My reflection of the 2019 season and other musings....

Tigertown_a_Rick

Well-Known Member
Jul 29, 2001
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First off, I want to wish all the NCPreps staff and all others that visit this website a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...

Futhermore, I would like to congratulate the Robbinsville Black Knights on their most recent State Championship title and 14th overall which is 2nd only to Reidsville's 18 state titles....I also want to congratulate the East Surry Cardinals on their first ever state football title which was amazing to watch on TV...

As far as the 2019 season, I didn't post that much this year, but I have followed the season, and these are some of the things that I observed....

The SMC is still a gauntlet that is top heavy with Robbinsville, Murphy and Swain County leading the rest of the pack....Both Hayesville and Andrews look to be much more competitive in 2020, and Cherokee will always have the atheletes to compete....As for my Rosman Tigers, I long for the day when the Tigers will once again be a team that is respected, and hope that new Tiger Head Coach Dusty Robinson will be able to inspire kids to do their best, and return the Tigers to respectability....Dusty was an All-WNC lineman on the 1997 Tiger team that played for the state title, and he has been an Assistant coach on several previous Tiger Coaching staffs, so he has seen a lot from the Tiger sidelines since his playing days ended, and he also knows all the SMC teams very well which is a bonus when preparing his Tigers for the competition they will face....I wish Dusty nothing but the best, and I eagerly await the 2020 season and the hope of a new era of Rosman Tiger Football....

As for the rest of what I saw in the 1A ranks this year, here's my take:

1). Tarboro bullied their way to a 44 game winning streak that ended last Saturday when the defending champs faced a team unlike any that they had ever faced in a State Title setting, and the final score told the story as East Surry put on a show unlike ANY that I have ever seen or heard of in a state title game, and the Cardinals and their Coaching Staff should be commended for their performance because it was one for the record books...

2). What more can anyone say about the job that Dee Walsh has done in his return to Robbinsville...His Black Knight teams have been competitive every season, and two of those teams have finished the season unbeaten as state champs....Coach Walsh has also coached two RBs in Odom and Anderson who set atop the all-time rusher list of SMC RBs, and it doesn't look as though the Black Knight express is going to slow down any time soon as long as Walsh is there on the sidelines.....

3). Over in Murphy, the Bulldogs were plagued with injuries this year, but still only managed to lose 3 games with 2 of those to Robbinsville, and there is No doubt that the Bulldogs will once again be a force to be reckoned with in 2020....The bigger question is when does legendary Coach David Gentry decide that it's time for him to hang up his whistle since he is already the all-time leader in Coaching victories in the state of N.C., and has won bascially every award that a Coach can win along with multiple state titles....When that day arrives, does that whistle get passed to his offensive coordinator Joseph Watson who was a 3-time All-SMC DB back in his playing days when his father was on Gentry's staff?....I couldn't think of a better replacement for Coach Gentry, and the transition would seem to keep the status quo which is currently as a state title contender every season...

4). When I look over the 1A landscape, I see a very competitive Western part of the state which is currently much stronger than the Eastern landscape especially at the small 1A level....As long as Coach Craddock stays at Tarboro, the Vikings will likely continue to compete for the state 1AA title....As the saying goes, teams graduate, but tradition lives forever, and Tarboro has established a tradition of winning football at both the 1A and 2A level under Coach Craddock....It will be interesting to see what the next realignment will look like and whether a challenger or two will emerge to challenge the Vikings in the future....The only current challenger in the 1AA East is Holmes who has yet to beat Tarboro....Will that change in 2020?....We shall see!

5). With more Charter schools on the Horizon, how long will it be before a 1A Charter school wins a 1A or 1AA state title....As most already know, Charter schools have already won titles in the other two main team sports(Basketball and Baseball), and they are providing more competition in football...Will Charter Schools eventually have their own playoffs?...That question has been debated for years, but will it come to fruition?

6). What will a 5 Class state playoff look like if that happens, and will there be 10 champions after those classes are subdivided?

