WEST JEFFERSON — After a grueling non-conference schedule which included trips to Avery and West Caldwell and a rivalry game against Watauga on home soil, the Ashe County Huskies football team (1-3) now turns their attention to a potential repeat as Mountain Valley Athletic Conference Champions.
While still early in the season, Ashe sits tied for fifth in the conference alongside West Wilkes, East Wilkes and Alleghany. Head Coach Brian Hampton said this is a symptom of their pre-conference schedule, which typically includes tougher opponents than other teams in the MVAC would face.
Elkin, who sits tied for the top spot in the conference with a 3-1 record, has faced a pre-conference schedule with a combined record of 8-9, while Ashe in the same time frame has gone up against opponents with a combined record of 10-8. This included battles with 3A powerhouse Watauga (4-1) and last season’s 2A state semi-finalist Hibriten (3-1).
“We try to play a tough non-conference schedule, and I think we do, to prepare for league games,” Hampton said. “We want to constantly get better and hit our peak later in the season in our biggest games.”
Despite the strength of their schedule, the Huskies still have players sitting atop stat boards in the MVAC. Junior quarterback Dawson Cox leads the conference with 1,094 passing yards and 12 touchdowns. Meanwhile, J.J. Mannan leads the conference in both receiving yards with 336 and touchdowns with five.
Ashe County Huskies conference scheduleSept. 27 — Home vs. Alleghany
Oct. 4 — Away vs. Elkin
Oct. 11 — Home vs. North Wilkes (Homecoming)
Oct. 18 — Away vs. Wilkes Central
Oct. 25 — Home vs. East Wilkes
Nov. 1 — Home vs. West Wilkes (Senior Night)
Nov. 8 — Away vs. Starmount