Cavs make inaugural Hall inductions
The prep football notebook …
Cavalier sabres were thrust into the night sky in halftime ceremonies in Spencer on Friday, as the North Rowan Hall of Fame inducted its first class.
Honored were the late Walt Baker, Bob Hundley, Bill Kesler, Ralph Shatterly, Roger Secreast, Robert Steele and Larry Thomason, all of whom made their mark in green and gold as legendary coaches.
Baker was a longtime AD at North and was the school’s first basketball coach, serving from the 1958-59 season through the 1976-77 season. He is affectionately remembered as “Mr. North Rowan.”
Baker is fifth on the Rowan County all-time wins list for boys basketball with 231.
His widow and a son, Catawba basketball coach Jim Baker, represented the family for his induction.
Hundley coached North’s 1986 2A state championship basketball team and is second on the county wins list with 274. Hundley coached Cavalier basketball from the 1980-81 season through the 1997-98 campaign.
Hundley also coached North’s baseball teams to 136 victories from 1970-1984.
Kesler coached North baseball from 1985-2005 and won a county-record 295 games. Kesler’s 1999 team was 22-3 and his 2000 team was 23-7 and 2A state runner-up.
Kesler also has been a notable assistant coach in baseball, football and basketball.
Shatterly coached North to an undefeated wrestling season in 1968, coached a string of conference champs, and also is largely responsible for North’s fine football field.
Secreast is the football coach who brought “The Airport” passing game to North and coached Cavalier teams to a 108-59 record from 1988-2001. His 1992 team was 3A state runner-up.
Steele is credited with 15 North track and field state championships and impacted many more title-winning tams. He also served as defensive coordinator for the football team for many years.
Thomason, a North graduate, coached North football for 19 seasons from 1969-87.
His record was 125-69-3. His finest teams were the 1982 and 1985 clubs that had 10-0 regular seasons and finished 11-1.
Baker, Shatterly, Steele and Thomason have been inducted into the Salisbury-Rowan Hall of Fame. Hundley, Kesler and Secreast are worthy candidates for induction.
JAREKE UPDATE: Jareke Chambers’ 256-yard outing in a 41-0 win against Salisbury lifted his season total to 1,700 rushing yards, a regular-season record at North.
Nathanial Hyde’s 1,768 yards during North’s run to the 1992 3A championship game is the school record for a season, including playoffs.
While Chambers is only a junior and had only a handful of carries as a varsity freshman, he now has 2,870 career yards and may have the opportunity to become North’s career rushing leader if the Cavas can make a run in the 2A state playoffs.
Chambers is currently fourth on North’s all-time list behind Mark Sturgis (3,279), Darryl Jackson (3,128) and Bennie Geter (2,892).
GOOSE EGGS: With shutouts of Thomasville and Salisbury, North’s defense owns back-to-back shutouts for the first time since it shut down East Davidson and Central Davidson in 2006 CCC games.
“We played everybody, but the defense still got another zero,” North coach Joe Nixon said. “We held a pretty good team to minus yards in the first half, and when you do that for a half, you’re really running to the football. Our kids were excited about the shutout, and they should be.”
FOOT OFF THE GAS: Some North fans wouldn’t have minded beating rival Salisbury by a lot more, but North threw only twice after halftime and sat down Chambers for good in the third quarter.
“It was a chance to teach class as well as football,” North assistant Nick Means said. “You don’t ever want to rub anyone’s face in it.”
SPECIAL: North (11-0) doesn’t make every extra point, but special teams are usually a huge asset for the Cavaliers. Mike Robinson made a dive through three blockers to get a hand on a Salisbury punt. It was his sixth block or partial block of the season.
Kasaun Coney is a terror on punt returns. He set up a North TD with another long one, and he also had a 2-point conversion pass to Xavier Partee.
McDIESEL: North’s P.A. man confided to those in the press box that he had a new call he wanted to try out on Friday, and he waited patiently for defensive end Cecil McCauley to make a big play.
