09/05/11 — Lee gives credit where credit is due for Saints' early-season success

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Lee gives credit where credit is due for Saints' early-season success

By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on September 5, 2011 1:47 PM

Keith Jones saw the potential last season.

Southern Wayne started slowly, but triumphed in six of its final nine games of 2010. That stretch included an opening-round victory in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 3-A small-school playoffs.

"We worked hard in the summer in the weight room, and we've come to work (this season)," said Jones.

And now the Saints are 3-0 for the first time since 1975 when they compiled a perfect 10-0 regular-season record, and claimed the Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference championship. The lone blemish came the following week -- a first-round playoff defeat at then-powerhouse Ahoskie (which is now Hertford County).

"You have to give some credit to Coach (Bob) Warren because he left a heckuva team," said Southern Wayne head coach David Lee. "The other credit has got to go to the players and my assistant coaches. Our players work their butt off in practice, the assistant coaches are on point and the players are coming together as a team.

"They know that hard work pays off and are not afraid of it now."

What did you say coach?

Assistant coach David Combs trotted up to the press box and grabbed his headset just before the second-half kickoff.

"That's the best halftime speech I've ever heard," said Combs to anyone within earshot.

Lee inspired his team to play with a little more emotion, play up to its ability, not be satisfied, show no complacency and good things would happen in the second half. Eager to lay some pads and make contact, the fired-up Saints drew a 15-yard penalty on the opening play of the third quarter.

Lee didn't mind the aggression, but he reminded his team to "keep the talk to just between their teammates on the field."

Eagles' defense rises

Rosewood completed its second consecutive shutout in a 25-0 win over Midway on Thursday night.

The Eagles forced seven turnovers and consistently got pressure on Raiders quarterback Taylor Calcutt with their front seven.

A big part of the Eagles' defensive maturation has been the ability to put their cornerbacks on an island and not worry about allowing big plays.

"We have two seniors at corner and they are both capable of making plays for us," said Rosewood head coach Robert Britt. "Midway tried to throw the ball deep three times against us. Shane Whitley intercepted the first pass, our safety Joshua Davis broke up the second and Corey Dickerson picked off the third."

Midway finished with just 142 yards of total offense in the game. Calcutt completed four passes for 41 yards and tossed two interceptions.