Friday, August 29, 2014

HCA Quarterback OH Rouse Earns Sampson Weekly Star Athlete of the Week

Senior Quarterback, OH Rouse, looks to lead the Crusaders to their first State Championship Title since 2008

Playing football is something that O.H. Rouse has always loved doing. “I played recreation football at Rose Hill and I had a coach that really got me into it,” the Harrells Christian Academy quarterback explained Monday. “In addition to that, my family has always been huge football fans.”

The 18-year-old HCA senior said that his passion for the game is simple, “I just really love the game.”
That love is on display every Friday night as he leads the Crusaders behind the center and on defense as middle linebacker.
His stats speak volumes.
In his sophomore year as quarterback, Rouse passed for 524 yards and 7 touchdowns; in his junior year he threw for 384 yards and had 7 touchdowns.

On defense, he is just as tough.
In the past three years, he has racked up a total of 193 tackles (110 solo; 83 assists) and has 11 sacks.
So it should come as no surprise that Rouse has been named this week’s Performance Auto/Sampson Weekly Star Athlete of the Week.

However, when told of the honor, Rouse is just that. “I am shocked,” he said upon hearing the news of the honor. “I am really surprised and really glad that someone thought that much of me to even nominate me.”
Although he started as a fullback in his freshman year on the Crusader squad, he quickly fit into the role of quarterback the
following year.

“I was really lucky,” Rouse explained. “I followed a really good quarterback in Connor Bullard. I also had a really good offensive coordinator at the time too (Adam Scronce). Those two guys really taught me a lot about being quarterback. To tell you the truth, I really looked up to them and I was lucky to learn so much from both of them.”

The team has been through three different head coaches since Rouse’s freshman year – Jack Holley, Brian Aldridge and the current head coach Winfred Johnson.

“All three coaches had the same philosophy,” Rouse said. “So, there really wasn’t a problem with the transitions. We kind of took a little from each one ... I think all of them taught me something. But Brian Aldridge really had a big impact on me and one of my best 
friends, Fredrick Strickland.”

When asked what he likes best about playing quarterback, O.H. says without hesitation, “I like the pressure of the position ... I like having the pressure put on me, I think that is when I play the best.”
However, after talking for a bit, Rouse admits to enjoying playing defense too. “I do enjoy playing defense a little bit better,” he says with a laugh. “I have always loved it. I think it is because I get to hit people.”
Born in Rose Hill to Owen and Panya, Rouse is the youngest child of the family – he has an older sister, Bailey, who is a senior at 

He started playing recreation sports at 8-years-old. Rouse, who also plays baseball for the Crusaders, said that loves to play both sports. “Well, I am not so good at baseball (Rouse plays centerfield),” he admits. “But I still like playing and getting out there. I have grown up around a lot of the same guys, so I enjoy getting out there and being part of the team. I also really enjoy the competition.”
Right now, though, Rouse is hyped about the Crusaders’ upcoming football season; his final in a Harrells uniform.
“I think we look pretty good,” he said. “I thought we played well in the Jamboree and did very well in our game against South Lenior ... I feel pretty good about this season. We have a tough season and we always have a rough time playing against Davidson Day Academy.”

A solid student in his own right, Rouse is near a 4.0 GPA, he hopes to follow in his sister’s footsteps and continue his education.
“I really hope to go to a four-year college,” he said. “I would
love to attend N.C. State University and work towards getting my agriculture degree.”
Would he consider playing sports in college? “Oh, I would love to play,” Rouse said. “It is a dream, but, yeah, I think it would be awesome.”

But he said his focus in college will be on his Agriculture career.

“My family has a farm (Rouse Brothers Produce),” O.H. explained. “It is run by my dad and his brother, Vernon. Over the years, I have helped out too. We grow organic produce, corn, beans ... I know that I want to do something with my degree in Agriculture.”
However, Rouse said his focus right now is completing his high school career by making more memories. “I want it to be memorable,” he said. “Because I know 10 years from now I’m going to miss it. I know after I look back on it, I will miss it ... you only get one time in life to go high school and play high school football. So, yes, it is definitely bittersweet for me.”

What makes playing at Harrells Christian Academy so special? “For me, it is my teammates and coaches,” Rouse said. “But it is much more than that. Harrells is special because it is a small school and everyone knows each other so well and everyone is so passionate about football. We have a solid fan base and it is great to hear all the fans cheering in the stands. It makes you feel good.”

