guilford Hornets, all won the hearts of the local high school football fans, here in Greensboro and Guilford County…The coaches are now all long gone, and the memories are all that remain…Tommy Pursley(NEG), Michael Ferguson(Dudley HS), and Charlie Griffin(Western Guilford HS) all helped lay the groundwork for what we see today, as we go into the NCHSAA Football Playoffs, now some 25 years later on…

After Northeast Guilford in 1997, the Rams made a short playoff run in 1998, Western Guilford had another run 1999, Ragsdale was in the Championship Game in 2000, and then before you know it, we had NEG back in the final game again, then it was Grimsley making a run, Dudley and Northern Guilford end up winning Four State Titles each, Page gets a Title, Southeast Guilford gets to the final game, Grimsley wins the 4-A Title, in the Spring of 2021….

Greensboro and Guilford County have had their fair share of Football Title runs over the past 25 years, but it all got started with NEG, Dudley, and Western Guilford back in 1997…There had been several titles and Championship Game appearances before then, but in ’97, that is when the modern-day runout began….

Was there to see it back then, and looking forward to being in the mix again, this Friday, as our new trail begins with Southeast Guilford at Northwest Guilford…..Kickoff at the R.L. Billings Stadium is set to hit the air, or the ground, at 7pm…And one more little known fact….R.L./Roscoe Billings was the principal at Northwest Guilford High School, but both of his sons, Randy and Terry, played football and attended Western Guilford High School/Guilford High School…

“Play On”……….

A couple of interesting scores for you, going way back…
2-A East Championship Games:
1970 Ahoskie 28 Greensboro Allen Jay 12
1971 Gates County 34 Southern Guilford 8

The Greensboro Page 4-A run back in 1980’s:
1980 Greensboro Page 36 Jacksonville 14
1982 Jacksonville 15 Greensboro Page 6
1983 Greensboro Page 21 Fayetteville Douglas Byrd 14
1984 Greensboro Page 14 Fayetteville 71st 14 (TIE)
1985 Greensboro Page 26 Fayetteville Terry Sanford 20

Western Guilford 3-A Championship time:
1977 Western Guilford 26 South Caldwell 20

More 4-A’s in the Championship Games:
1960 Greensboro 19 Winston-Salem R.J. Reynolds 7
A very good three-year 4-A run right here:
1971 North Forsyth 10 High Point Central 7
1972 High Point Andrews 24 Fayetteville Reid Ross 17
1973 Sanford Central 14 Greensboro Ben Smith 6
HP Andrews back for more:1976 High Point Andrews 6 Richmond Senior 0

3-A time again:
1973 Jamestown Ragsdale 16 East Bladen 16 (TIE)
1974 Jamestown Ragsdale 24 Ahoskie 0

We will hit some more for you as time allows…