Prep Football: Record-setting Wyrick twins focused on wins
GRANITE QUARRY — Samuel Wyrick, the East Rowan quarterback, is the older of the twins. He had the world all to himself for exactly four minutes. That’s when Seth Wyrick, the receiver, finally arrived on the scene.
“Those had to be the best four minutes of my life,” Samuel said with a straight face.
The Wyricks have a sense of humor as well as talent. Together they had the best 14 minutes of their lives last Friday night in Mount Ulla. East Rowan was the underdog on the road, but early in the second quarter, the Mustangs led West Rowan 45-0. Samuel Wyrick had four TD passes in that span, including a 53-yarder to his brother. Samuel finished with five TD passes, Seth finished with three TD receptions, and the Mustangs breezed to a 59-14 victory.
“We went over there confident we could get a win if we played well,” Seth said. “But you couldn’t have scripted a better story for us than to jump on them early the way we did.”
It was a snowball of West Rowan mistakes and quick East Rowan touchdowns.
“It’s not like we were having to drive 70 yards,” Samuel said. “Our defense was getting us great field position, and we were driving 40. We really didn’t have a whole lot of yards.”
Yards and touchdowns have piled up for the Wyricks this fall.
They are not identical twins who can pull off fun twin stuff – like switching classes. They are fraternal twins who don’t even look like brothers. Samuel’s black hair is cut like he’s a drummer in a mid-1960s rock band. Seth’s hair is lighter and he favors a basic buzz-cut.
Physically, Seth is taller and longer. Samuel — 6 feet, 180 pounds — is thicker in the chest and shoulders.
“I was actually 5 inches taller until we were freshmen and then he had a growth spurt and caught up,” Seth said.
Samuel always has been the quarterback. Seth always has been the guy he threw to. It started in third grade, and “Wyrick to Wyrick” is still an often-used phrase for the P.A. man on Fridays.
The Wyricks are throwbacks in the sense that they are guys who play football in fall, basketball in winter and baseball in spring. Samuel is a strong rebounder, and Seth is a good defender and streaky 3-point shooter for East Rowan hoops. In baseball, Samuel is the first baseman, while Seth is the designated hitter. They’re pretty good in basketball and baseball, although football is where they stand out as all-conference and all-county, and football is the sport they expect to play in college.
“We’ve always played all three and we enjoy all three, but we started to see in middle school that football was our best sport,” Seth said.
Neither has committed yet. They’d like to keep playing together at the next level, although both realize that’s not a sure thing.
They became starters for the Mustangs in their sophomore season. East Rowan was run-heavy in 2012 and 2013 with Samuel directing a veer offense. New head coach Kenneth McClamrock has opened up the offense, and East Rowan throws more often than it runs.
McClamrock coached at Concord, so he was familiar with the Wyricks before coming to East Rowan. He was on the opposite sideline for the epic East Rowan-Concord 3A playoff game at Bailey Stadium in 2012.
“I knew that they were two great kids we could build an offense around here,” McClamrock said. “We’ve got an offense catered to what Samuel does well. He’s a quarterback who can move around, make plays and get the ball out quickly to a lot of different receivers.”
Finding multiple receivers has been the key to Samuel’s tremendous senior season that has included 25 touchdown passes and only four interceptions. He’s thrown for 1,780 yards.
Before this season, no East Rowan quarterback had thrown five touchdown passes in a game. This season, Samuel has done that on three occasions, and he’s also rushed for six touchdowns.
Seth has been the county’s top receiver with 51 catches for 840 yards and 11 touchdowns, but wideouts Naquis Caldwell and Chandler Smith, tight end Simon Soles and running back Max Wall also have been factors in the Mustangs’ passing game. Seth forces double-coverage, so someone is always open.
“Last year, I probably was looking for Seth too much,” Samuel said. “We’re spreading it around now.”
The passing and receiving records at East Rowan belonged to quarterback C.M. Yates and receiver Johnny Yarbrough since they played for the Mustangs from 1968-70.
The Wyricks are breaking some of those records now. Seth surpassed Yarbrough’s school record for career receptions on Friday. Seth’s 138 career catches are two ahead of Yarbrough, and there is time for that number to grow.
Samuel has broken Yates’ school records for career passing yards and career TD passes. Now both Wyricks are closing in on Rowan County records.
“Coach (Kelly) Sparger was around when Yarbrough and Yates were playing,” Seth said. “We’ve heard a lot of stories from him. We know what great athletes they were. It’s an honor to break records they set.”
The Rowan County records for career TD passes (66) and TD passes in a season (31) belong to West Rowan’s B.J. Sherrill. Samuel has 61 TD passes for his career with three regular-season games to go, while Seth is 20 shy of Lamont Savage’s career receptions mark of 158.
“Records are nice, and when we’re done, we’ll look back and be proud,” Samuel said. “But it’s not like we’re thinking about records now. We’re just trying to win as many ballgames as we can.”
Mike London: 704-
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