Gallagher column: Notes ‘n’ quotes
Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 27, 2009
Notes ‘n’ quotes …
Who woulda thunk it? Not me, not you and probably not even the coaches.
A raise of hands for anyone who thought in the preseason that the North Piedmont Conference football showdown (for second place) in Week 7 would involve East Rowan and Carson.
No hands? Thanks for being honest.
But teams that take those preseason predictions and rip them to shreds make high school sports so popular and unpredictable.
Think about it.
East Rowan was 1-10 last season and didn’t have any big names coming back on offense. Carson had won just three games in its three-game history.
But as a coach once told me, “In high school, if the kids believe in you, they’ll win for you.”
East believes in coach Brian Hinson. And the Mustangs have given him four straight victories. They’ll arrive in China Grove with a 5-1 record.
Carson believes in coach Mark Woody. And the Cougars have given him three straight victories. They’ll greet the Mustangs carrying a 4-2 record.
Take away South Rowan and Carson’s biggest rival is East. Carson took some of the East Rowan kids whose families thought they’d forever be a part of Mustang Country.
East fans always cram into their stadium and the Mustang faithful will certainly make the short drive to Carson.
Get there early for good seating.
West Rowan is the only undefeated football team in Rowan County. Scott Young’s talented Falcons are from another planet.
How good is the No. 1-ranked 3A team in the state?
K.P. Parks ran for 167 yards in West’s 28-0 win against South Rowan and people on the southern end of the county were talking on Saturday morning in local restaurants about what a good job South did on him. You know you’re a special athlete when a 167-yard night is deemed average.
The 6-0 Falcons travel to West Iredell on Friday.
North Rowan won its first game of the season after four losses at the absolute right time ó the Yadkin Valley Conference opener. North is on top of the standings at 1-0 after playing their first-ever 1A contest.
The first long trip of this new conference occurs Friday when North travels to Biscoe to face East Montgomery.
You might as well plan a beach trip over the weekend. By the time you get to Biscoe, you’re almost halfway there.
And finally, there’s the Livingstone Blue Bears, who fired yet another football coach last week. This time it was Lamonte Massie.
Here’s the rundown of those coming through with high aspirations only to get sent packing before they could accomplish anything:
Greg Richardson: Three years, fired.
George Johnson: Three years, fired.
Robert Massey: Two years, fired.
Massie: Two years, four games, fired.
Local prep coaches have seen too much of this. How can they possibly recommend Livingstone to their players without any solidarity within the football program.
“If you can’t have four years to get your players to a senior class, somebody’s selling you short,” Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan said. “Somebody’s not giving you a chance.
“If they told me after two or three years, ‘We don’t like what you’re doing,’ then obviously I have to blame myself for taking a position that they weren’t committed to helping.”
Actually, I thought Massie would be the coach to stick. He came in preaching discipline, weeded out the bad apples, and figured this losing program would turn around sometime during his tenure.
And why wouldn’t he think that? He started the program at Edward Waters from scratch with only 12 scholarship players and eventually brought home a conference championship in 2004, going 8-3.
“I thought he was a first-class guy who was really trying to get things going in the right direction,” Pinyan said.
It takes me back to 2001 when Richardson called me to say he had been fired.
As in the case with Massie, school officials said they came to an agreement. And just like Massie, Richardson said that wasn’t true.
“I did not resign,” he told the Post in a November 2001 article. “I want to say that. I was fired. And I was never given a reason whatsoever.”
In fact, Richardson said he never had a meeting with anyone. He said he was fired over the phone.
At least, Richardson was given the chance to meet with his players. Massie said he wasn’t given the same opportunity.
Now, the school says it’s going to conduct a national search for its next coach.
The best advice for the guy who comes here to live?