West Forsyth to open CPC play Friday at Mount Tabor
Published 10:14 am Monday, September 12, 2022
Titans, who are still searching for first win, will take on unbeaten Spartans
By Jay Spivey
For the Clemmons Courier
The West Forsyth football team will head to Mount Tabor Friday night to open Central Piedmont 4-A conference play still in search of their first win of the season.
The Titans are 0-3 and coming off a bye week with a clean slate against unbeaten Mount Tabor.
“Football is long and grueling, and you’ve got to kind of be able to navigate it,” Coach Adrian Snow of West Forsyth said. “We’ve got a seven-week stretch here.
“I think it gave us a chance to get our emotions recharged, physically recharged.”
“I thought we had a really good open week. It was a really physical open week. We got after it just like it was a regular week. We did what we need to do to try to get better.”
As for Mount Tabor, it was also off. The Spartans have rolled through their first three opponents by a combined score of 126-28.
Mount Tabor has wins against perennial power Richmond Senior (45-7), North Forsyth (52-7) and Greensboro Page (29-14).
“You don’t want (the momentum) to stop. It’s a long season,” Coach Tiesuan Brown of Mount Tabor said. “We’ve got a tough conference. We played two really physical games. North Forsyth was no slouch. They’ve got some athletes. So, we’ve got a couple guys that have some nicks and bumps. They need to get healthy, and we took advantage of this week to get better.”
Snow said he was encouraged with some things he and the coaching staff saw in their last game against Weddington, including holding a 24-21 lead in the third quarter before the Warriors pulled away late.
“We’ve got to put two weeks together,” Snow said. “If we don’t, people will think it’s a fluke. We’ve got to pull some weeks together and play well again, and just be ready to hopefully makes something happen and have a chance.”
Mount Tabor won the NCHSAA Class 3-AA state championship in the spring season of 2021.
Last fall, the Spartans returned to the Central Piedmont 4-A after playing in the Piedmont Triad 3-A for the previous four seasons. Mount Tabor finished 4-5 overall and 2-4 in the conference after losing many of the key pieces of the state championship team, especially on defense.
This season, so far, has been the polar opposite. A big part of the difference is the depth they have and that the core of their team is a year older and a year stronger.
“I knew we were talented and the guys worked extremely hard,” Brown said. “They were hungry from last year having a down year. I knew that we could be really good, but we’ve just had a couple young kids that have really stepped up and improved.
“We had a good team last season. We had a lot of talent, but my senior class, those guys were just burned out,” Brown said. “They practiced for a whole year during COVID, made it to the state championship, played 11 games, and all 11 games were pressure games. So, the turnaround time we had and having to do it a month later again, I think that was too much for that class.”
The Spartans are led offensively by quarterback Semaj Reaves-Smith, a 5-foot-11, 157-pound senior and the Peterkin brothers — J.P., a 5-10, 150-pound senior, and Shemarius Peterkin, a 6-2, 172-pound sophomore — at receiver. At running back, Gio Caesar, a 5-8, 160-pound senior, has over 300 yards rushing.
Brown said that the defensive line for the Spartans, led by junior Kevin Frazier and sophomore Divory Puryear, is the defense’s calling card. Linebacker Jerome Gibson and defensive back Antwan Williamson have also had strong starts.
Brown said that Mount Tabor is not preparing like West Forsyth is a winless team.
“West Forsyth is the best 0-3 team I’ve seen, ever,” Brown said. “I feel like they’ve got weapons on offense. They’ve got a young defense, but they (play) hard). The thing we’re preaching to our kids is, we’ve got to match their intensity. We know they’re going to come out fired up because their backs are against the wall, but it’s football. We’re going to get everybody’s best shot.”
No matter the records, when both teams step on Bob Sapp Field Friday night it will still be a football game in the rugged Central Piedmont 4-A.
“At the end of the day, conference play is what matters,” Snow said. “Right now, nobody’s won the conference, nobody’s lost in the conference. So, we’ve just got to be ready to play.”