South 1970s reunion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2011

By Mike London
The South Rowan Alumni Association will honor the football players who competed from 1969-78 (the graduating classes of 1970-79) at Friday nightís game against NW Cabarrus, a frequent foe in the 1970s.
This effort is part of Southís celebration of the 50th anniversary of the schoolís opening in 1961. For information, go to the South alumni web site or contact Steve Beaver at
Lope Linder coached Southís 1969 and 1970 teams, with Reid Bradshaw taking charge in 1971. South enjoyed winning seasons from 1974-79, starting a tremendous run that would carry through the 1980s.
South went 4-6 and never won back-to-back games, but it did beat South Point, Albemarle, Asheboro and Statesville. Guard Curtis Atwell and DB Jay Bradshaw made all-county.
South struggled to a 1-9 mark in the only season in school history in which it didnít win on the field. The lone victory came via a forfeit over East Rowan after the Mustangs initially won 13-6. Junior defensive back Allen Kluttz was the only South player on the all-county team.
Bradshawís head coaching debut was a 27-14 win against East, but South would win just once more ó a 10-7 verdict against Albemarle. Larry Deal was a major addition to the coaching staff. Halfback Rick Brafford was Southís lone representative on the all-county squad.
South adopted the Raiders nickname. The offense managed just 40 points all season, but the defense keyed two victories. South edged East Rowan 3-0 and topped Concord 6-3.
Stalwart center and linebacker Frank Overcash was named all-county on offense and defense. Linebacker Rick Curlee and DB Brad Gryder also made the all-county squad.
South shifted to the North Piedmont Conference in 1973, after playing all its previous seasons in the SPC.
The only wins came against new foes South Iredell and North Iredell, but a coaching staff which included Bradshaw, Deal, Terry Jones, Dan Henderson and Roger Johnson got things headed in the right direction. Six of the eight losses were close.
The only all-county pick was DB Jim Willett. Kenny Millerís 175 passing yards against North Iredell set a school record that lasted many years.
This season would get votes as the most important in South history. The Raiders started 0-4-1, but a 7-6 win against Davie proved a turning point. South then beat North Stanly, North Rowan, North Iredell and West Iredell to finish the season 5-4-1.
It was the first winning season for the program in a decade. Among the assistants who came on board were John Willett and Fred Query. DB Jimmy Miles made all-county.
Steve Beaver was a key addition to the coaching staff that season.
South opened with a 19-18 win against A.L. Brown and had a breakthrough year ó 8-3 ó winning two more games than the previous high.
Eric Barkerís 230-yard rushing game against Davie set a school record that lasted six seasons.
South won Division II of the NPC with a 7-1 mark but lost to NPC Division I champ North Davidson in the Raidersí first postseason game. That game was played on Nov. 14 at South.
Bradshaw was named county coach of the year, and South had a county player of the year for the first time, as defensive lineman/punter Steve Lee shared top honors with Salisbury DB Ronnie Wood.
QB Rick Stamey, guard David Parks, WR Walter Gibson and LB Ronnie Shore also made all-county.
South won the six-team Division II of the NPC with a 5-1-2 record but again lost to North Davidson in the North Piedmont championship game.
The overall record was 7-3-1. South beat A.L. Brown 5-0 and also beat Mooresville for the first time.
South had three offensive linemen on the all-county team ó center Gary Teeter, guard Johnny Miller and tackle Charles Nagy. Defensively, lineman Rick Crosby and linebacker David Propst were all-county.
Bradshaw repeated as county coach of the year. Darrell Spry joined the coaching staff. This was the last season South was in the WNCHSAA.
South Rowan went 10-2, winning nine straight games between a loss to A.L. Brown in Week 2 and a controversial quarterfinal playoff loss to South Caldwell. Returning to a new-look SPC, South won the league title and beat Lexington 27-7 for its first-ever playoff win.
Greg Poole was one of the great prep players of the 1970s and was county offensive player of the year as a junior running back. He was the first Raider to rush for 1,000 yards in a season. He led the county and averaged 7.4 yards per carry.
Tackle Floyd Hicks, guard Kenny Teeter, QB Stan Frye, defensive lineman Victor Kendall, linebacker Tim Crosby and DB Cedric Blackwell joined Poole on all-county.
South went 9-2 and repeated as SPC champs. South beat Mooresville 70-0 on opening night, still a school record for the most lopsided victory and the most points scored by South.
South had an eight-game winning streak between a 7-0 loss to A.L. Brown in Week 2 and a 6-0 loss to Thomasville in the first round of the NCHSAA 3A playoffs.
Junior DB Scott Wise picked off nine passes, breaking the county record. Poole finished second in the offensive player of the year voting to North Rowan QB Bobby Myers.
Wise, Poole, Dunn, tackle Tommy Shaunfield, guard Kenny Teeter, placekicker Kevin Keiger, defensive linemen Danny Schenck and Fred Whitaker and linebacker Mike Crosby were all-county. Bradshaw was county coach of the year.
South ended the decade with a 7-3 season but didnít make the playoffs for the first time since 1974.
There were painful losses in the first two official overtime games in school history ó 13-7 to East and 35-34 to Northwest Cabarrus.
DB David Sides, who had six interceptions, was named county defensive player of the year. Wise made the all-county team both ways, as an offensive end and defensive back.
Linebacker Mike Crosby, tackle Robin Lemmon, running back Alexis Cowan and defensive lineman James Miller also made all-county.