How is COVID-19 Impacting Football?

The COVID-19 Pandemic is constantly impacting the fate of the 2020 football season. Keep up to date with the latest news here.

Championship Central

Relive the 2019 North Carolina High School Football Playoffs and look back on how your favorite team did last season.

Check Out The Weekly Top 15 This Season

CarolinaGridiron.com releases Top 15 Rankings every week. Be sure to check back each Thursday duing the season to see where your favorite team is ranked.

College Football in North Carolina

Carolina Gridiron is expanding coverage of all college football teams in the state of North Carolina this season. See how your favorite college team is doing on the gridiron this year.

Carolina Gridiron Media Pick'Em

This season, Carolina Gridiron is launching a new media pick ‘em contest featuring some of the state’s top sports media. Each week, we will select a slate of ten games from across the state of North Carolina with a mix of high school and college games being thrown in.

Scrimmages and Jamborees

With your help, we are able to yearly put together the most comprehensive statewide high school football jamboree/scrimmage list in North Carolina. Thank you to all who helped put together the 2019 list.

2019 Preseason All-Gridiron Team Announced

Congratulations to all of the players who were selected to the 2019 preseason All-Gridiron team.

ACC Announces Plan for 2020 Football Season

GREENSBORO (theACC.com) – The Atlantic Coast Conference recognizes the uncertain and challenging environment all areas of our society are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Intercollegiate athletics is just one area that we must address as we work to return to our campuses, bring back students and faculty when possible, and pursue our academic missions and goals as part of higher education. The health, safety and well-being of all our campus constituents is at the forefront of all decisions.



With this in mind, the ACC Board of Directors announced that if public health guidance allows, all seven ACC sponsored fall sports will begin competition during the week of Sept. 7-12. The announcement follows several months of discussion and scenario planning among the league membership and Medical Advisory Group. Each decision is based on the best available medical guidelines and coincides with our universities’ academic missions.

“As we look ahead to the fall, the safety of our students, staff and overall campus community continues to be our top priority,” said Kent Syverud, Chancellor of Syracuse University and the Chair of the ACC Board of Directors. “Today’s announcement outlines a specific path for ACC fall sports to return to intercollegiate athletic competition using comprehensive protocols put forward by our ACC Medical Advisory Group. As a league, we understand the need to stay flexible and be prepared to adjust as medical information evolves in conjunction with local and state health guidelines.”

“Today’s decision was made after months of thoughtful planning by numerous individuals throughout the conference,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “The Board’s decision presents a path, if public health guidance allows, to move forward with competition. Our institutions are committed to taking the necessary measures to facilitate the return in a safe and responsible manner. We recognize that we may need to be nimble and make adjustments in the future. We will be as prepared as possible should that need arise.”

The ACC’s Medical Advisory Group, which has been meeting weekly since the spring to share information on the impact of COVID-19 on ACC campuses and intercollegiate athletics, has recommended minimum standards for each campus to follow as fall sports return. Among those recommendations are weekly testing for close contact sports, standards for reporting positive test results, and protocols for cleaning and sanitizing competition areas. The full report is available on theACC.com.

Notable Notes

  • The season’s first games will take place the week of Sept. 7-12
  • The 2020 scheduling model includes 11 games (10 plus one: 10 conference and one non-conference)
  • All non-conference game opponents, selected by the respective school, must be played in the home state of the ACC institution, and all non-conference opponents must meet the medical protocol requirements as agreed upon by the ACC
  • The 11 games will be played over at least 13 weeks with each team having two open dates
  • There will be one division
  • Notre Dame will also play a 10-game conference schedule and be eligible to compete in the 2020 ACC Football Championship Game 
  • All television revenue for the 2020 season, including Notre Dame’s home games broadcast by NBC, will be shared equally by all 15 institutions 
  • The ACC Football Championship Game will be played on either December 12 or 19 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will feature the top two teams based upon highest conference-game winning percentage 
  • All 15 teams will continue to be part of the ACC’s bowl selection process; should Notre Dame win the ACC Football Championship Game they would be eligible for the Orange Bowl, if not selected as a College Football Playoff semifinal team 
  • The 2020 ACC Football week-by-week schedule and television selections will be released in the future


Campbell QB Hajj-Malik Williams Leads Preseason All-Big South Team

CHARLOTTE (www.BigSouthSports.com) – Campbell sophomore quarterback Hajj-Malik Williams (Atlanta, Ga.) and Kennesaw State redshirt-senior linebacker Bryson Armstrong (Marietta, Ga.) have been voted the Big South Conference’s 2020 Preseason Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively, by the league’s head football coaches and media panel, it was announced today.

