Mount Airy, North Carolina — Only two North Carolina high schools have won more football games than Mount Airy: Shelby and Leesville. After defeating Tarboro for the 2022 He 1A State Championship, the Granite Bears now have eight state titles. The win was their 777th victory.
A win over Tarboro marks the first championship chapter in Mount Airy’s history book in 14 years. The Granite Bears’ last state championship came in 2008 when he beat Williamston 37-14 for his 1A title. Prior to that, the Bears were titleless in his 39 years. Between 1935 and his 1969, Mount Airy won his six titles.
This year’s Mount Airy team has achieved a rejuvenation that began last season. The Granite Bears’ defense is very robust, and from 2021 onwards, the newly introduced Gunn his triple his optional offense has proven difficult to stop.
JK Adkins said at the post-match press conference, “One of our hallmarks over the last two years has been our great defense.” I think it’s about playing hard and I think the level of effort that sets us apart.”
Mount Airy’s 2022 state champion football team may not have to wait too long to see its sequel. The Bears have definitely been a young team this season.
“It’s easy to look at our roster and make predictions for next year,” Adkins said. “That’s also dangerous. I’m fully aware that the senior class is small. There are eight of us. Of the eight, we miss them.”
Mount Airy’s high-powered rushing attacks were all led by juniors and freshmen. Outstanding Junior Running His back Tyler Mason scored 52 touchdowns this season, his second in the state. Junior back Caleb Reed, junior quarterback Ian Gallimore, and freshman rusher Teshon Martin combined for 2,012 yards and 30 touchdowns.
The Bears will also put most of their players back into entrenchment and defense. Gallimore and Reed are also standout linebackers. Junior Walker Stroop is a key offensive, defensive and special teams his player who forced a game-sealing fumble in the championship. Junior defensive end Derrick Dandy has next-level potential. Frehsmen defensive lineman DJ Joyce and his Third Floyd stood out in the win over Tarboro. Joyce made nine total tackles, and Floyd proved to be a problematic blocking assignment for Tarboro. Joyce’s older brother, Kaden, will be an important senior next year. The list goes on and on.
“It’s easy to say we know we’re going to return a lot of this roster, and the odds are in our favor, but I don’t think so,” Adkins said. “Now we are grateful for what happened, but we understand that we will have to prove ourselves again next year. You have to do what you need to do.”
Mount Airy may try to play it down, but the Bears are already the clear favorites for next year’s 1A State Championship.