2021 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: North Stanly

Published 10:12 am Thursday, August 19, 2021

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The most successful period of North Stanly football in the program’s 60-year history has been under the tutelage of its current head coach.

Scott Crisco, entering his seventh season as coach, has led the Comets to a 49-21 mark. He ranks as the winningest coach in the program’s history both in overall winning percentage (70 percent) and total wins (49).

North Stanly posted its first undefeated regular season in the shortened 2020 season in the spring. However, COVID restrictions forced the Comets, who were seeded No. 1 in the Western Region, to forfeit its playoff game.

Crisco also owns three of the program’s four playoff victories, the last coming in 2019 when the Comets beat county rival South Stanly.

Coming in as the defending Yadkin Valley Conference football champs, three new members of the conference (Jay M. Robinson, Mount Pleasant and Union Academy) look to challenge North along with Albemarle and South Stanly.

Here are five questions for Coach Crisco:

1) Last season, North went undefeated in the regular season for the first time in school history. How does last year’s performance set the expectations for the Comets this season?

Last year was bittersweet. Undefeated was great, but we felt like we didn’t get a chance to reach our potential as a team.

We will use how we finished last season as motivation for this season. Our motto this year is “Unfinished Business.”

2) North returns several offensive starters despite the loss of a powerful player like Cooper Hogan. How do the returning starters fit in with the team’s newcomers on offense as this season unfolds?

Right now we are gelling really well as a team.

We have a large, talented freshman class that just needs time and experience. You can’t replace a Cooper Hogan and this year it might take several players to fill his roles.

Most of our returners on both sides of the ball were key players, so we are extremely lucky to have most of our starters back this season. We have a couple of new players this season and they have fit in very well with our team and system.

3) Where is North Stanly strongest on defense and where did graduation hurt the defense the most? Who is new on defense who will be needed immediately to make an impact?

Our defense is very strong. We are returning two starting linebackers, three starting defensive lineman and three starting defensive backs.

D.J. Watkins is new to our program and will make an immediate impact on our defensive front line.

Also, we have added Andre Gill to our team, and he is looking very interesting to our DB core.

4) The addition of programs like Jay M. Robinson and Mount Pleasant to the new conference along with others moving to new conferences adds new challenges for North Stanly. How will the Comets fare in the new conference?

The Comets will have to compete every night from top to bottom of this conference.

Jay M. Robinson and Mount Pleasant are two teams that are rich in history and football tradition. Those two teams will be very competitive and any team that hopes to beat them will need to bring their A game.

I believe we can be one of those teams fighting for that top spot, but every game on our conference schedule will be tough.

5) As the North head coach, you are the leader in the school’s history in both in overall wins (49) and win percentage (70.0). What have been the biggest factors in the team’s recent success?

No question, the two leading factors for the Comets success since my tenure as head coach are awesome assistant coaches and great players with great talent and Comet Pride! God has been very good to me and I’m blessed to be a small part of this program.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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