7). In closing, I once again congratulate this year's champions Robbinsville and East Surry, and welcome all comments in regards to 1A football, and would especially like to hear what Cardinal NCPrep legend Old Rebel has to say about his newly crowned Cardinals.....

Good luck to all 1A teams in the future!

Roar Tigers Roar!
 

collegegrad42

Well-Known Member
May 13, 2013
69
24
8
First off, I want to wish all the NCPreps staff and all others that visit this website a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year...

Futhermore, I would like to congratulate the Robbinsville Black Knights on their most recent State Championship title and 14th overall which is 2nd only to Reidsville's 18 state titles....I also want to congratulate the East Surry Cardinals on their first ever state football title which was amazing to watch on TV...

As far as the 2019 season, I didn't post that much this year, but I have followed the season, and these are some of the things that I observed....

The SMC is still a gauntlet that is top heavy with Robbinsville, Murphy and Swain County leading the rest of the pack....Both Hayesville and Andrews look to be much more competitive in 2020, and Cherokee will always have the atheletes to compete....As for my Rosman Tigers, I long for the day when the Tigers will once again be a team that is respected, and hope that new Tiger Head Coach Dusty Robinson will be able to inspire kids to do their best, and return the Tigers to respectability....Dusty was an All-WNC lineman on the 1997 Tiger team that played for the state title, and he has been an Assistant coach on several previous Tiger Coaching staffs, so he has seen a lot from the Tiger sidelines since his playing days ended, and he also knows all the SMC teams very well which is a bonus when preparing his Tigers for the competition they will face....I wish Dusty nothing but the best, and I eagerly await the 2020 season and the hope of a new era of Rosman Tiger Football....

As for the rest of what I saw in the 1A ranks this year, here's my take:

1). Tarboro bullied their way to a 44 game winning streak that ended last Saturday when the defending champs faced a team unlike any that they had ever faced in a State Title setting, and the final score told the story as East Surry put on a show unlike ANY that I have ever seen or heard of in a state title game, and the Cardinals and their Coaching Staff should be commended for their performance because it was one for the record books...

2). What more can anyone say about the job that Dee Walsh has done in his return to Robbinsville...His Black Knight teams have been competitive every season, and two of those teams have finished the season unbeaten as state champs....Coach Walsh has also coached two RBs in Odom and Anderson who set atop the all-time rusher list of SMC RBs, and it doesn't look as though the Black Knight express is going to slow down any time soon as long as Walsh is there on the sidelines.....

3). Over in Murphy, the Bulldogs were plagued with injuries this year, but still only managed to lose 3 games with 2 of those to Robbinsville, and there is No doubt that the Bulldogs will once again be a force to be reckoned with in 2020....The bigger question is when does legendary Coach David Gentry decide that it's time for him to hang up his whistle since he is already the all-time leader in Coaching victories in the state of N.C., and has won bascially every award that a Coach can win along with multiple state titles....When that day arrives, does that whistle get passed to his offensive coordinator Joseph Watson who was a 3-time All-SMC DB back in his playing days when his father was on Gentry's staff?....I couldn't think of a better replacement for Coach Gentry, and the transition would seem to keep the status quo which is currently as a state title contender every season...

4). When I look over the 1A landscape, I see a very competitive Western part of the state which is currently much stronger than the Eastern landscape especially at the small 1A level....As long as Coach Craddock stays at Tarboro, the Vikings will likely continue to compete for the state 1AA title....As the saying goes, teams graduate, but tradition lives forever, and Tarboro has established a tradition of winning football at both the 1A and 2A level under Coach Craddock....It will be interesting to see what the next realignment will look like and whether a challenger or two will emerge to challenge the Vikings in the future....The only current challenger in the 1AA East is Holmes who has yet to beat Tarboro....Will that change in 2020?....We shall see!

5). With more Charter schools on the Horizon, how long will it be before a 1A Charter school wins a 1A or 1AA state title....As most already know, Charter schools have already won titles in the other two main team sports(Basketball and Baseball), and they are providing more competition in football...Will Charter Schools eventually have their own playoffs?...That question has been debated for years, but will it come to fruition?

