NCHSAA Football Championships:
Published: Nov 29, 2012 02:45 PM
Modified: Nov 29, 2012 02:47 PM
RALEIGH - Call it the Battle of the Beards.
Facial hair was uncommon among the buzz-cut and letter-jacket set of 16 coaching staffs present at Mondays pre-game news conference for the N.C. high school state championships. Without a doubt, the bushiest beards were those of Carrboros Jason Tudryn and South Iredells Scott Miller.
I hate mine, said Miller, a veteran of the U.S. Army and later the Charlotte police force. His players convinced him to start the beard in the preseason as a symbol of team unity, like their shaved heads. They kept their end of the bargain, so I had to keep it.
Tudryn kept his beard for much the same reason. The admittedly superstitious Carrboro coach said last summer his beard would be untrimmed as long as the Jaguars kept winning.
Carrboro (15-0) plays South Iredell (13-2) Saturday in Carter-Finley Stadium for the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2AA championship. Kickoff is set for 7:05 p.m.
Tickets are $10 at the gate, $9 in advance, available at Carrboro High School.
Even if each team were to bring 2,500 fans, they wouldnt fill one-tenth of the seats at N.C. States Stadium. But that doesnt bother either coach.
Im telling my players its not necessarily a big game; its a game in a big place, Miller said.
Im going to have to teach the kids not to look at the highlights on the Jumbotron, Tudryn said. I just want them to embrace the experience and enjoy it.
Tudryn said hes seen signs literally that his Jaguars success is getting noticed. Eating breakfast at Neals Deli the morning after Fridays 21-14 victory at Northside for the NCHSAA 2AA East championship, he saw Go Jaguars on the chalkboard along with the days specials. In Southern Village, a sign read Go Jaguars .. Win the state.
You starting to see that real southern high school vibe carry through Carrboro, he said. Its just awesome for our kids. Its something theyll remember for the rest of their lives, regardless of what happens Saturday.
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