Mint Hill Featured Athletes Of The Week

Justin Little looking for an open receiver under good pass protection. (Photo by Ron Morris)
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MINT HILL, NC – The Independence High School football season continues to dominate our sports section this fall season. Their turnaround in just two seasons by Head Coach DJ McFadden is remarkable and having a young talented quarterback in Justin Little certainly makes a coaches job a little easier. However, the maturity, leadership, and decision making have improved dramatically from  game 1 to game 12. This only happens through good coaching and mentorship. Why we must select Justin Little once again as the “Athlete of the Week.”

Athlete of the Week:



Justin Little – The sophomore Patriot quarterback completed 16 of 20 passes for 277 yards, a .800% completion rate, averaged 17.2 yards per completion, his longest was perfectly executed on the first offensive play of the game for Indy with a 67 yarder to teammate Sincere McIntyre. He tossed 2 touchdowns and his QB rating was 154.2. He also gained 73 yards rushing and scored 2 more touchdowns.

Overall, Little’s numbers keep on accumulating which is very impressive. In 12 games he has 171 completions on 239 attempts for 2769 yards at a completion rate of .715. He averages 230.8 yards per game through the air, has tossed 26 TD’s, with only 6 interceptions and an excellent QB rating of 135.8. Rushing he has added 555 yards on 67 carries and 12 additional TD’s. This season to date he has a combined yardage total of 3,324 yards and 38 touchdowns. He is a scoring threat from any part of the field and can be explosive with his longest rush from scrimmage being 75 yards, and longest pass completion of 67 yards.

Honorable Mention: 

Sincere McIntyre – The senior all-purpose offensive player had 2 carries for 28 yards and 1 TD rushing, and had 3 pass receptions for 82 yards with a 67 yard TD. He contributed 55 yards on kickoff returns for a total of 165 yards. In 12 games this season he has accumulated 1472 all-purpose yards and 8 touchdowns for the Patriots.

Will Brown – The WR had 4 catches for 91 yards, he averaged 22.8 yards per pass reception, his longest a 30 yarder for a touchdown. in 12 games this season Brown has 24 catches for 447 yards, his longest a 58 yard pass reception and 7 TD’s. Also, he has been a consistent blocker for the Patriots running backs.

Joe Moraglia – The senior in 7 games who returned to the lineup after overcoming an early season injury is making the kind of contribution we expected. On Thursday night he contributed 52 yards on 3 pass receptions for 17.3 yards per catch. He also made some key blocks on big drives for Indy. On the season a consistent WR has 15 catches for 265 yards, a long of 50 yards and 2 TD’s.

Other Notables:

Special Teams: Charlie Gottlieb, Daniel Locklear

Defensive Player of the Game: Joe Reddish

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.