Monday, October 6, 2008

Langston Wertz Jr.'s Q&A

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 one of the following links:


Q. I understand the logic of falling in the polls when you lose, it just seemed odd to me that (Country Day) fell out of the polls after winning a game against a state champ after only falling 3 spots after losing the previous week to a school in Tennessee.

“You are looking at it in a vacuum. That’s the issue. We cover 120 plus schools. When one loses, other teams that are unbeaten have to get a look, especially early in the season. And you’re also looking at the poll as if one person names it. It’s a vote, as I’ve said many times, and everybody has their own thoughts about what qualifies one team over another. And your Bucs did work their way back into the poll.”

Q. Langston, what do you think about Mooresville and their chances this season?

A. I like the Blue Devils. That running back, Jishaun Pinkston (pictured above), has – what – 1,219 yards and 17 TDs right now. He’s No. 2 in the state in yards and touchdowns I believe. Mooresville is 5-1 and looking pretty strong. I think they can definitely compete for a league title and with a big weapon like Pinkston, who can go 90 yards in one play like he did against Northwest Cabarrus Friday – on the first play of the game – anything can happen.

But what I’m interested in right now are great players on not-so-great teams. Know anyone like that? Email me at

Q. LW, we pay CMS bureaucrats six figures to create the mess of two games in 48 hours? There were so many alternatives to this and it looks like they didn't even pay attention to the calender....We would probably have a city championship, private-public matchups, and other improvements if we got some new blood in there. What do you think?

“I think Vicki Hamilton and her crew are top-notch. They have a lot to deal with, with a system this large, more than you know. I agree we should’ve avoided this situation. I know CMS is loathe to play Saturday, because it’s hard to get game officials, police, etc, but I think I might’ve exhausted that option. My suggestion was to play Wednesday-Monday-Friday, which I think would’ve worked, but you’re also dealing with out-of-county teams who may not have wanted to move this week’s games to Monday to accommodate the change. It’s reason 471 why I want all CMS conferences in fall 2009.

“As far as the city championships go, sooner or later I hope the Ads and coaches realize they can seriously butter their bread by going that route and create some events the city will get excited about. All this I don’t wanna play because private schools recruit needs to stop. Players will always change schools, public to private, public to public and private to private. Them playing two weeks out of the year won’t change that.”

Q. Hey I'm all for a city championship too especially in foot and basket-ball. I'm from Pittsburgh, PA, and we have them there at Heinz Field. It's huge! My question is this: thanks for the great suggestion about playing Wednesday then Monday. Why CMS didn't think of that? They should hire you. I thought Shelby was the best program around here. Someone is telling me that Indy is better. Your thoughts?

“Why didn’t CMS think of Wednesday-Monday-Friday? They have have I don’t know. Hire me? Well, I have a job now….Shelby has won more games and state titles than any program in our area. I’d say they are, historically, the King Daddy. Indy has won seven titles in eight years.

“City championship? We need one. I know they are huge in Pittsburgh, perhaps bigger than states. I’d just love to see Charlotte teams – every year – win at least one big trophy.”

Q. Langston, Wednesday-Monday makes to much sense not to do it....Seen you have been covering soccer (your favorite sport) lately. Why no love for South Meck? We do have a big game coming up this week, you know. You covering?

“See above for the football reschedule comments. Thanks for the love on soccer. And we did cover the South Meck game you speak of.”

Q. what does dale ross have against you?

“I don’t think he has anything against me. Ross is a chief poster at Carolina Varsity. He is passionate about certain teams and kids. That’s his right. I cannot share that singular passion however and have to report in a more neutral manner. In doing so, what I say or don’t say may not be congruent with him.”

Q. Hey Langston,last year you guys posted an article with all the state records for football. Where can I find that and are you going to put up an updated article sometime this year?

A. State records for football are Last year I published county records for football. Which did you want?

Q. I have a good question: How can you show Vance cheerleaders on TV and not talk about the game or have any thing about the two schools in the Saturday blitz. Are the two schools that bad? Let me guess you guys boycott some teams like (Vance). For a school to be in the heart of University City you guys look around them for some reason. Guess I have to be a reporter to know why. But in the mean time can you but something about them in the paper sometime this week the kids I know where looking for something about their school last week.

“I would disagree. Vance gets its share of coverage. They get covered about every week in the University City neighbors. Dan Tierney has written about them quite a bit. We’ve covered their games. I can’t speak on coverage on TV. I’m not responsible for it. I simply appear on the program and offer my thoughts when asked. And you all know my stock answer now. If there’s a great human interest story at Vance – or anywhere else – let me know. I’ll write it and (hopefully) put it on the front page with a big ol’ picture.”

Q. Of course the Sat. Sports Section is primarily about Cht. Christian's Football game. There are other BIG top private schools in Charlotte playing Friday Night Football. There has been minimal coverage on Country Day all football season. No matter who we play there is no coverage but Christian playing anybody in the state of NC and you cover it. There has to be some equality in sports coverage. We all know that you, Langston, has a special interest in Christian, relationships with their coaches, players etc. Isn't journalism suppose to be non-bias? Let's see you write some articals spot lighting Country Day. We know that you will cover our homecoming games because we are playing Christian. But could we have some coverage before them. We are a great and strong team. We deserve some space in the paper. I am not trying to tell you how to do your job, But guys let's look at the season articles and let them say speak for themselves.

