Gallagher column : Roaming the county getting ready for tonight

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 15, 2011

Roaming the county getting ready for tonight …
What in the world is going on in this county? After four weeks, only one winning team? A three-time state champion standing 2-2? Two teams with only one win? Two teams at 0-fer?
It’s so un-Rowan-like.
This week can be a major breakthrough for some of these teams. Conference play starts.
Despite scoring just 20 points so far, East Rowan appears upbeat. The Mustangs outscored Hickory Ridge 14-0 in the second half. They were down 35-0 at the time, but as coach Chad Tedder says, you gotta start somewhere.
“This is going to be the turning point of our season,” Tedder told the Mustangs after last week’s game.
Tedder knows it’s up to the coaches to change the mentality of his 0-4 team.
“It’s like turning on a faulty switch sometimes,” he said. “You don’t know if it’s going to turn on. Our system has proven it works. You’ve got to believe in it. We’ve got to get this losing attitude out of our heads.”

At 1-3, things aren’t quite as bad at North Rowan as you might think. The Cavs have beaten a 3A school (East) and lost to 2AA defending champ Salisbury, 3A Carson and University Christian of Florida, which amounts to a travel-ball AAU team.
“I can’t imagine we’ll play anybody better than Salisbury and Carson,” said North coach Tasker Fleming.
No one’s figured out Carson (1-2) yet. Does it have better offense than defense or better defense than offense. Actually, the Cougars are good on both sides and will be out to prove it to the home fans tonight against East.
West is disappointed with a 2-2 beginning. The three-time defending 3A champ hasn’t been .500 after four games since 2003, finishing 7-5. That was the only year Statesville has beaten a Scott Young-coached team.
By the way, West’s opponent tonight: Statesville at home.
South (0-4) needs help on both sides of the ball, while Salisbury, the team that roasted the Raiders last week 56-14, is 3-1 and talking a deep run in the playoffs.

To make matters worse, almost every team is suffering from injuries to one of its stars:
• The most glaring is Zay Laster, the West quarterback, who had taken control as the leader of the offense until severely spraining his ankle in Saturday’s loss to South Pointe, S.C. At first, it was thought to be a high ankle sprain. Then a Grade 1 sprain.
“The good news,” Young reports, “is Zay has a low ankle sprain. The bad news is, there is discoloration and swelling with it. Doctors are saying if he does all his rehab, he’ll be able to go (tonight).”
• Salisbury’s Tion McCain, the Hornets’ best defensive back, suffered a knee injury two weeks ago when trying to tackle Dinkin Miller in West’s win.
“(Miller) cut inside and when I turned with him, it just started snapping and popping,” McCain said. “I heard it but I didn’t think it was as bad as it was.”
McCain had the knee scoped on Wednesday.
“I’ll be out two weeks and then I’ll be ready to go,” McCain said. “It kills me pretty bad. I don’t like sitting out watching my teammates play. They need me out there.”
• North took a devastating blow when Fleming announced that defensive end Oshon West is out for seven weeks. A helmet popped his knee and Fleming said there was a stress fracture and a tear.
“We hope he’s back for the playoffs,” Fleming said.
• Carson’s Travis Abbitt has been on the verge of some big running games but has come out of each one due to a lingering shoulder problem.
• Tedder said East got a scare two weeks ago when its best player, Wesley LeRoy, went down with heat stroke. He sat out a game, and the DB played every defensive series but one last week.
Outside of 3-1 Salisbury, it ain’t been pretty, folks, the worst four-week start to a season anyone around here can remember. But now, it’s time to start conference play and anything can change.
Stay tuned.

The premier game tonight is East at Carson, with the only other home game being at West. North goes to South Stanly, Salisbury ventures up to Winston-Salem Atkins and South goes to West Iredell. A.L. Brown plays J.M. Robinson and Davie takes on Thomasville.

On the air tonight …
• Hall of Famer Howard Platt and WSTP 1490 AM will call the West-Statesville game.
• Lance, Glenn, Johnny and the boys at WSAT 1280 AM will travel with Salisbury.
• Carl Ford, the “Commissioner of High School football”, and The Coach, Bob Parker will bring South’s game on WRNA 1140 AM.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or