Prep football: East vs. West rivalry heading to the airwaves

Published 10:15 pm Monday, July 6, 2015

A new wrinkle has been inserted into the rivalry matchup Oct. 15 between East Rowan and West Rowan. When the Falcons and Mustangs meet that night on the football field in Granite Qurry, it will be beamed outside of the borders of Rowan County for Time Warner Cable subscribers to see.

The game — on a Thursday night — is slated to be broadcast live on Time Warner Cable.

“I think as a coach and as the players, you want to coach and you want to play on the biggest stage,” East Rowan coach Kenneth McClamrock said. “(The game is) at that point in the season where hopefully we can string together some wins. …It’s a chance to showcase to the state and not only the county or the conference. It’s a big game for our program.”

He added, “We want to be put in the spotlight and go from there.”

The N.C. High School Athletic Association approved live broadcasts of games at its meetings in December 2014. McClamrock said he wanted in on it.

“When I contacted the state saying we’d love to host a game, they asked the teams we had in mind,” he said. “You say a team like West Rowan, I think that’ll get a lot of attention.

“…Hopefully we’ll pack out the stadium and pack out stands and it’ll be loud and rocking.”

The players are plenty excited about it as well. McClamrock sent a message to players over the holiday weekend saying he had a big announcement. He said as soon as he brought up the new television rules in a meeting Monday, the players’ “eyes got big and they moved to the edge of their seats.”

The live television broadcast brings a new layer to the annual game. It’ll be the first meeting between the teams with Joe Nixon as head coach at West Rowan. It’ll also be a chance for the Mustangs to prove last year’s 59-14 beatdown of the Falcons was not a fluke. Then there’s the history, a rivalry going back more than 50 years.

“It’s not a new rivalry like with Carson, but it’s a rivalry a lot of people in the community appreciate,” McClamrock said. “West has been good for the last 15 years. They accomplished what we want to accomplish at East Rowan.”