“Last week, the big private game was Latin-Christian. Country Day-Vee Cee Cee doesn’t doesn’t inspire the same kind of passion, nor warrant the same kind of coverage. We tend to try to give the biggest “pop” to the biggest games. We can’t cover every game. We’ve lost staff this year and we are no longer doing the Blitz section that gave us more room. Hopefully we’ll return to that next year. I know a lot of you have said you miss it.

“It’s funny because if you look at the older Q&As, Christian people are on here saying I ignore them and I favor other private school teams. You say I like Christian above all others. Maybe that means I’m getting it about right?”


Anonymous said...

Garinger won tonight Langston. Take care of us tomorrow, like you promised. We're back!

Anonymous said...

Langston, heard you were at the Butler game tonight. When are you going to write about thier REAL stars? Hawatha Bell, Anthony Short, Jacob Davis, Markel Moore, Jawaun Edwards, Allonte Tuppins, Anthony Mcgill and junior Nate Charest, who's been outstanding EVERY game this year.
These 8 gentlemen are the reason Butler is winning!
It's time to give credit where credit is due!

Anonymous said...

Hey Langston, how about the job Aaron Brand is doing @ West Charlotte!!!! These kids go thru more btween 7 and 3 than you could imagine. He has brought a since of respect back to our program with his hard work and lead by example attitude. I know that he does not hear this enough, so for what it is worth Coach Brand, keep pushing and caring about our kids. They really love and need you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Langston, Have you noticed that Ardrey Kell football team has the potential to have a great defense and offense. We watched them last week and noticed that they run four plays on offense. 1) single back off-set formation with small speed back up the middle 45% 0f the time 2)single back off-set formation with small speed back up the gut 45% of the time 3) a sweep 5% of the time 4)their only pass play, a fly 5% of the time. I'm sorry, I just gave up their offensive scheme. On defense, they have a very good defensive front and linebacker core. They hold down must teams the fist and most of the second quarter until the opposing coach remembers that they have the one of the weakest secondary in Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

Langston, I have never been your biggest fan. I have to say recently your work has been outstanding. Your'e writing about WHITE kids. Your'e being fair and not covering West Chocolate all the time. Glad you grew up finally after all these years.

Anonymous said...

LW, compare Christian leymay and Chris Leak at same age.

MHSDevil said...

Langston, what are your predictions for the North Piedmont Conference this season? are you with the popular vote that Mooresville and west rowan will be undefeated in NPC play...and their match up in the last week of the season decides it all? who do ya like?

Anonymous said...

LW, when you compare Christian Lemay and Chris Leak remember to add that Chris Leak was a 4.0 honors student. Lemay has an arm but is no where near Leak when it comes to intelligence.

Anonymous said...

LW, I read with great interest the story about how CMS is becoming more and more segregated. What is that going to mean, if anything, for sports? We're considering a move from eastern NC to Charlotte, primarily so our son can benefit from the top notch coaching and competition in Charlotte. He's a sophomore Division I football/basketball recruit. I will withhold my name for obvious reasons.

Anonymous said...

LW, I'm all for city championships, too, but how do you do it?

Anonymous said...

So whats up with all these pro players active or retired trying to steal the spotlight with their massive egos in the high school football ranks as coaches?

This is pathetic but we see it all over the place intevening and stealing jobs from potential non-NFL non-bloated non-millioniares out there who dont have the privlege of having their names splattered by the doting Observer reporter mice scrambling around to find a story as usual.

Heres some advice for these washed up or otherwise spotlight lover NFLers trying to cash in on high school football. Butt out !!!

Leave the high school coaching to real mom and pop mofos who are not just using their high profile background to waltz in and take over where they please and make little to nothing investing their time and effort and pay.

Dont spoil the game. High school is for amatuer players AND coaches not spoiled rotten overpaid pampered overated brats who collect millions annually living in million $$ homes and driving 10 cars with money to burn.

Leave the game 100% pure as it was always intended. Money corrupts. Life in the fast lane corrupts. Power corrupts. Only a very tiny handful will ever make a dime in the pros if they lucky although there is nothing wrong with dreaming.

Dont mix the purity of high school sports with the lavish lifestyle of todays professional spoiled rotten millionaire players and the Observer needs to quit promoting this volatile mix that can damage the game itself.

Thankfully the public school system requires coaches to be college grads and trained certified licensed teachers and we know these pro brats would never go to that much trouble.

Dale Ross said...

What makes you think I don't like Langston? NOTHING could be further from the truth. I don't always agree with some of his assessments; but that is something entirely different. I can only guess that this has something to do with my comments about the Observer not naming Walt Aikens player of the week.

Imagine my surprise when I see a player from Independence, in a dominating game with expected stats win player of the week. I wish to take nothing away from Harold Blythe. I think he is an excellent football player and deserves some recognition.

Why was I surprised? Walt had 472 yards total offense and was responsible for 6 TDs! Walt’s performance came in a competitive game while Blythe's performance came in a blowout win. Walt put his team on his back and carried them. Langston, you should ask Harding if you can view their game film.

I should add that Cliff Merthens did post on that they could not get stats or any other information from the game. The result was that they did not have anything to go on concerning Walt when they named the players of the week. I accept that.

Langston, my writing is not singular as I've written about a number of players from various schools. It is singular in that most of these players are in the Charlotte Mecklenburg area – kind of like your viewing range! – I also make my website available to ANY and everyone to help promote any kid that I can.

Langston you keep doing what you are doing. I will always read and listen to what you say and I’ll never hate or dislike you.

mhsdevils said...

now that mooresville has a loss to a solid lake norman team, what are your predictions for the rest of the year in the NPC. should we already crown west, or can someone catch em in the last few weeks?