Gallagher column: Ronnie’s roaming the county…Davie woke up sleeping giant

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 11, 2009

Roaming the county getting ready for tonight …Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan is upset with Davie County coach Doug Illing. And for good reason.
Pinyan was hoping unbeaten West Rowan, the defending 3A state champion, would swagger into Ludwig Stadium tonight fat, sassy and satisfied.
But Illing’s War Eagles went toe-to-toe with the Falcons last week in a 39-36 loss. Which means West’s defense will now come marching in mean, hungry and wanting redemption.
“I’m not real happy with Doug right now,” Pinyan said earlier this week. “He kinda stirred up a sleeping giant. I need to tell him, ‘You don’t want to do these things. It makes it tough on everybody else.’ ”
Pinyan was joking, of course. He admitted that watching film of last week’s classic was entertaining.
“If you’ve got to pay to see a game, that’s the one to see,” he said. “It was fun to watch. Davie did some things I’m sure got West Rowan’s attention.”
Ya think?
West coach Scott Young turned into Bill Parcells and Vince Lombardi all rolled into one this past week. I watched the end of one practice. Let’s just say Young was, uh, kinda intense.
Believe me, Young knows what kind of explosive speed Pinyan possesses every year. After losing to South Rowan in the opener, the Hornets have put up 96 points against teams in West’s 3A conference: East Rowan and Carson.

It’s good to see West and Salisbury playing again after a couple of years off. The Falcons have won 29 straight county games, and Salisbury came the closest to winning during that stretch.
Since Pinyan arrived seven years ago, Salisbury and West have won title after title. They get the most wins, thus, they get the most ink.
“Any time you’ve got two good programs, somebody’s not going to like you because you’re being successful,” Pinyan said.
“In this case, we’ve got two prominent programs that’s trying to be at the top all the time. One of them wants their pictures in the paper more than the other.”
Pinyan says there is no animosity between the programs. Why should there be? They’re both good, and they both respect each other.
“Hopefully,” Pinyan said, “West is looking at this as, ‘We’re playing a quality opponent. Let’s make our team a better football team.’ Because we’re no doubt looking at it as, ‘We’re playing a quality opponent that will make us a better football team.’ ”

Pinyan hopes Ludwig Stadium is overflowing.
“I will be greatly disappointed if this place is not packed,” he said. “I hope everybody’s here for the same reason ó to watch a good football game. I hope the kids play with energy, and I hope the coaches coach with emotion. It’s all about high school football.”
Yeah, very, very good high school football. And Pinyan knows West Rowan is coming in focused and driven.
Thanks a lot, Doug Illing.

I kid Pinyan that he’s the spokesman for county football for a number of reasons.
He graduated from South Rowan. He lives in the East Rowan district. He coaches at Salisbury.
“And the people at West love me,” he laughed.
But he usually has an opinion on anything ó like, for example, East’s 30-0 eye-opener against Concord.
Salisbury had beaten East 46-10 the previous week.
“I said after we played East ó and I still mean it ó they are doing things on offense that will allow them to be successful,” he said.

East travels to Hickory Ridge tonight. Two Rowan teams will try for a bounce-back week after losses: South goes to Robinson, and Carson plays host to West Davidson. After a bye week, North travels to Lexington.

The most excited coach of the night should be Carson assistant Barry Mitchem, who was the head coach at West Davidson for years. He’ll see a lot of good friends, including the man who replaced him, Dale Barnes.

On the air tonight …
– On the WSTP 1490-AM Platt-form is Hall of Famer Howard Platt and sidekick Wilson Cherry, who is so famous he doesn’t need a nickname. They’ll be calling the West-Salisbury game.
– On WSAT 1280-AM, Mark, Johnny and the boys will give us their usual dose of updates and radio cut-ins.
– On WRNA 1140-AM, Carl Ford, the Commissioner of high school football, and The Coach, Bob Parker, will travel with South.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.