Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2013

Roaming the county getting ready for tonight …
CHINA GROVE — We tried to warn you people when the season began. It’s the year of girls basketball in Rowan County.
Some of the schools have played 16 games going into tonight and there is only one boys team in double-figure wins: North Rowan.
But the girls? In the North Piedmont Conference alone, there are three with at least 10 wins: West Rowan, Carson and East Rowan.
Which brings us to the biggest and best showdown of tonight — and the season so far: West Rowan’s girls (14-0) at Carson (13-3).
The Cougars (4-0) actually have a half-game lead over West (3-0) for first place. And that’s exactly why Hall-of-Famer Howard Platt will call the girls game tonight instead of the boys on WSTP 1490-AM.
Tune in around 6, 6:30 for the start of Platt’s broadcast.
Carson will be the biggest threat to West’s dominance so far this year. Kelly Dulkoski, Allison Blackwell and Kate Cole can stroke the three. But does Cougar coach Brooke Misenheimer have anyone to stop West’s 6-foot-2 Shay Steele, the current front-runner for county player of the year? No one else has had an answer.
It should be a packed gym at Carson tonight. But isn’t it always?

The girls may have the better records, but the West-Carson boys game is big as well. It’s for second place.
Carson (9-7) is 3-1 in the league while West is 2-1 (4-10) overall.
In another NPC doubleheader, East Rowan is at Statesville.

Head and shoulders above everyone are Andrew Mitchell’s 12-3 North Rowan boys, who play their biggest game tonight at home against Albemarle. North is 8-0 in the Yadkin Valley Conference.
Albemarle is 10-1, its only loss to North in decided fashion earlier in the season.

Will the gyms be packed tonight? Weather authorities have been calling for snow.
So since there might not be any games, let’s turn our attention to other topics.
• Like babies.
Salisbury tennis coach Chris Myers and wife Jill brought son Kyler (no middle name yet) into the world this week. He weighed 7 pounds, eight ounces.
• Like football recruiting.
As Signing Day quickly approaches, there is not one county commitment for a Divison I or Division II team yet. A little surprising.
County defensive player of the year Logan Stoodley of West has received no offers. Offensive player of the year Justin Ruffin has received no viable offers. Keion Adams, arguably the best athlete in this county, has nothing so far.
You can’t blame the coaches. West’s Scott Young produced a list of 41 schools that have tape of Stoodley. In fact, when I arrived at the field house the other day, he was on the phone with Mars Hill, urging them to watch film of Stoodley and other Falcons.
In fact, I’ve been at Salisbury when Joe Pinyan has been on the phone, building up his Hornets. He makes calls to two colleges a day on behalf of his players.
All of the above-mentioned will land somewhere. They are too good not to.

And finally …
Salisbury is playing on the road at Lexington and coach Jason Causby won’t have a familiar face with him filming the game.
Mac Thomas passed away recently. Taken away from us was the biggest Salisbury Hornet fan of all time.
Most people just knew him as Mac. Had no idea what his last name was and it didn’t matter. He was just Mac, filming every football, basketball and baseball game he could. As one Salisbury coach put it, Salisbury could be trailing by 10 runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, down to its last strike with two outs, and Mac would still think the Hornets were going to pull it out.
“And regardless of what the record was, he always thought Salisbury was going to win,” football coach and athletics director Joe Pinyan said. “If we needed a copy of a game, he always had it.”
Mac would sit up there behind that camera and yell stuff like, “Drive it, Hornets. Drive it.” He didn’t have to worry about many losses from the time Pinyan showed up in 2003. The Hornets gave Mac plenty of wins and state championships to cheer about before his death.
The community lost a good guy.
Go to a doubleheader tonight, folks. And as always, be nice.

Contact Ronnie Gallagher at 704-797-4287 or