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Prep Football: West Rowan notebook

By Ronnie Gallagher
rgallagher@salisburypost.com
The West Rowan notebook …
West Rowan’s Scott Young sat at his desk Tuesday, wondering if he’d ever get to go over a gameplan for West Craven.
It seemed like the first part of the week was reserved for everything but preparing for Saturday’s 3A state championship game against West Craven at BB&T Field in Winston-Salem. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.
Young was going over a list of names, making sure everyone had passes and tickets. Someone called and announced a Christmas wish to have an autographed football. That request will be honored, Young said.
Phone call after phone call came in.
“That’s why you have two weeks to prepare for the Super Bowl,” he said. “There’s a lot of logistics. I’m ready to get all of this over with so we can coach the gameplan.”
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HIP-HIP-HOORAY: This has been a week to celebrate one of the greatest seasons in Rowan County history.
West will host a community pep rally Friday night at its football stadium to honor the football team as it prepares to travel to Winston-Salem.
Everyone is invited to bring food and enjoy tailgating at 6 p.m. behind the school. The pep rally will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by a bonfire at 7 p.m.
There is no admission fee for the event.
Tickets for Saturday’s game will be available at the pep rally for $9 each. They are $10 at the gate Saturday.
You can also buy tickets in the school office from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. through Friday.
Parking at the championship games will be $7.
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ON THE AIR: You’ll be able to see West Rowan’s game next week. Time Warner Cable is covering all of the state championship games, with the 4AA matchup going live.
The other games will be aired next week on Carolina On Demand.
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CANDY MAN: Defensive coordinator David Hunt joins Young each week in giving out awards for excellent play.
The awards? Candy bars.
Here are the winners from the 35-7 victory over South Point in the Western final:
The Crunch Bar: To defensive end Brett Graham for the biggest hit of the night.
The Hershey Bar: To Dominique Noble for blocking a punt. “We give the Hershey bar because it comes in blocks,” Hunt explained.
The PayDay Bar: For the hardest workers. Eli Goodson and Kenderic Dunlap each got one.
The 100 Grand Bar: To Austin Greenwood, who was the MVP of the game.
“It’s hard to believe you’re bribing a kid with a candy bar,” Hunt said with a laugh. “But everybody pays attention to who gets the bars. Some make a big deal about it. They like to eat it in front of the others.”
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MORE GREENWOOD: Greenwood has made a habit of coming through with big moments in the playoffs. After running a fake punt for the winning points and getting the clinching interception in a 20-16 win over Carver, he picked up Noble’s blocked punt and sprinted into the end zone against South Point.
“Sometimes,” Hunt marveled, “the ball just finds you. Austin moves around, and it sticks in his back pocket. It’s like, ‘There it is.’ ”
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ADMIRATION: Principals spend quite a bit of time at school, but West Rowan’s Jamie Durant appreciates his coaches.
“I see all the hard work they put in,” he said during Monday’s press conference in Raleigh. “I’ve been there many times on the weekend, and I see coaches reviewing film or painting the field. They probably put in more hours than I do.”
Durant was an assistant principal at West six years ago before coming back.
“I would put our program up against anybody as far as the character of our students,” Durant said. “We have great kids. I haven’t had one football player in my office for any reason.”
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LOVE THE DEACS: Young couldn’t have asked for a better venue for the state title game than BB&T Field, where Wake Forest plays its home games.
Former West star Tristan Dorty is a redshirt freshman who is still playing as well. The Deacons are preparing for the EagleBank Bowl in Washington D.C. against Navy on Dec. 20.
Young said Dorty was on the sidelines last week when West defeated South Point.
“I love that kid to death,” Young said. “I constantly get in touch with him. And I like that Wake Forest staff. They’re recruiting a couple of our kids now.”
One is star running back K.P. Parks, who attended one of Wake’s recent games.
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COVER UP: A neat sight at the Western final was West students sporting body paint, spelling out W-E-S-T.
Won’t happen Saturday. Fans must keep their shirts on, and there will be no body paint allowed.
Also not allowed: flag poles, sticks, umbrellas, noisemakers, pyrotechnics, exploding devices, air horns, coolers, bottles or food.
In other words, just bring yourself. And money.
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BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW: There are 381 NCHSAA member schools, and 361 play football.
West Rowan and A.L. Brown are two of only 16 left going into the weekend.
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FUN FACTS: Of the 16 finalists, the nickname “Eagles” is the most popular. There are three schools with that moniker, including West Craven.
There are also Tigers, Bulldogs, Vikings, Red Devils, Rams, Mustangs, Falcons, Panthers, Pirates and Raiders.
The best nicknames: The Granite Bears of Mount Airy and the Wonders of A.L. Brown.
– There are five 15-0 teams, one of which is West Craven, and six 14-1 squads.
The worst record in a championship game? Williamston at 10-5.
– Quick, where is 2A finalist East Bladen located?
It’s in Elizabethtown.
– Quick, where’s Elizabethtown? It’s southeast of Fayetteville, between Interstates 95 and 40.
– Don’t forget the CCC may be welcoming a state champ next season. Thomasville is 1A now, but it is moving up to play Salisbury in 2009.
The Bulldogs aren’t scared of anyone. They’ll also take on A.L. Brown out of conference.
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ENJOY IT ALL: Young knows the magnitude of being in the state title game.
“I’m going to enjoy it,” he said. “I want our kids to enjoy it. I want our families to enjoy it. I want the fans to enjoy it.
“Win or lose, we need to savor this moment.”
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WAIT ‘TIL NEXT YEAR: Think West is strong this year? Hunt said he’d have seven or eight Falcons back next year who have started.
“We’ll be a much more veteran unit,” he said.

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