Home Sweet Home: Titans ready for home opener against Oak Grove after loss at A.C. Reynolds last week
Published 11:11 am Monday, August 22, 2022
By Jay Spivey
All of the excitement about West Forsyth opening the high school football season last Friday quickly dissipated after a 37-0 loss at A.C. Reynolds.
West Forsyth (0-1) can only hope that the loss to Asheville Reynolds was rock bottom.
“It’s part of it,” Coach Adrian Snow said. “They’re good. We didn’t play very well, and it kind of snowballed on us. I’m excited about (this past) Monday to get back at it and get better.”
Last Friday’s game at Asheville Reynolds was in stark contrast to last year’s game against Asheville Reynolds in Clemmons where West Forsyth won 37-7.
“We beat them the same score basically last year, and they played for a conference championship,” Snow said. “So, they didn’t let it define them and we’re not going to let it define us.”
As the Titans dive back into practice this week, they will try and erase last week’s game from their memory banks.
“The biggest thing to do is, we’ve just got to get back to work,” Snow said. “I think we’ll worry about it (this past) Monday about what you can do to prepare and be better, and then you move on. You can’t let this one beat you.
“I think it’s one of those things where as soon as it was over our kids — it wasn’t our best day — and at this point you can keep dwelling on it or we can take it and flush it and move on.” Snow said. “That’s what we’re going to do.”
The Titans will try and tune out some of the noise that comes with an opening loss.
“The biggest thing is, you just have to stay together, stay tight, and make sure everybody understands that you don’t let one thing define you,” Snow said. “Football, or anything, there’s a lot of people that will tell you, ‘Hey, you guys need to be doing this, should’ve been doing this, should’ve been doing that.’
“You’ve got to do what you think is right.”
West Forsyth plays host to Oak Grove Friday night, the first of two straight home games. The Titans will play Weddington on Sept. 2.
“Our schedule isn’t easy,” Snow said. “Oak Grove does a great job, has great numbers. They’re well-coached. We’ll have to be ready to play. What we’ve got to do is take what we can, look at it, see how we can prepare and be better.”
The Titans also get to play in their home opener.
“That helps,” Snow said. “Our kids get to play in front of our home crowd. I think they’re ready to get that bad taste out of their mouth and see what happens.”
Friday’s game against Oak Grove will pit Snow against his longtime friend, Mark Holcomb, who has been the head coach at Oak Grove since it opened in 2017, and he formerly coached at North Davidson when North Davidson was in the Central Piedmont 4-A.
“He’s a great friend, does a great job,” Snow said of Holcomb. “He’s a great. And I enjoy being around him.”
Although Snow and Holcomb coached against each other in the Central Piedmont 4-A, they became good friends during the 2015 Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Florida, when Snow was there to see Jalen Dalton, who played at West Forsyth and played in college at North Carolina, and Holcomb was there to see Shy Tuttle, who played for him at North Davidson and played in college at Tennessee.
“We talk a lot,” Holcomb said. “And then whenever Shy and Dalton (played in the Under Armour Game our families hung out together. Adrian and I would go to practice and both families would go do dinner. We got really close that week — just being around each other all the time.
“I think we kind of figured out that we’re very similar in terms of we want to build relationships. We want to help kids. And obviously, we want to win football games. I think both of those things are kind of put on the back burner. Sometimes I think, two guys try to do it for the right reasons to help kids be successful.”
Snow has a mutual respect for Holcomb.
“I respect him immensely, and what he does,” Snow said. “And he’s done a great job there, laid a great foundation. They’ve got a great football team and we’ve got to be ready to play.”
Snow missed last year’s game at Oak Grove while he was recuperating from COVID-19. Holcomb called him quite often while Snow was in the hospital and after he was released from the hospital.
Ironically, not long after Snow contracted COVID-19, Holcomb also tested positive for it, and he missed Oak Grove’s games against North Davidson and Ledford.
“When he didn’t get to coach against us, I was on the phone with him a couple times during that week he was in the hospital,” Holcomb said. “It just makes you not take your friendship for granted. It was touch and go there for a while.
Oak Grove (1-0) is coming into Friday’s game on a high after coming from behind to defeat Southwest Guilford 23-20 after Aiden Daugherty kicked a 21-yard field goal at the buzzer to win the game.
“It was a tale of two halves,” Holcomb said. “Defensively, we played really well in the first half. Offensively, we made a bunch of mistakes. The defense really kept us in the game. And then offensively, we were able to play a whole lot better in the second half.”
This is the third straight season the Titans and Grizzlies have faced each other.
“They aren’t going to hurt themselves,” Snow said. “That’s the sign of a great team, a well-coached team. They’re going to do the little things right. And you can see it. It’s very evident.”
Last year’s game in Midway went the way of the Titans, defeating the Grizzlies 37-20.
“Last (Friday’s) game has no effect either way on this one,” Holcomb said. “There’s a lot of things for both teams to fix. That’s me saying that about us…Obviously, I’ve known Adrian for a long time. I mean, Adrian’s a great coach, and very dangerous after a loss.
“I’ve played him many times after a loss and taken a loss many times after a loss. So, I have the ultimate respect for him and his staff. And I know they’ve got great players. Maybe mentally you hope there’s a little bit of a hangover, but you can’t, these are 16-, 17-, 18-year-olds.”
No matter the reasons, Snow is looking forward to playing on Friday.
“Any time I’m coaching football is a good thing,” he said.