Thursday, November 8, 2007

And what now for Indy and Knotts?

Independence coach Tom Knotts got his job back Thursday, but if he's going to coach anymore in 2007, the Patriots must win tonight at Greensboro Page.

That's a lot of pressure on Independence.

Remember, they're coming off their first loss to a N.C. team in eight years and 114 games, a loss that came after hours of controversy swirling around their coach, who was suspended with pay following an altercation with Isaac Avant of Philadelphia at last week's Indy-Butler jayvee game.

The loss was hard enough, I'm sure, then the Patriots go all week with the news media on full blast about their coach and their program.

Kind of hard to get ready for a bounce-back game under all of that, right?

But you know what? I think the Patriots are going to rally together for their coach and win Friday. I think this will be the thing that will group this young team together.

I know Knotts loves challenges. This has been a rough season for him, starting with the loss of his beloved dog and then his best friend, father Don Knotts. He missed a lot of summer practice and Independence suffered a lot of injuries and disappointment, their infamous win streak going poof in Ohio in the second week of the season.

I remember when the season started, Knotts was walking around with a green T-shirt with the arms cut out. It had a huge yellow "8" on the back. He wanted his team to win an eighth straight state title. Back then, Indy was feared like SARS. But after two losses in 11 games, including the all-important in-state loss, Indy's intimidation factor is now about as good as Mike Tyson's was after Buster Douglas.

They won't be up 14 just getting off the bus anymore. To get it back, they have to win again.

And if Knotts can make a state championship out of all this, I think it will be his greatest coaching job in a career full of highlights. If Indy gets out of Greensboro alive -- and I'm sure Page will have a packed stadium and a hyped up team waiting to see the circus come to town -- I don't think I'd bet against the Patriots for the rest of the year.

A potential second round game against Butler would be off-the-charts big: Knotts' return. Independence going for revenge. Butler looking for the knockout punch.

The storylines would be thick.

It could be a magical Friday night.

It all depends on what happens 90 minutes from here Friday night.

Stay tuned.

29 comments:

Dawgs Rule 12 said...

Langston, another great column. I have criticized you in the past for being bias. I think you have been as fare as possible to Tommy K and to the Avants. I was at the game. This man Avant was threatening the coaches. he said he'd kick everyone's ass if this fence weren't in the way. He was out of line. I agree w/u that Knox should not have come up to him. Can't blame him though. Know what though? We still are going to toast that rump next week at Butler. Dawgs rule

Page Fan #20 said...

Langston, you keep overlooking us. We're going to shock the world tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

You are not fooling anyone, you are not a butler fan. Butler does not talk trash like this. Is this what you have to do to "pump" your team up? You are insulting The big "I". We will beat Butler and our game will speak for it self.

Anonymous said...

What a crock. Punch someone and get a slap on the hand. This is an outrage, provoked or not. CMS caved in to Independence fan pressure. Gorman, you are weak!

Anonymous said...

Let's all move on ya'll.We will beat Page, they are a good team but not at our level. We will be ready for Butler, this time it will be a different story. Tom Knotts will be there, he is a better coach than Newsome will ever be. Expect 45- 07 INDY. We have more weapons than them

Anonymous said...

To the anonymous; You dawgs were lucky, you barely beat us and we didnt even have our coach. be ready to strap it on. we will demolish you in the pass and run your *ss on the ground. Be ready thats all i can say. thats if your around by next week.

Anonymous said...

You got BEAT LIL i LOL.Just bring it on the field the first game should have been a blowout.Next game ur comin to tha DAWG POUND get ready.

Anonymous said...

Peter Gorman was really afraid Tommy would beat him up.

Anonymous said...

If they really wanted to punish Coach Knotts they would have replaced him with "Coach" Joe White.

Anonymous said...

Langston, of all the media coverage of this, yours was first and best. now we will return to the biz of winning the great 8. butler's jsut another step on the way. choo choo!

bulldog 4 life said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bulldog 4 life said...

