Watauga High junior DeWayne Mackey suffered a fractured forearm in last week's game against South Caldwell.
The injury to his left forearm will force him to miss Friday night's game against Hibriten at Jack Groce Stadium. Mackey, a first-year starter, has been stellar in the secondary for the Pioneers this season. In nine games, he has
56 tackles and one tackle-for-loss. He's also returned seven kick-offs for a 21-yard average. His longest return of the season was 31-yarder in the win against Alexander Central on October 7.
"It's definitely a tough loss for us," said WHS coach Tim Pruitt. "And the injury comes at a bad time. Hibriten runs the ball very well. They've really improved in recent weeks.
"DeWayne is very strong against the run back there. He will be missed. But we'll have to work around it. We're going to use (tight end) Clint Trivette on defense some this week, and Nick Williams will move to free safety from strong safety. But we'll be fine."
According to Pruitt, Mackey will be doubtful for next week's season finale at St. Stephens, but he should be back and ready to go for the state playoff opener on November 4.
"He most likely will have a cast on his arm," Pruitt said. "But he should be good to go. These two games don't really mean much as far as the (Class) 4A playoffs are concerned. Because we're in a split league, we won't get credit for finishing second. We could find ourselves behind a lot of good teams in the small 4A bracket. The best thing we can do, it play our best and if we get a home playoff game, fine, if not, then we'll take what we get."
The Pioneers haven't hosted a home playoff game since 2007 (against Mount Tabor in the Western Finals). Our coverage of Friday's game between WHS and Hibriten begins at 6:30 p.m. on Oldies 100.7 FM.
NOTES: This is the 26th meeting between the schools. Hibriten leads the all-time series with 13 wins and 12 losses. The Panthers have won the last two games, which includes a 45-0 victory at Jack Groce Stadium last season.....The Pioneers haven't beaten Hibriten since 2006, and they haven't beaten the Panthers at home since 2001 (a 7-0 win that season, thanks to a Matt Profitt TD run).......For Hibriten, offensive left tackle Kendall Hall is out. He was injuried during the Patton game on September 9. The Panthers have promoted sophomore Trevor White to take his place. Hibriten is playing two sophomores on the left side of the line.....Quarterback Michael McCaleb, who missed a couple of games with an arm injury, was sick last week and did not play against Hickory. He is questionable for Friday's game against the Pioneers.