Gallagher column: Roaming the county
Roaming the county getting ready for tonight ...
SPENCER - Albemarle never loses in the Yadkin Valley Conference, right? That's what we have come to understand and that includes beating North Rowan.
Well, understand this. North Rowan is for real this year. First-year coach Joe Nixon has walked those halls getting the best athletes out on the field and it's certainly paying off so far. Tonight, when the Big Blue travels up Highway 52, they'll be greeted by more than an improved bunch of Cavaliers. The Bulldogs will also have to go against a Green-Out.
"That's what it's supposed to be," Nixon chuckled Wednesday, while sitting in the weight room helping a few of his Cavaliers fill out their Meet The Player forms. "It's huge. Our community has a tremendous buzz right now. Our kids are excited. It should be a great atmosphere for high school football."
Both teams come in 3-0 in the YVC. If North can pull it off, it could be a landmark victory. But Nixon knows what he's up against.
"It's a big game against a traditional power," he said. "That's a well-coached team and we'll have our hands full. "But if we play, we have a good chance."
After all those years assisting Scott Young at West Rowan and seeing some powerful 3A teams, Nixon finds himself in a 1A classification now, and it's a bit eye-opening. It's all about small towns. And Albemarle is an exception. With all those state championship banners, football is king.
"There's a whole lot of small towns across North Carolina that aren't good in football," Nixon said. "And the ones that are, have good players."
Spencer is one of those towns that has given North Rowan good players. Tonight against the traditional power, they get to prove how good.
•There are three teams looking down in the North Piedmont Conference standings at West Rowan and one of them is South Rowan, winner of only one game last year, but currently 2-1 in the league. They go over to neighbor Carson in what should be a very interesting game.
Sophomore Aaron Kennerly has already won the Rolaids Award for coming in as the relief man several times at quarterback. Now, the job is his for good as Nathan Lambert was supposed to have surgery today on his foot.
Kennerly's counterpart, Carson's Austin McNeill, has good numbers but his team has only one win in seven tries. The most asked question in the county is, "What's wrong with Carson?"
The Cougars want to tell them, "Nothing, We're back on track" with a win tonight. Stay tuned.•In other games, East Rowan, which shares first place in the NPC, will try to avoid a letdown after ending West's 44-game county win streak with a visit to 0-7 North Iredell. West has a tough assignment as Reidsville comes to Mount Ulla. Salisbury, which shares the CCC lead, takes its potent offense to Central Davidson.
A.L. Brown, which shares the South Piedmont Conference top spot, is home against Mount Pleasant. Davie, tied for first place in the CPC, plays the "Battle of the Yadkin" against rival West Forsyth.•On the air ...
• WSTP 1490 AM will cover North's game with Hall of Famer Howard Platt and sidekick Wilson Cherry.
• WSAT 1280 AM will go with Salisbury with Johnny, Mark, Glenn, Jeff and the boys.
• On WRNA 1140 AM, the "Conmmissioner of high school football," Carl Ford, will call the South-Carson contest.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.
And if you're in Spencer, wear green.•Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.