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Big East coaches pick New Bern, Rose to finish at top of football conference

New conference is stacked with powerhouse teams
Published: Aug. 9, 2021 at 6:20 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The high school football season gets underway a week from Friday. The Big East conference is new this fall and has some of the top high school’s in “The East” set to duke it out all year long.

PRESEASON BIG EAST COACHES POLL

1. NEW BERN AND JH ROSE 29

2. HAVELOCK 28

3. JACKSONVILLE 19

4. D.H. CONLEY 17

5. SOUTH CENTRAL 13

6. NORTHSIDE 12

“The SEC of high school football,” says Havelock head coach Allen Wooten, “I mean 5 of the 7 schools have been to a state championship in the last 8 years and that is unheard of.”

“You know, we can make this poll right now, but every week it’s going to be wide open who can win the game and who might lose,” says Conley head coach Nate Conner, “It’s going to be a battle all the way to the end of the season.”

“Somebody said the new Big East should be called the Beast conference and I think I agree with that,” says South Central head coach Andy Tew, “So many different teams that you got to be ready for, to compete with on Friday night. And you know people use the term battle tested and that sort of thing so. It’s going to be fun. it’s going to be challenging but it’s going to be fun.”

New Bern and J.H. Rose were both picked as the conference favorites.

“Being able to compete with the guys in our league, we got a really tough league,” says Rose head coach Will Bland, “and being able to be up there with New Bern and Conley as one of the top schools out there means a lot to this program.”

“It’s pretty good to be noticed, but with being noticed, also comes a lot of pressure,” says New Bern head coach Torey Nowell, “Our guys pretty much understand what that means for us.”

From top to bottom this is one of the toughest conferences around. Jacksonville’s Northside high school finished runner up in the state in 2016.

“Right now we are kind of young and we know it is going to be a challenge for us this year,” says Northside head coach Kendrick Pollock, “But in two years, as long as our guys stay in the books and hit the weight room, I think we’ll be able to compete.”

It is a new conference but everyone is familiar with one another.

“Adding the Greenville schools when we were playing some of them earlier, South Central and Conley, in the old conference,” says Jacksonville head coach Beau Williams, “Haven’t played Rose much. Kind of looking forward to it like back in the day. Like when my dad was coach at Rose and coached against Jacksonville.”

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