Campbell QB Hajj-Malik Williams
Williams is the first sophomore to earn the league’s top preseason offensive honor and is Campbell’s first-ever Big South preseason Player of the Year honoree since the Camels joined the league in 2018.  The Big South Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2019, Williams enjoyed a record-breaking campaign in his first year leading the Camels.  A finalist for the Jerry Rice National Freshman of the Year Award (finishing 10th in the voting), Williams was a Hero Sports Freshman All-America First-Team selection a season ago.  He received four Big South Freshman of the Week nods as well as five STATS Honorable Mention weekly accolades in 2019.  Williams established Big South-freshman records for passing touchdowns (17), total offensive yards (2,686), rushing yards by a freshman quarterback (664) and rushing touchdowns by a freshman signal-caller (9).  He led all Big South freshmen AND quarterbacks in rushing yards during the regular-season, and passed for 200 yards and rushed for 100 yards in a game twice in 2019.  Williams posted a league-high six games with both a rush TD and passing touchdown, was second with four games accumulating 300+ yards of offense, and was third overall in total offense yards.  The first freshman quarterback in Big South history with multiple touchdown passes in the first three games of a season, Williams had a TD pass in his first 10 collegiate appearances and six multi-TD pass efforts.  He was responsible for 27 total touchdowns last year -- and caught a touchdown pass against Hampton on Oct. 19.

Williams received three first-place votes and 25 total points in the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year voting, ahead of Charleston Southern quarterback Jack Chambers (three first-place votes and 15 points).

Armstrong is now a three-time recipient of the conference’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honor –- the first player in league history with this distinction.  A three-time First-Team All-Conference selection in his first three years at KSU, as well as last year’s Big South Defensive Player of the Year, Armstrong earned five All-America plaudits in 2019 and was a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the nation’s top defensive player.  Named Second-Team All-American by the AFCA, Associated Press and Hero Sports in addition to Third-Team All-America honors from STATS LLC and Phil Steele, Armstrong finished 2019 with a team-high 95 total tackles during the season -- including 51 solo stops.  A member of the nation’s third-ranked defense, Armstrong totaled 12.0 tackles-for-loss, 3.5 sacks, one interception, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 2019.  He helped the Owls lead the Big South in total defense (278.7), scoring defense (18.7) and rushing defense (88.9).  Armstrong was the conference’s Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 28 following his 10-tackle, 2.5-TFL, 1.0-sack effort over North Alabama.  He led KSU in tackles seven times -- including five games with 10+, and his 95 stops were 39 more than his next-closest teammate.  Armstrong also recorded a tackle-for-loss in 10 of his 14 games played.

The 2017 STATS Jerry Rice Award Winner as the FCS National Freshman of the Year, Armstrong enters his final season 16 tackles shy of 300 in his career, and has posted 67 stops in seven career FCS Playoff games (9.57 average).  He collected nine first-place votes and 35 points in the preseason balloting, ahead of Charleston Southern defensive lineman Shaundre Mims (two first-place votes and 17 points).

Williams and Armstrong were also voted to the preseason All-Conference First-Team, which is comprised of 12 offensive and defensive positions, plus specialty positions.  A preseason Honorable Mention squad features the next highest vote-getters at each position where available.  Kennesaw State and Monmouth tied for the most preseason selections with 10, followed by Charleston Southern (9), Campbell and Gardner-Webb with six each, North Alabama had three honorees, and Hampton had one selection.  The 2020 preseason All-Conference team appears below.

2020 Big South Football Preseason All-Conference Teams

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE FIRST-TEAM
OFFENSE                                                                     
QB    Hajj-Malik Williams, Soph., Campbell
RB    Isaac Foster, Jr., Kennesaw State
RB    Juwon Farri, R-Soph., Monmouth
WR   Izaiah Gathings, Jr., Gardner-Webb
WR   Jadakis Bonds, Jr., Hampton
WR   Lonnie Moore IV, R-Sr., Monmouth
WR   Terrance Greene Jr., R-Jr., Monmouth (tie)
WR   Caleb Snead, R-Jr., Campbell (tie)
TE    Gene Scott, Jr., Monmouth
OL    AJ Farris, R-Sr., Monmouth
OL    Chris Dye, Sr., Kennesaw State
OL    Jake Lassiter, Sr., Kennesaw State
OL    Justin Szuba, Jr., Monmouth
OL    William Nana-Fabu, Jr., Kennesaw State

DEFENSE
DL    Shaundre Mims, R-Jr., Charleston Southern
DL    Brevin Allen, Jr., Campbell
DL    Nick Salley, R-Sr., Charleston Southern
DL    Anton Williams, R-Jr., Charleston Southern
LB    Bryson Armstrong, R-Sr., Kennesaw State
LB    Da’Quan Grimes, R-Sr., Monmouth
LB    Darien Reynolds, Sr., Gardner-Webb
LB    Justice Galloway-Velazquez, Jr., Campbell
DB    Anthony Budd, Sr., Monmouth
DB    Cody Cline, Soph., Charleston Southern
DB    Darion Slade, R-Sr., Campbell
DB    Justin Terry, Sr., Monmouth

