Wertz Q&A: On reporters loving UNC and A&T hosting football finals
Langston Wertz Jr. answers your sports-related questions. To ask a question, email Wertz or post your question below in the comments section
Q. Langston, enjoyed your answer about state championships in SC and NC. I agree SC should keep them centrally located. Why couldn’t NC do it at A&T State? - Aggie Pride Nationwide 04
A. Aggie Pride, when I was running off potential locales, I didn’t think about Aggie Stadium. It seats about 30,000, which is a great size for a big high school event, and it’s about as centrally located as you can get. With Wake Forest just down the road, you could have four events at A&T and four at Wake.
That would be an excellent way to go, even if Aggie Stadium just got in on the current rota with Wake, State and Carolina.
Of course, A&T would have to aid the NCHSAA in hosting the event, something A&T should be well versed in since track has held there for a few years.
Again, great point.
Q. Langston seriously, when you're sittin' at home watching Duke play UNC at your Dean Dome you're not pulling for the Tar Holes? Give me a break. I see through your baby blue foolishness. - Pack.
A. Pack, I said when we journalists are covering an event, we have to do our best to take a neutral stance. That was it. You seem to think that reporters are not people. We are. Just like you. As I said before, like you, we grew up with favorite teams and players.
At work, you have to put that aside. It’s like one of my best friends, he got a job at Coke in Atlanta. Hates the product. Only drinks all things Pepsi. But at the job, it’s his job to push forward all things Coke.
Q. LW, what are you hearing about the Chester job and the NW Cabarrus job? - Anonymous
A. There are local coaches who have been or are still in the mix, I hear, at both places.
Chester AD Ricky Campbell told me today that it would probably be next week before the job was announced. I’ve heard it’s already been offered and accepted but needs board approval. We’ll see what happens.
That’s an interesting job. Chester had been down for years but the last coach turned things around and took them to the first state championship in four decades. There’s tons - TONS - of community support there. That could be a great job in the making.
I know there are two local coaches among the finalists for the NW Cabarrus job. It’ll be interesting to see who gets it. I know one local coach who has applied is (wrongly) under fire from his school community. But I also hear a Rowan County coach is interested in it, too, as well as one guy already on staff.
I just think sometimes we can push good coaches out the door and I fear that is what is happening with one of the applicants. He’s had very good success with not a lot of talent. One high level coach told me yesterday, "We can be as good coaches as we want, but if you don’t have players, you can’t win."
Truer words were never spoken.
Q. LW, let me guess, you’re going to be best man at your boy Tom Tindalls’ wedding. - Joe from Charlotte.
A. Joe, I’ve known Tom Knotts for 19 years now. I met him in 1989. He looked like an offensive lineman then. I’ve never been around him outside of a school or athletic field environment. I am not sure where some folks think Tommy and I are best friends. I’ve covered him a long time, but that’s about it. I try to not get close with those I write about. I think it’s prudent.
I would say the person I’m closest to in the high school world is not a coach at all, but an athletics director. But that won’t stop the Langston-is-Tommy’s-boy gravy train from rolling.
Q. Langs, I agree and disagree. Ur rite, colleges should not play on Friday. Ur wrong. South Meck WILL beat Indy this year. Write it now....BTW, who ya got in the election? -- Anonymous
A. Yeah, I hate to see colleges play on Fridays. That shouldn’t happen.
Glad to see your spirit about your Sabres. I love the fan base over there.
In the election, I’ve been a bit surprised by how things have gone. I liked McCain all along among the Republicans. Among Dems, I started with Hillary but Obama grew on me. I like him much better now. Should be fun in November.
Q. Hey, glad to see this Q&A is back. There's the persistent rumor around town that you are not going to be covering high school sports next year. Is that true? my other question is this one: if you had a big time recruit in your home would you keep him in state or send him to SEC or somewhere? - Anonymous
A. Glad you’re back to the Q&A, just adjust your bookmarks to http://prepinsiders.blogspot.com
I have heard this rumor. A lot of people have asked me about it - or them.
One was I was going to the Panthers and another had me going to cover colleges. For the record, I have not heard anything different from my bosses, Mike Persinger and Harry Pickett, about what I’m doing. Hope that puts an end to that.
On your second question, if I had a big-time football recruit, I think I’d tell him to try to stay in state, but that would be his decision (my oldest son, 8-year-old Trey, fancies himself as a basketball player; my baby boy, Khamani is a 4-year-old "future tackle football player" so hopefully one day I will be faced with such choice).
I see so many kids leave for SEC glory and sit on SEC bench. Why not play closer to home (South Carolina excluded) and be a major factor at State or Wake or UNC or even Duke? Start a new trend.
Q. Wofford probably would have smoked Notre Dame last year. - Anonymous
A. Anonymous is responding to a post from earlier this week. And to answer your question, Notre Dame was not a clear favorite against much of anyone in 2007.
Q. Langston, you are so right. The mood at The Big I has completely changed. Coach Knotts has his fire back, "the old TK". 8 is deff. in our grasp. The graduating class of 09 guaratees it. -- Anonymous
A. I’ve heard that. I do know that for the past 2.5 years, Indy wasn’t the Indy I saw when Knotts came there. To use one of his favorite quotes, they’d gotten "fat and happy."
Q. LW - UNCP did really well for a first year team last season. With there lastest recruiting class I think they will make some big noise this year! What are your thoughts? -- Anonymous
A. Which sport are we talking about?
Q. Langston, good story on the Providence girl today, but how about Butler's soccer team? No love for us yet? - Anonymous
A. Thanks on the Providence piece (http://www.charlotte.com/preps/story/613444.html). Rachel Patton is a neat girl. How about Butler? They’re, what, 14-3-1 and playing Hopewell in the second round of the playoffs Friday. Check Friday’s paper for a piece on the Dawgs.
Q. What's up with WC job? Who was the guy they hired and who are they looking at now? -- Anonymous
A. They initially offered the job, I hear, to a former CMS employee who was coaching in Florida. His second team finished 1-10 or 0-10 last year. Now, I heard a current CMS assistant coach interviewed today and a former playoff-level head coach is interested, too. Surprisingly, I’m not hearing a whole lot about the job. It’s an important hire, given all that’s happened and the Dub administration is wise to take its time and get the right guy.
Q. LW, in the past three weeks, there have been stories on AK and Providence girls soccer. How about one on the team that won the championship this year and lost in the state finals last year? That's Weddington if you didn't know.
A. Well, we have to take care of Mecklenburg County first. And I’ve got to figure out how to treat some of these border schools like Weddington and Marvin Ridge and Lake Norman.
A lot of my friends are moving to Western Union, enrolling their kids in Weddington and Marvin Ridge and still maintaining their lives here. I think those areas are getting our city edition. That’s something I need to investigate more.
But yes, I know about Weddington. Weddington is ranked No. 6 in the 4A poll, highest in our area, is 17-2-2 and won eight of their past nine. They tied Kell 3-3. And we did have a story in today's editions about your team. You see it?
(If you want to ask questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or just post them in the comments section below).
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Wertz Q&A: On reporters loving UNC and A&T hosting football finals