• Best HS football players show off skills at Channel 9's ‘Big 22 Media Day'


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Channel 9 is hosting 22 of the best high school football players in the Charlotte area for the annual “Big 22 Media Day.”

    Channel 9 anchor Phil Orban announced the finalists in May. The players not only excel in the field but also bring their A game in the classroom.

    “I’m blessed by God for giving me my ability and talent,” said Harding rising junior Quavaris Crouch. “It’s a really great feeling to be among the best in the Charlotte area."

    The players will show off their skills in front of Channel 9’s cameras at the Carolina Panthers’ practice field.

    "It’s a reward for how hard I work and for being a leader,” said Vance High rising senior Gerald Nathan Jr. “It’s a real privilege to be named one of the top 22 athletes. The talent here is tough. The best team will win and the best leader out here will win. For us, it's about the team."

    [BEHIND THE SCENES IMAGES: 2017 Big 22 Media Day at Panthers practice facility]

    “The talent around here is good. You see some real good ballplayers,” Crouch said. “It’s what you make of it. If you go full speed, that’s when people can see how good you are.”

    Players will spend the day doing photo shoots, social media campaign videos and interviews at the facility in uptown Charlotte.

    (Click PLAY to watch highlights from Thursday's Big 22 Media Day)

    Channel 9 will preview their stories, starting Monday, running alphabetically and leading up to the High School Football Extra preview show, which will introduce the 22 players.

    “It means a lot to be here,” said Concord rising senior Rick Dandidge. “It’s something I put a lot of time and energy into and can put it on my resume.”

    Deron Kendrick, the reigning Big 22 winner and rising senior at South Pointe High School, dropped by media day to see this year's finalists.

    "It's a blessing. It could have been anyone else. There's a lot of talent out here and everyone is trying to get to the same place and get a lot better," Kendrick said.

    Kendrick has already committed to Clemson University.

    "You can never get enough," Kendrick said. "I am just continuing to work hard to get where I need to be."

    The public can vote online for their favorite players beginning in September. Voting will continue through the season.

    “I feel like some overlook our athletes in North Carolina, but we have some really great players,” Dandidge said. “There’s a lot of talent here in North Carolina.”

    Channel 9 has teamed up with Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits to give $10,000 to the school of the player of the year.

    (Click PLAY to watch a timelapse from Thursday's Big 22 Media Day)

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