I'm just gonna let everyone know why coach knotts is gonna be coaching again for Independence. The only reason he is going to continue to coach is because of what he does for CMS as a school system. He has brought CMS national recognition and Peter Goreman isn't going to fire or suspend him for a whole year. The longer they keep winning the more national recognition CMS gets (its ashame that it isn't for academics) If this were any other coach on any other team they would be fired. I mean the business of coaching isn't just about coaching football its about teaching young men how be great leaders when they grow. How can he do this when he acts like this. Its apart of the job as a coach you are going to be criticized all the time. Teach your kids a lesson Tom Knotts and restrain yourself. Anyone one can fight someone but it takes a real leader to restrain himself. Mr. Knotts is just teaching them football. Try teaching them values if you want to do something for this community.

bulldog 4 life said...

Oh yeah and Tom Knotts ins't that good of a coach. I mean he plays with an all-star team every year and he has a better recruiting class than LSU. Someone please tell me he doesn't recruit. I've seen it firsthand. I mean don't get me wrong he is a good football coach but he isn't the the Bill Belachick of high school football. It takes a good coach to take an ok football team and make them great look at the size of Independence's linemen every year all 6-2 290 give me a break.

Anonymous said...

Can we please quit with the Friday Night made-for-TV movie drama: "Tommy Knotts: The Man, The Myth, The Gridiron God"! It should be more like: "TK: The Bully, The Convict, The Golden Boy"!! Any coach can win repeat State Championships with All-Star caliber talent that "happens" into 28227 every year. The sign of a talented coach is one who turns coal into diamonds. Not diamonds into bigger diamonds.

Anonymous said...

bulldog 4 life my man im as big a butler fan as anyone.When Chris Leak and Joe Cox were you could say he had all star teams. Coach Knotts has caused more stress on me than probably anyone the last 7 years. But last year they barely pulled out several game and won because of great coaching. Tom Knotts is a hell of a coach. I think we'll still beat them but don't pretend we woudln't take him any day of the week. No offense to Coach Newsome.

anonymous 1 said...

butler has a pretty good team but there coaching sucks, in the win over Indy they got lucky, thats all. Independece was expecting to whoop them like they have been the past 7 years and they just didnt show up, or there extra point kicker didnt at least. If Indy wasnt so banged up they wouldnt have lost in ohio by 1 score.

Anonymous said...

Indy fans excuses and more excuses tha DAWGS are conference champs sorry.Anonymous butler fan Butler fans dont want knotts neither do the players so speak for urself.Let me ask you one question did Newsome get the best runningback in the state this offseason NOOOOOOO!Indy did

Anonymous said...

INDY SUCKS, THEY DONT HAVE NOBODY, AND IS OVERRATED.
...WHO DO THEY HAVE??????

Anonymous said...

To all those that only know how to ricicule and criticize, it's now time for all of you to get off your backsides and now demand that CMS get off their backsides to protect teachers, coaches, and our students. What are we doing by allowing unruly fans at sports events? What did CMS do to Mr Avant who started the entire sad affair? Did they suspend him? Tell me.
It's long past time to get so much hatred out of sports. This is what I would have done, "I would have sent a message to every fan in and out of Charlotte that there was going to be strict enforcement by strict security guards or there would not be any football games played at all. Not a single one, period!
It's time to get off of a coaches back and enforce the law of civility. Its time to enforce strict rules on all fans including myself. It's time for CMS to get off of their butts and do something. The guy cursing the coach should have been knocked on his behind. Either security should have been present to take him into custody. But we seem not to want security. We seem to want to see these altercations. We seem to not understand that a Columbine is going to spill over one of these nights. We seem not to care about teachers, coaches, and students. State law enforcement should protect all coachs and students on the sidelines of a football field during highly charged sports events.
I would leave Charlotte Independence if I were Tom Knotts. Just as I had given my sweat to such school. There are schools all over America who would gladly love to have Tom Knotts coaching their team. Lastly, those who write about Tom Knotts, why don't you have the decency to write about the unruly fans as much or are you simply looking to furthur your sorry carreer? Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Tom Knox should have been fired. CMS's admin is weak and afraid to Do The Right Thing. If someone, except a child, hits a teacher CMS would spare no expense to prosecute them. If a child hits a teacher CMS would prosecute the teacher for getting in the child's "personal space."

