HSXtra.com’s Joe Sirera looks at three high school football players who will be in the spotlight in Friday night’s games:
TREVON HESTER, senior, RB/LB, Page
How important is Hester to the resurgent Pirates? The 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior not only is Page’s leading rusher (719 yards on 105 carries) and scorer (15 TDs), he’s second among the Pirates in tackles (38), tackles for losses (9) and sacks (3.5). If Page hopes to knock off unbeaten Northern Guilford on Friday night at Marion Kirby Stadium, it will be imperative to keep Hester as fresh as possible on both sides of the ball against a Nighthawks team that wants to play at a quick tempo.
JEIEL MELTON, senior, RB, Grimsley
As good as Whirlies QB Alonza Barnett (103-of-167, 1,712 yards, 24 TDs, INT) and his receivers have been this season, Melton’s running balances the offense with his mix of power and speed. The 5-foot-10, 200-pound senior has rushed for 676 yards and seven touchdowns on 103 carries, and he also contributes as a receiver (12 catches, 228 yards) and as a pass blocker. If Grimsley puts up big numbers again Friday night at Southwest Guilford, Melton will probably have a lot to do with it.
LOGAN WRIGHT, junior, DL, Dudley
There’s no question that Panthers senior Jhyheem Pittman is one of the state’s top defensive lineman, but Wright is a force in his own right. The 6-foot, 280-pound junior is second only to Pittman among Dudley defenders in tackles (42), tackles for losses (18) and sacks (9½) for a unit that has given up just 6 points in conference play. Wright and the Panthers will face a stiffer challenge Friday night when they travel to Wentworth to take on Rockingham County in a Mid-State 3-A matchup.
Contact Joe Sirera at 336-373-7034, and follow @JoeSireraSports on Twitter.