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Rampants reenergized for new season

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J.H. Rose players run drills during practice on August 3, 2018. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)


By Jake Keator
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The J.H. Rose football program is one known for winning conference championships and other titles alike. 

Rose ended with a 3-8 record in 2017 for a serious downturn from the Rampants’ usual winning ways.

With the end of the season came the departure of one senior class and the rise of another. This year, the Rampants see a large batch of seniors on their roster, and in positions of importance and leadership.

A potential high-flying, heavy-scoring offense will be led by senior quarterback Grant Jarman, who is also looking to utilize the length and athleticism of his receivers.

In the first week of preseason practices, coach Dave Wojtecki saw strides in improvement.

“So far I’ve seen a lot more aggressiveness than what we had last year,” he said.

The Rampants have began anew, with a larger sense of teamwork and winning mentality. Wojtecki said players are holding each other accountable for their actions and play on and off the field.

“I think the guys have gone back and talked and said, ‘Hey, this is what worked when we were good, and this is what didn’t work because of what we were doing.’” Wojtecki said. “I think they know what they need to do to be successful again.”

The Rampants, eager to get back on the field to show their fans that last season’s failures are not going to be repeated, returned to full-contact practice Saturday.

Several players stood out to Wojtecki during the first week of the preseason.

“I was impressed with our linebacking core as a whole,” he said. “I think on the defensive line, Diandre Gillmore has done a good job, he’s a bigger guy, so we weren't sure how he would turn out but he has done a great job of working hard.”

Wojtecki also mentioned defensive end Arquavion Page, and receivers Jake Henry Rodgers, Zane Noles, Ethan Boyer and Ben Harris as impressing in workouts.

“Ethan Boyer is going to be a guy people need to watch out for,” Wojetcki said of the 6-foot, 165-pound senior.

While they aim to forget their 2017 season, the Rampants also look to use the disappointment to fuel their drive to contend again for a conference championship and state title.

Rose will get its regular season started Aug. 17 when it travels to face former conference foe New Hanover.

Contact Jake Keator at 252-329-9594 or jkeator@reflector.com and follow @JakeKeatorDR on Twitter.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

High Schools

October 22, 2018

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s release of volleyball state playoff brackets Monday afternoon saw two Pitt County teams earn No. 1 seeds. Matches begin Tuesday.

In the top of the 3-A East bracket is undefeated D.H. Conley (21-0), which opens in Greenville as 32nd-…


October 22, 2018

A game traditionally known to be a tight, high-scoring affair ended up being highly one-sided contest Friday night, as D.H. Conley defeated rival J.H. Rose 48-21 win for a second consecutive win over the Rampants.

The win put another punctuation mark on how dangerous DHC (6-2, 4-0 Eastern Carolina)…


October 21, 2018

Pitt County had a strong show­ing at the NCHSAA 3-A girls’ ten­nis re­gional at N.C. Wes­leyan Col­lege this week­end, high­lighted by a J.H. Rose tan­dem tak­ing top hon­ors in dou­bles ac­tion.

Maryah Stokes and Ginger Evans won the…

2018 Doubles Championships (1).jpg

October 20, 2018

South Central continued its undefeated football season with a decisive victory over New Bern on Friday night, 52-8.

In their first game in two weeks, the Falcons dominated with their multifaceted run game and took advantage of the Bears’ offensive mistakes.

After a sloppy but uneventful first…


October 20, 2018

Four Pitt County high school volleyball programs are ready to make some noise in postseason play. J.H. Rose, D.H. Conley, South Central and Ayden-Grifton all are eyeing a state title this year after terrific regular seasons.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association plans to reveal the…


October 19, 2018

D.H. Conley bested rival J.H. Rose on the gridiron for the second straight year Friday night, 48-21, increasing their win streak to six straight in the process.

“This is an awesome feeling,” Conley head coach Nate Conner said. “The most important thing is that it puts us in a…


October 19, 2018

It’s time for another installment of one of the best rivalries in the state as D.H. Conley (5-2, 3-0) travels just under seven miles down the road to face J.H. Rose (5-2, 2-1) tonight in high school football action.

With two high-scoring offenses coming together it will be a shootout, and…


October 18, 2018

The Ayden-Grifton Chargers volleyball team celebrated senior night by defeating South Lenoir Wednesday to improve to 19-1 on the season.

The Chargers (11-0 in league play) won in straight sets, 25-13, 25-8 and 25-19.

The match marked the final time seniors Jordan Cannon, Zion Hardy and Kristen…

October 18, 2018

Zion Hardy, known by her teammates as “The Beast,” is one of three seniors on a Chargers volleyball roster that has only 10 players. Hardy spoke with preps Beat Writer Jake Keator after a 3-0 win on senior night about the Chargers season and winning back-to-back conference titles.



October 16, 2018

J.H. Rose put on a performance reminiscent of the beginning of its season with a 55-0 rout of Southern Wayne last Wednesday night. 

The game seemed to be a walk in the park for head coach Dave Wojtecki and Rose (5-2, 2-1), who held a comfortable 42-0 lead at halftime.

The Rampants switched up…

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