Gallagher column: In Rowan, football coaches help each other out
Keeping up with spring football …
South Rowan football coach Jason Rollins was happy with his nine-win season in 2009 when a special group of seniors led the Raiders. He was not happy about his two-win season last year, when he relied heavily on a group of sophomores.
Now, he wants the Raiders to start climbing that ladder back toward the top. And he started by getting some help from the other side of the county.
Big, strong Nathan Lambert is penciled in under center and he’s currently working with North Rowan quarterback guru Bobby Myers.
“Bobby’s such a good guy,” Rollins said.”Quarterbacks who came from there were good. I told him how much I appreciated it. If we don’t work together on some of these things, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Rollins’ sophomore class has talent and after a varsity year under its belt, things can only get better in Landis. Lambert, running back Ricky Sherrill, linebacker Bubba McLaughlin and defensive end Josh Medlin will be key juniors in the fall.
Medlin is currently nursing a broken bone in his leg after a basketball injury.
“He’s doing better,” Rollins said. “He’s walking around on it now.”
Lambert and Sherrill are attending some combines.
“They’re an impressive group,” Rollins said. “I can see in the offseason where they’re taking a leadership role. I told them, ‘I don’t care if you’re a sophomore, junior or senior. Who’s going to take a leadership role and turn this thing back around to a 9-2 season or better?’ We went 9-2 to 2-9 and I told them we’d just flip it back around again.”
Of course, West Rowan will be on the schedule. The three-time defending state champ enters 2011 with a nation-best 46 straight victories.
One thing about coach Scott Young — he never stops working to get his kids in college. Last week, he traveled to Wheeling, W. Va., where West Liberty, a Division II school in the West Virginia Interscholastic Athletic Association offered defensive back Eric Cowan and linebacker Quentin Sifford. Also along for the trip were offensive lineman Davon Quarles, who is going to Saint Augustine’s, and defensive lineman Emmanuel Gbunblee.
If Cowan decides on West Liberty, that school can brag it signed an All-American.
The Rowan County defensive player of the year was named to the U.S. Air Force Medium School All-American team, presented by Maxpreps. He shares that second-team defensive backfield with two players from California and one from Atlanta.
What does Young think about the spring?
“It’s awesome,” he laughed. “You don’t have game-planning to worry with. It’s just fun.”
A recent day had Young working with 19 of his Falcons, then taking his son to baseball practice, followed by a trip to softball practice with his daughter.
“From 3 to 8:30, I was coaching something,” he said.
Young reports that K.P. Parks is the second-string running back at Virginia and Chris Smith is No. 2 on the depth chart as an Arkansas defensive end. Tristan Dorty will be a redshirt senior defender at Wake Forest.
“Talking with coaches, he’s doing great things.” Young said of Dorty.
A big disappointment for area fans is that Carson back Shaun Warren is apparently not accepting his invitation to play in the East-West All-Star game in July.
Warren, one of the top runners in North Carolina over the past two seasons, was mentioned by Joe Pinyan as soon as the Salisbury coach was named head man of the West.
Pinyan, coming off his first state title, was asked what Salisbury was doing football-wise this spring.
“Absolutely nothing,” he said. “We do as little as possible because we expect our students who play football to be on the track team or play baseball or do something. When those sports are over, we’ll do some other things.”
And finally …
Carson quarterback Zack Gragg has decided to play at Division III Methodist. According to coach Mark Woody, “he’s looking great.” Gragg, who led the Cougars to a 10-win season in 2010, will room with Salisbury tight end Riley Gallagher.
A story is upcoming.
Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.