Friday, May 30, 2008

Wertz Q&A: How will Independence fare against Florida's Madison County?

Observer Staff Writer Langston Wertz Jr. answers your sports-related questions.

To ask a question, e-mail or add a question as a post below. Here are recent questions and answers.:

Q. How will North Carolina's Independence compete against Florida's Madison County? I'm really interested in your insight considering I will be in attendance of the game on Sept. 5
A. Hard to say since I’ve not seen Madison play. From what I read and hear, they have a good team at a small school. They’re at home and they’ll be a heckuva lot more used to the Florida heat than the Indy kids. That might make a difference in early September. As for Independence, the Patriots really should be better than they were last year, but we’ve been saying that for awhile. In the past three years or so, Independence has really not played as well as they looked on paper. I’m thinking the state championship loss, the regular season loss to Butler and all the off-the-field stuff will bring them back to the state of mind they used to have when they were outworking everybody around. We'll see.

Q. Langston, you didn't answer my question about Jessica Freeman. What gives dude?
A. Well, I did. Thankfully, looking back on it, it was edited out. There will be all kinds of rumors about players changing schools. This happens every year and I expect it to be higher than usual this offseason due to the rule changing going on in CMS. I’m not sure we should encourage rumor-mill discussion here, especially when there is no way to verify whether or not something is even remotely true. You could post a question, for example, saying, "I saw Michael Jones’ kid at Providence and I know for a fact they’re transferring. What do you think?" And you may just be making it up.
This can cause problems, usually unwanted, for that kid and his family. So let’s wait until folks move and then talk about it - if they do move.

Q. Langston, how do you see the private-school football picture breaking down next year, and why didn't you answer the question about private-school lacrosse?
A. I thought I answered the lacrosse question. Feel free to pose it again if you like. Private school football? Country Day has to be the favorite. All those young kids they had last year are older, and hungrier, I’d bet.
Latin lost a lot, but Latin’s Latin. They just reload.

Christian needs to keep up its improvement despite some graduation losses, and I’m curious about new coach Bruce Hardin at Providence Day. It’s going to be hard for the Chargers to make a lot of noise. Their best player, Kelly Johnson, graduated. Their future star, Larry Kennedy III, transferred to South Mecklenburg. But Hardin is a living legend in high school circles. I wouldn't be surprised if the Chargers make a push for a league crown.
And will Victory Christian finally make a real run? They’re talented enough.

Q. CMS did not rush to anything on South Meck. They broke the rule that is set by the state. It was unquestionable. They also forfeited basketball games. Indy investigation is based more on recruiting. No team in NC has been investigated as deeply as the Indy football program was this year. It appears Butler and/or CMS might have ideas sooner on the softball player since she had only dressed for four games. Did she sit out while an investigation was ongoing?
A. JT, I’m not sure if she sat out. We only know she dressed for four games. I think the situation was handled well.

Q. Langston, Providence only beat Butler because of poor coaching. Ardrey Kell will easily handle Providence in soccer Saturday night.
A. I’m late to the question obviously, but Kell was the best team in the Western 4A bracket for sure. I was a little surprised at what happened to them in the state final (3-0 blowout loss), but it was their first trip. I don’t think it’ll be the last.

Q. If CMS is doing such a great job investigating Independence, then they would find something. If Independence does not violate any rules it will be a cover up! The e-mail tips are coming. This would go away if CMS was fair.
A. I don’t think we really know anything yet. Let’s wait until the results of the investigation come out. Everything else is speculation without much fact.

Q. Langston, when does All-Observer come out? Any insights on golf? What about prep football section? What can you tell us?
A. We’ll drop All-Observer teams sometime in June. I’d say second or third week. I’m beginning to work on mine (soccer, golf, softball) now. Insights on golf? I can’t say now, because that might give something away, but I’ll say this: I tend to lean more heavily toward what you do in the big moments than the benign regular-season game.
Prep football section? Too early to know if we’ll have one. I hope so. I think we’re going to start migrating more to the web. I think you’ll be seeing some big changes there soon.


Anonymous said...

Mr Wertz,

What are the restrictions about a football player transferring schools?

Don Dawg said...

Word outta Raleigh is that the Butler girls won both of their games tonight and now have to be beat 2x on Sat!...way to go ladies!! Go Lady Bulldawgs!!

Anonymous said...

Langston, I simply cannot believe the spin that you put on any story regarding Indy or WC. You should have been President Bushs' press agent. Claiming WC's innocence when every coach in the county knew what was going on. Refusing to comment on why Vicki Hamilton the county AD has been deathly silent. So, once again, why does the Super I have to get directly involved with the whole football situation when we have a county AD who is supposed to do that job? I think she is not involved due to what the rest of the world may know as BIAS!!!!

Anonymous said...

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Prep Now.Org stresses the importance of ACADEMICS and acquiring a quality education that will prepare you for life after football.

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mint hill said...

LW, I read over and over again comments from Indy haters. Here are the facts. Indy has been investigated four times. The first followed Ranzell Watkins. A handful (no stars) were found to be out of district. How is it fair that almost every school in Charlotte has had a similiar discovery but no investigation ensues? Indy has not gotten special treatment, that is insane. Dr. Gorman will one day have to answer explain this discrimination. Now CMS is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to solicit and check out childish email tips. Is this fair.

Don Dawg said...

