The Opening Day roundup …
The Big Green Nation has big green aspirations as practice officially begins for the North Rowan Cavaliers.
North Rowan is moving up from 1A to the 2A Central Carolina Conference.
Many think North has as much talent as anyone in the county. It is ranked eighth in the 2A preseason polls.
“It says a lot for how hard our kids have worked,” coach Joe Nixon said. “They’re getting a little recognition.”
Nixon, in his second year, greeted a confident group and his entire coaching staff is intact from a squad that won eight games.
“We’re in Year 2,” Nixon said. “It has been a good offseason. The kids know the system.”
North was the only team that was halted for 30 minutes by a lightning delay.
Joe Pinyan is the new coach at Carson but he is a familiar face to Rowan County after averaging 10 wins per season at Salisbury. Now he faces the task of not only turning around a 4-8 team, but teaching it the wishbone in a short amount of time.
Pinyan had 70 out for the first practice and he is getting attention off the field, too.
“The community is starting to have passion,” he said. “I can’t go eat in China Grove without somebody talking about being excited. We’re excited about being a part of them.”
Like South, West and East, Carson will be going into a 3A conference with several Cabarrus schools. Pinyan likes that except several coaches know his wishone because they have coached with him.
“I’m going to have to hide my signals,” he laughed.
Coming off a 2-8 season, coach Jason Rollins wishes he had more than the 80 bodies who showed on Thursday.
His freshman class is small with barely 200 students. Only 14 from Corriher-Lipe Middle School has been out.
“We’ll go through the team rules and have a normal practice,” Rollins said.
He is bringing in three new assistants in Dennis Rivers, former Raider Joel Reyes and Dave Wheeler.
That would be Humpy’s brother.
Rollins does like the way his team has worked despite last year’s two-win season.
Save the best for last in this roundup?
Maybe, but we do know the Mustangs were certainly the earliest.
For the second straight year, Danny Misenheimer had Midnight Madness, beginning at 12:01, a.m. Around 90 showed.
Misenheimer said East, coming off a resounding eight-win season, would have a normal practice, feed the kids and then let them spend the rest of the night in the field house playing X-box or play station. Two TVs were hooked up for some late-night veiwing.
Parents fed the Mustangs breakfast and then they went home around 7 a.m.
“The community got involved,” Misenheimer said of his last year’s Midnight Madness. “They’ve been great.”
Opening Night is Aug. 23 with Carson at Salisbury, North Rowan at East Rowan, West Rowan at Mooresville and South Rowan at defending 2AA state champ South Iredell. … A.L. Brown opens at home against rival Concord. They will not be in the same league as the Wonders have gone 4A. … North Rowan is happy to be back in the 2A Central Carolina Conference and the Cavs will play their rival Salisbury in the last regular-season game. … The annual Salisbury Post football edition is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 21.