Thanksgiving thoughts and an exciting week ahead

BY DON BEANE, News + Record Staff
Posted 11/29/19

First off this week, Happy Thanksgiving to all of our area’s sports fans.

To start this week I will touch quickly on the hottest topic of late, and that’s middle school-age football in Chatham …

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Thanksgiving thoughts and an exciting week ahead

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First off this week, Happy Thanksgiving to all of our area’s sports fans.

To start this week I will touch quickly on the hottest topic of late, and that’s middle school-age football in Chatham County. Everywhere I go I’m asked about it, and the recent meeting provided some decisions about the future.

The idea of a new prep league was pretty much a unanimous decision over an AAU or USA Football team if possible. The reason being, it would benefit not only the players in and immediately around Siler City, but also all of Chatham County, and that is the chief goal. Those from the community that attended the first meeting want to help football all over the county.

A perfect scenario would be teams from all four high schools (including Seaforth High which is in the process of being built) while also giving those kids who are at Chatham Charter and Woods Charter, as well as those that are homeschooled, an opportunity to play as well.

That would provide six games on a home-and-home basis with an All-Star Game and possibly more.

The process of getting the numbers of those interested in the schools in Chatham County is now the chief focus with a second meeting set for next week at some point. So anyone interested especially in the Chatham Central and East Chatham areas please contact me at All the help and opinions matter as we move forward with this idea.

Moving on I want to give a shout out to a young man who plays at Randleman High School, Jaquan Snipes. His grandmother, Martha Yarboro lives in Siler City, as do many of his relatives.

Snipes entered his senior season as one of the top-ranked backs in the state. But an unfortunate broken arm during summer basketball set the young man back for the early stages of the 2019 campaign. Snipes came back and rushed for 650 yards and 12 touchdowns on just 67 carries (9.7 yards per carry) but broke the same arm a few weeks ago just tossing a ball in practice.

It certainly was huge blow for the young man and for Randleman, which is 13-0 and heading into the third round of the NCHSAA 2AA State Playoffs against South Granville this Friday night at home. So I wish the young man a speedy recovery and expect to see him on the sidelines of a collegiate program next fall.

We will switch gears to the hard court and give the basketball ladies some early season publicity.

Chatham Central is expected to be good and the Lady Bears controlled the game throughout against Jordan-Matthews in its season opening 52-31 victory. The scary thing was that Central was without the Hughes twins, and those two added to the speed that played the other night, especially Mary Grace Murchison and Danielle Vaughn, should make the Bears an exciting team to watch. Coach Lynda Burke’s club doesn’t have a ton of size experience wise, but what they do have can run the court well which fits what they will do to a perfectly.

Also, two freshman to keep an eye on this winter, Tamaya Walden of Chatham Charter and Te’Keyah Bland of Northwood.

Walden’s speed is at a different level and her presence to go with the likes of junior center Morgan Lineberry and sophomore forward Alexis Baldwin have helped the Lady Knights race out to a 4-1 mark including a 45-35 victory over 3A Cedar Ridge. Walden is a stat stuffer at guard, and is averaging 11.2 points per game while also collecting 20 rebounds, nine assists and 22 steals thus far.

Bland, meanwhile, is a 6-foot forward who can get up and down the court, and certainly has had the green and gold faithful at Northwood excited about her arrival to campus. Thus far she hasn’t disappointed, and in the season opener posted a 16-point, nine-rebound double-double against 4A Panther Creek. And as with Walden, the sky is the limit and exciting times are ahead for girl’s basketball in Chatham County.

Finally, again, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. There will be some great football games to watch on Thanksgiving for sure with the Bears and Lions getting it on at noon, the Cowboys hosting a sneaky good 8-3 Buffalo Bills team, and the Saints and suddenly on fire Atlanta Falcons going at it that night. The Egg Bowl between Ole Miss and Mississippi State will also take place that evening.

And on Saturday, I mean wow, what else could a college football fan ask for. Michigan and Ohio State, Auburn and Alabama, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, Virginia and Virginia Tech, Clemson and South Carolina, UNC and N.C. State, and more. If you can’t be excited about that then you need to check your pulse, it’s going to be a wild and exciting day!


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