Cardinal Gibbons uses electronic devices to coach

tstevens@newsobserver.comAugust 26, 2013 

— Many high school football coaches didn’t think using electronic devices on the sideline during games was a very good idea, but Cardinal Gibbons’ Steven Wright has incorporated cell phones and iPads in the Crusaders’ coaching tool kit.

High school coaches can use sideline electronic devices for the first time this year, and Gibbons used them during its 14-12 win against Green Hope.

Pictures of alignments were taken in the press box and sent to Wright and defensive coordinator Okesa Smith on the sidelines. They used the pictures to show players how Green Hope was lining up.

“Coaches can’t see from the sidelines what is happening in the interior of the line,” Wright said. “We use the phones and iPad like the black and white pictures you see the quarterbacks in the NFL looking through. We can go over pre-snap reads. Whether a defensive player is lined up on the outside shoulder or head up can make a big difference in the blocking assignments.

“We used the pictures in the preseason and think they help us coach the players during the game.”

Pinkowski’s night: Clayton’s 53-29 win against rival Cleveland was the culmination of an unforgettable week for new Clayton football coach Randy Pinkowski. The game was his first in the program in more than two decades.

Clayton's 53 points was only the third time in its past 176 games that the team topped the 50-point mark.

Pinkowski told the team the results were going to change the perception of Clayton's prospects. He told the team there was something new on the jerseys now: a target.

After his address, assistant coach and offensive coordinator Anthony Barbour called the team back together and presented Pinkowski with the game ball.

“To have Anthony Barbour, a man I've grown to respect and rely on so much over the past six months, present me with a game ball was incredibly humbling,” Pinkowski said. “It was something that caught me completely off guard.”

The sense of joy and purpose Pinkowski felt during the week and after the win was something he had trouble describing.

“The bond that has been built in this community with this football program from Coach (Glenn) Nixon to Coach (Gary) Fowler with this football team is something you can't describe,” Pinkowski said. “I've never felt anything like it. And I really didn't remember how great it was until I got back here. People in Clayton don't realize how special this place is.”

The Comets will begin a string of four rivalry games Friday with their visit to Corinth Holders, which beat Northern Nash in overtime Friday night. Games against South Johnston, Smithfield-Selma and Fuquay-Varina will follow before Greater Neuse River 4A play begins Sept. 27.

Mistakes: Cleveland and Middle Creek, both in The News & Observer rankings, were hindered in season-opening losses by mistakes.

Middle Creek had three fumbles inside the Garner 20 in a 21-16 loss, and Cleveland had 22 penalized infractions.

Middle Creek had a 368-241 advantage in total yards despite losing starting quarterback Brant Grisel in the second quarter and playing without East Carolina wide receiver recruit Curtis Burston.

“I was pleased with the effort for the most part,” said Middle Creek coach Mike Castellano. “Yes we faced adversity, but that is not an excuse. Our backup quarterback, running back, left tackle, left guard, two wide receivers and free safety had to play, but they go through practice as well.

“Tom Hartshorn, Jacob Pearl, and Terry Patterson all played well on defense.”

Cleveland had a 422-311 edge in total offense despite the penalties. Rams quarterback Aaron Farmer passed for 193 yards.

Helmet rule: Cardinal Gibbons quarterback Shawn Stankavage lost his helmet during the 14-12 win against Green Hope. Wide receiver Dante DiMaggio, the backup quarterback, moved to quarterback for one play and threw a 41-yard touchdown pass.

Southeast falls: Fayetteville Britt, which played for the state 4AA title in 2012, got three touchdown passes from Harrison Strother and six turnovers from its defense in Saturday’s 34-9 win against Southeast Raleigh. Southeast Raleigh managed only 16 yards rushing and 128 passing.

Corinth Holders comeback: A 10-yard quarterback draw by Cole Sakowski gave Corinth Holders a 32-26 overtime win against Northern Nash and completed a comebck from a 26-13 third-quarter deficit.

“I never would have thought that it would have been a quarterback draw that would have scored for us,” said Corinth Holders coach Barry Honeycutt. “Particularly against a team that plays the Power-I offense” and sees that play a lot.

Running game: Wake Christian Academy rushed 33 times for 366 yards in its 34-12 win against Chatham Central. Quarterback Beau Barger led the way with 148 yards on the ground.

D. Clay Best contributed to this story.

Stevens: 919-829-8910

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