SPECIAL TEAMS
PK    Alex Usry, R-Jr., Charleston Southern
P      Joe Gurley, Sr., North Alabama
KR    Lonnie Moore, R-Sr., Monmouth
PR    Devron Harper, Soph., Gardner-Webb
LS    Ethan Ray, R-Sr., Charleston Southern

PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE HONORABLE MENTION
QB    Jack Chambers, R-Jr., Charleston Southern
RB    Shaquil Terry, Sr., Kennesaw State
WR   Garris Schwarting, R-Sr., Charleston Southern
OL    Tyler McLellan, R-Jr., Campbell (tie)
OL    JT Melton, R-Jr., Charleston Southern (tie)
DL    Wallace Cowins Jr., Sr., North Alabama
LB    Cade Hamilton, Jr., Gardner-Webb
DB    Demetrius Pettway, Jr., Kennesaw State
PK    Joe Gurley, Sr., North Alabama
P      Nicholas Jones, Sr., Kennesaw State
KR    Devron Harper, Soph., Gardner-Webb (tie)
KR    Issac Foster, Jr., Kennesaw State (tie)
PR    Issac Foster, Jr., Kennesaw State
LS    Will Mullins, Sr., Gardner-Webb

PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Hajj-Malik Williams, Soph., QB, Campbell (Atlanta, Ga.)

PRESEASON DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Bryson Armstrong, R-Sr., LB, Kennesaw State (Marietta, Ga)

South Atlantic Conference Delays Start of Football Season



ROCK HILL, SC – The South Atlantic Conference Presidents Council has made the decision that due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and in the best interest of the health, safety, and well-being of the student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and campus communities, the start of fall sports will be delayed. All scheduled competition for the 2020 fall sports seasons has been pushed back to Sept. 26. This includes men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's soccer and volleyball. Further, teams will compete in conference-only competition and teams may begin preseason practice, per NCAA bylaws, for these sports during the fall 2020 semester, provided health and safety conditions allow these activities.

"The decision to delay the fall sports season was not an easy one to make," said Dr. Maurice Scherrens of Newberry, Chair of the SAC Presidents Council. "However, we feel this is the best course of action as it allows our institutions time to develop best practices for a safe return to campus and competition for our student-athletes. We will continue to assess the ever-changing situation, as we are dedicated to ensuring our student-athletes the opportunity to return to campus in the safest environment possible."

Fall competition schedules for the spring championship sports of baseball, men's and women's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, softball, and men's and women's tennis may also not begin prior to Sept. 26. In regard to the 2020-2021 winter sports of men's and women's basketball and men's and women's indoor track and field and wrestling, those seasons remain unchanged at this time.

"This was a very difficult decision, but one we feel has the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, and fans in mind," SAC Commissioner Patrick Britz stated. "We all understand the desire everyone has to get back out there and play games, but the health and safety of our student-athletes take precedence over playing at this time. It is our responsibility to ensure their safety above all else. While this does not guarantee our fall sports will be able to compete during their traditional season, a delayed start gives us the best chance to continue to monitor the situation."

The SAC leadership will continue to assess the NCAA, federal, state, and local developments and provide updated revisions as further information is available.

MEAC Suspends 2020 Football Season Due to Lingering COVID-19 Pandemic



NORFOLK, VA – The Council of Presidents and Chancellors of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) announces that the league will suspend all sports competition, championship and non-championship segments, for the 2020 fall season, as a result of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.  A decision is yet to be made on whether fall sports schedules will be moved to the 2021 spring semester.

The conference currently plans to proceed with winter sports competitions as scheduled, unless health and medical professionals advise otherwise. We will apprise the public on further decisions.

The Council of Presidents and Chancellors took this action out of a concern for the safety as well as the physical and mental health of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, support staff, faculty and fans. The rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases along the eastern seaboard heavily influenced the council’s decision as the data suggests that the African American and other minority communities are being disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The MEAC is committed to ensuring that the correct measures are in place to reduce exposure to the virus.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes continue to be our number one priority. We have made the decision to suspend all sports competitions after careful review of the current conditions and consideration of the potential exposure that regular travel to competitions may cause and ongoing extensive physical contact,” said Howard University President and Chair of MEAC Council of Presidents and Chancellors, Dr. Wayne A. I. Frederick. “While our competitions have been suspended, each member institution will plan ongoing engagement of all student-athletes to ensure optimization of their physical and mental well-being as they continue their matriculation.”

“Obviously this is an arduous decision because everyone wants to have a fall season for student-athletes, fans and others,” said MEAC Commissioner Dr. Dennis Thomas. “Part of our responsibility is to ensure the mental and physical health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff is paramount. It is imperative that everyone recognize that is our first and foremost responsibility.”

MEAC institutions will continue the resocialization process for student-athletes which encompasses mental and physical health counseling, strength and conditioning protocol and compliance with all COVID-19 safety requirements.