High school football is just around the corner and here is a player to watch from each county school.
Dominic Payne, senior, Trinity
The biggest question about the 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior is which sport will he play in college — football or basketball? He could excel in either. As a dual-threat quarterback, Payne threw for 672 yards and 12 touchdowns with 7 interceptions last season. He ran 71 times for 585 yards (an 8.2 average) ands 6 TDs.
Tyshaun Goldston, junior, Randleman
Is he better on offense or defense? Goldston caught 47 passes for 789 yards and 9 touchdowns as a sophomore. He also had 219 yards in returns. Flip to the other side of the ball and Goldston had 4 interceptions to go along with 26 tackles.
Jonathan Kelly, junior, Wheatmore
Kelly had a breakout season as a sophomore, running for 687 yards and 4 touchdowns while averaging 7.0 yards a carry. He also caught 18 passes for 146 yards. He also had 27 tackles and blocked a punt.
Tyler Batten, senior, Providence Grove
The Patriots were hit hard by graduation and Batten will be counted on to continue his success as a kicker. In his junior season, Batten was 8-of-11 on field goals, with his longest being 37 yards. He was a perfect 56-of-56 on extra points.
Nathan Ellis, senior, Southwestern Randolph
Ellis is a returning all-Piedmont Athletic Conference player on a team that lost several key players to graduation.
Lucas Smith, junior, Eastern Randolph
The Wildcats are yet another team that graduated a lot of star players. Smith, a 6-foot, 205-pound running back/linebacker, is a returning all-conference player.
Christopher Spivey, junior, Asheboro
Spivey is a 6-foot-1, 270-pound offensive and defensive lineman who is a two-year varsity player.