LW, thank you for the excellent coverage of the Lady Bulldawgs 3-Peat run this season! What a great season!! In 2002, when I coached softball at Northridge MS and Constance Orr pitched for Northeast MS, she no-hit my team 2x at age 10. I knew back then this girl was something special. Thanks for all of your coverage of Butler Spring Sports and all of the area sports. You and your staff do a great job. You and your family enjoy your Summer, you deserve a break! DD

Anonymous said...

Langston, I've heard some rumblings that we could see Meck. County pull out of the NCHSAA in the next 10 years and form their own Meck. County league. A Queen City Championship if you will. They would be able to keep all the money in house. I beleive that we have seen other larger metro areas do this. Could Meck. County be far behind with the number of schools in place and others on the way? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

We need a little clarity. Rumors have been circling that Landis Wade, the attorney investigating Independence for Dr. Gorman actually has family attending Myers Park High School. These rumors also suggest he had something to do with the fantastic baseball scoreboard at Myers Park. Isn’t he the attorney that also investigated Myers Park’s drop out scandal? Is this true and how come your investigative reporters have not addressed any of these issues?

Anonymous said...

Isn’t it time to stop ignoring and start addressing the idea that it appears ok for rich white schools to dominate in sports (softball, baseball, track, golf, soccer) but when predominantly black schools show some dominance (Indy and WC Football) they launch investigations. Every state champion from charlotte this year had players removed from the team for address violations, but no investigations. Indy and WC don’t bring home the titles, but they get investigate. Watch out East Meck, you may be the next investigation!

Anonymous said...

How many months will this investigation last over at Indy? And how come, with CMS facing budget cuts, there isn’t anyone from your paper drilling Gorman on the millions he has spent on high school eligibility investigations? I mean, your reporters were following high school kids home and knocking on their doors, isn’t careless spending of tax dollars more important than high school football?

Anonymous said...

congratulations Coach Flowers on your job in South Carolina....but I thought if you were banned from NC for a year you were banned from SC for a year. I mean, all the players caught up in this address thingy cant play next year in SC but he can coach. How is that fair??????????????

Anonymous said...

Actually players can go to SC and play. Look for one of INDYs players to show up in SC.

Anonymous said...

LW, hate to tell you this, but INDY will not be as good as this past year, 8 great years is a lot, and they just don't have the talent pool anymore, remember i told you first,,,

Anonymous said...

HOW biased can CMS be and The Observer say nothing? They launch multi-months, 1000s of dollars investigations of WC and Indy, but Butler girls 3peat with one already known to have been ineligible, and not a word? Guess if your school is mainly white and upper middle class CMS & the Observer don't care what you do......... Don Dawg, where's your calls for investigations here???

Anonymous said...

This CMS stuff will never go away as long as schools can say "it was the parents and the coaches had nothing to do with it" The fans from Indy are in denial if they think for one minute that over the past seven years kids were not there illegally!! Yes, WC nay have been guilty, but more schools are nervous...right coaches/AD's??

Anonymous said...

i played for indy 4 years and i got 4 rings. What people fail to realize is kids want to go to indy kids want to win championships and be apart of history. It not recruiting so stop saying it. The school promotes itself "if u wanna win play for indy" simple as that.
4 state rings
63 game straight no loss
5-0 against butler (priceless)
Indy is the best thing thats happened charlotte for football.

Anonymous said...

Has Knotts lost his marbles playing a small 700 student 2A Madison out of rural Florida after flying to Cincinatti last year to allow small 1000 student Cat school Elder bust his alltime national public school record 109 game win streak?

So what happens when an even smaller school knocks off a weaker IHS this yr? Is TK drinking the Kool Aid and intentionally self destructive since his old adversary Bruce Hardin knocked him out of the Providence Day job he wanted? This must have been a slap in the face.

Instead of going 400 miles to sweat bucket sultry hot humid bumpkinville north Florida why didnt TK and BH agree to a pre-season
1st time ever Indy - ProD matchup at Bank Of America Stadium? Forget dumpy old Memorial Stadium. Heck even gramps LWertz knows this to be true who aint that far behind them in the age dept.

IHS will be down in 08 due to Gormans district illegal player corrections but a vintage Hardin-Knotts public private school shootout with NCs alltime top old timer coaches would be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Except that Providence Day is NEVER good at football.

Anonymous said...

Heck, if he wants to travel to play a good 2A school, why not travel 40 miles west and take on the Shelby Golden Lions.

fanof55 said...

While looking at your listings of all-conference baseball players today, I wondered how many Observer area (especially CMS) athletes have the distinction of being named to an all-conference team in every sports season(fall, winter,& spring)this year? My son is one!

DKonquerrose said...

How do U predict Butler will be next year in football, after all the off-season changes. Also the fact that they beat Indy and their jv went undefeated(by large scoring margins). Plus there new LB Dante Rose is suppose to be an awesome addition to the team and is helping bring new fear in opponents about Butler's Defense as a whole(...and LBs)!!!

I'm A Winner! said...

Hi Langston,

My son has grown into an oustanding football player at our smaller school now after his sophmore season.

I'm advising him that we should move into an apartment in a district that a more successful program so that he can be a winner and maybe gain some more attention for himself.

He's only fifteen so he's still clinging to those dumb concepts like his friendships with his teammates, loyalty to the coaches who've been helping him grow as a person and a student-athlete, his community and that silly character thing. I think he clings to these ideas because deep down inside he's bitter.

Given your past statements I know I can count on you for some solid direction here that winning championships, his own glory and my own sense of personal satisfaction are a lot more important than those nobodys he'll leave behind. If they were any good they would have won a bunch of state titles in a row already...right?

I think I'm a really great parent...don't you agree?

Anonymous said...

hey MR. WERTZ,