Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tom Knotts ties the knot

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.

Here are the latest questions and answers:

Q. What's up with Tom Knotts? Did he really get married? -- Jody, mint hill

A. Jody, yes, Tom got married recently and is expecting his first child.

Q. langston, chikieze? c'mon dude. anyhow, my question is when are you gonna give my girl Orr at Butler a little bit of props. I know you love Ashton Ward, but this girl can go, too. -- Pops, Matthews

A. Pops, anyone who has an 0.00 ERA gets love from me. I wrote about her this week in the paper and we ran her picture. I promise we'll hit more as the games gain importance. Cool?

And as far as Chikeze, the man has an impeccable tenor. He's about as close to Luther as I've heard. The week he got booted off Idol, doing Luther's "If Only For One Night," I was sitting there thinking this will be a major hit at black adult radio if he released it. I rewound my TiVo to hear him sing it again.

Q. Langston, what do you know about the summer league in west Charlotte this year? Is that real? -- Anonymous

A. Friendship Missionary Baptist Church is having a six or seven week league that kicks off in June for what they hope will be 22 area teams. It's a neat alternative to AAU, I think, and admission is free. Coaches and fans will get a look at what their teams will look like next year. I think it's a sound idea, but we'll see how it works out.

Q. Langston, the AAU states are in town this week right? -- Anonymous

A. Yes, play begins Friday, mainly at Hopewell, Harding and North Meck. You can get a schedule here. The finals are Sunday at 3 p.m. at Hopewell. I'm planning to send Herb White to do the semis and championship rounds as we do most years.

Q. Langston, you guys going to do the lacrosse city championships? I know you want city championships in football and basketball. We have one now. -- Anonymous

A. I wrote a blog about the lax city championships, which start Thursday. It's the second year for the event and Country Day won the first one in 2007.

This year, several area teams are ranked in a top 50 regional ranking. I know there's a large spurt in participation for lacrosse and field hockey, and now rugby is coming on the scene. Until the NCHSAA officially sponsors them w/state championships and playoffs, they'll remain club sports for the publics. The privates will have a real state final next month.

We'll cover this year's city championship on Monday, though. We usually cover the all-star game as well.

Q. Langston, the rumor is the coaches at MP, the Dence and a few others are eyeing our job out here at NW Cabbarrus. Who would be a good fit out here? -- Anonymous

A. I have heard those same rumors, but I'd figure a lot of coaches would be interested in replacing Mike Helms up there. You'll remember, Helms followed Tom Knotts at West Charlotte and went 6-5, missing the playoffs at the Dub for the first time in 13 years.

Helms lives in Hickory and couldn't sell his home there, so he was forced to drive to school every day. That's a long haul, especially trying to roll back up 321 about midnight after an away game. I can't say I blame him for stepping down.

The new coach will inherit junior QB Jeremy Cannon who threw for 2,600 yards in Helms' system, which has always leaned towards conservative. I've not seen Cannon play, but I hear from many folks I trust that he's going to be along the lines of a Joe Cox or like the kid at West Charlotte last season, Darius Thomas. Folks think he'll be special. I'll be going to see how special really soon. Promise.

Who's a good fit? It's not fair for me to name names of guys who are at other programs, but a pass first coach, like a Mo Flowers (who isn't at a school now so I'll mention him) would fit.

Q. Langston, top 5 returning players in football in the area next year? -- IKnowWhatUDont

Q. Hmm, in our state? I'd say Indy's Devonte Holloman (Clem, Ga., Mich, UNC, NC State, Notre Dame, South Carolina) is the top guy. He's a 6-2, 210 pound safety with 4.4 speed. In person, his athletic gifts are easy to see.

After him, I like Fayetteville Britt 6-6, 285-pound offensive tackle Xavier Nixon (Clem, Fla., Miami, UNC, NC State, Notre Dame, Tenn); 6-4, 226-pound DE Donte Moss of Jones Senior (comm. to UNC); South Stanly cornerback Terry Shankle (Ala, Clem, Fla., UNC, NC State, South Caro., Tenn); and Gastonia Ashbrook athlete Jheranie Boyd, a 6-3, 185 pound mostly receiver with 4.3 speed (Alabama, Clem, MD, Miss St., UNC, NC State, Wake).

In our area? I'd go Holloman, Boyd, Taylor Caldwell (Indy RB moving back to natural position after a year at LB), NW Cabarrus QB Jeremy Cannon and Indy QB Anthony Carrothers. Yes, that's a lot of the Big I, but they'll be loaded again.

Q. I agree w/u on Fantasia. Kelly should be up there, 2, and Carrie. This year is not as good as the year Fantasia won either. -- Anonymous

A. I like Kelly. I'm not a country guy but I appreciate Carrie's talent, and she's been the most successful idol. But just on sheer vocal talent, Fantasia is the one. This year, I think, is the best.

Q. where is the spring sports coverage, dude? it's been disappointing.--Myers Park 87

A. 8-7, we're putting it out there, three or four notebooks every week, blogs, videos. We covered two games today. What are we not doing that you want to see?

Q. Langston, i second the comment about the lacrosse stuff. you all should cover that more. it's the fastest growing sport in the nation -- Anonymous

A. Our hands are a little tied until the association officially makes it a recognized sport. We can't cover one club sport and not do the others and we don't have manpower or space to do that. I know as far as participation, lacrosse, like soccer, is booming. But in terms of spectators, I don't see the numbers in either sport. So it's a little hard to gauge true overall reader interest. There's definitely passionate pockets. We've just go to figure out how to use our space and time the best.

Q. lang, please tell me you saw your boy emmit doing his mock draft. straight comedy -- Cowboypunks

A. I did. It's all over YouTube, but you know what? Emmitt's a lot better now than when he started. If they're patient with him at ESPN, he may learn to get the thoughts in his head -- which seem to be good -- out of it in a way that better represents himself (man, that was PC).

-- Langston Wertz Jr.


Anonymous said...

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

Karen Smith said...

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)?

Anonymous said...

Langston, i think spring sports coverage is lacking. you all cover all these football and basketball games with pictures and big storys. our kids in spring donot get that same appeal. i appreciate you all's efforts. you know you can do more

Anonymous said...

Langston, when are the conference tournaments in spring?

Anonymous said...

Langston, we heard the NW Cabarrus QB is transferring to your Pee Diddy. What's up?

Anonymous said...

Dude, why are n'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!

cowboyfan said...

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 righ tnow.