Gallagher column: North prepares for morning football

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 12, 2011

SPENCER — Tasker Fleming’s first game as head coach at North Rowan was against West Rowan and some guy named K.P. Parks.
“The first quarter was pretty,” Fleming said, remembering back three years. “The last three were pretty much a nightmare. That was K.P.’s introduction to USA Today. He lit us up.”
Fleming dropped Lexington from the schedule so North could possibly pick up West. Next year, it happens in Spencer.
“We definitely could use the money,” Fleming said. “Hopefully, it will be a game people will want to see the whole game, not just the first quarter.”
Fleming and the Cavaliers get a chance to play on West’s field Sept. 10. The thing is, they won’t be playing West.
North is part of a Super Saturday doubleheader in Mount Ulla.
There has been so much talk about West playing South Pointe, S.C., at 4 p.m. that some have overlooked the fact North Rowan is a part of it, too.
Fleming’s Cavaliers play University Christian out of Florida at 11 a.m.
“Everybody on my varsity will be playing on West’s field for the first time,” Fleming noted.
A morning football game creates excitement and poses a couple of problems.
“It’s different,” Fleming mused. “But because it’s different, our kids will respond to it.”
Fleming remembers what Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer once said. Getting players ready for a game at an unusual time is all about discipline.
“Beamer said, ‘My kids may do things I don’t want them to do, but on Thursday and Friday I can control them because theyre in a motel,’ ” Fleming said. “There’s a lot of truth to that. Kids think it’s OK to stay out until 2 until that (clock) rings at 7. Then, it’s not OK.”
So he’s is mulling over ideas on how to handle it.
“We’ll have a nice breakfast,” he said. “We may get them in for an overnight thing. The big thing is finding a way to get them to bed.”
University Christian has to make the long bus ride to Rowan County so who knows about their sleeping habits?
“We won’t know much about the kids getting off that bus,” Fleming said.
But he is sure of one thing.
“The team we’re playing definitely won’t be any better than West Rowan.”

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or