Bob Boswell was the architect who built the Kannapolis A.L. Brown Wonders into a football powerhouse starting in the mid-1970s. But these days it’s not uncommon to find Boswell seated in the home side bleachers at Concord High’s Bailey Stadium.There’s only one thing that would have made the coach, who bled Brown green for so many years, proud to wear the black and gold of the rival Spiders: His family.Boswell’s grandsons, senior Parker Swaringen and freshman Drew Yoos, are important members of Concord’s varsity football team. Boswell has fond memories of the 13 seasons he coached in Kannapolis, but now he tries to catch at least every Concord home game.“Everyone always asks how that goes,” Boswell said. “Of course I have a special place in my heart for Kannapolis. But Parker and Drew are blood.”Swaringen is the son of Scott and Dori Swaringen and Yoos’ parents are Andy and Donae Yoos (pronounced “Yose”). Dori and Donae are two of Boswell’s four children and their families live about a block away from each other in south Concord.The sisters were both A.L. Brown cheerleaders. Dori graduated in 1982 and married Scott Swaringen, a Concord Spiders team captain in 1979, two years later.Scott Swaringen was on the losing side of the “Battle of the Bell” rivalry games to Boswell’s Wonders in 1978 and 1979. The Wonders’ 7-3 record in 1978 started a string of winning seasons in Kannapolis that was extended to 35 this year.Under Boswell’s direction, Kannapolis finished as the N.C. 4A runner up in 1984. He coached several players that reached the NFL, including Ethan Horton and Lance Smith.Donae graduated in 1989, the year Boswell left Kannapolis to coach in South Carolina. Her husband, Andy Yoos, was a Wonders’ soccer player and a 1988 graduate. They were married in 1995, the same year Parker Swaringen was born.Parker and Drew, who was born two years later, never got to see their grandfather coach, even though he returned to North Carolina in 2000 and served as an assistant at South Rowan in the early 2000s. Boswell coached at Graham, High Point Andrews, and N.C. State before A.L. Brown. Boswell started attending his grandsons’ football games when they were in middle school. When Parker played his first games for the high school varsity in 2011, Scott Swaringen bought his father-in-law his first Concord Spiders T-shirt.“Everyone with their camera phones stood up and took pictures,” said Swaringen.Often sitting beside Boswell at the Concord football games is his ex-wife Jeanne, the boys’ grandmother, who could very well be the president of the de facto Parker and Drew fan club. She has missed only two games all season, and that was because she was in Virginia to watch another grandson play.Parker said he and his grandfather don’t talk much about the Kannapolis-Concord rivalry. Where he and his cousin Drew get ribbed about it is in the Concord field house. Concord coach Glen Padgett joked with Parker about whether his grandfather would support a Spiders’ team fundraiser.“I wrote them a check and (Padgett) showed it around,” Boswell said.Parker has turned into a solid tight end, adept at catching and blocking. Through 13 games, he has caught 41 passes for 593 yards and seven touchdowns. Also an all-conference baseball player, Parker is hoping to play either sport in college.Drew, who also plays baseball and basketball, has played on the varsity football team for most of the season, even though he is just a freshman. He mostly plays on special teams but he is following in his cousin’s footsteps as a multi-skilled tight end.Boswell, still vibrant at 75 years old and living in Kannapolis, has entertained offers to return to coaching. But he insists that he doesn’t coach his grandsons and that he is never critical of their play, as long as they put forth their best effort.As Concord advanced in the 3A state playoffs this season, the Swaringens and Yooses have gotten superstitious. They sit in the same spot in the Bailey Stadium bleachers and save a spot for one of Concord’s most conspicuous fans: Coach Boswell.Joe Habina is a freelance writer for Cabarrus News. Have a story idea for Joe? Email him at email@example.com.
Friday, Nov. 23, 2012
School allegiance is no match for family when it comes to Brown-Concord football rivalry
Former Wonders coach roots for Spiders grandsons
Former Kannapolis A.L. Brown Wonders coach Bob Boswell is a big supporter of his two grandsons who play for the Concord Spiders, Parker Swaringen, left, and Drew Yoos. JOE HABINA