LAURINBURG — There are less than 100 days until the start of the 2018 high school football season.
The Fighting Scots will take the field 99 days from now on Aug. 18 when they participate in the sixth annual Charlotte Kickoff Night presented by OrthoCarolina.
The announcement was made in February that the Fighting Scots would join Butler, Dutch Fork and Mallard Creek as part of this year’s double-header at Memorial Stadium in Charlotte.
The Fighting Scots will be the first game of the night taking on Butler at 5 p.m. the nightcap will feature Dutch Fork taking on Mallard Creek at 8 p.m.
The four teams finished the 2017 season with a combined record of 48-7.
Scotland and Mallard Creek played in the 4A and 4AA state championships while Butler was eliminated in the second round of the 4AA playoffs. Dutch Fork, a team out of Irmo, S.C., won the Class AAAAA state championship over Dorman, 28-27.
Fans can purchase tickets for the sixth annual Charlotte Kickoff Night by visiting cltkickoffnight.com and clicking the tickets tab. Tickets are $10 and will get fans into both games.
In preparation for the 2018 season, football teams around the state will have a 10-day spring practice period starting Monday.
In 2015, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association approved a 10-day period for off-season football skill development sessions in May. Contact is not allowed during spring practice; however, an unlimited number of football players are allowed to participate.
Early practices will be key for the Fighting Scots as they look to replace University of Georgia running back Zamir White, their entire offensive line, quarterback Warren Bell, defensive end TJ Smith, linebackers Javon Ratliffe, Chris Williams, Kalish and Keante McNair and Marqwues Wilson; safeties Manny Smith, Laron Quick, Davon Ratliffe and Tyrek Waters along with wide receivers Trey Dixon and Tim Jones.
Returning starters for the Scots will be running backs Syheam “Smiley” McQueen and Joseph “Poppa” McKoy, wide receiver/quarterback Bruce Wall, outside linebacker Mohamed Kaba, linebacker Nick Callahan and tight end Ryley Barbour.
The Fighting Scots coaching staff will also look different with the departure of defensive coordinator Cory Johnson, who accepted the head coaching job at Clinton High School in the off season.
Scotland has not officially named Johnson’s replacement, but indications are someone from within the organization will assume the role.
With 99 days until Scotland plays Butler in Charlotte the young team will have to fill the holes left by their graduating seniors and coach up the players that are stepping into starting varsity roles.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]