Prep Football: Common Sense picks
If you’re ever on “Jeopardy!” and the category is West Rowan football, make sure to keep “Who is Raymond Daugherty?” on the tip of your tongue.
Also be sure to make your responses in the form of a question — or you’ll be chastised by host Alex Trebek.
The only West head coach to go 0-10. Who is Raymond Daugherty?
The first West head coach to lead a team to the state playoffs. Who is Raymond Daugherty?
And the Daily Double. The West head coach who became head coach at another Rowan school. Take a wild guess. You got it. Who is Raymond Daugherty?
Daugherty, who piloted West from 1981-85, also led Salisbury in 1999-2000, which puts him in the tiny group of men who have been head coaches at more than one Rowan school. There are dozens who have been assistants at multiple schools, and it’s not unusual for coaches to be assistants at one school before getting the head job at another, but being the head honcho at two different schools in the county hasn’t happened often. At least it hasn’t happened much since those early years of school consolidation when, for example, China Grove coach Lope Linder accepted the reins at the newly built South Rowan High School.
The most successful two-school head football coach in Rowan County was Roger Secreast, who was just 7-13 at Salisbury in 1983-84 but became a Hall of Fame candidate with a 108-59 run at North Rowan from 1988-2001.
Secreast had the opposite experience from Hal Quinn. Quinn guided East Rowan to a 9-1 record in 1959, the year the school opened, but things didn’t go as well for him at Salisbury’s Boyden High, where his 1962 team was 0-9-1.
Which brings us to tonight and to Joe Pinyan.
There’s never really been anything in the county quite like Pinyan’s move from Salisbury, where he coached at a Hall of Fame level (100-36 in 10 seasons), to Carson, which is 28-54 in its brief history.
And for Pinyan to be coaching his very first game as Carson’s head man in Salisbury’s stadium is Hollywood-scripted.
That’s why there’s so much interest in what happens tonight at Ludwig Stadium.
Salisbury basically has been killing Carson, lots of 50s on the scoreboard and five wins in six tries, but does that change now that Pinyan has changed colors?
Well, we’ll see.
But one last note about Daugherty.
Oddly enough, Daugherty’s first head-coaching outing at Salisbury came in 1999 against his old school, West Rowan. West, coached by a very young Scott Young, won that game 53-0 in a record-breaking landslide.
Seriously. The Salisbury coach in the most lopsided loss in Salisbury football history. Who is Raymond Daugherty?
Forecasting tonight’s outcomes isn’t something “Common Sense” is looking forward to. The opening week is always the hardest week to predict because you can only tell so much from scrimmages and previews and lists of returning starters, and five of six games could go either way. Common Sense could start 1-5. Not that such a disaster would surprise anyone.
Carson 21, Salisbury 17
Ryan Crowder makes his head-coaching debut for the Hornets. It should be close and it could be much lower scoring than past Carson-Salisbury games. It’s not just the Pinyan factor. Carson has the more experienced QB (Austin McNeill), the proven running back (Brandon Sloop) and the best defender (Myquon Stout).
North Rowan 26, East Rowan 14
Even with North’s killer schedule, both teams should have winning seasons. North was a slight favorite even when East star Calvin Edwards was healthy. Still, East has a shot. East was a heck of a team late last season, and the Mustangs play well at home.
West Rowan 17, Mooresville 14
On paper, Mooresville figures to be scary defensively, so it’s going to be a low-scoring struggle. West’s special teams could make the difference. West has dominated the series in recent years, but if West loses the turnover battle it is likely to lose the game.
A.L. Brown 20, Concord 14
Concord has more returners, but the Wonders have history on their side. Concord won in 2012, and the Spiders haven’t taken two in a row in the epic series since the mid-1980s.
South Iredell 35, South Rowan 7
South Iredell, coming off a state-championship season, is the only clear-cut favorite on tonight’s local schedule.
Page 35, Davie 28
Davie players are going to play their hearts out for new coach Devore Holman, but Page has a ton of talent, and it’s going to be a challenge for Davie to beat the Pirates two years in a row.