Friday Night Hero: North Rowan's Kasaun Coney
SPENCER – On the roster, there are two other players like Kasaun Coney at North Rowan.
There’s Eugene Coney at linebacker and strong safety Kenyaun Coney that share a last name with Kasaun. On the field, it’s hard to find a comparable resume for what Kasaun’s done in the Cavaliers’ first three games. He’s distinguished himself from brother Eugene and cousin Kenyaun by becoming a special teams force, Younger brother Raekwon Wynruit is also at fullback. With all the family influence, Kasaun’s right at home on the field.
“The kid is finding ways to make a difference and have an impact in the game,” North coach Joe Nixon said. “He’s making plays at important times in the game.”
Friday night, East Rowan had just jumped back into the game after scoring late in the first half to make it 14-7. However, when the Mustangs kicked the ball off, their momentum went along with it. Kasaun fielded the ball deep in his own end and took it 95 yards for a touchdown to let everyone know this was the Cavs’ night.
And maybe their year. North is one of two county clubs with a winning record so far and probably feels it should be 3-0 after some missed opportunities at Salisbury in Week 2. Last week, North scored all kinds of ways. Jalen Sanders had two touchdown runs and Jareke Chambers had one rushing score. Oshon West took a fumble 50 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter to seal the game. Kasaun says he enjoys watching other players on the team score as much as him.
“Last year, our season wasn’t how we wanted it to be,” Kasaun said. “Ever since Coach Nixon came, players are out here and they want to play. They want to work harder.”
Kasaun, who also ran in a two-point conversion, says vision and awareness are paramount to being a good returner.
“On the kickoff returns, it’s wider and there’s more space to see,” Kasaun said. “On punt returns, you’ve got to look to see what’s there.”
North’s already matched half its win total from last year going into an anticipated showdown with West Rowan. Kasaun, a junior, has been a big part of the renaissance with his leadership at safety and two special teams touchdowns. Kasaun returned a punt 53 yards for a score against Salisbury and took one back against Carson, although it was called back.
Kasaun gives the Cavs an added avenue to score with his elusiveness. North could use an extra touchdown against West Friday as the Cavs are looking to stop a seven-game losing skid in the series. North’s last win in the series came in 2001. It was the last time a county team beat West.
“Kasaun’s motor is non-stop,” Nixon said. “He’s on every special teams unit. He’s a free safety and a leader on defense.”
The North defense was all over the ball against East forcing 10 fumbles and recovering five of them in addition to blocking a punt.
The 5-foot-9, 160-pounder isn’t overly menacing physically, but has a knack for finding space on kick returns. He’s played football since fourth grade and returned kicks for just about as long.
Kasaun enjoys having family on the sideline after going to different middle schools.
“All the YFL stuff, I usually had to go against Kenyuan and Eugene had to go against me,” Kasuan said.