Coach Snow returns from COVID, West falls to Weddington

Published 11:40 am Monday, September 6, 2021

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By Jay Spivey
For the Clemmons Courier

West Forsyth lost 19-7 to Weddington this past Friday night in Matthews, and although the game is certainly worth notice, it was also the return of Coach Adrian Snow after battling COVID-19.

Snow was diagnosed on Aug. 6 with COVID-19, and missed the first two games against Asheville Reynolds and Oak Grove, which were wins, but he returned to practice last Wednesday, drove to Matthews for the game, and coached from the sideline.

“I went over there (the hospital) and stayed for seven hours, left and went home,” Snow said of his initial trip. “I ain’t gonna stay over there seven hours. So, after seven hours of sitting, I left.

“And then I talked to my doctor and they felt like it might be kidney stone-related because I’ve dealt with some of that. So, once I realized kind of what was going on. that was what it was, I went and saw my urologist on that Monday, and the urologist said, ‘This definitely ain’t kidney stone-related.”

Snow said he was tested for COVID-19 the following day, and it was confirmed the next day that he tested positive. He said his symptoms were a fever and chills. Once he was admitted to the hospital, he was there 11 days.

“I was never incoherent. I always knew what was going on,” he said. “I struggled breathing.”

Although Snow is much better, he is still building his lung capacity..

“I still struggle at times, When I say struggle, I’m fine. I went to the game (Friday night) and felt great,” he said. “I felt normal again. I have a little nagging cough, which I was told, which I was told I will have for a while. It just kind of stays with you.

“Other than that, it’s one of those things. It’s happened. I hate it happened. Hopefully I’ll be better because of it.”

Snow wasn’t vaccinated.

“There was a time when I was going to go get it, then they called a football meeting, and I went to the football meeting and — my wife (Gina) went and we were going together,” he said. “And my wife went, and they called this meeting. So, I went to the meeting and just didn’t go.

“It’s not that I was a non-vaccinator. I ain’t one of those kind of guys. I just never did it. Not that I didn’t ever need to or not to. It’s one of those situations.”

While in the hospital, Snow was able to communicate with the coaching staff, including acting coaches Sean Joyce and Jonathan McIntosh, as well as the players.

“It was tough, but it was — our guys did a great job,” he said. “Our staff’s been together for a while, so it’s not like they didn’t know what was going on. They just plugged in, and Sean and Jon stepped up and they kind of took over some of the things that I had to do. They did a good job.”

Following 11 days in the hospital, Snow came home on Aug. 24. He was released to come back last week, and started working partial days last Wednesday.

“And then it kind of happened, and I got released (last) week (to coach), so I’ve kind of taken over some of those things,” Snow said. “I started trying to help and make sure that they’re straight, and try to take stuff off their plate. So, now I can kind of do some of that. I only work a half-day right now, so I’m going to work a half-day through this week, and once that happens, I’ll be back full tilt. Just kind of working my way back into doing what I need to do.”

In addition to being able to communicate with the team, with the advent of modern technology, Snow was able to watch the first two games from the hospital.

“It was tough, but it was what it had to be,” he said. “There wasn’t nothing I could do about it. We talk to our guys all the time about controlling what you can control. And I couldn’t control it, so at that point there was no use in getting too torn up on it. So, it was fine.

“Like I said, our guys did a great job and they handled it the right way. They did what they needed to do and it was good.”

Once his doctor released him to return to coaching and teaching last Monday Snow’s plan was to return to coaching last Friday night against Weddington.

“My plan was. It was more of a tentative plan just due to my body,” he said. “And I had to make sure that my body would be able to let me. So, I went to practice all week, did that, then made sure that I could get that done. That was a stepping stone.

“Then the big test, and this is what I told our staff, was Thursday’s (JV) game (against East Forsyth). I wanted to see if I could stand, be a part, do it, and stay out of the way without being a burden on Thursday. So, that was kind of my litmus test. I did that Thursday and I felt good, I felt fine.”

It was also a benefit that it was cooler and less humid late last week than it had been for the first two games.

“The weather probably helped, too,” Snow said. “It wasn’t crazy hot, so at that point I felt good. So, I went and after Thursday I felt good, and that’s what we’d be ready to do.”

The long trip to Weddington didn’t play into Snow’s decision to coach last Friday.

