Prep Football: All eyes on West Rowan as mini camps start
Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 16, 2011
By Ronnie Gallagher
MOUNT ULLA — It was hot and guys were bending over, hands on their knees. Freshmen were looking around wondering if anyone was noticing them, perhaps a little in awe of joining a football program recognized as one of the nation’s best.
They seemed to realize that all eyes are on the team they’re joining.
And West Rowan coach Scott Young loved it.
“We’re blessed to be out here,” Young chirped. “We have 84 at our first mini-camp and that’s a great positive. We took our first step today.”
When asked about his newcomers, Young beamed.
“I love these freshmen when they come up,” Young said. “They’re shellshocked at first. You’ve just got to welcome them. I saw some very talented kids in that freshman group. I’m really happy about that.”
Mini-camps began last week for Rowan high schools and it was the same everywhere. At Salisbury, when a freshmen asked coach Joe Pinyan about a lost combination, Pinyan didn’t bark. He told an assistant to go get the combinations.
At East, Chad Tedder said he was excited about what he’s seen in the spring. Everyone knows his system now after a 2-9 campaign in his first season as Mustang leader.
“Offensively and defensively, we’re way ahead of where we were,” Tedder said.
Tedder is currently trying to find some coaches. He has lost three.
“You’ve got to have a good corps of coaches who stay together,” he said.
Tedder said it was a good spring with 30 players each day.
“We’ve put in the time and the hours,” Tedder said.
The mini-camp is a time to learn systems and get in shape. At West, it hasn’t been that long since seniors like Dinkin Miller hung up the helmets.
“Fortunately for us, the last three years, we’ve played football on the very last day available,” Young said, referring to three straight state championships and 46 consecutive wins.
“So many of the guys go on,” Young said proudly. “They’ve parlayed what they’ve done here into a college education — at least, part of a college education. So we can’t be anything but happy with them.”
Young was told he was losing some good players.
“When aren’t we?” Young said of the losses. “Every year, you lose great players. I mean, last year, we lost four all-staters and it was going to catch up to us.”
The naysayers will use the Carolina Panthers’ 7-on-7 competition Thursday as fodder. West came home early, losing all four games.
“We had some bright spots and some bad spots,” Young said. “We’ve got guys standing around waiting for somebody to make a play.”
There were drops and some interceptions but Young didn;t seen overly concerned. Not yet, anyway.
“(Last year), we had a secondary of (seniors) Dominique (Noble), Trey (Mashore) and Cowan,” he said.
Young said the new secondary, including Harvey Landry, Najee Tucker, Daisean Reddick and Trey Cuthbertson, had a “baptism by fire.”
Young took the 0-4 showing in stride. He had two new quarterbacks and receivers who have to learn they are being counted on.
While Thursday showcased some of the best teams from North and South Carolina, the same bunch of Falcons will head to Hoover, Ala., July 21-23 to face 31 of the best teams in the nation. So the Falcons need to gain confidence.
“We’ll load the buses up and go to Thomasville next Thursday,” Young said.
Expect things to be better the next time West hits the field.
“It’s sort of become a tradition,” Young pointed out. “Guys step up … and it’s their time now.”