Preo Football: The Notebook: Week 14
From staff reports
The prep football notebook …
This is the advice West Rowan athletics director Todd Bell has for anyone planning on attending the Falcons’ Western 3A final against South Point on Friday.
Come early and come hungry.
Hungry fans pay for food and that’s really where schools make their money. With an anticipated crowd of 6,000, that’s a lot of hotdogs, pizza and Cheerwine.
The question Bell has fielded most often this week is, where will those 6,000 fans sit. West holds 2,200 on the home side and 1,300 on the visiting side.
South Point, which is noted for its fans traveling by the thousands, was most concerned. Bell even received a call from the Gaston County AD, who suggested moving the game to Catawba.
“His push was that his fans deserved to watch the game from a good seat,” Bell said. “Hey, when I go to (Bank of America) Stadium to watch the Panthers, I don’t get to sit where I want.”
Bell drove to Belmont to give South Point 1,000 tickets for pre-sale. He was told the school needed more. Gaston officials even mentioned calling Charlie Adams of the NCHSAA to get the game moved.
But Bell remained steadfast. He said the state’s minimum requirement for seating at a 3A school is 2,000 on the home side and 1,000 on the visitor’s side. West meets that. So Bell never thought about calling Catawba or moving the game from his campus.
“Our side of it is that we earned the right to play at home,” he said.
BIG GAMES: Friday night is certain to be the biggest crowd in West Rowan history.
Bell said the other two biggest crowds were both in 2005, when West met Northwest Cabarrus in a battle of 8-0 teams, and a playoff game against A.L. Brown.
nTHE WAVE: Bell got some help from North Rowan, which loaned bleachers, and from West Rowan Middle, which did likewise. Bleachers were moved from the baseball and softball fields.
Bleachers will be in the end zones giving the place a feel of a full-fledged stadium.
“We could do the wave and have it go all the way around,” Bell laughed. “It will be another first. We can act like it’s a college or professional game in Mount Ulla.”
Gates open at 5 p.m.-
PARKING: And then, there’s the subject of where to put all of those cars.
For big games, vehicles are usually lined up and down two-lane Highway 801. Bell anticipates some fans getting their exercise with a walk of a mile or so.
Someone mentioned parking in the field across the from the school. Bell said the man who owns the land hasn’t cut his soybeans yet.
Welcome to the country, South Point.
$$$$: In this struggling economy, Friday’s football game will definitely help both schools.
It’s easy to figure how the money is divided. Tickets are $7 each. If Bell sells at least 4,000, which seems certain, that’s $28,000.
The state takes a dollar off each ticket for the endowment fund and then takes 25 percent of the gross.
With the money that’s left, Bell must pay expenses: ticket takers, security, rescue squad and officials. That will cost him around $1,500. The amount remaining will be split between the two schools.
HOME SWEET HOME: Being a No. 1 seed has its advantages. Coach Scott Young loves the fact his players can feel comfortable each week of the playoffs.
“From a routine standpoint, we do the same things on Friday,” he said. “We don’t have to change things. And that’s good.”
ALMOST PERFECT: Young isn’t just producing good records at West Rowan.
When he coached his son Bryant’s coach-pitch baseball team, the Dodgers went undefeated. This season, Young spent his Saturdays in Mooresville coaching Bryant’s Pee Wee football team. It went undefeated.
The only team Young coaches that isn’t undefeated is the West Rowan Falcons.
“We’re working on that,” he said with a laugh.
West has one loss in 14 games this season.
FILM FRIENDS: One of the things coaches enjoy is the film tradeoff.
Young said he met South Point coach John Devine in Concord on Saturday, and they stood around shooting the breeze for 30 minutes.
“You congratulate them on their season and build them up and tell them how good they are,” Young said. “He does the same. That’s just the way coaches are.”
WEATHER: The forecast is for no rain, with a high of 47 degrees and a low of 29.
When A.L. Brown beat Charlotte Catholic 28-27 in the third round of the 3AA playoffs on Friday, senior quarterback Jamill Lott also reached one of his individual goals. He had 112 rushing yards to go over 1,000 for the season.
Lott has 1,650 passing yards and has thrown for 20 touchdowns.
Lott has received scholarship offers during the season from Southern Conference schools, but his playoff performances have opened more doors.
Duke contacted the Lotts after the Catholic game.
Brown travels Friday to face a Kings Mountain team that boasts a quarterback, Michael Roberts, with even better rushing numbers than Lott. Roberts accounted for six TDs in Kings Mountain’s 56-55 win against Anson.-
BALL CONTROL: Kings Mountain’s ability to keep the ball concerns the Wonders. Kings Mountain had the ball for an amazing 35 of 48 minutes against Anson, which relied on feast-or-famine big plays.
The last two weeks, Kings Mountain has beaten Mooresville and Anson, the two teams that beat Brown, so the second-seeded Mountaineers will be favored at home against the fourth-seeded Wonders.
WIDER AUDIENCE: Right tackle Markus Deel’s uncle and cousin came in from out of state to watch the Wonders finally beat Catholic on their fourth try.
They went back to Virginia feeling they’d gotten their money’s worth.
COMMITTEE: With Artrele Louis sidelined all season, Brown doesn’t have a marquee running back, but it’s gotten nearly 1,700 rushing yards from Johnathan Williams, Antwoine Jordan and soph Travis Riley.-
ONE TO WATCH: Brown’s strength, conditioning and offensive line coach Todd Hagler said 5-foot-8, 250-pound junior offensive lineman Tyrone Langley could be a force next season.
Langley isn’t a starter yet, but the Wonders use him on their “heavy sets” when some short-yardage beef is required.
TIGHT SPOTS: Hagler praised tight ends Zach Massey, Jacob Newman and Stephon Jenkins for their blocking this season.
“Those guys usually practice with the O-line,” Hagler said. “They’re good blockers because they’re tough, they’re smart and they make adjustments.”
WAY TO GO: Swarming Brown players after Friday’s dramatic win were many former Wonders who had lost to Catholic, including Jonathan Efird and Matthew Ouellette.
“Lots of hugs and high-fives,” right guard Chris Shaw said. “It meant as much to them as to us.”
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