Myers Park High football coach Scott Chadwick has stuck to a theme all season, one that’s quickly becoming quite memorable for the Mustangs and their fans.
After Friday’s dominant 45-19 win over Rocky River, Myers Park improved to 6-0, and Chadwick -- as he has done all season -- is being “aw shucks” about all of it.
“I know it’s a cliche,” he said, “but we really have focused week-to-week with this group and they’ve done a great job. I don’t know if we have sat back, added it all up, but after six weeks now you’re 6-0 going into a bye week. It’s something we’re proud of, and something that hasn’t been done in 30-something years here.
“But at the same time, the kids have the right attitude and understand why we’re 6-0. And really, we haven’t accomplished anything yet. All we’ve done is win six games. That’s great, but you don’t get a trophy for it.”
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All of that is true, but Myers Park has accomplished something this season.
The Mustangs have given one of the region’s biggest -- and most proud -- fan bases some pride, some hope. Myers Park hasn’t been 6-0 or won a conference championship since 1983. From 1983-2014, the Mustangs averaged 4.1 wins per year.
Myers Park has had some flashes of success. In 2011, the Mustangs reached the third round of the playoffs under coach Greg Taylor. In 2005, they made an incredible run past mighty Richmond Senior and lost to Independence in the state semifinals. However, Myers Park was unable to sustain that success in the years that followed.
This feels different.
Chadwick, fast establishing himself as one of the region’s better coaches, has a young team with size, a good coaching staff, a really good middle school feeder program supplemented by strong youth programs. He also seems to have a plan to make Myers Park a consistent winner.
The Mustangs are No. 9 in the Observer’s Sweet 16 poll and have a bye next week before playing one of the school’s biggest regular-season games of the past few decades Oct. 7, when they host No. 2 Butler. Because the Mustangs will likely be favored in all of their remaining games (as would Butler), this meeting could very well decide a conference title.
Myers Park hasn’t won one since that magical ’83 season when it started 11-0 before losing to Greensboro Page in the second round of the N.C. 4A playoffs.
“The bye comes at a good time for us,” Chadwick said. “We’re a little banged up and obviously it never hurts having extra time to prepare for a great football team, but the biggest thing it gives us a little rest nad a chance to heal some minor injuries. But obviously, we understand that the conference championship of the Southwestern 4A goes through Butler, and if we want to win it we’ve got to beat them. There’s no other way to do it. We’ve got smart kids. They realize that.”
Friday morning, there were protests at several Charlotte public schools, sparked by the shooting of an African-American male by an African-American Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer on Tuesday. Students at Hopewell, Mallard Creek and Olympic staged protests. Friday afternoon, students at Providence Day did the same.
Before Friday’s football games, players and cheerleaders from West Mecklenburg and Ardrey Kell knelt together for a moment of silence. At Mallard Creek, some of the Lions’ football players took a knee during the national anthem, a silent protest against police brutality that was started by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. West Charlotte’s cheerleaders were dressed in black instead of their maroon and gold and held signs saying “Black Lives Matter.”
In Durham, some members of the Southern Durham football team took a knee before a game with Hillsborough Orange. ...Mooresville moved Friday’s home game with Statesville to Monday because of a peaceful protest planned in downtown Mooresville Friday. School officials said they didn’t have enough security resources to effectively staff the game Friday.
▪ Vance High coach Aaron Brand was quarterback of the 1991 Halifax County (Va.) team that won a state championship. That team was inducted into the school’s hall of fame at halftime of Friday’s home game. There will be a banquet Saturday with an additional induction ceremony. Brand’s team, unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the Sweet 16, had a bye this week, so he planned to attend both ceremonies.
▪ At the start of the season, Providence had trouble scoring. But not lately. The Panthers upset East Mecklenburg 31-30 last week and beat Olympic 63-44 Friday. These were the first two games that all-conference tight end Drake Deluliis has been at least close to 100 percent after breaking his wrist last spring. Friday, Providence scored its most points since beating Olympic 65-21 in 2003.
Providence (2-3, 1-0 SoMeck 8) has won two in a row and has a showdown with another hot team next week in west Charlotte. West Mecklenburg (4-1, 1-0) has won four straight and beat Sweet 16 No. 15 Ardrey Kell handily on the road Friday.
