Monday, October 13, 2008

Langston Wertz answers reader questions

Observer staff writer Langston Wertz Jr. answers your sports-related questions. Have one? Post it as a comment at the bottom of this blog or email

For older Q&As, click here or here or here:

Q. Langston, I agree w/what u said on tv last week. Butler-East is game of year; will both of them be 0fer?

“I believe you’re asking if I thought both would be undefeated. I would’ve said yes back in August. Obviously they are now. Should be some game. Both defenses are strong and the past three meetings have been decided by a total of five points. This is your game of the year so far in Mecklenburg County.”

Q. LW-heard alot of talk earlier in the volleyball season coming out of Butler, but they've been awfully quiet lately since being swept by Weddington. How about a story on the Weddington girls?

“Weddington has been strong in volleyball for a number of years. It’s no surprise they are doing well. Butler was a surprise team all year and the Bulldogs had a great season, too. Should be a fun conference tournament this week, highlighted by Zoe Bell, now Ardrey Kell’s coach, facing her old school, Providence, in the first round at Providence today (Monday 10/13).

Q. I'm not sure we should be spending 18M for trainers in this economy. W/o it they want to shut down football. Please explain.

That’s an estimated number, but it’s probably not far off. I’d have to say I think all schools should have qualified personnel at the ready. I was surprised to learn that there were so many schools that did not. We shouldn’t lose one life that we did not need to lose.

Q. You surprised MC got a big test from Vance?

A little, but it’s a rivalry game. Vance was pumped up to beat their neighbors. I loved the idea of running the game ball from one school to the other. I didn’t like the idea of trashing MC’s field before the game. But it was good to see MC get a close game. That will make them better later on. Looks like Mallard Creek-West Charlotte on Oct. 31 will be for your league title.

Q. Langston....Why does South Meck continue to run the ball OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN?? Everyone knows they are running. This middle school offense doesn't work in the toughest conference in the state of NC.

South Meck was 7-4 last year, before the forfeits, and has won three times this year, so you’re a little off on your math about coach James Martin. The Wing-T is something he learned in South Carolina and he’s been successful with it. I can tell you that a lot of Southwestern 4A coaches don’t like playing against it. I think they should and will diversify the offense more. I think what you learn is this: when people figure out what you’re doing, as is apparent now, try (a little of) something else.

Q. Langston, Independence is has high potential to win a state championship this year. Their defense has only given up 46 points in 6 games this year and arguably have the best defense in the state. What truth do you find to this? Who will they need to step up and make big plays?

This Indy team has really surprised me. I didn’t see them being as good as they are given what they don’t have. They don’t have national recruit DeVonte Holloman or D-I recruit Dominique Walker. Knotts dismissed a two-year starter, Kortne Briggs, two weeks ago and Zach Hodges – the young man whose mother passed away earlier this year – moved to Atlanta to live with relatives. He had been Indy’s best defensive player. With all those pieces, Indy’s defense would’ve been great. Without them Indy struggles to stop the run and their blitzes are not as frequent or as effective. So I can’t say they have the best D in the state. All that said, they score so much it doesn’t matter. WR Lawrence Martin is good – as in good like some of other greats at the position before him – and 6-6 Michael Rhynes is going to be great, too, as he gets healthier. Short or not, QB Anthony Carrothers can make all the throws and if you can’t score 40, you’re not going to beat Indy.

Q. Wow. Wasnt that the ex-Vance player who scored the winning points for Mallard Creek against Vance last nite? Or was it the ex-North player? Or both? Naw. Must have been that great head coach from Miami who took over the brand new school made up of Vance and North including all their best players. Well show these yahoos how to play the game. Looks like Da Creek gonna go undefeated in '08 and 'come into Chapel Hill to win it all baby with LW and the CO hangin on tight to that wagon spot as usual. Too bad they will have to knock TK and Indy out too but that the way the ole football bounces.

