Friday Night Hero: Carson’s Shaun Warren
By Ronnie Gallagher
CHINA GROVE ó Finally, after three years of existence, Carson gets a Friday Night Hero.
To get that honor bestowed on you, a school must first win on Friday night. Until last week’s 36-0 pasting of North Rowan, the Cougars had to read about everybody else. They were 0-22.
And wouldn’t you know it? The first Carson hero is the one name no one knows.
On Tuesday, a reporter yelled over at quarterback Ryan Jones, “Tell Shaun Warren I want to talk to him.”
Jones gave a quizzical look.
Jones apologized a few minutes later. Nobody knows Carson’s Friday Night Hero by Shaun Warren.
He’s simply “Bush.”
Jones giggled when telling the story about a teacher calling the name “Shaun Warren” in class.
“Everybody laughed,” Jones said, “because no one knew what his name was. We’ve always just called him Bush.”
When you realize Warren is Carson’s top running back, it all makes sense. His hero is Reggie Bush, the former Southern Cal and current New Orleans Saints star.
He even wears No. 5 for the Cougars.
Against the Cavaliers, Warren ran like Bush. He finished with 76 yards rushing, a career high, including one pretty 41-yard dash to the end zone.
Warren laughs as hard as Jones about his nickname.
“In middle school, everybody knew I was a big fan of Reggie Bush,” said Warren, a sophomore.
Does he have any Bush traits?
“I hope so,” he said. “I want to run like him.”
On the scoring jaunt, he finally felt like his hero.
“I thought I saw a hole in the middle, but I had more room on the outside,” Warren said. “I tried to make one cut on a man. It felt good … my first varsity touchdown.”
The way he scored is why running backs coach Ben Hampton is really excited.
“He has great vision,” Hampton said. “Some people have to idle down to make a cut. He made the cut and was gone. And he can run through tackles with the best of them.”
Warren was brought up to the varsity as a freshman, but he struggled.
“I was thinking a lot because I didn’t want to mess up,” he said. “I’m more comfortable this year.”
Now, if everyone can get comfortable with exactly what to call this guy.
Hampton said his parents watched West Rowan play last week and read about Carson’s win on Saturday morning. His dad, Rick, called and said, “Ben, I thought you said this Bush kid was good.”
“I did,” Hampton replied.
“His name’s not in the paper,” Rick noted.
Hampton had to explain that Bush is really Warren.
“It’s kind of funny,” Hampton said. “But that’s what I call him, too.”
Warren loves it.
“They’re going to put me in the yearbook as Bush,” he laughed.
Warren wants to make a difference for a team that managed only 73 points last season.
“We feel the offense can put a lot more points on the board this year,” he said. “The offensive line is bigger and stronger. We feel pretty confident that we’re going to win a lot of games.”
That might happen if Carson coaches keep giving the ball to their 5-foot-7 running back Shaun Warren.