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Gallagher column: Roaming the county

Roaming the county getting ready for tonight …
SALISBURY — Everyone is talking about tonight’s debuts of Rowan County’s two new coaches: North Rowan’s Joe Nixon and East Rowan’s Danny Misenheimer.
North travels to Carson while East goes to Salisbury.
Check out the Post’s football section.
It’s a tough assignment for both. But ask the two opposing coaches and they’ll tell you it’s pretty tough for them, too.
“In my opinion, we have a tall order,” Carson coach Mark Woody said. “North is going to be sky-high. There’s new blood and new coaches. We’ll have to weather that storm because they’re tremendously talented.”
Joe Pinyan remembers when he came to a floundering program at Salisbury. The kids responded to a new atmosphere and he expects nothing less from East Rowan.
“You step it up and have success because you’re believing in what the new guy is selling,” Pinyan said. “He’s coaching his alma mater and the community is fired up.”
The two new coaches are in this together.
“Me and Joe have picked about it,” Misenheimer said earlier this month. “I’ll be nervous.”
“I’m nervous for every game,” Nixon admitted.
If they’re nervous now, just think what it will be like on Aug. 31 when the two match up at North.
“That will be a fun week,” Misenheimer said. “We talked about going to lunch together and after that, we’ll talk after the game.”
The two will probably talk late tonight and compare notes. North is coming off a four-win season while East won just once. But as Pinyan and Woody said, new coaches make quite a difference on Opening Night.
Expect some pumped-up Mustangs and Cavaliers.

While everyone is talking about the new coaches, don’t forget just how talented their first foes will be.
At Carson, there is a definite buzz with all the returning players. Quarterback Austin McNeill has a strong arm and plenty of good receivers to toss it too. And Brandon Sloop is there to run over you.
At Salisbury, three backs — Brian Bauk, Justin Ruffin and Max Allen combined for over 3,000 yards last year. Pinyan’s Hornets were a scoring machine and nothing should change.

An interesting matchup is West Rowan hosting Mooresville. The Blue Devils ended West’s nation’s best win streak last year but lost around 40 seniors.
Regardless of last year’s opener, the bottom line was West still made it to the state 3A title game. The Falcons have enough defensive talent to stop anybody but the offense is learning.
Expect a big crowd between two schools that are just 14 miles apart.

Former South athletic director Danny Crosby has to make up his mind — root for his old school when it plays host to Central Cabarrus, or root for his son, Daniel, who is starting his coaching career at Central.
Why not do both?
Like East, South managed just one win in 2011 and desperately needs to get off to a good start.

On the air …
• WSTP 1490 AM will call the Mooresville at West game with Hall of Famer Howard Platt and sidekick Wilson Cherry.
• WSAT 1280 AM will be broadcasting the Carolina Panthers’ game tonight but it will have live feeds from the Salisbury-East game from Glen Taylor. Starting next week, the boys will be covering all Salisbury games.
• Carl Ford, the “Commissioner” of high school football will call the South Rowan games.
Go to a game tonight, folks. And be nice.

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or rgallagher@salisburypost.com.

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