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Gallagher column: Notes ‘n’ Quotes

It will be the quote of the year ó and the most accurate statement made so far this fall.
After West Rowan ran its record to 10-0 with a 41-7 win against East Rowan on Friday, defensive lineman Mackel Gaither was summoned by a reporter and asked his thoughts on the Mustangs.
“They weren’t bad,” he surmised. “But they were playing the best. That’s all there is to say.”
Those confident words brought back memories of 2003 when another group of Falcons were carrying themselves with a mighty swagger.
Junior Hairston, Phillip Williams and company had just whipped Kings Mountain in the West Regional 82-51. Mike Gurley’s kids ran. They dunked. And they talked.
Two different Kings Mountain players called the Falcons “a confident, cocky team.”
West then went on to a 31-0 season and a second straight state title, finishing off an incredible run of 61 straight victories.
Now, six years later, the same school is on the verge of a similar accomplishment, only in a different sport. West football has won 24 straight times. This team may be better than last year. And in the words of my main man Mackel, “that’s all there is to say.”

Watching the college football highlights Saturday night, I figured out who West’s do-everything star Jon Crucitti reminds me of.
Texas receiver Jordan Shipley, who does a little of everything.

Our photographer, Jon Lakey, has the most fun on Friday nights. He took photos of both West-East and South’s 46-21 win against neighbor Carson.
Let me rephrase that. Lakey has fun except for getting out of the parking lots.
Asked which crowd was larger, he didn’t hesitate.
South-Carson.

Joe Pinyan smiled and shook his head when he read that Carson coach Mark Woody thought his Salisbury Hornets were a 2A championship-caliber team. Then, in the Lexington paper, Central Davidson coach Mark Hoover said the same thing.
Pinyan downplayed the expectations. And then his Hornets went out Friday and laid a 57-6 beatdown of Lexington.
Can’t downplay that.
Talk about the wishbone offense all you want, but it’s the Hornet defense that’s the key. Darien Rankin is not just a star basketball player who happens to play football. He’s one of the best athletes in the county. That’s all there is to say.

We’ll find out if all the Hornet hype is true Friday when Salisbury travels to meet tradition-rich Thomasville. Both are 3-0 in the CCC.

Would you like to see the best soccer player in the county? Go to East Rowan tonight for the Mustangs’ 6 p.m. game against North Iredell.
Isolate on Jan Garus.
As Andy Griffith might say to Barney, “He ain’t from around these parts, is he?”
He’s not. He hails from Germany.
But after scoring all three goals in a 3-0 win against West Rowan last week, he has 34 ó count ’em, 34 ó goals, adding to his school record.
Give that kid a hiel-five.

If you want to see the best soccer player, it’s Garus. Want to see the best team? Go to Salisbury on Wednesday (The 17-1-1 Hornets take on East Davidson) and Thursday (against West Davidson).

The state golf championships are today and Tuesday in Southern Pines. Salisbury is competing in the 1A/2A/3A event.

There will be plenty of jayvee football on Thursday, leading into the week’s most popular night, when everyone around here has Friday Football Fever.
There are two teams to watch: Carson and North Rowan. If either wants to finish with a winning record, it better win.
Carson (5-5) plays it last regular-season game against West Iredell.
North (4-5) should beat South Davidson on Nov. 6. But the Cavs need to defeat West Montgomery this week. If they do, they will finish 6-5.
West Montgomery and North are currently tied for second in the Yadkin Valley 1A at 4-1.

And finally …
Our buddies at other schools always joke about so many photos in the paper of West Rowan and K.P. Parks.
Well, I can guarantee you there won’t be a photo of the All-American running back anywhere in next Saturday’s sports section.
And why will we snub K.P.?
West has a bye.

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