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Last Post 07/08/2019 6:52 PM by  Jim West
The 1981 South Mecklenburg Sabres: 4A state football champions
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Jim West
Posts:2509

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05/06/2017 7:51 PM

    Score early, score often.  That might have been the 1981 South Mecklenburg Sabres' motto.  

    You didn't see many teams in 1981 average more than 20 points/game.  Only a handful would score as many as 30 points/game.  How about 35 points/game?  Over 14 games that year, South Meck scored over 35 points/game.

    The Sabres, led by Head Coach Jim Seacord, started the season with a non-conference battle with A.L. Brown.  After the game, I doubt anyone had any "wonders" about the Sabres.  Final score:  South Meck 55, A.L. Brown 21.

    The next 9 games were conference matches in the always tricky 4A Southwestern Conference.  Here were the results:

     

    South Meck 32, East Meck 6

    South Meck 20, West Charlotte 7

    South Meck 54, West Meck 22

    South Meck 40, Garinger 8

    South Meck 27, Harding 19

    South Meck 34, Independence 28

    South Meck 40, Myers Park 14

    South Meck 42, North Meck 14

    South Meck 28, Olympic 6

     

    South Meck would only be the third 4A Mecklenburg team since 1981 to go undefeated in regular season play.  While South Meck's offense looked incredible, their defense could be a problem.  However, South Meck's first two playoff games resulted in shutouts when they easily defeated Ashbrook (40-0) and West Charlotte (34-0).  In the West Regionals, South Meck would cruise by T.W. Andrews by a 22 to 3 score.  

    The 4A state championship final would be 13-0 South Meck vs. 13-0 Terry Sanford.  Terry Sanford had allowed a total of 39 points in 13 games (3 points/game).  South Meck's offense was the best in the state while no one could match Terry Sanford's defensive numbers.  Who would win?

    South Meck would prevail with a 27-14 victory.

    As a side note, 1981 represented the failed "Division II" experiment performed by the 2A, 3A, and 4A classifications.  Teams that didn't qualify for the Division I playoffs were selected for the Division II playoffs.  I do not recognize the Division II champions as state champions.  To me, it was nothing more than a consolation prize.

     

    4A state championship recap:

    1959:  Garinger

    1960:  Greensboro (Grimsley)

    1961:  Broughton

    1962:  Rocky Mount

    1963:  Rocky Mount

    1964:  R.J. Reynolds

    1965-1966:  no state championship game

    1967:  Fike

    1968:  Fike

    1969:  Fike

    1970:  Broughton

    1971:  North Forsyth

    1972:  T.W. Andrews

    1973:  Sanford Central

    1974:  Ashbrook

    1975:  Rose

    1976:  T.W. Andrews

    1977:  East Mecklenburg

    1978:  Richmond County

    1979:  High Point Central

    1980:  Page

    1981:  South Mecklenburg

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    btango
    Posts:4315

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    05/06/2017 9:57 PM
    My first 4A state title game! This is the game that really got the neutral site / college stadium plan moving forward as Simon Terrell, long time NCHSAA director, witnessed the crowd control and logistics issues.

    Linebacker Kelvin Crooms would go onto a starring role at NC State. Steve Griffin got lost a bit behind two future NFL studs at Clemson. His son was a standout player at South and signed with Tennessee but I think he has transferred.
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    Matt Morrow
    Posts:8714
    Dale's right Hand Man

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    05/06/2017 10:05 PM
    There are some Seacord stories out there, I think he was at Porter Ridge not too long ago but he's not there anymore.

    One of the things people shared with me was that no matter what, first play of the game would be a fullback dive right up the middle. Old school at its best.
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    Dale Ross
    Posts:32146
    Site Admin

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    05/07/2017 3:38 PM
    I sure wish ASU was still around, he was at South then!

    Seacord, now here is a coach that was truly screwed by CMS. Did I put that correctly? Maybe "blackballed" as we saw someone else say here recently?
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    Jim West
    Posts:2509

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    05/07/2017 4:02 PM
    What happened to Coach Seacord?
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    Matt Morrow
    Posts:8714
    Dale's right Hand Man

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    05/07/2017 7:01 PM
    Follow me on Twitter @pepmancv Email Me Directly: matt.morrow6164@gmail.com
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    Jim West
    Posts:2509

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    05/07/2017 7:16 PM
    I hope that we are all remembered by our entire body of work than a few missteps along the way. Woody Hayes was unceremoniously fired after the 1978 Gator Bowl game. Near the end of the game, Clemson's Charlie Bauman intercepted an Art Schlichter pass. Woody grabbed Charlie and punched him. He then threw a punch at one of his own players. Many looked at this moment and thought that Woody was just a bad sport. In truth, Woody was a diabetic and his blood sugar was out of the range high: he didn't realize what he was doing. He was fired...and rightfully so, but he was not a bad man at all. He taught history at Ohio State (pretty neat deal) and he actually tutored several of his players throughout the years. How many coaches care enough for their players to personally tutor them?

