West ro WaN high sChool
Wes T Ro Wan coach sco TT Young, Who
has spent the past 15 years at the Mt. ulla
school and won three state championships in
a row from 2008-2010, is planning to be on
the sidelines this fall for his 20th season in
high school football. The only thing that might
change his plans is another health scare.
Young suffered a heart attack in April, his
second in two years, but he says he can’t imag-
ine life without coaching.
In october of 2011, Young experienced
severe chest pains so he drove himself to the
hospital where doctors inserted stents in a
completely blocked artery. He recovered quickly enough to coach the Falcons from the press
box that week and vowed to eat better and lose
weight, dropping 40 pounds since then.
But in the spring, Young spent five days in two
different hospitals after having another heart
attack. Doctors told him it might be hereditary.
He’s now restructuring the responsibilities of
himself and his assistants and is trying to eat
even better and lose more weight in hopes of
staving off another heart attack.
There is no question the Falcons are better
off with Young (158-43) at the helm. Before he
arrived at West Rowan in 1998, the team had
just two playoff victories and no conference titles.
He was voted the Associated Press’s high school
football Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2010, and
the Falcons went undefeated twice, once holding
the nation’s longest active winning streak.
Many are hoping Young can manage his health
and get the Falcons back in the state champion-
ship hunt. After all, West Rowan has won 10 or
more games in each of the past nine seasons.
The Burns Bulldogs
ho W can one no T cheeR FoR a TeaM Tha T
lost a portion of its season to goats? In one of
the strangest stories ever involving a high school
team, the Burns Bulldogs were forced to abandon
their home field for six months after what probably seemed liked a harmless prank turned into
a public health scare at the Lawndale school. The
incident made national news and was the butt of
a few jokes, so in case you missed it, here’s what
happened: on the night of oct. 18, some goats
belonging to the agriculture department were
turned loose inside Ron Greene Stadium.
Because of an E. coli outbreak linked to
animals at the petting zoo of the nearby Cleve-
land County Fair, the stadium was closed as a
precaution to the students and football players.
A bleach-based compound was applied to the
track surrounding the field, but school system
officials said it was impossible to clear possible
E. coli bacteria from the grass and soil.
The Cleveland County Health Dept. inspected
the field after the goats were captured and, based
on the state’s recommendation, elected to close
the stadium for at least six months – the amount
of time it takes the virus to die. The Bulldogs had
to relocate their game for Senior Night and gave
up three home games during the playoffs.
For the record, Burns went undefeated in
the conference and 10-4 overall. This season,
coach Matt Beam and the Bulldogs are determined not to let anyone beat them – including a
bunch of goats.
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FRiDa Y nigh T Foo TBaLL noRTh caRoLina 2013