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Draughn Wildcats

Can Draughn deliver an encore?

Draughn's Ethan Miller (left) gains yardage during a preseason scrimmage at Bunker Hill.
The Draughn football team faces a unique challenge this fall, both among this year’s Burke County teams and in a historical context for the Wildcats’ program. Draughn won a program-record 13 games, claimed its first-ever conference title and reached the West Regional final. Is Draughn content or ready for a big encore?

Draughn fall sports team capsules

FOR THE PAPER Draughn girls tennis team (second team from left) played in a four-team scrimmage at Maiden early in the second week of preseason practice.

VOLLEYBALL Last year’s record: 15-10 overall, first in WHC 1A/2A; lost 3rd round 1A state playoffs Returning players: Allison Auton, Speed Hatley, Helena Hatley, Addison Aldridge, Addison Poteat, …

Draughn 2023 football schedule

Aug. 18 at Hunter Huss Aug. 25 Patton Sept. 1 East Burke Sept. 8 Chase Sept. 15 Owen* Sept. 22 at Avery County* Sept. 29 at Mitchell* Oct. 6 Madison* Oct. 13 Rosman* Oct. 20 Bye Oct. 27 at Mountain …

East Burke Cavaliers

East Burke fall sports team capsules

EAST BURKE HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER / FOR THE PAPER Members of the East Burke High boys soccer team participate in footwork drills during the opening week of practice in Icard.

VOLLEYBALL Last year’s record: 15-10 overall, third in CVAC 2A; lost 1st round 2A state playoffs Returning players: Katherine Greene, Caroline Pruitt, Addy Fortenberry, Allison Teague Other key …

East Burke 2023 football schedule

Aug. 18 at Patton  Aug. 25 Freedom  Sept. 1 at Draughn  Sept. 8 Bye  Sept. 15 Maiden* Sept. 22 at Bandys* Sept. 29 Newton-Conover* Oct. 6 Bunker Hill* Oct. 13 at Lincolnton* Oct. …

East Burke seeks to end frustration

Levi Coble runs hard versus North Iredell during a scrimmage this preseason. Coble is one of three returning East Burke players who rushed for 600 or more yards last fall.
It’s perhaps the most promising yet also the most maddening situation for any football team. A series of close losses versus quality competition, showing the promise of what could be but coming with the bitter pill of merely being almost good enough. And it’s a scenario East Burke hopes to put to rest in 2023.
Freedom Patriots
Freedom Patriots

Freedom counting on youth movement

JAMES LYNCH JR. / THE PAPER Elijah McMeans wrestles a Newton-Conover player down for a tackle during the preseason.
Freedom is accustomed to winning football games, with 11 conference championships and 11 10-win seasons all-time. The Patriots have finished .500 or better and reached the state playoffs in each full season (not counting the COVID-condensed spring 2021 season) since 2010. But the Patriots haven’t won big in nearly a decade.

Freedom fall sports team capsules

VOLLEYBALL Last year’s record: 1-21 overall, sixth in NWC 3A/4A Returning players: Aniya Bell, Ava Whitaker, Caroline McRacken, Haven Gladden, Mary Taylor, Kelbony Clark, Kaitlyn Hagmann Other key …

Freedom 2023 football schedule

Aug. 18 at Bunker Hill Aug. 25 at East Burke Sept. 1 Forestview Sept. 8 Patton Sept. 15 at Chase Sept. 22 Bye Sept. 29 Hibriten* Oct. 6 at South Caldwell* Oct. 13 Ashe County* Oct. 20 Watauga* Oct. …

Patton Panthers

Patton fall sports team capsules

PATTON PANTHERS SOCCER / FOR THE PAPER Patton's boys soccer team held its annual soccer-tennis tournament to end the first week of practice earlier this month. The winners were Anthony Ramirez and Alex Gonzales.

VOLLEYBALL Last year’s record: 16-7 overall, third in MF7 2A; lost 2nd round 2A state playoffs Returning players: Piper Atkins, Lindsey Devine, Abigail Carpenter, Kate Clark, Reece Edwards, Anna …

Patton 2023 football schedule

Aug. 18 East Burke Aug. 25 at Draughn Sept. 1 Wilkes Central Sept. 8 at Freedom Sept. 15 Polk County*  Sept. 22 Bye Sept. 29 East Rutherford* Oct. 6 at R-S Central* Oct. 13 Brevard* Oct. 20 at …

Patton program hits reset button

JAMES LYNCH JR. / THE PAPER Patton's Burke Wilson looks to pass during a preseason scrimmage. Wilson, a junior, will start at quarterback after seeing some action at the position last year as well.
As the Patton football team reinvents itself this season under a new coaching staff and new offensive and defensive schemes, it is doing so with one primary goal in mind with New coach Ryan Goggio — to break a playoff drought that hits five years this November ...
And more!

2023 Burke County high school fall sports schedules

BOYS SOCCER Draughn Aug. 14 Patton Aug. 16 at Freedom Aug. 21 at Patton Aug. 23 Freedom Aug. 24 at East Burke Aug. 28 at Crest  Aug. 29 East Burke Aug. 31 at Maiden Sept. 6 at Owen* Sept. 11 …

NCSSM-Morganton adds 3 sports this fall, 4 total in 2023-24

One year ago, the North Carolina School for Science and Math’s Morganton campus opened its first year with a plan to field eight varsity-level athletic squads.

Local rec leagues still holding youth, adult fall sports signups

Stidham's Axe Throwing & Lounge won the Morganton Recreation Department's adult open league softball title this summer.
The Burke County and Morganton recreation departments and Drexel’s R.O. Huffman Center are each still holding registration for several youth and adult sports leagues to be held this fall. Here are …

2023 Burke County middle school fall sports schedules

Foothills Athletic Conference  Football  Sept. 13 Heritage at East Burke Liberty at Walter Johnson Table Rock at West McDowell  Sept. 20 East Burke at East McDowell Walter Johnson at …

FAC brings back football title game; golf to fall

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The following article contains information from two articles which ran in the Aug. 5 and May 27 editions of The Paper. They have been edited, the first updated to reflect that this …