Boy, someone is upset. Listen, CMS needed Mallard Creek to relieve overcrowding at schools. You don’t want a gazillion trailers at school and kids literally shoulder-to-shoulder at lunch just so your football team won’t have to shed kids? Vance, you remember, was created 11 years ago with players from North Meck. They’re going through what they put someone else through, so to speak. It happens. Indy and Butler will feel a pinch in 2010 when the new Mint Hill opens. It’s just part of growing. … As for the playoffs, is Mallard going to be big 4A or small? If small, watch out. If big, that’s a tough road that will have to go through the SW4A big 3: Indy, East Meck and Butler.

Q. So CMS goes to Miami to hire a football coach and the woods are full of coaches even right here in Charlotte? So typical. CMS does the exact same when they hire teachers and will always go out of state ignoring these right here and then lie to the media saying they cant find them in NC.

Mallard Creek principal Kit Rea interviewed a lot of coaches in this area before deciding on Mike Palmieri from Florida. She felt he was the right coach for the job. And shouldn’t you hire the person you feel is best? And I don’t think too many Mavericks fans have a problem with her hire right about now.

Q. Langston let's see if you want to take back your answer to my last post about the Vance coaching staff. That coaching staff does not care about winning at all. Let's say they don't know how to win!

I was not at the game, but I hear Vance did a great job and pushed MC to the limit. I think it’s easy to always point fingers at the coach. But step back and think. If the coaches identify a weakness and call a play to exploit and the play isn’t run correctly or the ball slips out of the QBs hands and is picked off instead of six points, well, was that really the coaches’ fault? I’m not saying I know what happened over there, but try to step back and think for a minute before you always go for the coaches’ head. If the coach isn’t putting players in the right positions, that’s one thing. If he is, and execution is an issue, that’s another.

Q. LW...Why are people so negative against Coach Palmieri and Mallard Creek? I have a son on the Team and let me tell you he is absolutely all about the kids.

I don’t think ‘people’ are. I think ‘person’ or ‘persons’ might be. Palmieiri is doing a fine job. I picked him as my midseason All-Observer coach of the year.


Anonymous said...

LW, what is going on with MC, as you call it, and Vance? both schools vandalize one another. Observer only reported 1/2 of the story.

Anonymous said...

LW, were you surprised by Bowden and how about Phil Fulmer? Is UNC safe with Butch...last ? Do you think DeVonte Hollowman did the right thing?

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone going crazy bc Jess Simpson sung at the race?

Anonymous said...

Who do you like in the Butler game this week?

Anonymous said...

Who do you like in the Country Day-Christian game? CCDS coming off a big win over Crest while Christian is reeling after a loss to a team who seemed to play a similar schedule as Christian with similar results?

Anonymous said...

We keep reading where Langston Wertz hates on the new coach at Mallard Creek. To each his own and nobodys perfect but try to cut the guy a little slack. Everybody knows females cant pick football coaches as well as males with experience can but give some time to make it or break it. Maybe the CMS admin didnt hire somebody you wanted to HC or other reasons but whats done is done.
We did hear Flowers had wanted that job bad buts its over now. Move on. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

LW, I see what you are saying and I did take a step back before I wrote you a post about the MC and Vance game. You have to understand when a child comes home from playing every Friday night mad and upset about the coaching staff. I have to write and say something. Look at this way do I believe my son and some of the coaching staff in the conference about what's going on with Vance coaching staff or just take a step back and let it go. It's my understanding the coaching staff in CMS do not on the sports programs here it's the hard working tax payers like myself. So I feel it's my job to say something. I believe CMS sports can be just as big as the programs in Texas, Florida, and Ohio. We can not get that way if we just hire people just because. Look at MC they did it right.

Anonymous said...

Let me tell, you the day Mike left South Florida (Fort Lauderdale area and not Miami), it was a sad day. Great character guy who wins where ever he goes. he was a star athlete in high school and teaches and coaches in the same manner,

He told people down here that within 5 years, Mallard Creek will compete nationally. Having known him for many, many years, you can guarantee that he will be in the national mix. He thinks as a Floridian...always believing he has the BEST.

Right now, Independence may not have anything to worry about, but as soon as Palmieri starts challenging them to games, they better start worrying!