Prep Football: East Rowan's Galloway headed for Catawba
By Ryan Bisesi
GRANITE QUARRY — Shawn Galloway assuredly caught plenty of bumps and bruises along the motorcross circuit before trading in his bike and buying a different helmet.
The East Rowan tight end heading to Catawba indulged in the family pastime of dirtbikes and hill-jumping before he joined the football team his junior year.
Now after just two seasons, his 6-foot-3, 175-pound frame and his workmanlike demeanor makes him worthy of the college game, even as a newcomer to the gridiron.
“I just kept getting injured in motorcross,” said Galloway from the East media center. “I knew I wanted to get into sports. Everybody was talking about how football practice was so hard.”
But Galloway was more than up for a new challenge. One that was a little less extreme and a little more organized, but just as brutal.
Football was perfect.
“I was like ‘it can’t be that hard,’” he said. “I came out there my junior year and that’s how I started.”
Now Galloway will play with Catawba next year, but it’s no beginner’s luck.
Galloway’s signing with the Indians is a bright spot at the end of a rough first season for coach Chad Tedder. The Mustangs were 2-9 in 2010, winning at the bookends against rivals North Rowan and South Rowan.
“He turned out to be probably the best player we had,” Tedder said. “No matter where you put him at, he was going to be good at it.”
Galloway started last season at defensive back before moving to receiver and eventually tight end. East was 9-4 in 2009 and won its first-round playoff game against South Brunswick.
Tedder considers Galloway’s signing a novelty, as it’s the first under his watch as head coach. Tedder watched Galloway transform from a projected role player into a legitimate offensive threat for the Mustangs. Tedder implemented a run-heavy offense, which included a steady diet of Jamey Blalock and Chris Moore running the ball. Although East managed 1,684 yards rushing and just 748 passing, there was still room for East to utilize Galloway with his toughness. He had no problems creating room for Blalock and Moore.
“We saw how hard he was going in practice and making contact and actually physically blocking kids,” Tedder said.
Galloway said former Catawba star Brian Hinson persuaded him to choose the Indians. Hinston played at Catawba and joined the Indians coaching staff last season as the offensive line coach. East assistant Will Reedy played at Catawba as well. Division III Methodist got a look thanks to some friends who were going and UNC Pembroke got a visit, but Catawba’s proximity to home won out. Catawba went 6-4 overall last season with a 4-3 record in the SAC.
“Most people say size is a factor, but you’ve just got to not be scared of the competition,” said Galloway, who admits speed may be an obstacle at the next level.
“I was telling his dad that if he weighed about 20 more pounds, he could play Division 1-AA-type kid,” Tedder said.
Galloway, with 12 catches, 190 yards and one touchdown in his senior year for the Mustangs, was an All-NPC selection. He recalls a crucial catch last year against South Rowan en route to where he caught a ball ‘11 feet in the air’ and led to the eventual winning touchdown as his shining moment as a receiver.
Galloway found the gridiron and the dirt tracks were just as unforgiving as terrain.
“Football is definitely more physical,” Galloway said.
Hopefully the turf at Shuford Stadium is a little easier on the head.