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Owen, East Henderson previews, Leota transfers

Owen preview (WLOS Staff).jpg

Asheville - The prep football season only a week away. Teams are getting in final scrimmages. Two teams who struggled last year , Owen and Easdt Henderson part of a 4 team scrimmage at McDowell Wednesday. Both look for big improvement in 2017.

Owen lost game breaking tailback Sidney Gibbs and his brother, big lineman Saevion Gibbs, they transferred to Christ School. Last year's starting quarterback Kendrick Weaver transferred to Erwin. Those are pretty big blows to a team which is down in numbers. Coach Nathan Padgett says the Warhorses aren't going to feel sorry for themselves. He has some starters back from a 1-9 team, only 7 seniors though. He knows his club will be playing ironman football, going both ways but thinks "we;re going to play with a little chip on our shoulder." Owen opens August 18 at Enka.

East Henderson has lost 15 straight games but feel like a strong senior class has helped develop a tough attitude. First year coach Justin Heatherly , in his first varsity head coaching job, says his 16 seniors have great attitudes saying "they've been through a lot the last three years and they want to change." The Eagles have quarterback Chris Hemphill leading the attack with senior running back Deijon Gash right with him as far as production. East Henderson starts the season next Friday at Rosman.

A former Asheville High Cougar star lineman is changing schools. Pete Leota who was all-state and Shrine Bowler two years ago and signed with South Carolina is on the move. He left the Gamecocks program to follow his coach Shawn Elliott who went to Georgia State but reportedly Leota didn't like Atlanta and has ended up at James Madison University. The FCS champions are coached by former Roberson coach Mike Houston. Pete's brother Andrew Leota , an Asheville High defensive lineman and preseason all-state, has committed to play at Northwestern.

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