Metrolina Christian football program officially underway
by Aaron Garcia
Seconds before kickoff last week, Metrolina Christian Academy football coach Thomas Langley took a second to scan the stands of Hickory Grove Baptist School’s football stadium in Charlotte, site of the Warriors’ first game of their inaugural season.
“I was just looking around and watching how many people came to watch us at an opponent’s field,” Langley recalled. “We had twice as many fans as they did. To me, that’s a good thing because they’re here to support us win or lose.”
Unfortunately for the Warriors, Hickory Grove took the victory, 36-14. But it was hardly a blowout; the Warriors committed five turnovers on the night, four of which occurred within 30 yards of the Lions’ end zone.
“We played a pretty good game, other than driving down the field and giving it back to them,” Langley said.
But there were plenty of bright spots. Running back Alex Lewis gained 81 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Corner back Jeremy Herba added 13 tackles while Piedmont transfer Cannon Long, a linebacker, added 12 stops.
“We saw a lot of positive things, but at the same time, we’ve got to be able to seize the moment,” Langley added. “When we’ve got a chance to make a play, we need to be able to make a play.”
Langley said he was pleased with his team’s attitude the following Monday after the loss.
“We’ve worked real hard on correcting our mistakes,” he said. “Our kids are very willing to be coached and they want to be coached. That makes it easier on us (coaches).”
Next up is matchup against Lasker Northeast Prep on Friday, Aug. 26. The game is slated to be played at Mint Hill’s Rocky River High School.
“It will be a tough matchup for us from what I’m hearing, but we’re going to go out there and compete and fight with everything we’ve got,” Langley said.
Mavericks start with a win
Marvin Ridge began its football season last week with a 17-13 win over Charlotte’s East Mecklenburg. The win was a bit sloppy, said Mavs coach Scott Chadwick. But to an extent, that was to be expected since Marvin Ridge is replacing 28 seniors from a year ago.
“I think the biggest thing was we made enough plays to win and we showed some signs offensively that we could be pretty good,” Chadwick noted. “On all of our scoring drives, we had some guys make good plays for us. We’ve just got to be much more consistent offensively.
Quarterback Tyler Chadwick recovered from a poor first half (one fumble, two interceptions) to lead the Mavs to the win with several third-down, drive-sustaining throws. The coach also commended receivers Carter Hill and Carter Harris for some big-time catches, as well as back-up running back Joey Sanguine, who replaced an injured Jacob Henderson and ran for 66 yards and a score on seven carries.
Defensively, the Mavs were solid, surrendering just 13 points, seven of which came off a Mavs’ fumble. Second-year starting strong safety Luke Stennitt followed up a solid preseason with six tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack.
“The No. 1 thing I was most proud of was I thought our kids played extremely hard,” Scott Chadwick said. “I thought our effort was great; we played hard and were able to overcome some mistakes because we played hard.
“It’s nice to steal a win while you’re still improving.”
The Mavs next travel to Charlotte to take on rival Ardrey Kell on Friday, Aug. 26.