Prep Football: East Rowan notebook – Teams thoughts are with Ledbetter
By Ronnie Gallagher
The East Rowan notebook …
Head coach Brian Hinson lost an assistant this season and he’s wearing a wristband in his honor.
Jamie Ledbetter, a former East Rowan athlete and volunteer coach, has been diagnosed with cancer.
“He’s going through chemo right now and all of our thoughts and prayers are with him,” Hinson said.
The wristband says, “Murph’s Mafia.” Ledbetter was nicknamed, “Murph.”
“He’s one of those guys everybody in the community knows and loves,” Hinson said. “He’s somebody you hate to lose.”
Hinson said Ledbetter is still working in maintenance.
“He’ll be around,” Hinson said.
NEW ATTITUDE: East was 1-10 last season but the players haven’t talked much about it.
Junior linebacker Jordan Hopper said, “This year, we’ve spent a lot of time bonding.”
The leader of the team is Hopper’s mate at linebacker, Sam Edmonds. The redhead should have a big season, according to the Mustangs.
“Looks can be deceiving,” Hinson said of the 5-foot-10, 183-pound Edmonds. “When he walked up here as a freshman we looked at him as if he could be something for us. Now, he’s one of the best football players on the team.”
“He just goes straight for the ball,” Hopper said.
“Sam is Mr. Steady,” Hinson added. “What sets him apart is his work ethic and a desire to be good.”
KNEE INJURY: Quentin Sifford, a running back and linebacker, was seen riding a bike at practice earlier this week.
Sifford said he had surgery last week on his meniscus and was trying to strengthen the right knee.
“They said about two weeks,” Sifford said when asked about his return.
MR. MOMS: Hinson’s coaching staff is busy off the field.
Hinson’s daughter just turned 2. Piotr Kalinowski’s son is a month older. David Klamm son hasn’t yet turned 2 and he has another child on the way.
“If we could open up a daycare, it would save us a lot of money,” Hinson joked.
It was suggested that instead of running, Hinson could get his players to supervise the day care.
Chasing little kids around would keep them in shape, he said.
GETTING HITCHED: Hinson, Kalinowski and Klamm aren’t the only busy coaches. Assistants Gary Bass and Sean Rinehart are planning their upcoming weddings.
“Bass is marrying a girl he met at Catawba,” Hinson said. “Rinehart met a girl from Faith.”
Hinson called Rinehart the team’s only “foreigner.” He’s a Michigan native.
“He’s been down here long enough, his speech has slowed down,” Hinson joked.
BIG BYRD: If Jacob Byrd ever turns into one of the strongest Mustangs, he may be able to credit fishing.
His arm strength should be among the best on the team after what he accomplished in Morehead City recently.
Along with family and friends, Byrd hooked a blue marlin.
It weighed over 600 pounds.
Byrd is a six-foot, 196-pound junior tight end/linebacker.
SMART GUY: Defensive lineman Chris Demitrazsek is a 6-foot, 240-pounder who has the brawn, but he is also a brainiac, according to Hinson.
“He’s tied with another guy as the top student academically,” Hinson said.
How does it feel having the smartest kid in school on your team?
“I don’t talk to him,” Hinson chuckled. “He’s too smart for me.”
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW: Trainer Jim Sabo held the same position at Glenville State when current Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez was the head coach.
FAMILIAR NAMES: Senior Jacob Patch has some serious roots in East football. His brother, Josh, went to Wingate after a winning season in Granite Quarry two years ago. The current Patch stands 6-foot-4, 210.
Greyson Gordy is also a younger brother, following C.J. The senior is 5-10, 230.
NEW COACH: Hunter Thompson joins the staff this season as an assistant. He went to South Rowan and Western Carolina.
SCRIMMAGE: East will have a home scrimmage with Randleman tonight.
Randleman’s coach is Shane Handy, a former assistant at Catawba.
THE SCHEDULE: Realignment took away Mooresville, Lake Norman and Northwest Cabarrus and Hinson had to scramble to fill the three spots on his schedule.
Cox Mill, a new school in Cabarrus County, Hickory Ridge and Concord take their place.
“I like our schedule,” Hinson said. “There’s some games I feel we can win.”