Finally, McCauley crushed a Hornet behind the line of scrimmage.
“That was Cecil McDiesel!” cheerfully roared over the P.A. system.
The fans seemed to like it.
SHOUTOUT: North sophomore Jake Pritchard had several tackles for loss for the Cavaliers Friday, and Kenyaun Coney had another fumble recovery.
Senior QB Austin McNeill became Carson’s all-time leader in passing yardage in Friday’s 49-21 win against Cox Mill.
McNeill has 3,534 career passing yards, with a modest 721 coming this season as the director of Joe Pinyan’s run-run-run offense.
McNeill had 1,239 passing yards as a sophomore and 1,574 as a junior. The previous school record-holder with 3,480 passing yards was Zack Gragg.
McNeill threw his ninth TD pass of the season and 40th of his career on Friday to Tyler Reynolds.
“Austin made a good read on that one when Tyler adjusted his route and ran away from the safety,” Pinyan said.
MAKING THE GRADE: Pinyan had high praise for Reynolds, Carson’s offensive player of the week, and not just because he had a rushing TD and a receiving TD.
“He had the best blocking game he’s ever had,” Pinyan said. “Backs have to get a 2.9 to grade out a winner for us, and he was well over 3 on Friday.”
PAT RAT: Linebacker Patrick Ratliff stood out on kickoff coverage and was Carson’s special teams player of the week.
DANGEROUS DANGS: Both of Carson’s Dang brothers had good nights.
Nose tackle Tonny Dang recovered a fumble and shared defensive player of the week honors with linebacker Myquon Stout.
Fullback Tommy Dang scored from the 6 and got his first TD of the season to close the scoring.
GOOD FORTUNE: Carson (7-4) could’ve been seeded seventh, eighth or ninth in the 3A West, and the Cougars drew the No. 8 seed.
“We could’ve been 7, but 8 still means a home game Friday,” Pinyan said. “So I guess we were at least a little bit lucky.”
SLOOP UPDATE: Junior Brandon Sloop had 24 carries for 132 yards Friday and has 1,099 rushing yards for the season.
Sloop’s career rushing total is now at 3,435 yards. He had 956 as a varsity freshman and 1,380 as a sophomore.
Sloop will enter Friday’s playoff game eighth all-time on the county list and conceivably could finish the night in fifth place.
Not far ahead of him on the county list are Thomas Lowe (3,471), who played at East and South; West’s Joe Jackson (3,491) and Salisbury’s Dario Hamilton (3,553).
West’s defense gave up a lot of yards in a 45-24 win against Hickory Ridge on Friday, but the Falcons also came up with three turnovers to lift their season total to 26.
Najee Tucker and Derrick Fortson recovered fumbles, while Zeke Blackwood intercepted a pass.
GOOD RUN: How successful have the Falcons been in recent years? Their 6-5 regular-season record is their worst since they were 6-5 in 2001. That 2001 season was the last time West didn’t qualify for the state playoffs.
A No. 14 seed this time, West will play at unbeaten South Point on Friday.
POUNDING: West steamrolled Hickory Ridge for 416 rushing yards, the Falcons’ biggest rushing night of the season and their biggest since they had 455 rushing yards in a 69-14 win against Carson in 2009. K.P. Parks, now at Virginia, accounted for 356 of those 455.
Daisean Reddick’s 209 yards against Hickory Ridge pushed him over 1,000 for the season, and you have to remember he missed two full games and half of another with an ankle injury. Reddick has 2,336 career rushing yards to rank sixth in school history.
Keyows Weeks enjoyed his first 100-yard night Friday since the Salisbury game in Week 3, and QB Harris Baucom went over 500 rushing yards for the season.
Baucom has scored 12 rushing TDs and has visited the end zone five straight weeks.
Junior Samuel Wyrick set a new East single-season passing record (on a pass to his twin brother) with 1,673 yards in Friday’s 61-26 win against South Rowan and he has a great chance to break the school career record as a senior.
