Gallagher column: Some Christmas presents for Scott Young

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 25, 2008

You expected West Rowan’s Scott Young to say being named Associated Press Football Coach of the Year for all of North Carolina was really a staff award. You expected him to say his assistants had as much to do with the Falcons winning the 3A state championship as he did.
And he didn’t disappoint us.
“I know it’s a cliche to say it’s a staff award,” he said while celebrating Christmas with his family. “But it’s also a program award and a team award.”
This time, Young provided a story on why the assistants should join in the hoopla of his honor.
During a Sunday meeting, West assistant Butch Browning ó a former head coach himself ó brought up the subject of all-conference hoodies.
In the past, Browning told Young, they had distributed them to the players in Week 2 or Week 3 of the playoffs.
“And we always lost the following week,” Young noted.
So Young proved what makes somebody Coach of the Year material.
He listened to his assistant.
“We waited until the final week,” Young said.
Two days before the Falcons defeated West Craven 35-7 for the 3A state championship, Young gave out the all-conference hoodies.
“It turned out to be a good idea,” Young laughed.
Know what was a good idea? It was when Henry Kluttz hired Young to be the new football coach. Young has completely turned around a program that was just, well, a program. Not a winning program. Just a football team that played its regular season, quickly forgot about it, and went on into basketball.
Young watched Mike Gurley lead the basketball team to back-to-back state titles and cheered Gurley on when he was named N.C. Coach of the Year. He was asked just what is happening over on Highway 801. How can a little rural school be so successful state-wide?
“You’ve got coaches who love to work with young people,” he said. “And you’ve got young people who like to work. It’s a good combination of coaches and parents.”
After a 15-1 season and 103 wins in 140 tries, Young knows he has plenty of talent returning for another run in 2009 at the ultimate prize.
But for right now, he is basking in postseason success stories, whether it is about West Rowan or West Craven.
Young said he called West Craven coach Clay Jordan to find out the condition of offensive lineman Justin Barrow.
Only days before the state title game, Barrow, a 6-foot-1, 270-pounder, was diagnosed with a brian tumor. Young was ecstatic when Jordan told him the tumor was benign. Barrow will take medication and should make a full recovery.
Young was already celebrating three of his players making the all-state team. But to hear Barrow was expceted to be OK made it a perfect Christmas for North Carolina’s top football coach.
“I couldn’t ask for more,” Young said.

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or