New Ben L. Smith High School running backs coach put up some Very Impressive running numbers back in his day, as a Running Back in Rowan County

Posted by Andy Durham on September 2, 2020 at 4:26 pm under High School, Photos | Comments are off for this article

Here you go, with a good one on Thomas Lowe, the new running backs coach, at Ben L. Smith High School, here in Greensboro…Lowe was also (176-0) in wrestling back in high school……..

Football: Lowe played in an era of rushing legends
By Mike London with the Salisbury Post…..
CLICK HERE to read all of this article…Some very impressive high school running numbers for Thomas Lowe…

SALISBURY — Thomas Lowe’s football career is a story of what might have been, but it’s also a story about what was.

He spent his freshman year on the East Rowan jayvees and played in only three games as a junior, but his two full varsity seasons were epic. Lowe still ranks 11th on the county’s all-time rushing list with 3,471 yards.

In 2007, with the 5-foot-7 Lowe running for what was then a school-record 1,779 yards and finding the end zone 22 times, East enjoyed its first winning season since 1999.

In 2009, with Lowe rolling for 1,292 yards and 17 touchdowns, South Rowan had more victories (9) than it’s had in any season since 1983.

Lowe obviously wasn’t the only factor on two good very teams, but he was a pivotal piece of the puzzle.

In an era in Rowan County in which running backs racked up more yards and more touchdowns and more headlines than in any other, Lowe was always part of the conversation, even though contemporaries and adversaries included the county’s all-time rusher and AP state player of the year (West Rowan’s KP Parks), the county’s No. 2 all-time rusher (Carson’s Shaun Warren) and a NCHSAA male athlete of the year (Salisbury’s Romar Morris).

That was daunting competition, to say the least, some of the best of all-time.

“You’d get the paper first thing on Saturday morning and see how all the other backs in the county did,” Lowe said. “We all had our own distinct styles, we all ran the ball differently, but I always felt like I was the best. It was important for me to feel that way. As a competitor, you have to believe in yourself. You can’t go out there thinking, ‘Well, I want to be the second-best guy.’ I had balance, I had speed, I had power, and I had vision. I wasn’t as shifty as some of those other guys, but I was a very good back.”

He had tremendous power in his legs. His weight-room squats were legendary.

Life often comes full circle, and that has been the case with Lowe. If he briefly got sidetracked his junior year in high school, he was able to pull himself together again as a senior. There were tough lessons that cut him deeply and bit a huge chunk out of his career stats and his place in Rowan football history, but the school of hard knocks also taught him well. He knows what adversity is and knows how to fight back from it.

Lowe is now a mental health professional with a master’s degree. He works at Daymark Recovery Services in Davidson County, helping people who are fighting addiction and substance abuse. He’s also been hired by an old friend to coach the running backs, handle quality control and guide the strength and conditioning efforts at Ben L. Smith High in Greensboro.

Ben L. Smith, the school from which five-time NBA all-star Bob McAdoo graduated in the late 1960s, is a 4A school with about 1,500 students.

“There are a lot of kids at Smith that a college scholarship would change their lives for the better,” Lowe said. “Football can be their saving grace. I want to help them cope with everything they’re dealing with in these crazy times, help them make the right decisions.”

Lowe chose North Carolina Central. He was recruited by N.C. Central’s defensive backs coach Marcello Royal, forming a bond that continues through today.

Things didn’t work out at N.C. Central.

“There was a coaching change and a lot of the freshmen lost their scholarships,” Lowe said. “They’d named an interim coach and he wanted to bring in his own guy, but then he ended up not getting the job, after all. I loved North Carolina Central and never wanted to leave, but I didn’t have much choice.”

He was on some rosters after that. He was at Wingate for a while. He even played in a Blue-White Spring Game for Catawba. But the opportunity to get meaningful carries never opened up.

“Then I made the decision to go back to North Carolina Central,” Lowe said. “I’d started college there, and that’s where I wanted to finish. I had some injury issues, but by then I had figured out that getting a degree was the most important thing. I was on the team at North Carolina Central, and it was a good learning experience. I became a student of the game and started making a transition from player to coach.”

Royal was hired at Ben L. Smith’s new head coach last December.

In June, Lowe agreed to help the man who had once recruited him. The plan is for Lowe to continue working in Lexington, and then travel on to Greensboro for football. At least that will be the plan if things ever get back to normal.

It’s been a challenging beginning for Lowe at Ben L. Smith, to say the least.

With COVID-19 restrictions, the Ben L. Smith players haven’t been able to work out. Lowe not only hasn’t been able to get them in the weight room yet, he still hasn’t met them, in person.

Lowe, like many coaches and administrators, believes that spring football is the most likely scenario for this school year.

“As a coach, you break down a lot of film and watch film, so I’m getting to know the kids I’ll be coaching that way,” Lowe said. “But I’m anxious to get to know them and to get them in the weight room. I’ve got some expertise to offer there.”

Lowe is married. He has a daughter and two step-sons. They live in Salisbury.

“Well, I’ve got two (video) gamers,” Lowe said with a laugh. “But I’ve also got a 4-year-old who sits and watches film with me. We got him a football a few weeks ago, and he hasn’t put it down yet.”

CLICK HERE to read more and to read all about this Rowan County running back legend, Thomas Lowe….Some very big years in high school, in Rowan County, with East Rowan High School and South Rowan High School….Some very impressive running and touchdown numbers….


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