Wyrick has 3,131 passing yards in his two-year varsity career and moved past Josh Brady into second place in school history on Friday.
East’s record of 3,910 passing yards was set by C.M. Yates from 1968-70. Yates is the only Mustang among the county’s all-time top 15 passers.
Wyrick is closing in on a bunch of standouts on the all-time county list including Salisbury’s John Knox (3,200) and Keegan Linza (3,241), who played at East and North.
Samuel didn’t throw a pass in the third quarter Friday and Noah Drye directed the Mustangs in the fourth quarter.
WYRICK PART II: Receiver Seth Wyrick had his quietest night of the season against South. He caught a 31-yard TD pass, but East shut down its passing attack early and only threw six times the entire game.
Wyrick’s one catch Friday tied him with North’s Tony Walker for the county record of 63 receptions in a regular season.
Wyrick fell 3 yards short of Nick Heard’s school record of 885 receiving yards in a regular season.
SACKS: East got sacks from Shiheem Saunders, Dock Corpening, Michael Collins and Cody Hiatt on Friday.
PLAYOFFS! East Rowan went 4-7 but is in the 3A playoffs as a No. 16 seed. The Mustangs play at top seed Morganton Freedom Friday.
East finished in a four-way tie for fifth place at 3-5 in the balanced SPC, tying with Cox Mill, Hickory Ridge and Northwest Cabarrus.
That was a friendly four-way tie for East, which went 2-1 against the teams in that four-way cluster. East beat Northwest and Cox Mill.
Seven SPC teams made the playoff bracket.
Despite an 0-11 season, the school’s first, and despite allowing a school-record and county-record 49.1 points a game, South coach Jason Rollina stayed upbeat.
“People do not understand unless they have been out there just what a team becomes over the course of a season,” Rollins said. “These kids faced so much adversity during the season, but the unique thing is they stayed together as a team.”
South senior Tyler Fuller, who has baseball to look forward to, wasn’t discouraged either.
“I think we made a ton of progress this year,” he said. “We banded together and had amazing team chemistry.”
The good news?
South should have two healthy, experienced QBs next year.
Heath Barringer, who began the season on the jayvees, had a rushing TD Friday and threw scoring passes to Eric Stowe and Matt Honeycutt.
Aaron Kennerly, who has 1,500 passing yards in pieces of two seasons, will be a senior next year. He broke his collarbone in South’s sixth game this season, the game in which South came close to beating Cox Mill.
Former coach Roger Secreast had some words of encouragement for Salisbury coach Ryan Crowder after the Hornets concluded a 2-9 season with a 41-0 loss to North Rowan.
“Hang in there, it’ll get better,” Secreast told him.
Secreast would know. After some early struggles coaching at Mooresville and Salisbury, Secreast went on to a Hall of Fame career when he got a shot at North.
CLOSE CALL: Junior Riley Myers completed 10 passes against North on Friday, but it was hard to get positive years.
All three of his completions in the first half lost yardage.
Those swarming stops by North’s defense prevented Myers from having a 1,000-yard season. He finished with 40 passing yards Friday and 994 for the season.
A.L. Brown (7-4) moved up to 4A this season, but Charlotte Catholic also made the move up.
It’s almost comical — not that anyone in Kannapolis is laughing about it — but the 13th-seeded Wonders drew No. 4 Catholic as a first-round opponent on Friday.
The Wonders have had seasons ended by Catholic in the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012 3AA playoffs. Brown nipped Catholic 28-27 to advance in 2008.
FOURTH: Friday’s 19-14 loss to Hopewell relegated the Wonders to fourth place in their first season in the MECKA. The defense played well. Johnny Delahoussaey, Hayden Taylor and Braden Harrington came up with turnovers.
Davie’s Cade Carney was healthy enough to play on Friday in a 42-21 loss against Mount Tabor that ended the War Eagles’ season at 4-7.
Carney, who had missed the previous two games, went over 1,000 yards rushing for the season.
Mike London, David Shaw and Marny Hendrick contributed to the notebook.