Coach: Scott Chadwick, fifth season at Myers Park (76-37 in N.C.)
2017 Record: 12-2, 6-1 in Southwestern 4A
Returning Starters: Offense, 8; Defense, 9
If the Mustangs’ top 22 guys stay healthy, there may not be a more complete team in the state. Last year, they took a big step by winning a school-record 12 games and getting to the third round, but they expect more this season.
Juwan Truesdale (6-foot-6, 310 pounds), South Carolina commit Jaylen Nichols (6-5, 310), Hayden Malchesky (6-0, 305), Parker Mendenhall and three-year starter Jack Moye make up the line.
The receivers are as good as it gets. Virginia Tech commit Elijah Bowick and Moose Muhammad team with South Meck transfer Andre Francois and Hampton Horne to form a dynamic group.
Jake Harkleroad will play some tight end and fullback.
Jacquez Robinson returns at running back as does Jatoine Fields, who will see plenty of carries.
Drake Maye, brother of Tar Heel basketball star Luke and son of former Carolina football great Mark, is in at QB. The Hough transfer has West Virginia and Tennessee offers before taking a high school snap.
Senior Wriley McKeown and freshman Owen McCown, son of New York Jets quarterback Josh, are in the mix.
The line is Jordan King and Jake Hasner at the tackles and Jaden Craig, Camden Partington joining Miles Brown and Nichols in the mix at end.
Harkleroad and Roe Chitwood are starters at linebacker. Carter Anderson and Bowick will play some there, too.
Three-year starter Trey Bly joins Jordan Brown at corner. Cameron Roseman-Sinclair is among the nation’s top safeties, and Blake Wicks and Muhammad will see time there, as well.
James Mallis is competing with Country Day transfer Matthew Dennis at kicker. Jack Gerbin will handle punts. Muhammad, Bowick and Bly are all dangerous return men.