    Woody Hayes was one of those coaches.
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    Matt Morrow
    Posts:8714
    Dale's right Hand Man

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    05/07/2017 8:36 PM

    Follow me on Twitter @pepmancv Email Me Directly: matt.morrow6164@gmail.com
    1

    Dale Ross
    Posts:32146
    Site Admin

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    05/07/2017 9:13 PM
    Posted By Jim West on 05/07/2017 7:16 PM
    I hope that we are all remembered by our entire body of work than a few missteps along the way. Woody Hayes was unceremoniously fired after the 1978 Gator Bowl game. Near the end of the game, Clemson's Charlie Bauman intercepted an Art Schlichter pass. Woody grabbed Charlie and punched him. He then threw a punch at one of his own players. Many looked at this moment and thought that Woody was just a bad sport. In truth, Woody was a diabetic and his blood sugar was out of the range high: he didn't realize what he was doing. He was fired...and rightfully so, but he was not a bad man at all. He taught history at Ohio State (pretty neat deal) and he actually tutored several of his players throughout the years. How many coaches care enough for their players to personally tutor them?

    Woody Hayes was one of those coaches.

    Sometimes we need the context. There was a bit more to the conversation.

     

     

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    Dale Ross
    Posts:32146
    Site Admin

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    05/07/2017 9:17 PM
    This South Mecklenburg team was good all the way around. Steve Griffin was one of the best I've seen play.
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    Jim West
    Posts:2509

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    05/07/2017 9:39 PM
    @dale, you are correct. I bring up Woody because he was an amazing man who was a caring guy...but also had a horrible temper. Add serious health concerns and you have a debacle.
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    Dale Ross
    Posts:32146
    Site Admin

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    05/08/2017 4:29 PM
    There are several coaches in CMS that were "blackballed" from being a HC . I'm certain what might have been said was something more like... you're killing the team with your play You might as well put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger. Should he have said that or anything lose to that? No. Should he be fired? No. But Providence had more "sensitive" families there.

    I'm not certain, but we could say not PC enough? Maybe we should put together a list of coaches blackballed that didn't really break the rules.
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    btango
    Posts:4315

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    05/08/2017 5:22 PM
    Seacirdcwas old school with no sugar coating.

    Pete Gilchrist was treated bad! Don't think or know if he was blackballed. Bad move by the principal.
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    Dale Ross
    Posts:32146
    Site Admin

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    05/08/2017 6:58 PM
    Posted By btango on 05/08/2017 5:22 PM
    Seacirdcwas old school with no sugar coating.

    Pete Gilchrist was treated bad! Don't think or know if he was blackballed. Bad move by the principal.

    I don't think Pete has been blackballed; and wouldn't think that he would have been over that. But then, he hasn't attempted to come back so we don't know. I'd like to have him back in the area.

     

     

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    Matt Morrow
    Posts:8714
    Dale's right Hand Man

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    05/08/2017 10:36 PM
    Buddy Rego, the defensive mind of the great 80s Harding teams under Knotts definitely got the black ball. Geiler didn't start coming into prominence until WC. I know tango has some more background on that one....
    Follow me on Twitter @pepmancv Email Me Directly: matt.morrow6164@gmail.com
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    btango
    Posts:4315

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    05/08/2017 11:35 PM
    I was living overseas when TK was at Harding so only caught a playoff game a few times. Big D, I think we have an ex qb that could enlighten us.
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    Dale Ross
    Posts:32146
    Site Admin

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    05/09/2017 2:59 PM
    Yes we do. Might have to drag him over here. But I also know he's talked about it here in the past.
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    Darin Morton
    Posts:1
    Middle School
    Middle School

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    10/03/2017 6:50 PM
    We are looking for team members to join us this FRIDAY night for homecoming - as Honorary Captains and pregame Coin Flip. Text 7042581041 for details.
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    Matt Morrow
    Posts:8714
    Dale's right Hand Man

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    10/03/2017 9:40 PM
    Darin, could we share this on Twitter?
    Follow me on Twitter @pepmancv Email Me Directly: matt.morrow6164@gmail.com
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    Dale Ross
    Posts:32146
    Site Admin

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    06/25/2019 8:45 AM
    Pop This back up
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    Middle Sound Heel
    Posts:13
    Freshman Member
    Freshman Member

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    07/04/2019 7:29 AM
    As a side note to the original posters note about the dual playoffs that year. Reid Ross, a school that no longer plays sports won that state title easily that year. They red through the playoffs with ease
    Their only loss that year was to Terry Sanford in a very close game. I think it was 14 to 12 Terry Sanford over Reid Ross. Terry Sanford was loaded and lost in the state finals. Reid Ross with just a field goal could have been in the real state title game. They were very very very good that year.
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    btango
    Posts:4315

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    07/08/2019 4:53 PM
    Scotland was in the same conference. Lost by one to Reid Ross and six to Terry Sanford. Reid Ross had three one point wins in the regular season. Crazy!

    The playoffs before subdividing and still only four rounds were a gaunlet. In 4A very few teams with two or more losses. Mostly one loss and undefeated.
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    Jim West
    Posts:2509

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    07/08/2019 6:52 PM
    Before subdividing, it was not uncommon for an undefeated team to lose in the first round of the playoffs. Today, certain "experts" will be calling for a coach's head.
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