• 57°

HS Football Tab: Salisbury Hornets Preview

By Mike London

mike.london@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Optimism is in the air at historic Ludwig Stadium, and the positive thinking may be justified.
The core group for the Hornets took lumps as varsity sophomores, made major strides as juniors and expect a winning season as seniors.
Two seasons ago, Ryan Crowder’s first as head coach, Salisbury was over-scheduled and overmatched. The Hornets were outscored 100-0 in a two-game, midseason stretch and finished 2-9.
A year ago, Salisbury allowed 40-plus points six times, but the offense, which topped 30 points three times in Central Carolina Conference victories, was often productive. Salisbury entered the final week of the regular season with a 4-0 CCC record before getting pounded in a title showdown with North Rowan. The Hornets recovered to win a first-round playoff game and finished 6-7.
“Last year’s South Iredell game (a 41-31 victory in Week 5) was a turning point,” Crowder said. “We were underdogs, but we came out and took control with our offense. Our kids saw what we could do when we executed. They saw they could compete, they saw they could win. After that, we had momentum.”
Salisbury won five of its last seven.
Coaching tweaks are part of the reason the Hornets believe they’ll maintain momentum in 2015. The hire of Clayton Trivett, former Trinity head coach, as offensive coordinator, will open up the offense. It also allows Crowder to focus on defense, his strength. He was Joe Pinyan’s defensive coordinator when the Hornets were a program to be reckoned with.
“Working with the defense, I feel like I’ve come home,” Crowder said.
Salisbury’s six returning offensive starters include running backs Willie Clark and Antwond Glenn, who combined for 1,800 yards last season. Also back are a trio of offensive line starters — tackle Matt Woolly, guard Robbie Bergstone and Marquise Peele, who will move from center to guard to make room for Rondarius Peele, his younger, larger, brother.
“We should be good on the offensive line,” Crowder said. “If you can’t block, you can’t run. If you can’t protect, you can’t throw.”
Salisbury has been quietly transitioning from being a run-run-run team to a more balanced offense. Riley Myers, last season’s QB, had passing games of 13-for-19 and 15-for-20 against defenses that loaded the box. That trend will continue whether Harrison Smith or Marcus Corry is the starting signal-caller.
Smith, mostly a receiver last season, and Corry, former jayvee QB, have battled for the job throughout the preseason, with both getting equal reps with the first team.
“We like both of them — they’re both bright and they have good arms,” Crowder said. “It’s a good problem to have.”
Smith is 6-foot-2 and has a height advantage. Corry is quicker.
Salisbury has other uncertain spots — defensive line, kicking game — but Crowder believes all questions will be answered positively.
A defense with five returning starters should be stouter than a year ago. The anchors will be linebacker D.J. Alexander (All-CCC) and defensive back Darius Jackson (All-CCC, All-Rowan County).

Comments

Coronavirus

COVID-19 vaccinations in Rowan top positives since start of pandemic

Crime

Man faces drug charges after breaking and entering call

Lifestyle

Waterworks schedules 2021 Summer ARTventures

Crime

Blotter: Man faces drug charges after being found passed out in vehicle

Ask Us

Ask Us: What programs exist for litter cleanup?

Business

County begins accepting restaurant grant applications

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged with nine more felony sex offenses

Nation/World

Biden team readies wider economic package after virus relief

Nation/World

Spacewalking astronauts prep station for new solar wings

Nation/World

Cuomo sorry for remarks aide ‘misinterpreted’ as harassment

Nation/World

Trump calls for GOP unity, repeats lies about election loss

Education

Rowan County administers 700 vaccines, with majority going to local educators

Crime

Shoplifting at Walmart presents challenge for Salisbury police

Local

Commissioners will hear details about changes to solar energy policies

Business

After overcoming obstacles, local barber Daniel King earns registered status

Lifestyle

39th annual K12 student exhibitions go virtual

Business

Biz Roundup: Chamber of Commerce to host ‘Salute to Agri-Business’ at March Power in Partnership

Local

Local legislators back bills ranging from new restrictions on sex offenders to Holocaust education

News

After surviving COVID-19 scare, Lois Willard set to celebrate 100th birthday

High School

Carson rolls over South 41-0 as about 600 allowed in to see season opener for both

Education

East Spencer after-school program looks toward opening, nonprofit status

Lifestyle

Frank Ramsey inducted into the NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame

College

Livingstone’s Stoutamire inducted into 2021 CIAA Hall of Fame

Nation/World

J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine