Friday, April 25, 2008

Q&A: Football champs in '08?

Langston Wertz Jr.'s Q&A is moving to the Prep Insiders blog. You can email questions to or post replies to this blog entry by clicking on comments link below. Langston will pull those questions and answer them periodically.

Q. Langston, give us your predictions on SW4A and MECA football for the oh-eight please. -- Anonymous

A. Hmm, good question. I think the ME-CA 7 could be wide open. The West Charlotte Lions, the defenders, should have a lot of their talent coming back, but I'm just not sure how things will shake out once the new eligibility rules are in place in terms of who will end up where. I know coaches are talking about all the changes in personnel that could occur.
But on the face of it, I'd pick the Lions as the early favorites. After that, it's a jumble. West Charlotte needs to get a coach in as soon as possible, however. Every day they go without, the Dub is losing ground.

Q. Hi Langston, any word who will replace Rocky White at West Meck? Shame a man has to go to SC and take an assistant job to afford to coach...I understand Bruce Hardin has taken two of Rocky White's lieutenants, Bobby Collins and Tony Swainey to PDS. Bruce will build a great program on Sardis Road. Any word from Senior Drive who the football (and I guess basketball, too) coach will be? Getting late. -- Chuck
A. Chuck, I talked to Providence Day athletics director Barbara Fricke today, and she says the school has hired Collins. I agree with you that Hardin has a good chance to do good things at Providence Day. As far as Rocky, I know he had felt the tug of coaching his soon and in SC, where his son is in school, assistants can make sometimes triple what head coaches in Mecklenburg County earn. That can help make a decision easier sometimes.

I'll miss Rocky. He was colorful and very fun to deal with. In terms of replacements, West Meck officials are interviewing candidates. I know they hope to have someone by early next month.
As far as West Charlotte, the school had a candidate who apparently did not check out. Now they have to start over. This is a big hire. They really need some stability there. Maurice Flowers was a great choice, but we all know what happened there. Now they need to find another guy like him. West Charlotte has had too many football and basketball coaches lately. This will be the third straight year, in both sports, that the Lions start out with a new boys hoop coach and a new football coach. West Charlotte used to be a place where coaches stayed awhile. Bruce Hardin and Tom Knotts were there more than 20 years in football. Charles McCullough and Gosnell White more than 40 years in basketball.
Times change, I guess.

Q. LW, what's your feeling on SC moving championship games to Clemson? -- Tiger Ralph

A. Tiger Ralph, I didn't like that. Gas might cost $4 bucks per gallon come Christmas '08 and South Carolina had most of their championships right in Columbia, smack dab in the middle of the state. They had it right. I can't imagine folks in Myrtle Beach will be excited about driving all the way to Clemson if their team goes.

In our state, the state championships are rotated between Winston-Salem, Raleigh and Chapel Hill. In fact, most state finals here are in Raleigh or Chapel Hill. That can create long drives for some teams and creates a homefield-like advantage for many schools that reach state finals from the Raleigh area. I guess some of that you just can't get around.

I used to like in the old days when all the state football was at Chapel Hill. Kids would grow up saying "I want to go to the state final in Chapel Hill." And there was something cool about being able to go to one place and see the best players and best teams. I just think, in terms of geographical fairness, Chapel Hill is about as far as east as you'd want to go.

I would say Greensboro is probably the most central site in our state, and it wouldn't bother me to have more state finals there. Greensboro doesn't have a great football facility so that would be out. I know the state association here needs help to put these events on and the folks at Wake Forest and Chapel Hill and NC State have been good corporate supporters. In South Carolina, the University in Columbia has been supportive of the S.C. Leagues events, too.

I also know there'd been pressure to move the S.C. games somewhere other than Steve Spurrier's backyard. Tommy Bowden of Clemson had lobbied for some games at his place. Coaches want recruits to see how good they might have it in college.

But I guess I'm thinking of Joe the barber and Mack the cook who just want to see their high school team play a state championship and not spent a week's check getting there.

Q. It's been a long offseason for us folks at South, as you can imagine. What do you see for us next season? Are we going back to the playoffs (to stay)? -- Karen Smith

A. Karen, I think in some ways it'll be a little healing for the Sabres to hit that field and play Catholic at home in the fall. I think with the addition of RB Larry Kennedy from Providence Day, the Sabres will have that game-breaker they lacked in the past. South will once again have great size and a good coaching scheme that other coaches don't like to deal with. So yes, I think you're going back to the playoffs this year. And this time you'll actually get to see South play its first playoff game in 14 years.

Q. Langston, i think spring sports coverage is lacking. you all cover all these football and basketball games with pictures and big stories. Our kids in the spring don't get that same appeal. I appreciate you all's efforts. You know you can do more. -- Anonymous.

A. I think we're moving along at a pretty good clip. I'm working on some features now that will hopefully be splashed on the front page with good photos and give you the "pop" I think you've missed. I have to admit after basketball season, my tank was empty. I was working some pretty heavy weeks, hours-wise, and needed a blow. I'm charged up now and ready for next week's Wachovia Championship and spring sports playoffs after that.

That said, there's a whole lot of coverage on our prep page right now. We've got a new video from Dan Tierney and Cliff Mehrtens, stories on Kell's big soccer win over The Dence, a name-filled notebook, a story about the West Charlotte coaching situation and much more. That's just one day. I'd say that ain't half bad.

Q. Langston, when are the conference tournaments in spring? -- Anonymous

A. Thanks to my good friend, assistant county athletics director Sue Doran, here's your answer:

Round 1 May 1 @Seeds #1 and # 2 - 5:00pm & 7:30 pm -- Admission $5
Semi Finals May 2 @Independence HS -- Game 1 @ 5:00 pm - Game 2 @ 7:30 pm -- Admission $5
Finals May 5 @UNCC - 7:00 pm -- Admission $5

Round 1 May 1 @Seeds #1 and #2 - 5:00 pm & 7:00 pm -- Admission $5
Semi Finals May 2 @ Ardrey Kell - 5:00 pm & 7:00 pm -- Admission $5
Finals May 5 @ Ardrey Kell - 7:00 pm -- Admission $5

April 29 and 30 @ Butler HS - 3:30 pm -- No Admission Charged

MECA Conference

Baseball - NO conference tournament

Softball - NO conference tournament

April 29& 30 @Hopewell -- 4:00pm -- No Admission Charge
QUEEN CITY Conference:
Baseball - NO conference tournament

Softball - NO conference tournament

April 29 -- 3A @TBD (either Olympic or Catholic) - 3:30pm -- No Admission Charge
4A @Harding - 3:30pm -- No Admission Charge

Q. Langston, we heard the NW Cabarrus QB is transferring to your P Diddy. What's up? -- Anonymous

A. First, folks here use "P Diddy" or "P-Diddy" when referring to Providence Day. Second, I have heard that rumor but I believe it's just that, and it's kind of old. I guess if the quarterback were to transfer, we'd find out when school opens in the fall.

The policy hasn't really changed on that. Until school opens and Kid X is at School Y (or Mom and Dad tell me so), I don't really believe it.

Q. Dude, why aren't you doing the video insiders thing anymore? Another question, didn't you say Kobe B. should win MVP. Want to change it now? Go Kell! -- Anonymous

A. I think they kicked me off the show. But Dan Tierney's doing a good job making up cool signs to flash every week, and Cliff M is a rock as the host. If they ask me back, I'll go back.
As for Kobe, his 49 point performance in Game 2 wasn't too bad (though West Coast games start and end way too late). But I get your point. Chris Paul is definitely the star of these playoffs. You can make a case for him and for Kevin Garnett, who authored one of the best W-L turnarounds in NBA history with the Celtics.

Q. OT questions: What do u think of GTA IV. I know you've got it by now. Please explain all the heat around W. Snipes and T. Owens right now. -- Anonymous

A. Actually I don't have GTA IV yet. I wrote a column about it that will run in Monday's editions. Let me know what you think about it. As far as actor Wesley Snipes goes, he got sentenced to three years in jail for failing to submit tax returns. There have been a few internet reports of Owens suing a gossip site for something that I won't explain because I have not seen any official confirmation of it.

Q. LW, thanks for bringing the Q&A back. Missed it. Actually like this format better because you can see some of the questions. That's kind of neat. -- Jody

A. Jody, welcome back. I remember you. Glad you like this format. I'm still waiting to see a few of the regulars return here. I know a lot of folks haven't found it yet. But you guys can add your questions on here as a comment or email them to me at
I promise to answer often. As always. Have a good weekend.

-- Langston Wertz Jr.


Anonymous said...

LW - There were a few teams that were DQ durning the track conference meet at Myers park this Weds. On sevral occassions the officials refused to tell the coaches why there teams were DQ from events. Could you please look into this and provide a list ogf what DQ's took place and why?


KevDaMan said...

Langston, I had been wanting to ask you your thoughts on Coach Roy wearing the kansas sticker at the game. I know you're a UNC grad, but you're pretty fair of the reporters up there. Also, who do you think could be big surprise players in the fall around here?

Anonymous said...

you surprised Titus went to Buffalo? I know you thought he might be higher major with a year of prep.

Anonymous said...

How do you think the twins, Whitney and Britney will do at Virginia?

Anonymous said...

LW have you heard of any names in the running for the boys head basketball coaching job at WC?

Mustang mom said...

Lang, the association's board meeting is this week. If I remember correctly, they plan to discuss eligibility issues. What changes could they implement and what do you think the state should do?

Anonymous said...

Independence Football 08.
comments about next year?

Shane said...

Langston just curious to what you think about the SW4A this year. I think East Meck has a good chance to shine. How do you think they will fair?

David said...

Lw, What about academic cheating, I know it wrong for parents and students to pick a school with a winning program, but cms has many students going to their schools using false addresses. They should not only crack down on just athletes

Anonymous said...

Langston, speaking of '08 football champs and App State in the same breath, how well do you think the Mountaineers football team will fair this fall? With two of the area's highly recruited players, SM QB Jey Yokeley and Indy RB Rod Chisholm, playing for App State this fall, we have even more reasons to support!

Anonymous said...

what will become of the indy patriots football team they still have the number 2 rank saftey in the country in holloman

Anonymous said...

now that the coach of southmeck is at west charlotte do u think that ian miller will transfer agian to play for him an i heard there could be other players moving there to from powerhouse teams in the area

Anonymous said...

have u heard anything about wats going on over at south lake with basketball i heard the coach is tryin to build the program up with some our areas top basketball players

Anonymous said...

Anonymous rates Yokeley from SM as one "of the areas highly recruited players". He's going to be a walk-on at App, didn't even get offered a scholarship. Where do people get their info from?

Anonymous said...

LW--not a bad spring for the Weddington teams--SW4A girls soccer champs, boys baseball and girls softball in tournament finals. Not bad for a school that should be playing 3A if you look at enrollment. Tonight boys face MP--a school with over 2X as many students.

Anonymous said...

The facts about Yokeley being "highly recruited" by major colleges are absolutely true and come directly from the kid's coaches, both SM and colleges including App State. Where does the other writer's info come from? Being recruited does not always result in athletic scholarships from all interested colleges. As for my source, I'm an App State alumni and strong Mountaineer supporter who knows Yokeley was being heavily recruited since spring'07 by many major football programs. App State expressed interest last fall, particularly the last two weeks leading up to national signing day. The kid walked away from two confirmed DII scholarships with real opportunities as the starting QB, to play for App. App coaches have requested Yokeley enroll in July summer session to begin team workouts. Trust the kid will have chance to compete for QB back-up against incoming frosh Presley and earn his athletic scholarship. I will not speak for others but, this kid has shown nothing but character and untapped, undeniable talent. App State fans are happy and fortunate to have him. Time and opportunity will tell the rest of the story.

Anonymous said...


This is a bootleg Q&A! It's not like the Q&A old blog... What gives?

Anonymous said...

This Q&A sucks!