Gallagher column: Snow made us think about football
Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 16, 2011
Notes ‘n’ quotes …
It’s January 17, so can we please forget about football and concentrate on the roundball?
With last week’s snow curtailing any and all attempts at playing basketball, talk went back to the greatest day in Rowan County sports history.
Dec. 11, 2010 will live on forever as the day this county produced not one, but two, state football champions. West Rowan won its third straight. Salisbury won its first.
David Johnson runs the clock for Salisbury basketball games. The football assistant was asked recently if he had gotten over the euphoria of winning the state title.
He shook his head no. Johnson said all he has to do is stick in the tape and watch the Hornets’ 30-0 win against Northeastern and continue to feel the thrill.
And he has watched it over and over and over.
When Salisbury was 3-3, I stood out by the locker room before the next home game as Johnson pumped up the defense. He kept telling the players they were going to win the conference. He told them this was the day the march to a title began.
Salisbury never lost again.
Who can forget the smiles on the faces of all those championship game MVPs? And the best thing is, four of them are returning: West running back Dinkin Miller and linebacker Logan Stoodley, along with Salisbury running back Dominique Dismuke and linebacker Kavari Hillie.
West Rowan took its 34-7 title win against Eastern Alamance in stride. After all, winning a football championship is a common thing for the school beside the cornfield.
It was expected to win and the Falcons did so in businesslike fashion.
In less than a month, another big football day will occur around here: National Signing Day.
At West, defensive back Domonique Noble will put his name on a piece of paper and officially become a Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket. At Salisbury, runner Romar Morris and defender Darien Rankin will be in the bright lights again. They’ve both committed to North Carolina.
At Carson, running back Shaun Warren will ink with Western Carolina and receiver Cody Clanton with Catawba.
There will be plenty of others, including star back Travis Riley of A.L. Brown, who is expected to sign with North Carolina.
As basketball continues, coaches Joe Pinyan of Salisbury and Scott Young of West are still thinking about rings and t-shirts — and next year.
Basketball coaches like West’s Mike Gurley are still putting the pieces together as the football players get used to a different sport and different teammates.
Gurley has to worry about getting players like Shrine Bowler Noble healthy.
He also has to worry about the hip of his best player, Keshun Sherrill, who is out.
With or without Sherrill, Gurley gets the county back in action today with the annual Martin Luther King doubleheader against Lexington.
It’s an afternoon delight, with the varsity girls starting at 3 p.m. in the West gym.
It will be a homecoming for Lexington coach Robert Hairston, who was Gurley’s assistant before heading back to the Barbecue City. Hairston was a star player at West Davidson back in the 70s.
Question: What is more fun to watch? Rankin slamming an opponent to the ground in football, or Rankin slamming home a dunk on the court.
Basketball teams are trying to reschedule last week’s games, but as of Sunday, no one was really definite about times.
No one can play on Thursday due to exams. So expect some makeup games on Tuesday and Wednesday before a full slate, led by South Rowan at West Rowan, on Friday.
Everyone will be at home Friday with Carson hosting Statesville, East Davidson visiting Salisbury and West Iredell coming to East Rowan.
Uh-oh. I just heard on the radio that there might be more snow coming at the end of the week.
If there’s no basketball, just go over to David Johnson’s house. He has a football championship tape you can watch over and over and over.