6). What will a 5 Class state playoff look like if that happens, and will there be 10 champions after those classes are subdivided?

7). In closing, I once again congratulate this year's champions Robbinsville and East Surry, and welcome all comments in regards to 1A football, and would especially like to hear what Cardinal NCPrep legend Old Rebel has to say about his newly crowned Cardinals.....

Good luck to all 1A teams in the future!

Roar Tigers Roar!

Excellent observations Rick. What an amazing season of football we were able to witness this year. Robbinsvile was an absolute machine in the mountains this year, and Coach Walsh deserves a lot of credit for that. Coach Lowman and his staff were also incredible in making sure all of that talent was rewarded with the ultimate prize for high school football. What more can you say about Coach Gentry except that man is a legend not only in North Carolina but the entire US. He was an amazing man when I met him in 2002 when my Cardinals played at Murphy in the western semifinals. A gracious host to the players and fans, high school football will surely miss him when he decides to retire. Excited for what 2020 will hold!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!!
 

Swain97

Well-Known Member
Nov 24, 2006
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Merry Christmas Rick. Believe it or not, I finally got around to making my own raspberry jelly this year, but it wasn't as good as the jar you gave me years ago. Definitely missed the Rosman and WNC history of football you provide with all your knowledge. But to your points;

I doubt we're anywhere near charter schools having their own playoff systems. There just aren't that many competing in football to make it lucrative enough for a playoffs and championship. I still feel like that is 5+ years away if so. I hope I'm right on that.

As far as 5A football, I hope to high heavens they don't go to a 10 champion system. Of course with 2 more championships is more money for the NCHSAA and I don't see them turning that down ever. The question is if they did go to a 5A system, will the ADMs change across the spectrum or only increase the top schools to separate them out of 4A ball?
 

Uncgrad1998

Active Member
Oct 20, 2018
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Prattville, AL
3). Over in Murphy, the Bulldogs were plagued with injuries this year, but still only managed to lose 3 games with 2 of those to Robbinsville, and there is No doubt that the Bulldogs will once again be a force to be reckoned with in 2020....The bigger question is when does legendary Coach David Gentry decide that it's time for him to hang up his whistle since he is already the all-time leader in Coaching victories in the state of N.C., and has won bascially every award that a Coach can win along with multiple state titles....When that day arrives, does that whistle get passed to his offensive coordinator Joseph Watson who was a 3-time All-SMC DB back in his playing days when his father was on Gentry's staff?....I couldn't think of a better replacement for Coach Gentry, and the transition would seem to keep the status quo which is currently as a state title contender every season...

Roar Tigers Roar!

I hope Murphy's DC, Thomas Nelson, is also considered to replace Coach Gentry.
 

btango

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Nov 5, 2003
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As far as 5A football, I hope to high heavens they don't go to a 10 champion system. Of course with 2 more championships is more money for the NCHSAA and I don't see them turning that down ever.

The NCHSAA would do away with subdividing next season or reduce the number of champions if the schools would accept that. The NCHSAA did not vote for it in 2001 (1A schools) or 2002 (all other classifications). They attempted to get 1A and 4A to reduce to four rounds with this alignment. Coaches are the ones that like more teams in the playoffs and more champions. They may tell you different but put it to a vote and see the results!!
 
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btango

Well-Known Member
Nov 5, 2003
16,582
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The question is if they did go to a 5A system, will the ADMs change across the spectrum or only increase the top schools to separate them out of 4A ball?

The idea the NCHSAA has had is to group the smallest and largest schools with less teams in 1A and 5A. Six classifications has also been discussed. The schools constantly complain and want change but lets see if they vote for it in May. The NCHSAA needs to get a few plans in front of the schools to start discussing, get a vote to make a change, and in my opinion should let the schools vote for which option they prefer. I have a feeling we will be back at four classifications.
 

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