Matthew said...

I love how people say that Indy sucks, but tell me one other team in the state that has won 7 championships straight? I know that everyone has to hate the guys that are on top, but butler has a long way to go before they can start saying that they have been anywhere as good as Indy has been for years. I played there and now my brother does. I don't remember any recruiting. I remember hanging out with all the team members in my own neighborhood. Oh yeah, and then there were some guys that were bused in from the other side of town because of CMS's bussing policies to even out the neighborhoods. Sure, now there might be a few parents that "own" a residence in 28227 just so that their kid can play football there, but with 7 straight championships and national attention, who could blame them? Stop hating and start working towards beating the long record! Good luck.

Matthew said...

Also people, Knotts did not hit this guy. He pushed a fence after the guy pushed the fence at him. Too bad the guy was standing closer than coach Knotts. Too bad that the district attorney thought it wasnt even worth wasting time on because it was not an assault. I am not saying that he did the right thing, but certainly didnt haul off and punch the guy in the face. If he would have, then it would have been a different outcome.

Nice how everyone from Bulter turned their head when Charest got into a fight. Were was his 2 game suspension. Stop crying and start playing.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I forgot one other thing. If you guys at Butler are so great, why don't you request that your team be allowed to play in Nippert Stadium next year? Show all that you are the best in the Charlotte area and then be proud of yourselves. Don't talk. Produce.
I don't have a dog in this hunt. I live in eastern NC and for the first time ever, eastern NC rags chose to write about Tom Knotts and Independence as though they know him on a first hand basis. How repugant can they be?
Am I a fan of the Independence team? No, not really. I do respect that team, school, its coach and players. They have earned my respect. They did so by beating the team I played on 3 out of 3 times for a 4AA State Championship. Did I pull for Independence over Elder? You bet I did! And Independence would have won that game but for those players who were injured and unable to play. Lastly, the way Elder won reminds me of a Doug Flutie led team that he brought from behind to win. 4th and 16 with 35 seconds on the clock. Give me a break. It was a Hail Mary to a 6'8' player or it was down over and the end. Do I believe Independence will win an eighth state title? It's very unlikely with their present QB who is a great player as he has proved. Huge games call for greatness and unless a QB can see down the field he loses everytime because the running game simply won't do it. I'm not being critical of Anthony. I'm simply saying that you have to see down the field and I wish him the very best.
An Independence-Butler rematch would leave no room as to who has the best team. Butler would indeed own bragging rights if they won a rematch with Knotts on the sideline. I'm neutral on the game because as I said, I've not a dog in this hunt. Finally let me say that if Butler were invited to play at Nippert Stadium, I'd be pulling for the team from my state and showing true sportsmanship for Butler.

anonymous 1 said...

Butler lost to east meck.. and west charlotte.. hahahahah thats funny

Anonymous said...

But they beat indy lets play ball,All the Butler haters im sorry but this team is legit whether they lose to indy or not Newsome has coached this team up.

Anonymous said...

They will get the chance to prove low legit they are now that Independence crushed Greensboro Page. I read an article someone had wrote saying that Page was up for their game with Indy and just waiting for the circus to come rolling into town.
I wonder if Page had any fun when Independence (the circus) rolled into town. You guys at Butler have a good team but you'd better get ready for the fight of your life. I'm afraid that the celebration is over. It was good while it lasted but it just may be over for good with Knotts roaming the sidelines again. I recently said that Independence losing to Butler in that last game was the best thing that has happened to them in 8 years. I stand by that statement. The kids now know that it's about winning one game at a time. Not about staying undefeated.

Anonymous said...

First you say TK is recruiting an allstar cast, then they are over rated. Make up your minds! TK is a great Coach that has coached an OK team and will make these boys state champs. If you could and had 1/4 of his coaching skills, you would too. Back off TK and learn the game baby....

Anonymous said...

everyone thinks tom knotts is a great coach, he is a cheater he recruits which is illegal, and he has affairs with others peolples wifes what a great role model.

Anonymous said...

he must have slept with this guys wife... ^^^

good game friday guys.. butlers offense played great LOL HAHAHAHA