Prep Football: West Rowan practice
This is the last of seven
practice stories on area
Today: West Rowan
Wednesday: Football tab
By Ronnie Gallagher
MOUNT ULLA — Tyler Stamp was just clowning around one day, throwing passes all over the practice field.
West Rowan coach Scott Young wasn’t clowning around when he told Stamp he was going from talented receiver to novice quarterback.
That was back in July. Stamp is still a work in progress but he is getting better, even though he’d rather be catching than throwing.
“I wasn’t real happy about it at first,” Stamp said of the switch. “It’s getting better. A lot of snaps is helping out.”
Until recently, he was still thinking about going back to receiver.
“It’s a funny story,” Stamp said. “A couple of weeks ago, I went in at receiver for a play and hurt my shoulder. That kinda ended those dreams.”
Stamp, a senior, has a quarterback’s build, standing 6-foot-3, 185.
“He has a chance to be really good,” Young said. “He’s got a live, strong arm. Just to see the improvement that kid has made mechanically and physically from May until now is amazing.”
And as far as the decision to move Stamp?
“It’s real easy,” Young said. “It’s more important to our team to have a good quarterback than to have a great receiver.”
REPLACING JOE: Taking over for the departed Joe Nixon is Zach Bevilacqua, or “Coach Bev” as he is fondly referred to.
Bevilacqua was a Shrine Bowl offensive lineman at Butler and played at Elon. He has coached at West Lincoln and North Lincoln and was interim head coach at North. When he wasn’t given the permanent job, he came to West.
Bevilacqua knows the biggest difference being at West.
“Definitely, the intensity is higher than what I’ve experienced in the past,” he said.
While Young likes his new assistant, he wishes Nixon, who went to North Rowan as head coach, the best.
“Coach Nixon worked hard for everything he’s gotten,” Young said. “He’s had tremendous success at Catawba (where he played) and here. He was my right-hand man.”
SUBTRACTIONS: For the first time in quite a while, Young lost several assistants.
He not only lost his offensive coordinator in Nixon but also defensive coordinator David Hunt, who retired.
Hunt has to wait six months before he can assist again but he has watched some 7-on-7’s as a spectator.
“It was nice seeing him out there,” Young said.
Since Young started coaching in 1994 at Davie County, Hunt has been by his side every year but one.
Young also lost defensive line coach Stevie Williams.
ADDITIONS: Besides Bevilacqua, Young added former Falcon players Julian Samolu, who will coach linebackers, and Justin McIntyre, who will help with the defensive line.
“The kids love Samolu,” Young said. “McIntyre was on the D-line back when we got the program turned around.”
Lee Linville has been promoted to defensive coordinator while Young will be in charge of the offense.
SUMMER JOB: Offensive lineman Brandon Hansen didn’t lay around getting fat this summer. He made his annual trip to Wisconsin to stay with family.
Young wasn’t worried. His senior starter was laying brick and driving tractors and loaders. He was getting a workout from 4:30 a.m. until supper-time.
“He left at the first of June and didn’t return until the first week of August,” Young said. “He looked bigger and seems to be in shape. He looks good. We need him to be one of our senior leaders.”
What did Hansen do with the money he earned over the summer? He spent $2,500 for Green Bay Packer season tickets.
“Front row, 50-yard line,” Hansen announced. “I’m going to try and make it back after football season is over.”
EXPERIENCED: The secondary should be better this year. Young admitted it wasn’t a good year for his defensive backs in 2011.
“They were all green,” Young said. “And remember, they were replacing Dominique Noble, Eric Cowan and Trey Mashore, one of the best secondaries in the area.”
Now, Najee Tucker, Harvey Landy, Zeke Blackwood, Tyler Kennedy and Demetrius Davidson are experienced.
“But if you’re not willing to improve, experience doesn’t matter,” Young noted. “These kids have improved over the spring and summer.”
GOOD START: When linebacker Bubba McLaughlin showed up as a transfer from South Rowan, it didn’t take long for him to make an impact.
In his first appearance in blue during a 7-on-7 at A.L. Brown, he intercepted a pass and took it to the house.
McLaughlin, a 6-2, 230-pounder, is the perfect compliment to all-county sidekick Logan Stoodley.
AND FINALLY: All-County defensive lineman Trey Shepherd and linebacker Terrence Polk are no longer with the team. Young said they were academic casualties.