The Butch Carter era begins tonight in Taylorsville.
The Alexander Central Cougars host the Watauga Pioneers in the 2016 High School Football opener at Cougar Stadium. Carter arrives after turning around what was once a South Caldwell Program that was one of the least successful in the state. By the time he finished his 15th season in Hudson he had the Spartans as a power team in the Northwestern Conference.
The Cougars are coming off a disappointing 2015 going 3-8 despite setting a school record by averaging 32 points per game. Sadly, the Cougars also set a school record for most points allowed at 40 ppg.
The key to the game tonight might be which team can overcome inexperience. Watauga lost quarterback Aron Dobbins but return 1,000 rusher Evan Suggs. Suggs tortured the Cougars last year for 270 yards as the Pioneers won in Boone 42-20. Watauga has won the last 3 in the series and 5 of the past 6 going into tonight’s 514 battled between the longtime rivals. ACHS leads the series 28-22.
For Alexander Central they also have a returning 1,000 yard ground gainer in junior Bryson Godfrey but like Watauga they must replace a stand out quarterback in Landon Hammer who is now playing at Carson Newman. They also must replace TB Devante Clark who like Hammer is a top 5 all time ground gainer for the Blue and Gold. Coach Carter will start junior Gunnar Anderson who got quite a bit of varsity experience last year because of injuries. That word, “injuries” might determine how much progress the Cougars can make this year. The last two seasons it’s hard to imagine any team in the state that has been more plagued with players missing time because of injuries. Senoir Tejuen Calhoun, who is the anchor the Cougar Defense is out of tonight’s opener with an injured shoulder
The kick is at 7:30 at Glenn Wilson Field at Cougar Stadium. Follow the action live on B86 Radio with the Countdown to Cougar Kickoff beginning at 6pm. The game will also be rebroadcast Saturday at 2pm.