Football: Monday Morning QB - Cummings
August 28, 2013By Kevin McCloskey of Western Alamance High School
It was a beautiful night in late October.... Wait a minute... It was actually August 23rd. But it sure felt like late October. Dare I say it... There was actually a coolness (and a few drizzles) in the air on Friday evening over at Cummings High School. But who cares???
FOOTBALL SEASON IS BACK!
I just saw this commercial on television and it reminded me of how I felt all day on Friday. Just substitute "Friday Night Lights" for "Hump Day" and you'll get a clear picture of my emotions (and I am certain, all of you felt the same way).
Order has been restored to the universe! Its football season again!
Hello - My name is Kevin
A few changes this year...
Back to Friday night... As always, a great job by the Warrior Nation! How many times do we outnumber the home crowd at an "away" game for WA???
Love, love, love the family atmosphere that is Western Alamance Football! The opening game is always like a "reunion" with lots of handshakes and hugs and "Its good to see you" greetings! And its genuine. In layman's terms... WA is "Good People" through-and-through!
After a long, hard week, there's no better place to be than down on the sidelines with my lovely wife (Kay - who takes some of the fantastic pictures you see on iHigh) and my "Second Family" (Warrior Nation).
Some general observations from the game:
Donovan "YAC" Apple
For those of you who don't know what "YAC" means, its my abbreviaton for "Yards After Contact." YAC gets a lot of them. Obviously, Donovan is a physical player. But its his mentality that separates him from the rest. He's just not going to go down because you touched him. And, most likely, he's going to deliver more punishment to the defender than vice-versa.
A lot of it has to do with Apple's body position. Have you ever heard the term "running downhill"??? This is what it looks like (a natural body lean that provides defenders with both a tough angle and a ton of energy to counteract. How would you like to meet this guy head on???
11 carries. 97 yards. 2 TDs. Not too shabby!
Let me tell you 2 things that I love about Alex Ball:
PS - I took a break and did it! I came up with a nickname for Alex.... Brahma! As in "Brahma Bull". I'll call him... "Brahma Ball!" He's THAT tough!
Hey all you other non-Warrior people reading this article.... I've got something to say to you....
HE'S A SOPHOMORE!!! HE'S A SOPHOMORE!!!!!
Yeah! Get used to it. The kid is good. Real good.
13 of 19 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown. 37 more yards on the ground.
'taint bad. 'taint bad at all.
Talk about poise! This kid has it! Great decisions. Great command of the offense.
Let's face it Warrior Nation... We've been spoiled with GREAT QB play for the past.... decade-plus. And we've got another winner. Bright, bright future ahead for young Trey.
All I want from Trey is for him to realize what is in front of him... This is his team for the future.
First and foremost.... Jamie also need a nickname. Help me out people! He deserves it. I love me some Jamie Billings!
In past years, Jamie was predominantly an OL. But he showed a little "nasty" streak playing DL last year and I think he might have found himself a home.
Is that it??? Is Jamie... "The Tornado"???? Time will tell!
Plain and simple... The kid's a playmaker. He just makes plays. Very solid throughout. Good hustle. Good fundamentals.
Brit was the person who recovered the muffed Cummings punt in Q3 that completely changed the game.
I'll come up with a better nickname.... Just give me time...
I can't say enough good things about TJ. How many times do you get to match up against one of the top prospects in the nation (Big Will Richardson) and come out on top???
And make no mistake about it, Big Will is a legitimate D1 football player. He had offers from NC State, Florida State, Virginia, and a host of others (before selecting UVA).
As TJ said in his interview with the Times-News:
“Our term is I had to ‘marry him’ for the night, just like last year,” Harris said. “Wherever he went, I had to go. That was part of our game plan.”
This was the proverbial "game-within-the-game." TJ vs. Big Will. A chess match on the gridiron. Kudos to the WA coaching staff for recognizing this "chess match" and maneuvering the pieces accordingly.
Big Will impressed me. He will do well at UVA. But TJ just seems to want it more. Enjoy him Warrior Fans... He IS special!!!
On the next level, he's probably not big enough to stick at DE. But TJ Harris will make a fine LB for NC A&T or, perhaps, a D1 school. This kid deserves a look!
Brock "Beep Beep" Deatherage
Earlier in the week, Brock committed to NC State to play baseball. The pressure is now off and Brock and enjoy his senior season of football.
Brock had 3 highlights on the night:
Justin "Primetime" Wilson - Justin didn't have any primetime highlights on Friday evening, but he was solid & dependable. And what I really liked about Justin was the leadership role he has assumed (especially with the defense). At the start of the second half, Justin was on the sidelines exhorting his defensive teammates: "We cannot let them score!" And he was right! The Warrior Defense pitched a SHUTOUT! That was special!
Eli Gordon - I love Eli's instincts at the LB position. Plain-and-simple... Eli is a football player. Its in his blood. And to go along with the instincts, he's got great range. Eli can cover the field from sideline-to-sideline. Its going to be fun to watch him progress through this year and next.
#55 - I don't even know your name (yet). But you're the kid who transferred in from the Chicago area and we're glad to have you (and your family) here at WA. Late in the game... A BIG SACK! Nice job!
KC Okoronkwo - Perhaps one of the best kept "secrets" in the county. This sophomore was very impressive running the ball (especially late in the game, just pounding out yardage on the final TD drive of the game). With WA's stable of running backs depleted due to Jacob Webster's injury, I look for KC to become a VERY VALUABLE contributor on offense.
Christian Valenzuela - The senior has been working hard for several years in the program and the hard work is paying off. Christian played a good game and will be a major contributor.
Daniel Bratcher - Only a sophomore, he's still a "young 'un" out there playing on the DL. But he was solid throughout (perhaps a sack... not sure) and will grow into a true force on the Warrior Defense.
I apologize if I left anyone out. These are just the guys who caught my eye on opening night. We've got a lot more football ahead, so I'll be keeping my eyes open to spot even more standouts.
The only "negative" on the night was that I didn't get a single clip for "C'mon Man!" Kay pointed out a golden opportunity involving one of our trainers but I was slow with the camera. But don't worry... In addition to looking for highlights, I'm also looking for lowlights to put on Cmon Man!
And I want to give props to RJ Lloyd. RJ volunteered to help us with the post-game interviews and did an OUTSTANDING job. I know he'd rather be suited up and playing, but its a pleasure to have him helping out with iHigh.
Next week... HOME OPENER!!!!
Its a special night and I'm going to do something special with video next week. You'll just have to wait and see!
Southern Alamance vs. Western Alamance. One "country" school vs. another. Another game featuring a D1 football recruit (Johnathan Lloyd - Duke) as an opponent.
From the sound of things, SA's offense revolves around 2 players. QB Lloyd (of course) and RB Dairyon Matkins. Control them, and we control the game.
Although there won't be a player-vs-player matchup (like TJ vs. Big Will) this week, I think its safe to say that our skill guys would like to put their best foot forward since you've got a D1 skill guy (Lloyd) on the other team.
Last year, Brock stepped up big-time and stole the show with 3 TDs vs. the Patriots.
Who will step up next Friday night??? We'll just have to wait & see... But if Williams can put 33 on the scoreboard vs. SA, then I think the WA offense will put some big numbers up!
YAC. Beep-Beep. Primetime... Its SHOWTIME!
AM Primm Stadium will be full to capacity and Friday Night Lights will be blazing down!
I know this guy is ready!