Games of the Year, No. 13: Gilmer-Chapel Hill Clash Might Clear Things Up in District 16-3A Race
The “District of Doom” schedule continues with a matchup involving the defending Class 3A Division I champion Chapel Hill Bulldogs and the Gilmer Buckeyes, winners of two state titles since 2004, on Oct. 5.
This encounter occurs a week after the Bulldogs begin District 16-3A play with Henderson in a rematch of the 2010 state title game.
Both teams will enter the season with new quarterbacks. Gilmer lost the duo of Jordan Traylor and Luke Turner to graduation and Chapel Hill must fill the shoes of record-breaking quarterback Avery Saenz, who helped guide the Bulldogs to a 28-2 record the past two seasons. Gilmer seems to always find a player capable of directing its high-powered, spread attack.
The Bulldogs’ chore of replacing Saenz was made easier with the move in of former Jacksonville quarterback Andrew Black, but Chapel Hill still must confront the loss of most of its skill players from a season ago.
On the defensive side, there a handful of playmakers on both sidelines. Gilmer features several playmakers on a defense that allowed just 16.9 points per game in the regular season a year ago, led by junior safety Tanner Barr, who had 10 interceptions as sophomore.
Chapel Hill’s best defensive weapons are the junior tandem of safety Joseph Clark and linebacker Wesley Thompson, who combined for more than 230 tackles in 2011.