WNCHSAA champs to be honored on Friday
By Mike London
SALISBURY ó Salisbury will honor three more championship teams at this Fridayís home game against Carson at Ludwig Stadium.
The focus will be on the Hornetsí 1970s dynasty directed by a coaching staff headed by Pete Stout, a former Catawba star who piloted the program from 1966-1975.
Stoutís teams were 26-0-2 in county games. His 10-year record, while coaching in arguably the stateís most competitive league, was 83-20-10.
Stoutís teams wore Boyden jerseys through the 1970 season and took the field for the first time as the Salisbury Hornets in 1971.
Stoutís teams competed in the Western North Carolina High School Activities Association ó rather than the NCHSAA ó for the last nine of his 10 seasons. Salisbury tied South Point in the 1971 WNCHSAA championship game and earned outright championships in 1973 and 1974.
The WNCHSAA was made up of only four conferences, but they were four elite leagues containing a murdererís row of traditional powers. In 1973, there were 43 member schools knocking heads in the North Piedmont, South Piedmont, Northwestern and Southwestern conferences.
Besides Salisbury, the SPC included Thomasville, A.L. Brown, Concord, Lexington, Albemarle, Asheboro and Statesville, maybe the best 3A-sized league in state history. In all three of the seasons in which they won the WNCHSAA, the Hornets didnít make it through their own league undefeated.
How tough was the SPC?
Salisbury went 8-2 in 1972 and didnít qualify for the playoffs.
Stout has said often his 1970 team was his most talented. That team, which included Hall of Famers Kenny Holt and Robert Pulliam, did make it through the SPC unbeaten, but it fell to Shelby in the WNCHSAA title game.
Shelby was just part of the powerful Southwestern Conference of the WNCHSAA that also included, among others, South Point, Crest, Kings Mountain, Lincolnton and Burns.
The NPC portion of the WNCHSAA included Mooresville, North Davidson, Davie, South Iredell and the Rowan schools, while the Northwestern Conference featured Lenoir, Hibriten, Newton-Conover, Alexander Central, Watauga and Freedom.
Salisbury shared the SPC title with A.L. Brown with a 6-2 record, then beat the Wonders in the SPC championship game, shut out East Rowan for the Piedmont title and battled to a 14-14 tie with South Point in the WNCHSAA championship game.
Lineman John OíNeal was county defensive player of the year, while QB Johnny Stratton was the co-offensive player of the year in the county.
Thomasville won the SPC in 1973. Salisbury tied Thomasville in the regular season and lost to Lexington 14-13 and finished second.
In the SPC championship game, however, Salisbury, picked to lose by the Post, destroyed Thomasville 52-0 and was on it way. Salisbury ripped Mooresville for the Piedmont title and beat Watauga 13-0 in the WNCHSAA championship game.
Salisburyís defense led by county defensive player of the year Danny Winecoff, an interior lineman, allowed 7.2 points a game.
Salisbury and Thomasville tied for first in the SPC with 6-2 records, with the Hornets winning 7-6 in the regular season meeting.
Salisbury beat Thomasville a second time ó it was 7-6 again ó in the SPC championship game, then beat Mooresville for Piedmont title.
The Hornets painted their shoes red for their WNCHSAA championship game against Shelby, which sported gold shoes. The Hornets won 14-3, avenging the loss of Salisburyís 1970 team to the Lions.
Winecoff repeated as county defensive player of the year. The Hornets shut out five foes and allowed more than seven points only twice.
Twelve of the 26 all-county players were Hornets.
Mike Cansler was the all-county QB in both 1973 and 1974, and the Hornets had great running backs, including Powell Adkins (1973) and Leonard Atkins (1974).
Players from the 1971, 1973 and 1974 WNCHSAA championship teams who can attend Fridayís game should contact Barbara Peach at the school (704-636-1221, ext. 411, or email@example.com). Or contact Salisbury coach Joe Pinyan (firstname.lastname@example.org).