Gallagher column: Roaming the county
Roaming the county getting ready for tonight ...
Let's see if I've got this straight. The state playoffs begin tonight and North Rowan is playing a team from its own conference and East Rowan is playing a team from its own conference - and own county.
A lot of coaches hate this. It's the playoffs, let's see someone different. But sometimes, it is out of the NCHSAA's hands. They match seeds and West Montgomery just happens to be North's first-round opponent. Carson just happens to be East Rowan's first-round opponent.
North played West Montgomery on Oct. 19 and squeaked out a 20-14 overtime victory.
When asked about playing a foe again so soon, Cavaliers coach Joe Nixon said, "I'd like to play somebody not as good as West Montgomery. I think everybody now realizes how good they are. We'll be in for a dogfight. We've watched film and there are some corrections we have to make."
If North wins, Nixon said the Cavs will probably be playing their last game at home.
"Uness something crazy happens," he said. "It should be a packed house here in Spencer and it ought to be fun for the kids."•Expect a packed house at East, where the fans filled up the place the first time the Mustangs and Carson collided, a 27-7 East win.
Carson had to win its last regular-season game over North Iredell just to get the required four wins to be eligible. Myquon Stout said Tuesday the Cougars want to make up for not getting in last year. Cougars coach Mark Woody is looking forward to the matchup.
"You've got plenty of film on them," Woody said. "I like playing teams we have some similarities with. It should be a really good atmosphere."•CCC champ Salisbury is playing a Cuthbertson team that is only in its fifth year and which barely made it over the .500 mark. What does that mean to Hornets coach Joe Pinyan?
Not a thing.
Pinyan reminded his team before Monday's practice exactly who Cuthbertson is.
"Know Hickory Ridge?" asked Pinyan, who then went on to explain who Hickory Ridge is. It's the team that won the South Piedmont Conference 3A championship. It's the team that beat both A.L. Brown and Concord. It's the team that went 10-1.
And the one loss? To Cuthbertson.
Pinyan then said Cuthbertson's losses were to some pretty fair opponents: Weddington, Marvin Ridge, Rocky River, Forest Hills and Monroe.
"They've got a big 'ol freshman quarterback and a field-goal kicker who can hit them for 40 yards out," Pinyan said of the No. 7 seed.•West Rowan at 9-2, plays host to Northeast Guilford.
Coach Scott Young said Northeast is a lot like the Falcons.
"They're an option-flexbone team that likes to ground it and pound it," he said.
If you're a fan of Rowan County football, this is your night. No one can remember every county team in the playoffs playing at home in a first-round game. All five won't leave the borders.
South Rowan didn't qualify.•Some notes to remember about the eight classifications:
There are only eight unbeaten teams left.
There are 36 teams making the playoffs with losing records.
There is East Wilkes, coached by former Salisbury assistant J.K. Adkins, in the playoffs with two wins.•On the air tonight ...
• WSTP 1490 AM will be at North Rowan for its game with Hall of Famer Howard Platt and sidekick Wilson Cherry broadcasting the action.
• WSAT 1280 AM will be at Salisbury with Johnny, Mark, Glenn, Jeff and the boys.
• WRNA 1140 AM and the "Commissioner" of high school football Carl Ford will be at East for the Mustangs' game with Carson.
• The A.L. Brown game will be carried by 1460 AM.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.•Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.