Gallagher column: Ronnie’s roaming the county
Roaming the county getting ready for tonight …East Rowan has played as well as anyone in the county the past two weeks. The Mustangs can make it three wins in a row if they beat Cox Mill tonight.
Does coach Brian Hinson worry about his team being overconfident playing a winless, first-year school?
“We went 1-10 last year,” Hinson scoffed. “We can’t have a big head about anything.”
So forget about the big head and concentrate on the big year East is having. Last week’s 28-22 win against Hickory Ridge puts the Mustangs in position to be 4-1.
Nobody was thinking 4-1 after Salisbury laid a 46-10 thumping on East in Week 2. Hinson heard the whispers after his team had beaten North 7-0 and lost to Salisbury.
Something to the effect of, “They’re not going to win another game.”
“We kinda took that to heart,” Hinson said. “Our motto ó forever ó is, ‘Respect.’ ”
And what about the naysayers?
“We don’t want to talk to those people,” Hinson said. “We want our true fans who come win, lose or draw.”
This is a season Rowan football fans should be enjoying. Teams are taking turns getting their props.
West Rowan got the publicity in preseason thanks to a 2008 state championship.
South took over the first two weeks, grabbing big, red headlines for beating Salisbury and rival A.L. Brown.
Salisbury routed two county foes as the wishbone looked like world-beaters.
This week, East is receiving top billing.
“Anybody who has belief in each other and their coaches is going to be pretty dangerous,” Hinson said.
Concord found that out two weeks ago, losing 30-0 to East.
“A lot of people in the school and the community were very excited because it hadn’t happened in 30 years,” Hinson said. “The kids bought in. The history was appealing to them, and they took the challenge. The good thing is, the game gave us a lot of confidence.”
Against Hickory Ridge, the Mustangs went in expecting to win.
“And that’s something that hasn’t happened at East Rowan a lot,” Hinson said.
East showed this type of confidence two years ago when, led by Shawn Eagle, Josh Patch and “Big Play” Trey Holmes, it won seven games, breaking losing streaks to Salisbury, North and South.
That 2007 team started 6-1. A win tonight and East is close to matching it.
“Now we’re starting to get that same attitude, and that’s a very good thing to see,” Hinson said.
Carson is going for two straight wins when it plays host to Robinson, which is apparently making its southern Rowan County tour. Last week, the Bulldogs faced South Rowan in Concord and lost.
Carson coach Mark Woody chimed in on East’s resurgence. His Cougars welcome East to China Grove on Oct. 2.
Woody has seen film of East’s games.
“You can see they’re getting better and better every week,” Woody said. “They deserve it. They’re working hard and getting it done.”
Woody said he tried to hire Hinson when he started the Carson program four years ago.
“I wanted him bad,” Woody said.
West Rowan travels to Mooresville tonight. It’s a homecoming for Jon Crucitti, who crossed the Iredell County line for a lighter shade of blue for his junior and senior years.
Crucitti, who is being recruited in football and baseball, took a visit to Army recently. West coach Scott Young said, “He loved it.”
North hasn’t scored this season. Salisbury scored only seven points last week. Which offense will break out tonight?
Speaking of scoring too much, South is expected to put up its share of points on the board against Central Cabarrus.
Ron Massey is going after his 100th career victory at A.L. Brown when the Wonders play host to Kings Mountain, a former stop for Massey.
On the air tonight …
* On the WSTP 1490-AM Platt-form is Hall of Famer Howard Platt and sidekick Wilson “Don’t call me Wild” Cherry. They’ll bring us the Salisbury-North Rowan game.
* Mark, Johnny and the boys will have their weekly football show on WSAT 1280-AM with updates and radio cut-ins.
* On WRNA 1140-AM, Carl Ford, the Commissioner of high school football, and Bob Parker, The Coach, will bring us the South-Central Cabarrus game.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.
Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.