Everhart learned from Hunter
By Bret Strelow
Preston Everhart and Steven Hunter squared off on opposite sides of the line long before they became two of Rowan County’s best defensive linemen.
They played for rival YFL teams about a decade ago. Everhart started at offensive guard and tried to block Hunter.
“He was a big guy, and back then I really didn’t have that much size,” Everhart said. “I knew going against him I could develop going through the years because he’d make you work being across from him. You wouldn’t get nothing easy.”
Everhart (Salisbury) and Hunter (North Rowan) excelled as seniors and helped the two CCC county schools finish at or near the top of the league standings.
Salisbury clinched the outright conference title with a 16-13 victory against North in the regular-season finale.
The Cavaliers faced a third-and-goal from Salisbury’s 10 late in the game, but Everhart stopped a screen pass for no gain. North’s field-goal attempt sailed wide.
“They were killing us with that all night, and our coaches said it was coming,” Everhart said. “If they had scored, they would have went up to win the ballgame.”
The Cavaliers settled for a second-place tie in the CCC.
Hunter had double-digit tackles as North limited running back Bradley Mullins to 58 yards in a 12-0 victory against East Davidson. Two weeks earlier, the Cavs edged Lexington by a 38-32 score.
Hunter had a 65-yard fumble return in that game but was stopped a few yards shy of the end zone.
“It was the blocking,” Hunter said with a laugh. “I was about to score. I started slowing down, and I got pulled down by the neck. I was tired, so I just fell.”
Hunter spent some time on offense, but he dominated as an interior lineman for a defense that allowed a total of 23 points in the last four CCC games.
“Most of the teams in the conference ran the ball a lot,” Hunter said. “I just tried to be the best run-stopper on the team.”