▪ Speaking of West Meck, the Hawks proved Friday they are for real. They’re averaging 48.2 points in their four-game win streak. The first three wins came against West Charlotte, Garinger and Independence. None of those teams has won this season. But Ardrey Kell is a legimate playoff contender that beat 3A power Weddington, lost to Myers Park in a close game and took Sweet 16 No. 13 Hough to overtime last week.
No. 2 Butler 58, Garinger 0: Butler scored 34 points in the first quarter and won easily. The Bulldogs limited Garinger to minus-28 yards total offense on 25 plays. Butler quarterback Davis Cheek completed 8-of-13 passes for 132 yards and two scores. Nijere Peoples rushed nine times for 49 yards and a score. Quasean Holmes ran three times for 42 yards.
East Mecklenburg 29, Independence 21: East Mecklenburg (4-2, 1-0 Southwestern 4A) won for the third time in four weeks. Independence pulled within one point in the fourth quarter before East Meck scored a game-sealing touchdown late. The Patriots (0-6) scored a season high in points, but are off to their worst start since starting 0-7 in 1978.
Cox Mill 23, Northwest Cabarrus 7: Cox Mill won the Coddle Creek Cup in a rivalry game. The Battle for the Coddle Creek Cup began eight years ago, when Cox Mill opened. Coddle Creek was a dividing line for the two schools. If you lived west of it, you went to Cox Mill. If you lived east, you went to Northwest. Northwest Cabarrus won the Cup 7-6 last year.
Charlotte Country Day 21, Raleigh Ravenscroft 20: The Bucs stopped a two-point conversion attempt after Donald Fuller’s fourth-quarter touchdown run. That left the score 20-15. With 95 seconds to play, freshman Tim Newman ran 13 yards for the game-winning touchdown. Country Day (3-3) won for the second straight week.
Forestview 35, Lake Norman Charter 7: Forestview led 21-0 at halftime and cruised. Teddy Spooner completed 17-of-31 passes for 129 yards for Lake Norman Charter, which got 15 tackles from Sean Duggan. Two of Duggan’s tackles were for a loss.
SouthLake Christian 48, Christ The King 0: Will Huss had five touchdown runs in the win. SouthLake led 41-0 at halftime. Donovan Lewis had two scores for SouthLake.
Friday’s Top Performers
Chauncey Caldwell, Keshaun Abel, Mallard Creek: In a 45-7 win over West Charlotte, Caldwell was 16-of-25 for 189 yards and three scores. Abel caught six passes for 55 yards and three scores.
Jack Cherry, Blake Proehl, Providence: In a 63-44 win over Olympic, Cherry completed 11-of-16 passes for 349 yards and five touchdowns. Proehl caught eight passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns. Proehl’s reception yardage is 19th best all-time in Mecklenburg County and a school record.
Canaan Cox, Statesville Christian: Statesville Christian improved to 6-0 with Friday’s 61-21 win over Asheville School (3-1). Cox ran 28 times for 309 yards and six touchdowns. Cox had 344 yards total offense.
Jack Davidson. Elijah Bowick, Myers Park: In Friday’s 45-19 win over Rocky River, Davidson completed 21-of-30 passes for a career-high 357 yards and a career-high five touchdowns. Bowick caught six passes for a career-high 161 yards and a career-high three touchdowns.
Dylan Earney, Olympic: 19-for-38 passing for 309 yards and one touchdown pass against Providence.
Luke Hefferly, Ardrey Kell: 25-of-50 passing for 369 yards and two touchdowns in 47-35 loss to West Meck.
Richard Latimer, Khafre Brown, Dyami Brown, West Mecklenburg: Latimer completed 23-of-32 passes for 444 yards and five touchdowns against Ardrey Kell. Latimer’s passing yardage is 24th best in Mecklenburg County history and breaks the school record of 436 he set earlier this season. Khafre Brown caught five passes for 194 yards and three scores. Dyami Brown caught seven passes for 90 yards, two scores and had a 100-yard interception return for a score.
Gage Moloney, Rock Hill Northwestern: Was 26-of-42 passing for 314 yards and three scores in a 47-2 win at Gaffney. Moloney, who rushed seven times for 39 yards and a score, led his team to 40 straight points.
DeMarkes Stradford, Melvin Rouse, Charlotte Latin: In a 56-15 win over rival Charlotte Latin, Stradford rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 66-yard punt return for a touchdown. Rouse caught nine passes for 129 yards and three touchdowns.