“I had a friend of mine, me and him end a couple others, we rode down (to Weddington) together. I didn’t ride the bus,” he said. “I’ve gotten to where I don’t ride the bus anyway. I always take my vehicle with me. And the reason I do that is, not because I’m against riding the bus, it’s more of a hey, if this kid gets hurt and he has no parent or nothing, then we’re going to have to be the ones that have that deal with it, and we would.”

Once he stepped on the field at Warrior Stadium at Weddington, it was euphoric to him.

“It was awesome,” Snow said. “It was good. It didn’t end the way we needed it to. It was a great game. We had our opportunities. Our kids battled, and it’ll only make us better. But it was good. It was awesome.”

West Forsyth (2-1) stood toe-to-toe with Weddington (3-0), which won three NCHSAA Class 3-AA titles in the past five seasons, in the first half. West Forsyth missed two field-goal attempts in the first half, including one on the first drive after it drove 67 yards on the opening drive.

The teams played to a scoreless tie in the first half, and it remained that way through much of the third quarter. The Warriors broke the scoreless tie with 3:39 left in the third quarter after Matthews Moonan kicked a 26-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

“We played well. I think they ended up the first half with about 0 yards. Something to the effect of that, is what I read at one time,” Snow said. “We played really well. Offensively, we had a great first drive. I mean it was awesome. We took the thing down, had some great plays, and then we just struggled at string some plays together. And that’s kind of what it was.”

Not having long, consistent drives also led to Weddington getting some momentum.

“We’d have a good play, but we couldn’t put two or three together,” Snow said. “And I think that kind of hurt us. But, you know, we’re going to be fine.”

The Warriors added to the lead after Zymill Patterson caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Grady Brosterhous with 10:09 left in the fourth quarter to help extend the lead to 10-0.

Brosterhous finished 20-of-27 passing for 197 yards and a touchdown.

“It happens. Credit part of that is a Weddington issue,” Snow said. “They’re pretty good on defense. They’re very similar to West Forsyth. They’re pretty good on defense, and we know they were pretty good on defense. And they did a good job. At times it was a West Forsyth issue, but a lot of times it was a Weddington issue. It was a combination of both.”

On the ensuing drive, running back Jevante Long fumbled on the Titan’s 16-yard-line. The Warriors capitalized on the next play after Landyn Backey scored with 9:46 left to help push the lead to 17-0.

Long finished 64 yards on 18 carries.

“I think emotionally it (the fumble) was kind of a big deal,” Snow said. “Jevante Long is as good as you get. We love him. Sometimes it happens. Nobody yelled at him. Nobody screamed at him because I can tell you this, there ain’t nobody that felt worse about it than him because of the teammate he is. He’s awesome.”

The Titans bounced back after running back Mack David scored on a 17-yard run with 6:50 left in the fourth quarter to help trim the lead to 17-7. However, quarterback Chris Van Kleeck of the Titans was called for intentional grounding in the end zone with 1:51 left for a safety, which made it 19-7, sealing the win for the Warriors.

Van Kleeck finished 6-of-13 passing for 69 yards. He also had 36 yards rushing on five carries.

“Then we come right back, we take it down, we score, make it interesting,” Snow said. “That’s one of those things. It just didn’t go our way.”

Although no team wants a moral victory, playing Weddington is a good test before Wes Forsyth opens Central Piedmont 4-A play next week at home against Mount Tabor, which won the NCHSAA Class 3-AA championship in the spring and defeated Weddington in the second round of the playoffs.

“We’ve got some things we’ve got to kind of shore up and clean up, but we’re getting there,” Snow said. “And our kids are getting better every week. I’m seeing improvement. We cleaned a bunch of stuff up from last week (against Oak Grove) on penalties and different things like that. So, our guys understand what’s going on.”

West Forsyth is off this week as it prepares to play Mount Tabor, which transitioned back to the Central Piedmont 4-A after being in the Piedmont Triad 3-A for the past four years. Mount Tabor was scheduled to have played at Greensboro Page Thursday night after the game, which was scheduled for last Friday. was postponed because of the shooting death of a Mount Tabor student last Monday at the school.

“The biggest thing is you just got to get ready for our league,” Snow said. “Our league is a bear, and we know it, It’s going to be fun, though. So, we’re looking forward to it, and it should be interesting.”

Although it’s an off-week as far as games for West Forsyth, the team will still be practicing. Snow said the plan was to practice on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They’ll be off on Friday, Saturday and Sunday before starting their regular preparation for the Mount Tabor game.

“We’ll practice that three days, get that done, take care of business, try to get better,” Snow said. “And then we’ll see if we can get ready for those Spartans.”