Gallagher column: Roaming the county

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 10, 2011

Roaming the county getting ready for tonight …
I’ve been to Starmount. Many times. And its what I like to call a throwback school.
It’s kinda like West Rowan. You drive out in the country and think “There’s no way a school is out here.”
And then, you see the lights rising over the trees.
The Starmount community revolves around its high school. People used to park their trucks at the top of the stadium hill and watch the game from the front seat. They turn out in droves. And they help. I was told once that fans built B.W. Holt a coach’s office to brag about.
Ah, yes, B.W. Holt. One of my favorite coaches. He’d tell it like is. He told me how it was a couple of times. The Starmount legend made the Rams an annual contender and Scott Johnson is carrying on the tradition.
I was with Salisbury the only time it played at Starmount — a 26-10 Hornet win in 1995.
Sixteen years later, the defending 2AA champion heads back toward the little burg of Boonville. And two teams couldn’t be more evenly matched. Top seed Starmount (11-0) is ranked as the 80th best team in North Carolina. Fourth-seeded Salisbury is ranked 81st. Salisbury is averaging 42 points. Starmount 38. Each team gives up 13.
You could go back and forth all day. But the one thing Salisbury has over everyone so far — the wishbone.
You can practice against the triple option all you want. It never seems to matter. Carver’s Melvin Palmer was confident his Yellow Jackets were prepared before last week’s game. Then his Yellow Jackets went out and gave up 533 yards on the ground.
That’s right. Five. Three. Three.
In the past two weeks, the Hornets have rushed for 999 yards.
“I’m going to have to look at the film to see if we missed a yard,” coach Joe Pinyan joked earlier this week. “I wanted 1,000.”
If you go to Starmount tonight, be prepared to enjoy a great high school football environment.

Another great place to enjoy high school football is West Rowan.
Like Starmount, you’re out in the country. But you’re watching a team that has won three straight state titles. It’s always fun to watch a team that never loses.
Well, almost never loses. It’s kinda funny how everyone has forgotten about The Streak. West entered the season on a 46-game win streak, the nation’s best. It enters tonight’s home game against NPC neighbor Statesville 10-2. Which means Scott Young’s Falcons are 56-2 in their last 58.
That’s a pretty good streak, too.
West will surely see Greyhounds coach Randall Gusler, another one of our favorite coaches, try to spread the Falcons out. Mount Pleasant tried last week and was down 24-0 before it could blink. But Statesville has better athletes.
West is favored, of course.

A.L. Brown is the only other area team in the playoffs. The Wonders play host to Weddington in front of what should be a packed house.
Davie lost on a Hail Mary last week against Dudley and that’s bad news for early War Eagle basketball foes. Nate Jones, Denzel Redmon and Company have joined Shannon Dillard on the hardwood.

On the air tonight …
• Hall of Famer Howard Platt and Wilson Cherry will call the West Rowan game on WSTP 1490 AM.
• Lance, Glenn, Jeff, Johnny and the boys are headed to Longtown Road in Yadkin County to call Salisbury’s contest on WSAT 1280 AM.
• As always, WRKB 1460 AM will cover A.L. Brown.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or