Excessive Faculty Soccer: Walsh accepts the South Soccer Problem – Salisbury Submit
Posted by Mike London
LANDIS – Head Coach Chris Walsh shook hands with every masked South Rowan player as he stepped down from the auditorium on Friday, marking a new era for the Raiders’ football program.
“Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t,” were Walsh’s last words to the team.
He knows a lot of people will tell Raiders they can’t because South hasn’t done it in football for a long time.
Walsh follows Daniel Yow, who was 12-50 years old in six seasons.
Yow did his best to change mentality and physicality, striving to turn things around, but the former Catawba College lineman failed to transform a familiar pattern of occasional wins and one-sided losses. South’s rust fights go back well before Yow was discontinued. South is 40-121 since Carson opened in 2006, five miles from South, across Interstate 85.
South has had a good soccer team since Carson was born. South was very strong in 2009 (9-3) when there were a multitude of next level athletes.
Only a handful of southern teams in the last twelve seasons were able to compete with upper-class teams after half-time. No South team has won more than three games since the 2009 squad that defeated AL Brown and Statesville, among others. South hasn’t seen the playoffs since 2009 and hasn’t won a playoff game since 2003.
That’s a lot of daunting story.
On the whole, high school soccer is more about developing character and forming good people than it is about wins and losses and college scholarships, but it’s still important for a school and community to show pride in their soccer team can. It is not strictly necessary to win championships, but it is important to be able to compete on Friday evening. It is important to have a chance.
Walsh is not from here, but is familiar with the area. He understands the challenge he has accepted. He knows the numbers.
His coaches and mentors include former East Rowan and Central Cabarrus head coach Kenneth McClamrock, and Matt Stack, a Northwest Cabarrus graduate who coached local soccer and baseball before moving to various coaching jobs.
Walsh’s wife is a graduate of Concords JM Robinson High, so it’s basically a homecoming for him to take the job in the south.
He wants to be there in the long run.
“When I was growing up, my family moved everywhere,” said Walsh. “Now I have a 4 year old daughter and I want her to grow up somewhere where she can call home. This is a great area to live and work in. “
Walsh was born in Florida and attended high school in Georgia.
He is a graduate of Valdosta State University in Georgia.
He came to North Carolina seven years ago.
“I was an offensive coordinator and I was a position coach for every group except linebackers,” said Walsh.
Walsh Stack assisted at McMichael High School in Mayodan, south of the North Carolina-Virginia state line. There was noticeable progress when a program that was felt to be unfortunate made it to the playoffs in 2016. The players embraced Stack’s philosophy of “Old School Values and New School Football”.
When Stack was hired as head coach by Rosman in the NC Mountains in March 2017, Walsh was credited with keeping things together at McMichael during the spring months between Stack’s departure and the hiring of new head coach Darnell Wiggins.
The next stop for Walsh was Bishop McGuinness in Kernersville. This is a school that is known for great basketball, but not soccer. Walsh helped head coach Drew Hackett build a soccer team in 2018 that made the playoffs and won eight games.
“The common theme in reversing these two programs was that everyone buy into each other,” said Walsh.
Hackett moved to CATA and then to Sun Valley.
Walsh most recently taught civics and coached golf at the North Carolina Leadership Academy.
A coaching friend notified Walsh of the open position in the South when Yow resigned in April, and Walsh was ready to seek and apply for a head coaching opportunity.
Walsh said he was actually a substitute teacher at South years ago.
“South made a positive first impression on me.” Said Walsh. “I thought it would be a good place then. It’s funny how things are going. “
The southern director Dr. Amanda Macon and AD Angie Chrismon led the search for a new trainer. Macon said there were some outside the box considerations that involved a group of southern athletes in the selection process.
“Everyone kept coming back to Chris Walsh,” said Macon. “We were impressed with his energy, his excitement, his commitment.”
Energy is great, but everyone understands that in a place that has had a successful season since 2003, there is no quick fix.
“There are different ways to define the success of football,” said Macon. “First, we want football to help build good and productive people. But we want to get better on the field. Let’s be better today than yesterday. “
After four years in 2A, South is returning to the 3A ranks this fall.
It’s not necessarily a terrible thing. The conference’s football enemies in the south – East Rowan, Carson, West Rowan, Lake Norman Charter, Northwest Cabarrus, Central Cabarrus, and Concord – are unlikely to be tougher than the Salisbury, North Davidson, and Oak Grove squads against the the Raiders have competed in their 2A league.
South will be welcoming one of the best groups of athletes that Corriher-Lipe Middle School has produced in many years this fall.
Walsh said he wanted to “get started” in a couple of weeks.
“The previous employees did a good job setting up a foundation,” said Walsh. “The plan now is to make football fun and exciting and have a large number of players. We need everyone from the elderly down to understand what we are doing. We want everyone to feel like there is no place they would rather be than on the soccer field. “