Prep Football Notebook
By Ronnie Gallagher
The prep football notebook …
If the NCHSAA gave out awards for best practice field, North Rowan would win hands down.
And it isnít even theirs.
Tasker Fleming welcomed 35 players to his first official practice at North Rowan Elementary School Saturday. New grass is being planted on the high school fields so Fleming transports his players down the road.
ěItís a good deal for us until school starts,î Fleming said.
What isnít a good deal was the number of Cavaliers.
ěIím a little disappointed,î Fleming said. ěWe were in the mid-50s most of the summer. But thereís a little bit of a logistic issue from school to here.î
It seems every school has a former star on staff. At North, Daniel Griffith was working the quarterbacks hard, especially returning starter T.J. Allen, a junior. Griffith takes over for long-time QB coach Bobby Myers.
North is coming off a Yadkin Valley Conference championship and the Cavaliers are confident.
ěThe summer commitment has been there,î Fleming said. ěA lot of that is the success in the conference.î
Fleming is expecting a rise in intensity next week.
ěAbout Tuesday, weíll be excited,î he said. ěYou put on the shoulder pads,î he said. ěWhen we start hitting is when it will feel like it should.î
The Cougars were the third team in the county to win at least 10 games last year and Mark Woody has his program where he wants it.
He lost some very good seniors, including 3,000-yard rusher Shaun Warren.
ěWe have a lot of good players back,î Woody said during his 8 a.m. practice. ěI feel like weíve reached the point where some kids are ready to step up and take their place. Once kids believe in themselves and set lofty expectations, they believe in winning.î
Woody said his first turnout ěis not as many as weíd likeî but track and AAU has kept some away.
ěWeíre at 60 kids right now,î he said. ěWe expect to have about 80.î
And as far as replacing Warren? And quarterback Zack Gragg? And receiver Cody Clanton?
ěIn high school, this is what we do,î Woody pointed out. ěWeíre going to find somebody.î
Coach Jason Rollins likes his numbers. There were 85 at practice and 92 on the roster.
Thatís not bad for a school whose numbers are low.
Rollins said he has a talented core of juniors, but added, ěUnfortunately, we have a senior class thatís small. We have 970 students. Weíre a 2A school playing 3A football.î
South went over some special team drills and on Monday, will concentrate on the offense and defense. A key coaching addition is Myers, who came from North Rowan.
And you can bet the juniors will be counted on to turn around a 2-9 season.
ěTheyíve worked since football ended last year,î Rollins said. ěTheyíve gotten bigger. Theyíve gotten stronger.î
The Mustangs didnít practice on Saturday but will be back at it on Monday in Chad Tedderís second season as head coach.
East will try to improve on a two-win season.
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