Oak Ridge of Tennessee edges Jefferson of Portland for top spot.
Yes, Asheboro was a great team in 1958, and as a team member (and an All-Southern pick with 1,404 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns) you would know that better than anyone. North Carolina was a hard state to get a good grasp on the top teams back then. Asheboro played in the Western North Carolina High School Activities Association and thus didn't play for the NCHSAA AA state championship. That went to Morehead (over Rockingham), which finished 13-0. The last state coaches rankings on Nov. 18 had Asheboro No. 1 followed by Rockingham, but there were no updated rankings after Morehead beat Rockingham, so I'm not sure if that would have changed anything. Reynolds was the top AAA team and I'm guessing it would have been recognized as the state's top team if it had beaten Wilson in the state finals, but the two teams tied 6-6. So the Reynolds-Wilson tie sort of dampened North Carolina's chance of getting a team in the Top 50 teams that I ranked. I didn't find any direct quote that said Asheboro was the greatest team ever produced in North Carolina, but I did find a quote in the Greensboro newspaper that said it was the greatest team ever produced at Asheboro, which I'm sure is true. I found other quotes that said Asheboro was the best team in the state, but it's usually a single quote without much explanation and it could be referring to the Class AA coaches poll and not necessarily a ranking of all teams in the state. So I just didn't have a good grip on where Asheboro stood among the best teams in the country because it didn't play for the NCHSAA state title and because it was a AA team. I would definitely say it was in the Top 100. But those were the things I thought about at the time when I was picking my Top 50. Thank you for reading.
Interesting that the 1958 Asheboro High School team was not on the list. Ranked at the time as maybe the best high school team in NC and a sterling 12-0 season.