Another thing that helps Rouse, he says, is former Harrells football star Will Johnson, who passed away tragically during a game over a decade ago. “We have this saying at our school named for him, called ‘The Will To Win’,” he explained. “To me and to everyone at Harrells, it is a big motivational factor. I was in elementary school when it happened and to be honest, I really didn’t know him that well. But we lived close to his family and they are just awesome people and have always been really supportive. His story always has touched me and he is always there in my mind. That is motivation for me.”

Looking back at his high school career, what would he tell the young O.H. Rouse now that he is on the verge of leaving Harrells? “I would tell him that you only have four years here,” he said quietly. “Don’t ever take anything for granted.”

All Credit for this Article goes to the Sampson Weekly

Follow HCA Athletics on Twitter: @hca_athletics

Saturday, August 23, 2014

HCA Cruises Past South Lenoir in Football Season Opener

DEEP RUN, NC- Harrells Christian Academy started off their highly anticipated season Friday night, August 22, against South Lenoir High School. The Crusaders did not take long to make their mark on the game by quickly forcing the Blue Devils to punt the ball away on their first drive. The high powered Crusader rushing attack emerged on their first play from scrimmage resulting in a 82 yard touchdown run by junior running back Marcus Scarborough. HCA found themselves leading 6-0 after the missed extra point.

The two teams continued to battle back and fourth in the remainder of the first quarter. HCA forced another South Lenoir punt but could not find the end zone forcing the Crusaders to turn the ball over on downs. At the end of the first quarter the Crusaders lead 6-0. Scarborough lead the Crusaders in the first quarter with 128 yards on 4 carries with 1 touchdown.

Heading into the second quarter HCA found themselves cruising down the field but their progress was quickly halted by multiple penalties. With 10:13 left in the second quarter HCA flipped the page in their playbook and found themselves in the end zone after a 30 yard touchdown pass from, senior quarterback, OH Rouse to, junior tailback, Davonte Best putting the Crusaders up 14-0.

Harrells' defense continued to stand tall against the Blue Devil offensive attack by forcing another punt. The Crusaders continued to hurt themselves by penalties in the second quarter. Fullback, Joseph Phaneuf, trotted into the end zone after a 50 yard run but was called back after a late holding call behind the play. The Crusaders were not dismayed by the frustration of penalties. Sophomore, Will Huff, powered his way down the field for a 20 yard run followed by a 15 yard touchdown to lengthen the Crusaders lead to 21-0 with 6:28 left in the half.

South Lenoir continued to struggle on the offensive front forcing the Blue Devils to another fourth down punt. The Crusaders marched down the field and topped off the drive with a 19 yard touchdown run by Marcus Scarborough to extend the Crusader lead to 28-0 in the closing seconds of the first half.

At the half the Crusaders had a comfortable lead of 28-0 lead by Scarborough's 209 yard and 2 touchdown first half performance.

HCA received the kickoff to start the second half. The Crusaders were lead down the field by, guess who, Marcus Scarborough. He broke away for a long run down to the Blue Devil one yard line where Davonte Best fought his way into the end zone to extend the Crusader lead to 35-0 with 9:57 left in the 3rd quarter.

Davonte Best contributed on both sides of the ball by grabbing an interception to give the Crusaders possession. HCA's progress was halted by the Blue Devil defense on fourth down giving South Lenoir the ball back on their own 15 yard line. The Blue Devils finally found some offensive rhythm on the first offensive play of the drive which ended in the end zone 85 yards later to tighten the scoring gap to 35-7 with 1:23 left in the 3rd quarter.

At the end of the 3rd quarter the Crusaders maintained their lead 35-7.

The Crusaders rushing attack struck once again in the 4th quarter this time from senior, Quinton Faison. His score pushed the Crusader's lead to 42-7 with with 7:33 left to play.

South Lenoir never stopped battling by punching in one final score in the closing minutes to make the score 42-13.

At the end of regulation the Crusaders clinched their first win of the season by defeating the South Lenoir Blue Devils 42-13.

Junior running back, Marcus Scarborough, found the end zone twice in the Crusaders season opening win.

Marcus Scarborough finished the game with 229 yards on 10 carries with 2 touchdowns. The balanced Crusader rushing attack combined for a total of 452 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Senior quarterback OH Rouse finished the game with 36 passing yards and 1 touchdown.

Senior linebacker, Fredrick Strickland, lead the Crusaders in tackles. He also recorded one interception to his outstanding performance to help lead HCA to their first victory of the season.

