NC high school football all-state team announced

Players from Mecklenburg, Craven County and a coach from Lincoln County headline the first N.C. sportswriters’ all-state high school football team.

A group of 10 sportswriters throughout the state nominated players for the award and then voted. Top vote-getters were named to the first team. The highest offensive and defensive vote-getters were named Player of the Year.

The team mirrors the old Associated Press all-state football and basketball teams, which began in the ‘80s but were stopped during the pandemic.

The offensive player of the year is Providence Day quarterback Jadyn Davis, who earlier this year won the state’s biggest high school football award, being named Mr. Football. The junior quarterback threw for 3,425 yards and 43 touchdowns. He had just six interceptions and led his Charlotte private school to a Division I N.C. Independent Schools state championship and a national ranking.

New Bern defensive lineman KJ Sampson, a senior, is the defensive player of the year. Sampson led his team to a NCHSAA 4A public school state championship win over Grimsley. Sampson had 96 tackles and 18 sacks this season.

The coach of the year is East Lincoln’s David Lubowicz, who led his team to a 16-0 record and the NCHSAA 3A public school state championship. East Lincoln won its third state championship and its first since 2014.



*Vote totals listed in parentheses

QB – Jadyn Davis – Providence Day (7)

RB – Christian Perris – Princeton (6)

RB – Mason Avery – West Lincoln (5)

WR – Chris Culliver – Maiden (9)

WR – Nathan Leacock – Millbrook (7)

TE – Jack Larsen – Charlotte Catholic (5)

OL – Samuel Pendleton – Reagan (9)

OL – Sullivan Absher – South Point (8)

OL – Clinton Barlow – Charlotte Catholic (8)

OL – David Sanders, Jr. – Providence Day (5)

OL – Connor Drake – Providence (4)

OL – Luke Rector – Draughn (4)

ATH – Isaac Weaver – Andrews (6)


DL – Keith Sampson, Jr – New Bern (7)

DL –Logan Wright – Dudley (6)

DL – Jamaal Jarrett – Grimsley (6)

DL – Davion Hobbs – JM Robinson (5)

LB – Ben Cutter – East Lincoln (9)

LB – RJ Brown – East Forsyth (6)

LB – Zane Williams – Wake Forest (3)

DB – Dionte Neal – Reidsville (8)

DB – Daunte Hall – East Duplin (7)

DB –Chris Peal – Providence Day (4)

DB – Israel Powell – Hertford County (3)

DB – Jordan Young – Monroe (3)


K – Nolan Hauser – Hough (8)

P – Palmer Williams – Davie County (7)

KR – Javarius Green – Crest (4)

PR – Brody Barnhardt – Providence Day (4)

PR – DJ Hamilton – Mallard Creek (4)

LS – Mabry Bumgarner – Smoky Mountain (7)


QB – Mason Fortune (Millbrook); Jaylen Alexander-Raynor (East Forsyth);

RB – Sincere Baines (Jack Britt); Avery Gaby (East Duplin); Max Guest (AC Reynolds); Tyler Mason (Mount Airy); Anthony Quinn (Seventy-First);

WR – Terrell Anderson (Grimsley); Truitt Manual (West Henderson);; Alex Taylor (Grimsley);

TE – Jayvontae Conner (East Forsyth); Griffin Reimer (Weddington);

OL – Eagan Boyer (Hough); Bryson Esser (North Lincoln); Isaiah Eskeridge (Kings Mountain); Henry Harden (Grimsley); Reagan McCranie (Chase); Austin Pittman (Mount Tabor); Umar Rockhead (Mallard Creek); Walter Turner (Northwest Guilford); Ashton Williams (Seventy-First);

ATH – Kevin Concepcion (Chambers); Que’Shyne Flippen (Reidsville);

DL – Hector Bautista (Seventy-First); Bryce Davis (Grimsley); Zairion Jackson-Bass (Chambers); Nick Martin (East Forsyth); Elity Naire (Olympic); Isaiah Shirley (Watauga); Curtis Simpson (Kings Mountain); Kaden Thomas (Independence); Semaj Turner (East Forsyth):

LB – Dillon Earp (Hibriten); Jaybron Harvey (Southern Durham); Cahari Hayes (Burns); Demorris Jenkins (North Mecklenburg); Kade Kennedy (East Duplin); Raymond McCray (Seventy-First); James Nesta (Hough); Tyquan Rankin (Butler); Michael Short (Mallard Creek); Hunter Stalcup (Murphy); Ben Watson (Newton-Conover);

DB – Cutler Adams (Robbinsville); Brody Barnhardt (Providence Day); Channing Goodwin (Providence Day); Jaylen Jones (Butler); Samari Matthews (Hough); Adriel Miller (Central Cabarrus); DJ Parker (Dudley); Tim Patterson (Page); Will Ross (South Point); Dashawn Stone (AC Reynolds); Joshua Switzer (Ardrey Kell); Keandre Walker (East Lincoln);

K – Aiden Daugherty (Oak Grove); Alan Bahena-Soto (Bunker Hill);

P – Owen Fehr (Hough);

KR – Tylique Aldridge (Forestview); Que’Sean Brown (East Forsyth); Kendall Harris (Cox Mill);

PR – Zachariah Melton (Monroe);

LS – Liam Groulx (Providence Day);

Langston Wertz Jr. is an award-winning sports journalist who has worked at the Observer since 1988. He’s covered everything from Final Fours and NFL to video games and Britney Spears. Wertz — a West Charlotte High and UNC grad — is the rare person who can answer “Charlotte,” when you ask, “What city are you from.”
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