Capitol Words a project of the Sunlight Foundation

  • and

Fourth Time A Charm For Western Alamance

Rep. Howard Coble

legislator photo

Madam Speaker, the old adage, ``If at first you don't succeed, try, try again'' wasn't written specifically with the Western Alamance High School football team in mind, but as its players and fans will tell you, that statement perfectly captures the fighting spirit of the Warriors. On December 8, 2007, Western Alamance won the North Carolina 3-A high school football championship on its fourth try in the title game. The Warriors completed a perfect 16-0 season by defeating North Gaston 62-36.

Having lost three straight state championship games, the Warriors of Western Alamance were used to playing in a big game setting. As Head Coach Hal Capps told the Times-News, however, there was something different about this year's squad. ``North Gaston is an outstanding football team, outstanding,'' Coach Capps told the Burlington newspaper, ``but this team was on a mission, they were not going to be denied.''

Senior receiver Levon Curtis, who was named the game's Most Outstanding Player, was part of those past title game losses, and he told the Times-News, ``We did it. I didn't know it would ever happen. I've got to get it through my mind, we did it.'' Curtis certainly did it by scoring four touchdowns, two through the air and two on the ground. In all, Curtis caught seven passes for 153 yards and rushed for another 96 yards.

Coach Hal Capps will be the first to tell you that finally winning that elusive state championship took a total team effort. Members of his coaching squad included Terry Covington, Drew Hambright, Chris Jackson, Frank Lassiter, Kenny Lockner, Brad Melton, Mike Mitchener, Chris Myers, and Jeff Snuffer. They were ably assisted by team managers Kaitlyn Lockner, Rachel McKinney, Amanda Summers, and Amanda Thomas.

But it was the players who finally led the Warriors to the promised land. Members of the 3-A champs include Ethan Willis, Jonathon Corriher, A.J. Smith, Donald Britt, Ryan Blair, Jared Orton, Houston Spake, Nathan Jasper, Brandon Hill, Kenneth Lindsey, Chris Sparks, Wes Satterfield, Tucker Street, Chris Bradsher, Matt Maness, Connor Meehan, Scottie Thomas, Justin Torrence, Rod Shaw, Michael Wade, Doug Bernard, Olanders Sellars, Johnny Mitchell, P.J. Wright, Brad Brenner, Macon Rippy, Billy Williamson, Gary Strader, Kyle Norris, Levon Curtis, Nathan Bell, Kevin Lewis, Kyle Haizlip, Josh Baulding, Casey Roberts, Todd Ludwig, Joe Ahlgren, Christian Saconn, Robert Fields, Mac Mitchener, Blake Bledsole, Chris Sizemore, Jered Welborn, Josh Warren, Donald Schietzelt, Jay Johnson, Matt Apple, Shawn Huffines, Richard Miller, Laramie Stallings, Nick King, Corey Brothers, Bradley Dickey, Jamal Dark, Zack Palm, Allen Black, Tony Bejos, Jeremy Gooding, Tyler Clayton, Martin Dailey, Dace Crawford, Ashton Tinin, Wayne Stanfield, Joe Reinheimer, Ronnie Mimms, Jordan Gaines, Bill Blanchard, Jeremy Ray, Avery Booker, Josh Medlin, Alex Mitchell, George Wentz, Ben Smith, Brent Oliver, and Orvin Guiffaro.

All of these players assisted Western Alamance in a record-setting performance. Six State records were broken during the title game, including most combined points scored (98) in a championship contest. The only number that the Warriors will remember is four. Because on the fourth try, Western Alamance finally brought home the trophy.

Even amid all of the jubilation, there was some sadness associated with the team. Two days before the championship, the brother of offensive coordinator Jeff Snuffner died of cancer. Quarterback Donald Britt told the Times-News, ``When we heard Coach Snuffner's brother died, something went off in us. We just wanted to do it for him. We wanted to go out there 110 percent, every play.'' Coach Capps told the Burlington newspaper that just before the game, he and his offensive coordinator hugged and told the other how much they loved each other. ``I'm sitting there five minutes before the game,'' told the Times-News, ``crying like a baby. That's what life is all about. It's about loving and caring about people and having relationships. When something doesn't go right, you pick each other up and go on.''

The Warriors did more than go on. They went all the way to be named as North Carolina 3-A high school football champions. On behalf of the citizens of the Sixth District of North Carolina, we congratulate Western Alamance Principal Terri Spears, Athletic Director Carter Gerlach, Head Coach Hal Capps, and all of the players, coaches, staff, family, and fans, as well as the outstanding Warriors marching band. The team is a true inspiration to all of us who work hard to accomplish our goals. The Warriors proved that sometimes old adages are true because they never gave up.