Sidney, Southwest, and the SLS

N.C. State has a new basketball coach and he is not a stranger to the Wolfpack Nation. Sidney Lowe is the man in Raleigh and the now the Red and White is back on track, they are the Pack and let’s lay the Smack.

Lowe should be a State graduate by the time the mail rolls into the Triangle next Tuesday. It only took Sid 23 years and six thousand dollars worth of postage to get his degree. Will State be a better program with Mr. Lowe in the lead? Give him three years and he can end up just like Matt Doherty did over in Chapel Hill.

Doherty was True Blue but he was not he Heels number one choice. Lowe is pure Red and White but sure was not the Packs top pick to be their head coach. North Carolina was able to get their man Roy Williams after the smoke had cleared and Doherty was run out of town. N.C. State can now let Sid be in charge and let him blow it up and then maybe Rick Barnes will be ready to roll into Raleigh and save the day for all the Wolfpack fans. Be prepared for the next three years and if you can stomach this, then maybe the Pack will be set to turn the corner.

Sidney Lowe will some day receive his Masters Degree but most of the current Wolfpack will be in the ground and Sidney will be just about ready to join us in 2050 when he receives his advanced papers. When Sid gets his Doctor’s Degree we will all have been in Wolfpack Heaven for many, many decades.

Don’t lose Rick Barnes’ phone number, you’re gonna need it in about 3 years Mr. Fowler.

The best area high school baseball team locally has been Ragsdale but the team we have left out and not talked enough about is Southwest Guilford. The last time I checked the Cowboys were #1 in their 3-A conference and that puts them ahead of the Glenn Bobcats. Southwest has gone unbeaten in the conference and Reid Holmes the coach of the Cowboys deserves tons of credit. Ragsdale versus Southwest would make for a great playoff matchup and I guess we will have to wait and see if they end up in the same bracket.

Ragsdale is still #1 in the N&R poll and Southwest is right behind at #2. Grimsley still has a chance to grab #2 in the Metro 4-A but they will need to dispose of East Forsyth on Friday night and then Northwest will have to lose to North Forsyth. North Forsyth has been the top dog in the Metro all season long and with the number one seed they will host the conference tournament next week. Western Guilford is still in the 3-A hunt and they are going to be honoring their State Championship teams from the early 80’s some time this month.

Chris Causey the Hornet baseball coach feels it is important to remember those who have achieved and the WG teams won back- to- back State Titles under head coach Brett Stell back in the early 80’s. Jerry Russell, a current Greensboro City Firefighter was on the first WG championship club and he was a rare sort, because this guy was so good he was All-State in Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Russell went on to play college baseball at Elon along with high school teammate Jimmy Duncan. WG had Scott Muscat who played baseball at UNC-Charlotte and there was Jason Stewart who played ball at Guilford College. The high school scene is very neat to study, from the past to the present and on to the future.

In our title above we mentioned the SLS. You may say, what in the world is the SLS? It sounds like a wrestling move or even a wrestling tag-team. Remember the SWT, known as the Samoan Swat Team. Maybe not, but you gotta get down with the SLS. The Steve Lerud Shift. Come out to First Horizon Park and watch the Grasshoppers play the Hickory Crawdads this weekend and you will see with your very own eyes, the Steve Lerud Shift(SLS).

The SLS happens when the Hickory Crawdads catcher Steve Lerud is at bat standing in from the left side of the plate. The Grasshoppers shift their defense to the extreme right with the shortstop playing behind second base and the second baseman is standing out in shallow right field. The third baseman looks like he is playing shortstop and all the outfielders have moved sharply to the right. With the shortstop playing behind the 2nd base bag and the 2nd baseman in right fiield you will say to yourself this Steve Lerud must be some kind of special dude. He can hit for power but it looks like the Hoppers just about have him figured out. We shall see on Saturday when the Hoppers host the Crawdads again at FHP. With a real young but talented pitching staff the Hoppers are a fun bunch to watch.

The Hoppers have some life in their lineup with guys like Gaby Sanchez, Jeff Van Houten, and Kris Harvey they can hit the ball hard and with Andy Jenkins and others set to hit for a solid average we need to keep an eye on these kids. The shortstop, Augustin Septimo has looked great in the field with top-ten type plays nearly every night and Harvey has a gun for an arm out in right field. As Charlie Harville used to say, “We’ll see you at the Ballpark”.