The Crusaders look to carry their confidence and enthusiasm into next week's home opener against East Montgomery High School. The Crusaders traveled to East Montgomery last year defeating the Eagles 34-6. The Crusaders kickoff their home opener at 7:30 Friday, August 29.

Follow Harrells Christian Academy on Twitter: @hca_athletics

Thursday, August 14, 2014

HCA Head Football Coach, Brian Aldridge, Steps Down

HARRELLS, NC- Harrells Christian Academy head football coach, Brian Aldridge, was admitted into the hospital Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 12). Aldridge had been having pains in his side over the past months but overlooked the affliction. Finally at practice on Tuesday he could not even bare to stand up and call the plays forcing him to sit on the sidelines with only the opportunity to observe. Aldridge was then rushed to the hospital where the doctors indicated he had four kidney stones and a ruptured kidney that would need surgery after the stones were passed. The upcoming ,third year, head coach hated to be taken away from the field but was forced to by his waining health issues. Aldridge and his coaching staff decided to hand over the playbook to 6 year assistant coach Winfred Johnson who was more than willing to take on the challenge. New interim head coach Winfred Johnson remarked, "We are all wishing him (Aldridge) well, the kids miss him and we are all thinking about him." 
Six year assistant coach Winfred Johnson will take over as interim head coach after the departure of Brian Aldridge.
Johnson looks to lead his newly motivated team to a State Title.

Aldridge could not be kept away from the action on Wednesday night during the Crusaders Scrimmage against various public schools despite his presence in the hospital. He found himself calling nearly every ten minutes to get an update on how the boys were doing and of course, the score. Aldridge plans on staying as active ,in motivating the team, as possible. He hopes to serve as a mentor to help lead the team to their first State Title since 2008.

Brian Aldridge led last years team to the state championship but came up short of a title.
Aldridge planned to retire at the conclusion of this season after over 30 years of coaching high school football.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Harrells Christian Hosts First Ever Media Day for Athletics

HARRELLS, N.C. – With the fall sports season just days away the HCA athletic department hosted a media day on Friday, to showcase all of the varsity fall sports. 

Held inside the Foundation Center, members of the Tennis, Volleyball, Football and Soccer squads all smiled brightly for the camera as the Wilmington Star News was on site to promote HCA athletics.

“We want to expand our coverage and we want to make sure Harrells Christian is a part of that.  We have been wanting to have a media day so we can get all of the information we need to better cover the athletic department here better than we ever have before” Wilmington Star News prep writer Alex Riley stated.

Riley spent time talking to all of the varsity head coaches examining what they were expecting out of their teams for the upcoming season.  All of the varsity coaches spoke of the growing pains of the first few days of practice but all expressed optimism when looking forward to their respective seasons. 

Riley also spoke with HCA senior football players OH Rouse and Fredrick Strickland for a feature story that will appear in the Star News publication in the near future.  Both players spoke about the defensive successes of the 2013 campaign, how the state championship loss in November has fueled their work effort in the spring and summer as well as gave Riley some things to look for when following HCA football in the 2014 campaign.  Rouse and Strickland also stated that their ultimate goal was to bring back the NCISAA state title back to “The Store” for the first time since 2008.

A reminder for all Crusader fans that the fall athletic season gets started on Tuesday, August 12 with the JV and Varsity Volleyball squads taking on Clinton High in a scrimmage in the Foundation Center.  The Varsity Football team will participate in a jamboree at South Brunswick High School on Wednesday the 13th starting at approximately 5:00 p.m.

The Crusaders will bounce out of the scrimmage phase of the season as both volleyball squads and the soccer team will travel to Cary Christian for games on Wednesday the 13th.  Varsity Tennis will start their season at Grace Christian on Friday the 15th and Varsity Football will travel to South Lenoir on Friday the 22nd for their season opener.

Of course you can follow all HCA Athletics on twitter @hca_athletics

-Andrew Miller,
HCA Athletics Student Communications Director

Contact the HCA Athletics Communications Staff by email:

Communications email:
Andrew Miller (Student Director):
Christopher Bell (Staff Advisor):

Thursday, August 7, 2014

HCA Media Day Preview

Don't miss out on all of the excitment surrounding Crusader Fall Sports by being a part of Harrells Christian Academy's first ever Fall Sports Media Day. This event starts Friday August 8 at 2:00. Coverage of this event includes full one on one interviews with all fall sport coaches and interviews with select players.

Follow live coverage of this event on twitter by following @hca_athletics

Be sure to check back into the blog to read about everything happening inside of HCA fall sports from the volleyball court, to the soccer and football field, and everything in between.