Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 25, 2013

SALISBURY — Salisbury’s Clint Comadoll and South Rowan’s Burke Fulcher are Lone Rangers on the 2013 all-county team, almost lost in a sea of green, gold and white. You may be a bit surprised that the solo players who were chosen to represent Salisbury (2-9) and South (0-11) are defensive guys.
Didn’t South allow a school and county record 49.1 points per game, you ask?
Yes, it did.
And didn’t Salisbury allow 203 points in one ugly, four-game stretch?
Again, the answer is yes,
Still, there was no doubt at all about Comadoll, a senior linebacker/defensive end who had five sacks in a game against Lexington. If Salisbury’s record had been reversed, he would’ve been a player of the year candidate.
“Clint led us in tackles, he led us in tackles for loss, and he led us in sacks,” Salisbury coach Ryan Crowder said. “He was the best player on our defense. He was the best player on our team. Whether we were up in a game or we were down 50 points, he played just as hard as he could play. One of the best games on his highlight tape that we send to colleges is the West game.”
Salisbury lost that one 55-0. Comadoll didn’t quit.
South coach Jason Rollins admits it was a difficult year, but things can always be worse. He said they would’ve been much worse without Fulcher, his junior middle linebacker.
“If something had happened to Burke, it would’ve had the same effect on our defense that losing A-Rod (QB Aaron Kennerly) had on our offense,” Rollins said. “Burke was all over the place for us.”
It’s not easy to shine through 0-11, but Fulcher tied for the team lead in interceptions with two and led South in fumble recoveries with three. He even played tight end when injuries knocked out the first two on South’s depth chart.
“He had to play tight end and go both ways against Concord, and he did a tremendous job,” Rollins said.
Sixteen defensive players were chosen for the all-county team. Half of the remaining 14 are Cavaliers, but that makes some sense. North had the county’s best defense by a lot and finished with the best defensive numbers a North team has put up since 1996.

Xavier Robinson, North, Sr. LB — Robinson you know about. He led his 13-1 team in tackles with 145, provided lots of leadership, intercepted three passes and made an impact whenever he was needed on offense.
Kasaun Coney, North, Sr. DB — The free safety picked off a county-leading six passes and had 12 picks the past two seasons. He had two interceptions against East Davidson. He was a dangerous return man, and like Robinson he made frequent guest appearances on offense. He scored seven touchdowns.
Cecil McCauley, North, Sr. DL — The 230-pound end put up crazy numbers. He led the county in tackles for loss with 39, including 9.5 sacks.
Mike Robinson, North, Sr. DB — The cornerback produced three picks, one that he returned for a touchdown, and he had three fumble recoveries. He broke up 12 passes and produced six blocked kicks.
Wesley Jefferies, North, Jr. DL — It’s possible that North’s defensive front will be even stronger next season. Jefferies (6-5, 277) is a huge, active tackle. He had 23 tackles for loss.
Malik McGee, North, Jr. DL — Nose guards usually don’t get much love on all-star teams, but McGee stood out. He not only kept offensive linemen from getting to Robinson, he was a 265-pound run-stuffer. North had one stretch where it held four straight opponents to under 100 yards rushing.
Kenyaun Coney, North, Jr. DB/LB — Aggressive enough to stop the run and fast enough to cover receivers, Coney was vital as a multiple-role guy in North’s 4-2-5 defense. He forced two fumbles, recovered four and had eight tackles for loss.
MyQuon Stout, Carson, Sr. LB/DE — Stout was the county’s representative in the Shrine Bowl and the first Cougar to play in the game, and coach Joe Pinyan said the Appalachian State commitment did well. “His effort left a proud pathway for future Cougars to follow and learn from,” Pinyan said.
Tre Williams, Carson, Sr. Spur — Williams was a linebacker playing outside the box. Two of his four interceptions were season-changers for the Cougars. His picks were turning points in the wins against West and East.
Patrick Ratliff, Carson, Sr. LB — Teams tried hard to run away from Stout, but usually they ran smack into Ratliff, who had quite a few games with double-figure tackles. He also was outstanding on special teams.
Nick Collins, West. Sr. LB — Collins led the Falcons in tackles and recovered four fumbles.
“He was head-and-shoulders above the player he was last year,” West coach Scott Young said. “He matured a lot, and he was solid and consistent.”
Najee Tucker, West, Sr. DB — West’s free safety intercepted four passes and was third on the team in tackles. The Charlotte commitment blocked two punts against Northwest Cabarrus and had a huge pick-6 against East Rowan.
Dock Corpening, East, Sr. LB — Corpening played outside linebacker for the Mustangs, so every team with good sense tried to make yardage on the other side of the field.
“A lot of teams ran the ball away from him,” East coach Danny Misenheimer said. “He was still our leading tackler.”
Corpening has size and speed and will be a next-level player.
Shiheem Saunders, East, Jr. LB — Saunders moved from outside linebacker to inside linebacker, but he thrived with the switch. Saunders often was responsible for getting the Mustangs aligned properly, and Corpening was the only Mustang who made more tackles.
“Shiheem is kind of a quiet kid, but he still was a leader with his play,” Misenheimer said. “We’ll be counting on him in a big way next season.”
Honorable Mention: Defensive players who were finalists included West strong safety Zeke Blackwood, East DB Donte Means, South DL Alex Parham and Carson linebacker Anthony McCurry.